Who's Who

Stephen Robertson

CEO

Stephen Robertson

Stephen has been CEO at the Big Issue Foundation since July 2007. His previous role was Director of Commercial Operations at Shelter, where he had responsibility for a chain of 100 charity Stores, a mail-order business and a Training business primarily focusing on Housing professionals. Stephen was a member of the Senior Management Team with cross organisational responsibility for the strategic management of the Charity. Stephen was at Shelter for 13 years.

Stephen helped found and ultimately chaired the professional body that represents the majority of Charity Retailers in the UK, ‘The Association of Charity Shops’. Stephen is a Trustee of the homeless health care charity, London Pathway, a Trustee of TRAID, a charity committed to protecting the environment and reducing world poverty by recycling and campaigning at home and Chair of the Board of Trustees of Shoreditch Town Hall Trust.

Stephen has recently delivered extremely well received speeches at leading industry events. He has a dynamic and engaging style of presenting through which he brings to life issues relating to homelessness and the role of social enterprise and charities, and specifically The Big Issue and The Big Issue Foundation, in addressing social problems. If you are interested in Stephen speaking at your upcoming event please email foundation@bigissue.com

 

Board of Trustees

Steve Round

Steve Round, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Steve is Founder and CEO at Saescada a banking platform that is being used internationally giving access to finance to individuals previously excluded - He is also Founder of The Change Account - an innovative new way of delivering financial services and helping change financial behaviour. Previously Steve has been marketing director of Unity Trust Bank and worked both in the UK and Internationally. Steve is chairman at Ecology Building Society.

"Having been chair of the Foundation for a few years I am still amazed every day at the work we do to support our vendors start to help themselves. I am also frustrated every day at the further work we need to do to provide the right environment to give them a hand up.”

 
Patrick Foster

Patrick Foster

Patrick worked in the City of London from 1981 to 2008, starting as a mining analyst. He spent 10 years with Rothschild Asset Management as a Managing Director, 11 years with ING as a Managing Director in their securities division before moving to ICAP as a Managing Director in their Equities Division. Patrick has worked with mining companies for over 25 years both as a Director and as an advisor on corporate strategy, fund raising and investor relations. He has 30+ years’ experience and is a geology graduate with an MBA from London Business School.

"I have been a supporter of the Big Issue from its inception as it simply appears to be one of those really good ideas that actually work in practice."

 
Harry McAdoo

Harry McAdoo

Harry is currently Director of Brand and Corporate Reputation at the ACCA, a global professional accounting body where he is responsible for helping the accounting profession engage with its many stakeholders. He has over 20 years corporate affairs experience gained both within consultancies and in-house.

"I've ran the Paris marathon for The Big Issue Foundation for a couple of years now. Running 26 miles is easy in comparison to having to sleep rough each night. We need to tackle homelessness – that is what The Big Issue Foundation is trying to do and that is why I was proud to run on their behalf."

 
Alison J Newman

Alison J Newman

Alison is a chartered accountant with over 20 years of experience working in senior finance and audit roles within industry.  Most recently she has worked as a finance director for British Airways supporting major investment programmes and controlling costs.  Her previous roles have included Head of Internal Audit. 

"I met Stephen (CEO TBIF) and his team a few years ago and was seriously impressed and inspired by the great work they do with the magazine vendors.  Recognising that homelessness is the symptom not the cause is the first step to helping these vulnerable individuals take a step towards a better life. I’m honoured to be a part of such an important and thriving organisation.”

 
Gisele Ryan

Gisele Ryan

Gisele comes from a background of BBC, CNN, CNBC and advertising and branded content agencies. She has recently started her own agency - 'G' which creates high-end commercials and branded content.

She got involved with the Big Issue Foundation during her 5 years at CNN where she created all of our 'Real Lives, Real Achievements' films about award winning vendors, pro bono. She has travelled extensively throughout the world filming commercials, branded content and factual documentary stories.

"I first got involved with the Big Issue Foundation when I attended a meeting at the Big Issue offices with CNN where I met Stephen and the team in 2008.  When I attended the meeting I was so used to seeing vendors in so many locations in London I had, wrongly, assumed that the team would be vast. What I learnt that day was that the Big Issue Foundation has a small and passionate team who make a big difference to vendor’s lives.

When I then went on to meet a diverse, cross-section of vendors -  different ages, different backgrounds and all with different life experiences  - I learnt that there was one message that rang true over and over again........the Big Issue's Foundation’s work is absolutely vital to so many to tackle both homelessness and self-esteem."

 
Parveen Bird

Parveen Bird

Parveen started her career in advertising sales for magazine. Since then she has worked as an Assistant Producer of various regional BBC and ITV stations before becoming a reporter and producer for GMTV. More recently Parveen completed an MBA at Anglia Ruskin university and has been Director at The Big Issue; overseeing the London magazine and digital strategy since 2010.

“The combination of formal study through the MBA and informal ‘apprenticeship’ observing John Bird, has given me a great understanding of what can be done.”

 
Jonathon Lachmann

Jonathan Lachmann

Jonathan trained with a major international accountancy firm, before working for Drive For Youth, a motivational training charity, as its development manager for two and a half years. He now works for H W Fisher & Company and specialises primarily in financial consultancy for charities and other not-for-profit organisations.

"Not many charities are able to recognise that they cannot specialise in everything. The Foundation does and is therefore able to work in partnership with a number of excellent organisations to be able to offer the best tailored services to homeless people. This means that our direct costs are as effectively positioned as is possible, which is why I am proud to be associated with such a great organisation and group of people."

 
Mark Dempster

Mark Dempster

Mark is a former vendor now experienced counsellor treating people with addictions in his Harley Street Practice - Mark Dempster Counselling. He provide individual and group therapies as well as specialist training and professional interventions. Mark has over 16 years personal experience of addictions to drugs and alcohol and over 19 years now of recovery and working in the addictions treatment field. Mark is also a published author of two books about addiction.

 
Juliette Foster

Juliette Foster

Juliette Foster is a TV and radio presenter, interviewer, conference facilitator, public speaker and book reviewer. She has worked in the media for over 30 years.

“I joined the Big Issue Foundation because I believe that homelessness can happen to anyone and that all of us should reach out in whatever way we can to help those who find themselves on the streets.”

 
Pete Mills

Pete Mills

Pete Mills is the Founder and Managing Director of SmartResponse Media and has formally held Directorships at The Broadcast House and JML.

During his career he has worked with over 100 companies, including many ‘household’ retail and FMCG brands in the UK, in the specialist sales and marketing field of direct response TV advertising and has produced over 1,000 TV adverts and launched 12 x TV shopping channels.

Pete joined The Big Issue Foundation as a Trustee in the summer of 2016 and is very passionate about the issue of homelessness, commenting:

“I have lived in London my whole life and have always been acutely aware of the plight of homelessness and the chronic consequences it inherently brings. The Big Issue to me represents not only hope to this often excluded and ignore community, but as importantly gives the vendors the commercial means to improve their life situation in the most of challenging of life circumstances and I am delighted to become a Trustee of this outstanding charity.”

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