Charity Appeals

Charity Appeals

Appeals advisory committee

The BBC's Charity Appeals Advisory Committee is made up of independent experts from outside the BBC with wide experience of the charitable sector who advise and support the BBC in a number of areas, including:

  • Policy matters relating to all charity appeals associated with the BBC (by broadcast or on other platforms)
  • The overview (and scrutiny where required) of specific fund-raising projects such as Children in Need, Comic Relief's Red Nose Day, St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Blue Peter Appeal, emergency appeals and other projects where funds are raised for charities.
  • The allocation of broadcasting time on BBC Television and Radio to regular appeals for individual charities

They work with the BBC's Charity Appeals Advisor Sally Flatman.

The current members of the Appeals Advisory Committee are:

Fiona Ellis
Fiona Ellis, Charity Consultant
Fiona Ellis (Chair)

Specialism: generalist
Term of membership: 1 December 2009 - 30 November 2014

Fiona Ellis was, until March 2009, Director of the Northern Rock Foundation, the foundation set up by the bank of the same name in 1997. NRF funds exclusively in the North East of England and Cumbria, in which it invested over £175m in the eleven years of Fiona's stewardship.

Fiona worked previously for the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation where she was Assistant Director (Arts) for almost six years and, in a freelance capacity, for the Baring Foundation and the – then – Esmee Fairbairn Charitable Trust. Prior to her career in philanthropy, she worked in the arts as, at various times, a community arts worker, stage manager, theatre director, funding officer and director of a rural arts centre. She is joint author of Fairness in Funding, an equal opportunities guide for grant-makers published by the Association of Charitable Foundations.

Other current and previous posts have included: Vice Chair of Futurebuilders; Comic Relief's UK Grants Committee; School Governor of Whalton First School; Whalton Village Hall Committee; Commissioner for the IPPR North Public Services Commission and membership of several theatre boards. Fiona currently serves on the National Council for Voluntary Organisations Funding Commission and on the board of NAVCA.

Caron Bradshaw
Caron Bradshaw, CEO, Charity Finance Group
Caron Bradshaw

Specialism: Generalist
Term of membership: 1 January 2014 - 31 December 2016

Caron Bradshaw is Chief Executive of Charity Finance Group.  Caron joined CFG  in June 2010 from the ICAEW, where she was Head of the Charity and Voluntary Sector. In addition to supporting a number of small charities and community organisations Caron is a member of the NCVO’s National Assembly, sits as an observer of the Charity SORP Committee and is on the board of the Directory of Social Change as well as a small charitable theatre company (FullHouse).

Having trained as a Barrister, Caron held a variety of roles at the ICAEW during 16 years including shaping the ICAEW's engagement with the charity sector,  delivery of technical and member support, providing front line support to Chartered Accountants as Head of the Ethics Advisory Service and technical/policy input as a Business Law Manager.

David Causer
David Causer, Treasurer, LEAP Confronting Conflict
David Causer

Specialism: charity finance
Term of membership: 1 August 2009 – 2 August 2014

David qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte and Co in 1972 and worked as European financial controller in a number of financial institutions in London and Paris. He was Finance Director of Mercury Asset Management from 1988 to 2001 and Director of Finance and Resources at British Red Cross from 2002 to 2008. David is currently Treasurer of LEAP Confronting Conflict and Maria Montessori Training Organisation and Director of Schroder Income Growth Trust plc and Fidelity China Special Situations plc.

Lindsay Easton
Lindsay Easton, Chief Executive of Brain Research Trust
Lindsay Easton

Term of membership: 9 July 2012 - 8 July 2015

Lindsay Easton became Chief Executive of Brain Research Trust in November 2009. Lindsay has worked in the voluntary, private and public sectors in both the UK and Australia where she lived for nine years in the 1990’s. Lindsay’s more than 25 years of professional experience covers charity management & leadership, charity fundraising, commercial marketing and conference/events production. Organisations worked for include: Amnesty International, Action for Blind People, Barnardos, BBC Comic Relief Red Nose Day (the first), Diabetes UK, IIR Conferences, Local Government Association, Marks & Spencer and the Queensland State Government.

Anna Feuchtwang
Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive, Everychild
Anna Feuchtwang

Specialism: International aid
Term of membership: 1 January 2014 – 31 December 2016

Anna Feuchtwang is the Chief Executive of EveryChild a UK-based INGO that delivers programmes to prevent children losing family care, provides support to help keep families together and delivers services to provide care and protection for children outside of families. Anna is also a founder of Family for Every Child, a new membership organisation for national civil society organisations working across the globe providing care and protection for children. Anna is the chair of Asylum Aid UK and is on the steering committee for Beyond 2015 which is the UK platform for the global campaign to influence the framework which will replace the Millennium Development Goals. Anna has worked in international development for over 25 years. She was Oxfam's head of communications, was the chair of ActionAid UK and the chair of Bond, the membership organisation for the UK's international development organisations. Anna led On the Line,  an inter-agency project to mark the millennium with a cultural celebration of the lives of the people living along the meridian line. She became its Chief Executive working with Channel 4 and reporting into news anchor Jon Snow delivering a range of broadcasts and inter-agency programmes including exchanges between artists and schools education.

