A new Chair at ShelterBox Trust

The trustees of disaster relief charity ShelterBox have appointed James Sinclair Taylor as their new Chair.

James Sinclair Taylor

Formerly Vice Chair, James succeeded Dr Rob John OBE in December, having served on the trustee board since mid-2014.

Charity law specialist James is a partner at Russell-Cooke Solicitors LLP, where he heads the firm’s charity and social business team. He is responsible for developing the work of the team and supporting a variety of charities, their boards and chief executives.

Among many roles advising the third sector, James works as a consultant on governance mergers and other issues, and is the Chair of a housing association, trustee at several charities, and the Protector of the innovation fund Nesta.

Speaking on his appointment, James said: ‘I was first drawn to support ShelterBox because it has a strikingly clear and effective vision – a world where no family is without shelter.

‘During a visit to Ecuador after the 2016 earthquake, I saw the evolving ShelterBox operations model in action. The earthquake had left many people in a state of profound shock and anxiety about the safety of their homes. I met two women who’d been sleeping on the ground outside their houses for two weeks, in fear of aftershocks. They didn’t dare go back inside. ShelterBox provided tarpaulins and tools, giving them a space to call home while they repaired their heavily damaged houses.

Photo of James Sinclair Taylor meeting earthquake survivors in Ecuador.

James Sinclair Taylor meeting earthquake survivors in Ecuador.

‘Our teams really listen to families to find out what they need – and we offer an adaptable range of shelter and household essentials to meet those needs.

‘I would like to thank Dr Rob John for his years of service to the board, guiding ShelterBox through a phase of significant growth. Under his stewardship in 2018, we provided 210,000 people with shelter and other essentials after their lives were devastated by disaster.

‘I’m excited to take on the role of Chair and contribute to the ongoing professionalisation and growth of our organisation. ShelterBox has wonderful supporters who have continued to give generously in a difficult financial climate. As Rotary International’s project partner in disaster relief, and with ShelterBox affiliates in 17 countries, we have a unique network that helps our response teams to go further, to reach the most vulnerable, overlooked communities.’

For more information contact phillybyrde@shelterbox.org

Legal, Financial And Fundraising Experts Join ShelterBox Trustees

The ShelterBox Trust has appointed three new Trustees to its Board, beefing up its legal, financial and fundraising expertise

The ShelterBox Trust has appointed three new Trustees to its Board, beefing up its legal, financial and fundraising expertise


In a move signalling a gear change for international disaster relief organisation, ShelterBox, the charity has announced that three sector heavyweights will be joining its Board as new Trustees.

ShelterBox, now in its 14th year, and with a growing reputation for being ‘fast or first’ to help  shelter families in the world’s disaster zones, is dedicated to adapting and refining its disaster aid response – to better protect and support communities overwhelmed by humanitarian crisis.

Joining its Board shortly will be:

  • James Vaughan, Fundraising and Communications Director at top ten charity the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), where he has recently been transforming the way the RNLI raises its funds. With experience in London marketing and advertising agencies, James is also giving the RNLI a new international focus around drowning prevention.
  • Robin Bayford, an experienced chartered accountant. He retired in 2012 from his post as finance director of the country’s largest private client fund manager, Brewin Dolphin Holdings PLC, a FTSE 350 company employing 1,900 people. Robin helped increase the group’s turnover from £10 million to £269 million, was responsible for all its accountancy, treasury and taxation matters, and for its dealings with City analysts.
  • James Sinclair Taylor, a Partner at top 100 London-based law firm Russell-Cooke Solicitors LLP, where he heads up their charity and social enterprise team. An expert on Charity Commission regulation, he is also a member of the Charity Law Association. James is identified by Chambers 2011 as a ‘leading individual’ and ‘a massively effective lawyer’, and in Chambers 2014 for having ‘huge experience of the voluntary sector’. He also holds several other posts including management consultancy and trust grant distribution, has worked in the record industry, and advised UNICEF on international collaboration. James has founded three charities, and was appointed by the Secretary of State as Protector of the successor to the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts.

ShelterBox CEO Alison Wallace says, ‘These are exciting times for our organisation, and we are very pleased to have attracted such expertise to the Board. Robust financial, fundraising and legal governance is vital to what we do, and how we do it. ShelterBox already has an authoritative voice in humanitarian aid, but Trustees of this calibre will help guide and endorse our plans to help more and more families in the future.’

The current Board of Trustees comprises:

  • (Chair) Dr Rob John OBE FREng
  • George Curnow
  • Peter Munro-Lott
  • Richard Bland
  • Bill Decker
  • Chris Warham