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Who we are

Find out more about the people involved in Unlock

Our staff

  • Angela Cairns CEO

    Angela joins Unlock after five years as CEO at the criminal justice charity Shannon Trust. She has worked in the voluntary sector since 2002, supporting people to bring about positive change in their lives.

    Specialised in leading small organisations that punch above their weight, Angela has a strong track record in organisational development, frontline delivery and advocating for change. She is passionate about bringing the voices of people experiencing discrimination and disadvantage to the forefront of debate.



    Contact details



    Please note – If you are looking for personal advice, please contact our helpline

    Please note – If you have a media enquiry, click here

  • Julie Harmsworth Deputy CEO

    Julie joined Unlock in 2000 and was appointed Deputy Chief Executive in 2004. Since then she has played a key role in the charity’s evolution and strategic development with varying responsibilities. Her main focus is to ensure that the charity continues to develop and remain well placed to meet its objectives through fully resourced services and projects.

    Julie is a graduate of Kent Law School and was elected life fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) in 2004.

  • Debbie Sadler Advice manager

    Debbie is responsible for delivering the core support that the charity provides to people with convictions. This includes overseeing the helpline, as well as our online support. She also manages our volunteer programme.

    In November 2016, Debbie came 3rd in the ‘Employee of the Year’ category at the national helpline awards. Find out more here.

    Debbie joined Unlock in June 2013 having previously worked in healthcare management and retail. She has had experience of providing information and advice whilst volunteering at the St Giles Trust and the Citizens Advice Bureau. She also has a degree in Business Studies from Canterbury Christchurch University. Debbie feels passionately that people with convictions should be able to put their past mistakes behind them and move on to lead a law-abiding life.

  • Rachel Tynan Policy and practice lead

    Rachel leads the charity’s work in increasing the employment of people with criminal records by supporting and challenging employers to change their recruitment policies and practices, working to prevent unlawful criminal record checks, influencing government policy and working on other policy and practice issues including access to higher education.

    Rachel leads Unlock’s work in increasing the employment of people with criminal records by supporting and challenging employers to change their recruitment policies and practices, working to prevent unlawful criminal record checks, influencing government policy and working on other policy and practice issues including access to higher education.

    Rachel joined Unlock in July 2018 having previously worked in the civil service and higher education, most recently with Open Book at Goldsmiths on their prison/university partnership projects. Rachel has recently completed her PhD and continues to publish academically.

  • Ruth Davies Digital and communications manager

    Ruth implements Unlock’s digital strategy to ensure that we reach as many people as possible and help them to self-serve digitally. She is also responsible for creating  communications that raise the voice and experiences of people with criminal records, increases awareness of Unlock’s work and supports our policy and influencing work to challenge the stigma and discrimination that people face.   

    Ruth joined Unlock in 2020. Ruth leads communications activity at Unlock, as well as the development and implementation of the charity’s digital strategy. Prior to joining Unlock, Ruth worked in the communications team at SafeLives; a UK-wide charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse. Having begun her career at a tech startup, Ruth has a passion for all things digital, and uses this expertise to develop Unlock’s online platforms and communication channels.

  • Samuel Ragnarsson Policy officer

    With a focus on reforming the criminal records regime, Sam builds on Unlock’s recent work – including successful legal intervention in the Supreme Court, the #FairChecks movement and work on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 – to influence policy makers and key stakeholders to secure changes to legislation and government policy.   

    He will also support the development of Unlock’s strategy of using the law for achieving change in policy, as well as building on the charity’s previous research to develop a strategy that strengthens the evidence-base for changes in policies and practices that will have a positive impact on the lives of people we exist to help. 

    Sam joined Unlock in 2020.  Sam studied journalism at the University of Lincoln, then went on to complete a Masters in Political Communication at the University of Sheffield. After university he joined a media agency, working as a writer and producer with a number of blue chip corporate clients. He had the chance to produce an independent documentary about former offenders, and after that experience decided to focus his career on more impactful social issues. His first role in advocacy was in the heritage sector, campaigning to protect listed buildings, before moving to Unlock in 2020.

  • Doug Yarnton Helpline coordinator

    Doug is responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the helpline, supporting our volunteers and maintaining the charity’s position as the go to place online for people with convictions.

    Doug joined Unlock in December 2015. He previously worked in local government.

    Doug is responsible for supporting helpline advisor volunteers and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the helpline. He manages a case load of more complex cases where he works to support individuals to challenge unfair treatment they are facing due to their criminal record. He also supports the information and advice that we provide online.