Richard Hawkes
Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive of Scope
Richard Hawkes

Specialism: disability
Term of membership: 1 September 2009 - 2 September 2014

Richard Hawkes has been Chief Executive of Scope, the disability charity, since January 2010.  Prior to that he was the International Programmes Director for VSO, with responsibility for programmes in more than 40 countries. He has also been the Chief Executive of an international charity working for people who are both deaf and blind and has worked for other international organisations, including the United Nations in Vienna.  Richard is Chair of the Care and Support Alliance which represents more than 70 organisations seeking to influence the future of social care in this country.  He is also Chair of iPartner India, an organisation that enables effective and sustainable giving from the Asian community in the UK.  He is a Trustee of Skills - Third Sector (the skills council for the voluntary sector) and a Trustee of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group.

Victoria Chester
Director – Strategic Planning and Policy
David Lynn

Specialism: Medical
Term of membership: 9 July 2012 - 8 July 2015

David joined the Wellcome Trust in April 2004, where he is a member of the Executive Team and Director of Strategic Planning and Policy. His responsibilities include leading the Trust's strategic planning, policy and evaluation functions.

David's career has been in science policy and strategy. He has worked alongside the UK's Chief Scientific Adviser in the Cabinet Office. His time at the UK Department of Trade and Industry involved him working closely with the European Space Agency and European Commission on earth observation policy; and he has worked in a number of roles for the Natural Environment Research Council.

David is a member of the: BBC's independent Appeals Advisory Committee; Governing Body and Executive Committee of the Public Health Foundation of India; UK Association of Medical Research Charities Executive Council; and the European Foundation Centre's Research Forum.

Chris Roles
Chris Roles, Director of Age International
Chris Roles

Specialism: international development
Term of office: 1 January 2013 - 31 December 2016

Chris Roles was appointed Director of Age International, the UK member of the HelpAge global network, in July 2012. For the previous eight years he was Chief Executive of Y Care International, a youth-focussed international relief and development agency with programmes in twenty-five countries in Africa, Asia, Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, in addition to a programme of global youth work for young people in the UK and Ireland.

He has also worked as a member of the senior management teams of Christian Aid and ActionAid.

Chris studied Modern History and Economics at Pembroke College, Oxford, and has an MBA from London Business School. He is a member of Venturesome’s  Investment Committee.

Nick Roseveare
Nick Roseveare, Chief Executive MAG (Mines Advisory Group)
Nick Roseveare

Specialism: international development
Term of membership: 1 January 2010 - 31 December 2014

Nick Roseveare MBE has worked in the field of international development and humanitarian aid for twenty five years and as Chief Executive of MAG since 2011. MAG (the Mines Advisory Group) is a Nobel Prize-winning (in 1997) charity focussed on humanitarian demining and the removal of other explosive remnants of war, to create safe and secure futures for people affected by armed violence and conflict. Since being founded in 1989, MAG has been removing deadly obstacles to reconstruction, peace and security in some of the world's poorest communities, saving lives and paving the way for safer futures.

From 2008-2011, Nick served as Chief Executive of Bond (the membership body for 370 British NGOs working in international development). For ten years Nick lived and worked with Oxfam in Sudan, Ethiopia and Mozambique managing and leading programmes for people in, or emerging from, crises and conflict. For a further ten years he worked in UK-based senior management roles for Oxfam, initially supporting humanitarian programmes across Africa, and subsequently as Oxfam’s Humanitarian Director (encompassing events such as the Afghan food and refugee crises at the time of the post-9/11 coalition bombing, the South Asia Tsunami, the Darfur crisis, the Pakistan Earthquake, and numerous other major conflicts and natural disasters). His final role was as Director of Oxfam's West Africa Region.

Nick has been a member of the BBC Appeals Advisory Committee since 2009. He is also a member of the Advisory Council of the International Centre for Not-for-profit Law. From 2001 tom 2009 at the Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Fund, Nick served as a Grants Committee member and a Trustee. He was a founder member of the IWG in 2003 - a ground-breaking transatlantic alliance of the largest humanitarian organisations, and from 2000-2005 served on the Management Board of the SPHERE Project to establish and promote global Minimum Standards in Disaster Response.

