Governance and Management

The BEARR Trust is a UK registered charity, No. 1011086. Its governance is set out in a Trust Deed which is governed by English law and which provides that, within the framework of the aims of the Trust, policy and major executive decisions are made by the Trustees. For BEARR’s Governance Policies click here.

 Patrons  Trustees


Vladimir Ashkenazy

Elena Bashkirova Barenboim

Robert Brinkley CMG

Lady Ellen Dahrendorf

Myra Green OBE

Bridget Kendall MBE

Sir Roderic Lyne KBE CMG

Mike Simmonds

Rair Simonyan

Dr Robert van Voren, PhD, FRCPsych (Hon)

Sir Andrew Wood GCMG

Megan Bick

Jane Ebel

Ross Gill

Janet Gunn CMG

Ali Lantukh

Marcia Levy

Ann Lewis CMG

Biljana Radonjic Ker-Lindsay

Nicola Ramsden (Chairman)

Michael Rasell

Charlie Walker



The BEARR Trust is sad to report that its Patron Sir Jonathan Miller CBE, theatre and opera director, actor, author, television presenter, humourist and medical doctor died on 27 November 2019.



Annual report and accounts


The Annual Report and Accounts for 2018 are here. Here are the highlights:

  • Charitable expenditure rose for the third successive year, and reached its highest level for more than a decade.
  • Almost £30,000 of grants were awarded to projects to improve the employment of young people with mental or physical disabilities.
  • Donations increased significantly, and a series of successful grant applications continued into 2019.
  • BEARR’s second regional conference was organised, and took place in April 2019 in Chisinau, Moldova.
  • BEARR welcomed a new trustee, Jane Ebel, and a new Chairman, Nicola Ramsden.


The Annual Report and Accounts for 2017 are here. These were the highlights of the year:


  • Charitable expenditure increased by 26 per cent.
  • £28,000 of grants were awarded to projects dealing with mental health.
  • The first peer monitoring of projects was undertaken, in Central Asia.
  • The annual conference tackled HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
  • Three new trustees added skills and expertise to BEARR’s board.


 About our governance

The BEARR Trust has two part-time officers on a consultancy basis, Sophie Vandyck, Information Officer, and Anna Lukanina, Small Grants Officer (see more about them below) . It also has a Moscow-based part-time Information Officer who manages the Russian page of the website.

The Trust also relies on the voluntary efforts of its trustees, who provide a great deal of hands-on work to enable the Trust to organise its events, small grants scheme, fund-raising and overall management.


About the trustees of The BEARR Trust


Nicola Ramsden has been Chairman of the BEARR Trust since June 2018. She has been a BEARR trustee since 1997.  She worked for the Bank of England and NatWest Investment Bank and has an MBA from the London Business School.  From 1992 to 1997 she worked in Moscow as a consultant for Deloitte and Touche, and became the first President of the charity Action for Russia’s Children.  Nicola is also a director and trustee of the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras.  She is married with a daughter.










Megan Bick has been working on civil society development in the region since starting as the first Moscow Director for the BEARR Trust in 1992. The main focus of her work is social inclusion of minorities and currently works as a trainer, project manager, programme evaluator for both local and international organisations.










Jane Ebel became a trustee in 2018. She began her career in Eastern Europe in 1986, selling computers into large factories and teaching printed circuit board design to engineers. With the advent of microcomputers, however, the market opened up and she was able to sell to educational and medical institutions.  From there it was a natural sidestep into the voluntary sector and Jane spent the next 20 years running health and social care projects in Russia and neighbouring republics, often collaborating with HealthProm. Since 2009 Jane has worked almost exclusively in Moldova. Current projects include an EU-funded Early Years Inclusive Education project, Communication through Music (developed specially for Moldova, which enables teachers, parents and carers of vulnerable children to use music therapeutically) and organisation of the first ever inclusive Race for people with disability, alongside the Annual Chisinau Marathon.

She has 2 daughters, who have taken up the family baton:  Francesca is a journalist with AP, in Moscow; and Pippa is currently studying Mandarin and works in Shanghai.











Ross Gill works in local economic development and regeneration in the UK and has also worked with a number of voluntary and community organisations. Ross has had a deep interest in Russia and Eastern Europe for several years, having first studied Russian and travelled in Russia and Ukraine in the 1990s. He is currently working part-time towards a PhD at Birkbeck.

Ross Gill 2


Janet Gunn was a research analyst in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office for 36 years, specialising on the USSR, its successor states and Central and South-eastern Europe. Her overseas postings included Moscow, Kyiv and Dushanbe, and she worked later in the EU Border Assistance Mission to Ukraine and Moldova, based in Odesa and the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo. She now undertakes consultancy work; she has participated in many OSCE election observer missions in the region, and has undertaken project work for the OSCE in Ukraine.










