1625 Independent People

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Meet the Board

Independent People Board Members

Chair of the Board - Oliver Delany OBE MBA BA Chartered FCIPD FCMI

Oliver Delany was raised and educated in East Africa. He returned to the UK to join the Royal Air Force and subsequently enjoyed a successful career in the Administrative Branch before leaving in the rank of Air Commodore. Highlights included the seven years spent on operational bases in Germany, deployment in the first Gulf War, the command of the RAF's premier ground training base, RAF Halton, and his membership of the RAF's Personnel and Training Command Board. He was appointed an Officer of the British Empire for his leadership during an intense period of terrorist activity.

On leaving the RAF, Oliver took up the appointment of Bursar at Clifton College where he spent eight happy years working with governors and colleagues in restoring the College's financial position. During that time he was also the first bursar to be elected by his peers to the Council of the Association of School and College Leaders.
Oliver moved to take up the newly created post of Director of Central Services at the Bar Council in 2006. His appointment coincided with the introduction of a new regulatory regime for the legal profession and his responsibilities spanned both representational and regulatory functions. During his last two years in post Oliver shared the role of acting Chief Executive of the Bar Council.

Oliver has a breadth of experience of successful leadership at Board level across three distinguished professions. That accumulated expertise is supported by formal qualifications which include an MBA - in which his dissertation was on the exercise of leadership - and his prestigious Chartered Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Personnel. He has an enduring interest in human behaviour and its relationship in optimising organisational performance. Consequently, he has qualified and practised as a Master Practitioner of NeuroLinguistic Programming as a Master Life Coach and as a Master Hypnotherapist and Trainer of Hypnotherapy.

He has also garnered extensive experience over some 20 years as a charity trustee. While with Combat Stress he contributed to both the dramatic reappraisal of the charity's approach to treatment of PTSD and a successful £30m appeal. He was also a founder trustee of the RAF Charitable Trust that runs the world's largest military airshow.

Brendan WeekesVice Chair  - Brendan Weekes

Brendan is a forensic accountant, based in London and has a background in audit.  Working with companies and law firms, Brendan helps businesses and other organisations improve their resilience to financial crime and improve their accounting and internal control systems, as well as investigating incidences of fraud and corruption. He also provides support to organisations in commercial litigation and disputes. He was first introduced to 1625ip in early 2012, joined the Board of trustees and acted as interim-chair in 2013.

Treasurer - Nick Danks

Nick Danks joined 1625ip as Treasurer in September 2015. Nick has been employed for the last 5 years as the Director of Finance and Business Development for a not for profit organisation that provides health services under contract to the NHS in North Somerset. Nick has previously worked for Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and Bexley Care Trust.

Prior to his NHS career Nick’s experience has been predominantly in the private sector in a range of Senior Financial and Commercial roles, most recently within Apetito, Unilever, Geest and PepsiCo. Nick qualified as a Management Accountant in 1996 and has recently gained an MSc in Strategic Business Management.

Nick lives in Yate and has a busy family life with four children, two dogs and two chickens; in his limited spare time he likes to travel and walk.

Karen RossKaren Ross

Karen is (acting) Head of Housing Strategy at South Gloucestershire Council with responsibility for monitoring and enabling delivery of the Council’s Housing Strategy. Her substantive role is Enabling Manager, responsible for the affordable housing programme – this includes negotiating with private developers to provide affordable housing on large strategic sites under planning policy, as well as working with RSLs on traditional affordable housing projects. She has been in the affordable housing sector since 1982 and has worked for 3 local authorities, 4 RSLs and the Housing Corporation, and also in a consultancy role.

 Karen came onto the Board of Priority Youth Housing in 2001.  

David Clowes

David Clowes

David worked in the affordable housing sector for the Aster Group for several years in a number of different roles including financial controllership, governance, external and internal reporting, treasury and business planning. Previously on the Board of Priority Youth Housing, David was on the merger working party that helped bring about 1625 Independent People and was Treasurer from 2011 to 2015. David has since worked with an international charity and with some listed companies focusing on their financial reporting, governance and compliance. 
Originally from South Africa, David has been in the UK since 1994 and is impressed with the support available to young people who find themselves homeless here and is keen to ensure that this kind of support continues and improves.
When not at work or at Independent People, David can be found on the stage in some amateur dramatic productions, supporting a local church with its fundraising and financial management, training for some or other running event, entertaining and having fun with family and friends.    


Craig Wilson

Craig is currently MD of OC Robotics – a high tech Bristol based engineering company.  
Previously Craig was CEO of Bristol Care & Repair leading the transition of this significant regional charity into West of England Care & Repair. Significant growth was delivered by winning local authority and commercial contracts. In 2012 the entire service was retendered which, after over a year of work, the team won.  
Craig is currently the Chair of the Foundations Advisory Board, the national body for Care & Repairs, and also a trustee of WE Care & Repair.
After graduating with a degree in chemistry Craig trained with Ernst and Young, qualifying as a chartered accountant in 1992. Craig worked in the Corporate Advisory team providing business process advice and transaction work. 
He has commercial experience in retail, distribution and manufacturing. Roles include, Financial Controller, group Financial Director and for eight years Managing Director.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke joined Bristol Community Health as Chief Executive in July 2011. Bristol Community Health is an employee-owned Social Enterprise spin out from the NHS delivering community health services in Bristol and neighbouring areas. The organisation began trading independently in October 2011 and Julia was involved in the final stages of set up and launch between May and September 2011 including establishing the Senior Management Team and Governance Framework.

Before joining Bristol Community Health Julia worked with the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust as a Management Consultant and was also Chair of the Oxfordshire Learning Disability NHS Trust from 2007 to 2011. Julia is an accredited executive coach and has delivered leadership and strategy development for a number of organisations within the Health Sector. Her earlier career involved a number of senior positions in the Transport Sector. Julia has degrees in Geography and Economics from Oxford University and is an Institute of Directors Chartered Director.

Phil Bowley

Phil Bowley

Phil graduated for from the University of Central England with a Masters degree in Architecture and he is a member of the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects). Phil joined GreenSquare, a housing group, in 2002 as an architect in the Design Team. He later went on to become the Asset Manager before he took on his current role as the Head of Regeneration.

The key driver of the Phil’s Regeneration role involves bringing together the ‘Hard’ (physical elements of regeneration), the ‘Soft’ (social and cultural elements of regeneration) and the economic elements to create places where people really want to, and are able to, live.

In early 2013 Phil was co opted onto the Board of Gloucestershire Land for People (GLP) an umbrella body that develops and supports Community Land Trusts (CLT’s).

Phil is responsible for the development and implementation of GreenSquare’s internal Training and Local Labour Initiative (4ward2work) and dovetailing this in with the Government Work Programme.

Kane Kirkbride

Kane is an experienced housing lawyer who works for TLT's Social Housing practice. TLT is a commercial law firm with offices across the UK and is one of the top 50 biggest law firms in the country.

Kane has worked for Housing Associations and Local Authorities, and other bodies that have worked with them, for more than 15 years and has particular experience of housing management and commercial issues facing the Sector.


Jane Keenan

Jane is a fundraising professional, and has worked for charities supporting young people and in the higher education sector for the past 17 years. Her experience is in developing philanthropic partnerships with individuals, charitable trusts and companies to further the work of the organisation she represents. Jane joined the Board of 1625 Independent People in 2015 to support the development of a new fundraising strategy.
When not working, Jane spends much of her time with her young family and keeping active by getting out on her bike and playing netball.



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