Rob Morris, Chair
I have been working in support of others for the last 12 years, having trained as a Life Coach and in recent years, mentoring. I have also worked in media sales, recruitment and marketing. I feel my recent background is well suited to supporting vulnerable people, but also helping them achieve their goals in life.
In my spare time, I am lead singer in a band and also enjoy acting and spending time with my wife, three children, two dogs and a cat.
My experiences within performance, coupled with my professional life have given me so much knowledge on how to move people forward with confidence and I’m happy to provide this experience to The Stone Foundation.
I am a retired Nurse and Health Visitor, having worked within the NHS for over 30 years. I have a Degree in Community Practice Health Visiting from Anglia Ruskin and two grown up children.
I enjoy gardening, playing the saxophone and reading. I also like to keep fit by attending Pilate's lessons and swimming regularly.
The most important reason for me agreeing to become a trustee of the Stone Foundation is my experience of being the parent of a Stepping Stones service user.
I am so grateful for all the work and support Stepping Stones have provided to my son over the past few years, that I welcomed the opportunity to join the Board of Trustees of The Stone Foundation, so that others can benefit from their Professional Services .
Chris Poole, Vice Chair
I am a retired Sales Director having worked in the electronics and computing industries for 40 years. I enjoy travel, gardening, keeping fit, motor sport and fishing.
I have also been the parent of a Stepping Stones service user. I have seen the remarkable work they do with their clients first hand and watched them grow from small beginnings to the effective operation they are today.
When I first heard of the intention to set up The Stone Foundation it seemed like the next natural progression for the business and I was more than happy to put my name forward as a Trustee.
I have worked in education for almost 40 years as a teacher, headteacher and as a senior manager for education in two local authorities. I currently work as an independent education consultant working across the Eastern Region. I bring extensive experience of working in public service to improve outcomes and life chances for young people through education and learning.
I am particularly passionate about supporting those who find themselves disadvantaged by circumstance or health. As a parent, I have had direct experience of the challenges that vulnerable people face, especially in accessing support at times of personal crisis and distress.
I applaud the aspirations of the Stone Foundation to find innovative ways to provide affordable housing to those in most need, especially in a time of increasing demand and reduced public sector budgets and am very pleased to be offered the opportunity to offer my skills and experience as a Trustee.
I have worked with people who are experiencing emotional distress for over 30 years now in a variety of roles. I believe that all of us can experience such distress and that when we do it is core human skills of compassion, kindness, honesty and empathy that can be most helpful.
As a Trustee I hope to be able to contribute to people receiving the opportunity to have a home, somewhere where they can feel safe and that provides a platform from which they can live their lives.
As well as being a Solicitor specialising in Property Law, I have also been involved with several voluntary organisations over the years.
I served for 20 years as Deputy Chairman of Suffolk Mind and helped create ESAN - the East Suffolk Advocacy Network at St Clements Hospital.
I was a founder member of the Charity which became CHILD helping children with Liver disease. I was also Trustee of ASBAH the spina bifida charity.
I have been a School Governor and Parish Council Chairman and for many years and have presented Thought for the Day on BBC Radio Suffolk.
My hobby is running and I have completed 9 full marathons and many half marathons most recently the Great North Run for the third time .
Elaine Thomas, CEO
Prior to working for the Stone Foundation, I was the Business Development Manager with Stepping Stones. I began to realise that having a charitable ‘arm’ could potentially attract funding with which to widen the scope of Stepping Stones’ core activities to further enable and empower Service Users. After months of research and having recruited worthy individuals to act as Trustees, the Stone Foundation was born in July 2015.
Prior to joining Stepping Stones, I had been employed by Ipswich Borough Council for many years, working across all aspects of Housing Management and in recent times, working alongside Health & Social Care and the Voluntary Sector in the development of supported housing.
One of my life philosophies is – ‘prevention is better than cure’ and is a cliché that I use quite a bit. I hope that the work that the Stone Foundation does will go some way to achieve that aim. I also believe that every opportunity should be made available to help individuals reach their full potential regardless of background, education, and wealth and again, am optimistic that our work will reflect that ethos.
I hope that my experience, along with those of our fantastic Trustees will carry the Stone Foundation forward to a successful and fruitful future.
I have worked for the past 20 years in the public, private and voluntary sectors.
My roles have been wide and varied from youth work, homeless drop-ins, drug and alcohol services through to managing supported housing schemes. The last 13 years I have been working exclusively in Housing
All of my roles have involved working with the most vulnerable people in society. I currently chair the Homeless forum for Colchester and I am the Early Response Rough Sleeper Co-Ordinator for Colchester. This means that I co-ordinate all support services in Colchester with the aim of providing intensive, appropriate support to individuals to address their homelessness.
I am passionate about developing services and seeking new opportunities to build on existing services. I am also passionate about a joined-up approach to addressing housing need, believing everyone has the right to suitable, appropriate accommodation.
The Stone Foundation ethos appeals to me as I believe that there should be no barrier to access support and accommodation and that timely work beforehand along a prevention path is better than cure - this allows services/support time to form a wraparound approach that benefits the individual.
I am also a keen runner and cyclist, I also enjoy cookery and scandi noir novels.