Who we are

Who we are

John Sharman – Acting Chair of Trustees. I have been a trustee and past treasurer of Action Udobo since first registering as an independent charity in 2010, having previously been involved with the Friends of Udobo. It has been enormously encouraging to see the progress of the young children passing through Udobo School and satisfying to know how we can make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged children in other parts of the world. After a career in finance spanning almost 40 years, I am pleased to be able to use my experience for the benefit of others.

Caroline Howard – Trustee & Treasurer. Through my husband Bob, who has been giving to Friends of, and now Action Udobo, since the very beginning, I learnt of the invaluable start this hardworking school gives to underprivileged children in South Africa.
Having enjoyed the full benefit of a free education, leading me into a 35 year career in architecturally based interior design, the simplicity of the Trustees role, enabling me to give help to those much less fortunate than myself, appealed to me very much. Most importantly, we keep our costs to the absolute minimum, so that every donation stretches as far as possible.
2019 will be my first year as a Trustee, and I hope to make a long term contribution. I encourage you to join us, in whatever way you are able to, and help change young lives from the start, allowing them to achieve, and enjoy, their fullest potential.

David Latter – Trustee. I live in Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire. I have been a Trustee for 10 years. I believe every child should have an equal opportunity in life and support the work of the Udobo School to meet that opportunity. I have a passion for communicating the gospel and am Chair of Trustees of LWPT (Leaders of Worship and Preachers Trust). In my spare time I love reading and helping my grandchildren to love life.

Susan Hughes – Trustee. I was born and brought up in Nottingham. I trained as a pharmacist and worked in hospital and retail. Music is a great love in my life – particularly singing. I am a lifelong Methodist, and have always been an active member of my local church.
Patrick and I retired to Alrewas in 2005 to be closer to our family, who live in the Midlands. We were introduced to Udobo School in 2006, and immediately we felt pulled to assist in any way we could. The idea of preparing these wonderful yet underprivileged children for their school life – learning English and adjusting to the school day, being nourished both physically and mentally, is a challenge I could not ignore. The care and development of each child is central to our prayers and giving.  The Udobo School cares for the whole family.
We are also very happy to support this charity where the expenses are minimal, and the greater part of our donations goes straight to the school to maintain the work that is being done, really essential work, which supports each child. Each child is special.

Patrick Hughes – Trustee. I was born in Birmingham into a church-going family, and grew up surrounded by Christians of many nationalities, both at home and at school. After working in industry for thirty years I felt moved to retrain as a childcare social worker. My life has brought me into contact with many people, including children, in difficult circumstances, and when I was introduced to Udobo School I felt that God was calling me to become involved. I have been a trustee since the Action Udobo charity was created, and try to encourage others to support the work of the School.
Because of the direct contact to the school, I know that any financial gifts are passed through with very little loss through expenses. I believe that the school offers boys and girls in the Montclair area of Durban the basis of an education which can open doors into the modern world.

The Revd. Prebendary John Allan – Trustee. I was born and raised in the United States, where I grew up in a church-going Christian family and ultimately experienced God’s call upon my life to serve in ordained ministry. Following a wonderful ‘foreign exchange’ year at Oxford University where I met and subsequently married Sally, from Birmingham, we started our married life together in Ohio where I trained for ministry in the American Lutheran Church. After several years of pastoral ministry in Texas, we had the unexpected opportunity to return to England for further studies; due to the health needs of our second daughter, we took the decision to remain indefinitely in England, and because of my involvements with the Church of England I offered myself for further training and ordination to serve as an Anglican Priest in the Lichfield Diocese, where I have served for the past 28 years as a parish priest, with additional service as a Local Ministry Advisor, Rural Dean, and Prebendary (Hon. Canon) of Lichfield Cathedral.
It was through our close and valued local partnership with the Methodist Church in Alrewas that I first learned of the outstanding education provided through the Udobo Pre-Primary School, offering children a life-transforming opportunity, and of the amazing charity, Action Udobo , which offers tremendous support for the school’s on-going needs during a time of considerable need and challenge. I feel deeply privileged to serve this deserving charity, and sincerely encourage all who care about the future of these children to join us in this precious work!

John Bowman – Trustee.  Born, bred and educated in rural Norfolk, I graduated from Oxford University and spent thirty years in education eventually becoming Head of a large inner city community school in the Midlands. After a short spell working for a local authority, I set up my own company which I ran until recently.
I was introduced to Action Udobo’s work by other trustees and, having recently retired as a magistrate, I am pleased to commit time to support its activities by being a trustee and bringing whatever skills I have to its service.
I have been a Methodist Local Preacher for many years and the work of AU is about sharing the good news about potential and wholeness with youngsters who can believe that everything is possible through learning.