It is the power of both education and the arts to change lives that gets Helen up in the morning and she has championed these in Wiltshire, for over 20 years. She is chair of Arts Council England South West, a trustee of Wiltshire Creative and a non-executive director of Messums. Helen is a proud deputy lieutenant of Wiltshire. Her children are all grown up and she and her husband Simon look forward to the marriage of their eldest son later this summer.
Lady Hawley spent many years in HM Diplomatic Service. She met her husband in Egypt and they came to Wiltshire after her husband retired. Ruth Hawley became involved in many aspects of county life: health trusts, St John Ambulance, the Wiltshire Advisory Committee, church and local government bodies. She has been high sheriff and deputy lieutenant, lay canon of Salisbury Cathedral and a governor of Godolphin School.
Mark is chairman of the Mark Allen Group, a very successful company employing 500 people in five locations. Founded 35 years ago, it publishes 100 magazines, including its recent acquisition of the 85-year-old Farmers Weekly, and organises events and exhibitions globally. Mark has a passion for Wiltshire, opening his Wiltshire office in 1994 when he acquired Wiltshire Life, which has thrived to become the longest-established monthly county magazine.
Rose is a sculptor and writer on the arts. She studied history of art at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and was a specialist at Phillips Fine Art Auctioneers in London and the director of Phillips Germany. She has curated exhibitions and has written catalogues for both galleries and museums. As a sculptor she has won competitions and awards with her work, including the Discerning Eye Humphreys Prize in 2015.
Nicholas is a Fellow of Queen’s University. He has authored several books; his biography of William Shakespeare, has gone into its sixth edition. Nick is a long-standing contributor to Wiltshire Life, and writes regularly in the national press. He worked on the Middle East Peace Processes and is an adviser to the Council for ex-Heads of State and Government. Twice the mayor of Marlborough, he launched the town’s jazz and literary festivals.
Charles has spent the last 35 years managing the family farm. In addition to expanding the mixed farming business he has converted old buildings into business premises, increasing employment opportunities in the area. He sits on various committees in the local community, including chairing the parish council. Charles has recently hung up his rugby boots after playing for a local team for the last 20 years, but continues to enjoy both tennis and cricket.
Lynsey is an opera singer, producer and vocal animateur. She has sung leading roles for soprano at venues across the UK. She has created singing projects in prisons, orphanages in Tajikistan, for theatres and festivals nationwide, bringing opera and singing to school children and children with special needs. Lynsey is the founder and artistic director of Celebrate Voice, a festival of singing based in Salisbury.
Colin is a partner of Smith and Williamson Investment Management and manages private client, trust and charity portfolios. Colin served in the reserve army for 25 years including two years attached to the regular army after university before starting his career in investment management in 1998 at NCL Investments, which merged with Smith and Williamson in 2002. He is chairman of the Yeomanry Benevolent Fund.
Ram, a retired civil engineer, is passionate about helping those in need. He has been president of the Swindon Tamil Association since 2006, and has been instrumental in helping the Tamil community integrate in Swindon. He is a trustee of Voluntary Action, Swindon and has been chairman of trustees of Breakfast Plus, a charity for the homeless, and a trustee of Wiltshire Community Foundation. He is a retired justice of the peace and deputy lieutenant.
Caroline founded boutique communications agency Splash Communications in 1996, specialising in food and hospitality, and employment, winning industry accolades. Following its acquisition in 2016, she formed The Word Consultancy, and the Canny Group specialising in food, hospitality and public affairs marketing. She is a ‘hands on’ investor in Spanish fine food company, Mevalco, supplying products to leading UK chefs and restaurants.
Neil began his career at Reuters, working across a number of departments including the news group. He retrained as a journalist and for a short spell worked in sports journalism before joining the Mark Allen Group in 2005 as editor of Early Years Educator magazine, becoming an associate publisher and advisory board member of an early years training organisation along the way. He has been editor of Wiltshire Life since January 2019.
In 1991 Nicky came to work at GWE in Swindon on secondment from HSBC supposedly for 12 months. Almost 30 years later she is still here and involved in the Company now known as Business west as a Non-Exec. Nicky has sat many Boards and Partnerships, including, Wiltshire Community Foundation and Swindon and Wiltshire Local Economic Partnership and is currently Chair of SWA Swindon Domestic Abuse Support