Beating Loneliness Together is a support network run by The Starfish Group (UK), a registered charity, dedicated to creating stronger communities. The founders of Starfish bring extensive experience of creating social impact at scale.

Our Trustees

Screenshot 2016-09-19 10.37.32.png

Sarah Wren MBE

Chief Executive of Hertfordshire Independent Living Service a thriving, charitable, social enterprise providing 500,000 meals each year and caring support services to people in need. Sarah is passionate about the value of social business to deliver excellent services at great value for the public purse, Sarah’s background included chairmanship of several charitable businesses, many years experience lecturing in business and management, and service as a local politician. Sarah was awarded an MBE in 2012 for services to the community sector.

Bhavesh Mistry

Finance Director of Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants of Whitbread PLC since February 2013. Bhavesh was Group Financial Planning & Analysis Director at Virgin Media from 2010 to 2013. He held a variety of roles with Anheuser Busch InBev from 2003 to 2010 and served as UK & Ireland Finance Director. He serves as the Director of Premier Inn Limited and Premier Inn Limited. He is qualified Chartered Accountant with KPMG and holds an MBA from London Business School.

Sam Higginson

Director of Strategic Finance at NHS England. Sam is responsible for shaping the overall financial strategy for the NHS including the overall level of risk reserve, NHS England’s approach to the annual price setting process and business rules. Sam brings an in depth understanding of the NHS strategic and financial policy context, along with an excellent track record of developing partnerships and delivery of change projects.

Matthew Willis

Head of BI and Marketing technology at Thomson Reuters. Matt leads global teams in pursuit of building a data driven culture and customer focus. Eighteen years’ experience enabling organisations to drive strategy and operations using data, placing high importance on building strong teams and fostering effective collaboration.

Our Founders

Sir Tom Hughes-Hallett

Sir Thomas is a senior advisor to The Starfish Group (UK). He was the Chief Executive of Marie Curie for more than 10 years and now serves as the Non Executive Chair of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. He is also the co-founder and chair of the Marshall Institute at the London School of Economics and a trustee of the Kings Fund, a health think tank, and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. Tom considered being a professional singer but luckily his wife realised he was tone deaf. 

 

Craig Morley MBE

Co-founder and Chief Executive of The Challenge Network (TCN), one of the UK's largest youth and community charities. TCN designed and delivered the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme that nearly a quarter of a million young people have now taken part in. 

 
 

Doug Fraley

Co-founder of both The Challenge Network and The NCS Trust, now with combined annual revenues exceeding £150m. Twelve years’ experience as a consultant and manager at McKinsey & Company and Google. His early career was as a small-unit leader and strategic planner in the US Army.

 
 

Nathan Sansom

Before setting up Starfish, Nathan worked in a charity training social workers. He has spent 10 years working in the UK government, on areas such as housing, community regeneration and youth programmes.

 
 

Dan Sherrard-Smith

Prior to Starfish, Dan was a Product Technology Manager with OVO Energy, a challenger brand in the energy sector. Designed and launched OVO Communities, an award winning technology platform to create locally run energy companies throughout the UK.

 

 

Our Supporters

We are delighted and very grateful to have received the generous support from the following individuals & organisations:

  • Sir Tom and Lady Juliet Hughes-Hallett
  • Peter Fleming Charitable Trust
  • The Golden Bottle Trust
  • Fidelity Foundation
  • Alasdair & Prue MacLeod
  • Joe Lonsdale
  • Catherine Soames
  • Robin Buchanan
  • Richard Oldfield
  • Piers Gibson

Garfield Weston Foundation

The Garfield Weston Foundation aims to be responsive to where need is greatest. We therefore support a wide range of charitable activity rather than having specific priorities for funding or regional bias. Our Trustees support excellence and, rather than predetermining where funds should be given, prefer to respond on a flexible basis to organisations that can show that they are addressing a need and that their work is high quality.

Big Lottery Fund

The Big Lottery Fund is responsible for distributing 40 per cent of all funds raised for good causes (about 11 pence of every pound spent on a Lottery ticket) by the National Lottery - around £670 million last year.

Since June 2004 we have awarded over £9 billion to projects supporting health, education, environment and charitable purposes, from early years intervention to commemorative travel funding for World War Two veterans.

Our funding supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities. We deliver funding throughout the UK, mostly through programmes tailored specifically to the needs of communities in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland as well as some programmes that cover the whole UK.

Social Business Trust

Social Business Trust's mission is to support high growth potential social enterprises to scale-up their impact. They do that by investing cash grants and professional support from their seven partner organisations in a carefully selected portfolio of social enterprises. SBT have worked before with the founding team of The Starfish Group (UK), and are proud to be a founding partner.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills is proud to support The Starfish Group (UK) and enable older people to make connections with local neighbours. 

The Starfish Group (UK) takes volunteer and older neighbour safety very seriously. We are delighted to receive legal support from leading firm Herbert Smith Freehills to ensure we look after your data and comply with our legal obligations.