Keith Gathergood, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Keith became a trustee in 2011. After a career in private sector business, he was keen to give something back to the community, particularly young people who had not got off to a good start in life. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and brings to the role of Chair a wealth of senior level business management experience.

Keith strongly believes that a charity should be run with the same rigor and attention to business governance as a private company. He provides the business infrastructure that allows the CEO and front-line teams to deliver our mission.

“As with any business it is a journey with bumps in the road and the test of any Board is in safely managing those bumps. I have been involved with Step by Step for 10 years and am proud of how we taken that journey.”

John Devlin, Trustee

John Devlin joined the charity in the mid-1990s. He was invited to join the Board of Trustees by the then Chair to assist in the growth and direction of Step by Step. He brings a wealth of business experience to the role having run major change programmes for many years. His skills have proved essential as the charity increases its offering and reach.

John’s proudest achievement was his role in moving the charity beyond Rushmoor for the first time, demonstrating that although the charity was small back then, it had the in-house skills to support young people in new areas.

“The opportunity to help those less fortunate than myself was a strong motivation for joining the charity. I was brought up in social housing but had the benefit of a loving a stable home, which so many of the young people we support do not have.”

Sir Jonathan Portal, Trustee

Jonathan joined the Board of Trustees in April 2019. He brings to the role his skills as a qualified accountant and his wide array of contacts in councils and housing associations. He has experience in helping small businesses run their finances and this has proved highly useful for Step by Step.

Jonathan joined Step by Step after being impressed with its focus on positively empowering young people. “Step by Step provides a monitored plan to build the young person as an individual. Whether seen from a common sense, moral, religious, political or economic point of view, I think this approach is the right one.”

As an example of his contacts and influence, Jonathan worked with Hampshire County Council to include long term help for the disadvantaged in is strategic plan.

Andrew Mitchell, Trustee

Andrew joined the Board of Trustees in March 2020. With his background as a lawyer, both in private practice and the financial services sector, Andrew brings extensive legal experience to his role. He helps ensure that Step by Step operates on a legally sound basis.

He is particularly expert in local authority contracts which proves extremely useful for the charity when negotiating complex agreements.

“I wanted to do something meaningful in the local area to help young people. Seeing my children grow up in the current social and economic climate, I know how difficult it can sometimes be.”

Andrew also fundraises for Step by Step and recently ran four marathons in four days.

Caroline Skerry, Trustee

Caroline joined the Board of Trustees in February 2020. As a co-founder of a successful communications agency, Caroline is a 15-year veteran of the marketing and public relations sector. She has extensive experience in a wide range of media, including TV, radio and digital, and has created marketing campaigns for an array of domestic and international enterprises.

As well as an enviable skill set, Caroline brings to the role energy, determination and a belief that teamwork is everything.

“I was shocked by the level of local poverty and homelessness among young people in our community. I want to help position the charity in its rightful place as an authority on the issue of youth homelessness.”

Caroline recently took part in our 272 Challenge to raise money for the charity.

James Mowat, Trustee

James joined the Board of Trustees in March 2020. He is in a unique position as a Trustee having once been supported by Step by Step himself. James has managed to become successful despite the considerable adversity he faced, and is now Associate Director of a global recruitment company.

James has unique insight that proves invaluable in helping to shape the direction of the charity. His commercial expertise also contributes to recruitment, marketing and business development.

“I am incredibly passionate about giving back and my focus as trustee is solely on the betterment of young people.”

James regularly fundraises for the charity and leverages his contacts to spread awareness of the cause.

Lucy Barnes, Company Secretary and Trustee

Lucy joined Step by Step in June 2020. Her background in corporate law, and the more specific area of company secretary, means she brings impressive legal and organisational skills to her role. Lucy has previously been on a number of school and church boards and held a position of safeguarding officer.

Step by Step is based not far from where Lucy grew up and she has encountered first-hand the challenges young people face through her volunteering roles.

“I knew this was something I wanted to be part of. I am constantly amazed and impressed at the achievements and successes of the team.”

Russell James, Trustee

Russell joined the Board of Trustees after researching Step by Step and immediately feeling affinity with the charity’s mission and values. He brings his experience and skills as an accountant to assist in the running of Step by Step.

Russell recognises that not all young people have the same start in life as he did.

“I am proud of being able to work with an amazing group of dedicated staff and volunteers, and proud of every time we help someone to achieve something better for themselves.”