Break has been supporting children, young people and families since 1968


As Break has grown, developed and diversified, so has our team of experienced and skilled managers and Trustees in order to ensure the organisation maintains high standards of governance and leadership

    Executive Team

  • Hilary Richards - Chief Executive

    Hilary is a qualified social worker with an associated Masters level qualification and also a degree in Business Studies. Hilary has worked in the field of social care for over 20 years, primarily in child protection, but always within the wider remit of working with children, young people and their families. Hilary considers herself to be privileged to be the CEO of such an amazing organisation that truly does change young lives. 

    Call: Hilary 01603 670100

  • Rachel Cowdry - Director of Care and Development

    Rachel Cowdry is a qualified social worker with more than 20 years' experience in a variety of settings. She has an executive diploma in Strategic Management and is an associate lecturer at UEA on the Leadership and Management programme.

    Call: Rachel 01603 670100

  • Mike Hudson - Director of Resources and Commercial Services

    Mike Hudson joined Break as HR manager in 2011. He is a Chartered Member of the CIPD, who, after a career in the food industry, took a post graduate qualification in Personnel Management. Mike and his wife Pat are foster carers and are currently providing a long term placement to a sibling group of three children. 

    Call: Mike 01603 670100

  • Trustees

  • Alastair Roy - Chair of Trustees

    Alastair joined the Break Board as Chair in 2015. His professional working life
    was in the NHS, mainly in Norfolk, where he held senior and chief executive posts. His special interests have included public health and partnership working to tackle inequalities and improve health status. These interests continue in his commitment to Break. More recently he has chaired Horizon Health (a C.I.C. specialising in offender health) and is Chair of Community Action Norfolk. Alastair is a Member of the Active Norfolk Board - the County Sports Parnership - with emphasis on tackling inequalities/deprived communities. As the Independent Person (I.P.) for Standards in Public life for one local authority in Norfolk, he has wide experience of governance.

  • Trevor Brown - Trustee

    Trevor Brown is a retired senior social work manager and business manager of voluntary sector care organisations.


  • Simon Fowler - Trustee

    Simon is a former solicitor who has spent most of his working life in Norfolk. In retirement he is a non-executive director of a number of local charities.

  • Maureen Gardiner - Trustee

    Maureen is retired with a background in IT, marketing and innovation and futures research. She has held senior management roles in the gas industry, in local government and in the Post Office. She has been an industrial representative on academic and research boards and a management consultant. She is currently a trustee of the Norwich Diocesan Association of Bellringers and Chair of the East Anglian Branch of Benenden Heath Care.


  • Geoff Gildersleeve - Trustee

    Geoff has a distinguished career in children’s social services with a wide range of experience and responsibilities. He held a number of posts in Norfolk Social Services at assistant director level between 1991 and 2006, when he retired. Since then he has chaired a Safeguarding Children’s Board and a Serious Case Review Panel, been a member of Independent Diagnostic Teams and provided advice to a number of statutory bodies as a consultant.  

  • Anne Joyce - Trustee

    Anne is Head of Events at Norwich-based Moneyfacts Group and has worked in
    marketing and live events for over 20 years. She has started departments from
    scratch at two organisations, building event brands that have become very
    well-recognised in their respective industries and running projects across
    Europe and the USA. Anne has supported Break in a fundraising capacity since
    2007, including running sponsored marathons and half marathons and coordinating
    group participation fundraising projects.

  • Sally Martin - Trustee

    Sally has worked in fashion and advertising in London for Martha Hill ltd, a family-run fashion and cosmetic business in PR, and as a director, a position she still holds. She is also a director of Martha and Daughter. She worked in Paris in fashion for two years for Models International in the 1970s. She is now company secretary for her husband's architectural and restoration business in Norfolk. She holds a current pilot's licence and has flown light aircraft for 34 years. Sally was one of the joint masters of the North Norfolk harriers and is still on the committee. She rode in several races and still rides (not in races!).


  • Anne Ovens - Trustee

    Anne is an FCCA accountant and commercial business director whose main role is as the director of Aspiration Europe Ltd, since founding the company in 2004.

    Anne’s company provides CFO support services, IFRS & UK GAAP compliance and business project support to organisations in a wide range of sectors including technology, natural resources, manufacturing and retail services. 

    Anne is also a former kinship foster carer and has previously held a number of voluntary positions in the community, including as a school governor responsible for finance & resources and organisational roles for local fundraising events & celebrations.

  • Johnnie Sam - Trustee

    Johnnie is a Non-Executive Director of Ridgeons, one of the largest privately-owned builders’ merchants in the country. He has a background in consultancy, IT and business development. After working for Deloitte, Coopers and Digital Equipment, he has been a director or senior executive of several technology companies. Johnnie is currently a governor of Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge.


  • Frank Shippam - Treasurer

    Frank is a partner at Norfolk-based chartered accountants MA Partners LLP. He holds the Diploma in Charity Accounting issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a considerable proportion of his professional work is spent advising charities and not for profit organisations in financial and governance issues. Frank is also a governor of a Church of England primary school.

  • Prof. June Thoburn CBE LittD - Trustee

    June is an Emeritus Professor of Social Work at the University of East Anglia. A qualified social worker, June has taught and researched across the field of child welfare since 1980. She has been a member of the national Cafcass Board and was Vice Chair of the General Social Care Council. She is currently the Chairperson of the Norfolk Family Justice Board, a trustee of the Norwich Family Contact Centre and a patron of the National Association of Independent Reporting Officers (NAIRO) and the Hamlet Centre. June was awarded the CBE in 2001 for services to social work.   

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