Mental Health Foundation

Senior Management Team

Mental Health Foundation
Dawn Austwick

Dawn Austwick — CEO

Dawn was appointed as Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund at the end of 2013, and has led the development of the Fund’s Strategic Framework, People in the Lead.

“I joined the Big Lottery Fund because of its extraordinary potential to help people and communities across the UK realise their dreams and ambitions. It’s a constant joy and revelation to discover the talent and enthusiasm of our grant-holders, and the rich variety of activity that takes place every day. The range and breadth of our funding makes us uniquely placed to share stories, make learning available, and bring people together to look at best practice and great ideas, from National Lottery Awards for All to our major strategic programmes like HeadStart”

Prior to joining the Fund, Dawn was Chief Executive of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and was previously Deputy Director of the British Museum, Project Director for Tate Modern and a Principal Consultant at KPMG. She began her career in fringe theatre.

Dawn is a Trustee of the London Marathon Charitable Trust, a member of the Advisory Boards of the Institute of Policy Research at the University of Bath and RAND Europe. She was previously a Trustee of the Historic Royal Palaces and of the Woodland Trust. She has an MBA from the London Business School and an honorary doctorate from London Metropolitan University.

Gemma Bull

Gemma Bull — Portfolio Development Director, England

Gemma joined Big Lottery Fund in October 2015 and is leading on the design, development and improvement of our England portfolio so that all the projects we fund realise our principles of putting people in the lead to best serve their local communities and neighbourhoods.

“The Big Lottery Fund is serious about creating opportunities for people and communities to take the lead. I am hugely excited about playing a part in supporting the organisation to learn how best to do this so that we continue to offer the most relevant support and enable the greatest impact.”

Formerly managing director of enterprise and innovation at Leonard Cheshire Disability, Gemma, who has a Masters in Human Rights from the University of Sussex, has a long and successful track record in helping to drive organisations forward, including Save the Children UK. She is the trustee of a learning disability charity The Squad.

Martin Cawley

Martin Cawley — Scotland Director

Martin was appointed as Big Lottery Fund's Scotland Director in 2016 to provide leadership and direction to the Fund's grant making activity in Scotland. Leading a team of over 100 people in our Glasgow office, he works closely with our Scotland Chair and committee to ensure that Lottery money works hard for local communities across Scotland.

“This is a great organisation and I am really looking forward to working with the enthusiastic, talented staff here to continue the positive work being done across the country.”

Martin has over 34 years of experience in both the statutory and voluntary sectors. Prior to his current position he was chief executive of Turning Point Scotland – one of Scotland’s most respected social care charities providing flexible and responsive community based services to people experiencing a range of complex issues. Over the years he has also been a board member of a number of smaller organisations including national umbrella agencies and social enterprises aimed at improving practice and approach and influencing social policy. Martin is a huge fan of all kinds of sports and enjoys participating in one or two every now and again. He also loves travelling and spending time with his family.

Joe Ferns

Joe Ferns — UK Knowledge and Portfolio Director

Joe's team is responsible for evaluating Big Lottery Fund’s portfolio of grant programmes. This work is the bedrock of Big Lottery Fund, influencing and informing funding decisions and policy.

“The impact of Big Lottery funding on individuals, communities and society is enormous and sharing the knowledge and learning which is generated by local and national work is a challenge which I am looking forward to,” said Joe, who joined Big Lottery Fund from the Samaritans in 2015, where he held a number of strategic roles.

“The approach of working alongside communities and stakeholders offers a compelling new way of approaching funding and I am very excited to join a great team at an important time for Big Lottery.”

Joe has also worked in research at the Institute of Psychiatry.

James Harcourt

James Harcourt — England Grant-Making Director

James joined the Big Lottery Fund in April 2016 and was appointed to the England Grant Making Director role in March 2017. He is responsible for ensuring that the ideas and organisations we support in England help us to realise our principles of putting people in the lead to best serve their local communities and neighbourhoods.

“The organisations and ideas we fund really do have a significant impact on the lives of individuals and their communities. I’m looking forward to helping that continue to happen.”

Prior to joining the Fund, James spent almost 20 years in international development. He worked at Marie Stopes International (MSI) for almost 15 years in a number of different roles supporting the development of reproductive health and family planning programmes primarily across Africa, and most recently oversaw MSI’s relationship with the Unites States Agency for International Development (USAID). Prior to that, James worked with EveryChild developing family-based alternatives to institutional care for children in Eastern Europe.

