Wes Cuell – Chairman
Wes has more than 40 years of experience working in social care, primarily in services for children and young people as a qualified social worker.
He worked for many years in local authorities including Luton, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire as the head of services and was director of services for children and young people at the NSPCC until 2011.
He has a special interest in the support of vulnerable children and families and in safeguarding which included chairing a local children’s safeguarding coard and being a board member of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Service (CEOP).
Wes chairs the Hertfordshire Adoption Panel and, having been adopted as a child, has a lifelong interest in and commitment to the role of adoption in transforming the lives of children.
He lives with his partner in Woburn and has two grown up children and grandchildren who live in the USA. Wes is a keen long distance walker, sailor, trombone player and fly fisherman and loves to travel.
Anthony King – Lead trustee for Justice
Anthony became a barrister in 1966 and for the last 20 years has been a circuit judge trying cases in the criminal and family courts. He has lived in the Thames Valley area since 1973 and is married with three children and, so far, four grandchildren. He had served on his PCC, Deanery Synod and Oxford Board for Social Responsibility.
He has been a PACT trustee since December 2013. ” During my 47 years practicing in the law I have been convinced that a secure and loving home is the first essential for ensuring that all children have the best start in life and are able to face the future with confidence. I hope to play my part with PACT in helping children and carers to achieve this.”
Qualifications MA Oxon
Philip Lewis – Vice Chair and lead trustee for Organisational Development and IT
Philip is the operations and commercial director of a company that develops resilience in the cyber and cybersecurity market. He has more than 30 years’ experience leading and motivating teams to maintain and grow businesses that need to adapt quickly to changing requirements.
Philip lives in Berkshire with his wife and his son, who was adopted through PACT. He has three older children who are now all adults and have ‘flown the nest’ and through which he has his first grand-daughter. Having adopted through PACT, Phil wanted to give something back to the charity that gives so much to others; both through adoption and their work with on community projects.
Stephanie Gibbons – Lead trustee for Adoption
Stephanie lives in South Oxfordshire and is married with two daughters and five grandchildren. At various times she has been a member of her PCC and Deanery Synod, run a youth group and children’s church, and been the administrator for the Anglican church in Versailles.
After living in Brussels and Paris where she worked as a journalist and was a board member of the British School of Paris, Stephanie returned to the UK and qualified as a social worker, working in hospitals and the community. She then became a GP practice counsellor following which she qualified as a psychotherapist. She was a member of the board of her professional association, chair of their training committee and she currently sits on the National Ethics Committee Psychoanlytic section of the UK Council for Psychotherapy.
“My work over many years in the health and social services field has convinced me that the most important gift for any child is a stable and loving home. It is a privilege to be able to offer my experience to support the staff of PACT in their efforts to achieve this for so many children.”
Qualifications: CQSW, Diploma in Counselling, BACP Senior Accredited Counsellor, BACP Senior Accredited Supervisor, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist UKCP/CPJA
Liz McAuley – Lead trustee for Safeguarding
Liz originates from the seaside town of Bangor in Northern Ireland but has lived in the Reading area for 23 years. She is married to Justin and has two teenage children.
Liz qualified as a social worker in 1989 and since that time she has worked in a number of local authorities in various roles within children’s services.
She has specialised in child protection and safeguarding and currently works as a designated officer, managing allegations for a local authority in Berkshire. Over the years she has also been involved in both placing children in care and reviewing the care plans for children in care and is aware of the need for children to have permanency and for his to happen in a timely way so that they are not drifting in the care system.
Since moving to Reading, Liz has been an active member of Greyfriars Church in Reading town centre and has been the safeguarding officer for the church for the last 6 years. This role has also led to an opportunity for Liz to do some freelance work for the Oxford Diocese Safeguarding team.
Liz said; “I have been aware of PACT as an adoption agency for many years as a result of working locally and since applying to be a trustee, I have been impressed by the range of other work PACT does to support children and adults in the community… I am really excited about getting involved as a trustee for PACT”.
