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Our trustees

Photo: Trustees

How our Trustee Board works

Working together on the trustee board, our trustees provide leadership to the charity. They decide on our strategy and direction so that we can support current and future members and achieve what we were set up for as described in our constitution.

Our trustees are also legally responsible for making sure that the charity is solvent, well-run, spends its money wisely and complies with all relevant laws and regulation.

The trustees support the Chief Executive and her team who manage the day-to-day work of the charity. 

We can have up to twelve trustees on our trustee board and a majority of them must be elected by our members. These elected trustees have to be members of the National Deaf Children’s Society and are parents or carers of deaf children and young people. Additionally a small number of co-opted trustees are appointed by the Board to bring specific skills or experience. 

The Honorary Chair of the Trustee Board is appointed by trustees from among their number and must also be the parent of a deaf child or young person. Our trustees are not paid for being members of the Trustee Board.

The responsibilities of the Trustee Board are set out in detail in its terms of reference and the role of individual trustees is set out in the trustee role description.

 The Trustee Board is supported by three committees which report to the Board. Each committee is made up of between three and five trustees:

  • The Services and Campaigns committee oversees our services for members and how we listen to our members. It also looks at how we influence policy and decision-makers in health, education and social care
  • The Finance Audit and Risk committee oversees all financial and administrative matters in the charity, ensuring its financial health and operational viability, and making sure that major risks are identified and effectively managed.
  • The Governance committee is responsible for making sure there is good leadership and decision-making at the charity by putting in place structures, policies and processes for the charity and the Trustee Board itself, including for the recruitment and development of trustees.

If you are interested in becoming a trustee please see our trustee recruitment section below.

Trustee biographies

You can find out more about each of our trustees below:

Lisa Capper (Chair)

Lisa Capper

Lisa has been an elected trustee at the National Deaf Children’s Society since 2010. She has two children. Her son has a right side Microtia, is moderately deaf and wears a bone conducting hearing aid which fixes to his head with an innovative sticky patch. Lisa lives in Leicestershire.

Lisa is Principal and Director of Education and Skills at Nacro, the Social Justice Charity. Previously she was Vice Principal of an FE College and Executive Director of their Academies’ Trust. She has a background as an Assistant Director in central government, and as a senior manager in the charitable sector specialising in FE and education policy and programme development, childcare and parent partnership work. She has an MBA from Aston University and is a member of the national network of women chairs.

Tim Polack (Vice Chair)

Tim Polack

Tim Polack was elected to our Trustee Board in 2013. Tim lives in Berkshire and has two children. His son is profoundly deaf as a result of meningitis, and has a cochlear implant.

Tim is Head of Consulting at Informa Business Intelligence, an information services firm. He advises businesses and organisations on strategy and operational improvements.

Helen Selwood (Treasurer)

Helen Selwood 

Helen Selwood was elected to our Trustee Board in 2015. Helen has two young children. Her daughter has enlarged vestibular aqueducts and Mondini. She has bilateral cochlear implants.

Helen, originally from South Wales, lives in Hampshire and works as a Finance Director for Walker Greenbank PLC, a global luxury interior furnishing company and is based in the South East of England.

Sheila McKenzie (Deputy Treasurer)

Sheila McKenzie

Sheila McKenzie was co-opted to our Trustee Board in 2013. Sheila has two sons, the eldest of whom has a bilateral moderate hearing loss and wears hearing aids.

Sheila is a chartered accountant with almost 20 years’ experience of working in the voluntary sector. She is currently the Director of Finance for the CfBT Schools Trust and, as well as acting as Deputy Treasurer for the National Deaf Children’s Society, she works in a voluntary capacity as Treasurer of SOS Sahel UK which supports development work in the Sahel region of Africa.

Gerard Featherstone

Gerard Featherstone

Gerard was elected to our Trustee Board in 2010. Gerard’s son had a progressive hearing loss since birth, received a cochlear implant when he was two years old, and now attends a mainstream secondary school. Gerard lives in Cheshire, works for a local sports business and has his own marketing and publishing company.

Gerard has been active in promoting deaf awareness through volunteer work and children’s book publishing. He is also involved in promoting social inclusion of deaf children amongst professionals by providing deaf awareness resources, attending events and writing articles.

Jan Rutherford

Jan Rutherford

Jan Rutherford was elected to our Trustee Board in 2016. Originally from Scotland, Jan lives in London. She has two school-age children, the younger of whom is profoundly deaf and has a cochlear implant.

Jan is a Partner and member of the investment committee at Scottish Equity Partners (SEP), where she leads investments in high growth technology and technology-enabled companies and oversees investments across the healthcare sector. A pharmacist by background, prior to moving into the investment field, Jan held operational and commercial roles in the pharmaceutical industry.

Suzi Beese

Suzi Beese

Suzi Beese was co-opted to our Trustee Board in 2016. She is Commercial Director at Music Glue (an eCommerce Technology firm), leading all commercial and business development activity.

