Ablaze Trustees

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Fiona Tolmie

Dr Fiona Tolmie is Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Business and Law at UWE Bristol. She originally trained as a solicitor in the City of London before moving into vocational legal education and then into higher education.  She was a school and college governor in South West London before moving to Bristol a few years ago to join UWE Bristol.

Geraldine Buckland

Geraldine lives in North Somerset and works in Bristol, is married and has one son. She brings a range of knowledge to her role as a trustee gained from various general management and leadership roles, as well as functional HR competence, from her broad, generalist HR background. 

Geraldine has worked for many different types of organisation; both in house and as a consultant; across the private, public and third sectors. She worked for a variety of blue-chip companies such as Lloyds Bank and BP, before spells at Cornwall County Council and Leonard Cheshire Disability, where she was HR Director. Currently leading the HR Management Consultancy Team at Smith & Williamson, Geraldine delivers HR consulting and services to clients of all sizes: from small start-ups, scale-up/ growing companies, SMEs through to Corporates, across multiple industry types. 

She is thrilled to be joining the Ablaze board and is keen to contribute to this exceptional organisation.

Helen Holman

Helen is the Headteacher of Orchard School Bristol.  Her educational philosophy is that education can and should transform lives through a broad and balanced curriculum.  Central to this is making real to all young people, the links between educational outcomes and their future careers.  Orchard has had a strong and successful working partnership with ABLAZE for almost 8 years and Helen is delighted to have been appointed to the board at this exciting time.

Malcolm Broad MBE

Malcolm Broad MBE is a co-founder of Ablaze and is currently Chair of Governors at St John's CEVC Primary School, Keynsham and a Governor at St Patrick's Catholic Primary School, Redfield, Bristol. He is a former chair of governors at Oasis Academy Brightstowe. and former governor at Colston’s Collegiate School and Patchway Community College. He is also treasurer of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, treasurer of Bristol Baptist College and treasurer of Keynsham Baptist Church. Since retirement from HSBC Bank in June 2012, Malcolm has become a director of the Baptist Insurance Company plc and a trustee of Bristol Zoological Society. He is a charity specialist and provides trustee/governor training to a number of various charities and schools.

Nigel Hutchings

Retired in 2013 as Director, Chambers of Commerce, Business West where he had worked for 15 years after 30 years in retail banking.

Nigel is a co-founder of Ablaze and is very keen to see Bristol and the West of England achieve its full potential, for which one of the ingredients is a fully skilled, numerate and literate workforce.

Paul Kearney

Has spent 30 years in the regional newspaper and media sector and was previously Managing Director of Bristol United Press PLC. 

He is Chairman of Bristol Community Health CIC which provides adult community healthcare for greater Bristol, Head of Business Development for Made in Bristol, the new City region TV station for Greater Bristol and sits on the Local Enterprise Partnership Health and life Sciences Board. He also has consultancy interests in the PR and SME sectors.

Pete Manning

Peter, who is Company Secretary to Ablaze, is an audit and accounts manager in the Taunton office of Milsted Langdon Chartered Accountants, following his relocation from their Bristol office in November 2015.  Peter joined Milsted Langdon in 2001 and achieved the AAT qualification in 2002, before progressing to become ACCA qualified in 2008.

Robert Bourns

Robert is a former Managing and current Senior Partner of TLT LLP, national law firm head quartered in Bristol. An employment lawyer, he has a range of community interests and is currently Chair of St Peter's Hospice, Bristol. He is also a member of the Council of The Law Society, representing a City of London seat and is a member of its Equality & Diversity Committee. He is passionate about encouraging socio-economic diversity, believing that this is encouraged by increasing levels of attainment, while informing young people of the opportunities open to them.

Sarah Hawkins

Sarah works for Business West and has 15 years experience working in the corporate market in Bristol, for a national hotel chain and the Chamber of Commerce.

Sarah is currently working on a project called HYPE West – Helping young people into employment, Sarah is responsible for engaging with employers to host a work experience placement for 18 – 24 year old NEETS / care leavers, the project makes a positive impact on the young adults lives through increasing their confidence and providing a reference.

Sarah has two young daughters and strongly believes all young people/children deserve access to an equal education and to rounded careers /skills advice.