Suzanne Ryder- Only Cowards Carry Weapons Awareness Chair

Suzanne has been newly appointed to the board as Chairperson in May 2015.

Suzanne currently works for Marks and Spencer. In her 15-year management career she has been responsible for delivering challenging sales target, cost budgets and managing retail teams. With the ever changing pressures within retail Suzanne brings to the board skills that promote innovation, financial accountability and people management. On a personal level Suzanne holds very strong integrity values and feels extremely passionate towards the success and achievements of Only Cowards Carry Weapons Awareness.

Prior to working for Marks and Spencer Suzanne held management roles within in the energy and marketing industry as well achieving a degree in Business Management.

Michael Shearer - Trustee

Michael has recently joined the board and with this brings his strong set of skills and real life experience of the life changing impact of knives with him. Michael was the stepfather of Jay Whiston, who was fatally stabbed in 2012 and helped to set up Only Cowards Carry alongside Caroline Shearer since Day one of the organisation. Michael has made a significant difference to the charity since the very beginning and is dedicated to the cause.

Michael has previously held business management roles working within the energy and marketing sector. Qualified and experienced in Adolescent Fostering and Youth Counselling, Michael brings vital skills to the organisation. Michael is committed to supporting the work of the charity and making a positive impact to the lives of young people and communities.

Paul Dewing - Managing Director of GCS Fire & Security

After starting work for the family business back in 1994 I have worked my way up from apprentice to engineer then to supervisor then onto surveying and am now the Managing Director.

I have enjoyed the growth and have built myself on the people I have met and what I have learnt along the way, it has helped me working with Local Councils, Schools, Domestic customers and large Commercial companies, covering all aspects of Fire & Security systems.

I have also worked with Essex County Council supporting the STEM Education in Essex Project and our local Youth Club in St Osyth.

I feel that this is a great charity and give it my full support and look forward to seeing it grow.

Trevor Woolley - Trustee

Trevor has recently joined the board after getting in contact with the charity and Caroline after the fatal stabbing of his son Ashley Woolley, 18 in Chelmsford. Ashley, a loving, lively and soft natured young man died from an unprovoked attack on 18th December 2014. Trevor has since then started a campaign ‘Give 10 Pints for Ashley’ and wants to ensure that awareness is raised. Trevor is a Prison Officer at Chelmsford Prison and brings his experience from the role and knowledge of working with youth offenders and keeping people safe. Trevor brings a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experience of working with offenders.
Gail Lewis - Trustee

Gail has been a teacher since the 70’s, not only in schools but also with children in secure environments, across a broad range of ages and abilities. Her career started in London City schools and she moved to the coast, teaching at Tendring Technology College as a Senior Assistant Principal. Gail brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in education to the board.
Shani Jackson - Director

Shani started as a volunteer for Only Cowards Carry in 2012 and has shown her outstanding devotion to the charity, moving to a position as the Community Liaison Officer and to her current position as the Managing Director of the charity in June 2014.

Shani's knowledge, experience and education is paramount to the board.