HM Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey Michael More-Molyneux
HM Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux, agreed to become the first President of the GASP Motor Project in Spring 2017. This followed his visit to our Albury Workshop in February 2017 when he escorted HRH The Earl of Wessex on a Royal Visit to meet groups of students participating in GASP programmes. His rapport with the young people that day was evident and he showed himself keen to discover more about what they learn at GASP. Michael More-Molyneux presented awards at the GASP Awards Presentation Event at McLaren in 2016 and 2017 and says: “I am delighted to be involved with this wonderful charity which gives young people an education, awareness and enthusiasm for all things mechanical.” We are so fortunate to have him as our President.
Shahid Azeem DL High Sheriff of Surrey 2020-2021
Shahid Azeem, DL is an award-winning, British-Pakistani entrepreneur and Managing Director of Arcom IT Limited, and is widely known amongst Surrey’s business leaders. Long before we invited him to become a Patron in 2015, Shahid had been campaigning for GASP, putting us forward as the nominated charity at fundraising events and in the process helping us to raise valuable funds and build our profile. RBS named him as ‘one of the top 100 most influential Muslims in the UK’ and in 2013 he helped buy Aldershot Town FC out of administration and became its Chairman.
His Honour Judge Christopher Critchlow DL
His Honour Judge Christopher Critchlow, DL was Resident Judge at Guildford Crown Court and Honorary Recorder of Guildford from 2009-2016. His focus on the value of Restorative Justice and youth reparation programmes led to his interest in the work of the GASP Motor Project, where we help to re-engage students with learning and change their behaviours. In particular, he supports our work with young people through Surrey Family Resilience and Early Help, and the short stay schools. He became a Patron of GASP in April 2015.
Sally Varah MBE DL
Chair of GASP from 2009 to 2019, Sally now supports the charity as a Patron. Enjoying a long career in journalism and as a copywriter, in 2008-2009 she became High Sheriff in Surrey, in place of her late husband, Michael, when he died suddenly. As Surrey’s Chief Probation Officer he had supported the foundation of the GASP Motor Project and respected the changes in behaviours that the charity enables. Sally was similarly impressed by the outcomes achieved by GASP and the life-changing opportunities it gives to ‘at risk’ and marginalised young people, in a county where they gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ is extreme. In 2016 she was awarded an MBE, in part for her developmental work as GASP Chair of Trustees.
Lady (Louise) O’Connor DL
Lady (Louise) O’Connor DL is a former Trustee of GASP who continued to support our work as a GASP Friend before becoming a Patron in 2019. With 40+ years of experience across the education sectors – in pre-school, primary, secondary, FE and the community – she was a Senior Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Roehampton University. Louise has maintained her interest in education through school governorship and has advised Surrey High Sheriffs on the issue of children at risk of exclusion – also a focus for GASP. She is Patron of Catalyst, a Surrey-wide drug/alcohol and mental health charity; of St John’s C of E Primary School Community PlayFarm (Goodwyns Estate); and of Coram Life Education (Surrey).
Jim McAllister, Chief Executive of The Rutland Group and owner of Dunsfold Park, quietly supports our work, enabling the charity to offer those young people who come to GASP – initially to learn to fix engines and build go-karts – a final incentive. Thanks to him, they get to drive the go-karts on one of the most famous race tracks in the UK. Jim has believed in our work over the past decade and has enabled hundreds of young people to drive on the ‘Top Gear’ track with GASP. He is a good friend to this charity, offering us wise professional advice when we need it. He agreed to become a Patron in April 2015.
Christine Howard was invited to become a Patron of GASP in 2019. She is currently the Chairman of Surrey’s Tourist Board, Visit Surrey, following a career in town centre management, marketing and journalism. Chris was part of the original team that set up the Surrey Hills Society, the charity created to support and promote the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – originally serving as Vice Chairman and then Chairman for ten years. She is now one of the Society’s Vice Presidents. Chris has been a keen supporter of GASP since visiting the charity as part of her role with the Surrey Hills Society. Currently the serving Borough Councillor for Shamley Green, near Guildford, she has been involved in the local community in Surrey for over 30 years, in various roles. Chris has been a Parish Councillor for many years, previously served as Chairman of the Surrey Association of Local Councils, and is now one of its Vice Presidents. She is currently a guest writer with Surrey Life magazine.
Anthony Cassidy was invited to become Founder Patron of GASP in 2012. He retired from The City in December 1998, and was instrumental in the formation of GASP in May 2005. He then chaired the Management Committee until the appointment of our first CEO. Anthony has been actively involved in all aspects of GASP management and development since its original formation and, on standing down as a Trustee, he is now active as the charity’s Founder Patron.
Dr David McNulty
David McNulty agreed to share his widespread expertise with our charity as the Board’s Strategic Adviser – a new role for GASP – following his retirement as CEO of Surrey County Council, an appointment he held since July 2009. Currently Independent Chair of the Surrey Heartlands health and care partnership, he continues to sit as a Lay Member of Council at the University of Surrey. We know how fortunate we are that he is advising GASP, as his knowledge and experience are much in demand. At the start of his career, David was a teacher; later, after moving through successive senior positions in local government, at Blackburn with Darwen he founded an award-winning lifelong service which earned him an international reputation for his development of lifelong learning. So our work at GASP, as a specialist alternative learning provider working with hard to reach young people, is close to his heart.
Caroline Breckell MVO DL
Caroline joined GASP as a Board Adviser in October 2013. She shares her extensive knowledge of the workings of the county, gleaned over 34 years with Surrey County Council. For the past 24 years she has managed the SCC civic team. She is also Deputy Clerk to the Surrey Lieutenancy and a Deputy Lieutenant, Under Sheriff of Surrey and a Member of the Royal Victorian Order (an Honour in the personal gift of HM The Queen) for her role in arranging and managing Royal visits to Surrey over almost 30 years. Her contacts with commercial and industrial organisations across the county is helping GASP to develop industry-linked programmes for young people. Caroline has also helped to broker a relationship with the motor giant McLaren, which has hosted the annual GASP Awards Presentation Event at its Technology Centre in October 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Lorna joined the GASP Motor Project in 2015, initially as an employee and subsequently on a voluntary basis. From her career in fund management, where she was a Director and Head of Research at Fleming Investment Management, she brings a broad range of skills including research, analysis, strategic and financial. Since 2012 she has been working in the third sector, specialising in Governance as Clerk to the Governors of a Surrey primary school and as minute secretary for a Special Educational Needs Trust and the Cranfold Confederation. Lorna has been an assessor for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Surrey panel since 2016. She was appointed as a GASP Board Advisor with responsibility for Governance in April 2018 and continues to support the organisation.
Ellie Paterson MBE
Ellie worked for Surrey County Council’s Youth Service – formerly Surrey Youth Justice – for 25+ years. Her role included working with young people who had committed an offence, giving them the opportunity to make amends by engaging them in reparation projects. She was also involved in teaching young people new skills and helping them gain qualifications, which could lead to further education and employment. Her wide experience and network of relevant contacts across the county are of huge value to GASP.