Our board of trustees is responsible for the overall control and strategic development of Creative Youth Network.

All of our trustees are experts in their fields, with a passion for working with and for young people. They each volunteer their time to us, to ensure that we are doing everything we can to give young people from all backgrounds the opportunities they need to reach their potential.

The Board aims to include all of the skills required to oversee the organisation, including financial and building management, youth services, arts, safeguarding, HR, Legal, PR and Fundraising. We are also extremely proud of having two young Trustees on the Board. The Board is currently 14 strong, meeting quarterly.

The Team

Mike Lea (Chair) is the senior partner at Smith & Williamson’s Bristol office - a leading global finance company. He is also lead partner of business tax in Bristol. His key areas of expertise include corporate and international tax. Mike is a trustee of several charities in the Bristol area, covering areas as varied as education, theatre, care homes, youth clubs, drugs treatment and sports.

Robert Nye (Treasurer) is a wealth adviser for high net worth families across the South West, with a particular focus on entrepreneurial clients. He is a CFA charterholder, a member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment and holds an honours degree in Economics from Nottingham University. Robert is an active member of the Bristol Junior Chamber of Commerce. 

Deepraj Singh is a professional dancer who works with young people in schools through dance.

Robert (Bob) Durie is a Chartered Surveyor and businessman. He is an accredited valuer with extensive experience of property development and funding. He has particular interest in both new builds and the conservation of old buildings. Robert is currently Vice Patron of the National Association of Almshouses and Chairman of The Patron Awards panel for rewarding nationwide excellence in almshouse refurbishment and development. He is a former president of Bristol Chamber of Commerce, trustee of numerous charities supporting both the young and the frail elderly, and is a former High Sheriff of Bristol.

Jo Grant has years of experience working with young people in Bristol and the West of England. She has managed the Connexions service in Bristol, and advises Local Authorities on policies relating to the most vulnerable young people. She is Director and owner of Jo Grant Consulting Ltd supporting Charities and Local Authorities in developing their work with young people.

Andrew Smith is a qualified Safety Professional with significant experience in managing safety and improving culture in large organisations and an ability to prioritise and address risk in a proportionate and rational way. Having worked as Head for Safety for First Group, Head of QSSE (Quality, Safety, Security, and Environment) at Atkins and is currently Head of Health & Safety at North Bristol NHS Trust where he enjoying the challenge of tackling the diverse health and safety issues that arise in the Trust.

Raj Kakar-Clayton is Managing Director of Which? Trusted Traders, offering valuable experience in the commercial sector.

Kirsty Swan is founder of Swan Craig Solicitors, with many years’ experience providing both legal and commercial advice on all areas of employment law and commercial law. Her employment law specialism includes unfair/wrongful dismissal and all areas of discrimination, advising and drafting settlement agreements, as well as daily issues covering maternity/ adoption leave, TUPE, performance, disciplinary/grievances, redundancy and capability. Kirsty’s commercial law specialism, includes data protection (GDPR), breach of contract, shareholders agreements and directors recruitment and termination, partnerships and debt recovery.

Maria Imran is a student taking her A-levels, a volunteer with Creative Youth Network, and fundraiser for Islamic Relief.

Lucio Mesquita is a consultant for Innovation Media Consulting Group, a leading global news media consultancy. He has a wealth of media experience including as BBC’s Head of Regional and Local Programmes for the West, including local radio, regional television and digital content for the Bristol area, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Somerset, and working as Director of BBC Monitoring.