Meet our Board

POPS’ Board of Trustees play a vital role in the running of the charity. If you are interested in applying to become a trustee we accept applications all year round. For more information on the role of a POPS’ Trustee download our Trustees Application Form.

Sarah BeresfordPhoto of Sarah Beresford

While teaching in an Edinburgh secondary school, I became aware of the needs of children affected by imprisonment and the lack of support available. This gap in provision prompted me to leave teaching and undertake a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship looking at the role of schools in supporting families affected by imprisonment. I subsequently joined Families Outside in Edinburgh as their Child & Family Support Manager, which included overseeing development work specifically around supporting young people with a family member in prison. During my time with Families Outside, I wrote extensively for local and national forums (under my maiden name Roberts), highlighting the needs of families affected by imprisonment. Having recently relocated to Liverpool, I remain passionate about ensuring that everyone affected by imprisonment is included in the development of appropriate support networks and resources and I am delighted to be joining the POPS’ Board of Trustees.

Richard BarnesRichard Banes

Richard is Co-Director of GeoSafe CIC and an independent justice consultant. With the former, he is working to create new employment, housing, health and social care, and social inclusion opportunities for people with convictions in prison and in the community.

Richard has extensive experience of working in the justice sector. This includes running public and commercial services, and as a senior leader with responsibility for strategy and business development. For most of his career he was a practitioner and manager with Greater Manchester Probation Service, including five years in youth justice. Responsibilities included leadership of public protection and rehabilitative services in the City of Manchester and in the Greater Manchester Prisons, and a policy portfolio that included organised crime groups and gangs, safeguarding children, families, equality  and human rights, victim liaison and offender management.

He was the Greater Manchester Partnership lead on the ‘Local Justice Reinvestment Pilot – Transforming Justice,’ and lead the development of integrated service models that reduced demand and cost in the Justice system. As a Director of Justice at Shaw Trust he designed and implemented three high quality rehabilitation contracts in London, the East of England and the South West of England. These contracts increased the social inclusion and employability of the hardest to reach in the justice system, in and out of prison, and included 16-25 year olds. He has worked with POPS for the whole of his professional career, and always believed in the value that support for families can bring.

Heather WilliamsHeather Williams

As a policy and research professional I have a particular interest in investigating and tackling the causes and effects of inequality, in co-operation with stakeholders from communities, the public sector and government. In my current role as Assistant Director at LGBT Foundation I have instigated positive change for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) communities by publishing impactful research and influencing policy at local and national levels.

A background in equalities issues and severe and multiple disadvantage led me to become involved with POPS. I am inspired by the work of the charity and its approach to working with affected families to develop solutions that are right for them. I’m excited to be joining the board and feel that I can bring in particular an appreciation of how inequality affects marginalised communities in different ways.

Richard RowleyRichard Rowley

Richard is an independent criminal justice professional with over two decades of experience working with public, private and third sector organisations.

Richard is a dynamic people-person with a highly sophisticated and well-established network of UK and international professional contacts. He has strong and proven leadership expertise in brokering mutually beneficial, effective partnerships and collaborations across the sector.

Bringing a highly creative, intuitive approach to problem solving and innovation, Richard has an unwavering passion for his work to make a tangible, measurable difference to the lives of offenders and their families.

“The work of POPS is renowned and even as a small charity they have a significant reach locally, nationally and internationally. In particular, their support for those without a voice is truly commendable and is something I will be happily championing.”

Sarah CookeSarah Cooke_High Res Headshot1

Sarah Cooke is the Project Manager for GM Homes Partnership and her role is to lead the programme and co-ordinate  the multiple delivery & housing partners within it.

Sarah is an experienced regional and national contracts manager with a demonstrated history of managing large scale contracts across Justice, Housing & Homelessness services.

Sarah has worked in the statutory, public and voluntary sector throughout her career bringing her passion and commitment for empowering and enabling individuals facing personal and systemic challenges to the forefront of each of her professional roles.

Sarah has a strong belief in campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable members of our society and those she feels have been excluded or left behind by national policy.

Sarah’s unwavering determination and solution focused approach to challenges has meant she has worked closely with government, national and local bodies to highlight gaps in the judicial and housing system and implemented multiple pilots and new designs to overcome historic barriers.

“I am incredibly proud to be part of POPs, it is an organisation I have admired for a number of years and their work ensuring families and individuals experiencing the criminal justice system are considered and listened to is exceptional. They are truly leaders in their field and I can’t wait to be part of their ongoing vision”