team

Meet the team

Find out about The Children's Trust Senior Leadership Team, and our Board of Trustees who are responsible for overseeing our corporate governance and strategic direction.

Our Senior Leadership Team

Mike Thiedke, incoming Chief Executive

Mike Thiedke

Chief Executive

Mike Thiedke is The Children’s Trust’s Chief Executive.

Melanie Burrough, Director of Therapies (Interim)

Melanie Burrough

Director of Therapies and Education

Melanie has spent 17 years working in the NHS, education, and charity sectors. She has led and managed a range of multi-professional teams; at The Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust and Central North West London NHS Foundation Trust, holding a varied clinical background in paediatric acquired brain injury, neurodevelopmental conditions and complex neurodisability.

Steve Harris

Steve Harris

Director of Finance

Steve has spent 25 years working in finance across investment banking and the charity sector. He has held senior finance positions in a number of health and social care organisations, including Barts Charity, the Royal Society of Medicine and Leonard Cheshire Disability.

Mike Maddick

Director of Resources

Mike has 25 years of People and Culture experience gained within the financial services and charity sectors. He has worked in a number of significant global roles within corporate HR departments, with a focus on business partnering, talent, graduate resourcing and development and executive hiring. Outside of work, Mike is a Trustee for Platform Cricket which engages 15,000 inner city children in cricket every year, in an inclusive way.

Michelle Martin

Michelle Martin

Director of Fundraising and Communications

Michelle is a highly experienced charity leader and passionate fundraiser. For more than two decades she has worked collaboratively across fundraising, marketing and communications at both local and national levels. She has led large multi-disciplined income generating teams working with fundraisers, volunteers, supporters and partners to deliver and grow voluntary income at leading healthcare charities.

Vijay Palanivel, Medical Director and Senior Consultant in Paediatric Neurodisability

Dr Vijay Palanivel

Medical Director and Consultant Paediatric Neurodisability

Vijay has worked in tertiary neurodisability and neurology centres at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Bristol Children’s Hospital and Cambridge University Hospital.

Sian Thomas, Director of Nursing and Quality

Sian Thomas

Director of Nursing and Quality

Director of Nursing and Quality

Mike Thiedke, incoming Chief Executive

Mike Thiedke

Chief Executive

Mike Thiedke is The Children’s Trust’s Chief Executive. 

Mike has more than 15 years’ experience in executive and senior positions in the third sector, advocating for children’s and families’ rights and tackling systemic inequality and discrimination.

He will join The Children’s Trust from youth homelessness charity Depaul UK, where he has served as Chief Executive for the past five and a half years. Mike holds a PhD in education and socio-psychology and has previously worked at children’s rights charity Plan International UK, ActionAid and the United Nations. 
 

Melanie Burrough, Director of Therapies (Interim)

Melanie Burrough

Director of Therapies and Education

Melanie has spent 17 years working in the NHS, education, and charity sectors. She has led and managed a range of multi-professional teams; at The Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust and Central North West London NHS Foundation Trust, holding a varied clinical background in paediatric acquired brain injury, neurodevelopmental conditions and complex neurodisability.
Melanie has a MSc in Professional Development, with research interests in quality improvement and knowledge translation.  In 2015, she was awarded ‘outstanding occupational therapist of the year’ for a quality improvement service re-design across Camden mainstream schools. She is also Chair of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists School-based occupational therapy clinical forum.
 

Steve Harris

Steve Harris

Director of Finance

Steve has spent 25 years working in finance across investment banking and the charity sector.  He has held senior finance positions in a number of health and social care organisations, including Barts Charity, the Royal Society of Medicine and Leonard Cheshire Disability.

Mike Maddick

Director of Resources

Mike has 25 years of People and Culture experience gained within the financial services and charity sectors. He has worked in a number of significant global roles within corporate HR departments, with a focus on business partnering, talent, graduate resourcing and development and executive hiring. 

