We are immensely grateful to the range of people that give their time to us in a volunteer capacity.
Volunteers help us deliver our services, such working as Helpine Advisors, moderating the forum and editing our online magazine.
Volunteers also support the broader work of the charity, such as supporting our policy work, and providing key support to the running of the organisation, such as helping with our website, design, brand and communications.
Click here for more information about our volunteer programme and opportunities.
Chair of Trustees
Andrew is a Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Social Science and Public Policy at Keele University in Staffordshire where he has recently completed his PhD. This project was a critical history of legal rehabilitation in England and Wales and explored the conception, contestation and passage of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. His wider research interests include the sociology of punishment, the growth of post-sentence control measures on people with convictions and the political discourse which surrounds issues such as human rights and criminal justice.
Andrew joined Unlock’s board of trustees in July 2013 having previously volunteered for the charity and assumed the role of Chair in October 2016.
Val is a consultant in organisational and leadership development and change, working mainly in the not-for-profit sectors. Before working as a freelancer, she worked for over 25 years in the public sector, including in education, local government and probation. Val also worked as a civil servant for over a decade, firstly as a leadership development consultant in HMPS & the National Offender Management Service and then in organisational development in the Ministry of Justice. She spent the last two and a half years of her civil service career in the centre of the Civil Service as an internal organisational development and change consultant, working with senior leaders across government departments to support all aspects of strategic change with a strong participative and humanistic focus. She is an accredited coach.
Val joined Unlock’s board of trustees in April 2015.
Carlotta is the founding director of the arts charity Stretch, which has been delivering projects to disadvantaged groups since 2003. The aim of Stretch is to re-engage marginalised groups through partnerships with museums and galleries and increase life choices through cultural activity. She has an MA in Museums and Galleries in Education from the London Institute of Education. Her first degree was Classics from Kings College London where she specialised in antiquities in the British Museum. She lived in Tokyo for 18 months and taught English, and upon return to the UK she undertook a PGCE at Roehampton. She taught for 2 years in Hammersmith, and in 2006 she was awarded a fellowship from the Griffins society and LSE and completed a research paper looking at the arts in the rehabilitation of female offenders. Of her career, she says “I have been lucky enough to create my own job from my own interests, namely the welfare of marginalised groups and the arts. This happened partly because of prejudice I faced when trying to teach and come to terms with my own criminal record. It matters to me that everyone is given the same chance, justice and equality in access”.
Carlotta joined Unlock’s board of trustees in July 2013.
Salima is a solicitor at Bindmans LLP, specialising in public law and human rights. She acts regularly in public law cases arising in the criminal justice context, such as challenges to the police and CPS, including on behalf of people exercising their rights to protest, as well as in cases for people wishing to challenge cautions and disclosure on DBS certificates. She has a particular interest in representing vulnerable or marginalised people, and regularly acts on behalf of children and young people, asylum seekers and others subject to immigration control, victims of human trafficking, trans and intersex people. Prior to studying law, Salima studied psychology at UCL, obtaining a BSc in 2000 and then a PhD in 2005.
Salima joined Unlock’s board of trustees in April 2015.
Linda Pizani Williams
Linda is Director of the European Institute of Social Services (EISS), an independent organisation committed to social justice, which works with partners from social care and criminal justice agencies across Europe. Linda worked in the probation service for 25 years before joining EISS, then part of the University of Kent, to develop and manage European funded projects for ex-offenders and other disadvantaged groups. She also lectured on Crime and Justice in Europe for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Over the past 15 years, Linda has gained knowledge and expertise in accessing European funding, managing transnational partnerships and establishing a network of colleagues to share good practice and develop new ideas.
Linda joined Unlock’s board of trustees in March 2011 and held the role of Chair from November 2012 until October 2016.
Michele’s formative career was with BBC News where she held a number of senior leadership roles including nine years, based in Washington DC, in charge of the BBC’s news services for the US market. Her skills include journalism, communications, marketing and business development. Prior to her career in the media, Michele spent six years in local government (Hackney and then Islington). She has been a trustee of Shelter and is currently a trustee of Common Ground, a charity delivering community mediation and restorative justice across east London. Michele is a professionally trained Coach and an accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator. Since 2010 she has been providing coaching, mediation and project development services and is a director of Rising Minds, a social enterprise working with individuals who have been held back in life by difficult experiences.
Michele joined Unlock’s board of trustees in May 2011.
