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).
Darren has a deep understanding and appreciation of TCV and, 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 elected by our members. The Board meets around four times a year. It is responsible for setting overall policy for The Conservation Volunteers and monitoring progress towards achieving our goals.
We are always on the lookout for new trustees – especially those with a financial or management background – and would particularly welcome interest from people from minority ethnic communities and other under-represented groups.
The Trustees are elected by the members of the trust:
- Professor Tony Crook CBE FAcSS FRTPI – Chair
- Tony Burton CBE
- John Mallalieu
- Vanessa Quigg
- Neal Ransome
- Simon Rennie MBE
- Julie Royce
- Richard Stiff
- Rosslyn Stuart
- Andrew Walker QC
Anthony (Tony) Crook is former Senior Pro-Vice Chancellor of The University of Sheffield and Emeritus Professor of Town & Regional Planning. He is currently a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute Trustee Board, the Architects Registration Board, the council of the Academy of Social Sciences and a member of the Kensington & Chelsea TMO residuary company.
Tony has held many former nonexecutive and trustee roles in housing regeneration and education organisations including former Deputy Chair of the Orbit Housing Group, past Chair of the Shelter Trustee Board, a former trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, and former Chair of Sheffield Homes Ltd.
He was also a member of the Lloyds Banking Group Housing Commission, the independent Chair of the review of governance in Rotherham, and a commissioner of the Housing Commission for Northern England. In 2004 Tony was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in recognition of his standing as a social scientist and his contribution to public policy. Tony was appointed CBE in the 2014 New Year Honours for his services to housing and to the governance of charities.
Tony is Vice Chair of the National Lottery Community Fund and chairs CPRE London and Wandle Valley Forum. He is a trustee of mySociety and a Director of London’s environmental record centre, Greenspace Information for Greater London. Tony is Secretary of his local civic society in south London and convenes his local green spaces forum.
Tony founded Civic Voice and has over 25 years’ experience on the Executive Boards of charities including National Trust and CPRE. Tony also works on a wide range of community and environmental projects, including neighbourhood planning.
John is CEO of The Bank Workers Charity, which supports the health and wellbeing of the banking 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 holds a lay role with 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 is a member of the Psychological Wellbeing & Work Expert Advisory Group.
Vanessa has worked in marketing and communications roles in publishing, the arts, and government, including positions at London’s Southbank Centre and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where she focused on digital marketing and app development.
In her current role as Senior Campaigns and Digital Manager at a UK Government department, Vanessa specialises in digital content, advertising and web development, working across Whitehall departments to communicate UK Government policies and services as they apply to Scotland.
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 has recently completed a fixed five-year term as a 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, is a fellow of the RSA, and has recently completed a course in social anthropology.
Simon is the recently retired Chief Executive of the Central Scotland Green Network Trust and is a director of the Falkirk Community Trust and Paths for All.
With a degree in forestry, Simon worked in private sector forestry abroad before returning to the UK in 1990. He has since worked in the charitable sector focusing 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.
Employed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, known as NICE, which provides guidance for the UK health and social care sector, Julie leads a team who help users put NICE guidance into practice. Prior to this Julie held various senior management positions in the NHS, a small marketing agency and 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.
Richard’s career has taken him from teacher in Bognor Regis to Chief Executive of Angus Council via Deputy Chief of Education Leeds, Executive Director of Children Services and other posts in local government. Richard has extensive experience of working in rural and urban environments in England and Scotland, and of public and private sector partnerships.
Since retiring from Angus Council in May 2017, Richard works as an independent public sector consultant. He is a non-executive director of an NHS Foundation Trust and Chairman of a local authority-owned CIC and of the board of governors at a tertiary college in North Yorkshire.
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.
The Conservation Volunteers’ Patron is HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG, KT
President and Vice-Presidents
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.
President of The Conservation Volunteers – Sir Jonathon Porritt CBE
Sir Jonathon Porritt, the leading sustainability expert, has taken 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 spent nine years providing 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.
The Conservation Volunteers Vice Presidents
- Sir David Attenborough
- Dr William Bird