    Doug is also responsible for identifying, understanding and developing responses to trends and issues that people with convictions are facing due to their criminal record. This ensures that Unlock listens and responds to the problems that people are facing.

    Doug is passionate about helping people with criminal records move on with their lives. Through Unlock he is looking to help and support people with convictions, assisting them as they try to move on in their lives and overcome the challenges they face because of their criminal record.

  • Cathy Westbrook Fundraising manager

    Cathy works part-time to support the team in ensuring that Unlock has sufficient resources to continue its vital work. Mostly, this involves researching appropriate funding opportunities, developing proposals and writing bids to some of the UKs most understanding and supportive grant-giving trusts.

    Her role with Unlock follows a varied career in the cultural, arts and non-profit sectors, working in fundraising, project management, producing and commissioning.





Our President

  • The Lord Ramsbotham GCB,CBE President
    Lord Ramsbotham is a retired British Army officer, who later served as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons. He was awarded a life peerage in 2005, and now sits on the cross benches of the H ...
    ouse of Lords.
  • Judge John Samuels QC Vice-president
    Judge John Samuels QC sat in the Crown Court for some 27 years, and was later a judicial member of the Parole Board for his maximum tenure of 10 years. He is President of Prisoners’ Education Trust; ...
    and, in addition to his role at Unlock, he is Vice President of AMIMB and Tempus Novo; and a Patron of Prisoners’ Advice Service. He previously chaired the Criminal Justice Alliance, and was a Trustee of the Howard League for Penal Reform.