Nigel is a business owner and financial consultant. Previous to establishing his own company in 2012 Nigel worked for a variety of financial institutions, both in the UK and overseas. During his career Nigel has help run the investment strategies for a range of charities and sporting clubs. Previously a Chartered Fellow of the Securities Institute, Nigel's recent work has focused around evaluating the financial performance of companies and organisations in the Not for Profit sector, helping institutions to achieve their financial and wider strategic plans.
Nigel joined Unlock’s board of trustees in April 2015.
We are most grateful for the support of our patrons.
Professor Nick Hardwick
“I am really pleased to have this opportunity to support Unlock whose work I have admired for a long time. We all sometimes need a chance to make a new start – and this is particularly true of former prisoners. It is in no-one’s interest to put unnecessary obstacles in their way of building a new productive and law-abiding life – it harms not just former prisoners themselves but their families and the communities of which they are part. Unlock has won praise for the work they have done to help prisoners make the transition through the prison gates and I am pleased to be able to support them.”
Kate Adie OBE
'Unlock recognises that helping ex-prisoners lead normal and fulfilling lives, is beneficial for all. I'm particularly impressed by its practical and supportive approach.'
Professor Andrew Coyle CMG
'Congratulations on the excellent work which you and your colleagues in Unlock continue to do. I have been a firm supporter since the early days when, what was then the National Association of Ex-offenders, was set up. It is essential that men and women who have been in prison and who have paid their debt to society should be helped to resettle into civil society. Who better to give them help to do so than those who have already trod that path. Unlock has provided support of this kind over the last 15 years and I value my role as a Patron.'
Flo Krause LLB
'I wholly support its aims and values. The work that Unlock has done so far in pushing for social rehabilitation of people coming out of prison is invaluable. I am thinking specifically about the bank accounts and insurance. I am also thinking about the work on the recent Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. I am proud to be associated with Unlock and all that it stands for and I hope that it continues to grow from strength to strength and continues to make the impact that is so needed on our society in terms of embracing rehabilitation.'
Dr Silvia Casale CMG
'I am constantly impressed by the practical help a small but energetic organisation like UNLOCK has been able to provide to people in a wide variety of circumstances. Over the years it has been inspiring to meet many individuals who have turned their lives around and are making such a positive contribution to their communities with the help of UNLOCK.'
Dr Deborah Cheney
'What can I say? There is SO much to comment upon about those in prison and those who have been in prison and are trying to recover their lives. Prison, by the very nature of how it operates, both undermines and 'reduces' people. Whatever the legislation states, whatever the Prison Rules decree, there is no doubt that the very nature of being imprisoned both diminishes the prisoner as a person and the families of those imprisoned. The fact that UNLOCK exists is a shame, it exists because when someone has served a sentence their lives may be blighted forever, any future they may envisage is corrupted. The very fact UNLOCK exists is a blessing, there is at least an organisation which may champion those who have been in prison and face such a future. UNLOCK believes that fate is not inevitable, nor is that societal labelling. UNLOCK challenges ordinary perceptions with examples. Who else would do it?'
Dr Shadd Maruna
'it is an honour to be associated with Unlock -- you are doing great work'
'The real strength of Unlock is that it is not only run by people who understand the huge challenges faced by those with past convictions, but also that as an organisation it knows how to effectively bring those challenges to the attention of decision makers who can help. I have been impressed by the impeccable and compelling research done by Unlock, particularly in my area of expertise, personal finance. This research and resulting reports has provided robust and professional back-up to their various campaigns. Much of Unlock’s success undoubtedly stems from the strategy of working with government and private organisations to educate those influencers who have the power to change things for the better. I have seen the difference the organisation makes, both on a small scale to individuals and in the larger arena of communities and national understanding, and I am proud to be a patron of Unlock.'
'People with convictions face so many obstacles to rebuild their lives - whether that be discrimination or lack of practical support. This does them a disservice and is damaging for wider society. Unlock is a brilliant charity because it works to remove these barriers creating a fairer and more inclusive society and I'm proud to be one of its Patrons.'
Sir Edward Garnier QC
'Prisons are a secret world known only to those who work or are imprisoned within them. To the public on the outside it is far too often a matter of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Unlock is one of the vital metaphorical windows through which the public can see into the closed world of the prisoner and learn what is being done in their name and through which the prisoner can see out into society and know that there is a place of hope and acceptance for him or her once they have completed their sentence. Unlock does invaluable work and without it Britain would be a poorer place.'