Meet The Trustees

Our Board of Trustees bring a wealth of experience and expertise to The Stone Foundation hailing from diverse backgrounds and providing robust governance to the organisation.

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, I 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.

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 a 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.

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, motorsport 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.

Jane Evans – Treasurer

I spent the first 30 years of my working life in finance. Following university I qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG, London and worked as an auditor for ten years before moving in to corporate and project finance, working across the housing, health, education and transport sectors.

When I left the City in 2013 I worked with a friend and set-up a prison charity, Beating Time, delivering an innovative team building and entrepreneurship programme, to enable participants to be employed on release.  At the same time I was working with some Suffolk neighbours to develop a major tomato glasshouse project in Bramford, where I was MD for two years until it became fully operational in 2020.

I grew up with a mother who was an Occupational Therapist, focussing on elderly mental health patients, and a sister who now works as an Occupational Therapist with children and young adults.  Through my family and my charity work in prisons, where mental health issues affect a significant proportion of their population, I have some understanding of the issues facing a number of the people that TSF supports.

In my free time I go for long walks in the Suffolk countryside with my two Cairn Terriers and try to go to the theatre as much as possible with family and friends.

Stephen Broughton

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 a 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.

Jean Poole

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 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.

Liam MacKinder

My current job is a Community and Charity Engagement Specialist for a renewable energy company called Haven Power and coordinate activities for our offices in Ipswich, Northampton, Oxford, Cardiff and London. I’ve been working here for 8 years and covered a variety of roles including Internal Communications. In my current role, I develop and deliver a number of Community and Charity activities such as volunteering and fundraising. I also work closely with schools in Ipswich to as an Enterprise Adviser and a Cornerstone Employer by supporting young people in having more meaningful encounters with the world of work as well as supporting a variety of activities at schools for the students to learn about STEM subjects.

I’ve been supporting the Stone Foundation with their Ready, Steady, Rent programme by delivering interactive sessions about understanding how to manage your electricity whilst in tenancy, and energy saving tips. Since supporting the charity with the programme, its become clear that we can all help in some way to help vulnerable people with everyday life skills and advice.

I want to be able to help those people that use the Stone Foundation to flourish and become independent. Being a Trustee of the charity gives me that opportunity.

Angela Thompson

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.