Our Board of Trustees are responsible for our governance — ensuring that the charity is being run effectively and meeting its objectives to support musicians through times of crisis and opportunity.

We are fortunate to have a broad spectrum of experienced trustees to help steer the charity, led by Bob Shennan, who became Chair in April 2022.

Help Musicians Trustees 

Bob Shennan has a wealth of media leadership experience, most recently as Director of Audio within BBC Studios (the BBC’s commercial arm) where he led the corporation’s global and commercial growth plan and as BBC Group Managing Director on the BBC Executive, where he was responsible for all people-related functions. He has wide content experience, having led BBC Sport, BBC Music, Radio 5 Live, Radio 2, 6 Music and all BBC Network radio. He also spent time working in commercial radio and Channel 4. He is currently working as a consultant in media and music.

Bob was educated at the Royal Grammar School in Lancaster and at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and graduated with a degree in English Literature, and started his career as a journalist in commercial radio at Hereward Radio.

A lifelong Liverpool FC fan, Bob is also vice-chairman of BBC Children in Need.

Cliff is Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of its Nomination Committee. 

He is partner at Lewis Silkin LLP and founded and leads its Media & Entertainment group and its complementary advisory business, Eleven. 

He advises major names in media, entertainment and technology. He has worked in and around the music industry for over 25 years, holding senior roles at Warner Music UK and Capital (now Global) Radio before joining Lewis Silkin in 2006 as a partner.


Cliff has significant experience in the world of charities in the creative industries with experience as a former company secretary to Capital Radio’s Charities and as a former Trustee of Sound & Music. 

Stephen has been a member of Help Musicians’ Finance and Audit Committee since 2018. He is a Trustee of Britten Pears Arts, on whose Finance Audit and Risk Committee he sits.

Stephen spent four years as a Trustee for the Aldeburgh Music Endowment Fund and five years as both a Trustee of the Monteverdi Trust and a Board member of Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra Limited.

After 25 years in institutional stock broking, specialising in European equities and technology, he was a founding employee at Artorius, an independent wealth advisory business. As well as looking after clients, he sits on the Artorius Alternative Investment Committee.

Stephen was a music scholar who played trumpet in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

Charisse, who joined as a trustee in 2018, has over 13 years of experience in brand creation and in delivering market innovation, having worked with corporate businesses, media organisations, artists and charities. She provides first-hand extensive advisory and consulting services to artists, managers, labels and students to develop and manage their career in entertainment.

She has previous experience as Company Director of Preacher Boy Entertainment, an independent award-winning artist management and record company. In this role, she designed and provided full-service and cross-functional career and brand management for award winning and Grammy-nominated music artists across the UK and US.

Charisse has a strong knowledge of the UK’s urban music scene and has worked closely with artists at the beginning of their career. Additionally, Charisse is Founder of Mahima Women, an initiative that works with two organisations in Nepal to provide finance to teach literary skills and income-generating techniques to vulnerable people.

Jim Benner is Head of Music and Events for the charity Children in Conflict — the US partner of UK charity War Child, with whom he also works in an advisory capacity.

He joined War Child UK in 2013 and helped the charity and its partners to use music-related fundraising to secure funding of over £14 million for children affected by conflict.

In the UK he played a key role in launching War Child’s biggest annual fundraisers – the Winter Wassail gala fundraiser (with Carey Mulligan and Marcus Mumford) and the flagship BRITs Week series, securing it as a fixture in the UK music industry.

Roger Boulton became a Trustee in 2023 and serves on the Finance & Audit Committee, applying his extensive experience as an investment consultant and actuary. He also works as a professional trustee on two large pension funds and chairs their investment committees. 

Roger was a chorister at York Minster as a boy and, after a 40 year break, returned to the Minster choir as a tenor dep” or understudy, which he loves. He can also be spotted depping” at two or three other cathedrals. His musical tastes are broad, spanning Palestrina through Portico Quartet to Rush. 

