Our Chief Executive

Simon Groom

Simon Groom was appointed as Chief Executive on 1st February 2016, after starting as a volunteer with the charity in January 2014. He has over 20 years experience of managing and developing services, mainly into the Public Sector. He has started and built two businesses in the services industry. He has also held leadership positions in business development for a North-West based management consultancy, for Serco plc’s Education consultancy business, for a National Charity and for several small management consultancy companies. All these roles involved financial management, setting company strategy, developing/improving the business, managing senior management teams and other executives, representing the organisation at all levels and developing solutions into medium to large clients. His consultancy background, particularly in Programme Management, gives him a consultative and problem solving style of leadership, complemented by an analytical approach to business development and a thorough understanding of bidding processes. His passion for social enterprise and community engagement has found a home at Save the Family and he is most comfortable espousing the virtues of the charity’s work to prospective supporters.

Simon has one grown up daughter and one in her teens, both of whom he enjoys spending time with. He is a member of Chester Deva Rotary and chair of its Fundraising Committee and enjoys building garden structures, when time allows.

Our Board of Trustees

John Church (Chair)

John Church was appointed as Chair on 1st February 2016. Following a successful career with blue chip companies in the food sector including Spillers, Rank Hovis McDougall and Northern Foods, John made a successful move into business consultancy specialising in Strategic Business Planning and Marketing to small and medium sized businesses in the North West, which led to him recommending to one of his clients the formation of a buying, selling and business support group called Group Tyre where he became Chairman. Group Tyre consisted of a group of like-minded regional tyre wholesalers that grew to a collective turnover well exceeding £200 million under his chairmanship.

On stepping down from Group Tyre in 2006, John was appointed as the Chair of NHS Western Cheshire (Primary Care Trust) and together with his appointed Chief Executive he successfully led the recovery of this organisation from an inherited £42 million deficit to be the Primary Care Organisation of the year in 2010. Subsequently as part of the NHS reforms process he took on the role of Vice Chair and Non-Executive Director of NHS Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral. During this period, John represented the Primary Care Trust as a council member of St John Ambulance in Cheshire and as a board member of North West NHS Social Value Foundation. John was Save the Family’s Chief Executive from February 2014 to February 2016.

John has strong family values with two grown up daughters and 4 grandchildren with whom he enjoys many happy times. John has a strong Christian Faith and worships at Burton in the Wirral where he has been Church Warden and is currently PCC Secretary.

Dr Brian Rowe (Deputy Chair)

Brian worked as a general medical practitioner at Northgate Medical Centre in Chester for nearly twenty years. He has experience of teaching undergraduate students and of postgraduate vocational training for general practice.  He was a member of the Primary Care Trust Steering Group which set up St Werburgh’s Practice specifically to provide medical care for homeless people and hostel residents in Chester.

Since 2002 he has worked mainly in the field of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, at Chester Community Drugs Service until 2011, and until recently in Birkenhead doing drug treatment clinics for the criminal justice service and providing medical support at a residential Detox Unit.

Brian lives in Chester and attends Saltney Methodist Church where he is a church steward and deputy organist. He is married to Katy and they have three grown up children.

Victor Bodger (Treasurer)

Victor Bodger FMAAT, O.St.J. is an accountant/auditor with UHY Hacker Young in Chester and has over 45 years of experience with them. He spends 40% of his time on charitable account audits and 60% on commercial accounts/audits.

He has been a volunteer with St. John Ambulance since 1964. During this time with St. John Ambulance, Victor has served as a Divisional Superintendent for the Chester area for 25 years. He was St John Ambulance Cheshire County Treasurer for 13 years and a member of St John Ambulance National Headquarters Audit Committee for 4 years.

From 1998 to 2011 Victor and his wife Jenny were foster parents to a total of 30 children.

Janet Butler

Janet’s early career was spent as a research biochemist with Glaxo. She worked as an OFSTED Inspector for 12 years. Still active in Girl Guiding UK , she has served as a division commissioner. She has a special interest in social justice, parental partnerships and educational inclusion.

Ken Clemens

Ken is Chief Executive of Age UK, Cheshire. He has 33 years’ experience of social policy and delivery. He is a Member of a Parliamentary Group and National Advisory Panels amongst others. As Chief Executive, he has successfully developed new services, grown unrestricted income and developed positive cross sector partnerships.

Chris Shaw

Chris has extensive experience of working with and delivering services to vulnerable young people and families, both within local authorities and schools. He has managed delivery of Education Access services across Ellesmere Port and Chester, and previously worked as Education Safeguarding Officer, providing single and multi-agency safeguarding training and advice, and monitoring of Children Missing Education. Chris has recently returned to secondary school teaching with responsibilities for the education of Children in Care, Alternative Provision, SEN, and other vulnerable young people. Chris lives in Chester with his wife and young family.

Leanne Wheeler

Leanne is a Senior Solicitor at Manleys, a boutique law firm with offices in Chester and London. Manleys deal with commercial litigation, media, entertainment, sports, employment and family law.

Leanne works on many types of legal disputes. She has been involved in numerous High Court cases, has written a number of published articles and delivered legal training. She is independently identified as a leader in her field and has been marked out as “an associate to watch” in the Chambers Legal Directory 2014.  Leanne lives in Cheshire, is married and has two daughters.

Pauline Jackson

Pauline’s whole career has been in social work, covering children’s, adult and generic services. She was a manager of Adult services in Cheshire for 18 years before her retirement in 2006. Since then she has been a District Safeguarding Coordinator for the Methodist Church in Chester and Stoke-on-Trent.

She lives in Chester with her husband and is an active member of her local church. She has particular interests in social justice, poverty and neglect (as well as safeguarding) and sees Save the Family as a pioneering organisation addressing all these issues locally whilst constantly striving to become better.

Jackie Perry

Jackie Perry has progressed her career over the last 17 years in the social housing sector. She has worked in a range of Senior Management positions in both a Housing Association and Local Authority in the North West. She has significant experience of managing a range of neighbourhood and supported housing services, including services to vulnerable people. This includes leading change and transformation programmes which aim to improve service delivery and drive forward performance improvements.

Jackie has expertise in developing effective approaches to engaging customers, especially around the active involvement of young people. She is passionate about working in partnership with young people to ensure that they have a voice and that services are designed and delivered to meet their needs and aspirations.