The Trustees have ultimate responsibility for the charity’s vision, values ethos and strategy as well as for the overall performance. They ensure Cats Protection complies with all legal requirements and has the highest possible standards of governance.
We are delighted to announce that Dr Kit Sturgess has been appointed as our new Chair of Trustees by the Board of Trustees.
Our current Chair, Dr Angela Swarbrick, comes to the end of her term on the Board this year.
The owner of an 11-year-old silver tabby cat called George, Dr Sturgess is a recognised specialist in small animal internal medicine and was drawn to the role by his long standing interest and experience in feline medicine and a desire to improve cat welfare.
"Cats have been a rather 'second-class' animal in the vet world for a long time, with far more research being dedicated to dogs," explains Dr Sturgess
"Cats can also be much harder to read, being extremely adept at hiding pain and stress, so I really want to help people to understand their felines companions better in order to improve cat welfare."
Kit has written a book on feline internal medicine and currently undertakes part-time clinical work, which allows him the flexibility to carry out a range of education work, from lecturing all over the world to assisting with teaching science at his local primary school.
He also holds a number of other Trustee and volunteer roles across the charity and animal sector, including Treasurer for the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Zain Richardson, a former management consultant, brings deep expertise from a career including global marketing and commercial leadership roles at major consumer brands such as Aero, Aman, Marriott International, and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. He and his husband have an adopted cat called Claude.
Zain said: “I’ve always been an animal lover and am thrilled to join the Cats Protection Board of Trustees at this pivotal moment. The organisation has scaled its feline welfare work, while also pioneering support for cat owners, especially vulnerable members of society, and I am very excited to advance this important work and continued opportunity for impact.”
Dr Chris Ringrose has previously served as an independent member of the Investment Committee since 2019, before joining the Board of Trustees. Now retired, he was previously a senior partner with PwC, where he led their regional HR consulting practice for around 10 years.
Chris and his wife are animal lovers and have two golden retrievers. They are currently in between cats and looking for two kittens, having lost Misty (the second of twin sisters) earlier this year just short of her 19th birthday.
Chris said: “Cats Protection does extraordinary work and I’m delighted to join its board. The charity’s ambitious new strategy offers huge opportunities for growth and making real headway in improving cat welfare through key areas such as advocacy and education.”
Jane Frost CBE, an award-winning marketer and CEO of Market Research Society, brings additional brand and marketing expertise to the board. With senior leadership roles in a diverse range of organisations such as the BBC, Shell, Unilever, and HMRC, Jane also has vast experience in non-executive director and trustee roles in a range of charities and non-profits. Jane’s family always included cats, frequently, by tradition, named Judy, but the love of her life was Tigger, who walked her to the school bus every day.
Jane said: “This is a truly exciting time to join the board of trustees at Cats Protection. The charity has seen huge growth over the last 20 years and the nation’s love of cats is only increasing. This gives us a great platform on which to keep building towards our vision where every cat has their best possible life”.
Irene, who lives with her own cat Linnea, was previously Assistant Director of Customer and Community Services at East Sussex County Council before taking early retirement this year in order to focus on other interests, including her voluntary work.
With a degree in modern languages and a PhD in English Literature, Irene also has vast experience in overseeing the development of public buildings.
As well as acting as a Trustee for various charities over the past 20 years, Irene also has previous experience volunteering for Cats Protection, having helped set up a branch in Burgess Hill more than 30 years ago.
Irene said: “I’m a huge cat lover and a great supporter of the voluntary sector, so it really is a privilege to join Cats Protection’s Board of Trustees. The charity has a great forward-thinking ethos, and I’ve been so impressed by the work it does in campaigning to improve feline welfare and educating the public on cat care, as well as the sheer number of cats it helps through its rehoming and neutering work.”
Nikki has been a fosterer and committee member for her local Branch for the last nine years and uses this perspective to look out for and promote volunteers’ interests while supporting the policies of the charity.
She has most recently been involved in the charity’s project to implement the new data protection regulations – working to make the obligations as easy and volunteer friendly as possible. She also has first-hand experience implementing the requirements in her own branch.
She retired this year from a large multi-national company where she led an operational team and latterly travelled extensively to develop and promote best practice among her global colleagues.
Cats have owned her all her life! She currently shares her home with Bluebelle, a birman, Oscar a rescue moggie, and her husband. She is very proud that over the past nine years she has helped over 150 foster cats find their new forever homes.
Amanda Farnsworth has held some of the most high profile leadership roles in the BBC including Editor of the TV One and Six O Clock News, Deputy Editor, Newsnight and Bureau Chief in Washington DC.
As Project Executive London 2012 she was involved in developing some of the BBC’s key external partnerships around the London 2012 Olympics including with The London Organising Committee and the London Mayor’s office. She sat on the BBC’s 2012 Steering Group, helping to formulate the BBC's vision, editorial strategy and plans to cover all the major 2012 events including the Olympic Torch Relay, the Cultural Olympiad and the Olympic Games.
Amanda’s last job at the BBC was as Head of Visual and Data Journalism bringing together journalists, designers and developers to produce high impact, highly visual and personalised news across all domestic and global outlets on TV, social media and the web.
Amanda has extensive board experience in the charitable sector and is currently a Trustee at the Cambridge Arts Theatre, having spent six years on the board of the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith. She was also a board member of the Global Editors Network and on the Advisory Board for a major piece of work on inequality at the Nuffield Foundation. She also chairs a volunteer-led group called Newcomers and Visiting Scholars at Cambridge University.
Amanda lives in Cambridge with her partner Bridget Kendall and their 12 year old tabby cat , Mimi.
Rob is Chief Executive of LOROS, a charity which provides free, high-quality and compassionate care and support to terminally ill adult patients, their families and carers across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. After leaving university with a degree in politics and a real interest in community issues, Rob began working as a campaigner in the field of dementia care. He went on to become Head of Policy, Research and Information for MHA Care Group before joining The National Deaf Children’s Society as Director for England.
In 2008, Rob took the decision to come back to his home town to lead Leicester-based charity Action Homeless, tackling high levels of rough sleeping in the city and creating chances for change for homeless people. He went on to become Chief Executive of Home-Start UK, the national umbrella organisation for the federation of Home-Start charities which, together, form the largest provider of volunteer-led home support for families across the UK.
Rob has been the Chief Executive of the University of Warwick Students’ Union and Chair of HomeCome, a private not-for-profit provider of affordable housing. He was an original non-executive director of Inclusion Healthcare, a social enterprise providing primary care services to homeless people.
Cats have been an important part of Rob’s life from an early age. He believes passionately in harnessing the power of local communities and volunteers to improve cat welfare across the UK.
Sarah became Trustee in 2021, having previously been involved as an independent member of the Audit Committee since 2018. She has spent time fostering with her local branch in Andover.
Sarah is a fellow chartered accountant (ICAEW) and has a degree in Physics from Loughborough University. Her background is in audit, controls and governance and she is currently the Head of Audit UK & Ireland for British Airways’ owner IAG, previous to which she spent 14 years at KPMG as a Director in the Internal Audit and Compliance function working with a broad range of clients across different industries.
Sarah has four black cats, all adopted from Cats Protection, and her other interests include travel and swimming.