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.

Mike Hudson – Deputy CEO

Mike is a Chartered Member of the CIPD and joined Break in 2011. Mike has a background in manufacturing operations, change facilitation, operational and strategic HR management. Having worked for a number of FMCG businesses including Unilever Mike joined Break after developing an interest in social care serving as Trustee for a small charity supporting a residential facility providing care for disabled adults.  

Sandra Portas – Head of Commercial Services

Sandra has a background in project management, consultancy, business development and marketing having previously enjoyed roles in both the private and charity sector with the likes of HSBC and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Alan Flack – Head 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 in the charity sector, where not only has he vast experience in preparing Charity statutory accounts has managed properties, social enterprises and dipped in and out of HR and IT.  

Trustees

Alastair Roy – Chair of Trustees

Alastair joined the Break Board as Chair in 2015. His professional working life
was in the NHS, mainly in Norfolk, where he held senior and chief executive posts. His special interests have included public health and partnership working to tackle inequalities and improve health status. These interests continue in his commitment to Break. More recently he has chaired Horizon Health (a C.I.C. specialising in offender health) and is Chair of Community Action Norfolk. Alastair is a Member of the Active Norfolk Board - the County Sports Partnership - with emphasis on tackling inequalities/deprived communities. As the Independent Person (I.P.) for Standards in Public life for one local authority in Norfolk, he has wide experience of governance.

Simon Fowler – Trustee

Simon is a former solicitor who has spent most of his working life in Norfolk. In retirement he is a non-executive director of a number of local charities.

Geoff Gildersleeve – Trustee

Geoff has a distinguished career in children’s social services with a wide range of experience and responsibilities. He held a number of posts in Norfolk Social Services at assistant director level between 1991 and 2006, when he retired. Since then he has chaired a Safeguarding Children’s Board and a Serious Case Review Panel, been a member of Independent Diagnostic Teams, and provided advice to a number of statutory bodies as a consultant.  

Miranda Corti – Trustee

Miranda is a qualified accountant with an MBA. Her career spans 35 years in the City, spent mainly in managerial roles in the financial services sector with a focus on change management and regulation. Prior to retirement last year she was Director of Operations for an international not for profit. Miranda has also held Trustee roles, including a mixed purpose settlement in Bethnal Green, East Herts Citizens Advice and she is currently serving on pension board of an investment bank and an advisory board of the National Trust.  Miranda and her son have made several visits to an orphanage in Chennai, India, working with the staff and children teaching English and having fun.

Jane Darlington – Trustee

Jane has more than 15 years’ experience in the voluntary sector through her roles in grant making foundations. In 2004 she set up the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation and it was during her time as CEO of CCF that she first encountered Break. She is now the Executive Director of a national grant making foundation that focuses it support on charities helping young people at risk.

Jane is a Chartered Accountant and read Natural Sciences at Cambridge. She is mother to two sons, who live and work in London and Cambridge, and Jane and her husband live just outside Cambridge. Jane fills her spare time with dressmaking, gardening and baking, especially bread making. She is also a trustee of a local Almshouse charity.

Anne Joyce – Trustee

Anne is Head of Events at Norwich-based Moneyfacts Group and has worked in marketing and live events for over 20 years. She has started departments from scratch at two organisations, building event brands that have become very well-recognised in their respective industries and running projects across Europe and the USA. Anne has supported Break in a fundraising capacity since 2007, including running sponsored marathons and half marathons and coordinating group participation fundraising projects.

Bev Hall – Trustee

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 is currently a Board Member with VNET (Viscount Nelson Education Network, Community Interest Company.

Anne Ovens – Trustee

Anne is an FCCA accountant and commercial business director whose main role is as the director of Aspiration Europe Ltd, since founding the company in 2004.

Anne’s company provides CFO support services, IFRS & UK GAAP compliance, and business project support to organisations in a wide range of sectors including technology, natural resources, manufacturing, and retail services. 

Anne is also a former kinship foster carer and has previously held a number of voluntary positions in the community, including as a school governor responsible for finance & resources and organisational roles for local fundraising events & celebrations.

Louis Hilldrup-Boorman – Trustee

Louis is the Marketing Manager at Norfolk law firm Clapham & Collinge and works alongside the senior management team to develop the marketing strategy for the firm. Louis manages a busy schedule of events, the firm's digital marketing, marketing literature, advertising and PR. In addition to his role as Marketing Manager, Louis is also the ‘Corporate Responsibility Lead’ for Clapham & Collinge and he has managed a number of large scale fundraising events in support of Break and worked closely with Break’s fundraising team.

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.

Frank Shippam – Treasurer

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.