The staff team:
Susie Howe – Director
Susie Howe was an HIV/AIDS nurse specialist who went on to found and direct The Bethany Project in Zimbabwe (a community-based orphan-care programme working with children in a rural district) and Pavement Project (that created a Bible-based approach to counselling traumatised children). She is the founding director of The Bethany Childrenâ€™s Trust (BCT) and frequently travels overseas to mobilise and train churches in childcare and protection, and to strengthen BCTâ€™s project partners. Susie speaks in churches and at events around the UK. She was a winner of the Alternative Rich List in 2009. Her book Resistance Fighter, about her work with children at risk, was published in 2011.
Carolyn Gent – Training and Project Development Coordinator
Carolyn qualified and practised as a solicitor, before spending 18 years as a languages teacher, whilst raising her two children. A long-term supporter of BCTâ€™s work, Carolyn translated documents to and from French for us, to facilitate our work with our francophone partner projects. She then felt the prompting of God to give up her full time teaching job to join BCT as our part-time Networking and Training Coordinator.Â Her role is to strengthen the work of our partner projects through resourcing them with training materials, and through building networks with and for them, so that their work can have greater impact.
Lyn Edwards – Operations Manager
Lyn qualified as a nurseÂ and has experience ofÂ paediatric oncology and general nursing.Â She has beenÂ a childminder and a foster carer for disabled children and young people,Â and for the last 23 years she has been working for a charity based in Leicestershire, supporting disabledÂ children and their families.
Until she was 18, Lyn lived all over the world including Africa, the Far East and the Middle East. This time was foundational for her faith, her future career choices, her values and who she is as an individual. She describes herself as a gentle activist, passionate about the rights of all children and young people, especially those who are at risk and those marginalised by society.
Eleanor North â€“ Training and Resources Coordinator
Before coming to BCT, Eleanor built up invaluable experience working for a church-led project in South Africa that supports children affected by HIV in local townships. She also worked on the prayer team for Viva. Based in Kenya, Eleanor now plays a key role in developing training resources and events, equipping churches and our overseas partners to respond effectively to the needs of marginalised children.
Simeon WhitingÂ â€“ Communications Coordinator
Simeon spent 14 years in full-time youthwork, before joining BCT. He’s also an experienced writer and editor, so the opportunity to use his flair with words for a charity which serves young people was too good for him to refuse! Simeon sees his role as being focused on sharing the stories of BCT’s partners. And he’ll tell you there are some fantastic stories to share.
Steve Jardine – Finance Manager
Steve is an accountant with over twenty years’ experience in the private sector before feeling drawn to change focus and use that experience in a humanitarian context. His work with charities began by volunteering as Bookkeeper for an organisation reaching out to those in need in the local community, andÂ continued when he became Treasurer at his church. He is now very happy to be looking after BCT’s finances. Steve is married and lives southwest of London with his wife and their Labrador.
Joseph Wisener – Administrator
Joseph is a huge asset to the staff team, bringing over 20 yearsâ€™ experience in information management, and a passion for researching, storing and disseminating information. His previous roles include Information Officer at the Civil Aviation Authority and College Librarian at WEST Union School of Theology. Joseph is originally from Antrim and now lives on the south coast of England.
Andrew, our Chair of Trustees,Â works for the Scottish Government and has a background in the charity sector, both in the UK and in Africa. Andrew joined the board of Trustees shortly after completing an MSc in International Development and a BA in Theology. Being involved with BCT provides an opportunity to combine these two disciplines and be involved in seeking justice for the least, the last and the lost.Â Andrew is married and lives in Edinburgh where he enjoys playing and watching football.
Hazel recently retired after nearly 30 years as a teacher. She has extensive experience of Christian charities, both as a trustee and as an employee, and has served as a church elder. She loves to see the gospel in action, especially when young lives are changed as a result. Hazel is married, with two grown-up sons and two grandsons.
An accountant by profession, with more than 15 years experience in public sector organisations, Jonathan currently works in Westminster. He has an MBA and is a member of the Chartered Management Institute.
In addition to his role with The Bethany Children’s Trust, Jonathan is a trustee of two other charities working in the faith and arts sectors. He is active in his local church and, to relax enjoys movies, cycling and watching rugby.
Gill has a wealth of experience and a true passion for BCT’s work. SheÂ was previously a member of BCT staff, servingÂ as our Training and Project Development Coordinator before leaving to get married. Since then, she has worked for World Vision in their HR Department.Â Gill has directed TheÂ Bethany Project in Zimbabwe and taken part in several short-term missions, with BCT and World Vision. She has served as a warden in her church and also as aÂ trustee for another charity.
We’d love you to be a part of the BCT team!
BCT has a vision to build a movement of Champions for Children â€“ people who refuse to accept a world where children have to suffer, and who are prepared to use some of their time, skills, talents, and influence â€“ so that more and more marginalised children can be reached and released to be all that God has created them to be.
BCT needs people from all walks of life who can help with a whole range of things, such as raising awareness of BCTâ€™s work in their churches and amongst their friends, helping with administration and fundraising, becoming a speaker for BCT, and much, much more. Find out more about becoming a BCT Champion for Children.