Suzi has a background in consultancy, working with directors, trustees and management teams on issues including: strategic management information, analysis and decision-making, performance management, compliance, management of finance and assets, and corporate governance. Suzi has British Sign Language (Level 2) and, through her husband’s family, an awareness of the issues, challenges and misconceptions facing deaf children.

Jennie Rayson

Jennie Rayson

Jennie Rayson was elected to our Trustee Board in 2017. Jennie lives in Hertfordshire and has two children, the youngest of whom has a bilateral moderate to severe hearing loss and wears hearing aids.

Jennie is an economist and senior civil servant with 20 years’ experience in the public sector. She is experienced in setting strategic objectives and plans in public sector environments, and has advised Boards on strategic opportunities and risks.

As a professional Government economist, Jennie is also highly experienced in using evidence and analysis to underpin policies, set strategies and assess value for money.

Dominic Holton

Dominic Holton

Dominic Holton was elected to our Trustee Board in 2017. Dominic lives in Lincolnshire and has one child who was born with enlarged vestibular aqueducts and progressive bilateral hearing loss. His daughter’s deafness is currently severe and she wears hearing aids.

Dominic has 14 years’ experience in the financial services industry, with a passion for helping consumers to improve their financial wellbeing, and has been involved in developing several digital comparison services across Europe.

A statistician by training, his background is in analysing existing situations (financial, consumer, market) and devising and implementing strategy to achieve a desired vision or outcome.

Lorraine Wapling

Lorraine Wapling was co-opted to our Trustee Board in 2018. Lorraine was already very familiar with our work as an advisor to our international arm, Deaf Child Worldwide.

A trained teacher by profession, Lorraine has been working in the international development sector for over twenty years, focusing in particular on the promotion of disability inclusive development. Currently Lorraine is researching the influences on educational outcomes for deaf children in low income countries. As a consultant she has undertaken assignments for a wide selection of international agencies and non-governmental organisations including the UK Department for International Development, DFAT (Australian Aid), the UN and the EU.

Trustee recruitment

We’re currently looking for two people to join our Trustee Board.

We’re inviting applications from people who are willing to ask challenging questions about our work, help make decisions about the future of the charity as part of the trustee team and who can commit to attending Board and committee meetings.

We are keen to find people with a track record of successful large-scale campaigning, or of delivering regional or national services to children, young people or families. At least one of the new trustees will have experience of safeguarding children and/or young adults.

We welcome applications from all sections of the community and from across the UK.
There is no fixed deadline, but please get your application in as soon as possible. We will start to meet potential trustees as soon as we have a sufficient number of applicants.

Further information

We have rules about who our trustees are, how they are recruited and how long they can serve as a trustee. These rules are set out in our constitution.

The majority of our trustees are members elected by the membership following recruitment and nomination by the trustee board. A small number of trustees may be appointed for specific skills or experience. These trustees are not elected and do not have to be members.

Elected trustees must be re-elected at least every 3 years and co-opted trustees must be reappointed every 2 years. Trustees may serve up to a maximum of 9 years on the Trustee Board. Our trustees are not paid for being members of the Trustee Board.

The role of a trustee is set out in the trustee role description. All trustees are required to comply with our code of conduct and conflict of interest policy.

Before applying

To find out more about the current vacancies, with no obligation to proceed if you decide this is not for you, we can arrange for you to speak informally to one of our trustees by telephone / Skype (normally in the evening). Alternatively, you may wish to speak to our Chief Executive or to the Deputy Director of Governance and Planning (during office hours).

We can also arrange for you to visit one of our offices to find out more about our work.

If you would like to do any of these, please email our governance and planning administrator on

If you feel that a trustee position is not for you, then you may wish to consider volunteering with us in another capacity. Please see our volunteer pages for further information.

Applications and interviews

Recruitment and nomination is by written application, followed by an interview with the Chair, Vice-Chair, independent governance expert and CEO. Interviews will be held at our head office in London. It may be possible to conduct interviews by Skype for applicants who are unable to visit the office.

There is no fixed deadline, but please get your application in as soon as possible. We will start to meet potential trustees as soon as we have a sufficient number of applicants.

We will reply to all applications.


For member trustees, appointment is conditional on election by the membership at the next AGM.

How to apply

Please read through the information in the section ‘How our Trustee Board works’ before completing the application form.

Your application should be emailed as an attachment (Microsoft Word or pdf) along with your current CV, completed diversity monitoring form and a completed declaration of interests form to

Alternatively, you can print your application form, CV and declaration of interests form and post them to the address below. If you complete the form on paper, please use black ink as it will be photocopied.

Governance and Planning Administrator
The National Deaf Children’s Society
Castle House, 37-45 Paul Street
T: 020 7014 1168


Our Trustees are not paid, but we will pay expenses for the costs of attending Trustee Board meetings and events, and will, by prior agreement, reimburse the reasonable costs of child and dependent care. All expense claims must be supported by receipts or other evidence.