Business leaders and former Communication Champion join the board of children’s communication charity
Three outstanding individuals - Jean Gross CBE, Christopher Holder and Henry Grafton-Grattan - have joined I CAN's Council of Trustees, the children's communication charity announced today.
Jean Gross CBE:
Jean Gross served as national Communication Champion for two years until 31 December 2011, and was awarded the CBE in the New Year's Honours' list for her outstanding services to education.
Prior to her appointment as Communication Champion, Jean was founder Director of the Every Child a Chance Trust, which developed the Every Child a Reader and Every Child Counts programmes. She was, until 2005, Senior Director within the government's Primary National Strategy, responsible for its work on overcoming barriers to achievement. A former teacher, lecturer, educational psychologist and Head of Children's Services in a large urban local authority, Jean is a national expert on inclusion issues.
Jean Gross's work has focused on improving outcomes for children with significant difficulties in language, literacy and mathematics, and developing children's social, emotional and behavioural skills through the SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) whole-curriculum approach. She has been a Visiting Fellow at the University of Bristol and at the Institute of Education.
Christopher Holder is an independent property consultant and also runs a successful property management company, Petit Papillon Management Limited, which he established in 1988 following a career in banking and marketing.
Swiss born, and educated in the UK, Christopher was diagnosed at an early age (as were his two children) as having dyslexia. They all received invaluable early help to cope with this communication difficulty. His interests include art, philately, football, classical music, opera and philanthropy and he presides over three charities, MariaMarina Foundation, Safe Partnership and The Maria Holder Memorial Trust. He sits on the advisory board of the London Chamber Orchestra, is a patron of The Royal Opera House and is a director of DegreeArt.com and FC Vaduz. He is the chair of the I CAN Million Lost Voices Appeal Board.
Christopher is passionate about his role within I CAN and the difference it makes to many children with communication challenges.
Henry Grafton-Grattan is a partner within a leading Financial Services Executive Search company. He joined Hammond Partners in early 2009 as a partner within the asset management practice. Henry works on behalf of global asset management firms, smaller, specialist boutique platforms, and leading hedge fund and fund of hedge fund firms across Europe and the USA. He specialises in hiring key individuals for front line roles within investment, distribution and infrastructure.
Henry began his career with an international recruitment firm before spending four years as a consultant at Walker Hamill, where he established the firm's search activities within hedge funds. In 2005 Henry joined the asset management specialist boutique Beeley & Company, where he focused on searches within hedge funds and fund of hedge funds. Henry graduated with a degree in American Studies from Manchester University and the University of North Carolina. He is married and lives in south London with his wife and two boys, one of whom has speech and communication difficulties.
Virginia Beardshaw, Chief Executive of I CAN said:
"We are thrilled to welcome three outstanding individuals onto I CAN's Council of Trustees, each an expert within their field and with a commitment to helping children with speech, language and communication needs. The combined experience and knowledge of Jean, Henry and Christopher will strengthen an already high calibre group of trustees and I look forward to working with them to take I CAN forward."
For more information, interviews and pictures, please contact Emma Selim (Press and PR Officer) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 843 2543.
Notes to editors:
About I CAN
- I CAN is the children’s communication charity. www.ican.org.uk or www.talkingpoint.org.uk
- We are here to ensure that no child is left out or left behind because of a difficulty speaking or understanding.
- Nobody wants a child’s potential to be wasted. It happens because communication difficulties are not visible, often mistaken for something else, or not noticed at all.
- I CAN’s mission is to make sure that everyone in contact with children knows how important communication is, what a communication difficulty looks like and what they can do to help.
We do this through:
- Increasing public awareness of the problems children face.
- Giving expert advice to parents and families about what to look out for and what to do.
- Providing assessments for children so that their families know what support will meet their needs.
- Giving teachers and people working with children the skills to help children who struggle.
- Campaigning to ensure children and families get a better deal.
- At the very heart of I CAN are our special schools which give expert care and education to children with problems so severe their needs cannot be met elsewhere.