New Chair of Trustees for The Children's Centre

A well-respected figure in the Isle of Man business community has been appointed Chair of The Children’s Centre.

John Spellman, the government’s former Director of Financial Services, will replace Mike Gardner, who is due to retire on October 1, as head of the organisation’s Board of Trustees.

Mr Spellman, who is a director of Annexio Limited and a non-executive director of Zurich International, has previously held a range of senior positions in the Isle of Man and UK, including with banking and insurance companies.

Commenting on his appointment, John Spellman said: ‘I have always been impressed by The Children’s Centre’s work and the positive impact it has in our community. It provides a vital service to ensure that our children and young people reach their full potential.

‘It is not only a huge honour to have been appointed but a wonderful opportunity to build on the work of Mike and his fellow trustees who have brought a wide range of skills and expertise to the charity over recent years. I am looking forward to playing my part in contributing towards The Children’s Centre’s continued success.’

Chief Executive Officer Fiona Dawson added: ‘I am delighted to welcome John to The Children's Centre. As a well-known and well-respected member of the local community, he needs little introduction and brings a wealth of experience from his previous roles.

‘As the charity has evolved, we have continued to focus on the Trustee Board make-up and the overall governance. John will play a key role in our future, bringing significant energy and experience in areas that are important to the delivery of our charitable objectives, fortifying the next 150 years of The Children’s Centre.’

The Board of Trustees has been further strengthened by the appointment of Ann Norburn as Safeguarding Trustee. With more than 40 years’ experience in the field of child (and adult) protection, as both a practitioner and facilitator/educator in the statutory and voluntary sectors,

Ann is already known to the organisation as its independent safeguarding trainer and auditor since 2016. She is an Independent Safeguarding Trainer and Consultant; Registered Social Worker and Practice Educator for Social Work students.

Mike Gardner became a Trustee in 2011 and was appointed Chair in January 2014, but his association with the charity goes back some time as he participated in several fundraising adventure challenges.

Looking back on his time, he commented: ‘It has been a privilege to have been a Trustee and Chair of The Children’s Centre. The charity has faced significant challenges in recent years but, with the support of my fellow Trustees and the hard work of Fiona Dawson and her team, it is now in a position of strength to continue its work with children, young people and families of the Island.’

Fellow Trustee Stuart Colligon, Managing Director of Auxesia, also steps down at October’s Annual General Meeting after more than decade after agreeing to stay in post for a longer time to ensure there was continuity in the organisation.

‘Both Mike and Stuart have made an enormous contribution during times of significant change and through their wise counsel, as well as dedication of the team at The Children’s Centre, have helped build the organisation that exists today,’ added Fiona.

How can you help?

There are many ways you can support our work.

  • £3,000 per day to run our charitable programmes
  • £7 benefit for every £1 spent on Thriving families programme
  • 40% of local children and young people engaged in our services
  • 16 groups of all ages hosted at the Farm each week