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.
Rachel Cowdry – CEO
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.
Mike Hudson – Deputy CEO
Mike is a Chartered Member of the CIPD and joined Break in 2011. Mike has a background in manufacturing operations, change facilitation, operational and strategic HR management. Having worked for a number of FMCG businesses including Unilever Mike joined Break after developing an interest in social care serving as Trustee for a small charity supporting a residential facility providing care for disabled adults.
Alan Flack – Director of Finance
Alan is a member of the ACCA, after working and qualifying in accountancy practices across East Anglia, Alan moved into the Charity sector where he has spent over 15 years, where not only has he vast experience in preparing Charity statutory accounts he has managed properties, social enterprises and dipped in and out of HR and IT.
Dan Crouch – Director of Income Generation
Dan started working in the third sector at the age of 18, using football to reduce antisocial behaviour in deprived areas. Now with over 17 years of charity experience spanning aspects of income generation from £100 million capital appeals to commercial and community events, Dan joined Break in 2021 following time at the University of East Anglia and Norwich City Community Sports Foundation.
Rachel Leslie – Director of Care Services
Rachel started working in children’s social care in 2001 and qualified as a Social Worker in 2004. Rachel holds a MA in Social Work alongside a Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management, a DIPSW and started an MBA in January 2020. She took up her first management role in 2007 and has since worked in a range of management roles across disability, child protection, looked after children, leaving care and commissioning services. Rachel has worked on both sides of service delivery and has been employed by Break since September 2017 – leading on the DfE Innovation Fund Staying Close project supporting young people leaving residential care across Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Rachel started this role in September 2020.
Bev Hall – Chair of Trustees
Bev is retired with a background in Education, spanning over 40 years. She was a teacher, specialising in working with children who have special educational needs before becoming a headteacher. Subsequently she was one of a small group of headteachers employed by Norfolk County Council to work as a County Headteacher, leading schools in challenging circumstances. After a period as a Senior Education Adviser she became an Education Consultant, working with schools across Norfolk. In addition, Bev has been a school governor for many years. She was a Board Member with VNET (Viscount Nelson Education Network, Community Interest Company) until July 2020.
Frank Shippam – Trustee
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.
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 former 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.
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.
Miranda Corti – Trustee
Miranda is a qualified accountant with an MBA. Her career spans 35 years in the City, spent mainly in managerial roles in the financial services sector with a focus on change management and regulation. Prior to retirement last year she was Director of Operations for an international not for profit. Miranda has also held Trustee roles, including a mixed purpose settlement in Bethnal Green, East Herts Citizens Advice and she is currently serving on pension board of an investment bank and an advisory board of the National Trust. Miranda and her son have made several visits to an orphanage in Chennai, India, working with the staff and children teaching English and having fun.
Jane Darlington – Trustee
Jane has more than 15 years’ experience in the voluntary sector through her roles in grant making foundations. In 2004 she set up the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation and it was during her time as CEO of CCF that she first encountered Break. She is now the Executive Director of a national grant making foundation that focuses it support on charities helping young people at risk.
Jane is a Chartered Accountant and read Natural Sciences at Cambridge. She is mother to two sons, who live and work in London and Cambridge, and Jane and her husband live just outside Cambridge. Jane fills her spare time with dressmaking, gardening and baking, especially bread making. She is also a trustee of a local Almshouse charity.
Sarah Harvey – Trustee
Sarah has held HR roles in health and social care, education, the third sector and financial services and is currently the Director of People and Culture for Papworth Trust, a charity based in the East of England providing services for disabled adults. Sarah oversees the HR, payroll and learning and development functions, and is the equality, diversity and inclusion lead for the Trust. Sarah is a Chartered Fellow of the CiPD.
Sarah lives just outside Norwich and in her spare time loves running, particularly half marathons and marathons, baking and spending time with her family.
Jonathan Stanley – Trustee
For 20 years Jonathan Stanley has been the Manager/Principal partner of the National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care (NCERCC), a principal point of reference and dialogue for the residential sector of England integrating policy, practice, theory and research. NCERCC has been centrally involved with many significant developments. In an expert advisory/consultative capacity he works with national and local government, providers and the social care regulator. He continues to be at the heart of developing, and communicating about, residential child care.
Pam Ledward – Trustee
Pam is an experienced qualified social worker having qualified in 1991 with an MA in social work and she has specialised in work with children and families. She has held various roles within English local authorities, most recently as Principal Social Worker in London Boroughs. She is currently Principal Social Work Adviser and UK Director of the Family Group Conferences and Lifelong Links programme for the charity Family Rights Group.
She lives in London with her family and in her spare time loves to travel and to see friends.
Neil Dobson – Trustee
Neil is a Director within the Real Assets business at Aviva Investors, the investment arm of Aviva Plc. He has almost 20 years of experience of Real Estate Debt and Equity working with a range of clients from small family offices to international listed businesses. Neil is a keen runner, cyclist and triathlete using these activities to raise funds for various charities including GOSH and Corum. This is Neil's first Trustee role.
Tom Kay – Trustee
Tom Kay is a communications and engagement specialist with 25 years experience in strategic, creative, commercial and marketing roles. He cut his teeth in a BBC newsroom before moving through the ranks of commercial radio from presenter to executive. He has worked in the television and publishing industries and is currently Director of Engagement, Communication, Learning and Development at Archant which he led to a successful win at the International Engage Awards for employee culture during lockdown. Tom also hosts a number of B2B and B2C events on subjects such as mental health, sustainability and digital marketing.