Board of trustees

We are an organisation with a close-working, diverse staff group delivering our various projects, and our Board of Trustees reflects our ethos of teamwork, co-operation and good communication. If you are interested in becoming a trustee, see our volunteering page.

Fabian van Essen (Chair)

Fabian is a Professor of Inclusive and Special Education at IU International University of Applied Sciences. His academic work focuses on inclusion and self-determination in the context of learning disabilities, and on diversity in early childhood education. He is also Head of Innovation of the German Institute of Inclusive Education, which provides qualifications for people with learning disabilities to become fully paid lecturers. Fabian was Head of Programmes for EDUCATION Y, one of Germany’s largest education charities.

Sade Alade

Sade joined the Board of Elfrida Rathbone Camden in 2006. Sade is an Early Intervention and Prevention Area Manager at Waltham Forest Council who has worked on issues concerning vulnerable children, young people and families in both the voluntary and public sector for more than 10 years.

Alan Ward

Alan is currently the Finance & Risk Manager at a global, multi-stakeholder non-profit organisation and brings a wealth of experience in financial leadership and risk management within the non-profit and charity sectors to the Board of ERC.

Mei-Yee Man Oram

Mei joined the Board in May 2022. Mei is passionate about accessibility and inclusion, and is the Access and Inclusive Environments Lead at Arup, a multidisciplinary engineering firm working in the built environment.  Mei evaluates the accessibility and inclusivity of the built environment in relation to the local and national requirements, social / cultural setting, and best practice. As part of her work, she also considers the changing trends and demographics of our societies to address future requirements of a diverse population. Outside of work, she is passionate about nature and volunteers in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.

Andy Cole

Andy joined the Board in Feb 2023.  He is an experienced Chief Executive with a successful history of working in the further education and skills sector. Skilled in Business Turnaround, Curriculum Development, Coaching, Learning Management, and Quality Improvement. Strong, values-driven professional and alumni of University College London and Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.  He is currently the Interim Principal at Barking and Dagenham College and a governor of Mid Kent College.

Hui Wang

Hui joined the Board in March 2023.  Hui is the community lead of Zebee which is a delivery partner for not-for-profit organisations. Their mission is to support organisations to deliver on their promises by providing business development and project management services. Hui is extremely passionate about social impact projects and a firm believer in giving everyone an equal opportunity to succeed no matter their background. She has over 7 years of experience working in technology product development. Her previous roles included software engineering, project management, and scrum master at John Lewis, Rightmove and Net-A-Porter.

In memoriam Catherine Capaldi

Catherine was a Camden young disabled person who played a prominent role in the development of the charity. She had been a service user and went on to become an employee in our ground-breaking Young People For Inclusion project. Catherine was active in a number of local disability and inclusion charities and joined the board of ERC in 2014. Sadly, Catherine passed away in 2019. See our tribute to her here.