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Leadership team

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Helen Marshall - Chief Executive

Helen has 25 years’ experience working at senior level in the private and public sectors and specialises in strategic development, social and economic regeneration, and developing new business.

Helen joined Brook in April 2016 and has so far led a rebrand and developed a new strategy which highlights Brook's new digital focus, its growth in education and wellbeing services and a broadened reach.

She moved from the national youth charity Ambition, which she led from 2010. Helen restructured the organisation establishing it as a leading voice within the youth sector.

Helen started her career as director of Thomas Miller & Co, an insurance company in the city of London. In 1997, she changed direction to work in the voluntary sector, becoming Head of Foyers at East Thames Group. 

Barry Williams - Director of Strategy

Barry has 17 years’ experience of working in the youth sector, initially in an operational capacity in the development and delivery of positive activities programmes; then over the last 12 years performing a more strategic role within a national youth charity. Barry specialises in strategic development, business planning, policy and relationship management, capabilities which Barry employed in his most recent role as Director of Strategy and Policy at Ambition. For the last two years Barry has been an integral part of Ambition’s senior leadership team and has successfully integrated two membership charities into Ambition’s existing membership as well as leading the Cabinet Office’s review of the Myplace youth centres. Alongside this, Barry has managed the evaluation and implementation of services and policy work for an evolving membership and sector.

Barry is a keen sports enthusiast, participating in various multi-sport activities while also volunteering as a coach and manager for an under-13 football team, which keeps him on his toes in terms of cultivating and balancing an environment where fair play, competitiveness and fun can harmoniously thrive.

Jo Oxlade - Director of Business Development

Jo has over 20 years leadership and project management experience and started her career within the private sector working for a large corporate insurance broker in Ipswich. She has worked in HR and recruitment and spent several years in senior roles in the the hospitality industry before moving to the third sector 15 years ago. She joined a housing association in London in 2007 and developed and managed a number of high profile employability projects for local residents before moving to the youth sector in 2012, where she joined the Senior Leadership Team at Ambition and led on business development and performance management. During her employment here Jo managed the high profile Realising Ambition project, which saw Ambition replicate delivery of a US developed, evidence based social development programme for young people in 12 areas across England.

Jo has excellent strategic development skills and is experienced at developing partnerships to support business growth and generate new income.

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Louise Carrington - Director of Operations

Louise has significant experience working at a senior level, across the public and voluntary sector having worked previously at Salford City Council, Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council before joining Brook in 2016.

Louise’s journey with Brook began as a young person accessing services, before becoming a young trustee and later the Chair of Brook Oldham until 2009.

Louise has managed and commissioned integrated health and social care services and is skilled in successful health and social care pathway redesign and change programmes, with a strong ethos and understanding that people make change happen.

Louise’s commitment to supporting young people to take control of their sexual health and lead happy healthy lives is longstanding and she is delighted to be able to contribute to this in her role as Director of Operations.

Richard Penney - Interim Finance Director

Richard has over 30 years’ experience in finance and has held several leadership roles. Richard was previously Director of Finance, IT & Performance and Deputy Chief Executive at Parkinson’s UK where he developed and implemented a successful five year financial strategy. Richard also previously held the role of Director of Finance at Barnardo’s for five years where he led the charity’s finance department of over 40 staff.

He has also been a trustee or a member of the audit committee of a number of charities, including Asthma UK.