We believe our most important asset is our people. HACRO’s staff are specialists in their field who are committed to helping our Participants become fully integreated into their families and communities, thereby reducing reoffending.

Our Trustees

Our trustees bring a wealth of experience with criminal Justice and Probation as well as in the Charity and Commercial Sectors.

Valerie Beale


Valerie started her career in social work before holding a range of public sector roles including manager of a research centre at Brunel University, a policy manager at Hertfordshire County Council, a board member of Hertfordshire Probation Trust, a Tutor on the Open University’s MBA course and public sector consultancy. She has been a magistrate for 24 years, was Deputy Chairman of the Bench for six years and Deputy Chairman of the Hertfordshire Family Panel for four years.

Sean Bolton


Sean Bolton has a background in service use and carer involvement in Health and Social Care education. He has been involved in social work education since 2004 with the University of West England and a number of other universities in the country. Sean became involved with various other Health & Social Care projects, for example as Vice Chair of Bristol and South Gloucestershire LINKS.

Chris Hale


Chris comes from a sales, marketing and marketing communications background in the animal health industry. He was a Magistrate for ten years and still maintains his role as a Justice of the Peace. As a volunteer he has been associated with the Princes Trust and RESOLVE and has been a governor of his local junior school. In his spare time he is a keen golfer and can be seen regularly at the bridge table.

Eric Pillinger

Relationship Manager, HMP The Mount

Eric Pillinger is qualified as an economist and an accountant and has worked in a variety of management roles in different businesses. He is a trustee of several charities, an independent school and a member of the Independent Monitoring Board of a local prison.

Peter Spencer

General Trustee

Peter Spencer spent his career working in the Finance industry focusing on managing large scale business change. He was appointed a magistrate in 2005 and retired from the West and Central Herts Bench in December 2017.

John Walker


John Walker is a Chartered Accountant with experience in the profession, Banking and Consultancy. Since retiring John has been active in various charitable activities in the county ranging from finance to gardening. John is in his second stint as Treasurer having rejoined HACRO in December 2022 to take part in the exciting development of HACRO’s new flagship project ‘TurnAround’.

Jax Brabazon


Before retiring Jax Brabazon was the Chief Marketing Officer for a large international private bank and was based in Singapore for the last ten years of her working life. In a career spanning over 35-years she held roles covering Marketing, HR, Talent, Philanthropy and Client Management, primarily in the Finance industry. Since retiring Jax has become an active volunteer in roles ranging from theatre to tennis.

Matt Cannon


Working at a senior level for a number of FTSE 250 companies I left as I wanted to be part of the boom so joined a start-up just as the bubble burst – but I did learn about the web, ecommerce/warehousing as well as VC’s and PE. This gave me the experience to become part of a team that invested in, grew and subsequently sold an ecommerce and warehousing business (120,000 sq.ft. employing 140 staff) to a Dutch PLC. During my earn out I was then employed to find, acquire and make profitable a number of businesses. This gave me the appetite to do this on my own and I now chair and have interests in a few SME’s.

During this time I set up a small Restaurant Supply business and started working with HMP The Mount Prison and was impressed with the Prisoners I met and wanted to see if I could help them. This led me to setting set up a very small charity which subsequently merged with HACRO and I am now passionate about helping ex-offenders back into the work place. I have recently helped an Ex Prisoner set up in a woodwork and Planking business (where he is employing 2 ex-offenders) and will continue to do this through HACRO.

Vice Presidents

Danny Bonwitt – BEM,

Gill Gray – JP,

Lindsey McLeod – JP,

Penny Williams – JP DL,

Anne Wyburd – MBE,

Neil Ashley

Advisers to the Board

Peter Sweetman – JP – IT

Jim Bridger – HMP The Mount