Below are the photos and bios of our trustees. They come from a diverse range of backgrounds and bring a wide variety of skills and experience to the organisation.

Steph Taylor - Chair

Steph is a qualified careers adviser with a psychology background who has worked extensively with excluded young people in informal settings. She is passionate about co-designing projects that bring together the support young people need at the right time and in the right way for them, and about securing the system change that needs to take place to help more young people thrive. She has worked with MAC-UK in a variety of ways over the last 7 years and joined the Board in December 2017.

Currently a Senior Manager in Philanthropy at Charities Aid Foundation, Steph leads a team providing strategic advice to charities and donors. She designs grant-making programmes with philanthropists and companies and undertakes business reviews with charitable organisations of all kinds; focusing on governance, strategy and income diversification. Prior to this she was Assistant Director at Catch22 and led the Big Lottery Fund's Talent Match London programme; with responsibility for ensuring the funding had impact beyond the life of the funding to change the way that all young Londoners receive employment support. 

Steph has held a number of voluntary roles in governance and delivery positions across a wide range of charities and currently sits on the Independent Grants Committee for BBC Children in Need. She holds an MBA and a Postgraduate qualification in Advice and Guidance, and is an RSA Fellow.

Julia Nocker - Treasurer

Julia is a fully CIMA qualified Accountant and has worked at Unilever for the past 8 years. At Unilever, she has held a variety of Finance roles in the UK and abroad, including Tesco Finance Controller and Finance Manager for the Hair and Skin business in India. She is originally from Germany and enjoys travelling and visiting her family and friends in Europe.

Brian Barker CBE

Brian qualified as a barrister after university in both the UK and the USA and has specialised in criminal law, appearing in court defending and sometimes prosecuting. He spent 10 years as a Q.C and has taken part in a number of well-known cases including the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. He became a full-time Judge at the Old Bailey in 2001, and is now the Senior Judge with additional administrative and ceremonial responsibilities.

He has wide committee and chair background and was a governor of a 6th form college for 10 years. He is on the board of the Sir John Cass Foundation (a large educational trust directed towards young people in East London) as well as the Kalisher Trust which helps young people of limited means start a legal career. There is a psychiatric element in a number of the cases that he deals with and he has also sat on Mental Health Review Tribunals which review the status of patients in secure institutions.

Brian was awarded the CBE in the New Years Honours List 2015 for services to the administration of justice and to charity.

Heather Barker


After studying economics at Nottingham University Heather started work in the oil industry before working in a variety of different companies and organisations that led to her current work as an independent consultant. Heather’s work covers a mix of interim management, strategy development, consultation, facilitation, mediation and training. She works with companies and organisations in the private, voluntary and public sectors.

Heather has frequently worked as a volunteer and has been involved with a number of different charities both in the UK and overseas. Whatever the charity, there are two common themes – listening and the offer of emotional support. As a volunteer, Heather has worked as a frontline volunteer, trainer, trustee and Chair of a number of boards of trustees.

Heather was the Chair of Trustees for MAC-UK from 2011 - 2018.

Dr Nick Barnes

Nick is a young people’s psychiatrist and Cognitive Analytic therapist who works in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in London, as well as being an Honorary Senior Lecturer at University College London. Over the 15 years of involvement with CAMHS work, supported by nearly 20 years of voluntary youth sector involvement, Nick has been keen to find broader offer for children, young people and their families to enable them to engage with mental health services.

For so many in the community, the current offer from CAMHs services seldom appears to be sufficiently meaningful or accessible. As a result, Nick has spent a lot of time investing in developing projects, such as the HSJ Award winning project – Time 2 Talk. Having worked with many young people in the Youth Justice System, and currently working in teams that support children in care, and those with learning disability and neurodevelopmental need, Nick is keen to break down some of the barriers that prevent young people from accessing support and ensuring they can engage with their education, learning and eventually, opportunities for employment.

