Meet our Trustees

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Ian Cotterill

Chair of Trustees

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Carol Reed

Deputy Chair / Safeguarding Trustee

Carol has been teaching at an Upper School in Royston for over 40 years. She has taken a particular interest in the pastoral side of education especially students with mental health problems. 


She has been the Senior Teacher responsible for Safeguarding for 15 years and the school’s drug education specialist.


 Working for her community, Carol was a Town Counsellor for 10 years. In addition to her Trustee role, Carol has also been a group volunteer with Stand-by-me since the beginning in 2014.  

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Shirley Avery

Fundraising Trustee

Shirley currently works as a Business Advisor for an organisation called Wenta and has been with them since 2010.

She is a respected local entrepreneur who, over a 20-year period, started, ran and ultimately sold her successful tea and coffee business which was based in Hitchin.

Shirley used to be a semi-professional dancer, in her younger days, which took her all around the world, and she still loves to travel. Now, being married to Mike (a geographer), she has been very fortunate to have visited lots of fantastic places and they continue to pursue their passion for travel.

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Jas Kaur

HR Trustee

Ian is married with 2 sons and has lived in Letchworth for over 30 years


Born and brought up in Birmingham Ian graduated with an honours degree in Economics from Bristol University. He qualified as an Accountant and rose to become Finance Director of Forward Trust moving to their Head Office in London. He later became Finance Director of Midland Montagu (the Investment Banking arm of Midland) and following the takeover of Midland Bank by HSBC became Finance Director of the combined Group’s Corporate, Investment Banking and Treasury business. He was promoted to Chief Operating Officer with responsibility for many of the support activities of the business. He took early retirement from HSBC in 2003.


Since retirement Ian has developed a number of varied interests. He is Vice Chairman of the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation and past Chairman of the Letchworth Civic Trust. He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees and a volunteer of Stand-By-Me. He has studied for both a BA and MA with the Open University. He was for 10 years a volunteer with the Child Death Helpline (run jointly by Great Ormond Street and Alder Hay hospitals). He is a past Governor of St Christopher School in Letchworth. In addition he plays golf, paints in oils and travels abroad a lot with his wife.

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Keith Wadsworth


Keith was born, brought up, lived for most and worked for his entire career in Hertfordshire. Before moving to Letchworth in 2014 he lived in Welwyn Garden City, with his wife of over 40 years, where they raised their two sons.


Whilst Deputy Head of a St Albans school, following a succession of students experiencing the death of a parent, he devised a model for schools to support young people.  This is now the basis of ‘Contact-me’.


He retired in 2010 when he was Head of Hitchin Boys’ School.

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John Botley

Finance Trustee

During a long career with HSBC Bank, I have worked in variety of senior finance roles - mainly in London, but also in Paris (twice), Amsterdam, Mauritius and Hong Kong. I retired in December 2014.


I joined Stand-by-me as Finance Trustee in September 2018 and am constantly amazed by the dedication of our staff, volunteers and Trustees.


I live in Hitchin with my partner and I have two grown up children from a previous marriage. My hobbies are golf, travelling & watching football (I am a season ticket holder at West Ham FC), and I enjoy good food and wine. 

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Jane Walton

Health Trustee


Sandra Blacker

Lead Clinical Trustee

A Registered Systemic and Family Psychotherapist and Supervisor, Sandra trained as a Social Worker for Bedfordshire on the Child Protection Team. 


She then moved to the specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for 21years where she trained as a Systemic and Family Psychotherapist and Teacher, Trainer and Supervisor.


From 2000 to 2010 Sandra taught on the Systemic and Family Psychotherapy MSc course and more recently on the Systemic Module of the Clinical Psychology Doctorate course at Hertfordshire University.


She was trained in group work at Great Ormond Street, the Maudsley and the Marlborough Family Unit.


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James Lawrence

Marketing Trustee

James Lawrence has spent more than 25 years working in media and communications. He is a trained journalist who began his career in news-stand magazines and then moved into the world of marketing at a large London agency in 2007. He now runs his own Hitchin-based marketing consultancy, which he combines with the occasional business journalism assignment.


He has lived in Hitchin since 2005 and loves working with Stand-by-me as it’s an opportunity to use his skills and experience to help give something back to some of the young people in the local community who need it most.

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Bobbi Dhillon

Associate Volunteer Trustee

Jas has lived in Hertfordshire for over 31 years and has a 2 grown up children. 


Over her working career, Jas has worked for local government, Construction and plc companies in London liaising with shareholders and asset managers.


Jas joined Stand-by-me during the summer of 2016.


In her spare time, Jas enjoys running, reading and looking after the family.