The Trustees

The Trust is an independent charity run by a board of nine trustees - all volunteers.
The Trustees

The Trust is run by a board of nine trustees - all volunteers.
Here is information about each of them including (in brackets) the bodies which nominated them to serve on the Trust:



Julie Ayres

Julie Ayres
(Gatwick Airport Limited)

Julie has spent most of her career working at Gatwick when she joined the British Airports Authority and moved to Sussex in the 1980s. She gained a broad base of airport experience working in diverse roles including Gatwick's community relations manager. Julie is currently responsible for passenger communications, including Gatwick's customer service team.

Julie is chair of Gatwick TravelCare, the airport charity which helps passengers who find themselves in difficulty whilst at Gatwick. She lives in Lindfield with her husband and sons with whom she enjoys travelling and long distance walking.

Richard Burrett

Richard Burrett
(West Sussex County Council)

Richard Burrett has been a member of West Sussex County Council since 2009. During that time he has held a wide variety of roles, including serving as a Cabinet Member between 2015 and 2019, and as Deputy Leader of the County Council between 2017 and 2019. He is currently Vice-Chairman of the Crawley County Local Committee.

Richard has also been a member of Crawley Borough Council since 1992, where he served as a Cabinet Member between 2006 and 2014, as well as being Deputy Leader of the Borough Council during 2013-14.

He has been a long-serving school governor and charity trustee, and has also served on a number of committees involved with local government staffing matters at both regional and national levels. He has also previously sat on the Board of an NHS Trust.

In his spare time Richard enjoys music (mainly indie/alternative), walking and exploring the countryside.

Alan Jones

Alan Jones
(Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee - GATCOM)

Alan is the Burstow Parish Council representative at GATCOM and it is from there that he has been appointed to sit as a member of the Trust. He is a Chartered Electrical Engineer who spent most of his working life in the Electricity Supply Industry after spending 5 years in the Nuclear Industry. It was called the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) when he joined but it was split into four companies when it became privatised in 1990. At that stage he was now employed by National Grid, in an area of work that he had been involved with since joining the CEGB.

On his retirement, he became a Burstow Parish Councillor and served there for eight years, being chairman for part of that time. He then became a Tandridge District Councillor and served 16 years as a ward councillor in Burstow, Horne & Outwood. He was the Council Chairman in 2010/11 so spent his year visiting many charitable organisations. Apart from serving on different committees, he was also Vice Chairman of the East Surrey Community Health Services Council and was the council member representative at the Tandridge Voluntary Services Council (TVSC).

In 1998 Burstow Parish Council were given the opportunity to join GATCOM and Alan became their representative. When he became the District Councillor he relinquished his Parish seat and became the Tandridge representative. He continued in this role for several years and, when replaced, he became the Parish Council member once again.

Bernard Kendall

Bernard Kendall
(Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

Bernard Kendall moved to Horley in 1986. He is married with one son. His varied career has included service in the British Army, being an estate agent in Hertfordshire for six years and 17 years in the insurance industry covering Kent, Surrey and Sussex. During this time he was involved with the Round Table and Rotary organisations.

He established a new business in Horley and became a founder member of the Gatwick Guest House Association and was chairman from 1995-1998. He was elected to the town and Borough Council in 1999 until 2006/7 serving on many committees including GATCOM.

Graham Knight

Graham Knight
(Surrey County Council)

Graham Knight was elected to represent Horley East at Surrey County Council in May 2017 and has been a Reigate and Banstead Borough Councillor since 2010.

He is active in the community as a volunteer and Trustee with the Horley Conservation Project and he works with the East Surrey Winter Night Shelter. He is Executive Member for Community Safety at Reigate and Banstead, and an Ambassador for the White Ribbon Campaign.

Liz McDermid

Liz McDermid
(Gatwick Airport Limited)

Liz worked for BAA plc for 18 years in a number of different operational and management roles. She was based principally at Gatwick and Heathrow and was latterly the Group Development Director.

In 2008 she left BAA to take a career break to focus on bringing up her three young children. Since that time, Liz has held a number of voluntary roles including being chair of governors at her children’s school and the manager for her son’s junior ice hockey team. She is passionate about education and improving life chances for young people and also about environmental issues, for which she has undertaken additional post-graduate training.


Jo Rettie

Jo Rettie
(Gatwick Airline Operators Committee)

Jo is chairman of Gatwick Airport Community Trust. She worked for British Airways for 20 years in a number of operational and managerial roles, the last five years at Gatwick looking after training, recruitment and community relations.

For the last three years Jo has run the Gatwick Airline Consultative Committee and has recently taken responsibility for the Airline Operators Committee. Jo lives in Brighton and is a volunteer for Young Enterprise.

Raj Sharma

Raj Sharma
Crawley Borough Council
Mayor of Crawley 2019-2020


Raj Sharma was elected to represent Southgate ward in 2014. He was born in Delhi, India, in 1952 and moved to Crawley in 1992. He was previously Mayor of Crawley in 2016-17.

He began his career in 1976 as a tutor at Featherstone Dovetail Youth Wing in Southall, West London. In 1992 he started working in Crawley as a Neighbourhood Youth Worker at Crawley Youth Centre and in 2012 he became Centre Manager at Crawley Youth and Community Centre.

Raj, who lives in Furnace Green, enjoys, swimming, badminton, kite flying, travelling, collecting stamps and coins, but most of all spending quality time with family, friends and his four grandchildren.

Raj sits on various bodies including Crawley Campaign Against Racism, Crawley Town Twinning Association, Southgate Conservation Area Advisory Committee, Southgate Community Forum, Courage Dyer Recreational Trust, Gatwick Airport Community Trust, the Friends of Goffs Park and is an ambassador for The Sussex Football Association.