The Trustees are the governing body of the Army Families Federation. Their role is to ensure that the Army Families Federation succeeds in its core business of being the voice of the Army family. The Board of Trustees has the legal responsibility for the overall management, decision-making and performance of the Charity.
The role of the Trustee is voluntary and unpaid.
The Trustees bring a wide range of skills and experience to the Army Families Federation. The Board consists of a Chair of Trustees and Trustees.
In addition, the AFF Trustees:
JULIA WARREN, CHAIR OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Julia is Group HR Director at Trinity Mirror. Previously, Julia worked at Serco where her role involved her in many of the Defence sites and working with the business and the MOD on the introduction of the Corporate Covenant. Prior to Serco, she was with Thomson Reuters where, in her role as Global HR Director, she supported global sales and service groups, editorial, media and corporate centre functions in over 125 countries. In this role, Julia led major global transformation of the front line workforces in both sales and customer service groups.
Julia started her business career as a graduate trainee with the John Lewis Partnership, and took her first HR role following a number of retail management positions. After leading the HR function through a period of recession and change, she moved onto one of the leading HR consultancies. Here she headed up the HR function as well as consulting across a number of sectors, including education.
Julia joined the AFF Board in October 2014, joining the British Chamber of Commerce as a Non-Executive Director shortly after in November 2014.
Prior to taking these formal roles, Julia worked with many organisations on a voluntary basis to help with HR related issues. It is a combination of professional and business experience that she hopes is valuable to AFF. She is also hopeful that a working knowledge of the Defence space, and the fact that she isn’t an Army wife, brings a different perspective.
Julia is married to Paul, and has two boys, James and Edward.
FIONA ELLISON, TRUSTEE
Fiona Ellison is the Director of Partnerships & Operations at Step Up To Serve, the charity that runs the #iwill campaign which aims to make participation in youth social action the norm for all young people across the UK. She is currently on maternity leave and will return to her role in October 2020.
Previously she worked at the National Lottery Community Fund, overseeing a £40m investment, working with other Trusts & Foundations to double that investment into youth social action. Fiona has been involved in a number of initiatives across the voluntary sector, from developing the Young Achievers Awards; to supporting the development of a ground-breaking programme of work at the National Union of Students, on student opportunities engagement; to most recently at GoThinkBig, developing work experience opportunities for young people. She was on the board of Volunteering England, before they merged into NCVO, for 6 years.
Fiona brings a broad knowledge of the voluntary sector to the AFF Trustee board; she has a strong grounding in board processes, good governance and strategic planning.
Fiona joined the AFF board in February 2016. She married into the Army in 2010 and currently lives on Thorney Island.
HEATHER KEY, TRUSTEE
Heather qualified as a lawyer in a private practice in London and since qualifying has worked as an in-house company/commercial lawyer for over 20 years at various companies including Cape Plc and Interserve Plc. At Interserve, she held the role of Member Nominated Trustee on the Pension board and held the positions of Director and Interim Chair on the Interserve Charity, IEF. Heather joined Serco in March 2017 as Head of Legal and Contracts Services, based in Hook.
Her passion is diversity and she was privileged at her previous company to have been a founder of the Women’s Network, and linked with many leading companies and allies across the diversity network in the UK. At Serco Heather is supporting the inclusion hub activities and is part of the GC D&I network.
Heather lives in Reading, UK, with her husband, daughter and son. In her spare time she chauffeurs her children to ballroom dancing competitions and music performances.
JULIE VERE-WHITING, TRUSTEE
Julie was a serving Regular Army officer for 18 years and in-between sunshine postings to Bulford, Preston, Shrivenham, Windsor, Worthy Down, Corsham, Warminster and Colerne, she deployed to Bosnia and Northern Ireland. Her last few postings were sometimes accompanied (her husband was also serving), though more often than not she found herself unaccompanied and during this time they also raised a young family.
After retiring in 2010 and enjoying a year at home with the family, Julie joined the Reserves and is thoroughly enjoying a second career working part-time, balancing her professional and domestic life with a bit less chaos than before.
Julie has been a Trustee since 2015 and, as a seasoned staff officer with a broad knowledge and understanding of Army policy – together with HR, accounting and information systems skills, Julie helps to contribute as a Trustee on the interpretation of policy, particularly in the HR arena.
PARI SPENCER-SMITH, TRUSTEE
Pari has spent the past three years working at the National Citizen Service Trust (NCS Trust). NCS is a youth programme that runs across England and Northern Ireland and exists to engage, unite and empower young people. In the role of Workforce Strategy Associate, Pari supports strategic relationships with both the delivery network and other stakeholders partnering the trust.
As part of her role, she has managed and driven the implementation of strategic initiatives aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the NCS staff experience across the network. Pari has experience of managing targeted marketing campaigns, systems and IT projects and research and evaluation projects.
Previously, Pari dedicated 16 years to academia as a Research Associate, PhD student and a successful Post-Doctoral scientist.
Part of the Army family for 13 years, Pari draws on her knowledge and experience of being an Army spouse and mother through multiple house moves and operational tours and all the challenges these bring with them.Back to top