Jason Carter became a trustee in 2018. He has worked for over 25 years in the live music and events sector as an artist, agent, promoter, manager and commissioner of live music and events for broadcast. He produced many of the marquee large scale major events and festivals for the BBC as Event Director and created from conception some of the landmark UK events at the BBC, including Radio 1’s Big Weekend, BBC 6Music Festival through to 1Xtra Live and Radio 1’s Teen Awards.

In 2007 Jason launched BBC Music Introducing, supporting new and emerging musicians across the BBC; he led the platform for 10 years overseeing editorial programme teams across 38 local radio stations and the key national radio networks. He was also Festival Director for BBC Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend, 2012. Jason is currently Managing Director of Get On Music Media, a live music and events consultancy based in London. 

Stephen is an expert in delivering executive coaching, having achieved in​10,000 hours of experience. He had his own mental health challenge, which was the catalyst to his training for nine years as a Person-Centred Counsellor and Gestalt Psychotherapist. This gives him a unique insight into mental health and the opportunity to contribute to the charity and speak from personal experience.

Sandeep Dwesar has worked in a leadership role within the cultural sector for almost 25 years and is currently Deputy Chair of Shakespeare’s Globe. 

After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, Sandeep moved from professional practice into industry working for British and American multi-national companies in the UK and Europe, and following that, as a change management consultant in the public sector. 

From 1999 to 2022 he has been at the Barbican Centre, with strategic oversight of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama’s operations, working both as COO and CFO. During this period, he also held a variety of non-executive roles in major national institutions within the creative sector. 

Today Sandeep enjoys working with individuals, charities and enterprises enabling them to achieve their goals, and in turn learning from them. 

Isabel Garvey was named Chief Operating Officer of Warner Music UK (WMUK) in March 2023. In this new position, Isabel oversees the Commercial, Legal, Business Affairs and Artist Relations teams and Rhino Records UK, The Firepit Studios and Warner Music Entertainment UK. She also helps drive WMUK’s culture and overall business direction as part of the Senior Leadership Team.

Isabel joined WMUK from London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios, where she held the role of Managing Director since 2014 and was the first woman to run the studios. While there, she was responsible for implementing the largest investment in Abbey Road since its opening in 1931; this included building three new studio spaces, creating new revenue streams by launching a new retail store, digital production services and the Abbey Road Institute, as well as launching Europe’s first music technology incubator, Abbey Road Red.

Isabel’s career in music started with a serendipitous move from finance to the record company, EMI, where she worked her way up to Vice President, Global Digital. Falling in love with the industry, she then went on to work at Warner Music as SVP, Commercial Channels and Consumer Marketing, before launching her own digital media consultancy, Georgestown. 

In 2019, Isabel was named in Fast Company’s annual list of 100 Most Creative People in Business, which also included executives from companies such as Apple, NASA, Google, Nike, Microsoft and Twitch.


Dr Melanie Grundy became a Trustee in 2018 and is based in Newcastle upon Tyne, where she qualified as a GP in 2015. She subsequently worked as a Specialty Doctor in Psychiatry of Learning Disability and trained in Gender Dysphoria. She currently works as both an NHS GP and as an Associate Specialist in Gender Dysphoria in the private sector; she has also previously worked as an assessing clinician and presenter for BAPAM. Before studying Medicine, Melanie gained a degree in Theatre Costume Design and spent several years working as a freelance designer/​maker, so she understands the unpredictability of working in the creative industry. Melanie has recently been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and is a proud advocate of the superpower of being a neurodiverse woman.

Melanie describes herself as having been marinated in jazz since birth” and although jazz remains her musical passion, she is interested in a range of genres, including ambient electronica, prog-metal, gentle world/​folk and minimalist classical; think Elizabeth Alker’s Unclassified on Radio 3.

She is involved with music promotion as a Trustee of Jazz North East, where she takes an active role in programming and audience development. She can also occasionally be caught singing and has previously taken part in the Summer Studios residency at Sage Gateshead, as the vocal half of duo Alembic, alongside pianist Paul Taylor. This unique combination of knowledge and experience from both the medical and creative spheres is invaluable in her role as a Trustee of Help Musicians.

