Good Things Foundation announces new Trustees

Vinous Ali, David Bernard and Julie Hawker join new staff-elected trustees Tom Hillsdon and Louise Branch on the Board of Trustees at Good Things Foundation.

Vinous Ali, David Bernard and Julie Hawker join new staff-elected trustees Tom Hillsdon and Louise Branch on the Board of Trustees at Good Things Foundation, the charity committed to removing digital exclusion for good and build a movement for digital inclusion that leaves no-one behind.

As Good Things Foundation launched their three-year strategy Fix the Digital Divide – for Good in 2022, the charity is growing, strengthening and diversifying their Board of Trustees. The new trustees bring a wealth of experience, strategic vision and skills from a variety of sectors. From technology to politics, they are all brought together by a passion for social impact and digital inclusion. Good Things Foundation is a staff-led mutual charity and provides valuable development opportunities through offering positions on the Board of Trustees, ensuring that employees have a real say in how the organisation is run.

Liz Williams, MBE, Chair of the Board at Good Things Foundation and CEO of FutureDotNow, said: “I would like to welcome Vinous, David, Julie, Tom and Louise to our Board of Trustees. As we deliver our ambitious strategy to eradicate digital exclusion, our experienced and dedicated Board provides a great steer to Good Things Foundation. Our new Trustees bring vital skills, experience and passion that will provide valuable assets to our organisation, complementing our existing Board members.

“I am particularly delighted to welcome our new staff elected trustees, Louise and Tom. Staff elected trustees are an important part of how we operate at Good Things Foundation. I know Louise and Tom will bring their experiences working at Good Things Foundation and with our National Digital Inclusion Network to provide vital insight, helping us to deliver our ambitious strategy and support 5,000 Digital Inclusion Hubs and reach 1 million digitally excluded people.”

Good Things Foundation Board of Trustees welcome:

Vinous Ali
Vinous Ali is a Director and Head of the technology practice at Public First, a policy and research consultancy. Vinous brings a host of experience from the technology world, at techUK and Public First, and the political sphere, as former Deputy Director of Communications, and Senior Policy Adviser with the Liberal Democrats.

Vinous said: “In my previous role as Associate Director of Policy at the technology trade association techUK, I had the honour and pleasure of working with the Good Things Foundation team. I witnessed first-hand the dynamism, passion, and commitment the team had to the individuals and communities they have long served and the clarity of mission: finding scalable and durable solutions to digital exclusion. I am delighted to have the opportunity to support and contribute to the work of Good Things Foundation.”

David Bernard
David Bernard joins the Good Things Foundation Board alongside his position as an executive in the data and software industry. David started his career in strategy consulting and corporate finance, before entering the data and software industry 19 years ago with a number of global executive roles at Thomson Reuters and Experian. He is passionate about digital transformation and about building great digital experiences using data and software.

David said, “I have championed a number of initiatives to help disabled and neuro-diverse communities, and as the world becomes more and more digital, I want to make sure everyone benefits from digital – young and old, disadvantaged or not. I am proud to support the Good Things Foundation to help fix the digital divide.”

Louise Branch
Louise Branch is a staff-elected member, currently working as Community Engagement Manager at Good Things Foundation, responsible for gathering and sharing insights from the Digital Inclusion Network and designing and delivering our training and support offer. Louise has previous experience working in learning and inclusion with a focus on community. She first came into contact with Good Things Foundation through her voluntary work as an English language tutor at one of our network partner organisations.

Louise said: “I am thrilled to be elected as a trustee for Good Things Foundation and look forward to bringing important insights from our network, and championing the fantastic work our community partners do to fix the digital divide.”

Julie Hawker
Julie Hawker is the Joint CEO at Cosmic, where her core responsibilities include strategic leadership, overseeing delivery of business plan, supporting staff and working with partners and clients. Julie previously worked as CEO at the regional social enterprise network, and also as social enterprise ambassador for the SW region. She is also a Trustee of Devon Air Ambulance, and a non-executive director at South West Business Council.

Skilled in leadership and its development, strategic management, partnership development, project design and development, coaching and mentoring for leaders; Julie is passionate about both digital inclusion and social enterprise, as well as building and supporting people and teams.

Julie said: “I have admired Good Things Foundation for many years now, and I am keen to take up a role supporting the new strategy and developing my skills and experience on a national basis.”

Tom Hillsdon
Tom Hillsdon joins Louise Branch as a staff-elected Board member. Tom is a Project Manager at Good Things Foundation, responsible for digital inclusion and internal change projects, improving the lives of those facing digital exclusion. Prior to joining Good Things Foundation, Tom worked in the Higher Education sector enhancing students’ experiences and supporting students from under-represented backgrounds, whilst also volunteering for several years with a charity supporting people living with HIV across Greater Manchester.

Tom said: “I am passionate about social justice and promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in all forms. I wanted to join the board to draw on my experience as a staff member working on a range of digital inclusion and internal change projects to drive forward our mission and inform Good Things Foundation’s strategic direction.”