The Dream Team: We Trust These!

The people on Diversity Matters’ board are a force to be reckoned with. Without them, the charity wouldn’t be the success that it is today. But who are they and what do they do to support?

The level of professionalism on Diversity Matters’ Board of Trustees is incredibly high, which is one of the reasons why the staff team value them so much. From experienced law professionals, a former teacher, a former Ofsted Inspector and a local councillor – to outstanding members of the local community with roots in different cultures and experience of setting up charitable ventures themselves, the DMNW board has it all!

But the board are not only superstars in their working lives. They really feel the charity and give to it out of the goodness of their hearts. As volunteers they give so much time to the charity both in the essential board meetings and on top of that, they are always there to give their support to the staff team on any issue, project or event, where they can. They come along to workshops and use their connections all in order to help Diversity Matters to continue to propel forward and help more and more people.

Our superheroes

Our Chair, Caroline Gregory, helped set up what was then Hyde Community Action way back in 2007, and became our Chair of Trustees in 2014. She is a local resident and worked in Policy, Community Regeneration and Economic Development for Tameside Council before she retired. Her commitment and dedication is second to none and she even manages to keep our two Chief Officers in check! In the same year, Hyde-based Anisha Aktar, a highly experienced law-professional, became DMNW’s Vice Chair. Anisha is a very dedicated board member, always happy to give freely of her time, with a great sense of understanding of the diverse cultures that we work with.

DMNW Trustees
Pictured left to right: Gemma Gaskell – DMNW Chief Officer, Danny Mcloughlin, Hannah Begum, Anisha Aktar – DMNW Vice Chair, Jim Fitzpatrick, Caroline Gregory – DMNW Chair of Trustees, Penny Noel, former Trustee Rumena Sultana, Oluwatosin Arike Lanlehin, Johura Khatoon and Rehana Begum – DMNW Chief Officer.

In 2017, Garry Hall joined DMNW as the treasurer. Garry is a former school teacher who worked in education for over 37 years. Garry has extensive knowledge around budgets and is always suggesting new ideas in order to improve DMNW’s financial position. He is an excellent support to the Chief Officers, always helping to make sure the finances are on track. Our HR sub group Chair, Danny Mcloughlin, also joined the DMNW board in 2017. Danny keeps our Chief Officers on their toes using his wealth of knowledge acquired during many years of working as a solicitor prior to retirement. His contribution is invaluable to the development of DMNW’s work.

Penny Noel is an energy powerhouse for DMNW. She will always go out of her way to help DMNW reach as many people as possible and always comes up with ideas with excellent reasoning behind them. Penny was a university lecturer and researcher, a former Ofsted inspector and equal opportunities coordinator and has previously founded her own charity. Even so, she still found a way to join the DMNW board in 2014 and has been a valuable asset to it ever since.

Hyde-based Johura Khatoon has been a support to the charity since the early days and joined the Board of Trustees in 2014. She gives her time happily and is an amazing source of knowledge of the local community, which comes from her experience as a community outreach worker and interpreter. Local councillor for Hyde Godley, Jim Fitzpatrick, joined the DMNW board in 2016 and is an excellent asset for the charity too. Jim is an advocate of DMNW within the local council and generally speaking as a local resident. He works hard to make sure that DMNW are on everyone’s radar in Tameside and his commitment and dedication to DMNW is clear and greatly appreciated.

Board-newbie, Hannah Begum, is a busy local mum with excellent ideas, passion and drive. Not long after joining the DMNW board in 2019, Hannah initiated the book of condolence after the tragic violence in New Zealand earlier in the year. Oluwatosin Arike Lanlehin, known as Tosin, also joined the DMNW Board of Trustees in 2019. With knowledge of different cultures and experience of working as a nanny, from volunteering for Spot Light, supporting the homeless in Manchester and running her own NGO in Nigeria for women and children in need, Tosin is sure to bring even more energy and knowledge into our fantastic board.

Pause for Applause

So there you have it. An amazingly diverse and fully-formed group of bright, energetic and intelligent humans. All committed to DMNW and to the local area – and all keen on making the charity part of the jigsaw puzzle of individuals, charities and other organisations that help bring together different cultures and help grow better understanding and happiness in our communities.

DMNW Chair, Caroline Gregory, explains:

“The board at DMNW is strong in many ways. The diversity of the board includes differences in ages, ethnicity, gender and there is a wide range of experience and skills . The board has used these strengths to develop as a strong governance structure with a clear vision for the future . All trustees play an active role in discussions and decision making.“

DMNW Chief Officer Rehana Begum, who has been with the charity for more than 10 years and knows the challenges full well, agrees. She says:

“The Charity has an invested interest in the local community, this is evident at both strategic and operational levels. We are very fortunate to have an active trustee board, who is there every step of the way of Diversity Matters. They, collectively, make a world of difference and it wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t them as they wouldn’t have their skills and knowledge. Without their dedication, passion and direction, we would not be here today!”