Mike Schwarz (Chair)
Mike is a Partner in Criminal law with Bindmans where he defends those facing the most serious and complex offences - such as murder, fraud, money laundering and multi-party criminal proceedings. He is experienced in cases with an international or European element - including extradition and fair trial.
He acts for political activists and campaigners on issues such as the environment, animal rights, peace/disarmament, race and social justice. He is particularly concerned with citizens’ freedom of expression and freedom of assembly under articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
Mike is joint author of 'The Law of Public Order and Protest' (Oxford University Press, March 2010). He regularly appears in the specialist and mainstream broadcast media.
Mike has been a solicitor since 1992 and in 2011 won the Solicitor of the Year - Private Practice award. He has a law degree from Oxford University and a post-graduate Diploma of Advanced European Legal Studies, from College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium. He joined the SMK Board in September 2011.
Kierra Box has been campaigning for over 10 years, since co-founding Hands Up for Peace, a youth campaign against the Iraq War, in 2003. Kierra was one of the earliest winners of the Sheila McKechnie Award in 2006, and through the Foundation was able to develop further work to galvanise young people to campaign. Kierra ran youth organisation Hands Up until 2009, when she moved to working full time with a partnership supporting resident action and services in a disadvantaged area of London. During this time she held positions as a Trustee of the Young People Now Foundation and a member of the Department of Health Sexual Health and HIV Independent Advisory Group.
Since 2011 Kierra has continued to support local campaigning in a voluntary capacity, as an organiser of homeless support group The SockMob and a trustee of homlesness organisation Streetlytes. She is also a speaker for Save the Children and a volunteer for student action charity Envision.
Kierra is currently head of Communications and Member Services at Community Matters - the National Federation of Community Associations - where she has also been leading the national youth programme since 2011, providing support to voluntary sector organisations working with and for young people and representing them within policy. She joined the Sheila McKechnie Foundation board in December 2012.
Margaret worked as Sheila's Personal Assistant for 17 years; first at Shelter from 1987 to 1994 and subsequently at Which? until Sheila's death in January 2004. She remains at the consumer watchdog as Personal Assistant to the Chief Executive. Margaret has a degree in History from the University of Warwick, where she specialised in the Renaissance and spent time studying in Venice.
Matthew joined Action for Children in June 2010 as Head of Parliamentary and Public Affairs where he is responsible for the UK-wide influencing strategy. Prior to this Matthew worked as Campaigns Manager with The National Autistic Society (NAS) where he managed a campaigns team who were awarded the Charity Times ‘Campaigns Team of the Year 2009’ for the groundbreaking Autism Bill campaign. PR week also recognised the success of this campaign with the ‘Public Affairs Category Winner 2009’ award. Matthew has also been closely involved in the Gary McKinnon Campaign which, to date, has successfully prevented his extradition following accusations of his hacking into US security systems.
Prior to moving into campaigning Matthew worked in finance with Shelter, RNID and NAS. He has travelled extensively throughout South America, Africa and Eastern Europe and enjoys fitness and sport having recently completed his second marathon. Matthew joined the SMK Board in May 2010. He is married with one daughter.
Bernadette has been involved in campaigning since she was a student in the 1980s, when she joined the Anti Apartheid Movement. Appalled at the injustice of the South African regime, she became chair of the Wandsworth AAM. Later on she has been involved in numerous other successful campaigns and voluntary activities, including a community campaign to keep local swimming baths open in Forest Hill, and campaigning for better school dinners.
With a professional career in the social housing sector spanning over 20 years, Bernadette has, for example, worked as the National Lead for Registered Providers for the Audit Commission and as an Inspection Manager for the Housing Corporation. She has extensive experience and knowledge of continuous improvement in service delivery and of working closely with tenants. She currently works at Orbit Group as Head of Service Excellence at Orbit East and South.
Bernadette joined the SMK Board of Trustees in May 2011.
Louise joined the ABI in August 2012. Before that Louise worked for 12 years at the consumer group Which? as Head of Advocacy and led their work on a range of issues including energy markets, consumer rights, retail and personal finance.
