Healthy lives for young people

Our people

Meet our Board of Trustees and Leadership Team

Brook’s staff and trustees work together closely to make sure every step we take brings us closer to our overarching vision of young people’s lives being free from inequality, rich with opportunity and enriched by happy, healthy relationships.

Our Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall control and strategic direction of the charity. There are currently eight trustees, bringing a wealth of experience from a variety of sectors to support our Leadership team with decision-making on strategic issues and hold them accountable for their leadership of the organisation.

Our Chief Executive and Leadership Team have overall responsibility for implementing the strategy set by the Board of Trustees, shaping our goals and ensuring we achieve them.

Meet our Leadership Team

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. 

Jo Oxlade – Head 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.

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.

Simon Theobald – Finance Director

Simon has held Director roles for the last 17 years and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Certified Accountants. He has recently worked at the West Midlands Growth Company and Ruskin Mill Trust Group (a registered charity).

Before then, he was Finance Director at Somerset Redstone Trust, a national healthcare charity, for 11 years. He has significant experience of change management, leading high quality finance operations and has successfully improved cash flow within complex funding streams, particularly in the charity and not for profit sectors.

Simon demonstrates a determined and focused attitude in achieving the best commercial financial results in line with the objectives of the organisation.

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.

Anatole Menon-Johansson – Clinical Lead

Anatole has been working in Sexual & Reproductive Health since 2003 when he started specialist training in GenitoUrinary Medicine at Chelsea & Westminster NHS Foundation Trust.

During his training he did a Harkness Health Foundation Fellowship and a Masters in Public Health (MPH) at the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health in Boston before returning to complete training, a one year locum Consultant position at the Homerton University Hospital and a permanent Consultant position at Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in March 2009.

Anatole started working for Brook in Brixton as a medical officer every second Saturday in March 2005 and then became the Clinical Lead in September 2011. As a member of the Clinical Leadership Team he provides quality assurance, clinical governance and training within the service.

Anatole has been a clinical lead in Guy’s & St Thomas’ since June 2011 and during this time he has been involved in a number of digital projects that improve patient care.

Anatole’s interest in the health of young people was further strengthened when studying the MPH where he learnt about the impact high quality education, healthcare and social environment can have on the life trajectories of young people. It is such a pleasure to work with passionate and committed colleagues across Brook to improve the lives of young people.

Laura Hamzic – Director of Digital & Communications

Laura joined Brook in 2014 and has been responsible for developing Brook’s first digital strategy and initiating organisation-wide digital transformation.

Laura has also led on a full rebrand and relaunch of the organisation and has strategic oversight of social media, press, events and corporate partnerships.

Laura joined Brook from where she led on the development of public-facing web and mobile apps. This included the NHS Couch to 5k podcast series which Laura scripted and voiced.

Meet our Trustees

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 involvement 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 (he/him)

Leon 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.

Jo Youle – Deputy Chair

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

She has led the charity Missing People since 2012 and won the Rising CEO award at the Third Sector Awards in 2014.

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. She 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.

Chris Martin

Chris has been a trustee of Brook since 2017.

Chris is Chief Executive at The Mix. He is passionate about digital for social good and growing the charity’s 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 Harrow Club W10 and a fellow of the RSA.

Laura Russell

Laura became a trustee of Brook in 2018.

Laura is currently Head of Communications and Public Affairs at the Youth Endowment Fund, which works to support young people at risk of violence.

Previously, she was Director of Campaigns, Policy and Research at Stonewall, Europe’s largest lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) equality organisation. She also 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. 

Laura s a former co-Chair of Voice for Choice, the UK coalition of pro-choice campaigning organisations and served two terms as a member of the Sex Education Forum’s Advisory Group. 

Tim Tod

Tim has been a trustee of Brook since 2017.

Tim currently works freelance for the University of Exeter and is responsible for embedding the voice of children, young people and families into the Department of Health national programme of Improving access to psychological therapies (CYPIAPTS). He is also an advisor for a free school in Plymouth, with a focus on the development of a range of social enterprise initiatives.

Between 1998 and 2017 Tim was the Chief Executive of Young Devon, and over the past 20 years Tim has also spent time seconded into Local Authorities, Government Offices and Local Universities advising and/or leading on specific areas of Youth Policy. 

As well as being a trustee of Brook, Tim is also a trustee of Plymouth & Devon Race Equality Council and UK Youth.

Maxine Evans

Maxine was appointed as a Brook trustee in September 2019, having gained prior experience in her trustee roles within Academy Trust Boards. 

She is currently the Strategic Education Lead for Consenna (an IT digital development agency) and is studying Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Psychological Practice with the University of Edinburgh. 

Maxine is a former Educator and EdTech Senior Leader with 30 years’ experience in UK education, including 17 years as Headteacher and Academy Trust CEO, trustee and DfE appointed Local Leader of Education.

She brings an insight into the UK education sector from both a practitioner and commercial perspective. Through her studies is developing a better understanding of how the mental health and wellbeing of young people can be better supported, thus improving life chances and outcomes for all.   

David Clark

David became a Trustee of Brook in September 2019.

David is currently the Head of Education and Engagement at the UK Parliament leading a team delivering innovated programmes across the UK to engage people in their democracy.

Previously he has work in a range of education roles in the voluntary sector including at the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and as the Deputy CEO of the British Youth Council.

David has been a trustee of range of charities including recently the National Federation of Young Farmers. He is also Chair of Youth Access – the advice and counselling network


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