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Leadership and Governance

Our Governance Team

The Family Holiday Charity is governed by a Board of Trustees, led by the Chair, Philippa Harris.

The board make sure the charity is delivering its mission, goals and strategy – to support families facing tough times to have a holiday. They help ensure we are managing risk and are adhering to policies, procedures, and regulations.

Philippa Harris

  • Philippa has been our Chair since June 2018. 
  • She’s had lots of experience working across the travel and tourism sector, with some well-known names like First Choice Holidays and Eurotunnel. This means she understands the context in which we offer holidays, manage the processes and approach, and can help us to meet people who could help support our work. 
  • Philippa is a Board member and Chair of the Communications Group at the Tourism Society. 
  • Favourite ice cream flavour: ‘salted caramel, with some vanilla’.

Mark Saxon

  • Mark has been our Treasurer since March 2018. 
  • He’s had lots of experience in retail banking and in consultancy. His expertise includes the systems, processes, and ways of working across the banking sector, helping them manage risks and meet regulatory requirements. This experience – and his love of spreadsheets – helps the charity remain financially stable and manage our risks. 
  • Favourite ice cream flavour: ‘pear and chocolate’

John Appleby

  • John has been our trustee since March 2016.
  • His career has been in the Law, firstly as a solicitor, and then as a Judge. His specialist area is in family law, and he has lots of experience with complex care cases. John has been actively involved with the Council of the Law Society, chairing a number of committees. His experience is invaluable in helping us make sure we are doing the right things, in the right ways, for the families we are here for. 
  • Favourite ice cream flavour: ‘salted caramel’

David Burling

  • David is one of our longest standing trustees – he’s been with us since 2008. 
  • His career has been in the travel industry, mainly with TUI Group in lots of different areas of the business – markets, aviation, hotels, tour operation – and in different senior roles. His experience is really valuable to us in helping us meet people who can help us deliver our mission, and in finding people who can help fund our work.

Jackie Kerslake (Murphy)

  • Jackie has been involved with the charity for more than 10 years, firstly as a star fundraiser (she’s run, baked and sailed!), ambassador, and then as a trustee since July 2019 and Vice Chair since March 2021.  
  • Her background is with London-based PR agency Flagship Consulting. She’s helped lots of businesses to build and protect reputations – her special areas are branding and brand building, and issue management as businesses prepare for crises. Her experience means she can help us with crisis planning, branding and communications, as well as Chairing the Nominations and Remuneration Committee. 
  • Favourite ice cream flavour: ‘chocolate, and pistachio’ 

Julie Tucker

  • Julie has been a trustee since July 2019, but through her work has known about us for many years. 
  • Her background is in social work. She has worked with KIDS, a charity delivering services to disabled children for more than 20 years. She’s experienced in meeting and improving outcomes for children, short break services for disabled children and development of specialist adventure playgrounds among other things. Julie is also on the board of Governors for the Thomas Coram nursery. Her expertise is invaluable in helping us to safely deliver holidays that make a real difference for families, and she helps us with Safeguarding, taking the lead Board role in this area.

John de Vial

  • John has been a trustee since July 2019 but involved in supporting the charity for many years – and is one of our star fundraisers, having personally raised nearly £120,000 through 8 marathons and other activities. 
  • Before retiring in 2022, his background was 42 years in the travel industry, working across several big name and high-profile travel brands over 30 years and working for the last 12 years at ABTA in Membership and Financial Protection. John was born into travel, the son of a Spanish tour manager working for an ABTA Member. 
  • John also served on the Air Travel Insolvency Protection Advisory Committee, advising the CAA and Aviation Minister on consumer financial protection. This experience is invaluable in helping the charity meet new people, made sound financial decisions, and look at different ways to offer holidays to families. 
  • John has also served in the past as a trustee of The Travel Foundation (a sustainability charity), ABTA Lifeline (the industry’s benevolent charity) and Tourism for All UK (an accessibility charity, formerly known as Holiday Care, providing accessibility information).
  • Favourite ice cream flavour: rum and raisin (helado de ron con pasas in Spanish!) 


The Family Holiday Charity employs a small team of staff to deliver the mission of the charity. Roles cover income and engagement, experiences and impact and finance and business resources – the things needed to raise money and deliver holidays for families facing tough times. This small staff team is led by a Leadership Team who have responsibilities for key areas of activity.

Kat Lee, Chief Executive

  • Kat joined the charity in January 2020. 
  • Kat has worked across the public and charity sector throughout her career, including time with the Science Museum, Parliament’s Education Service and Girlguiding. She’s been a charity trustee and Chair of Governors for a local primary school. Her experiences across these roles mean she is able to work with lots of different types of people in different roles and build great teams. She leads difficult and complex projects that mean things change for the better.
  • Outside of work, Kat is a novice gardener who likes playing games with her daughter.
  • Favourite ice cream flavour: ‘you can’t go wrong with chocolate’

Kate Harris, Director Finance and Business Support 

  • Kate joined the charity in October 2021. 
  • She has worked in finance and accountancy roles across the public and private sector, latterly also looking after business and memberships services too. This experience means she’s able to help us to work across all our key internal service areas, managing our finances and ensuring our systems and process for key areas like technology and people are in shape too.

Mags Rivett, Director Income and Engagement

  • Mags joined the charity in January 2021
  • She has worked in the non-profit sector for more than 20 years in fundraising, marketing, and communications roles. She has also spent time as a consultant, helping charities to use technology more effectively in delivering fundraising and communications plans. This experience means she can help us plan and build a fundraising strategy that will bring more supporters to the charity, which means we can offer more holidays to families facing tough times. 
  • Outside of work Mags collects travel writing stories from adventurous female travellers, goes on lots of trips and likes wine.
  • Favourite ice cream flavour: Cherry (or Salted Caramel)

Jax Shaw, Director Experiences and Impact

  • Jax joined the charity in November 2020
  • She has worked in key roles across the travel industry for most of her career, as well as enjoying some time in event management. This means she has all the right skills and experience to take care of all the different elements that go into planning holidays at scale, and to make sure that families have a great experience while they are away. She also looks after the feedback and research that makes sure we are delivering breaks that make a real, long-term, long-lasting impact, too. 
  • Jax is a trustee of the Thomas Cook Children’s Charity.
  • Favourite ice cream flavour: ‘a triple scoop, please – vanilla, chocolate and mint choc chip’. 

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