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Our people

William (Bill) Dee
Director

In addition to serving as director of Listening Books, Bill serves as the Independent Person to a Local Government Standards Committee and he is also a member of the independent advisory group (IAG) to City of London Police. Independent of the police force and drawn from diverse communities, the IAG’s role is to observe, advise and constructively criticise the police. Bill’s previous experience includes a trusteeship at the UK's largest volunteer centre at Southwark and six years on the Independent Panel for Admissions and Exclusions Appeals for a prominent London college. He also served two full terms on the board of Irish in Britain (formerly The Federation of Irish Societies). At Depaul UK, one of the best known charities concerned with youth, homelessness and crime, he was a voting member at national level as well as serving on their London and South East region committee. He has broad consultancy experience, extending across several other UK and international charities.

Listening Books is closely aligned with the commercial publishing world and Bill was a member of the Working Party on Non-traditional Outlets, established by the Audiobook Publishers Association. Earlier in his career, Bill worked in the public and private sectors for ten years as a scientist and manager and his posts included senior microbiologist for London’s drinking water with Thames Water Plc. Bill also directed his own small book publishing company for several years. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2005 and is also a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.

Bill was a Finalist at the Director of the Year Awards in 2013 (London and the South East) in the Public and Third Sector category.

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Louise Barling
Library & PR manager

Louise joined Listening Books in April 2004 on a six-month contract to cover maternity leave. Initially, she worked full time in the library and then moved on to divide her time equally between the library and our sponsored membership programme. Louise now manages the library and looks after the charities marketing and PR, on top of this Louise also runs our educational initiative, Sound Learning. Louise also volunteers during the summer months for Campaign Against Arms Trade.

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Robert Marchant
Development and office manager

Robert joined Listening Books in September 2009, having previously worked for King’s College London - as both administrative and research assistant - and as a volunteer in the education & student team at Amnesty International. Robert loves to read, especially books on history, politics and economics.

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Claire Bell
Membership & PR officer

After graduating from the University of Surrey, Roehampton in 2005, Claire worked as publicity officer and administrative assistant for Bexley Academy of Music and Performing Arts. She joined Listening Books in May 2008 as a membership services assistant.

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Jeremy Stokes
Membership services assistant

Jeremy has worked full time in the library for ten years and previously in an adventure playground and as a chef.

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Jenny-Ann Lewis
Bookkeeper

Jenny joined Listening Books in February 2013 as a bookkeeper from a marketing agency in Central London. She loves Sci-fi books, especially anything to do with Star Trek. Jenny also really enjoys doing voluntary work in her spare time.

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Zoe Byatt
Membership services assistant

Zoe graduated from Roehampton University in 2011, with a degree in Education. She has worked as a Teaching Assistant and Speech and Language Therapy Assistant since graduating, and also volunteered in a public library. Zoe joined Listening Books in November 2013 as a Membership Services Assistant.

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Amy Flinders
Copyright Manager

Amy joined Listening Books in August 2014 as an Acting Copyright Co-ordinator to cover maternity leave. Prior to joining Listening Books she studied Film and Literature at Warwick University and worked for a camera hire company and as an administrator for ITV. In her spare time she enjoys writing, reading and volunteering at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

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Holly Newson
Audio Producer

Holly joined Listening Books as Audio Producer in November 2014, having previously freelanced at the BBC as a researcher. Prior to this, she studied History at King’s College London, where student radio was a big part of her life. Holly enjoys writing for blogs and making podcasts in her spare time, and loves all things food related.

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Jo Cord
Membership Administrator

Jo joined Listening Books in March 2015. She previously worked in the arts education sector with a focus on supporting young people to engage with the arts through creative projects. Jo studied English Literature at university and loves reading. She also volunteers with the HIV charity Body & Soul.

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Martin Hardie
Accountant

Martin has been accountant at Listening Books since 1998. A Chartered Accountant and Finance graduate from the University of Wales, he manages the accounts of several not-for-profit companies. He also studied engineering and philosophy at university and counts reading amongst his most enjoyable pursuits.


Volunteers

Alan Watling
Volunteer

Alan retired from BT in 1996 after 31 years during which he worked on the development of Data Transmission Systems. He joined Listening Books in March 1998, and helps in the library where he checks in returned audiobooks and makes repairs or new copies for our MP3 CD library.


Brian Butler
Volunteer

Brian started volunteering at Listening Books at the beginning of 2006. Brian also runs a photography group at Connect, a charity helping people with aphasia, which means they have difficulty talking, reading and writing.


John Weale
Volunteer

John, who has recently joined Listening Books as a volunteer, was Head of Learning and Development at VisitBritain/VisitEngland. He retired five years ago but continued to work, running his own consultancy. John lists his interests as cinema, walking and real ale.


Gillian O'Driscoll
Volunteer

Gillian joined Listening Books as a volunteer in January 2013, helping to deliver and set up mini libraries. She worked previously as a librarian and Bookstart coordinator with Brent Libraries, and is happy to be promoting access to and enjoyment of books.


