Our AGM is on the 21st July and follows the theme of Community Action & Engagement through Faith; has Faith been given a voice through the (Covid) Pandemic?
Deputy Mayor Cllr Saira Don
Councillor Saira Don is the Deputy Mayor of the London Borough of Barnet
Cllr Saira Don was born in Edgware and has been a Barnet resident all her life. By profession, she is a Company Director. Since 2010 she runs care provisions for adults with learning difficulties. She was formally a legal assistant and has experience in legal settings from 1996 to 2004. From 2005 to 2009 she became a full-time mother and at the same time, she became a director of a construction company whereby she was responsible for the accounts department.
She has been heavily engaged with charity work and in the year 2000 began supporting a charity which supports children from around the world and builds clean water supplies. In 2009 she became an active supporter of raising funds (1) for people with disabilities; (2) for children of primary school age and (3) for awareness of Chronic Kidney Disease in Sri Lanka.
Cllr Don has strong ties with multi-faith agencies and is a longstanding supporter for Sri Lankan Buddhist Temples, as well as supporting religious organisations that teach children Buddhism and Singhalese Language.
Cllr Don was elected to Barnet Council West Hendon Ward in May 2018. She serves on Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Adults and Safeguarding Committee, Corporate Parenting Committee, West Hendon Partnership Board, Welsh Harp Joint Consultative Committee, Fostering and Adoptions Panel and she serves as a Vice Chairman on the Hendon Area Committee.
Dr May Erskine
Cllr Caroline Stock
Caroline Stock studied for a BSc in Human biology at London University. She then worked at different hospitals including Chelsea Hospital for Women and Queen Charlotte’s Hospital, and went on to obtain a PhD at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School. Her doctorate was investigating human fertilization working in the field of In Vitro fertilization.
Caroline’s work life has involved science, and projects that combine her interest in art, having undertaken a Diploma in Art and Design. An example was working for Figleaves, an internet lingerie company that aimed to revolutionize sizing of female garments using scientific methods!
She has always supported local causes and has been a Governor of a Primary School (with interests in special needs), chaired community groups such as the local Police Action Panel and Residents’ Associations. Caroline has been a volunteer at Home-Start Barnet supporting vulnerable families and ran a winter shelter for the homeless for six years. This passion for working with the local community led to being elected a Councillor onto Barnet Council in 2014.
On Barnet Council Caroline has taken a special interest in children and health. In 2015, Caroline launched the Mayor of Barnet’s Golden Kilometre in response to the rise in childhood obesity. This successful local scheme encourages children and adults to run or walk a daily kilometre. She is trying to raise the understanding of Type 2 Diabetes and is the Barnet Council Diabetes champion. She is currently Chairman of the Barnet Health and Well Being Board, enabling her to influence the direction of Public Health policy locally. Caroline served as the Deputy Mayor of the London Borough of Barnet from 2018-2019 and was subsequently privileged to serve as Mayor from 2019-2021. She became Pro-chancellor of Middlesex University in 2020.
Tim Blanc is Head of Community Engagement for the Barnet Group, a Local Authority Trading Company (LATC) solely owned by Barnet Council that manages council housing under Barnet Homes, provides Health and Social care services under Your Choice Barnet and builds and manages new homes as a Registered Provider under Opendoor Homes
Tim has 21 years’ experience of working within the voluntary and community sector and came to Barnet in 2006 as the Groups lead for community development, community engagement and customer and service user involvement, working with a wide range of organisations across the voluntary, public and private sector. During his time in Barnet he has supported local groups as a volunteer and held the position of a Trustee for small charities, including Barnet Play Association, Grahame Park Development Group (now Colindale Communities Trust), Bobath Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy and more recently was the founder of Loveburnt Oak.
Over the past 12 months he has co-chaired the Barnet Groups, Race & Equality Steering Group, that aims to bring about positive changes related to race and diversity both within the organisation and wider community.
The Reverend Dr Julie Gittoes
The Revd Dr Julie Gittoes is Vicar of St Mary’s and Christ Church, Hendon and Area Dean of Barnet. She is enjoying getting to know North London – working with Barnet Multi Faith Forum, Middlesex University and others across churches/voluntary groups across the Borough. She was ordained in St Paul’s in 2003 having trained for ordination alongside post-graduate studies in Cambridge. She has experience of parish ministry in west London and cathedral ministry in Guildford (where she was responsible for education, public engagement and art). Julie continues to teach and write on theology, including marriage and singleness, and is a member of the Society for the Study of Theology. Other interests include politics, film, theatre, art and fiction – all of which make their way into preaching and teaching.