Our People

Our Trustees

Alison Newman, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Alison is a chartered accountant with over 20 years of experience working in senior finance and audit roles within industry.  Most recently she has worked as a finance director for British Airways supporting major investment programmes and controlling costs.  Her previous roles have included Head of Internal Audit.

Harry McAdoo, Vice Chair

Harry McAdoo runs a small consultancy specialising in reputation risk. He has over 20 years corporate affairs experience gained at Board level on behalf of the accountancy profession. He first became involved with The Big Issue Foundation having got to know and support a vendor and has run a number of marathons on their behalf.

Patrick Foster

Patrick worked in the City of London from 1981-2008, starting as a mining analyst. He spent 10 years with Rothschild Asset Management as a Managing Director, 11 years with ING as a Managing Director in their securities division before moving to ICAP as a Managing Director in their Equities Division. Patrick has worked with mining companies for over 25 years both as a Director and as an advisor on corporate strategy, fund raising and investor relations. He has 30+ years’ experience and is a geology graduate with an MBA from London Business School.

Parveen Bird

Parveen started her career in advertising sales for magazine. Since then she has worked as an Assistant Producer of various regional BBC and ITV stations before becoming a reporter and producer for GMTV. More recently Parveen completed an MBA at Anglia Ruskin university and has been Director at The Big Issue; overseeing the London magazine and digital strategy since 2010.

Jonathan Lachmann

Jonathan trained with a major international accountancy firm, before working for Drive For Youth, a motivational training charity, as its development manager for two and a half years. He now works for H W Fisher & Company and specialises primarily in financial consultancy for charities and other not-for-profit organisations.

Pete Mills

Pete Mills is the Founder and Managing Director of SmartResponse Media and has formally held Directorships at The Specialist Works and JML. During his career he has specialised in direct response marketing on TV working with Brands, Multi-Channel Retailers and Travel Companies. Pete joined The Big Issue Foundation as a Trustee three years ago in the summer of 2016 and is very passionate about the issue of homelessness, commenting:

Mark Dempster

Mark is a former vendor now experienced counsellor treating people with addictions in his Harley Street Practice – Mark Dempster Counselling. He provide individual and group therapies as well as specialist training and professional interventions. Mark has over 16 years personal experience of addictions to drugs and alcohol and over 19 years now of recovery and working in the addictions treatment field. Mark is also a published author of two books about addiction.

Juliette Foster

Juliette Foster is a TV and radio presenter, interviewer, conference facilitator, public speaker and book reviewer. She has worked in the media for over 30 years.

“I joined the Big Issue Foundation because I believe that homelessness can happen to anyone and that all of us should reach out in whatever way we can to help those who find themselves on the streets.”

Leesa Harwood

Leesa has 30 years’ charity experience. Starting as a fundraiser with The American Cancer Society then returning to the UK to work with charities including Save the Children and Business in the Community. In 2009 Leesa joined the RNLI, becoming Director of Lifesaving and Fundraising, leading the RNLI’s lifeboat and lifeguard operation and overseeing the generation of multi-million income budgets. Now Leesa runs her own consultancy, advising on charity leadership.

Gisele Ryan

Gisele comes from a background of BBC, CNN, CNBC and advertising and branded content agencies. She has recently started her own agency – ‘G’ which creates high-end commercials and branded content.

She got involved with the Big Issue Foundation during her 5 years at CNN where she created all of our ‘Real Lives, Real Achievements’ films about award winning vendors, pro bono. She has travelled extensively throughout the world filming commercials, branded content and factual documentary stories.