Darren joined TCV in 1996 as a Volunteer Officer and has worked across many parts of the organisation in roles including Project Officer (Nottinghamshire), Operations Manager (Yorkshire & East Midlands) and Operations Director (England, Northern Ireland and Wales).
The Conservation Volunteers is a National Trust Council appointing body and appointed Darren to the Council in November 2021.
Darren has been a trustee of the Nottingham & Notts Refugee Forum since November 2020.
Darren is proud to lead the charity in its work to create healthier, happier communities for everyone.
The Conservation Volunteers is governed by a Board of Trustees, supported by two sub-committees: Audit and Risk Committee (ARC); and Governance and Remuneration Committee (GRC). The Board and its sub-committees each meet four times per year.
The Board is responsible for setting overall policy for The Conservation Volunteers and monitoring progress towards achieving our strategy.
The Trustees are:
- Professor Tony Crook CBE FAcSS FRTPI – Chair
- John Mallalieu
- Vanessa Quigg
- Neal Ransome
- Simon Rennie MBE
- Julie Royce
- Rosslyn Stuart
- Andrew Walker QC
- Uilani Dines
- Emma Aspinall
- Emily Evans
- Katie Simmons
We always welcome interest from prospective Trustees, particularly from people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, and other under-represented groups.
The purpose of ARC is to assist the Board of Trustees in discharging its oversight responsibilities by:
- Considering and reviewing matters relating to the control environment and risk management in The Conservation Volunteers
- Considering and reviewing matters raised by and relating to external audit
- Considering the key areas of risk by assessing reasonable levels of management control and frequency of review.
ARC comprises some Trustees and some independent members.
The purpose of GRC is to advise the Trustee Board on all matters related to governance (including the appointment of Trustees) and employee pay and other reward. GRC comprises some Trustees and some independent members.
Professor Tony Crook CBE FAcSS FRTPI – Chair
Tony Crook was Pro-Vice Chancellor of The University of Sheffield and is now Emeritus Professor of Town & Regional Planning. As well as chairing The Conservation Volunteers and the Construction Industry Council’s Housing Panel; he is a lay Privy Council appointee to the Architects Registration Board, is a director of the Kensington & Chelsea TMO Residuary Board; and an Academy of Social Sciences council member.
Former roles include: member of the board of the Royal Town Planning Institute (and former Chair of Education Committee); Deputy Chair of Orbit Housing and of the Construction Industry Council; Chair of Rotherham MBC governance review, Chair of Shelter Trustee Board and of Sheffield Homes Ltd; and member of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the Lloyds Banking Group Housing Commission and the Housing Commission for Northern England.
His research covers private rented housing and planning obligations. His latest book ‘Planning Gain’ (Wiley Blackwell) won the RTPI Research Excellence Award in 2016 and, jointly with Professor Christine Whitehead, he won the Sir Peter Hall award in 2020 for research on land value capture. In 2004 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and was appointed CBE in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to housing.
John is CEO of Leeds United Foundation, which aims to use the power of sport to educate, motivate, inspire and support people throughout the local Leeds community.
From a career in retail banking, John has held a range of senior leadership roles across Health and Social care delivery for public sector, private sector and third sector organisations. John is Deputy Chair of NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group and is also the Lay Chair of the Primary Medical Services Committee.
John additionally chaired the Department of Work & Pensions Mental Health & Work Group for the Welfare Minister and membership of the Psychological Wellbeing & Work Expert Advisory Group.
Vanessa has worked in digital and communications roles in publishing, the arts, and government, including positions at London’s Southbank Centre and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
In her current role as Head of Social Content, Vanessa leads the Scottish Government’s social media team. She specialises in digital content, advertising and web development.
Having first volunteered for environmental causes as a teenager in Northern Ireland, Vanessa was inspired to work with TCV by its mission to connect communities across the UK with their physical environment for the improvement and wellbeing of both.