Bob Kapp – Lead trustee for Digital Development
Bob has spent more than 20 years in commodity trading with director experience across multinational and start-up companies in the US and the UK. Currently, as director and founder of Edgewater Investments, he is involved in a variety of different projects ranging from property development, energy market disruption technologies to film production.
Bob is serving as a non-executive director for Wiltshire Wildlife Community Energy, which develops and manages community-owned renewable projects. He is also involved with several other sustainable and social business projects.
Bob lives in Berkshire with his partner, Lisa, and their two children who were adopted through PACT.
Edgars Smatovs – Treasurer
Ed is originally from Riga, Latvia and currently lives in London. He has been in the UK for the best part of 10 years and studied at the University of York and the University of Padua in Italy as part of his ERASMUS exchange programme.
Ed is a CIMA qualified accountant and has spent the last seven years in various finance roles, including financial reporting, business partnering and FP&A. His current role is in the financial services sector, working as an FP&A Manager in the largest private-sector pension scheme in the UK.
He has been involved with charitable organisations mostly in a fundraising capacity and is looking forward to his role as a trustee at PACT.
In his free time, Ed enjoys playing football, cycling, running and snowboarding.
Kim Gelling – Lead trustee for Marketing
Kim is committed to using business as a force for good: she has spent more than six years on the board at Ella’s Kitchen, previously as head of making friends (marketing director in grown-up language) and recently as head of making deals (commercial director). As a passionate B Corp, the certification means that Ella’s Kitchen meets the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
Kim said: “I am very impressed with PACT’s ability to combine professionalism and passion to support families. I am looking forward to bringing my expertise from business and creating a strong brand to support PACT’s future development”.
Kim previously worked in the consumer products division at L’Oreal in national account manager and marketing roles.
She lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and two children and enjoys running and cycling to explore the countryside.
Rev Judith Sumner – Lead trustee for Communities
Rev Judith Sumner was ordained in 2016 and is an associate minister at Reading Minster. Before ordination, she was a primary school teacher and has experience in mental health chaplaincy.
Judith’s faith is deeply rooted in inclusivity and a commitment to each and every person’s value and worth and as part of the Minster team, she has responsibilities for safeguarding and pastoral care.
She said: “Through my role at the Minster, I have recognised the importance of charities who support the most vulnerable in Reading. I have worked with PACT, particularly Alana House and seen the difference they can make and it is a great privilege to have become a trustee.”
Judith and her husband Andy have grown up children and a dog and have lived in the Reading area for 30 years.
Dean Hunter – Lead trustee for HR
Dean originates from Aberdeen, where he worked as a police officer after completing his university degree in 1997. He was regularly frustrated in that role as he wanted to do more to be supportive to families and children who needed help and the system didn’t seem to have the resources to assist. Dean then spent 15 years in the corporate world as an HR Director working and travelling across 30 countries.
In 2011, Dean established an HR advisory company which he ran until 2021 when he became Chair person. The now employee-owned company supports over 800 clients and Dean has worked with many global and local charities to help them strategically engage and retain their people.
Dean is also a non-executive director in the tech space, supporting the company to scale by creating a world class culture.
Dean has a 20 year old daughter and he lives in London with his partner George and their 18 month old spaniel. Dean has several friends who are single parents and he is proud to be able to be a support for them and to play a big part in their children’s lives.
Dean brings his HR and organisational experience to PACT which he believes ‘is an essential organisation to give families and children the best chance possible in life’ which he is extremely passionate about.
Courteney Clifford – Young trustee
Courteney was originally from the Midlands before being adopted and she now lives in Berkshire with her family and two dogs.
She studied and achieved her Level 3 Diploma in animal management and went on to get an FdSc in animal behaviour and welfare.
Courteney currently works at a children’s theme park and joins the trustee board as a young trustee to gain further understanding of all aspects of adoption. In addition she is able to provide valuable insight from her own experience into what it is like for the adopted child growing up in that environment.
Her hobbies include walking, reading, playing video games and spending time with her dogs.