Man smiling and holing a smiling baby.

People

Our people

As Break has grown, developed and diversified, so has our team of experienced and skilled managers and Trustees in order to ensure the organisation maintains high standards of governance and leadership.

Executive Team

Rachel Cowdry – CEO

Rachel Cowdry is a qualified social worker with more than 20 years' experience in a variety of settings. She has an executive diploma in Strategic Management and is an associate lecturer at UEA on the Leadership and Management programme.

Alan Flack – Director of Finance

Alan is a member of the ACCA, after working and qualifying in accountancy practices across East Anglia, Alan moved into the Charity sector where he has spent over 15 years, where not only has he vast experience in preparing Charity statutory accounts he has managed properties, social enterprises and dipped in and out of HR and IT.  

Rachel Leslie – Director of Care Services

Rachel started working in children’s social care in 2001 and qualified as a Social Worker in 2004. Rachel holds a MA in Social Work alongside a Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management, a DIPSW and started an MBA in January 2020.  She took up her first management role in 2007 and has since worked in a range of management roles across disability, child protection, looked after children, leaving care and commissioning services. Rachel has worked on both sides of service delivery and has been employed by Break since September 2017 – leading on the DfE Innovation Fund Staying Close project supporting young people leaving residential care across Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Rachel started this role in September 2020.

Dan Crouch – Director of Income Generation

Dan started working in the third sector at the age of 18, using football to reduce antisocial behaviour in deprived areas.  Now with over 17 years of charity experience spanning aspects of income generation from £100 million capital appeals to commercial and community events, Dan joined Break in 2021 following time at the University of East Anglia and Norwich City Community Sports Foundation.

Trustees

Bev Hall – Chair of Trustees

Bev is retired with a background in Education, spanning over 40 years. She was a teacher, specialising in working with children who have special educational needs before becoming a headteacher. Subsequently she was one of a small group of headteachers employed by Norfolk County Council to work as a County Headteacher, leading schools in challenging circumstances. After a period as a Senior Education Adviser she became an Education Consultant, working with schools across Norfolk. In addition, Bev has been a school governor for many years. She was a Board Member with VNET (Viscount Nelson Education Network, Community Interest Company) until July 2020.

Frank Shippam – Trustee

Frank is a partner at Norfolk-based chartered accountants MA Partners LLP. He holds the Diploma in Charity Accounting issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a considerable proportion of his professional work is spent advising charities and not for profit organisations in financial and governance issues. Frank is also a governor of a Church of England primary school.

Johnnie Sam – Trustee

Johnnie is a former Non-Executive Director of Ridgeons, one of the largest privately-owned builders’ merchants in the country. He has a background in consultancy, IT and business development. After working for Deloitte, Coopers and Digital Equipment, he has been a director or senior executive of several technology companies. Johnnie is currently a governor of Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge.

Pam Ledward – Trustee

Pam is an experienced qualified social worker having qualified in 1991 with an MA in social work and she has specialised in work with children and families. She has held various roles within English local authorities, most recently as Principal Social Worker in London Boroughs. She is currently Principal Social Work Adviser and UK Director of the Family Group Conferences and Lifelong Links programme for the charity Family Rights Group.

She lives in London with her family and in her spare time loves to travel and to see friends.

Neil Dobson – Trustee

Neil is a Director within the Real Assets business at Aviva Investors, the investment arm of Aviva Plc. He has almost 20 years of experience of Real Estate Debt and Equity working with a range of clients from small family offices to international listed businesses. Neil is a keen runner, cyclist and triathlete using these activities to raise funds for various charities including GOSH and Corum. This is Neil's first Trustee role.

Tom Krykant – Trustee

Tom Krykant is a communications, engagement and marketing specialist with 28 years experience in strategic, creative and commercial roles. He cut his teeth in a BBC newsroom before moving through the ranks of commercial radio from broadcaster to executive. He’s also worked in the television, publishing and digital industries. Tom is the founder of Real Engagement, an employee engagement agency. He is a qualified practitioner of Motivational Mapping which enables individuals and teams to learn more about their motivational drivers to become happier at work. He hosts regular events on employee engagement and his work has been recognised in the international Engage Awards where he scooped Gold for company culture during the pandemic. 

Juliet Allan – Trustee

Juliet's background is in marketing and communications, primarily in financial services and the arts (particularly in music). She is a volunteer mentor with Break’s Staying Close, Staying Connected programme. Formerly a chair of school governors with a remit for children with special educational needs, Juliet is passionate about young people and about music as a tool for building communities and individual resilience. 

Nicki Bramford – Trustee

Nicki has worked in Norfolk and Suffolk in various public sector organisations throughout her working life, and most recently within the NHS. For the past seven years Nicki has worked for a NHS provider and is currently a Director with responsibility for children, families and young persons services.

Nicki has previously held voluntary roles with Norfolk Youth Offending Service, as a Community Panel Member, and as a Parent Governor for a local Education Trust.