Our organisation

We're the largest national children’s charity in the UK

Find out about how we're organised by meeting our Chief Executive Officer (CEO), trustees and Royal Patron.


Lynn Perry

Lynn Perry interim co-CEO

Lynn’s focus is on ensuring a charity wide focus on the core mission of the charity to deliver better outcomes for more children.

Her career has been entirely focussed on work with children and young people and in her last substantive post as Corporate Director for Children’s Services on Barnardo’s Executive Leadership Team she had responsibility for Children’s Services across the 4-nations of the UK, overseeing the development and delivery of over 800 services. This large and diverse portfolio of health and social care services is also focussed on partnership work, influencing policy and system change and responding to new and emergent vulnerabilities.

Before joining Barnardo’s Lynn worked for The Children’s Society and has worked in both Education Services and Youth Justice in Local Authorities and the Third Sector. Lynn was awarded an MBE for Services to Youth Justice in 2008.

Our trustees

Our Board of Trustees is responsible for our governance and strategic direction as a charity.

The Board agrees our vision and values, sets the strategy and policies for our key activities and monitors our progress. Our trustees are also responsible for appointing our chief executive and for our overall professional, legal and financial management.

Trustees are elected by the Members of Association at the Annual General Meeting. They serve a three-year term and are eligible for re-election.

We're currently looking for a Trustee (Finance) to join our Board of Trustees. If you are passionate about changing children's lives and have experience in finance, this could be the perfect role for you

    Members of the Board of Trustees

    Mark Wood (Chair)

    Mark Wood standing, facing the camera smiling

    As the current Chair of two global technology businesses, and the former Editor-in-Chief of Reuters and CEO/Chair of ITN, Mark brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise that will assist Barnardo’s in responding to the changing external environment and ensuring we are fit for the future.

    Mark is involved in a number of technology businesses and is Chair of Percent, a tech platform which is helping to transform fund-raising for charities. Percent is partnered with Google, TikTok and other global organisations and channels donations worldwide. Mark also chairs Boclips, an AI-driven technology platform which supplies video for use in schools and higher education. He is a member of PwC's UK Advisory Council and sits on the board of Citywire, a financial data business.

    Mark began his career as a journalist and was based in Germany and Russia for 10 years. He was subsequently appointed Reuters' Editor-in-Chief, managing a global network of 2,500 journalists, and head of its media business. After Reuters he served as CEO/Chair of ITN, which produces ITV News, Channel 4 News, and Channel 5 News.

    Mark joined our Board of Trustees in August 2023 and took over as Chair in November 2023.

    Magdalene Bayim-Adomako

    Magdalene Bayim-Adomako smiles at the camera

    Magdalene Bayim-Adomako is a senior leadership consultant, providing coaching, business advisory and management support to leaders and senior teams across a range of issues including strategy, sustainability, impact, and governance.

    Most recently an Investment Director with Impetus, The Private Equity Foundation, with a particular focus on the youth education sector, she provided leadership and management support to CEOs and senior management teams (SMTs) of high potential charities to make them more effective in achieving their mission of supporting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds succeed in school, work, and life.

    A qualified lawyer with over 25 years of practice specialising in international finance, she joined White & Case LLP in 2000 as a Partner to help set up the international banking department in London. She went on to become head of the successful banking department she helped create.

    Magdalene has sat on the board of several charities and is currently a trustee of The Difference, Barnet Afro-Caribbean Association, and a member of the Advisory Board for the School of Law at Leeds University.

    A passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion, Magdalene has lobbied for and led corporate initiatives to tackle issues of equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace.

    Anne-Cécile Berthier

    Anne-Cécile Berthier

    Anne-Cécile has 30 years of experience in marketing, sales, partnership management and fundraising and has been Country Director for Movember Europe since September 2017, helping the organisation return to growth in the UK. She started her career in France as brand manager at Colgate-Palmolive and Danone, then became Corporate Alliance Director and Commercial Director for Disneyland Paris. In 2005, she moved to London and decided to pursue her career in the third sector, when she joined Comic Relief, heading up the Corporate Fundraising team then the Fundraising team. She is passionate about using her skills, enthusiasm and experience to raise money to help support the most disadvantaged communities and people. Anne-Cécile became a Trustee in September 2020.

    Neil Crockett 

    Neil Crockett

    Neil brings a passion in using digital innovation to lead teams and organisations through rapid change in strategy, culture and execution. His most recent role was as Chief Digital Officer at Rolls-Royce PLC and previous roles included a variety of senior executive positions over a 14 year career in Cisco and being CEO of the Digital Catapult, a leading advanced digital technology innovation centre.
    Currently Neil is a non-executive on the Board of Costain PLC a leading engineering and smart infrastructure company as well as a non- executive at Catalyst a not for profit organisation driving innovation in the Northern Ireland knowledge economy.

    Neil has been involved in a range of UK digital advisory boards including the Smart London Board, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and the Northern Ireland Matrix ICT growth panel and is currently a member of the Innovation panel for the Queens Awards for Industry.

