Our Trustees

We are a small team of talented professionals with a wide range of skills and experience. We love what we do, and we do it with passion. We look forward to working with you.

Dame Gillian Wagner DBE (Chair)

  • Chair of Barnardo’s 1978-84
  • Chair of Coram (then known as Thomas Coram Foundation) 1990-1995
  • Chair of Independent Review into Residential Care 1986-88 leading to the publication of A Positive Choice” 
  • Chair: Carnegie UK Trust 1995-2000
  • Chair: Residential Forum 1991-
  • Publications:  Barnardo, 1979, Children of the Empire, 1982; The Chocolate Conscience, 1987; Thomas Coram, Gent, 2004, Miss Palmer’s Diary 2017
  • Follow Gillian on Twitter: @GilllianW

Vic Citarella

  • Vic is a qualified social worker registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. His practice background is in residential child care and the management of social services provision and commissioning.
  • A former Director of Social Services, Vic worked in the personal social services for 25 years in Cardiff, London, Sussex, Bristol and Liverpool.
  • Since 2000 he has built a consultancy business advising and supporting local authorities, NHS bodies and private and voluntary social care providers with improvements in standards and quality.
  • Vic works on serious adult reviews, improvement support to providers and commissioners, mentoring, governance and leadership advice to small businesses and not-for profit providers.
  • Vic co-authored the Winterbourne View report and chairs a safeguarding scrutiny committee for a care provider.
  • Vic is an active member of both the Associations of Directors of Adult Social Services and of Children’s Services. It was his privilege to serve the Social Care Association for many years as chair of its practice committee and for a three-year presidential cycle.
  • Follow Vic on Twitter: @cpeanose

Des Kelly OBE

  • Des Kelly is Chair of the charity, the Centre for Policy on Ageing, and was previously Executive Director of the National Care Forum.
  • Des is a Director of the charities – Skills for Care, the Residential Forum, the Relatives & Residents Association, and Greensleeves Care.
  • Des was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2007 for services to social care.
  • Between December 2016 and May 2017, Des was appointed by the Health Minister to be part of an Expert Advisory Panel on the future of adult care and support in Northern Ireland.
  • Follow Des on Twitter: @DesKellyOBE

 John Kennedy

  • John gained a degree in Economics BA (Hons) Econ from the University of Manchester in 1987.
  • John spent 15 years working for an independent care provider finishing as General Manager. Previously he ran his own business delivering IT solutions to the care sector and newsagents.
  • John joined Joseph Rowntree in 2001 and became Director of Care Services in 2004. He managed care homes, retirement villages and supported living. He led action research projects including ‘Neighbourhood approached to loneliness”, “Care Homes-Risk and regulation” and in 2014, ‘John Kennedy’s Care Home Inquiry’.
  • Past roles have included: Board Director, National Care Forum (NCF), Commissioner – York Fairness Commission, sponsored by the Archbishop of York; and Commissioner – North Yorkshire and York NHS Clinical Services Review chaired by Dr Hugo Mascie-Taylor.
  • Current roles include: Trustee of the Wilberforce Trust and Honorary Lecturer at City University, London. In December 2016 John was appointed, by the Minister for Health in Northern Ireland, to be part of an Expert Advisory Panel, providing an independent perspective on potential solutions to meet the challenges facing the care and support system. The report “Power to People’ was published in December 2017.
  • Follow John on Twitter: @JohnnyCosmos

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