St Basils welcomes New Chair of Board of Directors
06 JAN 2016

We now have a new Chair of our Board of Directors. Although we were sad to say goodbye to Kathy Halliday (pictured centre) who has been our Chair for 6 years and on the Board for 15 years, we are pleased to welcome Ms Sara Fowler as our new Chair. Ms Fowler is the Senior Partner at EY in the Midlands. 

Originally appointed in February 2012, Sara has been an Ordinary Director on St Basils Board for almost 4 years. Sara Fowler has worked with Ernst & Young (EY) for 27 years, 14 of them as a Partner in EY’s Birmingham office. In October 2010 she became the Senior Partner for Ernst & Young in the Midlands and her role is to lead the growth of EY’s services across the Midlands region.

Sara was previously the national head of EY’s Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services practice, which she continues to lead at regional level. She is an expert in forensic services, with 20 years’ experience and has led many global projects for clients in the Midlands, particularly in the utilities and health sector.

Sara has been appointed to act as an expert witness in the UK and internationally and is a Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) accredited mediator. 

Ms Fowler said of her appointment:

“I’m delighted to take on the role of Chair and look forward to working closely with the St Basils team and its Board of Directors to help raise awareness of the local charity and its purpose to prevent youth homeless in the West Midlands.”

Chief Executive of St Basils Ms Jean Templeton said:

“I have been extremely fortunate in my time at St Basils to serve under such highly skilled Chairs. Kathy has provided dedicated, skilled and compassionate service and I know that Sara will bring her extensive experience and perspective to the role at a time of significant pressure on our work.”

Ms Sara Fowler replaces Ms Kathy Halliday, who served on St Basils Board from 2000-2015 and was Chair from 2009. Ms Kathy Halliday is an employment lawyer and partner at Veale Wasbrough Vizards.

Reflecting on her time at St Basils Ms Kathy Halliday said: 

"It is hard to sum up in a few words my time as Chair of St Basils. Having been on the Board for some time, I took on the role of Chair at a time when it seemed we would be facing some immediate and difficult challenges. What I did not anticipate was that those challenges would continue throughout my whole time as Chair and indeed are continuing. I feel proud that despite the pressures on funding arising from reduction in Supporting People Funding; lack of grant available for capital investment; continued pressure on fundraising and other income streams; and the pressure on young people's benefits (to name but a few) the organisation has remained at the cutting edge of service provision and has continued to develop the ways in which we support young people".

"I am proud that whilst I was Chair we developed youth engagement both internally and externally; purchased John Austen Court; set up the Live and Work Scheme; raised St Basils profile nationally; engaged with the Fair Chance initiative using social funding and, despite all the challenges have continued, to grow. I have loved being part of St Basils and will miss Jean, my fellow Board members, the many staff whom I have met and of course the young people who continue to astound me by their resilience, imagination and diversity.

"I wish you all the very best; the challenges I know continue but with great staff, a strong board and so many young people in need of support I am sure St Basils will go from strength to strength.”

Picture captions: Departing Chair Kathy Halliday pictured centre with young people from our Youth Council and Board Members; New Chair Sara Fowler meeting HRH Prince William in December 2015, introduced by St Basils Chief Executive Jean Templeton

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