Jon became a Trustee in 2020 and is an accomplished technology leader, with extensive experience in IT, multichannel retail and digital modernisation.


His specialties include IT transformation for the digital age, agile and continuous delivery enterprise transformation, and public cloud adoption and migration strategy at large enterprise level.

Jon is currently the Chief Technology Officer at Wehkmap Retail Group (one of the Netherlands largest retailers) and was formerly Technology Director at Tesco and a trustee at the premier London Arts centre Somerset House. Jon has a lifelong passion for music and enjoys playing, listening and consuming an eclectic mix of musical content. 

Sam has worked across broadcasting and the recorded music industry for nearly 20 years. During that time, he has held a range of senior leadership roles and prior to joining the BBC was Executive Vice-President of Global Classics & Jazz for Universal Music Group. As Controller of BBC Radio 3, Sam drives creative and managerial responsibility for the running of Radio 3 and the delivery of the annual BBC Proms.

Sam was a member of The Music Commission – a year-long inquiry into supporting and sustaining musical progression for all – and is a Board Member of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance. In addition, he is a trustee of the Young Classical Artists Trust, a member of the Royal Philharmonic Society Council, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music. He has also written and co-written a number of best-selling books on classical music.

Named by The Hospital Club as one of the 100 most influential and innovative people working across arts, culture and the creative industries’, Sam’s first experience of broadcasting was as a 19-year-old runner at the BBC Proms. After studying Music at the University of York, Sam then spent 15 years in the commercial radio industry, latter running three national radio brands: Classic FM, Smooth and Gold.


Edward became a Trustee in 2019 and has worked in and around the music industry for over 30 years.

He studied music at university, and went on to work in the record industry with marketing and A&R roles at Virgin and Decca. He has produced and edited numerous classical recordings for Virgin, EMI and other labels.

In 2000 he switched tracks to the technology industry, running Vodafone’s global music activities. Following roles focusing on mobile media and consumer behaviour with Nokia and Nielsen, he was appointed Chief Commercial Officer at 7digital, the leading B2B digital music platform.

Edward plays in several amateur orchestras around London, buried among the ranks of string players.

Kathryn became a Trustee in 2010 and serves on the charity’s Finance and Audit committee. She was previously a Trustee with the Alexandra Rose Charity. She is Head of Global Emerging Markets Equities at Manulife Investment Management and has over 40 years of investment experience. Her two adult daughters are involved in the arts and she has a passionate, lifelong amateur enthusiasm for classical music and opera.

Mrs Anne Mitchener, who became a Trustee in 2019, has a BSc in Psychology from University College London and followed this with a PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry in drug abuse. She qualified in medicine from Cambridge (Downing College and New Addenbrooke’s Hospital) and completed her neurosurgical training in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh, becoming a consultant in 2001.

Between 2002 – 2006, Anne worked abroad as Consultant Neurosurgeon in Norway and then as a Consultant Neurosurgeon in the NHS in London until 2009. Her neurosurgical interest is in spine. She has been practising fully independently in London and Surrey since 2009. Recently Anne has broadened her scope of work to include Emergency medicine and trained as an executive coach.

Her broad interest in music especially includes opera and jazz. 

Silvia Montello is a seasoned music industry senior executive with over 30 years of marketing, commercial and operational experience, including end-to-end product development, multi-discipline marketing & brand campaigns, business development, supply chain and global team management.

She has worked for companies big and small, from major corporates to small independently owned, and currently works at the Association of Independent Music as CEO.

Passionate about dance and electronic music, she was formerly CEO of the global trade body Association for Electronic Music, and co-founder of dance label #remarqabl whose mission is to nurture new songwriter & producer talent from under-represented sectors: womxn, LGBTQ, neurodiverse talent and the global majority.


Alex joined as a trustee in 2017 after a period as an advisor on the financial side of Help Musicians.