Neal qualified as a chartered accountant and corporate financier with PwC and as a partner led their Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Corporate Finance business. He was also Chief Operating Officer of PwC’s Advisory Services division, and a member of the firm’s Corporate Sustainability Governance Board. He left PwC in 2013 and is now a non-executive chairman and director of three investment trusts focused on healthcare and early stage companies.
With a keen interest in environmental conservation, Neal is a former Trustee and Council Member of the RSPB. Neal has worked as a volunteer for the RSPB, the London Wildlife Trust and, more recently, TCV. He lives in London and is a fellow of the RSA.
Simon Rennie MBE
Simon was previously the Chief Executive of the Central Scotland Green Network Trust. He is the chair of RUTS, a training charity working with young people in Central Scotland and is a Trustee of Citizens Advice Scotland.
Simon, who started out as a forester, has worked in the charity sector in Scotland for over 30 years with a focus on social inclusion and environmental justice.
For over 20 years Julie has been actively volunteering in her local community of Thames Ditton. She looks after a stretch of the River Thames for the National Trails Office as a conservation monitor, helps to run the local theatre and has organised many street parties to celebrate big national events. Julie was also a ‘Games Maker’ and ‘London Ambassador’ during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.
Most of her career was spent working in the NHS, latterly working for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) from 2005 until she retired in 2018. Prior to this Julie was an account director for a small marketing agency and started her career working for Unilever.
Julie first came into contact with TCV when joining a tree planting event to mark the success of the volunteering effort for London 2012. Becoming a TCV trustee seemed the perfect opportunity to develop her keen interest in conservation and enthusiasm for volunteering, and to draw from her long career in health.
Rosslyn is a Chartered Town Planner whose career in statutory planning and regeneration has spanned local government, NDPBs, charitable organisations, private consultancies and an award winning social enterprise. She has extensive experience of building effective and sustainable partnerships across professional, sectoral and operational boundaries.
Rosslyn has been an Academician of the Academy of Urbanism since 2011 and was Head of Profession and Director of Development and Professional Standards at the Royal Town Planning Institute.
She currently serves as Independent Chair of a consortium of environmental organisations, as a non-executive director and volunteers with various local organisations.
Andrew Walker QC
Andrew is a practising barrister and arbitrator. He was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2011. He was an elected member of the Bar Council of England and Wales for many years, eventually serving as its Vice-Chair (2017) and Chair (2018), following several years as Chair of its Ethics Committee. His areas of legal expertise include property and company law, and he continues to advise and act for a very wide range of clients across the country.
In 2009, he was awarded the Bar Pro Bono Award for some of his free professional work with the homelessness charity, Shelter. He has been involved in the governance of a number of organisations, both charitable and non-charitable, and has a lifelong interest in conservation and the environment.
Lani Dines is a Fundraising Officer for the John Muir Trust, a UK conservation charity. Lani brings experience in trust and grant fundraising, corporate partnerships and project management.
She has a BSc in Environmental Science from the University of Birmingham. She has worked in the environmental field for most of her career working at WWF, Vegware, IKEA and Forest of Hearts. She is an alumnus of the Climate 2050 – Young Leadership Programme and is passionate about equality and diversity in the environmental sector.
Lani is inspired to work with TCV to broaden her knowledge and experience and is interested in how young people are engaging with environmental organisations. Lani is also the secretary trustee for a small environmental charity- Forest of Hearts.
Emma is a registered Social Worker with Social Work England and has over 30 years’ experience working in health and social care. Having started her career in the public sector, she has been working in charity sector with Barnardo’s and latterly Acorns for more than 20 years. Emma has been managing teams for over 25 years and has been an Executive Director since 2008.
Throughout Emma’s career she has striven to ensure safe and quality services have been accessible for all those requiring care and support. Underpinning her work is the focus to develop partnerships and links across organisations ensuring supportive services are offered to children and young people and vulnerable adults.
Emma was a volunteer in a special school many moons ago and over the last 30 years has worked with volunteers across the many projects. Becoming a Trustee of TCV brings together Emma’s experience and interests in people and local community.
