Who We Are


The Rt Hon Baroness Hilary Armstrong of Hill Top


Chair – Rhona Still

team_rhonabrings an entrepreneurial background to the Board having set up and run several small businesses, complementing this with an MA in entrepreneurship. Rhona has been as a small business development consultant, advisor and trainer in the UK and overseas, working to support both traditional business as well as social enterprises and co-operatives. She has extensive experience of working with not-for-profit organisations and particular expertise in supporting effective governance and leadership.

John Sargent

team_johnis a social entrepreneur with an extensive track record in the strategic planning and execution of high profile community, voluntary and social enterprise sector projects. John specialises in strategic planning and innovative multi-agency project management and delivery.

Dave Nicholson

Dave Nicholson picDave specialises in mutual ownership and co-production approaches to social business development in the criminal justice system. He has successfully established and managed social enterprises in the ‘Welfare to Work’ sector and cooperatives in the criminal justice sector and contributed to policy development in both. He has co-authored papers with Beth Weaver of Strathclyde University about the benefits of social co-operatives as a policy approach

Dave’s background is in probation, community economic development and academic research. He is an associate of The Ideas Mine.

Reverend Fiona Sample   Fiona

Fiona is CEO of The Oswin Project, a social enterprise which supports ex-offenders in North East England by sourcing paid employment and apprenticeship opportunities (www.oswinproject.org.uk). She is a non-stipendiary priest in the Diocese of Newcastle. She is Chaplain to the Armed Forces forum, Northumberland County Council and Mowden Hall School. She read theology at Durham University. Fiona was High Sheriff of Northumberland 2011-12.


Philip Angier

team_philipBusiness Development Leader – Philip Angier was a co-founder of SERIF but has now taken on an part-time executive role to develop the work of the Foundation. He has taken a leading role in promoting social finance and social accounting initiatives in the North East Region. He is Chair of the Northumbria Coalition Against Crime, helped to found CapitaliSE Financial Solutions CIC, and is engaged in a number of regional and national initiatives to measure social value and to develop social impact investment models.


Professor Maggie O’Neill

team_maggieis Professor in Criminology and programme director for the MSc Criminology and Criminal Justice in the School of Applied Social Sciences, Durham University. She works in inter-disciplinary contexts whilst developing both applied and theoretical criminological research. Maggie is a specialist in participatory, biographical and visual methods with a long history of working with marginalised and hard to reach groups.

Faye Cosgrove

team_fayeis a Lecturer in Criminology within the Department of Social Sciences, Sunderland University. Her commitment to qualitative methodologies and to the principles of appreciative sociology has led to an interest in the dissemination of good practice and the contribution of criminal justice professionals in promoting organisational change.

Natalie Watson

Natalie piccompleted a BSc in Criminology and Sociology at Northumbria University graduating with First Class Honours. During this time she engaged in prison placements within the North East. She is currently studying for an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Durham University. Whilst completing this part time course she has worked for West Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company. Natalie’s research interests are focused around the criminal justice system, prisoner resettlement and the different initiatives to support this journey, having a particular interest in effects on women. She has supported SERIF’s recent ESRC research project as an associate.