Our trustees


Introducing our CEO Shirley Scotcher, Shirley works closely with the board and the Senior leadership team at SMART to ensure that we are delivering for the people that we support. 

Shirley Scotcher CEO

“Having lived and worked in Bedford for most of my life, I am passionate about helping the people where I live.  As homelessness becomes more prevalent across Bedford, I am keen to work with the experienced team at SMART CJS to provide support for those who are rough sleeping and those teetering on the edge of losing their homes.”

Shirley joins us from FitzRoy Love4Life where she was Managing Director.  She successfully ran her own business for a number of years, and since its sale has dedicated her life to helping charities realise their potential, and make positive change for good.

Our Board

SMART CJS Board of Trustees are a group of volunteers responsible for making sure the charity is running well and is doing what it was set up to do. They meet regularly with the CEO and other members of staff.

Sue Prytherch, Chair


Sue is a business owner and an experienced Executive Search Specialist, Coach, and psychometric assessor. Outside of work Sue has a small property development company which has refurbished and built residential properties and volunteers for other charities based around homelessness and education as an Enterprise Advisor and Careers Mentor. Sue has worked as a consultant to the boards of multiple businesses which has given her insight into successful companies and how they operate.  She brings this understanding of both business and people to her role of trustee and is committed to supporting the role of SMART in providing safe spaces for people experiencing homelessness.

Fergus Crombie

Fergus’s involvement with Bedford’s homeless goes back decades to taking part in soup runs, in which he is still involved today. He also worked with the Prebend Street Day Centre (now Hub) and BeChar, a local charity which merged with SMART in 2017. In those roles the importance of his contribution was recognised by eventual appointment as a trustee and later deputy chair. His professional background is in construction engineering and waste regulation, which enables him to bring to SMART experience of organisational management, interpretation of regulations and dealing with public sector agencies. Specialist in organisational management, interpretation of regulations and dealing with public sector agencies.

Keara O’Connor

Keara has extensive management experience with national charitable bodies. In those roles she developed skills in putting forward proposals to funding agencies which, once approved, she set up and subsequently saw through to completion. She currently runs a consultancy that manages projects in the not-for-profit sector as well as advising charitable and voluntary bodies on running their organisations efficiently and effectively. Her interest in SMART was sparked by her own lived experience of addiction and SMART’s person-centred vision in a field which she knows to be important.

Adrian Davey

Chair of Finance Committee Adrian has over 25 years’ experience working for housing associations, development companies and councils in various roles including tenancy, property and care management, as well as developing 4000 new homes.
He has a Degree in Housing Development and Management, a Diploma in People Management and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing, Chartered Management Institute and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, where he held positions on the Regulatory Tribunal and Governing Council. A single parent for many years, when not busy at work and home, Adrian enjoys photography, fishing, catching up with friends, eating out and travelling. 

Sallie Stanton

Currently Chief Education Officer at Advantage Schools, Sallie oversees all educational performance across the Trust, with particular expertise in Primary and Secondary curricular development. She excels in designing and delivering impactful professional learning opportunities for teachers, with a focus on curricular thinking, leadership, and classroom culture. Leading regional partnerships with the Ambition Institute and DRET Teaching School Hub, Sallie drives innovative initiatives including the Early Career Teachers program. As well as holding various senior teaching positions, Sallie has also worked in the field of Substance Misuse and Corporate Fundraising.

Tendai Rukarwa

A Chartered accountant registered in Zimbabwe as well as England and Wales. She completed her Articles with EY Chartered Accountants before working in various organisations delivering accounting, internal and external audit as well advisory services. She is a seasoned accountant with more than 10 years’ experience in various jurisdictions. In addition to being a CA, she is currently studying for a Master of Business Administration with University of East London. As a trustee she hopes to champion voices of ethnic minorities and make knowledge accessible to those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Tendai is also a Trustee for Relate Milton Keynes, a professional relationship support charity.

Simon Danes

Simon is a former teacher and senior manager in a number of schools, as well as being a professional writer.  He’s now retired.  He’s worked for local charities as a volunteer and as a trustee; his particular expertise is in fundraising.  He currently teaches English to people who have recently arrived in the UK.  A self-confessed fan of Doctor Who since childhood, Simon runs Bedford’s annual charity Doctor Who convention, which supports SMART.  Simon’s interests include theatre, literature, political history and theology.  He is married and has three grown up children; he and his wife live in Pavenham. 

Being a charity trustee is a fulfilling and rewarding experience that can have a positive impact on both the organization you serve and your personal life. Here are some of the benefits of being a charity trustee:

  • Making a difference: As a charity trustee, you have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of others. You can help shape the direction of the organization and contribute to its mission, all while supporting a cause that you are passionate about.
  • Personal growth: Serving as a trustee can help you develop new skills and gain valuable experience. You’ll have the chance to work with other dedicated individuals, learn about the workings of a charity, and gain leadership skills that can benefit you in other areas of your life.
  • Networking: Being a trustee can also provide opportunities to network with other professionals in your field. You’ll have the chance to build relationships with other trustees, volunteers, and supporters of the organization, which can lead to new opportunities and collaborations.
  • Fulfilling social responsibility: Serving as a charity trustee is also a way to fulfill your social responsibility and give back to your community. By volunteering your time and expertise, you can help ensure that valuable services are provided to those in need, and contribute to a better world for all.