We are governed by a Board of Trustees who have overall legal and financial responsibility for the organisation. They direct the organisation’s long-term strategy and delegate implementation of the strategy to the CEO, based at the Head Office.

We are a membership organisation. Our members appoint our trustees at an Annual General Meeting.


 

Leanne Massey

Chair

Leanne joined GFS in 2018 as an activity leader as she was looking for an opportunity to both volunteer and spend time with her daughter.  Leanne took the opportunity to complete a youth work qualification with GFS which opened her eyes to the challenges faced by girls growing up in today’s society . She could see what a valuable service the charity offers and wanted to find a way to increase her involvement.

She has worked in the field of HR for over 15 years primarily in large international organisations, including time spent leading Learning & Development for a UK leading brand. She has a passion for diversity, building strong teams and creating work environments where people thrive. She is a Chartered Member of the CIPD, Fellow of the institute of Leadership and Management and a qualified executive coach & mentor. 


 

Margaret Hughes

Trustee

Margaret has been a part of GFS since the age of 10 and was a group leader for 40 years.  She has served on the Board of Trustees for three terms of office and is currently in her fourth term. She is an active supporter of GFS groups within the North West and serves on the Regional Committee.

“Being part of GFS has been a privilege and has brought so many skills and opportunities into my life. Highlights of my time with GFS have been working with countless numbers of girls at weekly meetings, on day and residential trips and also being given the opportunity to attend GFS World Councils across the globe”.

Now retired, Margaret spent all her working life in the civil service, latterly for her department’s corporate IT section as a business analyst and a change manager.

She is currently Chair of Governors at a primary school, where she also runs an after school club, a parish treasurer and is authorised for Lay Ministry within her parish.

Margaret lives in the North West of England and her main interests are travel and languages.


 

Cristina Osborne

Trustee

Cristina is a junior doctor and has been involved in GFS for the past year, volunteering as group leader at GFS Dunvant and finding the experience rewarding and inspiring.

She completed her medical training at Kings College London in 2016 and is now a Public Health specialty trainee. She has been involved in quality improvement projects around gender-based issues as well as presenting at national medical conferences on developing clinical leadership for women. In her spare time, she loves nothing more than travelling and finding new places to go hiking.


 

Remi Turton

Trustee 

Remi became a GFS trustee due to her passion for girls to become conversant about every and anything, challenge themselves, birth ideas, form friendships and nurture dreams. This passion led her to start up Brunching with Books initiative, a book club for young ladies. Remi is a mentor with Prince’s Trust, which is a youth charity that helps young people get into job, education and training.  She is also an active volunteer with GrowTH, a partnership of churches that caters to homeless adults in the local community across Tower Hamlets. 

She is a project portfolio manager within the financial industry and keenly invested in how digital transformation can be a beneficial tool for access to quality education. In her spare time she loves to eat out, travel and get her hands busy making candles, and other quirky crafts.

 

 

Poppy Winks

Trustee
Poppy has been a part of GFS since she was five years old, having been a GFS girl herself. She then spent ten years as part of the volunteering team at GFS Worksop.

She has been on the GFS Board of Trustees since March 2017, is the current Secretary of the Midlands Area and was previously the Chair of the Youth Work Committee for a number of years.

Outside of GFS, Poppy has served over ten years across various Girlguiding leadership roles, and is currently a District Commissioner. She holds a BA(Hons) in Youth and Community Work and currently works within the boarding community of an independent school in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.


Margaux Young

Trustee and Treasurer

Margaux is a Chartered Accountant working in Financial Planning & Analysis at a rapidly growing, multi-billion dollar sports technology company called DAZN, specialising in budgeting and forecasting, as well as supporting the development of the strategy of the company through KPI analysis and focus on future cash management.

She started her career at Deloitte, in the Audit function, after a degree in Spanish and Italian at the University of Bath. Margaux is half French, London-born, and an avid follower of sport, a passionate French and Toulouse rugby supporter.



Parv Sangera

Trustee and Chair of People & Operations 

Parv brings to GFS a track record of shaping and delivering change, transformation and strategy across a number of industries and sectors, as well as a background in finance as a Chartered Management Accountant (CIMA).

Currently the Managing Director of The Bathroom Showroom, Parv is passionate about driving inclusion and equality in the workplace and is committed to empowering girls and young women to recognise and achieve their potential.

Parv lives in Rugby with her husband and two young children. In her spare time, she enjoys keeping fit and spending time with her family.


Tasila Banda

EDI Trustee

Tasila works as a corporate lawyer at an international law firm where she advises on mergers, acquisitions and corporate governance of global companies. She studied law at the University of Cambridge and also spent a year abroad in Madrid, as part of the Erasmus programme.  

