Zoinul Abidin, Davinia Green and James Sanderson join The Reading Agency’s Board of Trustees

The Reading Agency is delighted to welcome Zoinul Abidin, Davinia Green and James Sanderson to its Board of Trustees. With combined experience in the areas of local government, health, public affairs and operations, the appointments of Zoinul, Davinia and James will help to guide The Reading Agency as it begins to develop its organisational strategy from 2023 onwards.

Zoinul Abidin is a senior local government manager with expertise in library services and community development. He was involved from the beginning of the Idea Store concept and managed several Idea Stores. He is a Clore fellow on the prestigious Clore leadership programme. 

Zoinul is currently Head of Universal Services for London Borough of Barking & Dagenham / with statutory responsibilities for libraries. In addition, he has strategic and operational responsibility for community hubs, front door council services, children centres, healthy lifestyles, social prescribing, community food clubs and a nursery. Zoinul led on the successful Arts Council bid for LBBD library service achieving National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) status for its Pen to Print project, a competition to find local writing talent leading to the publication of books by ordinary residents. 

Davinia Green (she/her) is Director for Stonewall Cymru (Wales), where she provides strategic vision, oversight and operational management of activities across Wales. This includes policy, campaigning and public affairs, community engagement, oversight of the workplace and empowerment programmes, along with programmes for work focused on children and young people. Before joining Stonewall, she had a long history of working in the charity sector and has worked for a range of charities including Breast Cancer Care, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, Macmillan and Alzheimer’s Society.

Davinia is a health promotion specialist by background, and in particular specialised in developing health promotion programmes for people who face high levels of physical, psychological or structural barriers to optimal health or prevention of disease. 

Davinia has had a number of career highlights, both big and small. However, her most recent highlight was in her last role at the Stroke Association, where she developed and launched the first stroke prevention day for the UK. It was a career highlight as she was able to combine an awareness campaign with a measurable health promotion intervention, enabling the organisation to identify key factors that can influence positive health behaviours related to stroke prevention.  

Davinia has a great love of reading and has a particular passion for crime fiction, her favourite authors include Peter James, Karin Slaughter and Cody MacFadyen. 

James Sanderson is Director of the Personalised Care Group at NHS England and NHS Improvement where he leads on a range of programmes that are supporting people to have greater choice and control over their health and wellbeing. Programmes include: the delivery of the comprehensive model for personalised care; NHS @home; and the National Palliative and End of Life Care Programme. James is also CEO of the National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP), established by the SofS for Health and Social Care in 2019 to advance social prescribing across the arts, health, sports, leisure, and the natural environment, alongside other aspects of our lives. 

 James joined NHS England in November 2015 and was formerly the Chief Executive and Accounting Officer for the Independent Living Fund (ILF). The ILF was an arm’s length body of the Department for Work and Pensions and supported disabled people across the whole of the UK to live independent lives through the provision of direct payments enabling the purchase of personal assistance support. 

Prior to joining the ILF in 2002, James had a career in the motor industry within a number of sales and marketing roles, in both corporate and retail environments. James is also a performing arts graduate with a background in community theatre. 

Matthew Littleford, Chair of the Board of Trustees, The Reading Agency said: “I’m really delighted that Davinia, James and Zoinul are joining The Reading Agency as trustees. They all get what we’re about and what we want to do in the future. They’re passionate about reading, care deeply about making a difference, and have just the right amount of magic and sparkle. They also know how to get stuff done. I’m delighted they’re joining the rest of us in supporting Karen and the team.”

Zoinul Abidin said: “I am delighted to be joining the Board of Trustees of the Reading Agency. My passion for libraries, communities and reading makes this a natural fit. I believe the power of reading can transform people’s lives and I hope to contribute to the ongoing success of the The Reading Agency.”

Davinia Green said: “I’m really pleased to have been appointed as a trustee to such a wonderful charity. Reading is a real passion of mine and something that I’ve particularly clung to in the last few years with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Reading has helped me to stay positive in times of endurance and has been a friend in times of loneliness. It’s because of this that I am so honoured to support The Reading Agency, which truly understands the power of reading and the positive impact it can have on people’s lives.”

James Sanderson said: “The ability to read has the power to transform lives and improve health and wellbeing through improved skills, knowledge and confidence. That’s why I am delighted to be joining the board of The Reading Agency whose work is invaluable in creating the circumstances to enable people to live their best life.”

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