St Martin's Challenge
St Martin's Committee
Dr Lewis Owens
Lewis was awarded a PhD from Cambridge University for his work on the Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis. He is a former university lecturer and still works actively in education.
Lewis has published widely in areas of philosophy, religion, literature and the arts. From 2004 - 2009 Lewis was President of the UK Shostakovich Society and was the writer/producer of the SkyArts documentary 'The Unknown Shostakovich'. Lewis is also a published novelist and playwright. He is a Trustee of the Autism Research Trust and a board member of Time-Matters UK, supporting children with a parent/s in prison.
Terry Waite CBE
Terry Waite has had a varied career which has encompassed negotiating for the release of hostages to being a hostage himself. Throughout his life he has worked for those who find themselves on the margins of society - the homeless, prisoners, and young people in poor countries who have few opportunities in life. He continues to freely give his time to this work and earns his living by writing and lecturing.
Keith is a retired senior police officer with 32 years’ experience, divided between London and the West Midlands. He has managed departments, multi-million pound budgets, works in inner city and many other environments. He has extensive experience of working in partnership at a strategic and tactical level. He’s been actively engaged for many years trying to find ways to support offenders and their families out of a life affected by crime. He is currently a trustee for a number of other charities. He is also the Chair for the youth Justice board for England Wales, within the Ministry of Justice and a Commissioner on the UK Government's Commission on Race and Ethical Disparity'.
Sital Punja FRSA
Sital left a career in the Television Programming Distribution 2002 to set up Sari, a social enterprise raising money through fashion for children in India. Her enterprise won several awards including New Statesman Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007. She was invited to Buckingham Palace to celebrate women in business with Her Majesty the Queen, and the ladies of the Royal Household, as well as to 10 Downing Street and St James’s Palace. Sital won a contract for producing 2000 costumes for the London 2012 Olympics and had the privilege of making flower girl dresses for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding.
Sital established Threads London Limited in 2014, a dressmaking workshop producing womenswear for high end British labels. In 2020, Sital managed the local volunteer scrubs making group, For The Love of Scrubs – Hillingdon Working Group during the Covid pandemic, delivering over 6000 units of PPE to the local healthcare teams.
Ben trained at the Poor School. His screen credits include the feature films Criminal Audition (Mordue Pictures) and The Moment Trap (Garden Barber Productions). You might recognise his voice as that of Black Phillip's in The Witch (Universal Pictures) Some of his theatre credits include: Dead Quiet (Immercity), Stuffed (Red Squash Theatre), Tree in the Sky (Doppelgänger Productions) and Antigone (Actors of Dionysus).
After working for two years in educational development in the Republic of Moldova, Amirah attended Kings College London where she completed her Masters in Conflict, Security and Development. Amirah’s professional focus is on private philanthropy and fundraising, working with HNWIs to secure support for a range of charitable causes. Amirah is currently the Development Manager at Transparency International UK.
Talha Ahmed has been working for Her Majesty’s Prison Service since 2002 and is currently serving as the Managing Chaplain at HMP Liverpool. He is also part of the Senior Management Team at the prison who have enacted positive change at the prison which was highlighted by a positive inspection report. He has been instrumental in helping those in custody towards rehabilitation and resettlement back into their communities.Talha is also the Families pathway lead at the Prison and is actively working with several external partner agencies to improve resettlement outcomes for the men in custody and their families and also contributing to Public Protection. Talha is also a trustee of a charity which helps provide Education to underprivileged boys and girls in India.Talha is also on the Governing body of Tauheedul Islam Boys High school which is one of the top perfoming schools in the UK.
Before joining Elbrus Capital Funds, Alexander was CEO of an investment arm of Alfa Group for 6 years. Prior to that, he worked as a Director in Investment Banking at Renaissance Capital for 2 years. In 1992-2001, Alexander was a Strategy consultant at Bain & Company in Moscow, Boston and London. Alexander received a BA degree (with honours) in Economic Geography from Lomonosov Moscow State University, and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.
After leaving school, David had a long career in the Construction Industry in Sales, Marketing and before retiring, Business Development. He has spent much of his life volunteering for different charities. His first voluntary post was at Tadworth Court Children’s Hospital, which was then part of Great Ormond Street Hospital. Upon moving to West Sussex, David joined Ingfield Manor School, near Horsham, a school specialising in the care and education of children and young people with Cerebral Palsy. Since moving to Aylesbury, David has assisted at PACE School, again working with children with Cerebral Palsy. More recently, also as a volunteer, David joined Lindengate, a charity using gardening and horticulture to support people with mental health needs and those in continuing recovery.