SVR Charitable Trust - Trustees
For more information about the Trust, see the Trust's website
Acting Chairman & Trustee
As the Chairman of stockbrokers EFG Harris Allday, Ron was already familiar with the Charitable Trust's work before he joined the board of trustees. Not only was he the chairman of our investment committee, but also his company EFG Harris Allday joined our Corporate Partnership Club, and supported the Railway through event sponsorship.
With his robust background in investment, Ron is particularly interested in improving the financial wellbeing of the SVR, and is keen on developing a new generation of engineers within the Heritage Skills Training Academy. Ron's expertise in helping to identify trusts and grant-making bodies is proving invaluable, as the Charitable Trust looks increasingly to these sources of income in the future.
Michael Howard has supported the SVR since 1968 when he joined as a junior day member. He remained as a financial supporter until he retired in 2015 from his position as a senior manager at Worcestershire County Council, having spent all his working life in procurement in the UK, Europe and the USA in both private and public sectors. He then became a volunteer with the SVR Charitable Trust where he has managed legacies, liaising with solicitors, executors and relatives. He also acts as a host at events.
Dr Dhushyanthan Kumar
Dr Dhushyanthan Kumar holds a number of high-profile medical roles including director of clinical audit for the Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN), which manages trauma outcome data on behalf of NHS England, and roles for organisations such as the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee and East Midlands Ambulance service.
Dhushy has been a trustee of a number of charities including BASICS (British Association for Intermediate Care) Trauma Care, Headway and the Air Ambulance Service, and has loved trains since boyhood.
Trustee, and Chairman of SVR (Holdings) Plc
Chris has been actively involved with the SVR since 1969, as both a guard and then as Bridgnorth station master for 33 years. He’s served at board level for 40 years. Before retiring as a chartered management accountant, he held roles at senior management level across several leading automotive companies.
Judith Meredith was introduced to the Severn Valley Railway 50 years ago and is a long-standing member and shareholder. She was a volunteer for a number of years.
Judith graduated in Law in 1980, and worked in insurance for over 20 years. This gave her good analytical skills, and an understanding of working within regulatory guidance. She moved into teaching in 2004. Both careers nurtured a deep interest in the personal development of those around her which she believes could make a valuable contribution to the SVR.
Trustee, Charitable Trust, Chairman, SVR Company Ltd.
Director, Holdings Board.
Diane joined the Trust board in 2021.
She became a director of SVR Company (Guarantee) Board in 1993, taking over as chairman in 2020 and becoming a director of the SVR (Holdings) plc at the same time.
Diane became a working member at 16 on the Severn Valley Limited and on Bridgnorth based buffet cars in 1978. She moved to the Plant & Machinery Department, assisting with trolley and diesel shunter maintenance, passing out as a shunter driver in 1980, before joining the station staff, concentrating on booking office and station gardens. She also helped found the Severn Valley Venturer dining service and continues as part of its management team and is a regular cook. She was co-ordinator for the vital Santa operation from 1995 to 2019, retiring from the role in January 2020. Diane is chair of the Staffing Committee, which focusses on volunteers, in partnership with the Volunteer Liaison Office and she sits on the Accommodation Forum - a group committed to trying to improve facilities for volunteers on the SVR..
In her "real life", Diane worked as a Primary School teacher for over 30 years and, for the five years before taking early retirement, became an Acting Headteacher raising the attainment of failing schools. She makes use of her professional skills and knowledge in supporting the development of educational and people centred activities.
Paul Fathers is well known to many people on the SVR. He’s been a staunch supporter and volunteer since his teenage years back in the 1960s. With a professional engineering background, he brings a wealth of experience with him. In his ‘day job’ Paul is a regional inspector for the Security System and Alarms Inspections Board. He has been involved in many SVR development projects, and was a founding member and vice chairman of the SVR Rolling Stock Trust, the precursor of the current SVR Charitable Trust. He will play a key role in assisting the Charity to develop its fundraising strategy and contribute to its governance.
Laura is managing director of Transport for West Midlands. She has more than 25 years international experience delivering integrated economic and spatial regeneration and is the first woman in England to a lead a strategic transport authority.
She has held a number of senior roles in the West Midlands including head of strategic planning and implementation at the Black Country Consortium, the Black Country director of transport and the strategic director for transport at the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority. She joined the trustees in 2020.