Neil Harris — People Director

Neil has 6 years’ experience leading the people agenda for the Wholesale division of BT, where he delivered many large change projects including launching a new set of employee ‘values’, managing significant mergers and acquisitions and delivering the culture change to transform customer experience. He also has significant leadership experience outside of HR, across different sectors which helps him to see our priorities through multiple lenses and stakeholder perspectives; and importantly how people initiatives play through to organisation culture and customer experience. Neil is a strong believer that happy people leads to happy customers; if our culture is a healthy one that will in turn improve the way we serve our communities.

“For me being great at HR is not primarily about process it’s about connectedness; it’s through relationships and a deep understanding of the organisation that we can deliver a relevant and valuable service to the organisation.”

Ben Harrison

Ben Harrison — Director of Engagement

Ben joined the Big Lottery Fund in 2016, and leads the Fund’s Engagement Directorate.

Ben has spent much of his career working on economic development, housing and localism in a range of research, consultancy and communications roles.

Prior to joining the Fund, he was Director of Communications and Development at national think tank the Centre for Cities. While at the Centre, he played an important role in helping to shape the devolution agenda, appearing regularly in the national and local press, and providing commentary and analysis on the development of mayoral devolution deals across the country.

Ben has also previously established and led Future of London, a not-for-profit policy network focussed on cultivating the next generation of housing and regeneration leaders in London, and spent three years at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He began his career at the Institute for Public Policy Research.

Ian Hughes

Ian Hughes — Finance Director

Finance Director for BBC News and Current Affairs prior to joining Big Lottery Fund in April 2015, Ian brings a wealth of experience to the role. He heads up finance and corporate services, which includes audit and risk, legal, IT and facilities.

As well as heading up our audit and risk teams, Ian, who had a number of operational roles in his tenure at the BBC, is responsible for providing an effective and safe working environment for our staff, the smooth running of our technology services across all 13 of our UK sites and supporting the organisation to better understand the financial and commercial consequences of everything we do.

He also has oversight of our procurement processes and grant contractual arrangements.

Joanne McDowell

Joanne McDowell — Northern Ireland Director

Joanne was appointed as Big Lottery Fund's director for Northern Ireland in September 2010.

“Working for the Big Lottery Fund not only offers me the chance to meet a wide range of stakeholders, but also to listen to the volunteers and the beneficiaries involved in the projects we fund. This gives me a real and valuable opportunity to understand the difference that Lottery funding makes to communities in Northern Ireland and across the UK.”

As Northern Ireland (NI) director, Joanne spends most of her time meeting and listening to stakeholders, beneficiaries, VCSE representatives, government officials and elected representatives who want to know about the Big Lottery Fund’s programmes and investments. She also works with the NI chair and NI committee to deliver on programmes and strategic direction.

Before joining the Fund, Joanne lectured in European Studies and Rural Development and she worked as a consultant for a major private sector body in Northern Ireland. Joanne has a Doctorate from the University of Ulster in planning policy and legislative change in Spain.

John Rose

John Rose — Wales Director

John is responsible for the development, delivery, administration and communication of the Big Lottery Fund’s grant programmes in Wales and is ultimately responsible for Big Lottery Fund’s work and reputation in the country.

“The projects we fund really touch the lives of the people and communities they support. I’m looking forward to helping that continue to happen, and ensuring that the lottery pound is well spent”

Leading a team of about 55 people based in offices in Cardiff and Newtown, John works closely with the Wales chair in discussing future direction and ensuring the non-executive board members are kept informed. He spends much of his time meeting with stakeholders from the public and voluntary sector and making sure Big Lottery Fund is aligned at all levels of the organisation.

John, who studied Environmental Systems and Applied Hydrobiology at the University of Wales, joined Big Lottery Fund in 2003. He meets regularly with the organisation’s senior management team and is the lead for equalities and sustainability.

Tom Steinberg

Tom Steinberg — Chief Digital Officer

Tom runs the fund's Digital Team.

“My personal goal is to help make the Fund into the most user-centred grant funder in the world: that's what People in the Lead means to me. I have the pleasure of working with great colleagues and inspiring grantees to get us to that destination.”

He is responsible for helping make sure that the Big Lottery Fund meets the needs of users who come to us through the Internet. He also works to help the Fund make good, evidence based decisions on applications that contain substantial digital components. Previously he was founder and director of the civic technology NGO mySociety.

Senior Management Team expenses