Meet the Trustees & Council Members

We have a diverse collection of people who are Trustees or Council Members. All of them have had wide ranging experiences, but above all they all agree with the Pestalozzi ethos, which is helping to produce talented young people.

Professor Stuart Laing

Chair of Trustees

With an impressive background in education, Stuart Laing hopes he can make an impact for further Pestalozzi opportunities within British universities. Stuart said: 'I have recently retired from over forty years of working in Sussex universities, which is how I became involved with Pestalozzi. 

Being assigned to lead the initial discussions between the University of Brighton and Pestalozzi regarding the possibility of scholarships and this resulted in the successful scholarship scheme that is in place today. I hope that my knowledge and experience in these areas can assist in opening up some further scholarship schemes in English universities. I am looking forward to learning much from my fellow trustees and from the students as well.  Despite the challenging financial situation,  I admire the fact that Pestalozzi has always embodied great optimism in the values of education and in the development of mutual understanding as a solution to our global problems. To be able to share in this will be a great privilege.

Dan Bennett


I have been involved with Pestalozzi since 2010 when I first led a joint project between Pestalozzi and the University of Brighton that focused on developing Pestalozzi's marketing and alumni relationship strategy. I have been a Council Member since 2012 and am delighted to be a Trustee. I am currently a Principal Lecturer in marketing and public relations at the University of Brighton and have a keen interest in working with the non-profit sector. For the last two years, I have been mentoring student groups who undertake PR project work for Pestalozzi and continue to advise on, and help develop, Pestalozzi's marketing strategy. I am a firm believer that education goes beyond the individual and has a broader role to play in an increasingly globalised society. Pestalozzi offers life changing opportunities to students who demonstrate the potential to make a difference and I am committed to increasing access to education as a solution to a number of the global, economic and social challenges that we face in the world today.

Martyn Forster


Martyn has been a Trustee of Pestalozzi International Village Trust from 2009 to the present day. A science teacher and Trustee of St Mary's Wrestwood Trust, Bexhill, Martyn retired from teaching in 2007. He was elected County Councillor for Bexhill East in 2005, and a District Councillor for St Michael's ward in Rother in 2007. Although he has now retired from politics Martyn maintains a keen interest in education.

Alex Ffrench

Trustee and Honorary Treasurer

Alex is a Chartered Certified Accountant and an expert in the charity sector. He has spent 13 years advising charities of all shapes and sizes ranging from local entities with income of £50,000 to household name charities with income of in excess of £50m. He is currently a trustee of two charities and has sat on numerous boards including the risk committee of a national charity. He has worked in teams acting as Interim Managers on behalf of the Charity Commission, working to turn around failing charities; this has given him a real insight into the regularity regime that governs charities. He holds the Institute of Charters Accountants Diploma in Charity Accounting and is included on the list of Interim Managers held by the Charity Commission.

Graham Card

Council Member

Graham Card, MIEx (Grad) ABFA dip A Inst IB Cert PFS CeMAP FRGS. Graham has been a Trustee of Pestalozzi International Village Trust since 2010. He is a graduate of the Institute of Export, holds the diploma of the Asset Based Finance Association and is a member of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers. He has spent his working life in UK and international trade and commercial trade finance. His core experience is in supply chain and logistics together with sales and sourcing of the most appropriate finance facilities for UK as well as import and export situations. Graham sources financial solutions for businesses experiencing issues with cash flow caused by payment delays or doubts about the credit worthiness of debtors in the UK or overseas. Many international trading companies retain Graham as an external source of advice and assistance. In some cases outsourcing part of the international trade function to him. Graham and his wife are also a Pestalozzi host family.

Spencer Endersby

Council member

Spencer Endersby - CEng, CITP. Spencer became a Trustee of Pestalozzi International Village Trust in January 2015 and is now Vice Chair. He previously lived in Sedlescombe and attended Claverham Community College; along with former students of the Pestalozzi Village, so is very familiar with its principle of educating the "Head, Heart & Hands". Spencer currently works for the International NGO "Save the Children UK" based in London, where he heads up the Programmes & Partnerships practice. He has always had a passion for lifelong learning, and prior to that he worked for "City & Guilds of London Institute”, where he was accountable for the delivery of IT programmes and projects to support the organisation's vocational education strategy.