Outside of work, Mike is a Trustee for Platform Cricket which engages 15,000 inner city children in cricket every year, in an inclusive way.

Michelle Martin

Michelle Martin

Director of Fundraising and Communications

Michelle is a highly experienced charity leader and passionate fundraiser. For more than two decades she has worked collaboratively across fundraising, marketing and communications at both local and national levels. She has led large multi-disciplined income generating teams working with fundraisers, volunteers, supporters and partners to deliver and grow voluntary income at leading healthcare charities.

Vijay Palanivel, Medical Director and Senior Consultant in Paediatric Neurodisability

Dr Vijay Palanivel

Medical Director and Consultant Paediatric Neurodisability

Vijay has worked in tertiary neurodisability and neurology centres at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Bristol Children’s Hospital and Cambridge University Hospital. His specialist areas of expertise include acquired brain injury, cerebral palsy, movement disorders including administering botulinum toxin injections, and other complex neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, ADHD and learning disability.

He is also the founder and director of Jaysan Child Neurodevelopment Clinics, Chennai, India which offers neurodisability and neurorehabilitation treatments and charitable medical camps for children in South India. Vijay is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Sian Thomas, Director of Nursing and Quality

Sian Thomas

Director of Nursing and Quality

Director of Nursing and Quality

Our Trustees

The Children's Trust is governed by our Board of Trustees, which meets six times a year. Our Trustees are responsible for overseeing our corporate governance and strategic direction, ensuring our operations are managed effectively and efficiently, and taking all major decisions involving policy and spending commitments.

Steve Flanagan, Chair of Trustees

Steve Flanagan

Chair of Trustees, Appointments and Remuneration Committees (Committees Chair)

Steve Flanagan is Chief Executive of CSH Surrey, an employee-owned, not-for-profit organisation providing NHS community healthcare for children and adults in Surrey.

Fiona Sheridan

Fiona Sheridan

Vice Chair of Trustees Finance, Fundraising and General Purposes (Committee Chair); Audit and Risk; Investment and Remuneration Committees and EDI Steering Group

Fiona is a Chartered Accountant and an external member of the Audit & Scrutiny Committee of the University of Oxford.

Nigel Scott

Nigel Scott

Audit and Risk (Committee Chair); Finance, Fundraising and General Purposes and Investment Committees (Committee Chair)

25 years' involvement in charity finance at Director and Trustee level, including 14 years lecturing on Charity Finance and Management MSc Courses...

Denise Matthams

Denise Matthams

Clinical Governance and Safeguarding (Committee Chair); Educational Governance and Remuneration Committees

Independent Nurse Member for a Clinical Commissioning Group in East Sussex, with Chairing responsibilities for the Quality and Safety Committee.

Toby Mullins, Trustee

Toby Mullins

Educational Governance Committee (Committee Chair)

Principal and proprietor at Mount House School, Barnet. Toby's career history in Education spans 32 years, including a former position as Headmaster of Seaford College...

Christine Brookes, Trustee

Christine Brookes

Whistleblowing Champion and EDI Steering Group

Christine Brookes is Head of Client Engagement and Marketing at Laing O’Rourke.

Tim Davies

Tim Davies

Finance, Fundraising and General Purposes; Audit and Risk; Investment and Educational Governance Committees

Chairman of BlueSpark Foundation, a charity supporting the education and development of children and young people...

Rory Litherland, Trustee

Rory Litherland

Finance, Fundraising and General Purposes; Remuneration and Appointments Committees; Whistleblowing Champion

Rory Litherland is Co-Founder and Human Resources Consultant at Noble Mackay, with more than 20 years’ experience in the HR sector including roles at RBS, Aviva, NBC Universal and 21st Century Fox.

Marian Ridley, Trustee

Marian Ridley

Clinical Governance and Safeguarding Committee

Marian Ridley is an experienced healthcare leader, consultant and strategic adviser.