Tasila is passionate about intersectional feminism and improving the experience of traditionally marginalised groups in professional services. She is the co-chair of her law firm’s Women’s Network and has led various initiatives aimed at increasing the accessibility of city careers for young women from underrepresented backgrounds. Tasila is also heavily involved in her firm’s Black Affinity Network. Tasila is honoured and excited to work as GFS’ Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Trustee.  

In her free time, Tasila enjoys performing in musicals, learning Brazilian samba, attending festivals, hanging out with her sisters and running.  


Bryony Thomas

Legal Trustee

Bryony joined GFS as Legal Trustee in 2021 in order to support young women to build their confidence, reach their full potential and carve out an equal future. She is also joining the Quality & Impact sub-committee, to help maximise the positive impact that GFS has on girls’ lives.

Bryony qualified as a solicitor in 2018 and works as Legal Counsel for The Prince’s Trust, a charity which supports young people into employment, education and training. In her spare time, she loves to sing in jazz and gospel choirs, and play her guitar and piano.


Kate Bowden

Fundraising Trustee and Chair of Fundraising & Growth

Kate is a fundraiser specialising in working with major donors and philanthropists. She currently leads the philanthropy team at Depaul UK, a charity focusing on ending youth homelessness. Kate has previously been a mentor through the Institute of Fundraising and has worked one on one with colleagues in different organisations to build new fundraising streams.

Kate is passionate about the work GFS do to empower young women to explore new interests and give them the space to develop who they are in a safe, supportive environment. Kate lives in East Kent and spends her time outside of work walking her dog Percy on the beach, exploring local restaurants and watching sport with her partner.


Sacha Rose Smith

Safeguarding Trustee and Chair of Impact and Quality

Sacha is Director of Programmes and Learning for The School for Social Entrepreneurs, where she supports the development, design, and delivery of learning programmes in collaboration with the SSE Network across the UK, Canada and India. Before joining SSE, Sacha spent over 10 years at the National Lottery Community Fund. 

In her most recent role as Senior Head of Regional Funding she was responsible for end-to-end grant making for London and South East England, responsible for leading a team of 50 people, an annual grant commitment of £90m and an active grant portfolio of £300m. Sacha also previously served a five-year term as Chair of the grant making committee for BBC Children in Need for London and the South East. Sacha started her professional life in Social Services working in the areas of mental health and learning disability.

Sacha is a member of the BBC Charity Appeals Advisory Committee and a Clore Social Leadership Fellow.


Georgia Whitfield

Young Trustee

Georgia is a lawyer at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP, a transatlantic law firm, and advises clients within the public, private and charitable sectors on matters relating to commercial property.

Committed to equality and diversity, improving representation, empowerment, and social change, Georgia contributes to a number of initiatives and schemes including LGBTQ+ networks and mentoring for aspiring professionals. She fully embraces GFS’ values, and strives for a world in which everyone is proud to be themselves.

As a former elite athlete, Georgia champions the importance of girls and young women developing self-confidence, resilience, and having the support needed to reach their full potential.


Acushla Young

Young Trustee

Acushla strongly believes in centring the experiences, perspectives and needs of young girls and women, especially those experiencing marginalisation and vulnerability, at the heart of the movement towards gender equity, ensuring their voices are heard and their leadership nurtured. 

Acushla works as the UK Project’s Manager at award-winning charity, Irise International. Irise International has been named one of the most effective menstrual health organisations in the world. Acushla is an expert in menstrual health education, specialising in research, advocacy and youth engagement. She has worked with girls, young women and people with periods across the UK and East Africa, empowering them to reach their full potential.

Acushla has a Bachelor of Arts Human Geography degree, as well as a Masters in International Development from the University of Sheffield.


Members of our committees

We have four subcommittees working alongside our Board and leadership team, supporting and challenging the work we plan and deliver for girls and young women. These committees are powered by the most inspiring women from a range of sectors. Each and every one of them is dedicated to addressing gender inequality, because we all believe we can change the future for women by changing the present for girls.


Natalie Mensah

Finance and Investments Committee

Natalie works as a Financial Controller for a global digital marketing services group, overseeing the monthly reporting for five creative agencies, with a focus on balance sheet compliance.

Though a Chartered Accountant, she has a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Birmingham and enjoys playing and putting her hand to composing and arranging in her spare time.
 
Natalie has previously volunteered as a GCSE maths tutor for a charity that provides tutoring to schools in under-privileged areas.  She now joins the GFS Finance & Audit committee as she is keen to offer her finance skills to a great cause, and strongly believes in the charity’s values aimed at developing the confidence of young girls in today’s society.

 

Anna Blomqvist

Finance and Investments Committee

Anna is a Director and a senior member of the Investment Team at HSBC Private Banking. While currently as Product Specialist and Head of the Equity Advisory business, Anna has many years experience advising across asset classes.

Before joining HSBC Private Banking, Anna spent over 10 years in Institutional Sales with Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, both in New York and in London mostly in Equities but also in Fixed Income and Commodities. Anna is a Swedish national, mother of three, and holds a BA (Hons) from the European Business School, London, and a CFA Charter.


