Our Team

Mrs Julie Spence OBE QPM CStJ

Julie is the Foundation’s honorary President. A graduate of Liverpool University and I M Marsh College of Physical Education where Julie trained to teach PE and Biology. Julie moved to the West Country to take up a teaching post but soon discovered teaching was not for her.

In 1978, she joined Avon and Somerset Police and was posted to South Bristol. After postings to CID, community policing, the force communications centre, the Family and Child Protection Unit, the Press Office and uniform operations, Julie was seconded to the Association of Chief Police Officers secretariat in London for two years. In 1999, Julie was appointed to Assistant Chief Constable for Thames Valley Police.


Appointed to Deputy Chief Constable for Cambridgeshire Constabulary in April 2004, Julie was responsible for Operational Policing for the County. In 2005 Julie was appointed Acting Chief Constable and subsequently appointed to Chief Constable in 2005.

In the Queen’s 80th Birthday Honours, Julie was awarded an OBE for her management of complex and contentious organisational issues, leadership of Thames Valley’s contribution to the operations to protect Heathrow and the Queen Mother’s funeral, her work for the ACPO Terrorism and Allied Matters Committee on Royalty and VIP Protection and her strong leadership and determination in taking forward the Gender Agenda and the development of the British Association of Women in Policing (BAWP), which have both become major drivers for gender equality in British policing. She was President of BAWP for 10 years (2000-2010).

In 2008 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by Anglia Ruskin University and in the 2010 New Year’s Honours list she received the Queens Police Medal (QPM).

In September 2010, after a 32 year career, she retired from policing.

Julie is Chair of the Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, and is also the Chair of the Police Mutual Assurance Society, Chair of Wellbeing of Women (Cambridge Branch) and a Trustee of Ormiston Families.

In April 2017 she was appointed by Her Majesty the Queen as Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, The Queen’s representative in the county, a post that she will hold until 2030.

Vice Presidents

Lady De Ramsey

Mark Bonney DL, Dean of Ely

Sir Charles Chadwyck-Healey DL


Michael O’Toole

Michael joined CCF as CEO in 2018. Michael is a Manchester University Business Finance & Law graduate. Previously, he was Chief Executive of Mentor UK, a national charity working to help young people reduce the harms caused by drugs. Prior to this, he was the first Crown Representative for the Voluntary & Community Sector. In this role, he advised government on how to strengthen charities’ role in building communities. Michael sits on the East of England Leadership Board for Business in the Community and is Chair of Cambridgeshire Cricket Board.


He has been a Trustee of three charities, a school governor and led the establishment of a new charitable consortium working in the children’s services early intervention sector. Michael is a father to 4 children and enjoys watching many sports, theatre and trying to keep fit by running fairly slowly, but quite far!

Vivienne Atkinson
Head of Grants & Operations 

Since 2016, Viv has co-ordinated all departments to ensure the smooth-running of the CCF team and our many grant-making programmes.

Viv joined CCF from a Digital Agency, following 15 years in live broadcast for the BBC, Sky Arts, Commercial Radio. Previously a Director of an independent production company, she had originally planned a career in the Heritage sector having read History at Cambridge and completed a Masters in Museum Studies at Leicester. 


She keeps up her interests in history and museums as a Trustee of The Farmland Museum and Denny Abbey and her love of music with her piano. Originally from the hilly Peak District, Viv lives with her partner in South Cambs and has developed a love of rural Cambridgeshire and the fens.

Sara Marshall
Senior Grants Officer

Sara joined the CCF team as a Grants Officer in August 2019. Her background is in marketing and community engagement and she has worked on projects for several local charities.

Her particular interests include communities, environmental sustainability and social equality.

Originally from East Cambridgeshire, Sara lives in Ely and enjoys book club, bat detecting, board games and cooking with FoodCycle.


Kate Fry
Grants Officer

Kate joined CCF in November 2020. Previously, she worked at an education technology start up, and at Heritage Lottery Fund for many years before that.

Her background is in archaeology and community involvement in heritage. She lives in Cambridge with her family and enjoys walking the dog, camping and anything that involves eating local produce.  


Leonore White
Grants Officer

Hailing from an international and multi-lingual background, Leonore was educated in France, Germany and the UK and speaks three languages fluently. She also started learning Italian at University and she is planning on picking this up again in the future, because she loves eating Italian food!   

After graduating with a Master’s degree in Music from the University of Manchester, Leonore moved to Cambridge in 2017 to pursue a year-long internship at the Academy of Ancient Music (an early music orchestra in Cambridge). This led to a career in arts administration, with roles at Arts Council England and the Royal Albert Hall. 


