The Family Holiday Association is governed by a board of trustees led by chair, Philippa Harris.
Philippa Harris - Chair open accordion arrow
Philippa has a wealth of experience from the travel & tourism sector. During her career she has held senior roles at First Choice Holidays, Sovereign Luxury Holidays, Harlequin Worldwide Travel, Eurotunnel and most recently Take One Media, part of Menzies Distribution.
Philippa is also a Board Member and Chair of the Communications Group at The Tourism Society.
Philippa joined the charity as Chair of Trustees in June 2018, succeeding Alison Rice.
Mark Saxon - Treasurer open accordion arrow
Mark is a highly experienced Retail Banking professional, having worked in a wide range of customer facing, operational, systems and finance related roles. His career spans 4 decades and includes senior positions and consultancy at Barclays, Co-op, HSBC, Lloyds and Santander. Currently he specialises in the systems and processes required to quantify market risk and to perform stress testing as required by the banking regulators.
When Mark isn’t engrossed in spreadsheets and financial databases he sometimes finds time for more creative activities. A keen musician, recent projects include performing live with Neil March and the Music of Sound at Latitude Festival 2017 on the BBC Introducing Stage.
Some of Mark’s fondest and oldest memories are of childhood trips to the seaside.
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John was a solicitor in Nottingham for 30 years, initially with the firm of Truman & Appleby where he was managing partner for 20 years, and then following a merger with the firm of Nelsons. He was a member of the Council of the Law Society [the Solicitors governing body] for 15 years where he chaired a number of committees including the Family Law Committee. He was instrumental in overseeing the growth and development of the Children Panel of solicitors who represent children in care proceedings. In 2003 John was appointed as a Circuit Judge on the Northern Circuit based in Manchester. He sat in both the Crown Court and on Family cases in the County Court. Latterly he specialised in Family work including complex care cases. He recently retired from the Bench.
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David Burling has an extensive career in the travel industry and has been a member of the TUI Group Executive Board since 1 June 2015. In June 2018 he became CEO for Markets and Airlines within the TUI Group responsible for the Tour Operator activity in all of the source markets, including the Canada and Russia joint venture businesses, as well as TUI Group’s Aviation Platform. Prior to this he was responsible for the Northern Region Markets, and TUI Group’s Hotel Purchasing Function and TUI Group’s Aviation Platform.
Between 2011 and 2015, David was Managing Director for TUI UK & Ireland and a member of the Group Management Board for TUI Travel PLC. He was also Commercial Director for TUI UK&I following the merger of the Tourism Division of TUI AG and First Choice in September 2007 and was instrumental in the successful integration of these two businesses.
David started his career at Thomson Holidays in 1990 and has worked across the business building his knowledge and expertise as well as great connections in the industry. He has been a trustee at the Family Holiday Association since 2008.
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John was literally born in to the travel industry, the son of a Spanish resort manager living in Catalonia for an ABTA Member and an English customer! Despite studying Engineering, he was drawn back to travel in 1980 and has enjoyed a 39 year career working in senior roles at ILG/Air Europe; TOSG/FTO; The European Consultancy; Thomson Travel Group/TUI; European Quality Assurance; MyTravel/Thomas Cook Group; Shearings and ABTA, where John is Director of Financial Protection and Financial Services and a Director of ABTA Insurance PCC Limited
John is a Trustee of ABTA Lifeline, the industry’s benevolent fund; The Travel Foundation, a sustainability charity and a member of the Air Travel Insolvency Protection Advisory Committee (ATIPC), which advises the CAA and the Minister on consumer financial protection.
John is married and has two son’s. He has run the last 6 London Marathon’s for the Family Holiday Association and hopes to complete one more in 2020.
John joined the charity as a trustee in July 2019.
Joelle Leader open accordion arrow
Joelle has been Volunteering Director at Macmillan Cancer Support for four years. She set the strategy for an ambitious programme of engagement and significant growth of volunteering across the organisation. She leads a national team supporting and developing innovative ways of high quality opportunities for over 20,000 volunteers who support people affected by cancer.
Her previous role was as Assistant Director for ChildLine (NSPCC), where she was responsible for the development of a 24 hour volunteer led service offering support to over 200,000 children every year in the UK via telephone and online.
Joelle has also been a Sure Start Programme Manager and has also worked in a variety of roles for many years with families and children with disabilities. She passionately believes that even the smallest amount of support can make a massive difference to families.
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Jackie co-founded London-based PR agency Flagship Consulting 25 years ago, which promotes businesses and organisations in the fields of professional services, technology, travel and leisure and social purpose. She has helped build and protect reputations for clients over 30 years including Norwegian Cruise Line, ADP, The Myers Briggs Company, The Resort Development Organisation (RDO) and Eurotunnel. Her work has included award-winning campaigns such as Me and My Net for Sumitomo Chemical’s malarial net, Olyset. She has specialised in issue management - preparing clients for potential crises through scenario planning and role play - and branding projects helping clients articulate their key messages.
Jackie has been an Ambassador for the Family Holiday Association for almost 10 years and she and her family have ‘run, sailed and baked’ for the charity to raise funds.
Julia Ridgway open accordion arrow
Julia was a qualified teacher who taught in inner city schools and who then trained as a social worker. She specialised in the care and protection of children who were cared for by public authorities and has experience of placing children with foster and adoptive parents.
Between 1989 and 2003, Julia was the Policy Adviser on adoption at the Department of Health and advised ministers, local authorities, voluntary agencies and various other organisations.
Julia was a trustee for Adoption Adoption, a voluntary adoption agency in Manchester and was chair of the adoption committee for Soldiers, Sailors and Airforce Families (SSAFA). She has also served as a magistrate in inner London in the adult courts and the Family Proceedings courts until June last year.
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Julie has been Regional Manager for KIDS, a charity delivering services to disabled children and their families, for over 20 years.
As a professionally qualified Support Worker Julie started her career in a local authority team in Kent, having already spent a couple of years working in Greece with a child development team.
She has experience in project management, service development and delivery for children, young people and families. She has led and managed a number government (local and national) and trust funded programmes, meeting and improving outcomes for children. This has involved the development of short break care services for disabled children and their families, development of specialist adventure playgrounds, a key worker programme, and the implementation of the independent support programme to support families with the new SEND reforms.
Through her work Julie has first-hand knowledge of the positive impact day trips and short breaks can have on families.
Julie is also on the board of Governors for the Thomas Coram nursery.