Our Senior Management Team

Our Senior Management Team is appointed by the Chief Executive and supports the strategic and operational leadership of the Fund, with each undertaking responsibilities to ensure the Fund lives up to the commitments in our  Corporate Plan.

Kate Beggs, Northern Ireland Director

Kate Beggs was appointed as The National Lottery Community Fund's director for Northern Ireland in January 2019.

Kate said:  “I’m proud to work for The National Lottery Community Fund and have the opportunity to meet a wide range of stakeholders, volunteers and the beneficiaries involved in the projects we fund. 

“It’s exciting to see people using National Lottery funding to take control and bring to life their own ideas for strengthening communities in Northern Ireland and across the UK. It’s also wonderful to see the genuine and lasting difference this makes in people's lives.”

Kate leads the Fund’s grant-funding activity, relationship management and operations in Northern Ireland.

Before joining the Fund, Kate was an experienced leader in the public sector, with 17 years in the UK Civil Service. She was previously Deputy Director in the Northern Ireland Office, leading their external political and community engagement.

Before joining the Northern Ireland Office, Kate held a wide-ranging series of roles in the Diplomatic Service, in the UK and abroad.

Elly De Decker, England Director

Elly was appointed as England Director for The National Lottery Community Fund in 2020, as Director Elly will seek to build upon the Fund’s successful shift towards a more local model of grant-making and to deliver on the organisation’s strategic framework that when people are in the lead, communities thrive.

Elly has worked at The National Lottery Community Fund for the last five years. She has played key roles in the Fund’s Headstart programme - a £56 million programme, testing new ways to improve young people’s mental health. Elly also set up and co-led funding awards – worth over £90 million a year - made to the south of England.

Recently, she led on the development and launch of the Fund’s £100 million Climate Action Fund, awarding money raised by National Lottery players to help communities take the lead in tackling the climate emergency.

Before joining the Fund, Elly worked with the international children’s charity, Save the Children, in overseas development and in management consultancy and also ran a number of strategic funding programmes for Impetus.

Matthew Green, Technology and Data Director

Matthew joined the Fund in 2017, with more than 25 years’ experience of working in IT in public and private sector. Matthew is responsible for all technology systems and services and leads the IT department as a strategic enabling partner to the organisation, having developed the technology vision for our organisation, transforming IT from a traditional internal service provider/utility, to one of strategic enabler/partner of the organisation.

“I believe IT is an enabler of the organisation and can underpin every strategic aspiration. Engaging and empowering colleagues in all parts of the organisation to communicate, collaborate and work together as one team is at the heart of my vision. Drawing together the best of technology and people into excellent services, to create simple and effective digital experiences, provides the ecosystem for all colleagues to work with the teams, customers and communities they support.”

Matthew’s previous roles include senior leadership level for IT in Higher Education delivering Digital Transformation, and in a previous academic role, has taught at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, in a range of subjects including computer science, information systems, change, project and programme management and IT leadership courses.

Neil Harris, Corporate Services Director

Neil leads our Corporate Services functions, including strategic planning, programme management, people & culture, legal, governance and property management. The directorate plays a key role in ensuring our funding teams are supported and equipped with the necessary tools to have the greatest impact possible.

Prior to joining the Fund, Neil has significant leadership experience across different sectors which helps him to see our priorities through multiple lenses and perspectives. Neil is a strong believer that happy, effective and efficient teams will in turn improve the way we serve communities.

‘I feel fortunate to work for an organisation where I can again lead positive change, remove unnecessary complexity and create simplicity - and ultimately make a real difference to people’s lives across the UK’.

Emma Kavanagh, Acting Finance Director

Emma is responsible for leading the Fund’s finance, risk, internal audit and procurement teams. The directorate is instrumental in ensuring Lottery player’s and Dormant Account money is used efficiently and effectively to deliver the greatest benefit to communities.

“Having witnessed first-hand the journey the Fund has been on to arrive at the people-focused grant-maker it is today, it is a privilege to now take on the responsibilities of Finance Director. We have made a huge shift in the last 2 years, both in terms of local grant-making and in our technological capabilities. I am excited to lead the Fund in directing our resources in order to better support the fantastic community organisations we work with.”

Emma first joined the National Lottery Community Fund in 2010 as a management accountant and has gathered significant knowledge and history of the Fund in her progression through to Deputy Director. Prior to joining the Fund, Emma qualified as an accountant in 2008, working for RSM Tenon across their business services, audit and corporate finance departments.

Emma has a degree in Applied Accounting and is a Chartered Certified Accountant.

Faiza Khan MBE, Engagement and Insight Director

Faiza joined the Fund in 2020. She is responsible for leading our activities across communications, engagement and knowledge and learning. She was previously Director of Policy and Communications at Paul Hamlyn Foundation and before that led a national citizen engagement programme, working with NHS England to bolster citizen voice through a process of deliberative democracy. Faiza has led one of the largest networks of voluntary youth charities as Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Policy and Communications at the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services, working with charities, communities and Government Departments to support better outcomes for children and young people. She has been a Trustee for End Child Poverty and has supported many not-for-profit organisations during her career to date. In 2014, Faiza received an MBE for services to young people.

“I have long held a great appreciation for the work of the Fund, having been both a previous grantee and in more recent years a fellow funder working to support shared strategic objectives. I hope to bring these experiences with me as I work with colleagues to make the most of our engagement, knowledge and learning potential to achieve maximum impact for the communities we serve.”

Neil Ritch, Scotland Director

Neil was appointed as The National Lottery Community Fund’s director for Scotland in July 2019.

Neil is responsible for the development, delivery, administration and communication of The National Lottery Community Fund’s grant programmes in Scotland and is ultimately responsible for The National Lottery Community Fund’s work and reputation in the country.

“I am delighted to take on the role of Scotland director. The work we are doing is as interesting and exciting as it’s ever been in all the time I’ve been here. It is a great place to be and I am excited I now get the opportunity to lead on our work across Scotland.”

Neil first joined The National Lottery Community Fund in 2000 to set up the Scottish Land Fund and has since gone on to progress through a number of positions, from Funding Officer through to Deputy Director.

Prior to joining the Fund, Neil started his career as a community worker in Shetland and worked as a Scottish Civil Servant in community care policy, both of which gave him his thorough grounding in community led action and the importance of putting local people in the lead.

John Rose, Wales Director

John is responsible for the development, delivery, administration and communication of The National Lottery Community Fund’s grant programmes in Wales and is ultimately responsible for The National Lottery Community Fund’s work and reputation in the country.

“The projects we fund really touch the lives of the people and communities they support. I’m looking forward to helping that continue to happen, and ensuring that the lottery pound is well spent”

Leading a team of about 55 people based in offices in Cardiff and Newtown, John works closely with the Wales chair in discussing future direction and ensuring the non-executive board members are kept informed. He spends much of his time meeting with stakeholders from the public and voluntary sector and making sure The National Lottery Community Fund is aligned at all levels of the organisation.

John, who studied Environmental Systems and Applied Hydrobiology at the University of Wales, joined The National Lottery Community Fund in 2003. He meets regularly with the organisation’s senior management team and is the lead for equalities and sustainability.