Previous to that Louise worked in campaigns and public affairs at Oxfam and Townswomen’s Guilds and was heavily involved in campaigning on the labelling of GM food and the Drop the Debt coalition.
Louise was a member of the Legal Services Complaints Commissioner’s Consumer Board and a Trustee of the Personal Finance Education Group (Pfeg) and currently sits on the National Council of Voluntary Organisations Campaign Effectiveness Advisory Group. Louise also represented Which? on the Executive of the European consumer organisation BEUC and on the Council of Consumers’ International.
Blake is a life-long campaigner who has worked for a wide variety of organisations dedicated to social change over the past 20 years. He has a wealth of media, communications and campaigns experience gained at Friends of the Earth, Voluntary Services Overseas, RSPB and Greenpeace UK.
Since 2007 Blake has worked as an advisor and mentor on campaign strategy and implementation with a variety of clients including the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development and international NGOs.
Blake joined the SMK Board in May 2010.
Lucy Musgrave is the Director of Publica, a London based public realm and planning consultancy and Community Interest Company advising developers, planners and communities on what makes successful and sustainable neighbourhoods and cities. She has played a key advisory role in policy recommendations, strategic planning and urban design frameworks, and in the advocacy of design quality.
Lucy has over twenty years experience in architecture and planning. She was Director of pioneering cultural organisation, the Architecture Foundation, and has co-written the Thames and Hudson book: ‘Design and Landscape for People – New Approaches to Renewal’.
Amongst many advisory and board roles, she has been a member of the UK government’s Urban Sounding Board; the Mies van der Rohe European Prize for Public Space; the Holcim Sustainability Awards; and was made an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2001. Lucy is a founding member of the SMK Board of Trustees.
John is a Chartered Accountant and was appointed as Treasurer on the Sheila McKechnie Foundation Board of Trustees in October 2008. John knew Sheila from his work with Which? where he currently works as an Internal Auditor. He is a Director of Tradewind Heights RTM Limited.
Nigel has had a distinguished career in finance spanning both the corporate and NGO sector. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG before joining J. Henry Schroder & Co., where he was an Investment Banking Director. In 1994 Nigel joined ActionAid as Director of Finance where he oversaw the development of the ActionAid International federation of international development organisations operating in 50 countries and was responsible for ensuring its financial integrity and improving its financial performance and accountability.
Nigel was a Non-Executive Director of the Sussex Ambulance Service NHS Trust from 1994 – 2004.
Nigel is married with two children and lives in Sussex. He joined the SMK Board in May 2010 and is a member of the SMK Finance Committee.
Lyndall Stein is a leading authority in campaigning, income generation and communications. She has worked for a wide range of organisations concerned with social justice including Bond, Care International, Concern UK, ActionAid International, the Terrence Higgins Trust, the Big Issue Foundation, the African National Congress, and in the 80's she chaired Votes for Freedom, the initiative that raised several million for South Africa's first democratic election. She is a Trustee of Reprieve and the New Economics Foundation.
John Wilkes has been an active campaigner on LGBT and equality and human rights issues for over twenty years.
His worked in the electronics industry before moving into the voluntary and public sectors. Previous roles have included Scotland Director of the Equal Opportunities Commission, Scotland Director of Carers UK, Chief Executive of PHACE Scotland - a leading HIV/AIDS organisation. Since 2008 he has been chief executive of Scottish Refugee Council.
As an active volunteer he has served as the chair of the Glasgow Lesbian and Gay Centre, a founding member of the Glasgay! Arts festival and the chair of the Glasgow Council for Voluntary Sector. He also served a term on the Communities Fund Scotland Committee (now the BIG Lottery) and was the Scotland Trustee on the board of Stonewall.
He is currently a member of the board of the Equality Network and chair of the White Ribbon Scotland campaign.
Alastair Wilson, Chief Executive of the School of Social Entrepreneurs (SSE). SSE's core service is a year-long 'action learning' based programme consisting of a combination of expert and witness sessions, project visits, individual tutoring and mentoring. Alongside the core programme SSE also delivers Start-Up, Scale-Up, Transition to Trading & Spin-Out programmes. SSE has schools in 8 UK locations, Canada and Australia. www.the-sse.org . Alastair is also a trustee of Social enterprise UK.