Our work helping preschool deaf children and babies benefits considerably from our Trustees' experience and skills. Many of our Trustees are also parents or close relatives of deaf children.
The current members of our Board of Trustees
You can see a list of our Trustees on our entry on the Charity Commission's website.
Dr Peter Ardern, Chair
Peter is a keen nurse historian and published author. He was one of the original team of friends and parents involved in setting up and developing The Elizabeth Foundation, and its first chairman. Over many years of observing the success of Elizabeth Metherell, and the many children who have benefitted from the work of The Elizabeth Foundation, Peter's commitment to, and belief in the value of Early Intervention and spoken language development has been unwavering. Peter firmly believes in the ethos of the charity, and as a highly experienced nurse and therapist he recognises the significant and long term problems associated with communication and behavioural difficulties. Peter feels strongly that the education and welfare programmes provided by The Elizabeth Foundation positively enhance the lives of young children with hearing difficulties, and reduces rehabilitation needs in the future.
Ms Lizzie Peers, Treasurer
The Elizabeth Foundation was delighted to recruit dynamic Lizzie Peers as treasurer and trustee in January 2013. Lizzie is a qualified public sector chartered accountant with over 20 years’ experience in external audit. She worked as a senior manager for the Audit Commission as well as a global accountancy/consulting firm. She is currently a non-executive director on the board of an NHS foundation, chairing its Charitable Funds Committee and an external adviser to the board of another hospital. She is a non executive director of a national procurement body and will shortly be joining the board of an ambulance trust. Lizzie lectures at the University of Portsmouth, specialising in corporate governance, ethics, audit and accountancy and supervises students auditing charity accounts.
Her expertise includes supporting and influencing boards across a wide range of public sector organisations to strengthen their strategic, governance, financial and value for money arrangements and to deliver outstanding services for their communities. Lizzie is passionate about using her varied skills to help others. She had a disabled brother and this, coupled with her many years in public service, has given her a real commitment to helping improve services and to support others in developing their full potential.
Mrs. Helen Seaman
Helen is married with two teenage children. She is a fully qualified primary school teacher, with a level 1 and 2 education in counselling, and has delighted in working with children with special needs. Helen became involved in The Elizabeth Foundation in 1996 when her eldest son was diagnosed as deaf. Together they travelled from their home in North Hampshire to The Elizabeth Foundation three days a week for guidance and support. In 1997 Helen and her husband were told that their second son was also deaf, and so he too joined The Elizabeth Foundation family, starting lessons in the baby nursery.
Helen and her husband became keenly involved in a variety of parent activities, including Mums' and Dads' education nights, and organized a 100-mile sponsored bike ride over the South Downs, camping weekends, and a summer street party. When both their sons were ready to leave The Elizabeth Foundation, Helen became an advocate of The Elizabeth Foundation both professionally and personally, and in 2005 was invited to become a Trustee. Helen is a much-needed and respected voice of the parent and educator in our society. Helen also volunteers for Age Concern as part of their Food and Friendship scheme that visits the elderly.
Mrs Emma Bryant
With a long family history and knowledge of supporting The Elizabeth Foundation, Emma joined the Board of Trustees in November 2007. She is an ACCA qualified accountant with over 10 years’ experience of internal and external audit in the public sector. She is currently an Audit Manager with EY (previously Ernst & Young) in the Government and Public Sector team. Emma's many qualifications include an LLB Honors Degree. Emma’s financial and strategic background, keen understanding of economic growth, enthusiasm and excellent communication skills make her a valuable addition to the Board of Trustees. Emma is married with two young children.
Ms Sarah Hutchinson
Sarah is a qualified Chartered Accountant with a degree in Civil Engineering from Bristol University. She has worked in all areas of financial services including fund management and pensions in both Finance and Operational roles.
Sarah left a successful position with British Airways, where she was the Head of Finance and responsible for all financial aspects of pension schemes including account preparation, operational risk, internal and external audit and insurance in 2013 to look for voluntary opportunities where she could make a real difference, and was delighted to be offered a trustee position with The Elizabeth Foundation. Sarah is also the Chair of Governors at Compton and Up Marden CE Primary School and an experienced volunteer Treasurer for the Friends of Stansted Park and Treasurer for her local church.
Mrs Imogen Manuel
Imogen attended the Elizabeth Foundation as a pupil in the early 1990s before moving onto mainstream school (she received a cochlear implant at the age of 9), college and then university to study a Joint Honours degree in Law and Criminology. Imogen is now a qualified solicitor at the Owen Kenny Partnership Ltd in Chichester. Imogen has run the Great South Run three times, swam a mile and jumped out of a plane with the purpose of raising funds for the Elizabeth Foundation. She heavily credits the charity for the valuable support they gave her and her family when she was diagnosed with profound deafness.
The responsiblities of our Board of Trustees
Our Board of Trustees are responsible for the governance of our charity. Working together as a team, our Trustees have collective responsibility for our work. They direct our affairs to ensure that The Elizabeth Foundation:
- meets its charitable objectives
- complies with all of the Charity Commission's reporting and accouting requirements
- is financially solvent, has sufficient income and proper financial controls
- is well-run and has effective management.
Our Trustees devolve day-to-day responsibility of the charity's operations to our management team.