Tel: 023 9229 6919 Fax: 023 9242 0488
  • Our Trustees

    Members of the E.C. Roberts Centre Board

    Mike Davidson (Chairman)

    Mike is a property management professional who has has held a number of senior positions with companies including Land Securities, the UK’s largest Real Estate Investment Trust, and Broadgate Estates, the wholly owned subsidiary of British Land. He is an acknowledged expert in his field regularly speaking at industry conferences, as well also being a member of the faculty of the European Property School, where he lectures on Crisis Management and Shopping Centre Operations.

    Mike first became involved with the Roberts Centre when he was the Managing Director of Gunwharf Quays, the multi-award winning, mixed use development in Portsmouth. As Chairman of the Portsmouth City Growth Board and a Hampshire Ambassador, Mike became very aware of the social issues in the city and was delighted to be asked to join the Board of the Roberts Centre in 2004. Although no longer working in Portsmouth, Mike has remained committed to the objectives of the charity and took on the role of Chairman in 2009.

    Malcolm Childs (Vice Chair)

    Born in Portsmouth in 1942, I was educated there at primary level followed by boarding school. Employment since leaving formal education has been mainly in the child care profession. I hold professional qualifications in both residential and field social work. My final position was as a Senior Manager locally. From that experience I bring skills in financial and human resource management as well as negotiating and networking within the voluntary, private and statutory sectors.

    Since retirement I have worked in a voluntary capacity in various fields including family support and education as well as support of the elderly and vulnerable. As a Governor of a local authority educational provision for children with special needs I have lead responsibility for safeguarding and serve on the finance committee.

    I have been a trustee of the Roberts Centre for 10 years and was motivated to do this through my earlier involvement with the Centre in my capacity as a Senior Manager. I am an ardent supporter of the range of services provided by the centre and the commitment and enthusiasm of the staff.

    Georgie Poole

    Georgie works at Goodwood Estate which is the family home of one of our patrons, the Duchess of Richmond. Georgie works in sales, currently in the aviation department and is also involved with special projects at the Racecourse. Previously at Goodwood, she has worked in the event operations department for Motorsport events.

    Within the EC Roberts Centre, Georgie specialises in marketing, communications and the Roberts Centre’s social media presence; all with the aim of developing the Robert Centre’s presence and communicating the work that the centre does. Alongside this, Georgie plans events at Goodwood so the children involved with the Roberts Centre can enjoy what Goodwood Estate has to offer and allow them to experience something different.

    Prior to her work at Goodwood, Georgie was involved with a scheme at the University of Bristol which was aimed at getting people involved in a healthy lifestyle. One of the particular areas of focus was to encourage and enable those with disabilities to get involved in sport. Bristol University was also where Georgie studied her BA in Theology & Religious Studies and her MSc in Social Legal Studies

    In her spare time, Georgie plays hockey at Havant Hockey Club. Where, off the pitch, she assists the executive committee with organization of special events and sourcing/securing sponsorship for the club.

    Professor John Craven CBE

    John retired in 2013 as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth where he worked for sixteen years.  He studied mathematics and economics at Cambridge and was a Kennedy Memorial Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He then taught economics at the University of Kent, becoming a Professor in 1986.  He is currently completing a Masters degree in Philosophy at King’s College, London.  John served for seven years as a member of the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England and continues to advise on the financial aspects of clergy training.  John is currently a trustee of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, and a governor of the University of the West of England.  He serves as a lay adviser to the health service on the confidentiality of medical records.   As Vice-Chancellor John was a patron of the EC Roberts Centre, and his current focus as a Trustee is on finance and the development of proposals to replace the Centre with a new building.

    Her Honour Judge Linda Davies

    Linda first learnt of the Roberts Centre in her role as Designated Family Judge for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. She was delighted to join the board 6 years ago knowing of its valuable work for children and families in Portsmouth, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Although now a Fine art student at Chichester University she spent 40 years, before retiring from the law, first as a barrister and then as a Circuit Judge. Along the way she was a school governor for a local primary school, a member of the board of Hampshire Family Mediation, Chairperson of another Charity and part time chairman of Industrial Tribunals. She hopes to make a positive contribution to the welfare of vulnerable children, young people and families.

