Our board and trustees

The board of Realise charity consists of members of the community and business leaders from across Staffordshire. The role of our experienced board is to provide strategic direction for the charity and ensure we deliver on our values and vision.


Marina Barrett

Marina spent most of her working career in public sector, providing financial management of the externally funded neighbourhood renewal and economic development projects, delivered in partnership with private and voluntary sector organisations and Stoke on Trent City Council.

Maria holds a postgraduate qualification of Master of Science in Financial Management (with merit) at Manchester Metropolitan University. Marina is an Associate of Chartered Management Institute.


Sinéad Butters MBE, Group Chief Executive, Aspire Housing

Sinéad has been Chief Executive of Staffordshire-based Aspire Housing since 2006. Under her leadership the Aspire Housing Group has grown and broadened its services via the acquisition of Staffordshire’s largest apprenticeship provider, PM Training. In October 2015 Sinéad become Chair of PlaceShapers, the national network of over 100 community-based housing associations, with a collective goal to achieve real and lasting improvements in the communities they serve. In the 2016 New Year Honours list, Sinéad was awarded an MBE for her services to housing.



Mike Lawton

Mike is a senior executive with Michelin Tyre plc. He has held strategic roles within private sector organisations both in the UK and as an expatriate. He began his career with Waterford-Wedgwood in the late 1980s and with Austin Reed in the 1990s. Mike’s corporate experience includes strategy definition within sales, marketing, communication (including digital technologies), customer management and finance.

Mike has a decade of experience in the housing sector working with both general housing and specialist care providers. Mike is a resident of Newcastle-under-Lyme and is committed to the local area. Mike has an MBA from Staffordshire University.

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