Leonore is still very involved in musical activities – she plays the piano and the harpsichord and sings with the University of Cambridge Symphony Chorus (and recently travelled to Paris with 60 members of the chorus, where they performed on live TV!) 

Leonore is very excited to be part of the team at CCF, helping to create change and opportunities within our wonderful county. She lives in rural Cambridgeshire with her husband and two guinea pigs.

Michelle Longman
Head of Philanthropy

Whilst not quite Cambridgeshire born and bred Michelle grew up and went to school in Cambridge and after travelling, working and living away a job bought her back to her home county where she now lives with her young daughter.

Having started her career in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry in sales and marketing she felt she wanted to do something to effect positive change with her work and with her skills.


Moving to work in the third sector supporting fundraising and the development of charities she has worked as a Head of Fundraising and Development for a number of years. Michelle gets to meet all the amazing people who support and make our work possible, along with all the incredible people and organisations that change the world around us. As she has lived and travelled, the inequalities and areas where we as a society need more help have become obvious to her. Working with CCF appealed because this is Michelle’s home and CCF helps everyone to make a better place for everyone to live and work in. Supporting a range of organisations, including smaller, locally-based groups, means that we are able to make a real difference where it is needed because the people who live there tell us and they know.

Ruth Lockley

Ruth joined CCF as an administrator in January 2023. Before moving to Cambridge with her family, she lived in County Durham and Oxford, where she worked for Citizens Advice.

Ruth studied architecture as an undergraduate but has spent her career working in social and health care and the charity sector, where she enjoys being part of organisations that make a difference to people’s lives. Alongside working for CCF she is studying part time for a masters in Social and Public Policy
Ruth appreciates cycling in the flatter landscape of Cambridge but enjoys walking in the hills when she gets back north.

Erin Cahill
Grants Officer

Erin joined CCF as a Grants Officer in September 2023. Before this she worked as a teacher for 7 years, specialising in supporting those learners with special educational needs and disabilities. 

Having lived in Oxford, Melton Mowbray and Edinburgh before moving to Cambridge in 2020, Erin loves spending time outside, reading a good book or attending medieval history events.


Our Board of Trustees is composed of:

Stephen Catling

Stephen joined CCF in February 2021 as a Trustee and became Chair in October 2021.

Stephen has spent over 30 years in the food and food ingredients industry. He is the former CEO of Associated British Foods Ingredients division, and a former Divisional President of Danisco (DuPont).

Stephen currently has his own advisory, non-executive and consulting business which has a special focus on mergers and acquisitions in nutrition and wellness. He is currently a non-executive director of BRAIN-Biotech AG in Germany, and Chair of the Trustee Board of FoodCycle, a UK national charity.

Stephen is married with two adult children, and has been a resident of Cambridge for 25 years. He is a keen cyclist and skier. He is also a true foodie – not just content to work in the industry – but loves great food and fine wine.

Alison Griffiths

Alison is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Institute of Taxation. She has worked as Director of Taxation in FTSE companies in London since 1995. A particular focus during this time has been on international expansion, project management, Board governance, and corporate simplification.

Now living in Cambridgeshire, she joined the CCF Board in December 2015 with a particular focus on Finance and Governance skills.

Her interests include walking, tennis, travel and building her new home.

Jonathan Jelley MBE JP

Jonathan enjoyed a successful career in investment banking, holding various executive positions in global financial institutions. As Vice President, he had responsibility for managing key external commercial relationships. He was asked by the US tycoon Michael Bloomberg to establish his financial Information business in the Middle East resulting in multi million pound annual revenues across seven countries.


He voluntarily supported SSAFA the Armed Forces charity for over 23 years rising from a county branch to Trustee and National Vice Chairman. He led the charity’s first ever strategic review to shape it for the future. In 2012, he was appointed MBE in Her Majesty’s Birthday Honours and awarded Honorary Life Membership in 2019.

He was appointed by the Minister of State for Veterans as Chairman of the East of England Veterans Advisory & Pensions Committee, acting as an independent advisor influencing social policy to ensure non-discrimination of veterans and the sharing of best practice across the region in relation to the Armed Forces Covenant.

Jonathan was appointed to the Magistracy in 2006 and continues to administer justice in Peterborough. A Freeman of the City of London, he is also Chairman of Peterborough Council for Voluntary Service and is a voluntary mentor at the Allia Future Business Centre at Peterborough to support entrepreneurs, start ups and social enterprises.