Barbara McDonald
Volunteer

Barbara returned back to live in the UK in 2008 after over 20 years living in New Zealand where she was working as an administrator in an university library, and has been volunteering at Listening Books since October 2011. Originally from Kent, she has moved many times in the UK and also lived in Singapore many years ago thanks to life in the forces. She also volunteers at another charitable organisation where last year she had the thrill of meeting and shaking the hand of Bob Geldoff—she is now waiting for Listening Books to match that!


Trustees

Gillie Howarth
Chairman

Gillie Howarth is former Head of English at Westminster Under School where she is now responsible for the school’s Public Benefit and Outreach programme. She is a passionate believer in the capacity of books to open up new worlds for young and old alike. One of her first initiatives at Listening Books was to develop the children’s library and she is a keen advocate of the charity’s educational programme, Sound Learning, which gives young people who have difficulties accessing or decoding print the opportunity to excel alongside their peers. ‘Listening to stories goes far back into prehistory and is the original way knowledge passed down through generations. Far from being a second best option, listening captures the distinctive atmosphere of a book in a way reading may fail to do. After all, which of us would prefer to read a play rather than see it? Once you have listened to a great book, you feel the same way’.


Anne-Marie Williams
Treasurer

Anne-Marie Williams has been treasurer of Listening Books since 2006. It is her job to make sure the charity's money is properly looked after, something which is obviously vital for the charity's success. As treasurer she draws on her previous work experience in the City, firstly as an investment analyst for a stockbroker, and then as a fund manager for an insurance company. Anne-Marie says, 'I value my role in the charity since I believe passionately in what the charity does, and feel strongly that books should be available to be enjoyed by everyone, whatever their circumstances.'


Julia Eccleshare
Trustee

Julia Eccleshare is co-director of The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education. Julia is a writer, broadcaster and lecturer, and The Guardian’s children’s books editor. She is a judge of the Branford Boase first novel prize and was a judge for the Whitbread Children’s Book prize in 2001. She won the Eleanor Farjeon Award in 2000 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to children’s books. In addition to numerous anthologies, her books include 'Treasure Island: The Woman’s Hour Guide to Children’s Reading' (BBC Books, 1987), 'A Guide to the Harry Potter Novels' (Continuum, 2002), 'Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter: Portraits of Children’s Writers' (National Portrait Gallery, 2002) and, with Nicholas Tucker, 'The Rough Guide to Teenage Books' (Rough Guides, October 2003).


Christopher Sinclair-Stevenson
Trustee

Christopher Sinclair-Stevenson has been connected with the world of books for nearly fifty years. First as a publisher and subsequently managing director of Hamish Hamilton, then as an agent after he left the company which he set up under his own name. He is also a writer, mainly in the area of history. He has been a trustee of Listening Books for over a decade, and has been able to make use of his experience and contacts built up over the years.


Zoe Richmond-Watson
Trustee

Zoe Richmond-Watson worked as an editor in book publishing and magazines before setting up and running the Talking Book Club, a mail-order audiobook service, from 1989-2005.


David O'Neill
Trustee

David has worked as the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) strategy manager for the London borough of Lambeth. He worked with the senior leadership team in schools and their ICT managed service provider to implement Lambeth’s ICT strategy. Previous to this he was the ICT curriculum advisor for Redbridge. He was a secondary national strategy consultant for ICT prior to that. He has 14 years’ teaching experience. He is also an ICT mark assessor. David has completed the graduate certificate in education leadership, management and consultancy at the Institute of Education in London and has a BA degree and higher diploma in education from University College, Cork. He is currently teaching and working as a consultant.


Nick Forster
Trustee


Nick Forster is Sales Director at Bolinda Digital Ltd. His knowledge of the publishing sector and of the commercial audiobook market are an invaluable addition to the board.


President

The Rt. Hon. Lady Warnock DBE
President

From 1949 to 1966, The Rt. Hon. Lady Warnock was a Fellow and tutor in philosophy at St Hugh's College Oxford. Then, from 1966 to 1972 she was headmistress at the Oxford High School for Girls. She was Talbot Research Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall (1972-1976) and from 1976-84, she was a Senior Research Fellow at St Hugh's College, becoming an Honorary Fellow of the College in 1985. She then became Mistress of Girton College, Cambridge (1986-89). In 2000 Lady Warnock was a visiting professor of rhetoric at Gresham College, London.

Lady Warnock was a member of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) from 1973 to 1981. She was chair of the UK Committee of Inquiry into Special Education (1974-78). From 1979 to 1985, she advised the UK committee on animal experiments and from 1982 to 1984 she chaired an inquiry into human fertilisation. She was created a life peer in 1985 as Baroness Warnock, of Weeke in the City of Winchester.

 

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General enquiries:020 7407 9417 / info@listening-books.org.uk
Library enquiries: 020 7234 0522 / library@listening-books.org.uk
Fax: 020 7403 1377
Registered charity number: 264221 Patron: Stephen Fry President: The Rt. Hon. Lady Warnock DBE
All images are © Listening Books unless otherwise stated.

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