Board of Trustees


Neena Samota
Independent Chair

Neena is a consultant on criminal justice and social policy. She has 13 years of professional experience in developing policy and evidence-led research in the voluntary sector. As the former Policy and Research Manager at Nacro, the crime reduction charity, she was involved in influencing criminal justice policy at both local and national levels. In the last three years, working as a consultant in the criminal justice sector, she has been commissioned by national organisations such as BTEG, Clinks, Action for Prisoners Families and Women's Breakout to undertake research and policy development. She is also a member of Stop Watch, a stop and search watchdog.




Ila Chandavarkar

Ila is the Head of Policy for the Women’s Resource Centre. She is the former Chief Officer of MENTER, the regional Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) network for the voluntary and community sector (VCS) in the East of England. For eight years Ila worked as a manager for Cambridge City Council’s Community Development Team managing voluntary sector support and equalities work, including several European funded employment projects. She was a board member for the Cambridge Cooperative Development Agency for over 10 years, providing advice and support services for cooperatives and social enterprise. She was also previously a non executive Director for Government Office, East of England. Ila is one of the founding members of Voice4Change England.




Karl Oxford

Karl is the Director of Urban Solutions, an organisational development consultancy that designs strategic programmes for community organisations and social enterprises. He previously worked for the Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber. His role involved designing and managing community facilitation and cohesion programmes following the serious rioting and social disorder in the North of England in 2001. In 2004, he took lead responsibility for delivering the Home Office’s new Early Investment (ChangeUp) Programme for voluntary sector development. Karl is a strong advocate of community empowerment and has supported a number of strategic community initiatives that help to respond to social and economic challenges facing BME and other similarly disadvantaged communities in the UK. He is particularly keen to empower marginalised communities to become active at a senior level of policy making and organisational management. He is also the owner of a Caribbean food enterprise; a governor at Bradford College and a member of the Connections for Development organisation.



Kirit Mistry

Kirit is currently working with Derby Hospitals Organ Donation Committee to raise awareness of organ donation in Derby Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities. He is a Risk Assessor and BME Community Champion for Diabetes UK. He is the Executive Director of Derby Racial Equality Council providing services towards the elimination of racial discrimination and the promotion of equality of opportunity. Kirit has expertise on addressing inequality issues on a local, regional, national, European and international level. Kirit has focused on youth work, health & social care, mental health, social work and related fields for the past 18 years, nine years in the drugs and alcohol field and nine years working on capacity building & minority youth Issues in Europe. He previously served as Chair for the British Council Connect Youth International East Midlands Regional Committee and was previously a Treasurer for Minorities of Europe, a European minority youth organisation.



Nathalie Richards

Nathalie is the founder and CEO of Charity MOT, a social enterprise that focuses on capacity building within charities and non-profits. She has more than 12 years experience working for corporate clients as a business consultant and project manager focused on strategy, change management and business operations at companies such as Accenture, Autonomy and Apple. She now utilises her business and technology skills to develop solutions that address social problems. Charity MOT's flagship project is EduKit, an innovative project that helps schools to address the achievement gap between disadvantaged students and their peers. She has volunteered extensively over the years with organisations such as 100 Black Men of London and Young Enterprise. She is a school governor at Beckmead School in Croydon as well as a board member at Generating Genius, a programme that helps disadvantaged students to gain entry to top universities to study science and technology.



Mohamed Ahmed

Mohamed is a multimedia freelancer and is presently studying for his BSc in Computer Networks and Security. He is the BAME student officer for Derby University's Student Union where he is represents BAME students on a range of issues. He is currently part of the Young Peoples Council in Leicester City Council, where he represents the wards Spinny Hills and Castle. Mohamed is the youth/student officer for Leicester West Committee Management. He is also in the process of setting up a youth organisation intended to be run by and for young people to give them the platform where they can voice their concerns and opinions.