    Neil also served for 9 years as a Governor at Coventry University and is an active supporter of Co Operation Ireland the largest Irish peace charity. Neil became a Trustee in 2019.

    Avis Darzins (Senior Independent Trustee)

    Avis Darzins

    Avis joins the Board of Barnardo’s with considerable retail experience and, specifically, a strong background in retail transformation. Avis was based for eight years as a Partner at Accenture focusing on the retail and consumer products sector, where she delivered successful profitable growth engagements with many well-known national and international brands. Avis also founded her own management consulting practice in 2013 following four years as Director of Business Transformation at Sky where she established and led a team of business operations transformation experts. Prior to that, Avis had held business leadership roles at Arcadia, BHS, Mothercare and Littlewoods.

    Avis spent over a decade as a board member of retailTRUST, a key retail-orientated charity and continues her involvement as co-chair of their Ambassadors Group and was also a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Moss Group PLC until June 2020. Most recently, Avis is a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of Marshalls PLC, Grafton Group PPL and Safestore Holdings PLC. 

     Avis became a Trustee in December 2020.

    Dennis Hone (Honorary Treasurer)

    Dennis Hone

    Dennis has spent over 30 years working in Urban Regeneration. He retired as Group Finance Director of Mace, the construction and consultancy company, in January 2020 and was previously Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation and the 2012 Olympic Delivery Authority, having previously worked in senior positions for English Partnerships and the Commission for New Towns. In June 2013 he was awarded a CBE for his contribution to the London Olympic Games. He Chairs the Finance & resources committee and is a Council member for Roehampton University and is Honorary Treasurer of The London Playing Fields Foundation. Dennis is also a Board Member and Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee of Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing.

    Dennis became a Trustee in February 2017.

    Meredith Pierce Hunter

    Meredith Hunter

    Meredith became a Trustee of Barnardo’s in December 2020 and brings a wealth of fundraising experience, having most recently worked at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew where she led their Foundation, responsible for philanthropic and membership support.

    She was previously the Director of Development and Alumni Relations at London Business School where she was part of the leadership team raising £125M for the school’s first-ever comprehensive campaign.

    Prior to joining LBS, Meredith led her alma mater’s successful $160M fundraising campaign, having moved to Virginia from Boston where she was a Director at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and Kennedy School of Government prior to that. Meredith has extensive experience of major gifts, alumni relations, international fundraising and institutional support.

    She holds dual American and British citizenship and has her BA & MBA from the US. Meredith is also on the Board of the British Friends of Harvard Business School.

    Briony Ladbury

    Briony Ladbury smiling at the camera

    Briony is a registered nurse, midwife, health visitor and specialist nurse practitioner (child protection).  She holds a BA (hons) in multi-agency child protection studies and an MSc in inter-professional studies (Society, Violence and Practice).

    She was the NHS strategic lead for safeguarding children and domestic abuse in the London Borough of Croydon where she set up and managed an integrated safeguarding children team, cited as an exemplar in the National Service Framework: children, young people and maternity services (DH 2004).

    In 2007 Briony was promoted to the role of Senior Strategic Safeguarding Children Advisor for NHS London (Strategic Health Authority) moving to become the Safeguarding Children Lead for NHS England, London Region, post reform.

    After retiring from the NHS, Briony has undertaken a number of projects throughout the UK as an independent safeguarding children consultant, including system and service reviews and authoring statutory safeguarding investigations.

    Briony became a Trustee in November 2019.

    Breid O'Brien

    Breid O'Brien headshot, facing the camera smiling

    Breid has recently left the NHS after a long career working in frontline health services and at Regional and National level.  Her most recent position was as Director of Innovation and Digital Health at NHS England, leading a team supporting the national implementation of technology to enable people to be cared for at home who would otherwise need to be in hospital.  

    A qualified Registered Nurse, Breid specialised in Emergency Care in both the UK and Australian healthcare systems before moving into operational management and leadership roles.  She completed a Master’s degree in management at the University of Technology Sydney and on her return to the UK in 2000, completed a Masters in Healthcare Informatics at Kings College London.  Since 2003, Breid has worked in technology and change management roles.    

    Breid’s major interest is transformation enabled by technology and she has been a strong advocate for the alignment of improvement science and technology, having studied with the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (Boston) and she is now working as an independent transformation consultant, with a continuing focus on supporting technology enabled improvement within the health and care system.   

    Breid joined the Board of Trustees in September 2023. 

    Henry Odogwu

    Henry Odogwu smiles at the camera

    Henry Odogwu is a senior leader within financial services, with over 20 years’ experience. He is currently a Managing Director at BlackRock where he is head of UK Institutional within the iShares & Wealth business. In addition he co-leads the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) Asset management client segment. He is a member of BlackRock’s EMEA iShares & Wealth Sales Leadership Team as well as the BlackRock UK Executive Committee.