    Rev. Canon Bob White

    Bob White grew up in Portsmouth and has been an Anglican Priest for nearly 30 years. He is currently the Vicar of St Mary’s Church in Fratton. He has an active interest in the life of the local community and in seeking to support those who serve the needs of those who live within it. He also has a wider responsibility in the Diocese for Urban Ministry and is the Church Urban Fund Officer. He has a long experience of working as a Trustee of a variety of local Charities and served for some time as a member of the Board of Portsmouth Housing Association. He currently chairs the Fratton Big Local Partnership and the Churches Homeless Action Group. This Group seeks to keep homelessness issues on the Church’s agenda and each year raises signifcant sums of money in a Christmas Appeal – one of the major recipients of which is the Roberts Centre.

    Margaret Geary

    Margaret’s past work as a social work and probation practitioner, a Community Safety lead in Coventry, a Director in Government Office West Midlands and Strategic Director of Health, Housing and Social Care in Portsmouth has been driven by a commitment to social justice. One of the constants in her work has been efforts to improve the involvement of individuals and communities receiving services, in shaping those services so that the outcomes meet their needs.

    Andrew Sayer

    Andrew Sayer is an Assistant Director at the Department for International Trade (DIT). His current role is leading the communications area within the Trade Policy Group division of DIT. Previous leadership roles, within the public and private sectors, have also covered marketing and branding responsibilities in the UK and abroad. He is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Chartered Insurer. He has been awarded a public sector award for delivering outstanding operational support to customers with special needs.

    Between 2015-17 he was seconded to one of the Prince of Wales’ charities “Business in the Community” (BITC) as their Business Connector for Portsmouth. Portsmouth was chosen by BITC as the location for a Business Connector because areas within it fall within the 20% most deprived areas of the U.K. The role involved facilitating the creation of long term and mutually beneficial relationships between organizations in the Portsmouth area. This was when he first became aware of the Roberts Centre and the work that it undertakes.

    Whilst in the role he facilitated a number of relationships for the Centre and worked on the development of the Robert Bear books. He was initially asked to join the Marketing Committee before being invited to become a trustee in 2017.

    Dr. Joanne Grenfell

    Archdeacon Dr Joanne Grenfell oversees and supports the clergy and parishes in the Archdeaconry of Portsdown. She is working closely with the inner-city churches in Portsmouth who are providing much needed pastoral but also very practical support for families.  She is a member of the Diocese’s Council for Social Responsibility, an independent charity that runs a number of social programmes with churches and other partners seeking to encourage engagement and leadership in the community by involving people of all faiths and none. Joanne is also currently Chair of Governors at Charter Academy Portsmouth and with her past experience as a Director of Ordinands in Sheffield Diocese and, amongst other past employments, as a lecturer in English in Oriel College, Oxford, education and the welfare of children is a matter close to Joanne’s heart. As a member of the Board she is proud to support the work of the Roberts Centre and helping the Roberts Centre achieving its mission of helping those in need achieve their potential through social inclusion.

    District Judge Charles Ackroyd TD RD DL

    Charles Ackroyd is a District Judge and regularly hears cases from Portsmouth concerning children and disadvantaged families. Before becoming a judge in 1998 he was a solicitor in private practice in Southampton and the New Forest. He also pursued a twin career as an Army reservist and was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire in 2013.


    The Roberts Centre Board of Trustees/Directors meet bi-monthly. At every meeting the accounts, variances, cash flow, and Key performance indicator information are presented and discussed.

    At every Board meeting an updated Risk map (RAG rated)  is presented so the Board can monitor progress and efficacy of plans and mitigation actions. Once a year a Vision Day is held with the Board and Senior Management Team to review direction, areas of need and plan the focus for the next years objectives.


    HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, The Duchess of Richmond & Gordon. The Anglican Bishop of Portsmouth, Mr Walter Cha.



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