Our trustees

  • Mark Rowe Chair
    Mark’s career is in financial services where he has held head of compliance roles for firms in various sectors including pensions; payments and insurance. He is currently Head of Compliance for a sp ...
    ecialist (re)insurance firm. His work-related experience has included the North and South America, EEA, Africa, Singapore and Australia. Mark has also acted as Trustee for a number of charities and is currently a trustee of a charity which provides care, rehabilitation and support for adults or children with profound physical disability, acquired brain injury, and autism. Mark has a degree in law from the London School of Economics and is a member of the Institute of Charted Secretaries and Administrators; the Chartered Insurance Institute; the Chartered Bankers Institute and the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments. Mark joined Unlock’s board of trustees in June 2018 and was elected as Chair in April 2020.
  • Salima Budhani Trustee
    Salima is a solicitor at Bindmans LLP, specialising in public law and human rights. She acts regularly in public law cases arising in the criminal justice context, such as challenges to the police and ...
    CPS, including on behalf of people exercising their rights to protest, as well as in cases for people wishing to challenge cautions and disclosure on DBS certificates. She has a particular interest in representing vulnerable or marginalised people, and regularly acts on behalf of children and young people, asylum seekers and others subject to immigration control, victims of human trafficking, trans and intersex people. Prior to studying law, Salima studied psychology at UCL, obtaining a BSc in 2000 and then a PhD in 2005. Salima joined Unlock’s board of trustees in April 2015.
  • Mark Day Trustee
    Mark Day is head of policy and communications at the Prison Reform Trust, a position he has held since 2010. He is clerk to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Penal Affairs and a member of the campa ...
    ign management group of the Transition to Adulthood Alliance. Previously he was deputy director of the centre-left thinktank Progress and also deputy editor of Progress Magazine. Before that he was head of communications at the international thinktank Policy Network. Mark has worked in Parliament as a researcher for an MP and also in the parliamentary office of the lobby group Stonewall. Mark joined Unlock’s board of trustees in June 2018
  • Faye Goldman Trustee
    Faye is Head of Communications at The Health Foundation, where she works on an initiative to improve health and care in the UK. She has a background in charity communications, digital and campaigning, ...
    with previous roles at Gingerbread and Business in the Community. At Business in the Community she played a key role in the launch and ongoing success of the Ban the Box campaign – challenging employers to adopt fairer recruitment practices for people with criminal records -, and worked closely with Unlock during this time. Faye has particular interest in supporting people who are commonly stereotyped or stigmatised to have their voices and experiences heard and valued by the media, policy makers and service designers. Faye joined Unlock’s board of trustees in June 2018.
  • Leigh Hardy Trustee
    Leigh is a consultant specializing in Board assurance, compliance and governance. Before becoming self-employed Leigh worked for 25 years in the NHS in roles relating to governance, compliance and ris ...
    k management. Leigh’s experience includes all aspects of quality governance and regulatory compliance. She has developed quality and improvement strategies in a number of different healthcare organisations. Leigh has a wide range of experience working with NHS Boards developing assurance frameworks, strategies, and associated risk registers and performance metrics. Leigh’s recent projects have included the development of a Board Assurance Framework and Corporate Risk Register, project management of preparations for regulatory assessment and independent investigations. Leigh also works with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the main NHS regulator, as a Specialist Advisor for Board level governance. Leigh has an MSc in Healthcare Governance (Distinction), from Loughborough University. Leigh joined Unlock’s board of trustees in June 2018.
  • Steve Lorber Trustee
    Steve is a solicitor specialising in employment law and workplace data privacy together with advice on charity law and governance. He believes recent data protection law can be used both to limit and ...
    challenge the use of criminal records in recruitment and to support those at risk of stigmatisation and exclusion from the labour market. With a wide legal experience, he previously spent eleven years working in a law centre seeking to provide access to justice for individuals and community groups in Islington. Previously a trustee of a charity providing shelter for rough sleepers and bereavement counselling to children, he is currently a trustee of Westminster Medical School Research Trust. He joined the board of Unlock in February 2020.
  • Hamish MacLellan Trustee.
    Hamish has had a long career in financial services, specialising in European Equities, and has held senior positions at several US investment banks. He is currently in a senior role at an alternative ...
    asset manager that is a leading player in European Private Debt. Hamish has a passionate interest in supporting those caught up in the criminal justice system and is a trustee for a charity in the sector that delivers life and systems coaching into UK prisons. He holds a Sloan Masters in Leadership and Strategy from the London Business School and a BSc (Hons) in Statistics with Management Science Techniques from Cardiff University. Hamish joined Unlock’s board of trustees in May 2020.
  • Mandy Mahil Trustee
    Mandy’s personal experience of the criminal justice system convinced her of the need to support prisoners with greater access to information and opportunities for self-improvement. Upon her rele ...
    ase from prison, Mandy returned to full-time study and obtained a BA(Hons) degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) from King’s College London, where she also served as trustee for the Students’ Union (2016-17). Mandy maintains a particular interest in supporting BAME women in prison and victims of sexual assault. She works with a number of organisations to promote reform in the British criminal justice system and improve the prospects of people with criminal convictions. Mandy joined Unlock as a trustee in 2020
  • Nigel Parsons Trustee
    Nigel is a business owner and financial consultant. Previous to establishing his own company in 2012 Nigel worked for a variety of financial institutions, both in the UK and overseas. During his caree ...
    r Nigel has help run the investment strategies for a range of charities and sporting clubs. Previously a Chartered Fellow of the Securities Institute, Nigel’s recent work has focused around evaluating the financial performance of companies and organisations in the Not for Profit sector, helping institutions to achieve their financial and wider strategic plans. Nigel joined Unlock’s board of trustees in April 2015.
  • Mike Pattinson Trustee
    Mike has a career within the criminal justice, health and social care sectors that spans over thirty years. Working in residential services, as a Probation Officer and for 22 years as Executive Direct ...
    or for Change Grow Live the UK’s largest drug treatment provider. A passionate advocate for social justice, challenging stigma and campaigning for the rights of those experiencing discrimination he supplements this passion with experience of growing successful business, keeping values at the heart of organisational strategies and of delivering change. Currently working as an Independent Management Consultant Mike is also a Fellow of the RSA and Chair of the Trust for Developing Communities.
  • Emma Wilson Trustee
    Emma is a qualified solicitor. After Allen & Overy and then as head of legal in various multinationals, Emma now operates as a consultant (providing legal support and also management skills traini ...
    ng to lawyers). Emma’s involvement in the criminal justice system ranges from her experience as a Referral Order Panel member, as a volunteer for the charity StoryBook Dads, an advisor for Children Heard and Seen and as an Independent Monitoring Board member at a women’s prison. She has experience as a trustee of various charities, and is also a trustee of Unlocked Graduates. Emma has a law degree from Queens’ College Cambridge. She joined Unlock as a trustee in February 2020.

Our patrons

  • Bob Turney

    “As one of the founders of Unlock, I was delighted when I was asked to be a Patron of the Charity. It is doing splendid work in helping people to move beyond their pasts and create different lives.”

  • Professor Nick Hardwick

    “I am really pleased to have this opportunity to support Unlock whose work I have admired for a long time.

    We all sometimes need a chance to make a new start – and this is particularly true of former prisoners. It is in no-one’s interest to put unnecessary obstacles in their way of building a new productive and law-abiding life – it harms not just former prisoners themselves but their families and the communities of which they are part. Unlock has won praise for the work they have done to help prisoners make the transition through the prison gates and I am pleased to be able to support them.”