 

Sarah Barratt Ball

Finance and Investments Committee

Sarah runs a consultancy firm that she founded over a decade ago, within the Financial Industry, to advise institutional investors such as pension funds and charitable foundations on a broad variety of topics related to investing in hedge funds.

Returning to live in England in 2010, after almost 15 years working in San Francisco and New York, Sarah has been passionate about motivating young women to believe that they can reach their full career and life potential. She volunteers time with a local girls’ school on their annual career programme; sixth form entrepreneurs event and fund raising for scholarships and bursaries.

Sarah lives with her family and two rescue cats in the Cotswolds, where she can be found running 10k and half marathon races; attempting to garden or cooking for friends.


 

Dulmini Atapattu 

Quality and Impact Committee member

Dulmini has a Master’s of Science in Social Policy and Social Research from UCL, with a specific research focus on equality in the workplace for minority women. She currently works as a Data Analyst for a proxy advisory firm assessing companies on their governance and finances. 

Dulmini has also volunteered with the charity Forward, bringing awareness to gender-based violence and is a Journalist for IWI; International Women’s Initiative, a think tank which aims to advocate for women’s rights. 


 

Anne Hewitt 

Quality and Impact Committee member

Anne joined GFS in July 2021 after a witty and rebellious year at Newnham College – the unapologetically historic women’s college at the heart of Cambridge. Being surrounded by intelligent and courageous women excelling in their chosen academic fields was an unparalleled experience that helped build her confidence as a researcher, violinist and community volunteer.

Joining GFS was the perfect opportunity to help young girls experience the same thing! She wants to encourage girls to be brave, spark conversations, and express themselves with their peers and female role models. Meaningful memories have a lasting impact on girls’ motivation. So, Anne’s goal in the Quality and Impact Committee is to measure how supportive has GFS been, how can we keep girls and our volunteers safe, and how can we grow sustainably to support more girls from diverse backgrounds.

Outside of GFS, Anne was elected Young Alumni Representative for the Newnham Roll Committee. She’s working with other alumni to advocate for early career mentorships and celebrate Newnham’s 150th anniversary of trailblazing women’s higher education

 

Laura Shafi

People and Operations Committee member

Laura is the Events and Projects Manager at the Association of Chairs which supports Chairs of non-profit organisations across England and Wales. In this role she values delivering events that help organisations to become more diverse and inclusive.

Laura has a degree in Biomedical Sciences from Newcastle University. Alongside this, she worked in public engagement and science communication. She focussed on the power of role models to inspire young girls to get into science and tackle the underrepresentation of women in STEM. Laura is excited to continue working towards empowering girls as part of the People and Operations committee.

 

Georgina Mylona

Finance and Investment Committee member

Georgina currently works in corporate banking as an Assistant Director for Natwest Group. She holds a BA from the Philosophy School of Athens and a MA from the University of York. She also spent a year studying and living in Czech Republic as part of the Erasmus exchange programme. 

Georgina is a strong supporter of women’s rights andpassionate about tackling inequalities, beating social and gender stereotypes whilst helping people achieve their ambitions. She joined GFS in July 2021 as part of the Finance and Investments Committee, helping GFS leverage their strong history and heritage and subsequently expand their work and reach. She is also a member of Natwest Group London Gender Network Committee, leading various initiatives around women’s development in the financial services industry.  

In her free time, she enjoys traveling, visiting art galleries and socialising with friends. She lives in London with her husband John. 

 

Olivia Williams

Fundraising and Growth Committee member

Olivia is a Digital Communications Officer at Origin Housing, where she is also the Vice-Chair of the staff race equality network. She is a Charityworks Fellow, a mentor on the London School of Economics’ BME mentoring scheme, and this year she completed the Beyond Suffrage trustee training programme. She has a degree in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics and is passionate about social housing, intersectional feminism, racial justice, and the power of storytelling.

Olivia feels very lucky to have been a part of inspiring communities of young women who have encouraged her to be unapologetically herself, and equally, to have fun doing so. She is joining GFS’ Fundraising and Growth committee to support the mission to create and sustain similar spaces where girls and young women feel safe and valued. Olivia lives in East London and loves R&B music, brunch and going to the theatre.

 

Chloe Timms

Finance and Investments Committee member

Chloe is a chartered accountant with a Philosophy degree from Bristol University. She currently works at PwC in the Restructuring, Refinancing and Insolvency department. She focuses on advising mid-market businesses, particularly non-profit and cultural organisations, on their financial structure and stability.

Chloe is passionate about the empowerment of women, and is the Trustee and Treasurer of Maternity Action. Chloe also founded the ‘EY Women in Insurance’ network to connect women of all levels and backgrounds across the insurance department. Additionally, whilst at Bristol University Chloe was the President of the Women in Leadership Society.

Chloe enjoys yoga, travelling and spending time with family.