Meet our Key Trustees

Here at The Key, we're proud to have such a diverse Board of Trustees who volunteer their time, knowledge and skills on a regular basis.

Our Trustees are responsible for the overall control and strategic direction of our charity and work hard to add value in many ways as they support our team to inspire belief in as many young people as possible.

Meet our Key Trustees...

  • Andrew Silver, Chair of Trustees
    Andrew has held Group Director-level roles with multiple large national organisations including Virgin and Golden Tulip, where he played an imperative role in driving both change and growth.
    Now the owner of 360 growth Partners, Andrew and his associates partner with organisations and work with them to achieve their vision.
    Andrew also acts as a mentor to our executive team and supports The Key closely by chairing the Board of Trustees and sitting on the organisations Finance and Risk Sub-committee offering his expert advice whenever required.

  • Bob Morton, Treasurer and Chair of the Finance and Risk sub group
    Bob is a chartered accountant and a member of the Institute for Turnaround. He has over 35 years’ experience as Finance Director in some large and diverse North East businesses, as well as a period as a senior financial consultant in PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Since 1997 he has worked as a Financial Consultant and Interim Finance Director and taken on Non-Executive Board positions where an active hands-on approach is needed.
    Bob acts as The Key's treasurer and supports us with our financial and risk controls. Bob chairs our Finance and Audit sub-committee which considers The Key's financial position and horizon scans for any risks.

  • Emma Richards
    Emma is an HR professional who has worked in organisations ranging from large public companies to small family-owned businesses.  She spent the early part of her career working in the chemical industry in operational and strategic HR positions across the UK and Europe.  Subsequently she has worked freelance, both supporting HR directors with organisational change projects and working in small organisations with little or no HR support, including a business development project at The Key in 2016. For a period of 11 years, Emma was also non-executive director at Haulfryn Group Limited, where she chaired the Remuneration Committee until she retired from the Board in 2013.
    After many years in a broad range of HR roles, Emma’s expertise lies in understanding organisational needs and translating them into effective and practical people management practices.

  • Lieutenant General Robin Brims
    Born and brought up in the Tyne Valley, Robin Brims joined the Army in 1970 commissioning into The Light Infantry. He saw operational service in Northern Ireland, the Balkans and Iraq. Robin worked in MOD Whitehall on The Army’s organisation and budget before retiring and becoming Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kurdistan-Hawler in Northern Iraq. His task was to reorganise the University in order to make it fit international standards.
    Robin is a Non-Executive Director of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo; and is on the Advisory Board of DroneShield an international company that seeks to provide protection to sites that are vulnerable to drone interference. In the North East he was a Trustee of Norcare for 6 years providing housing and support for the economically and socially excluded in order to get them back to independent living. In January 2016 he became Chairman of the Oswin Project that seeks to place ex-offenders into work on release from prison. He has been Chairman of Northumbria Historic Churches Trust since 2011 and is a Deputy Lieutenant in the County of Tyne and Wear and was previously the High Sheriff of Tyne and Wear in 2017/18 and was also the Chairman of the Reserve Forces and Cadets Associations for over 8 years.
    Robin seeks to release the genius that lies within all people by empowering them to make the best of their abilities, be aspirational and have a ‘can do’ attitude.

  • Leigh Thompson
    Leigh is a founder of 'gotPurpose?' which works with business leaders to develop business and purpose led strategies aligned to business goals that drive both commercial and social benefits. Leigh is well-known in the voluntary sector after previously being a Program Manager of a corporate foundation and a CSR advocate at many voluntary sector events.

  • Lyn Horton
    Lyn is the manager of Leading Link, a charity that links schools, families and communities together with a focus on youth leadership. As such, Lyn brings with her a multitude of skills and contacts that support her role as a Trustee with The Key. Lyn has been a Key Facilitator for more than a decade and has facilitated many Key groups during this time.

  • Tom Thomas
    Tom is one of the most experienced Key Facilitators in the North East. He has been a member of the Key Board of Trustees for 15 years and has used The Key Framework both practically as a Facilitator and strategically, as the Manager of several youth organisations.
    Tom started working with young people in Stoke when he was just 16 giving him over 40 years of experience to date. His first taste of the North East was in Scotswood, Newcastle where he worked with some of the most deprived young people in the region. He then went on to work for the National Children’s Play and Recreational Unit where he was a Programme Director for Children Today in Leicester, an action research project into Best Practice in children’s play.

  • Mary Youngs
    Mary is a technology leader with a background in business systems, serving clients from start-ups to FTSE 100 businesses.  Most recently, her focus has been advising on the use of cloud technologies, for which she won the Salesforce Partner Award for Team Excellence, and was a finalist for Woman of the Year.  She has built and led digital professional services teams for small and large consultancies, and through multiple acquisitions & mergers, with most recent roles as VP of Cloud Sherpas (a high growth VC backed business) and MD at Accenture.  She is currently working as an independent consultant, advising a range of technology businesses on scaling and operations.
    Mary is passionate about making technology a great industry for everyone, supporting diversity, equality & education initiatives with volunteer roles at organisations including Stemettes, NE Futures UTC & The Girl's Network.  She is a Trustee of Newcastle Carers, with a focus on digital & youth services.