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Our Trustees

Gillie Howarth

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

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

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

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.

David O'Neill

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

Nick Forster is Head of Sales at W F Howes. His knowledge of the publishing sector and of the commercial audiobook market are an invaluable addition to the board.