Play Ashford Community Lottery and support Find a Voice

Our Team and Trustees

Like all registered charities, Find A Voice is governed by a Board of Trustees, who are supported by our President and Vice President. Our Trustees meet regularly as a body and form sub-committees where necessary to work on specific projects. Our staff team work hard to deliver our service, and are supported by a range of volunteers. Our small but friendly team works hard to ensure that we can assist as many people as possible.

The team

Samantha Griffin
Samantha Griffin
Operations and Fundraising Manager

Sam Griffin joined us in January 2023 with a wealth of knowledge. With her Foundation Degree in Childhood Studies within an SEN specialism, her experience working within the SEN sector and her Marketing/PR and Community Engagement knowledge from her role at Radio Ashford, Sam brings Find A Voice all of her many arrows from her bow of expertise. Sam say’s “I really am in my dream role here at Find A Voice, something that encompasses all my knowledge, passions and skillsets. My role is to ensure everyone knows about our amazingly unique charity and I am looking forward to helping the board of Trustees and our clients to reach another 27 years in supporting the community’

Carol Norton
Carol Norton
Outreach Development Manager

Carol joined FAV at the end of June 2020 in order to run our Outreach Service. Carol has been overwhelmed by the need for the service around Kent and has also supported people in Sussex and South London. If you have any queries concerning our Library of communication aids or would like to discuss the availability of the service, please email Carol on speak@findavoice.org.uk or call the office number.

Fiona Britt
Fiona Britt
Teaching Assistant

Fiona joined FAV in August 2022 as a Teaching Assistant. She has been working in education for over 10 years and has enjoyed helping learners overcome difficulties and barriers to achieve their full potential. Working for a charity who makes a real difference in the community has been her ambition for quite some time , so she is delighted to join the FAV team. When Fiona is not helping our learners explore their goals and aspirations, she enjoys reading, gardening and going to the theatre. She also loves spending time with her family and looking after her growing menagerie of pets including two dogs, a snake and a bearded dragon.

Find a Voice Volunteers

The permanent staff are assisted by a range of volunteers, without whom things would be a lot more difficult to manage. Our thanks go to all those who help us out.

The board of Trustees

We have a diverse collective of trustee's with a wide range of business and educational backgrounds that help make Find A Voice a success

Liz Thorne
Liz Thorne
Chair

Liz have been involved with Find A Voice since 2009, first as General Manager and then CEO. In 2013 she moved to pastures new, but has always held FAV close to her heart and been a supporter of many events and Liz is glad to be back in a new role as a trustee. After many years of working in the voluntary sector Liz had a career change in 2020, and currently working as a Business Manager in a SEN school

Brian Dyer
Brian Dyer
Trustee

Brian has been involved with Find A Voice since 2016, initially as a Patron but more recently as a Trustee. He has worked in Education throughout his career both in colleges and as Director of a language training company for businesses. His current work is with Cambridge Assessment, examining the performance of international students in the English language. He is delighted to have the opportunity to help in the development of Find A Voice.

Gopi Lingam
Gopi Lingam
Trustee

I joined FAV in April 2021 having been a supporter of the charity for several years. I have a background in finance having worked in investment banking in London and now live in Ashford with my family. I am extremely thankful for this opportunity and will strive to serve the charity to the best of my ability and build on the great work which past and current members have done.

Gina Iliffe
Gina Iliffe
Trustee

‘Having lived in Ashford since 2008 I have known about Find A Voice for several years but have just become a trustee this year. I Home Educated two of my children through both primary and secondary education. I have a keen interest in accessibility both in education and activities for people with additional needs. I have recently completed a Mathematics Degree with the Open University and am now going on to study Psychology, also with the OU. Aside from a love of studying I enjoy reading, knitting, paddle boarding & supplement feeding our local hedgehog population. I am looking forward to a growing relationship with Find A Voice.’

Supporting the Trustees

Alastair Dutch OBE
Alastair Dutch OBE
Honorary President

Alastair has been involved with Find a Voice almost since the start. Since retiring from the board in 2011, Alastair has remained an important figure within the charity, helping to organise events and support FAV in any way he can.

Michael Claughton
Michael Claughton
Honorary Vice President

As a former Chairman of Find a Voice, Michael became Vice President in 2008. During his office as Mayor of Ashford in 2003-2004, he raised an incredible £14,000 for FAV as part of his Mayor's Charity Appeal.

Patrons

Lee Ridley
Lee Ridley
Patron

'The Lost Voice Guy' Lee Ridley was born with cerebral palsy and has no natural speech. He uses a communication aid to 'speak' for him and has forged a career as a stand-up comedian, appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe and winning Britain's Got Talent in 2018. He is honoured to support the work of Find A Voice as a Patron.

Wendy Rowe
Wendy Rowe
Patron

Wendy has been a good friend and supporter to Find A Voice for over 20 years and her company, Retainagroup Ltd, generously pays the rent on our Ashford centre. As well as this, Wendy is always on hand to give business advice and support and regularly attends our functions and fundraising events.

Damian Green
Damian Green
Patron

“I have seen Find A Voice grow from its beginnings to become a life-changer for many people with the most severe communication problems. It has done great work, and it is vital that it continues to provide its services to as many as possible”.