Paul Lewis

Paul is a brand strategist and copywriter, helping businesses clarify and communicate their strategy, story and style. Previously, he held a range of senior roles at the RSPB, latterly as Director of Communications.

He ran the Cambridge franchise of The Alternative Board and currently sits on the committee of the Cambridge Business and Professionals Club. Paul’s interests include cycling, travel and jazz. He’s a passionate supporter of Liverpool FC, having grown up in that city.


Sara Garnham

Sara has lived in Cambridge for over 30 years and is an active member of her community. She worked at a senior level locally, nationally and internationally across a range of industry sectors; most recently as general manager for an exciting ed-tech start up in Cambridge.  

With many years of experience in executive and non-executive roles in the third sector, Sara brings experience of housing, education and the arts.


Stuart Thompson

Stuart is a partner at Mills & Reeve, Cambridge.  He is also a member of the Corporate and Social Responsibility committee at Mills & Reeve.  Stuart works with a number of companies and organisations within East Anglia.

Stuart previously worked as a teacher at Norwich School and he is passionate about helping young learners achieve their goals.


Jo Slota-Newson

Jo’s work involves helping early stage technology businesses find the resources they need to grow. Jo holds a MSci in Natural Sciences, and a PhD in Chemistry, both from the University of Cambridge, and has experience working in several small tech companies.

She has worked and studied in Cambridge since 2003, except for a brief spell teaching and researching at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Jo became a Trustee of CCF in early 2018. Jo has particular interests in education and mental health issues. She enjoys swimming, cycling and canoeing.


Liz Damazer

Liz grew up in Manchester and studied at London University.

After a couple of years working in research she then spent 30 years working in sales, training and management in the Pharmaceutical Industry.


When she retired, planning to become a lady who lunches, her husband persuaded her to take over the management of the Cambridgeshire Police Shrievalty Trust. This took up six years of her life where she gained valuable experience fund-raising and applying for grants, as well as running the office. It was here that Liz got to know the staff at the CCF and was involved with the High Sheriff’s Award Scheme.

For the last three years she has been volunteering at the CCF and has gained valuable experience on the Grants Panel as well as working in the office and getting to grips with the database.

Liz is married and has one grown-up daughter. She lives in an old house that needs constant TLC but is also great for entertaining.

Caroline Stenner

Caroline was born in Ely and, apart from the first 10 years of her life with her peripatetic Air Force parents, has grown up and was educated in Cambridgeshire.

Caroline attended Huntingdon Grammar School and then read law at University College, London. She returned to Cambridge to qualify as a solicitor with Hewitsons and has since worked with other Cambridge law firms becoming a partner at Birketts in their newly opened Cambridge office in 2008.

Caroline heads the private client team and is a board member.


Since 2003 Caroline has been the Under Sheriff of Cambridgeshire.  The High Sheriffs’ Fund for Young People was one of the first funds brought under the management to the newly constituted community foundation so Caroline has been in touch with the community foundation since it was first set up.

Caroline is a governor of the Perse School and a trustee of the Cambridge Music Festival.

Caroline plays the violin very badly and would like her other interests to include gardening, cycling and canoeing but in reality has very little time for any of these.

Gareth Thomas

After graduating from Cardiff University with Honours Zoology Gareth commenced a lifelong career in Nature Conservation with the RSPB.

Having obtained a PhD for studies on waterfowl ecology at the Ouse Washes in Cambridgeshire he worked as a research scientist and left the position of Deputy Head of Research for a second calling in the RSPB Reserves Division where he worked as Head of Reserves until his retirement, after 40 years continuous service.


Gareth has been involved with vocational community work in a variety of ways. He served on the Big Lottery/ Natural England Independent Judging Panel – dispersing funds to connect people living in disadvantaged situations with nature and wildlife.

He was a non-executive director of WREN for 16 years and sat on both Heritage and Biodiversity project review panels. Also, he sat on 5 WREN County Panels, including Cambridgeshire, helping disperse Landfill Community Funds to local causes. He also sits on the CCF/Amey panel for Cambridgeshire helping to disperse landfill funds to local good causes.

He is a trustee of The Arbory Trust-A Woodland Burial Charity based at Barton, where some 40 acres of consecrated land are managed for burials and wildlife.


Philip Woolner

Catherine Stewart

Richard Waters

Jane Swadling

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Cambridgeshire Community Foundation
Hangar One, The Airport
Newmarket Road
Cambridge CB5 8TG

Registered Charity 1103314