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About me

I have some 40 years’ experience in the voluntary sector, as an information worker, manager and Board member in local and national charities. I am a well-known independent consultant specialising in Data Protection, having had previous experience in information management and IT strategy. I am also a widely-respected trainer, researcher and author and clerk to a number of school governing bodies.

My style is collaborative.  Many of my projects have been carried out jointly with other consultants and, when working with an organisation, I prefer to involve the staff at all times, and to follow their priorities and ways of working.

While I have worked with some of the largest voluntary organisations, I have also spent a lot of my career supporting much smaller organisations, and understand the different approaches and priorities when there are few, or even no, paid staff.

I'm one of the country's leading experts in Data Protection in the voluntary sector, with experience going back to the mid-1980s when I designed and delivered training courses on the 1984 Data Protection Act, wrote extensively on the topic, and developed Data Protection strategies.  My involvement with the 1998 Act began with monitoring the EU debates which eventually led up to the 1995 Directive (95/46/EC) on which the UK’s 1998 Act is based, and I then closely follow the development and implementation of GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018.

Career history

  • 1991–date independent self-employed consultant and trainer
  • 1988–90 General Secretary, International Voluntary Service
    Chief Executive of small (10 staff) national voluntary organisation.
  • 1983–88 Information Technology Adviser, Community Information Project
    Advising libraries and voluntary sector advice and information centres on their use of new technology, plus research into innovative schemes.
  • 1979–82 Coordinator, Campaign Against Arms Trade
    Policy development, membership administration, publications production and organisational management
  • 1975–78 District Development Officer, Central District, Botswana
    Evaluating and prioritising demands from scattered communities for development projects, then coordinating government response.
  • 1971–74 Social sciences, Christ's College, Cambridge (2.1)

Voluntary experience

I have undertaken voluntary activities throughout my career. Some of the key activities include:

  • 1978–198? National Committee member (and eventually vice-Chair), International Voluntary Service
  • early 1980s Treasurer, National Peace Council
  • early 1990s Secretary, Clarendon Park Under-fives Group, Leicester
  • 1996–2004 Governor (including two years as Chair), Avenue Junior School, Leicester
  • 1996–date Active adult member (and from 2005-2011 Chair), Leicester District Woodcraft Folk
  • 2001–2016 Governor, Judgemeadow Community College, Leicester

Publications

Some of these are available to purchase or download from this site.

  • The Minute Taking (2nd ed) (with Lee Comer), Directory of Social Change, 2012, ISBN 978 1 906294 53 3
  • Data Protection for Voluntary Organisations, Directory of Social Change, 3rd ed, 2009, ISBN 9781903991923
  • Numerous research and evaluation reports (see Research & Evaluation)
  • The Employment Records Handbook (with Gill Taylor), Directory of Social Change, 2005, ISBN 1 903991 39 0
  • Data Protection for Voluntary Organisations, Directory of Social Change, 2nd ed, 2002, ISBN 1 903991 19 6
  • The Minute taker’s handbook (with Lee Comer), Directory of Social Change, 2002, ISBN 1 900360 99 3
  • Leading the way to ICT success (with Aba Maison & Martin Jones), The Baring Foundation and the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, 2002, ISBN 0 9538040 2 X
  • Data Protection for Library and Information Services, ASLIB (The Society for Information Management), 2001, ISBN 0851424678
  • Managing information for voluntary & community organisations (with Mike Powell), Directory of Social Change, 2000, ISBN 1 900360 48 9
  • Information technology support needs of advice agencies (with Liz Firth), London Boroughs Grants research brief 96X1/VJ, 1997
  • The voluntary sector’s support needs on personnel, employment and human resources (with Gill Taylor), NCVO, 1996
  • Arts funding system: guidelines for choosing a PC workstation (with Richard Collings), Arts Council, 1996
  • At the touch of a button, a national survey of computer-based community information provision, Community Information Project, 1985
  • Numerous articles for Computanews (bi-monthly), London Advice Services Alliance, 1983–onwards, Charity Times, Funding for Change and other publications