  • Kate Adie CBE DL

    “Unlock recognises that helping ex-prisoners lead normal and fulfilling lives, is beneficial for all. I’m particularly impressed by its practical and supportive approach.”

  • Professor Andrew Coyle CMG

    “Congratulations on the excellent work which you and your colleagues in Unlock continue to do. I have been a firm supporter since the early days when, what was then the National Association of Ex-offenders, was set up.

    It is essential that men and women who have been in prison and who have paid their debt to society should be helped to resettle into civil society. Who better to give them help to do so than those who have already trod that path. Unlock has provided support of this kind over the last 15 years and I value my role as a Patron.”

  • Flo Krause LLB

    “I wholly support Unlock’s aims and values. The work that Unlock has done so far in pushing for social rehabilitation of people coming out of prison is invaluable.

    I am thinking specifically about the bank accounts and insurance. I am also thinking about the work on the recent Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. I am proud to be associated with Unlock and all that it stands for and I hope that it continues to grow from strength to strength and continues to make the impact that is so needed on our society in terms of embracing rehabilitation.”

  • Dr Silvia Casale CMG
    “I am constantly impressed by the practical help a small but energetic organisation like Unlock has been able to provide to people in a wide variety of circumstances. Over the years it has been ...
    inspiring to meet many individuals who have turned their lives around and are making such a positive contribution to their communities with the help of Unlock.”
  • Dr Deborah Cheney

    “What can I say? There is SO much to comment upon about those in prison and those who have been in prison and are trying to recover their lives. Prison, by the very nature of how it operates, both undermines and ‘reduces’ people.

    Whatever the legislation states, whatever the Prison Rules decree, there is no doubt that the very nature of being imprisoned both diminishes the prisoner as a person and the families of those imprisoned. The fact that Unlock exists is a shame, it exists because when someone has served a sentence their lives may be blighted forever, any future they may envisage is corrupted. The very fact Unlock exists is a blessing, there is at least an organisation which may champion those who have been in prison and face such a future. Unlock believes that fate is not inevitable, nor is that societal labelling. Unlock challenges ordinary perceptions with examples. Who else would do it?”

  • Dr Shadd Maruna

    “It is an honour to be associated with Unlock — you are doing great work”

  • Jill Stevens

    “The real strength of Unlock is that it is not only run by people who understand the huge challenges faced by those with past convictions, but also that as an organisation it knows how to effectively bring those challenges to the attention of decision makers who can help.

    I have been impressed by the impeccable and compelling research done by Unlock, particularly in my area of expertise, personal finance. This research and resulting reports has provided robust and professional back-up to their various campaigns. Much of Unlock’s success undoubtedly stems from the strategy of working with government and private organisations to educate those influencers who have the power to change things for the better. I have seen the difference the organisation makes, both on a small scale to individuals and in the larger arena of communities and national understanding, and I am proud to be a patron of Unlock.”

  • Matt Hyde FRSA
    “People with convictions face so many obstacles to rebuild their lives – whether that be discrimination or lack of practical support. This does them a disservice and is damaging for wider ...
    society. Unlock is a brilliant charity because it works to remove these barriers creating a fairer and more inclusive society and I’m proud to be one of its Patrons.”
  • The Rt Hon. the Lord Garnier QC

    “Prisons are a secret world known only to those who work or are imprisoned within them. To the public on the outside it is far too often a matter of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Unlock is one of the vital metaphorical windows through which the public can see into the closed world of the prisoner and learn what is being done in their name,

    and through which the prisoner can see out into society and know that there is a place of hope and acceptance for him or her once they have completed their sentence. Unlock does invaluable work and without it Britain would be a poorer place.”

  • Baroness Helena Kennedy QC

    “I am so proud to be associated with Unlock. It is a terrific organisation. It does such important work supporting prisoners rebuild their lives on release from prison.

    It is often one of the the hardest parts of doing time – stepping back into a world fraught with challenges and negative judgements. I have seen first hand how my former clients needed help and Unlock was the answer.”

  • Dexter Dias QC

    Dexter Dias QC is a human rights barrister (Queen’s Counsel) who played a pivotal role in public inquiries including the Zahid Mubarek Inquiry.

    He won the TMG award for Outstanding Contribution to Advocacy and Justice and was finalist in Liberty and JUSTICE’s prestigious Human Rights Lawyer of the Year Award, nominated for “his outstanding commitment to the rule of law and justice for all; for his deep devotion to ensure that the voices of the weakest in society are heard.”

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