Our Team

John Farrell

Trustee and Chair of the Grants Panel

John is a former Director of Pets at Home. Having retired from the commercial sector, John is now actively involved in a number of charities.

John’s focus on strategic, financial and operational planning, has supported the Foundation in developing a sound, future business plan.

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“It is very rewarding to be involved in making visible and significant improvements for local people and their communities”.

Martin Howlett


Martin has had 25 years experience in education and 7 years as a Secondary Headteacher working in challenging secondary schools. Since leaving headship, Martin has successfully built up a Leadership Coaching and Mentoring business that operated in the United States. He currently works for the Youth Federation as an Operations Director and Designated Safeguarding Officer and also works for Achievement for All as an Achievement Coach.

Martin has been a National Trainer for Early Support and Parental/Carer Engagement Strategies. Martin has worked internationally with the Parent/Carer Engagement strategy by supporting the New York City Parental Engagement development. Martin supported theDfE in the role out of the 2014 Children and Families Act.  As an Achievement Coach, Martin is responsible for coaching ten schools in England and Wales around the SEND progress agenda. As a founding member of two Academy chains, Martin is passionate about education and achievement of young people.

Martin also works to support the skills development in cyber security to fill the skills deficit in the NW. As a result of this work, Martin was appointed as the North West Ambassador for the Information Assurance and Advisory Council in the U.K.

Nick Mason

Founder and Director of Mason Media www.masonmedia.co.uk, a Cheshire based PR and Marketing company. Previously Nick was a News Editor and Northern News Editor of the Daily Mail in London and Manchester. Nick works closely with clients from professional services, recruitment, manufacturing, food and drink, retail and charity sectors; helping them to develop and implement dynamic and results-driven marketing and PR strategies.

Nick is our PR and marketing advisor and generously provides us with a pro bono monthly PR service, to promote our good news stories and the impact made through the collaboration of our donors and the voluntary organisations they support.


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“The Cheshire Community Foundation is unique in Cheshire and Warrington in being able to connect social investors with the most deserving charities and causes. CCF is still relatively young and I am excited about the immense opportunities we have to have a deep-rooted social impact in the region over the coming years.”

Dr Sandeep Ranote


Sandeep is an NHS Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist and Director of Clinical Networks for 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation trust where she leads Young Peoples eating disorder services. Sandeep is the CAMHS Clinical lead for NHS England Strategic Clinical Networks and contributed to the ministerial task force, Future in Mind 2015.

Zoe Sheppard

Chief Executive

Zoe was originally introduced to the Foundation in 2012 when her family were looking for a strategic way of supporting the local community.

Cheshire Community Foundation’s unique service of connecting the family with those people who were most in need, whilst managing the due diligence around the charities that support them, offered the perfect solution.

Zoe joined the Foundation in November 2015, having run a marketing consultancy for 8 years previously.

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“For me, being able to give to charity is a privilege and being in the position to shape the future of the Foundation is both exciting and rewarding.”