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  1. Yasmin Batliwala MBE

    21 April 2023 by viadmn

    Yasmin is the CEO of Advocates for International Development (A4ID). A4ID source lawyers to provide free legal advice and assistance to support organisations that work in the international development sector focusing on the eradication of poverty.

    She has held several significant leadership positions over the years within the public and third sectors around HIV/AIDS, drug and alcohol dependency, and criminal justice. She has also undertaken work for the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime on these issues. A magistrate for almost 30 years, Yasmin served on the Adult and Youth Bench.

    She is the president of HACRO, a service which works for the rehabilitation and resettlement of ex-offenders. She was a recipient of the City of London Woman of Achievement Awards in 2015 for her work in the public sector.

    Yasmin says: “I am hugely proud to be associated with Via. I take pride that we have always put the users of our services at the heart of all we do. I am proud of the quality of care we provide, and that it is offered to the carers, families, and friends. I am immensely proud of our staff and volunteers, and the professional approach we have consistently adopted, regardless of the challenges faced locally, or nationally. These elements of what we do combine to put Via at the cutting edge of drug and alcohol services in the UK. As the organisation has grown with our ambition, our ethos has never been diluted. It allows me to say with confidence that we will always provide the best possible care, at the highest level.”

  2. Gillian Benning

    by viadmn

    Gillian is a non-practising solicitor who was in practice with her husband for approximately 50 years.

    She was the managing partner of their firm, and she gained a wide experience of many different branches of the law including insolvency, regulatory, property, employment, and litigation.

    Gillian was involved in several charities including ones dealing with age, children, and women’s aid.

    She joined the board of Via in 2008 and is also the Via whistleblowing champion.

    Gillian says: “I am very proud to be part of Via and after spending many years helping people through my work as a lawyer, I now want to support people in need.”

  3. Raj Boyjoonauth

    by viadmn

    Raj comes from a health professional background, having trained as a nurse in the 1970s. He has occupied several senior management posts in the NHS, his last post being the deputy director for addictions and offender care at CNWL NHS Foundation Trust.

    He was a member of the Home Office Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs Committee (ACMD) for 12 years and is also an honorary lecturer at Middlesex University. He is currently a training and management consultant for the United Nation Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and is part of the UNODC Treatment Project, delivering training across Africa, South East Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia.

    Raj says: “Whilst working for the NHS, I had the opportunity to work in partnership with Via services and saw their passion and commitment as well as the effectiveness of the third sector in delivering quality services to vulnerable groups. I joined the Via Board as I felt that I could contribute my health-related experience to their mission and aspirations.”

  4. Mark Eaton

    by viadmn

    Mark is the former Chair of The Core Trust.

    He is a chartered surveyor, specialising in residential development and asset management in the public sector.

    His current focus is on the provision of numerous educational and community facilities.

  5. Richard Paul

    by viadmn

    Richard is treasurer on the Via’s Board of Directors. He’s a chartered accountant, having been in practice for almost 30 years, and is a senior partner at Nyman Libson Paul Chartered Accountants.

    Richard specialises in a number of different sectors, including owner managed businesses, property, leisure, and the film and TV industry.

    Richard says: “I have a personal interest in drug addiction through a friend who had experienced these issues. The possibility to help others with similar problems is what attracted me to become a Trustee at Via.”

  6. James Saunders

    by viadmn

    James is a solicitor partner in central London litigation law firm, Saunders Law. After decades of experience in criminal law, he now acts in the group litigation claim for the many families of the 96 who died in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster. He is also representing the Grenfell Tower fire victims and their families in the Grenfell Public Inquiry.

    In 1970, with others, James started and practiced at the North Kensington Neighbourhood Law Centre. He was also part of the foundation of Via 30 years ago and has since then continuously served as a Via director.

    James says: “Through the practice of criminal law, I have seen first-hand the hardship, misery, and death that addiction can bring, and it is a privilege to be part of an organisation that in its own quiet way helps so many people back from the brink.”

  7. Mike Walsh

    by viadmn

    Mike’s career was spent in two global advertising agencies, and in the most recent one, (Ogilvy & Mather) he was CEO of their Europe, Africa and Middle East region for 12 years.

    He has also spent time as a member of the Worldwide Board of WWF, been a trustee of the Maritime Trust, vice chairman of the British Red Cross and spent six years as chair of the UK Disasters Emergency Committee.

    More recently, since his ‘retirement’, he has been on the board of the Archant Community Media Group, been involved in several tech start-ups and done a variety of mentoring roles.

    Mike says: “My interest in Via was stimulated by another trustee who has been involved in addiction, coupled with the realisation that even at a later age I can continue to help people have a better life. Of course, what finally won me over completely was spending time at our centre in Merton with a dedicated team full of an infectious enthusiasm and dedication.”