Community Grants Committee


The Community Grants Committee is a sub Committee of the Board of Trustees and comprises a number of Trustees assisted by a special advisers with a range of experience in community-based not-for-profit organisations and grant-giving.

Ms Claire Cornwall (Independent Advisor)

Claire has worked in the voluntary sector since graduating, specialising in delivering funding. She started her career working for Capacitybuilders, focusing on strengthening the sector through infrastructure, modernisation and volunteer management funding. After spending a few months delivering outreach for a small charity, Claire moved to the Big Lottery Fund, where she has worked in several roles since 2011. She spent several years designing and managing the significant Ageing Better investment where she further developed her keen interest in the ageing sector. Whilst she currently spends her time designing and delivering programmes co-funded with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, she has maintained an interest in the ageing sector and the challenges that our ageing society faces.

Mr Defrim Dedej (Independent Advisor)

Defrim is currently the Director of Grants at Palladium Group (an international development consultancy company) with extensive experience in designing and implementing strategic (evidence-based, outcome and impact focused) grants and CSR programmes at local, national and international level, leading teams of two to fourteen staff members. He has designed and managed over 100 different grant programmes and been responsible for managing grants budget totalling £0.5 billion, funding projects in variety of fields to support young and elderly people, women, BME, disabled and lower socio-economic groups.

He has supported the establishment and running of new charitable foundation such as Palladium’s let’s Make It Possible Foundation and Partnership in Niger Delta Foundation  (a Chevron Corporation charitable foundation) and has overseen the grant-giving section of the Crown Agents Foundation and the British Heart Foundation.

Defrim has managed to used grants and other blended financial modalities as an incentive to foster collaboration among various stakeholders to achieve positive sustainable social change. He has over 300 hours’ experience of presenting and training on a wide variety of subjects and have established a number of knowledge management platform to support internal and external stakeholders.

Ms Susan Kay, Executive Director (ex officio)

A Lancastrian currently living in exile in Surrey, Sue is a strategic planning and governance specialist having spent the first half of her career in private sector finance, strategic marketing and corporate transformation roles. Some volunteer work assisting universities with commercialising their intellectual property led to a sabbatical to undertake a Master’s degree in science policy and innovation. She has since served on the executive board of a number of UK higher education institutions in strategy, finance and planning roles and as a non executive on the Board of a college of further education. She has most recently combined heading up a national academic network of senior scientists and engineers (where she worked with a number of national bodies and government departments negotiating on funding policy for high cost subjects and devised and administered a number of grant funding streams) with being governance lead for an almshouse trust providing accommodation and community services for older people. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Trustee of the Daphne Jackson Trust, and in her spare time, can usually be found in the vicinity of a boat.



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Mr James Lorigan (Trustee)

James has worked in the NHS for over 10 years, predominantly in service commissioning but latterly moving into economic regulation. He has extensive experience of working with, and commissioning healthcare services from, the voluntary sector. He holds a BSc in Management Studies from Brunel University, an MA in Philosophy from the University of Manchester and an MSc in Public Services Policy and Management from King’s College London.

Ms Toyin Miller (Independent Advisor)

Toyin OgundanaToyin is part of the investment team at the social investor, Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC), supporting social enterprises and charities to secure affordable, repayable finance. A background in financial services with roles in corporate banking and restructuring at Lloyds Bank and Nationwide Building Society. After six years, Toyin transferred her skills to public sector real estate finance within the HCA Investments department at the Homes and Communities Agency. Outside of work, Toyin works closely with Notting Hill Housing Trust as a member of their resident engagement board and scrutiny panel.


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