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Our Trustees

Read about our current Trustees and the work they do

Alistair Burtenshaw - Chair

Alistair Burtenshaw


Alistair is Director of The Charleston Trust, the charity responsible for Charleston, the Bloomsbury Group house-museum, the Charleston Festival and Small Wonder Short Story Festival. He was Director of the London Book Fair for 12 years and Director of Books and Publishing Worldwide at Reed Exhibitions as well as Chair of Trustees at BookTrust. A Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, Alistair is also Director of Publishing Connections Ltd, a consultancy that supports organisations in the books and arts sectors. An alumnus of Yale University’s Leadership Strategies for Book Publishing course, Advisory Board Member for the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies and media commentator, Alistair has spoken around the globe on issues related to the global books and publishing sector.

Dr. Judith Abbott -

Dr. Judith Abbott

Judith has been Director of Finance & Resources at Harrow College since 2011, where she is responsible for Finance, IT, Estates, HR and Student Records, and has implemented a new Estates Strategy consisting of c. £15million of grant funding and £1million bank loan, returning the college to a sustainable financial position. Judith has over 20 years’ Blue Chip finance experience at Ford Motor Company and subsidiaries including over 10 years at a Senior Manager/Director level. Since 2006 Judith has held Senior Manager/Director level positions in the not for profit sector including, Director of Finance for Energy Saving Trust Ltd and Head of Strategic Planning and Control for Action for Children.

Honor Wilson-Fletcher -

Honor Wilson-Fletcher

Honor Wilson-Fletcher is CEO of the charity British Exploring Society. She has had varied career across the public, commercial and charitable sectors, including several start-up roles. She was previously CEO of the Aldridge Foundation, the schools academy chain, and has also worked for the National Literacy Trust, Southbank Centre, The British Museum and a number of publishers, including Hodder Headline, Transworld and Penguin Books. In 2010 she was awarded an MBE for Services to Education.

Kit de Waal -

Kit de Waal

Kit de Waal is a writer and freelance consultant editor with a background in criminal and family law. She was a magistrate for several years and sits on adoption panels and has written training manuals on adoption and foster care. Her writing has received numerous awards including the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize 2014 and 2015 and the SI Leeds Literary Reader’s Choice Prize 2014. Her first novel My Name is Leon was published by Viking Penguin in 2016.

Neil Harris -

Neil Harris

Neil Harris is Head of Finance at the Blackheath Conservatoire and has over 30 years financial and commercial experience. He is a trustee of A New Direction, the Arts Council funded arts and education bridge charity for London and a member of the Institute for Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (FCA). Neil was a Partner at Deloitte LLP for 24 years and worked with public sector organisations, such as RSPCA, Ravensbourne College, Royal Engineers and Oxford University Press. He also has significant experience in the technology, real estate and business support sectors.

Ashley Holloway -

Ashley Holloway

Ashley Holloway has delivered digital strategies, and new operating models for Virgin Media TV, Ann Summers, Sainsbury’s and most recently has been Director, Business Partnerships & Strategy for Penguin Random House, where he led the Random House Publishing Solutions team through a full restructure, established a new digital platform, operational model and publishing technology roadmap, specifically for authors and customers. Ashley has significant experience of team management, contract negotiation and is a regular blogger on

Nick Makoha -

Nick Makoha

Nick Makoha is a poet, performer, workshop leader and mentor. Born in Uganda, Nick fled the country due the civil war in the 1970s. Nick has presented his work for the British Council in Finland, Czech Republic, USA and the Netherlands. Nick was one of ten contemporary poets to be selected for Spread the Word’s Complete Works mentoring programme. His one man show, My Father & Other Superheroes, premiered at The London Literature Festival in 2013. He is the winner of 2015 Brunel African Poetry award.

Daljit Nagra -

Daljit Nagra

Daljit Nagra is an award-winning poet, author and academic. His works include Ramayana, Look We Have Coming to Dover! and the forthcoming, British Museum. His poetry has featured in Norton Anthology of English Literature, 1914 Poetry Remembered and London: A History of Verse. Daljit teaches poetry at Brunel University, is a Visiting Professor at Royal Holloway and is poet in residence for Radio 4. He also has 20 years of secondary school teaching experience.

Meriel Schindler -

Meriel Schindler

Meriel is a Partner and Head of Employment at Withers Worldwide law firm, advising senior executives and employers. Meriel is a trained mediator and used to write regularly for The Guardian, offering legal counsel to readers

Simon Trewin -

Simon Trewin

Simon is a Partner and Head of the London Literary Department at WME talent and literary agency. A literary agent since 1993, he is a former Secretary of the Association of Authors Agents and a three-time nominee for the Bookseller Industry Awards Literary Agent of the Year. He has worked with a diverse list of authors including 2012 Costa Book Of the Year winner Andrew Miller, former British Poet laureate Andrew Motion, Facebook’s C.O.O. Sheryl Sandberg, graphic novel wunderkind Isabel Greenberg and multi Irish Book Award winner John Boyne. He is a supporter of emerging fiction voices and has supported the international debuts by a number of his clients including Alix Christie and Laline Paull.

Andy Wimble -

Andy Wimble

After graduating in Landscape Architecture at Manchester Polytechnic in 1976, Andy worked briefly in both private practice and local government. He has spent most of my career working for government agencies. His work prior to joining English Heritage was principally as a member of multi-disciplinary design teams working on a wide range of projects, from feasibility through to detail design and construction. Recent work has included prestige projects such as the International Maritime Headquarters on Albert Embankment, the International Conference Centre, Westminster, and the Princess of Wales Conservatory, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.

Lee Bilson -

Lee Bilson

Lee is a young, experienced, and passionate heritage professional, who has worked in the heritage sector since completing his Bachelor of Architecture at the Glasgow School of Art, and later his masters at the University of Cambridge. Through his career he has been privileged enough to have worked on some of the UK’s most important heritage buildings and artefacts, including The Palace of Westminster, Blenheim Palace, and the HMS Victory. A Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, he has been fortunate to have worked with a range of people in his professional and personal life, from young scouts to architects, and has worked closely with heritage bodies like English Heritage, The National Trust, Cadw, and Historic England. More recently, he has embarked on a part-time PhD research study at the University of Liverpool, focusing on the significance of craftsmanship as part of Intangible Cultural Heritage in built heritage. This is an area he is very passionate about, with one of his long-term goals being to improve the study of buildings that will in turn inform their conservation and their preservation for the enjoyment of generations to come.

We recently carried out a Board Effectiveness Review – you can view the report here

Arvon Foundation Trustees Report and Accounts 2015


Terry Hands CBE


Simon Armitage CBE, FRSL
Lord (Melvyn) Bragg FRS, FBA, FRSL
Alan Brownjohn FRSL
Lady Caroline Chichester-Clark
Dr David Cohen CBE
Dame Carol Ann Duffy DBE, FRSL
Jerry Hall
Professor Sir Andrew Motion FRSL
Nigel Pantling
David Pease MBE
Sir Salman Rushdie FRSA
Wole Soyinka FRSL
Pete Townshend