Nick Brooks

21st April 2023

Nick is an experienced entrepreneurial P&L Managing Director, Chairman, CEO and NED with an international  track record within renewables, technology, oil/gas/chemicals, B2b, start-ups,  consumer products, agricultural and charities.

Nick Chairs the Surrey Young People’s Fund and the UK Born in Africa charity.

Diana Whittington

19th April 2023

Diana Whittington is the Special Projects Director at the Financial Times, a position she has held for many years.  Prior to this, she was the Managing Director of Financial Times Conferences & Events, establishing it as a profitable global business.   Diana has organised major events all over the world, many involving working with governments and international organisations at the most senior level.

Before joining the FT, Diana worked in public relations for ICFC (now 3i) and Young & Rubicam – the international advertising agency.   She has undertaken consultancy projects for many organisations including Extel, the DTI, the IFC (part of the World Bank) and Chatham House and worked with the UK Government on the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting in London.

Diana has been involved with The Passage – the charity for the homeless in London and SCAS – the Surrey County Agricultural Show. She has lived in Surrey for over 50 years.

Neelam Devesher DL

3rd October 2022

Neelam Devesher has lived in Surrey for twenty years, and has worked in public sector organisations at senior management level. Neelam has set up numerous projects focused on improving the quality of life for the most vulnerable in our communities. She is committed to finding solutions to help address inequity, racism and discrimination and is passionate about promoting equality of opportunity, inclusion and fairness for all vulnerable communities.

She currently chairs the Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum and also the Surrey Police Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel. In 2021 Neelam was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Surrey. Neelam is originally from Yorkshire and is of Indian and Hindu heritage, has two children and four grandchildren. She is honoured and privileged to be a trustee for the Community Foundation for Surrey and use her experience and skills to strengthen our reach within the most vulnerable communities living and working in Surrey.

Sir Denis O’Connor CBE

18th March 2022

Sir Denis O’Connor takes up the position as our new Chair having previously supported the Community Foundation for Surrey as a Trustee.

Denis has years of experience as a trustee for a number of charitable organisations, including the Migraine Trust and the Inclusive Educational Trust. He has also supported the Surrey Care Trust from 2015-17, and was appointed as Chair from December 2017 – July 2021.

Denis is a lecturer and advisor and member of the Committee at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. He was Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary between 2009-12. Prior to joining the Inspectorate in 2004, he was Chief Constable of Surrey between 2000 and 2004.

He received the Queens Police Medal for distinguished service in 1996, CBE in 2002, and was knighted in 2010.




Carolyn Rich

1st October 2021

Carolyn started her career in the voluntary sector working for charities such as Barnardo’s and the British Lung Foundation, specialising in fundraising and marketing. She now works as Head of Brand Marketing and Social Responsibility at Allianz Insurance, which is based in Guildford.

Carolyn grew up in Camberley and now lives in Farnham with her husband and two teenage sons.

Carolyn supports the Foundation’s Finance & Investment Committee.


Elaine Tisdall OBE

10th March 2020

Elaine started her career as a graduate management trainee with the NHS, qualifying as an accountant (CIPFA) and subsequently working in finance within the public sector. After a break from full time employment to look after her family, Elaine moved into adult learning, gaining her PGCE and primarily teaching business studies and accountancy.

In 1999, Elaine joined Surrey Care Trust as their business manager, becoming chief executive two years later, and remained in that role until her retirement in spring 2019. She was awarded the OBE for Services to Adult Learning in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List.

Elaine is currently a member of both the Foundation’s Grants and Governance Committees.

Holly Murnieks

11th December 2019

Holly is a Senior Director in Investments Strategy at WTW, based in London.  In this role, Holly develops alternative investment solutions for global institutional asset owners, including Trustee Boards of defined benefit pension funds, charitable endowments and foundations, family offices and wealth managers. Holly Chairs the Governance Committee for CFS.

Holly went to school in Farnham and now lives in Guildford with her husband and two young daughters.

Paul Downes

8th January 2019

Paul is a Chartered Accountant who spent 30 years working in banking and private equity. He has lived in Surrey for over 50 years. Paul is currently the Treasurer of the Horsell Common Preservation Society, a charity based in Woking where he lives. Paul is Honorary Treasurer of the Foundation and Chairs the Finance and Investment Committee.

Peter Cluff

7th November 2016

Peter Cluff was until recently Co-Founder and Principal at Europa Capital, an international real estate fund management group based in London that has invested more than €9 billion in over 90 transactions across 18 European countries since 1999. He was a member of the Investment Committee responsible for acquiring and disposing of all assets as well as being the Compliance Officer.

He volunteered for 13 years and was a founding member of the British Venture Capital Association Regulatory Committee. He also established a private equity finance director forum which now has representatives from over 100 firms.

Peter is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and currently sits on the Foundation’s Marketing and Development Committee. Peter is also Chairman of Guildford Philanthropy, our Area Fund for Guildford run in partnership with Guildford Borough Council.