Our Board of Trustees


Toby Blume


Toby is the co-founder of Social Engine, a behaviour change agency supporting social purpose organisations. A social innovator with over 20 years’ experience of working in the not-for-profit sector and local government, particularly supporting excluded communities to achieve positive social change. His work has included influencing public policy, community engagement and self-help, grant-making, and helping community groups understand and influence regeneration policy and practice. He ran two national charities – Groundswell UK and Urban Forum - for over 15 years, developing innovative ways for marginalised communities to have influence over decisions that affect them.

Toby also has considerable grant-making experience, having set up a number of successful grants programmes, served as a trustee of the Travellers Aid Trust, and as an elected trustee of the Association of Charitable Foundations. He has also worked with a number of funders including Comic Relief, JRF, and City Bridge Trust supporting their strategy development, communications, and social media.


Emily Swords 


Emily Swords works for the Masonic Charitable Foundation, assessing applications from charities and working with current grantees. Previously she was CEO at a small children’s charity. Emily has spent over eighteen years in the not for profit sector with roles including advising philanthropists on their giving and helping grant-making trusts develop their giving strategies.


She has also worked in fundraising where she has raised significant sums from individuals and companies for a range of causes including cancer, homelessness, and medical research.


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Michael Lassman

Vice Chair

Michael has always been a Barnet citizen and has been involved in civic life in the borough since 1995, working with local politicians and officers to ensure a fair and just environment for all to live in.

As a diversity and inclusion consultant, Michael tries to ensure the less privileged members of society get an equal chance to succeed, flourish, and achieve their potential. He is also an active member of various local community groups and Trustee of Community Barnet and, more recently, Barnet Giving.


Diana Chrouch


Diana Chrouch is a Barnet resident and trained fundraiser who was previously a director at Amnesty International with responsibilities across 52 countries. She was also a senior manager at the British Red Cross. She also has experience of working for a number of voluntary groups and smaller charities.

She is currently director of Chrouch Consulting and is an experienced marketing consultant who specialises in creating diversity and inclusion strategies for businesses and not for profit organisations.

Diana is the national policy lead for Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Business for the Federation of Small Business. She is also a special advisor to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for BAME Business Owners and chairs the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the Worshipful Company of Constructors.


She was previously a lead on the UK Economic Blueprint for Women project spearheaded by the Pink Shoe Club (Patron Theresa May)

Key skills – Strategic planning. Income generation. Communication and marketing particularly with outreach to marginalised and under-represented groups. 

“It is a privilege and an honour to be the first Chair of Barnet Giving and to play a part in developing something positive for our communities. As a firm believer in the idea that local solutions to problems are more likely to be sustainable and effective, local giving schemes are an ideal way to bring about positive change in our communities. With my experience of grant-making, fundraising and working at a community level, I feel I have something to contribute to the development of Barnet Giving.

“We have the potential to bring people together, to work towards common goals to make Barnet a better place for all of us.”

Tony Blume - Chair

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