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​Brook's Board of Trustees

Brook’s Board of Trustees are the most senior level of governance in the organisation. 

On these pages you will find information about our Board of Trustees and their biographies.

​Scott Bennett, Chair

Scott was appointed as a trustee in 2011 and became the Chair of Brook at the AGM 2016. He previously held the position of interim Treasurer on Brook’s Board until early 2013.

Scott is a qualified Health Economist and works as an Independent Consultant to a number of public sector organisations.

Previous roles have included Assistant Director of Local Government and Practice Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Assistant Director (Devon and Cornwall) Government Office South West. Prior to this he worked for the NHS in Cornwall in number roles including Head of Primary Care and Head of Partnerships, as well as being the lead commissioner for services for Children and Young People. 

Scott is committed to the evolvement of young people and communities in all levels of decision making, and supports Brook to build on its experience of listening to hard-to-reach groups and involving young people in the workings of the organisation.

Leon Ward, Deputy Chair

Leon Ward became a Trustee of Brook in November 2014 and was appointed as one of two Deputy Chairs in 2017.

Previously, he was a Trustee of international children’s charity Plan UK. He is the author of a best practice guide on young trustees which he published in partnership with the Charities Aid Foundation.

He is an Ambassador for Young Charity Trustees, a blogger for Civil Society and the Guardian Voluntary Sector Network, an Associate Expert (on third sector governance) at The Key for School Governors and a governance advice columnist for the Big Give. He has over nine years’ experience in the youth and charity sector.

Leon lives and works in Wales where he is leading the expansion and growth of education charity First Give. He tweets: @Leonjward

​Jo Youle, Deputy Chair

Jo has led the charity Missing People for over 4 years and won the Rising CEO award at the Third Sector Awards in 2014.

Jo has been a proud trustee of Brook since 2014, and Deputy Chair since January 2017.

Jo was a Samaritan for 10 years, latterly a Co-Director of Central London Samaritans following a career as an artist and songwriter for Warner Music and Chrysalis.

Jo is a trained mediator and an experienced public speaker and media spokesperson on the issues of vulnerable and missing young people and issues relating to the Third Sector. Jo was recognised as a Guardian Top Charity Chief Executive on social media in 2015 and 2016.

Follow @joeyyoule

Alice Birch

Alice BirchAlice Birch became a Young Trustee of Brook in September 2017.

Alice has a degree in History from the University of Edinburgh and most recently has completed an MSc in Global Health & Social Justice at King’s College London – her dissertation looked at the ‘chemsex’ phenomena in London. She also has a qualification in business strategy and consulting from Imperial College London. 

Currently Alice is working in Lusaka, Zambia on a research project run by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, looking at HIV. 

Alice is a volunteer for St Stephens AIDs Trust at Chelsea and Westminster and has a history of work and experience in the voluntary sector including with Nightline, Only Connect London, Breast Cancer Care and Action Aid. 

Chris Martin

Chris Martin is the Chief Executive Officer at The Mix. Chris is passionate about digital for social good and the leader of the amazing team at the Mix, growing its ecosystem of information, support & community tools for young people.

Chris was the architect of the ground-breaking merger between YouthNet and the Get Connected Helpline that created The Mix in 2016. He leads a team of 44 staff and 180 volunteers based across three sites in London and Nottingham and sits on a variety of sector and governmental advisory panels related to youth and the implementation of digital as a source for support.

He is a gadget lover, trustee of the Brook Young People, Harrow Club W10 and a fellow of the RSA.

Laura Russell

Laura RussellLaura became a trustee in 2018. 

She is currently Head of Policy at Stonewall, Europe’s largest lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) equality organisation. Previously, she worked in corporate public affairs before leading the policy team at FPA, the sexual health charity and UK member association of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. 

She is currently also the co-Chair of Voice for Choice, the UK coalition of pro-choice campaigning organisations and sits on the Advisory Group for the Sex Education Forum. 

Tim Tod

Tim TodI'm married, with 3 children and 4 grandchildren, and live on Dartmoor alongside my growing family and a mix of dogs, cats, horses and sheep etc.…I love working with others to explore new ways of looking at specific problems/ideas, and testing out different ways of working that could make a difference.  I love the concept and process of ‘growing acorns’, and am constantly curious about what works well and why…

I have just started working freelance for the University of Exeter assuming a leadership role across the Southwest in embedding the voice of children, young people and families into the Department of Health national programme of Improving access to psychological therapies (CYPIAPTS). I am also advising a newly established free school in Plymouth (School of Creative Arts) on how to best use its physical resources to benefit other groups across the city through the development of a range of social enterprise initiatives. I am currently a Trustee of Plymouth & Devon Race Equality Council and UK Youth.

Between 1998 until January 2017 I was the Chief Executive of Young Devon; a charity that built its reputation for innovative and effective services that tried to add value to the lives of young people (majoring on mental health, housing and social action). 

In parallel, over the past 20 years I have also spent time seconded into Local Authorities, Government Offices and Local Universities advising and/or leading on specific areas of Youth Policy. 

I started my involvement in youth work just over 27 years ago as a volunteer in Plymouth at the Zone (Youth Enquiry Service) and went on to become professionally qualified; and its projects coordinator. Prior to that I spent a decade within the music business where my major claim to fame is that I decided not to sign a band called U2…

Joanna Walker

Joanna WalkerJoanna has spent the last twenty years building a career in finance and philanthropy. Her passion is working with clients to help them realise their philanthropic goals; giving as much as they can, whilst having the greatest impact on social good. Joanna's experience embraces international banking with UBS Wealth Management in London and Dubai, and fundraising for some of the UK's most exciting charities: Impetus-the Private Equity Foundation, The Brooke and Forum for the Future. 

She holds a degree in Geography from the University of Manchester and qualifications in both finance and fundraising.

“My passion is in using my experience to help our private clients shape and deliver on their hopes for social change. Being a philanthropist is possibly the best thing a person can do with their money, and certainly the most rewarding.”