Clare Thomas
Clare Thomas, Chief Grants Officer, City Bridge Trust
Clare Thomas

Specialism: generalist
Term of membership: 8 June 2009 - 9 June 2014

Clare Thomas has been Chief Grants Officer of the City Bridge Trust, London's largest grant-making trust with an annual budget of £17.5m, since April 1996. She was formerly an Adviser to the Active Community Unit at the Home Office on charities, voluntary organisations and grant-making. She has worked as Trust Administrator for the Sir John Cass Foundation and for several years as Deputy Director of the Rainer Foundation. She has been a teacher in Haringey, a social worker and a project leader for the Islington Family Service Unit. Clare is a former Chair of the National Offenders Management Services (NOMS) Advisory Group and is currently Chair of both ACF (Association of Charitable Foundations) and The Building Exploratory. She has served as a board member of NCVO, London Bombings Charitable Fund and as adviser to several funds administered by the British Red Cross. Clare is currently part of the Government's Task Force on Climate Change and the Third Sector, and is a trustee of the Mayor's Fund for London.

Nalini Varma
Nalini Varma, Consultant
Nalini Varma

Specialism: Black, Minority & Ethnic
Term of membership: 15 October 2010 - 14 November 2013

Nalini Varma is a member of the Big Lottery Fund and chairs the Robbie Williams Give it Sum Fund that is administered by Comic Relief. She was a trustee of Comic Relief from 1996 to 2010 and chair of the UK Grants Committee from 1992 to 2010. In addition, she is currently a lay member of a number of organisations including the General Medical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council, and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Tribunal. Earlier in her career, she was chief executive of the Rainer Foundation for three years - a charity for young people taking it through a merger with the Royal Philanthropic Society to form what is now Catch 22.

She has worked for a number of other charities, including the Family Service Units, beginning her career as a social worker in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. She has also carried out a number of assignments as a management consultant, including interim director of EAVES Housing for Women, and assignments for the Ethnic Alcohol Counselling Hounslow, North East London Advocacy, Lambeth Council and Lambeth Voluntary Action Council. She has had appointments for children's services in Newham Social Services as a consultant commissioner, served as a board member of the Children and Families Court Advisory Support Service (CAFCASS), a Trustee of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and as a lay member of the Solicitors' Regulation Authority. Finally, she has been a committee member of the Association for Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations and the Ashiana Young Asian Women's Refuge.

Robert Williamson
Robert Williamson, Chief Executive, Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland
Robert Williamson

Chief Executive, Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland
Specialism: Generalist
Term of membership: 1 January 2014 – 31 December 2016

Rob Williamson is Chief Executive of the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, which works with individuals, businesses and trusts to enable effective philanthropy to benefit its area. It is the largest community foundation in the UK, holding an endowment of over £55 million and making grants of around £5m a year. Rob began his career working with homeless and vulnerable people. He went on to a development role with a council for voluntary service working on urban regeneration. He then spent three years as a policy and strategy officer with Newcastle City Council working on voluntary sector policy, grant aid, community engagement and equalities. Prior to joining the Community Foundation, he was Director of Policy and Communications at Northern Rock Foundation where his role included leading on research and evaluation. Rob currently sits on the boards of UK Community Foundations and Millfield House Foundation.


There are National Advisory Committees for BBC Scotland, BBC Wales and BBC Northern Ireland. The remit of these bodies varies across the nations but typically their role includes advising national management on the broadcasting of charity appeals and other charity broadcast opportunities, social action programming, relationships with the voluntary sector and related issues, as well as making recommendations to the Trustees of BBC Children in Need as to the distribution of grants in their areas.

The Chairs of these Committees or their nominated deputies are members of the central AAC. They are:

  • Dr. Eleanor Logan (Chair, Scotland Appeals Advisory Committee).
  • Hannah Wilcox (Vice Chair, BBC Wales Charity Forum).
  • David Lennox (Chair, Northern Ireland Appeals Advisory Committee).
Maureen Lipman signing with beneficiary Richard Giddings for Sense; a BBC Lifeline Appeal
Maureen Lipman signing with beneficiary Richard Giddings for Sense; a BBC Lifeline Appeal
Hermione Norris in Malawi
Hermione Norris in Malawi for Everychild; a BBC Lifeline Appeal
Joss Ackland recording the Radio 4 Appeal
Joss Ackland recording the Radio 4 Appeal for Motor Neurone Disease Association
Beneficiaries from the charity African Initiatives
Beneficiaries from the charity African Initiatives; a BBC Radio 4 Appeal
Samantha Renke appealing on behalf of Brittle Bone Society
Samantha Renke appealing on behalf of Brittle Bone Society for Radio 4
Sir Patrick Stewart with Sharon De Souza for Refuge
Sir Patrick Stewart with Sharon De Souza for Refuge; a BBC Lifeline Appeal
Flory Kazingufu, a Congolese peacebuilder for Peace Direct with volunteers
Flory Kazingufu, a Congolese peacebuilder for Peace Direct with volunteers; a BBC Radio 4 Appeal
"The BBC is committed to informing its audiences about a wide range of charities so that they can increase awareness about the work they do and raise much needed funds so that they can continue helping those who are in need."
Mark Thompson, Ex-Director-General, BBC

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