Penny Hamilton

Council Member

Penny Hamilton was a Trustee of Pestalozzi from 2005 until 2012 and is now a Council Member.
Penny lived in the Middle East, mostly in Saudi Arabia, from 1979 until 2004.  She co-chaired an organization to help expatriate women in difficult circumstances and also chaired the International Concert Committee which brought international classical musicians to Saudi Arabia.
Since returning to England Penny has continued to be involved with music and is also an Executive Committee member of Disaster Action.

Dr. Sally Henderson

Council Member

Sally became a Trustee of Pestalozzi International Village Trust in 2012 and after four years is now a member of council. As a local resident with an interest in education I have been involved with Pestalozzi for over ten years. My initial connection was through a neighbour, Richard Maidment, who was a Trustee at the time. I took over the running of Pestalozzi’s annual fundraising tennis tournament in 2005 and I have also helped Rosie Clarke, Penny Hamilton and Jane Pennock with our major London fundraising events. A native of Northern Ireland, Sally was educated at the University of London, taking her PhD in Biochemistry in 1979. Fifteen years of research into kidney diseases at Queen Elizabeth College (now part of King’s College) followed, before she moved to Sussex when her husband was appointed as a consultant rheumatologist at the Conquest Hospital. Sally has maintained her links with King’s College as chairman of the Queen Elizabeth College Alumni Association. She is also treasurer of the local branch of the National Osteoporosis Society. Her other interests include tennis (she is Chair of the Sedlescombe Lawn Tennis Club), maths coaching and, of course, Pestalozzi.

Daxa Patel

Council Member

2013 to Present
The  Friends of Pestalozzi, Isle of Man, have been holding fundraising events since 1971. 
I was introduced to the charity in 1999 when I came to the island, and joined the committee in 2003. I was Chair from 2005 - 2015, and currently am still a committee member.  
In 2014, I became a Council Member of Pestalozzi International Village Trust (PIVT). 
I hold a degree in Economics. I have worked at British Telecom (BT), setting up the 0800 numbers and then Financial Times (FT) as Project Manager. I retired from the FT in 1995 to bring up our four children. 
Also, I am an Iyengar inspired yoga teacher. 
My Husband, Manoj is a Company Secretary. When we have our annual function, we like to invite a Pestalozzi student to attend so our guests see where how their ticket money and donations are spent.
I was born in Uganda and I know my life would be very different had we not come to England, and thus the opportunity we give the young students from developing countries is the greatest opportunity to affect change.
It’s a long term investment and Pestalozzi provides this essential bridge so  their education will continue.

Jane Pennock

Council Member

Jane was a Pestalozzi Trustee from 2004-2013. She has a Diploma in Social Studies from Trinity College Dublin, a Diploma in Medical Social Work and a Diploma in Counselling from the Westminster Pastoral Foundation. From 1967 to 1969, Jane worked as the Medical Social Worker to the Radiotherapy and Paediatric Departments at the Westminster Hospital, London. Whilst bringing up four children, she was Chair of her local branch of the NSPCC which was successful in substantial fundraising. In 1991, Jane returned to counselling at St. Michael’s Hospice and Cranehurst surgery, Cranbrook. She has also counselled young people at Benenden, Claremont and Vinehall schools. Jane is now a Supervisor of Bereavement Counsellors at St. Michael’s Hospice and continues in private practice.

Alex Whittington

Council Member

I joined Pestalozzi in 2012 as the Facilities and Estate Manager. I was a member of the Senior Management Team and worked directly with the Estate Development Committee, Pestalozzi Enterprises Committee and Health and Safety Committee. During my four years at Pestalozzi I had the privilege of working with brilliant staff and students. I left Pestalozzi in the summer of 2016 after completion of the Pestalozzi Centre. 

I now work for an independent girls school in Kent running their Maintenance and Capital project work. I was always keen to maintain close ties with Pestalozzi and was very happy to be asked to join as a member of council in 2017. 
I now chair the Health and Safety Committee. 

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Inspiring young people to make a difference in the world.