Steve Flanagan, Chair of Trustees

Steve Flanagan

Chair of Trustees, Appointments and Remuneration Committees (Committees Chair)

Steve Flanagan is Chief Executive of CSH Surrey, an employee-owned, not-for-profit organisation providing NHS community healthcare for children and adults in Surrey. He brings decades of leadership and transformation experience within the NHS, third and private sectors. He has previously held roles as Chief Executive of The Fremantle Trust and Managing Director of Bupa Home Healthcare. He is taking up this role as a voluntary position, in addition to his ongoing full-time role at CSH Surrey.  

Fiona Sheridan

Fiona Sheridan

Vice Chair of Trustees Finance, Fundraising and General Purposes (Committee Chair); Audit and Risk; Investment and Remuneration Committees and EDI Steering Group

Fiona is a Chartered Accountant, a former Managing Partner with Ernst & Young’s Risk Advisory Services practice and a member of EY's UK Leadership team. She is currently an independent member of the Audit & Scrutiny Committee of the University of Oxford as well as the Audit & Risk Committee of UK Research & Innovation. In addition she is a member of the Advisory Panel of the Financial Reporting Council.

She has held other Trustee positions in the past in educational charities. In her spare time she enjoys outdoor pursuits including horse-riding, cycling and running with her dog. 

Nigel Scott

Nigel Scott

Audit and Risk (Committee Chair); Finance, Fundraising and General Purposes and Investment Committees (Committee Chair)

25 years' involvement in charity finance at Director and Trustee level, including 14 years lecturing on Charity Finance and Management MSc Courses. Currently, Consultant to Moorfields Eye Hospital Charities and a Trustee of the British Dragonfly Society.

Denise Matthams

Denise Matthams

Clinical Governance and Safeguarding (Committee Chair); Educational Governance and Remuneration Committees

Independent Nurse Member for a Clinical Commissioning Group in East Sussex, with Chairing responsibilities for the Quality and Safety Committee.  Also, a Specialist Advisor (children, safeguarding, clinical leadership) for the Care Quality Commission.  Former Senior Nurse and Director  level roles at  Western Sussex NHS Trust, included responsibility for the provision of safe, effective services, most specifically for  the Women and Child Health Division.

Toby Mullins, Trustee

Toby Mullins

Educational Governance Committee (Committee Chair)

Principal and proprietor at Mount House School, Barnet. Toby's career history in Education spans 32 years, including a former position as Headmaster of Seaford College, a nationally recognised college for SEN education. Toby is a keen sportsman, coaching cricket and more notably hockey.

Christine Brookes, Trustee

Christine Brookes

Whistleblowing Champion and EDI Steering Group

Christine Brookes is Head of Client Engagement and Marketing at Laing O’Rourke. For nearly a decade, Brookes has spearheaded client engagement initiatives to inform and transform organisational decision-making, continuous improvement practices and influence. 

Tim Davies

Tim Davies

Finance, Fundraising and General Purposes; Audit and Risk; Investment and Educational Governance Committees

Chairman of BlueSpark Foundation, a charity supporting the education and development of children and young people. He was formerly a corporate lawyer with multinational law firm Fieldfisher LLP where he was a partner, head of the corporate department and board member.

Rory Litherland, Trustee

Rory Litherland

Finance, Fundraising and General Purposes; Remuneration and Appointments Committees; Whistleblowing Champion

Rory Litherland is Co-Founder and Human Resources Consultant at Noble Mackay, with more than 20 years’ experience in the HR sector including roles at RBS, Aviva, NBC Universal and 21st Century Fox. Litherland’s career has focused on restructuring, mergers and turnarounds on a national and global scale

Marian Ridley, Trustee

Marian Ridley

Clinical Governance and Safeguarding Committee

Marian Ridley is an experienced healthcare leader, consultant and strategic adviser. The first CEO of Evelina London Women's and Children's Healthcare for over a decade, and a former Strategy Director of Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, she combines consultancy work with a number of trustee and non-executive roles focused upon children and young people.