Meet the trustees

Gerard Drennan, chair – council trustee

Dr. Gerard Drennan Ph.D. became the Chair of the Board of Trustees in June 2021.  Gerard is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in the NHS and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, who holds the post of Lead Consultant in Forensic and Offender Health, and Head of Psychology & Psychotherapy in the Behavioural & Developmental Psychiatric Operations Directorate of the South London & Maudsley Mental Health Foundation Trust.  Gerard holds degrees from the Universities of South Africa and the University of Cape Town.  He has published widely on mental health topics, including on the role of language and cultural diversity and recovery-oriented practice in forensic mental health settings.  Over the past decade Gerard has led projects to introduce restorative justice practice into mental health services, and has published book chapters and journal articles on how health services can do more to recognise and address harm in the recovery journeys of all who are affected by trauma and adversity.  

Becky Beard, vice chair - council trustee

Becky joined the RJC as a membership trustee in July 2018. She has been a restorative practitioner for ten years, working on cases from low level antisocial behaviour and criminal damage to cases involving death or harmful sexual behaviour. Becky ran Restorative Gloucestershire, a multi-agency partnership that provides the restorative justice service for Gloucestershire, for six years and is the vice-chair of the RJC Standards Committee.  Becky is now a criminal justice policy officer for the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner. This involves managing the Local Criminal Justice Board and supporting a number of work streams and priorities. This includes reducing re-offending, supporting victims & witnesses and various commissioning projects.    

Janet Clark, membership trustee

Janet became a membership trustee in July 2018. Involved in restorative practice since 2001, Janet is an experienced trainer, consultant, practitioner, assessor and published author in restorative practice. Janet is an Accredited Practitioner with the RJC and an A1 Assessor for restorative practice.  Janet managed the award-winning Restorative Approaches in Schools (RAiS) project in Bristol and has supported a number of schools, education and youth settings, and other agencies in implementing restorative approaches. Janet delivers training, consultancy and facilitation in a wide variety of settings, including youth offending services, the police, probation, educational settings and community mediation. As a volunteer practitioner, Janet brings an extensive background of hands on experience to the Board.

Hardyal Dhindsa, council trustee

Hardyal was elected as Derbyshire’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) in May 2016. He is currently the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) national portfolio lead for alcohol and substance misuse, as well as the national lead for equality, diversity and human rights, especially focussing on hate crime, stop and search, Workforce Diversity and Policing Diverse Communities.  Hardyal is also a member of the APCC Working Group on Race Disparity.  Prior to being elected, Hardyal served as deputy PCC in the first term from 2013-16. He has over 30 years’ experience in the criminal justice sector; most recently working in a strategic management role for the probation service. He has been a Derby City Councillor since 1993, currently representing the inner city ward of Normanton, and has held Cabinet posts in social care and health, education, planning and leisure. He is a strong advocate for an accredited restorative justice service to be available for all victims of crime.

Rebecca Rushton, membership trustee

Rebecca was re-elected as membership trustee in November 2020. A qualified and accredited restorative practitioner with 13 years’ experience working across a range of criminal justice, community and social care settings. Rebecca is currently the Restorative Practice lead in the Learning Academy for Torbay Council with a remit of embedding restorative practice across children’s social care. Rebecca brings a wealth of front line practitioner and trainer experience to the board, and continues to volunteer for Make Amends the PCC commissioned Restorative Justice Service for Devon and Cornwall. Rebecca has a particular interest in facilitating complex and sensitive cases.

Philip Cawley, membership trustee

Phil was elected as a membership trustee in November 2020. After teaching in Chester for 2 years, Phil joined the Lancashire Constabulary in January 1982 and he served with them until his retirement in October 2011. He rejoined as a member of police staff in the role of restorative justice co-ordinator. Phil was instrumental in the expansion of the Lancashire police RJ team which also runs victim awareness courses in Lancashire prisons and he later became the manager of a number of co-ordinators and volunteers. Phil is the lead RJ trainer and since November 2017, his role is to promote RJ across Lancashire Police and with other agencies and partners.

Sarah Cairns, membership trustee

Sarah became a Membership Trustee in November 2020.  A qualified and accredited practitioner she has facilitated interventions across a range of criminal justice, community and education settings over the last 11 years.  Specialising in complex and sensitive casework involving harmful sexual behaviour, homicide and arson Sarah brings a wealth of practitioner experience to the Board.  Sarah continues to volunteer for Restorative Gloucestershire, a multi-agency partnership, and is also an experienced trainer and mentor with a particular interest in supporting multi-agency professionals to work restoratively with vulnerable children and families to improve outcomes.

Dr Jon Hobson, membership trustee

Dr. Jon Hobson is a senior academic at the University of Gloucestershire where he teaches and researches  in issues around restorative justice restorative practice. Jon has been involved in restorative justice in various capacities for around ten years, working to help demonstrate the benefits and impacts it can have for victims, offenders, and for organisations. This includes work across a range of sectors, including work with the police, in supported housing, in prisons, in schools and education, and restorative justice in countries struggling with the impacts of war and conflict. Jon sits on of the board for Restorative Gloucestershire, supporting organisation in its work across a broad range of statutory and community groups.

Kira Le-Botos, membership trustee

Kira has been a restorative practitioner for 15 years and brings a wealth of restorative practice knowledge and experience in education, youth justice, social care and mental health, complimented by her cultural knowledge of the international restorative community. She prides over well-tailored, solution focused evidence-based restorative practice interventions and creative implementation of restorative principles.

In Hungary Kira was the restorative Supervisor and Trainer for the MH Lyceum Foundation Secondary School for Mental Health and managed the successful ‘Year Zero’ restorative programme for at risk young people. Kira has worked with numerous schools, delivered facilitator training and providing consultancy on embedding restorative practices. In the UK Kira is a restorative practitioner at Brent Youth Offending Service where she has been involved in reviewing and implementing restorative processes and training. She facilitates complex and sensitive cases and ensures that victims of youth crime have access to restorative justice.

Debbie Watter, council trustee

Debbie is the founder member and Co-Director of Northern Ireland Alternatives, a community based restorative programme based in Belfast and accredited by the Department of Justice. She has 28 years’ experience in restorative work having spent 5 years managing a restorative programme in the USA and then moving home to Belfast to start Northern Ireland Alternatives as part of the wider peacebuilding process. She is a former Vice-Chair of the Northern Ireland Policing Board and a visiting Professor at Ulster University. Debbie has trained and taught extensively in restorative justice both at an academic and community level.

Debbie has been to the forefront of the development of restorative justice in Northern Ireland including the introduction of restorative justice in arenas other than justice such as schools; churches, welfare, care and youth sectors. She also has a wide range of international experience in South America, South Africa, Israel/Palestine and the USA where she currently advise at Boston University on issues related to policing, conflict resolution, restorative and criminal justice. She developed a training programme and trained every probation officer in Northern Ireland in restorative justice.