Our Team

  • All
  • Ambassadors
  • Patrons
  • Trustees
  • Sir Richard Branson
    Sir Richard Branson
    Patron
  • Steve Bennett
    Steve Bennett
    Trustee
  • Philip Newborough
    Philip Newborough
    Trustee
  • Glenn Lehrer
    Glenn Lehrer
    Trustee
  • Andy McQuillan
    Andy McQuillan
    Trustee
  • John Bennett
    John Bennett
    Trustee
  • Sharmil Mathur
    Sharmil Mathur
    Ambassador
  • Joe Waddington MBE
    Joe Waddington MBE
    Ambassador
Sir Richard Branson
Patron

The incredible success of the Virgin Group has been led by the only person on the planet to build eight billion dollar companies in eight different sectors.

In 2004 Richard established the non-profit foundation Virgin Unite to tackle tough social and environmental problems and strives to make business a force for good. Most of his time is now spent working with Virgin Unite and the organisations it has incubated, such as The Elders, Carbon War Room, B Team and Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship. He also serves on the Global Commission on Drug Policy and supports ocean conservation with the OceanElders.

Steve Bennett
Trustee

There is a lot seriously wrong with our planet and if things don't start changing soon will we reach a point of no return. Then there is a serious in-balance between those who have and those who have not. Three billion of us indulge and consume way too much of everything, whilst three billion do not even have enough food or water.


Steve is a serial entrepreneur with a proven track record in business, having established a number of different, highly successful companies in the worlds of publishing, eCommerce and retail.

He is currently CEO of The Genuine Gemstone Company, which in 2012 won the prestigious Times Fast Track 100.

Steve’s role sees him regularly travelling the world to source gemstones for his business, giving him an acute awareness of the issues we are trying to tackle.

 

Philip Newborough
Trustee

After more than a decade working with entrepreneurs who are helping to tackle some of the UK's biggest social and environmental challenges, I've seen first-hand that sustainable business can be an incredibly powerful force for good within deprived communities. That's why I’m so excited about what Colourful Life can achieve.


Philip, who recently joined the Colourful Life Board, has been the Managing Partner of Bridges Ventures since 2002. He is actively involved in much of the portfolio and has negotiated the successful exits of The Gym Group, Simply Switch, The Office Group and The Hoxton, among others.

Prior to Bridges Ventures, Philip managed two venture capital-backed businesses and a substantial pan-European business. He previously worked at Aiwa as Director and General Manager, and as Managing Director of MWB Business Exchange Ltd, a serviced office provider.

Philip has a BA Honours in Economics from York University and is a qualified chartered accountant.

Glenn Lehrer
Trustee

Every Life matters. We all matter. We all have something Unique to contribute given the right Opportunity.


Glenn has been a trustee of the Colourful Life Foundation since 2012. He is recognized internationally as one of the finest gemstone carvers of our time. With 40 years experience in the gemstone industry, he works closely with mining communities around the world.

Glenn was given a lifetime honorary membership with International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) for his work consulting with the Board and staff to re-write and update their Constitution and By-laws.

Glenn has been a TV host on several large Gemstone and Jewelry Sales programs in the United States and England for his gem cutting knowledge and artistry, and continues to successfully sell his gemstones and jewelry on TV both in the UK and the USA.

Andy McQuillan
Trustee

Andy was one of the initial trustees appointed on the formation of the Colourful Life Foundation. He trained with a big-4 international accountancy practice as a Chartered Tax Adviser and Accountant who brings with him a wealth of knowledge on the accounting and tax matters relevant for the Foundation and the tax position for donors, both corporate and individuals.

Having acted for the Foundations main sponsor and founders, the Bennett family, for over 15 years he was asked to become trustee to bring his expertise to the internal governance of the organisation.

John Bennett
Trustee

For over twenty years, John has provided support and structure to brother Steve Bennett’s business enterprises. His core experience covers operational, logistical and regulatory matters and he has driven business sustainability projects such as implementing packaging improvements to reduce annual landfill by over 55 tonnes and remove over a million plastic bags from the supply chain.

John currently runs a variety of special projects for Gemporia including international expansion and customer research.

He is a non-practising Barrister, having been called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in 2006, and was a founding trustee of the Colourful Life Foundation.

Sharmil Mathur
Ambassador

I don't believe the saying "one person can't change the world." I trust that a small effort can result into big changes.


Sharmil has previously worked with Save the Children and in her spare time provides much needed volunteering to SOS Orphanage, Teach India and the Jaipur Leprosy centre.

She graduated in Economics (Hons) and has a Masters in Management specialising in Marketing and HR from University of Rajasthan.

As our ambassador in India, Sharmil oversees our involvement in education projects in Jaipur and the surrounding area.

Joe Waddington MBE
Ambassador

I believe it is vital to enable vulnerable, marginalised members of society to lead independent, sustainable and fulfilling lives outside the cycle of donor dependency.


Our Ambassador in Tanzania, Joe has lived and worked in rural areas of East Africa for over 15 years, establishing Ace Africa in Kenya, UK and Tanzania (www.ace-africa.org).

Currently Ace Africa’s Country Director in Tanzania, Joe also leads the organisation’s research team conducting baseline and operational research for Ace programmes as well as commissioned researches for NGOs and the Corporate sector in Sub Sahara Africa.