About Us

We are a specialist adoption agency providing advice and support for those who are considering adoption and also offer our ‘forever’ policy of support.

Our Trustees

David Howell - Chairman

David is the Chair of the Families for Children Board of Trustees and has been a trustee for over five years. He joined FFC in the hope that his wide ranging business experience would be of benefit to “the remarkable work of the agency”. He runs a business development consultancy, is the Chief Executive of a tourism trade association covering the UK, Chair of Tarka Housing (a Bideford social housing provider), non-exec director of the Tarka parent Westward Housing Group, a Bideford Town Councillor, Vice Chair of the heritage group Bideford 500 and a past President of Bideford Chamber of Commerce.

Roger Lake - Vice Chairman

Roger is retired but has a background in Social Work, business and management. He has worked in variety of practitioner and management roles for Local Authorities in London and Bristol. He has experience of chairing Adoption and Fostering Panels, Child Protection Committees (safeguarding). He established a successful Independent Fostering Agency and been involved other business ventures. Roger is originally from S Devon, but lives in Bristol with his wife and dog, Paddy. He has two adult children. He enjoys music, painting, walking, travelling and reading.

Nick Allan

Nick has worked in the finance industry for over thirty years in London, Asia and the USA. For the last twenty of those he has specialised in Asian investment. Nick lives in Devon and was happy to become a trustee of Families for Children, because he felt that it was providing the chance of a fulfilling life to children whose prospects without adoption would be very depressing indeed. After five years as a trustee, seeing the results achieved by the dedication of the adopting families and the remarkable support provided by the team at FFC, he is more delighted than ever that he signed up. Nick’s particular interests include walking and classical music.

Tina Cook QC

Tina read jurisprudence at Exeter College Oxford and has practiced as a barrister since 1988. Her practice is public law child care, which involves many areas which are very relevant to the work of FFC, including child abuse, emotional, sexual and physical and adoption. Her chambers are in London but she often works in the Southwest. She lives on a farm on the Somerset borders with her husband and young children.

Terry Connor

Terry retired as Chief Executive of Cabrini Children's Society in 2012. He has extensive experience as a practitioner and manager in the public and voluntary sectors and is registered with the Health Care Professions Council. He was decision maker for Cabrini's adoption panel for many years. Terry is a former Chair of BAAF (British Assn. for Fostering & Adoption) and served six years in that capacity. He was also the founding Chair of Caritas Social Action. He is currently a Board Director of Cafcass (Children & Family Court Advisory & Support Service) He was awarded a Papal Knighthood in 2012 for services to children and families.


Ann regards being a Trustee as a great privilege to be supporting a team of committed people whose focus is to provide families for children whose birth relatives, for various reasons, are unable to do this. The support for life that is offered to families and children is something Ann considers is unique, and makes FFC very special. She is a qualified social worker with 40+ years’ experience working in the social care/ health field, the last five years of which was in the Department of Health Social Care Group, supporting the Secretary of State in exercising statutory powers of guidance, direction, inspection and enquiries. Ann keeps her practice up to date as Exeter Cathedral’s Safeguarding Advisor and Consultant Safeguarding Advisor for Christian Guild, a hotel and holiday company Ann is currently Lay Canon of Exeter and Canon Librarian of Exeter Cathedral.

Charm O'Kelly

Charm is a qualified Primary School Teacher with a qualification to teach children with specific learning difficulties. Her involvement with Families for Children began 17 years ago when she and her husband adopted their five children through the Charity. The on-going support that Families for Children offered, and continues to offer, was invaluable. Charm feels very privileged to have been asked to be a Trustee and hopes to be able to offer her support in return. Charm lives in Devon with her husband, Frank and their youngest daughter.

Hamish Adam - Honorary Treasurer

Hamish Adam is a Partner of Richard J Smith & Co, Chartered Accountants who have offices in Ivybridge and Truro. The firm specialises only in Corporate Recovery, Insolvency Services and Forensic Accounting. After many years as Treasurer of the Heavitree Parochial Church Council, Hamish saw the role as Honorary Treasurer for Families for Children as something different and distinct from his every day professional work. Hamish has been on the board of Trustees since 2015. Hamish was born in Scotland, brought up in Solihull, and having graduated in Agricultural Economics from Reading and London, he spent a period overseas in West Africa working with the West African Rice Development Association in Sierra Leone and other developing countries in the region. He then joined Agricultural consultants, Landell Mills in Bath, then retrained as an accountant in Bristol and Bath. He latterly became an Assistant Director at Ernst & Young specialising in Corporate Recovery and Insolvency and based in Exeter. Hamish still lives in Exeter with his wife and has grown up children. He enjoys playing cricket and watching the Exeter Chiefs along with outings to the gym and a walks on Dartmoor.

Sue Lucas

Sue lives in Somerset with husband Richard, a daughter recently returned from university and a cat who adopted them. She has regular visits from her older daughter who lives locally. Following their own adoption experience Sue became passionate about campaigning at both a local and national level to ensure adoption is done well for all concerned. So she is delighted to be a trustee of Families for Children. Sue heads a large nursery attached to a primary school and also works as an early years adviser for an academy chain of schools. Sue and her husband are active members of their local church. Sue enjoys swimming in the sea (on a sunny day!) walking and meeting with friends.

Bruce Duncan

Canon Bruce Duncan chaired the Families for Children Trustees from 2006-2010 and then became a Trustee again in 2016. Before ordination as a Church of England priest he worked with Displaced Persons in Germany and Austria and founded the Northorpe Hall Families and Children Trust. In 1993 he was awarded the MBE for services to children and young people. Bruce has served as Chaplain in Vienna, Prague and Budapest; Rector of Crediton in Devon; and then as a Residentiary Canon of Manchester Cathedral before moving to Salisbury in 1995 to be the Founding Principal of Sarum College in the Cathedral Close. For several years in retirement he was the Lazenby Chaplain of Exeter University. He and his wife Margaret enjoy locum work in chaplaincies throughout the Diocese in Europe. They live in Salisbury and have three daughters and six grandchildren.