People

Alex Davies - Trustee

Alex linked in

Born and educated in Marlborough, Alex spent three months in Gunjur in 2003 after graduating in History from Warwick University. After returning to the UK he joined the Marlborough Link Committee supporting other volunteers to travel to Gunjur. In 2006 he was summer group leader taking nine students to Gunjur for a month to work on classroom renovations in Gunjur Islamic school. He first became an MBG Trustee in 2006 and was Deputy Chair between 2009 and 2013. Between 2011 and 2015 Alex organised 12 modern apprentice groups to visit Gunjur from Lloyds Banking Group and he led four of these groups.

After working in pharmaceutical quality control Alex spent nine years working at The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Head Office in Windsor.  As National Programme Manager for 300,000 participants and over 80,000 expeditions annually he authored the DofE Expedition Guide in 2012. During this time he completed an MA in Leadership and Management specialising in the voluntary sector at the University of Southampton. Now 35, Alex is currently Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at St. James’s Place Wealth Management, a FTSE100 finance company with Head Offices in Cirencester which gives over £4m to charity annually.  Alex also writes the fiendish questions for our annual quiz night.

Lilli Loveday - Trustee

Lilli Photo MBGLilli Loveday is from Marlborough and first visited The Gambia in 2003, aged 17, before returning as a lead for the 2010 the Summer Group and again for a Lloyds Bank Group in 2011. For her Masters in International Development she conducted research in Gunjur on how MBG has contributed to changing gender norms. Lilli then returned to live and work in The Gambia for a number of years. Based in Basse and working with Tostan International, she supported implementation of a multi-donor programme across 153 rural communities. She represented the organisation on a National Steering Committee of over 20 development organisations and government ministries to develop a successful five-year National Plan of Action to accelerate the abandonment of female genital cutting/child marriage (UNICEF/UNFPA).

Since returning to the UK, she has continued to work in the international development sector and is currently working as a Social Development Consultant with Oxford Policy Management. Lilli has interests in and a technical focus on gender, inclusion, equality, rights, citizen voice/accountability and understanding processes of social change. She has managed large, complex assignments for a wide range of development clients (including DFID, Danida, the European Union, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, UNICEF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). Across her technical areas and across sectors, Lilli undertakes research and advisory work, including for UNICEF, DFID, Sida/Irish Aid, as well as contributing to evaluations, such as of the global Scaling Up Nutrition Movement and the REACH Initiative (UN).

Janneke Blokland - Trustee

JannekeJanneke has been an MBG Trustee for two years and is Chaplin at Marlborough College having worked as a Curate for the Marlborough Anglican team from 2014-16. Janneke has an MSc in Physics and Astronomy (2001-06) and PhD research from Radbound University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. She came to the UK and studied at Cambridge University for a Certificate in Postgraduate Study and then completed a Masters in Systematic and Philosophical Theology at the University of Nottingham. After completing Ordination Training at Westcott House, Cambridge, she was ordained priest in 2015. Janneke was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt fellowship for post-doctoral researchers (2010) and is fluent in English, Dutch and German.

Dr Nick Maurice OBE - Founder Patron

Dr-Nick-MauriceBorn and educated in Marlborough, Nick was a VSO volunteer teacher in a lycee in Togo (1961-2) and a VSO medical assistant in Papua New Guinea (1967-8) while a medical student at St Mary's Hospital Paddington. He worked as a volunteer doctor for the Britain Nepal Medical Trust in Nepal (1973-4) and became a GP in Marlborough in 1977.

Inspired by his time spent in Africa teaching English, where he lived with the Akouete family, welcomed as their fifth child in a community with no electricity or running water, and meeting people full of warmth and humour who exuded the extraordinary African spirit of Ubuntu:

"I am, because you are, because we all are"

Nick was determined other young people should have a similar opportunity and in 1981, with others founded the Marlborough Brandt Group. He subsequently became a trustee of Oxfam and Chair of Oxfam's Asia Committee and in 2001 Nick was awarded an OBE for his services to International Development. Nick retired from his role as MBG Director in 2016.

Anita Bew MBG - MBG Volunteer

Anita-BewIn 1984 whilst Anita was working at the local doctor's practice in Marlborough, MBG's current director, Dr Nick Maurice mentioned in conversation he was taking a group of St John's students out to Gunjur the following summer. Anita initially volunteered to help with some fundraising for the group which quickly led to her going on the trip as one the group leaders!

Anita describes her first trip as being incredibly challenging, but she was so impressed with the wonderful opportunities MBG was offering to young people she has remained actively involved to the present day.

Anita oversees the regular group visits of students and of individuals going out to Gunjur to volunteer. She has also been responsible for the care of many young Gambians visiting Marlborough, supporting them during their one year placements as well as providing additional support to the host families. Anita spends 2-3 months a year in Gunjur where many of the residents still call her 'mum'.

In January 2010 both Anita and Nick were made Honourary Citizens of Gunjur at an official naming ceremony. And in June of that year, Anita was awarded an MBE by Her Majesty the Queen in the Birthday Honours list for her services to the community of Marlborough and Gunjur.

Neil Griffiths

Neil-GriffithsNeil Griffiths was a primary school headteacher for 13 years before taking on the role of director of a National Literacy Project for the Basic Skills Agency. During this time Neil developed the highly original Storysack idea and promoted it to schools and communities throughout the UK. After six years, Neil began to devote all of his energies to the project and set up what is now the worldwide, highly acclaimed, and award-winning Storysack® phenomenon.

Neil has worked tirelessly for MBG in Gunjur on a voluntary basis for a number of years and has been instrumental in writing an early years curriculum that has now been nationally recognized in The Gambia. Neil's support of the TARUD pre-school scheme has given more than 7000 children the invaluable opportunity to attend pre-school.

Neil is a professional storyteller and popular children's author Corner to Learn.

Stephanie Dale - MBG Volunteer

Stephanie-DaleStephanie Dale is our longest serving volunteer who while we ran an office came in two days per week providing invaluable admin support.  She keeps us in order, ensures everything is in its rightful place and supplies us with welcome cups of tea and coffee!

As a retired teacher from Pewsey Vale School, Steph has been always been interested in the work of MBG since the time that Pewsey Vale established a partnership with the Upper Basic School in Gunjur, she has visited Gunjur many times and in addition to volunteering in the office she helps out at innumerable fundraising and other events in which MBG is involved.

Steve Atyeo 

Steve-AtyeoSteve Atyeo is an ex-physics teacher from Wootton Bassett and first came to the Gambia on a teachers' study visit in 2008. Since then he has done a whole host of things – training teachers in Sierra Leone, working with Jole Rider, raising the standard of physics teachers in the Gambia and facilitating and organising schools' visits.

In 2016 Steve ran a highlighy sucessful science trip for students from St. John's Accademy Marlborough to work alongside students in Gunjur.