He is a Chartered Accountant who has worked in the Entertainment and Media sectors as well as with a number of charities for many years. He is Chairman of Trustees at The Officers’ Association, a military service charity looking after the welfare and transition of officers into civilian life. Alex also lectures on charity finance and governance topics.

Alex has been a pianist for over 50 years, working in Butlins, cruise ships, musicals, jazz & funk bands, and has a number of compositions to his name. Realistic about his own talents, he decided to join the family accountancy business and look after musicians far better than himself.

His clients include a very active orchestra, the Coldstream Guards Regimental Band, and musicians who work in the gig economy on that well-known hand to mouth basis.

Trustees Emeritus 

The composer and conductor became a Trustee of the charity in 2000 and was for many years Chairman of the Giving Committee, while serving on several other committees. He has chaired the committee which organises the charity’s annual Festival of St Cecilia, and continues to work to support this key event.

Ronald also regularly chairs audition panels for Postgraduate Awards and is a valued member of the charity’s Creative Advisory Board.

Ronald was appointed as a Trustee Emeritus in 2019 in honour of his long and exceptional service to the charity, which continues to this day.

During his time as a trustee (1999 — 2018), among other things, Tom served on the Finance Committee. He saw the great change from a small office in Ogle Street, focussing mainly on elderly, retired musicians, to the larger and more modern organisation working in partnership with others to offer a broad spectrum of support and opportunities to empower musicians of all ages, at any stage of their career.

Tom grew up in a musical family. His mother was training to be a concert pianist in Rome in 1939, which was unfortunately disrupted by the war. He taught law at Oxford then went to the Bar, taking silk in 1994, and was made a bencher of Lincoln’s Inn in 2004.

He is on the council of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and is a trustee of Awards for Young Musicians.

Music Minds Matter Trustees 

Silvia Montello is a seasoned music industry senior executive with over 30 years of marketing, commercial and operational experience, including end-to-end product development, multi-discipline marketing & brand campaigns, business development, supply chain and global team management.

She has worked for companies big and small, from major corporates to small independently owned, and currently works at the Association of Independent Music as CEO.

Passionate about dance and electronic music, she was formerly CEO of the global trade body Association for Electronic Music, and co-founder of dance label #remarqabl whose mission is to nurture new songwriter & producer talent from under-represented sectors: womxn, LGBTQ, neurodiverse talent and the global majority.


Gareth holds over 10 years of experience in marketing across technology and music, and is currently Global Head of B2B Marketing at FUGA. Gareth has previously worked at TuneCore as head of UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Juliette has over 23 years’ experience in telecommunications. Media and not-for-profit organisations with experience in HR Strategy, Coaching and Mentoring, Training and Leadership Development, Recruitment and Retention, Performance Management, Compensation and Benefits, Wellbeing, Engagement and Inclusivity.

HR Director, United Talent Agency

Melanie is Chief Commercial Officer at Audoo – the music tech company revolutionising public performance royalty reporting through improved music recognition data. Previously Mel worked at Facebook as the International Head of Music Publishing Partnerships, EMI Music Publishing and Sony ATV. Melanie is also a current board trustee for The Ivors Academy Trust.

Paul has over 20 years’ experience in entertainment retail including time as Head of Music for Entertainment UK. He began his Amazon career in the physical music team, taking on the category leader role for physical music and DVD, before moving to digital music to oversee the launch of two Amazon Music streaming services. 

Reni is currently Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs at Warner Music International and Co-Chair of their Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic employee resource group.

Jim is Head of Music and Events for the charity Children in Conflict — the US partner of UK charity War Child, with whom he also works in an advisory capacity. In the UK he played a key role in launching War Child’s biggest annual fundraisers – the Winter Wassail gala fundraiser (with Carey Mulligan and Marcus Mumford) and the flagship BRITs Week series

Stephen is an expert in delivering executive coaching, having achieved in​10,000 hours of experience. He had his own mental health challenge, which was the catalyst to his training for nine years as a Person-Centred Counsellor and Gestalt Psychotherapist. This gives him a unique insight into mental health and the opportunity to contribute to the charity and speak from personal experience.

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