Our Trustees


Geoffrey Thomas, Chair

Geoffrey has been a Trustee of HOST since 2015 and Chair since June 2017. He is also a Trustee of The Proud Trust, having volunteered for LGBT charities for over 20 years. Formerly a lay member of the local Magistrates’ Advisory Committee and Community Panel Chair with the Youth Offending Service, he is now a member of the Independent Monitoring Board at HMP/YOI Thorn Cross and a magistrate in Greater Manchester.

Geoffrey has 36 years of experience in secondary education, with over 20 in senior leadership roles as Assistant and then Deputy Head Teacher. He has been responsible for; pupil well-being, behaviour and attendance as well as performance management/appraisal, professional development, capability, recruitment, teacher training and quality assurance. In these roles he has supported other schools/LAs in the East Midlands and across the North of England in the development of health education, assessment/records of achievement and in-school behaviour units.

As well as his teaching and leadership roles Geoffrey also has 15 years’ experience of governorship. He has been a chair of governors at a large junior school as well as a Pupil Referral Unit, a governor of a secondary school and an associate governor of a secondary school.

Tafheen Sharif, Vice-Chair

Taf has been with HOST as a Trustee since 2015 and Vice Chair since 2017. She has been governing for over 15 years and has been trained as a National Leader in Governance (NLG) by the National College of Teaching and Leadership.

Taf is a Councillor for Mossley, Tameside Council, having been elected in May 2016 and has previously served as a Councillor in Luton, being lead cabinet member for Community Safety. She is also the former Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire leading on Community Engagement and Partnerships. Taf is dedicated to making a difference to communities and has founded a number of successful initiatives. In a relatively short period she was recognised nationally and awarded “Young Councillor of The Year” by the Local Government Innovative Unit for showing energy, dynamism and a fresh approach to making positive changes to communities.

Taf has held a number of directorships and board level positions including at a Law Centre, and a housing associaton, and has also governed at a number of schools, currently with Buckton Vale Primary School.

Richard Barrett, Trustee

Bio coming soon.

Shirley Hoyland, Trustee

Bio coming soon.

Carolyn Roberts, Trustee

Bio coming soon.

Pauline Williams, Trustee

“When I retired as a primary school teacher I wanted to continue to help young children but not at a direct 1:1 level as I had in work. The opportunity came to be a Trustee for Home-Start and I felt I had practical, relevant experiences to help support the charity.

I am a mother of 3 grown up children and a grandma who minds 2 of our grandchildren every week, so understand the stresses and strains that young children bring. I have been a Trustee for 8 years at HOST and seen many changes as we take on new challenges.”

Jim Kane, Trustee (Treasurer)

Jim is currently the Chief Finance Officer of Community Integrated Care, a national social care charity. He has held a number of senior finance and commercial roles within the health and social care sector including as Commercial Director of Virgin Care Ltd and Interserve Healthcare Ltd and he is a Chartered Accountant by training.

“I’m very proud to have been appointed as a trustee to HOST. I have two young children and I know how valuable the support that HOST provides is. I hope I can use my skills and experience to help HOST to remain resilient and to increase the funding available for spending on front line services.”

Ian Barron, Trustee

Ian became a trustee of HOST in late 2019.

He is Professor of Early Childhood Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University and brings both academic and professional expertise to his role as a trustee.

Until September 2018, Ian served as Head of the School of Childhood, Youth and Education Studies, with responsibility for 70 staff and 1500 undergraduate and postgraduate students.

As well as an early years teaching qualification and a doctorate in early childhood development, he has extensive research expertise in the field, having published and presented widely at international academic conferences.

Ian joined Manchester Metropolitan from Edge Hill University in September 2000. He was a member of the project and steering groups at Manchester Metropolitan that produced Birth to Three Matters for the Department for Education / Sure Start. He is a member of the national executive of the UK-wide Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network.

Ian has had a variety of professional experience in the early childhood field, including work in primary schools in inner London and Leeds, and two headship posts: one at a nursery school in Lancashire and the other at an infant school in Calderdale. He was seconded to work for Ofsted for a year as an Additional Inspector.

Ian has also taught early years students at a college of further education in East Yorkshire. He has been a governor at a Manchester primary school and has served on the advisory body of a Manchester children’s centre.