Our board of trustees is vital to the success of Gingerbread. Our trustees are experts from a range of fields who give up their time freely to help us successfully support single parents. Many also have experience of being a single parent or growing up in a single parent family.

The board is responsible for helping us set our long-term strategy and ensuring that Gingerbread’s operations and governance comply with our charitable aims and regulatory requirements.

Simon Bentley

Chair

Simon is an exceptional operator and Chairman with an inspirational career to date and a proven track record of delivering success in demanding environments.

A dynamic and flexible leader who places his team at the heart of his approach, his current and past positions as Chairman, Chief Executive and Independent Non-Executive Director include Blacks Leisure Group Plc, Frasers plc (formerly Sports Direct International plc), Premier Foods Plc and Umberto Giannini.

Alongside his commercial activities, he has been consistently involved with charitable and educational organisations, including The Leadership Trust, Kisharon, Yad Vashem UK Foundation, Saving Faces and many others.

Simon feels privileged to join as Chairman of Gingerbread, the organisation representing and supporting single parents in England and Wales, and to have the opportunity to share his relevant knowledge and experience.

Jasmin Choudhury

Vice Chair

Passionate about improving the lives of single parents, young people and their families, Jasmin believes that the most vulnerable people in society deserve the best support, both at home and in education, so that they can succeed, whatever their circumstances.

A former deputy headteacher, Jasmin currently works as a freelance education consultant and advises on various public sector panels. Jasmin aims to work with Gingerbread in campaigning and helping us to further our goals. As a single parent herself and a foster carer, she loves spending time with her family, who keep her on her toes!

Jasmin has known about Gingerbread’s journey since she was a student and is well-versed in our community, journey and ambitions.

Evangelos Raptis

Treasurer

Evangelos is a finance professional with over 25 years' experience in the private sector. He has worked as an investment banker in the City of London, a venture capitalist in California and a Finance Director in various technology companies across Europe.

Evangelos is passionate about all things around parenting and parenthood. He is the proud father of an adopted son and works as a family counsellor, supporting parents in his private practice and various not-for-profit settings. Evangelos is registered with UKCP and the CNHC.

Alison Taylor

Trustee

Alison is Chief Executive of Carers First, a charity working directly with and for unpaid carers to provide personalised information, advice and support and make it easier for those caring for somebody else to continue living their lives to the fullest.

Alison has worked in the charity sector, local authorities and in health over the last thirty years. Prior to Carers First, Alison was Director of Operations at the awarding-winning charity, Turn2us, which she joined at its inception.

Alison believes passionately in Gingerbread’s work with single parents to raise their profile and access to support, so that all families can thrive.

Diane Gault

Trustee

Diane has worked in the charitable sector for more years than she cares to admit to. Principally a fundraiser by background, Diane has for the last 17 years held senior leadership roles working across fundraising, membership, digital, external communications, marketing and campaigns.

Diane has a particular passion for supporting children and young people to overcome obstacles and challenges in their lives and to fulfil their potential. She also focuses on social justice and making the world a better place.

Diane holds a BA (Joint Honours) in History and Sociology from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Diane’s understanding of issues facing single parent families arises from being close to the experiences of her own mother and sister, who were both single parents.

Jake Dyer

Trustee

Jake has extensive business, integrated marketing and digital experience across the B2B and B2C spectrum in various commercial and strategy leadership roles. This spans large networks such as Omnicom and LBi, the micro B2B network gyro and MD of independent boutique service design consultancy, WEA.

He is also a guest marketing lecturer, business and personal development mentor for various universities, charities and bodies including the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Tina Hamilton

Trustee

Tina has a Bachelor of Education and spent seven years working as a teacher and senior leader before embarking on nineteen years as a British diplomat.

Having been raised in a single parent family that relied on benefits, Tina remembers attending monthly Gingerbread events as a teenager. These events helped her to realise that there were others in the same position and that she was not alone, particularly as she was the only child at her school from a single parent family. She is excited by the opportunity to give back to Gingerbread 35 years later as a Trustee.

Lynette Eastman

Trustee

Lynette is a board level transformation advisor and coach with experience gained across a range of sectors including financial services, technology, telecoms, energy, professional services, public sector, and healthcare. Lynette has specific expertise in leading culture and business transformational change as a result of turnaround, organisational change and M&A.
Lynette has worked globally across a wide range of corporates such as Standard Chartered, HSBC, BP, Cable and Wireless as board level HR Director and specialist Director of Talent and Resourcing; her most recent executive HR Director role was as Director HR Transformation and Operations with HMRC supporting a significant HR transformation programme involving process, technology and people change.
In her consulting practice, she is recognised for delivering commercial interventions that support business leaders translate their plans into customer orientated solutions.
Lynette is on the boards of the University of Nottingham, where she chairs the Remuneration Committee, and the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology where she chairs the Remuneration and Appointments Committee. She is also a trustee of Humanity and Inclusion UK, an international charity that works alongside disabled and vulnerable people to help meet their basic needs, improve their living conditions, and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights.

Lynette’s commitment to single parent families has in part been influenced by the experiences of her own family. Lynette’s Dad was fostered at 6 weeks old until adulthood with a loving single parent family, this gave him the opportunity to live a secure, happy, and fulfilled life which he treasured and engendered in his own family.

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