Guide Dogs' Trustees

The information below will tell you more about the Chairman and the Board of trustees. For further details, please contact the Association Secretary by phone on 0118 983 8252, by post to the Central Office address or by email:

Jamie Hambro - Chairman

Jamie joined the Guide Dogs board in 2015.

He is Chairman of James Hambro & Partners. He was an Executive Director of Hambros Bank, co-founder of the original J O Hambro Group and Managing Director of J O Hambro Magan before going on to found J O Hambro Capital Management. He was Chairman of Hansteen Holdings and a Director of Primary Health Properties plc and is Chairman of Wiltons Holdings Ltd.

Jamie was previously a Trustee and Chairman to the Henry Smith Charity, a large grant-making body for almost 25 years.

David Anderson

David Anderson joined the Board of Trustees in 2010.

He is a veterinary surgeon with over thirty years’ experience in practice, academia and government service. He worked in a University teaching environment where he developed an interest and expertise in veterinary reproduction. In recent years, he has been a government advisor on the welfare and care of animals, and has been involved in the development of improved practices in welfare, accommodation and care of animals in UK and Europe.

He has served on the Council of Regional and Specialist Veterinary Divisions of the British Veterinary Association and has attended and chaired Working Groups within the Council of Europe and European Union on various aspects of animal welfare and care.

He lives in Monifieth, near Dundee and enjoys golf, curling and dog walking with his family. He is Chairman of the local Residents’ Association and is a long-standing Council Officer at the Golf Club.

He first worked with Guide Dogs providing veterinary care within general practice and has long admired the work of the organisation.

Amanda Ariss

Amanda became the executive Director of Creative Diversity Network in April 2015; prior to this she was the Chief Executive of Equality & Diversity Forum.

She was previously Head of Policy and Research at the Equal Opportunities Commission, Associate Director at the Audit Commission, and has held various policy posts in London Boroughs and Greater London Councils.

Amanda is a recognised national executive leader in equality and human rights in the UK, and among other achievements she helped to secure the 2010 Equality Act. She was awarded an OBE for services to equality in the 2016 New Years Honours. She holds degrees in English and Politics.

Amanda is Vice-Chair of VISION 2020 UK, the umbrella body for organisations concerned with eye health and sight loss.

David Bagley

David is a graduate of Lancaster University and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Having qualified in 1981, David has spent his career in professional services and finance, specialising in corporate finance, commercial and investment banking and private equity. He was for eight years a high profile corporate finance partner with leading business advisers Ernst & Young and latterly with Baker Tilly, advising clients on acquisitions and mergers, fundraising and business disposals. He was previously a corporate director at Barclays Bank with joint responsibility for the bank’s Large Corporate Team in Yorkshire and the North East. He is now a non-executive director/investor with a wide portfolio of business interests including directorship of Finance Yorkshire, a £130 million venture capital fund; the Chorley Building Society and The University of Sheffield.

David and his wife, Caroline, have two daughters, Hannah and Rachel, and live in Sheffield. They have been active supporters and puppy walkers for Guide Dogs for many years, having puppy walked 12 dogs and fostered many more.

Clare Black

Clare Black joined Guide Dogs’ Board of Trustees in 2013 and has personal knowledge and experience of being a parent of a blind child as her eldest son, who is about to go off to university, has been blind since birth. She is passionate about ensuring that visually impaired children and young people are provided with the correct support to allow them to reach their full potential and live an independent life.

She is a financial derivatives markets consultant, specialising in Commodities and has worked in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to this, she worked at ThomsonReuters for 14 years.

Clare was a trustee of Blind Children UK (Formerly the National Blind Children’s Society) and has been a Director of Women in Listed Derivatives since 2010. Clare lives with her husband Clive and their two sons in Surrey. She enjoys running, cooking, gardening and travelling the world for work and with her family.

Kate Crofts

Kate has been an energetic advocate for equality and inclusion, in particular the rights of disabled people, for many years. She is qualified in social sciences, communications and leadership and her career in local government includes facilitating complex partnerships and embedding whole system working across communities, ensuring strategies and initiatives have inclusion built into them at every level. Kate’s other achievements have included co-founding a community interest organisation which offers advice and support to mothers who have visual impairment.

Outside of work, Kate enjoys a busy family and social life with her two teenage children. Kate is on the waiting list for her second guide dog.

Rob Deakin

Rob is a Partner at Capco, a Management Consultancy, which provides advice on technology and delivering business change initiatives to FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies. He is a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET). He has previously worked for a range of charities in India and southern African countries developing social enterprise business models.

During the past 10 years he has been a boarder to four Guide Dogs in training. This experience has served as inspiration for numerous fundraising adventure challenges, including swimming the English Channel solo and running the London Marathon three times.

Rob lives in Brixton, South London and is a Bob Dylan fan.

Dr Mike Nussbaum

Mike Nussbaum has been in the thick of social change and community development for nearly 50 years.

As a young activist he was involved in a wide range of social action programmes and by 18 was chairing national youth organisations, organising charitable fundraising events and leading youth summer schools.

His first career as a research chemist was cut short by failing eyesight, but Mike soon forged a second career in local government and public policy development. Mike worked with communities in some of the most challenging local authorities in the UK, initiating pioneering work in social inclusion and in urban regeneration and design. For three years, he led the government’s policy unit on Children’s Play.