Venetia Boon

Currently a grants manager at Comic Relief, Venetia has extensive experience of programme delivery and partnership work in the Third sector. Past roles include those at the national anti-stigma programme Time to Change and London based Standing Together Against Domestic Violence. Accompanying themes have been partnership approaches and a desire to promote Lived Experience.

Nicholas Crowe

Nic is a commercial professional with experience across a number of public sector organisations. He is currently employed through the Civil Service Fast Stream at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and has also spent time at HM Revenue and Customs.

Prior to this Nic worked as a Public Affairs Consultant for Hanover Communications advising a number of clients on political matters in the defence, energy and infrastructure sectors.

Fiona Dawe CBE

Fiona Dawe is an experienced coach, advisor and organisational leader with a distinguished career in the voluntary sector. She has her own consultancy, Vital Space, and is a Time To Think Consultant. As an accredited 'Thinking Environment' (TM) coach, teacher and facilitator, she works across sectors with a wide variety of organisations.

She had 30-year career in the voluntary sector, starting as a Community Service Volunteer, working with young offenders, then working at CSV, OUTSET (employment and training in IT for people with disabilities) and Volunteering England. For 11 years until April 2011 Fiona was Chief Executive of YouthNet, the UK’s first not-for-profit dotcom - now The Mix and

Fiona was awarded the CBE for services to volunteering in the New Year Honours List 2012 and the OBE for services to the voluntary sector in 2003. She was winner of the Charity Times 'Outstanding Individual Achievement Award 2010'. Fiona is also currently a Trustee of Windsor Leadership and Chairs the School for CEO’s Foundation.

Stephen Hyams

Stephen is an actuary with around 35 years’ experience in pensions, mainly acquired at the major global consultancy Mercer in the provision of advice to trustees and sponsoring employers on the financial management of their pension schemes. He currently provides actuarial consulting advice to lawyers, is an advisor for The Pensions Advisory Service, a Features Editor for The Actuary magazine and is actively involved in various professional pension matters. Stephen is a governor at a local primary school, serving on several committees.

Mark Larsen

Mark has been working in the private sector for more than 25 years, and is a Managing Director within Accenture’s Health & Public Service business.  His experience includes delivery of large transformational and IT programmes at both large Government Departments, and within the Police and Justice sector.  Mark also leads Accenture’s Newcastle Office, and the North-East is also where he lives with his wife and four daughters.

Mark has been supporting MAC-UK in one form or another for more than five years, and is delighted to be a trustee.  He believes MAC-UK’s combination of vision and practical methods make it valuable and unique, and is determined to support it’s future growth and success.

Dr Duncan Law

Dr Duncan Law is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, with over 25 years experience working across the NHS, Higher Education, and Third sectors. He is a Consultant Clinical Associate at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Young People Centre and Changing Minds, an Honorary Senior Lecturer at University College London and Director of MindMonkey Associates.  
He is also a founder member of the Child Outcomes Research Consortium (CORC), and former Chair of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Clinical Psychology’s Faculty for children, young people and their families, and former Clinical Lead for the London & South East CYP IAPT Learning Collaborative. He has a particular interest in the use of goals in therapy, improving mental health services for children & young people, through evidence-based practice, shared decision making, quality improvement & community psychology approaches.

Julian Thompson

Julian has worked and consulted for charities and social enterprises for the last eight years, supporting them increase and scale their impact. He has experience working in Partnership, Policy, and Innovation roles in organisations such as Scope, Christian Aid and Amnesty International. He is currently a Service Innovation Strategist for health and social care services at the British Red Cross.

Julian is also an independent social innovation and impact consultant working primarily with small-medium charities and social enterprises, supporting them design and co-produce services, especially with and for ethnic minority communities. He is passionate about reducing inequalities, systems change, improving diversity and inclusion, and harnessing the power of social design and innovation for deep and lasting change. Julian is a Trustee of the Finance Innovation Lab, and has a Law degree and a Public Policy MA.