Our Patron : Dame Ellen MacArthur DBE

Ellen MacArthur first hit the headlines in 2001 when she single-handedly raced non-stop around the world in the Vendee Globe when only 24 years old. In February 2005 she set a new world record aboard her 75ft trimaran, of 71 days, 14 hours, 1 minute and 33 seconds.

Since then she has broadened her work to include working in the area of sustainability, encompassing a trip to South Georgia and the Antarctic and various projects connected with preserving the environment around us.

She is now a partner in BT Team Ellen, dedicated to success on the water across a number of disciplines including the IMOCA Ocean Racing World Championships and the Extreme 40 catamaran series. She will be competing in a number of crewed IMOCA 60 events through 2008-10 and will participate in the 2008 iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series. She is a founder of the Ellen MacArthur Trust, set in 2003, which takes young people aged between 8 - 13 sailing to help them regain their confidence on their way to recovery from cancer, leukaemia and other serious illnesses.

Barbara Sykes MCFBA MBIPDT

Founder Trustee and Chief Executive

A member of the British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers since 1984, Barbara Sykes has had a lifetime of working around animals and from an early age learned to appreciate the skills, boundless enthusiasm and intelligence of the working Border Collie.

With her dogs as constant companions, she has been able to study and observe both pack and individual mentality on a daily basis and at close hand. For over 30 years she has been involved in training, teaching and canine behaviour and from early on realised that training a dog becomes much easier if you understand pack instincts and canine communication. From there developed the concept that to train a dog you first need to teach the handler basic pack rules and body language. This became the basis for her own training technique which was officially named TLC – THINKING LIKE CANINES – in 1998. She has many years of successful behavioural consultations behind her including a client base in Australia, Finland, Germany, France, USA and Spain, who she works with via video, email and phone.

David Maitland

Founder Trustee and Secretary

David holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting & Financial Analysis from the University of Warwick and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.

Since qualifying as a Chartered Accountant he has work for 20 years in Social Housing, mainly in senior finance roles, with a wide range of responsibilities including, Company Secretarial, Corporate Governance, Accounting & Financial Reporting and Risk Management.

His professional career has given him a detailed knowledge of Company Secretarial and Charity Law requirements, as well as practical experience in establishing a number of charitable organisations in the housing and welfare support fields.

Outside of work he has been an active member of Lions Clubs International for over 20 years, involved in both fund raising for charitable causes as well as providing direct assistance to those in need.