Emily has worked within third-sector healthcare for more than 15 years. At Nuffield Health she held various operational leadership roles including supporting teams through periods of significant organisational change. She also headed up the growth of their mental health services through acquisition and proposition development.
In her current role as Chief Commercial Officer for Mental Health Concern and Insight IAPT, Emily has been responsible for creating a new commercial function of marketing, business development and relationship management teams to deliver commercial sustainability and social return on investment.
Emily is passionate about the positive impact nature can have on wellbeing and was inspired to join TCV by the work it does to connect people to green spaces, creating healthy and happy communities.
Katie is an experienced senior leader in the charity sector, currently Director of Fundraising Strategy at the British Red Cross where she is responsible for developing an ambitious transformation programme for fundraising and supporter engagement. In the past she has held senior fundraising roles at Diabetes UK and Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity and has worked in a range of other UK charities including NSPCC and Bliss. She is a member of the advisory panel for Missing People.
Her interest in conservation grew throughout the pandemic as she realised what a lifeline our green spaces are, and she sees the positive impact of volunteering every day in her current role.
The Conservation Volunteers is also supported by our President and Vice Presidents who help to champion our interests and raise public awareness of the organisation.
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG, KT Prince Philip was our Patron for many years and we much valued the occasions when he visited our projects and when he was able to join us for our annual staff awards ceremonies. We valued too the opportunities he gave us to brief him personally on our progress, including during meetings at the Palace.
We shall always be grateful for his personal commitment to conservation both here in the UK and
worldwide, something where he was ahead of his time. That he supported our work gave us a real sense of the importance he attached to charities such as ours where we enable people from all walks of life to get ‘stuck in’ to undertake practical conservation work in their local communities.
He gave great service to our country and his practical commitment to so many important causes, including ours, will be his enduring legacy.
President of The Conservation Volunteers – Sir Jonathon Porritt CBE
Sir Jonathon Porritt, the leading sustainability expert, took over the Presidency in April 2014 from The Lord Norrie.
Jonathon was a Vice President of TCV, and has supported the organisation in many capacities over time. He is the co-founder of Forum for the Future, and is an eminent writer, broadcaster and commentator on sustainable development. Established in 1996, Forum for the Future is now the UK’s leading sustainable development charity, partnering some of the world’s leading companies.
He has previously provided high-level advice to Government Ministers as Chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission. In February 2012 he was installed as the Chancellor of Keele University in February 2012.
Jonathon received a CBE in January 2000 for services to environmental protection.
Vice President – Sir David Attenborough OM, CH,CBE, FRS
Sir David Attenborough is naturalist and natural history broadcaster with an honours degree in Natural Sciences from Clare College, Cambridge. He has had nearly a 70-year career helping the nation understand the lifestyles and behaviours of the living world and was knighted for his services to broadcasting in 1985.
Sir David has visited every continent on the globe throughout his career, starting with BBC’s Zoo Quest in search of animals from different countries, to his most recent work with Netflix ‘David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet’ and his advocacy work to halt climate change.
Sir David is an ambassador for many fellow environmental charities and has achieved a huge amount in raising awareness of the sector and our causes. He has supported TCV since 1970 and in 2016, TCV helped to celebrate his 90th birthday with a celebration event in Camden park, where Sir David planted an Elm tree.
Vice President – Dr William Bird MBE
With more than three decades of experience in practising medicine and first-hand knowledge of the need to develop preventative measures to stop people developing diabetes and COPD, William is one of the UK’s leading experts on physical activity and building active communities.
William has helped transform the health of millions of people across the UK through innovative initiatives he has developed. As a family GP, he began to get his patients more active by setting up the first Health Walk scheme in April 1996. This led to him creating TCV’s Green Gym one year later as he realised that companionship and contact with nature were major driving forces in keeping people active.
As CEO and Founder of Intelligent Health, William developed the hugely successful Beat the Street programme which has encouraged more than 500,000 people across the world to get moving and improve their health. In 2010, he was appointed MBE for services for health and physical activity.