Since retirement Mike has taken on various roles in the national voluntary sector but particularly in promoting and developing the role of volunteering. In 2003, he steered the merger of three national voluntary organisations to form a single national focus for volunteering and helped to establish national quality standards for volunteer centres and for volunteer management. He was instrumental in persuading the UK government of the need for ‘The Office of the Third Sector’ as a key function of the Cabinet Office.

Mike is involved with various charitable organisations both locally, nationally and more broadly in the European context. Amongst other posts that he holds Mike is currently Chair of Action for Blind People and a Board member of RNIB. He acts as Community Development Adviser to the Churches Conservation Trust. He regularly acts as Ambassador and conference presenter for the European Volunteer Centre (CEV) and has recently become a Board Member of the Small Charities Coalition.

Mike is currently chairing a Cross Sectors Working Group (known as the Expert Volunteers Initiative) which aims to recruit volunteers to assist the hardest to reach groups of the long-term unemployed to access employment opportunities which is very relevant to people with a visual impairment.

In 2005 Mike received a national ‘Year of the Volunteer’ Award for services to volunteering, and in 2008 The Open University awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in recognition of over 40 years of public service.

Polly Shute

Polly is currently the Director of Fundraising for ‘Together for Short Lives’, the leading UK charity for seriously ill children and their families. She has worked in the charity sector for six years. At the British Heart Foundation, Polly was responsible for leading the growth of their current mass participation portfolio, more than trebling net income in two years, running a £20m appeal and developing new special events.

Prior to this Polly held senior marketing roles in the retail and leisure sector, including Wickes, Sainsburys and Whitbread.

She is a former Institute of Fundraising award winner, recognised as a top 20 LGBT+ leader by Outstanding and The FT and on the Pride Power List in association with the Guardian. Polly was also a Board member of Pride in London for four years.

Outside work, Polly loves to travel, is an avid cook and baker. She is pet lover, and a strong advocate for minority and marginalised communities.

Ranjit Sondhi

Ranjit was born in India, and has lived, studied and worked in the UK since 1956.

A graduate in Theoretical Physics, he founded the Asian Resource Centre in Handsworth, Birmingham in 1976. He was Senior Lecturer in Community and Youth Studies at University of Birmingham Westhill from 1985 to 2005.

He has served on a number of national regulatory and governing bodies. He was a board member of the Independent Broadcasting Authority and the Radio Authority. He was a Governor of the BBC and Trustee of the National Gallery. He was Chairman of the Heart of Birmingham Primary Care Trust. He has been a Civil Service Commissioner and Judicial Appointments Commissioner.

He has just completed a term of office at the Criminal Cases Review Commission. He is currently Vice Chairman of Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group and sits on the Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel.

He was registered blind in 2012.

Pat Stafford

Pat is an experienced Board Director, having managed a portfolio of roles since 2000. This includes Non Executive Director of HMRC, Regional Board Member at The Princes Trust, and Non Executive Director at the National College for Teaching and Leadership. Pat's current portfolio includes serving as a Non Executive Director at the Financial Ombudsman Service and as a partner at her consultancy business, The Stafford Partnership.

Prior to this, Pat had over 20 years' experience in marketing, branding and communications, including as Group Marketing Director of the BUPA Group, as Head of Brands Management at British Airways plc, and as Managing Director of Corporate Positioning Services.

Pat is also currently a governor at Rugby School and supports a number of charities locally, particularly working with ex-offenders.

Pat has been actively involved with Guide Dogs for many years, initially through boarding working guide dogs and most recently as a brood bitch holder and puppy boarder.

Polly Williams

Polly Williams is a Chartered Accountant who spent seven years as an audit partner at KPMG, specialising in financial services. Since leaving KPMG she has had a number of Non-Executive Directorships in the financial, IT and telecoms sectors and the Cabinet Office. She was a Governor of Rugby School for 14 years, including chairing the Finance Committee and four years as Deputy Chairman.

She is currently Chairman of National Counties Building Society and a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee at TSB Group plc, Daiwa Capital Markets and Scotiabank Ireland Limited. She is Chairman of the Trustees of Westminster Almshouse Foundation, a Charity which provides sheltered accommodation for elderly, in-need residents of Westminster.

Polly and her husband Neil live in the Surrey hills with their teenage son and daughter and two dogs. She enjoys walking, travelling with her family and spending time at their house in Portugal.

John Wrighthouse

John is an HR and Communications Director having worked with a range of well-known brands across the retail, personal financial services and insurance sectors. He had a number of senior roles with Nationwide and was Group HR Director before leaving to focus on business turnaround working with FT250 companies to recover from commercial or regulatory failure. He is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and Master of Arts in Employment Law.

He has been active in harnessing employee engagement as a driver of business performance and has worked with sector and employer groups in raising the bar for excellence in employment. John contributed to the work with the government in the abolition of the default normal retirement age and equality in the workplace.

John is a Trustee Director of the Nationwide Building Society Pension Fund. At Guide Dogs he is a Trustee Director of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Pension Fund and member of the Board Remuneration Committee.

John lives with his family in Gloucestershire and spends what spare time he has taking the family to various skiing, rugby, tennis and swimming events.