    Henry joined BlackRock in 2020 from London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), where he spent four years as Head of European Asset Owner & Consultant sales in the FTSE Russell business, and in his final year was additionally head of Continental European Sales. During his time at LSEG Henry co-founded and co-chaired the Black Employee Inspired Network (BEING). He is a passionate advocate of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and has been involved in a number of initiatives from a corporate and volunteering perspective.

    Prior to his time at LSEG, Henry spent seven years at MSCI were he led teams responsible for selling risk and portfolio management analytics to buy side & sell side institutions. He began his career in banking, working in a variety of roles at firms including Barclays Capital, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch. Henry holds a BEng (hons) in Mechanical Engineering from Brunel University and holds the Investment Management Certificate (IMC) issued by the CFA Society UK.

    Penny Thompson CBE (Deputy Chair)

    Penny Thompson

    After a degree in History at The University of London, Penny began her public service career in in Tower Hamlets in the 70s, qualifying in 1979 with a Masters in Social Work from the University of Kent. She spent a decade on the frontline, moving from London to Sheffield in 1981. Penny moved into management and leadership in Cleveland in 1987.

    Penny returned to Sheffield as Director of Social Services in 1998 where she played a key leadership and improvement role for Social Services and the Council as a whole. Sheffield achieved an Excellent rating and Council of the Year in 2004. In January 2005 Penny became CEO of LB of Hackney and subsequently took her experience of improvement into a number of other CEO roles at NHS Haringey, GSCC the Social Work regulator, and finally, Brighton & Hove in 2012, stepping down in 2015.

    Penny was awarded a CBE in 2012.

    Since then, Penny has continued to contribute to public services as a Leadership Consultant with assignments including: Independent Chair of Birmingham's Safeguarding Children Partnership since 2016; being a Leadership Mentor, and a Trustee. Penny has been a Governor on the Board of Sheffield Hallam University since April 2017.

    Penny became a Trustee of Barnardo’s in 2019. She Chairs the Children and Young Peoples Committee and in January 2022 was appointed Deputy Chair of Barnardo’s Board of Trustees.

    Raj Verma

    Raj Verma

    Raj is a global people leader and has been in the field of change, transformation and HR for almost 25 years. He is currently Chief Diversity, Culture and Ex Officer at Sanofi, a global pharmaceutical company.

    Prior to joining Sanofi, Raj was Senior Vice President, HR at Sodexo, one of the world’s largest services company for over a decade. He is passionate and purposeful about understanding the changing workplace and the global trends that affect it, and the enabling role HR must take to make this happen.

    Enhancing the employee experience, innovating through digital transformation, and engaging diverse talent where a sense of belonging and inclusion makes a real difference, are all key to creating competitive advantage in the future of work.

    Before Sodexo, Raj was a member of the HR leadership at Santander Bank in the UK. His early career started in general management in financial services before moving to Ford Motor Company where he specialised in HR across different brands and geographies. He has been a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development since 2007.

    Koulla Yiasouma

    Koulla Yiasouma headshot, facing the camera smiling

    Koulla is Greek Cypriot, born and lived in London until 1994 when she moved to Northern Ireland, where she still lives. 

    Koulla is a qualified social worker. She worked as a probation officer in England and established the first 24-hour helpline for women experiencing domestic abuse before joining Include Youth (an organisation supporting young people who were care experienced and/or involved in the criminal justice system to improve their employability through work experience, training and education) as their first Director (Chief Executive) in 1998.  Koulla led Include Youth for 17 years through significant transformation before being appointed the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People in 2015  - her eight-year term ending in March 2023.  Whilst Commissioner, Koulla and her team undertook significant work in the areas such as mental health, special educational needs and child protection.  She also published the first formal investigation into the care of a child. 

    Koulla has presented and engaged with Parliamentary Committees in NI, UK and Republic of Ireland as well as the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and Chaired the European Network of Children’s Ombudspersons and been awarded the role of Honorary Professor of Practice by Queens University Belfast and will be working closely with the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work. 

    Koulla is a passionate advocate for human rights particularly the rights of children and young people and believes that the formal realisation of rights ensures better outcomes for all of society. Koulla became a Trustee in September 2023. 

    Our President and Royal Patron

    Our presidents, royal patrons and ambassadors have helped us raise hundreds of thousands of pounds through their work, which ranges from hosting events to donating gifts.

    Our President, Natasha Kaplinsky OBE 

    Natasha Kaplinsky OBE has been Barnardo's President since July 2019. The newsreader, presenter and journalist is passionate about supporting children, young people and families and helps us to raise awareness of issues including mental health and wellbeing, child sexual exploitation and children in and leaving care.

    Our Royal Patron, Her Majesty Queen Camilla

    Her Majesty Queen Camilla was Barnardo’s President from October 2007 until December 2016, when she became our Royal Patron. 

    She has been very supportive of the charity, visiting a range of services and hosting a Buckingham Palace Garden Party to mark our 150th anniversary in 2016.

    Remembering Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

    Queen Elizabeth II was our Royal Patron for over 30 years, from 1983 to 2016. She helped us to raise awareness of the needs of children and young people in the UK and funds to support them through our services.

    Find out more