Ali Lantukh joined the BEARR Trust as a trustee in 2017. Ali is a specialist in Russian and Ukrainian current affairs, humanrights, and civil society developments, and is now applying her regional expertise in the tech industry. Prior to this, Ali completed a Marie Curie Research Fellowship, during which she was a VisitingResearcher at St Petersburg StateUniversity; she has also worked for USand UK governmental agencies, and is an alumna of St Antony’s College Oxford. Since first living in Ukraine and volunteering with local NGOs over a decade ago, Ali has maintained a strong commitment to social justice issues in the region. She has also volunteered practically and at a strategic level with NGOs based in the UK, Romania, Brazil, and Uganda. She speaks Russian, and is now tackling Ukrainian.



Ann Lewis is a retired member of HM Diplomatic Service. She worked mainly on Central and Eastern Europe, with postings in Moscow, Helsinki, East Berlin and the Cabinet Office, ending as Head of Cultural Relations. She is a Founder-Governor and Deputy Head of Governors of The English College in Prague, and Deputy head of Governors at St Clare’s Oxford. She has edited books on Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus.



Marcia Levy was head of the Moscow office of an international law firm from 1991 to 1995, working on investment projects in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. She continued to work on projects in emerging markets, from London, until 2003. From 2004 until 2016 she was a Circuit Judge, specialising in family and criminal law.







Biljana Radonjic Ker-Lindsay has extensive experience in over 30 emerging markets spanning from Central Europe to Central Asia and North Africa at the intersection between governments, businesses and civil society. As the head of civil society engagement at the EBRD’s London HQ, Biljana is in charge of the Bank’s on-going outreach, dialogue and consultations with civil society as well as enhancing the capacity of local grassroots organisations. Before joining the EBRD in 2006, Biljana co-founded and ran Civilitas Research, an independent strategic consultancy and think tank dedicated to socio-political and business research in South East Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, based out of Cyprus.



Michael Rasell is Senior Lecturer in the School of Health and Social Care, College of Social Science, Lincoln University. He is a qualitative sociologist and his research focuses on international social welfare, especially discourses of need and provision within state welfare programmes.  He has particular experience of studying disability services and social work in the former Soviet bloc and is currently investigating the front line implementation of inclusion in line with Russia’s adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.








Charlie Walker is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Southampton, and an Honorary Member of the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies at the University of Birmingham. He was previously a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Centre for East European Language Based Area Studies and St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford. Charlie’s research has explored class, gender and spatial (rural-urban) inequalities in Russia, focusing on young people’s transitions to adulthood and, more recently, men’s wellbeing. He has recently worked for the World Bank on a project examining processes of social exclusion amongst vulnerable groups in Russia, and in 2018-19 will be working on a British Academy funded project looking at transitions to adulthood amongst care leavers in the Leningrad region. The latter project will involve working closely with Russian NGOs providing aftercare services to care leavers, and the need better to integrate academic and third sector activities is one of the reasons Charlie wanted to begin working with BEARR.










Sophie Vandyck is The BEARR Trust’s Information Officer. Sophie joined BEARR in April 2019.

In 2018 she graduated with Merit from a master’s degree in Development Studies at SOAS University of London, focusing particularly on the former Soviet republics. As part of her studies she submitted her thesis on women’s access to family planning services in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, compiling her own data on women’s personal experiences in these countries and also examining specific human rights abuses in this field. After reading French and Russian at the University of Manchester, Sophie spent two years in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, working as a primary school teacher and also facilitating volunteering projects.

She currently also works as a languages tutor and volunteers as a translator and facilitator for Matchstick Piehouse, a theatre and arts space in London.



Anna Lukanina-Morgan is The BEARR Trust’s Small Grants Officer.  Anna joined BEARR in September 2014 as Information Officer. Anna has a Master’s degree in Law from Kyiv’s Taras Shevchenko University.  She has worked for a USAID-funded Organisational Development Support Programme covering Ukraine. Moldova and Belarus; the ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour; and as Legal Assistant to the Executive Director of the Commercial Law Centre, a USAID-funded NGO focusing on legal reform in Ukraine.

Since moving to the UK in 2014 Anna has worked part-time with Dash Arts, including on a programme involving the arts in Eastern Europe. She also manages a project “Ukrainian events in London” which aims to popularise Ukrainian culture in the UK and since August 2015 works at the Chatham House Russia and Eurasia Programme and the Ukraine Forum.


Anna at work_2012