How We Operate

When people generously donate their money or fundraise for Comic Relief, they trust that we’ll spend their cash wisely. With that trust, comes huge responsibility which we take very seriously indeed.

Ok, here comes the legal bit… Comic Relief is a UK registered company limited by guarantee and a charity registered with the Charity Commission in England & Wales (326568) and with OSCR in Scotland (SC039730).

What that doesn’t tell you is that, as well as being an official UK charity, we’re also absolutely committed to maintaining the best standards in everything we do. When it comes to raising money for example, we’re a member of the Fundraising Standards Board and strive to comply with fundraising best practice. 

Our Grant Making

Our aim is to bring about real and lasting change by tackling the root causes of poverty and social injustice. So, to drive this change, we award grants to incredible projects on the ground that work to give people a leg up, not a hand out.

We are committed to ensuring all the money we are responsible for is genuinely making as big a difference as it possibly can. That’s why we monitor and evaluate the difference our funding is making and every few years, we review our grant-making strategy and adapt it, to ensure we're flexible and responsive to the changing world around us.

  • Better

  • Healthier

  • Safer

  • Stronger

  • Fairer

Learn more about the themes, vision and principles that guide our UK and International grant making

Meet The Team

We're led by a dedicated, knowledgeable Board of Trustees who meet six times a year. They, alongside a number of other Board Committees, steer our CEO and team of Directors who lead Comic Relief’s employees in carrying out the day-to-day activities of the organisation. In addition, and free from a governance role, are our Honorary Trustees, who use their extensive creativity and experience to support Comic Relief. Meet these brilliant people below.

Honorary Trustees

  • Claudia Winkleman
  • David Tennant
  • David Walliams
  • Davina McCall
  • Duncan Bannatyne
  • Emma Freud
  • Fearne Cotton
  • Professor Ian Goldin
  • James Corden
  • Jennifer Saunders
  • John Bishop
  • JK Rowling
  • Matthew Freud
  • Miranda Hart
  • Patrick Kielty
  • Reggie Yates
  • Sir Steve Redgrave

Board Committees

UK Grants Committee

  • Harry Cayton - Chair (Trustee, CR and Chief Executive, Professional Standards Authority)
  • Ben Cairns (Director, Institute for Voluntary Action Research)
  • Cliff Prior (Chief Executive, UnLtd)
  • Kevin Cahill (Chief Executive, CR)
  • Michele Settle (Director, UK Campaigns & Brands, CR)
  • Robert Webb (Trustee, CR)
  • Fiona Duncan (Chief Executive, Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland)
  • Paul Cavanagh (Health and Social Care Board, N.Ireland)
  • Chris Grant (Chief Executive, Sported)
  • Judith McNeill (Grants Director, CR)
  • Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi (Director, Programme Policy and Quality, Save the Children)
  • Suzi Aplin (Trustee, CR and Producer)

International Grants Committee

  • Theo Sowa - Chair (Trustee, CR and Chief Executive, The African Women's Development Fund)
  • Robert Webb (Trustee, CR)
  • Jessica Horn (Independant Consultant)
  • Ezra Limiri Mbogori (Executive Director, Akiba Uhaki)
  • Ade Fakoya (The Global Fund)
  • Kevin Cahill (Chief Executive, CR)
  • Michele Settle (Director, UK Campaigns & Brands, CR)
  • Judith McNeill (Grants Director, CR)
  • Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi (Director, Programme Policy and Quality, Save the Children)

Finance and Risk Committee

  • Michael Harris - Chair (Trustee, CR and Financial Consultant)
  • Alexis Chapman (Program Manager, SUNGAS project at IIED)
  • Peter Samengo Turner (‎Freelance Finance Director, Esstee Consult Ltd)
  • Sally Knight (Partner, MHA MacIntyre Hudson)
  • Tina Kokkinos (Director, The Red Advisory Company)

Investment Committee

  • Michael Harris - Chair (Trustee, CR and Financial Consultant)
  • Bal Samra (Director, BBC Rights and Business Affairs)
  • Laurence Newman (Consultant, ex Trustee, CR)
  • Oliver Bolitho (Non Executive Director, ex Head of Asia Ex-Japan, Goldman Sachs)
  • Peter Clark (Investment Director, Ingenious Asset Management)
  • Philip Mastriforte (MD, Trillium Partners Limited)
  • Rupert Morley (Group MD, Sterling Relocation Limited)
  • Sam Morse (Head of UK Institutional Equities, Fidelity Investments International)
  • Claire Brown, (Finance and Corporate Services Director, The Elders Foundation)
  • Diana Barran (Trustee, CR and Chief Executive, SafeLives)
  • Colin Howes (Trustee, CR and Partner at Harbottle & Lewis)

The Commercial and Technology Board

  • Tristia Clarke – Chair (Trustee, CR and Executive Director of Commercial, TalkTalk Group)
  • Anna Bateson (Marketing Director EMEA and Director, Global Marcom, YouTube at Google)
  • Charles Garland (Chairman, Sports Rights Management LLP)
  • Steve Leach (Chairman, Fetch, Outside Line and IQ Chocolate)
  • Theo Paphitis (Chairman, Ryman and Chairman & Owner, Robert Dyas and Boux Avenue)
  • Cilla Snowball (Trustee, CR and Group CEO & Group Chairman, AMV BBDO)
  • Peter Walker (Chief Finance Officer, CHI & Partners)
  • Colin Howes (Trustee, CR and Partner, Harbottle & Lewis)
  • Phil Male (Non Executive Director, Smart DCC, Jersey Telecom, Kondor Limited and Jiscom)
  • James Ashton (Executive Editor, London Evening Standard)
  • The Commercial and Technology Board, apart from James Ashton and Cilla Snowball, are also the directors of Comic Relief Ltd

Remuneration and Nominations Committee

  • Michael Harris - Chair (Trustee, CR and Financial Consultant)
  • Tim Davie (Trustee, CR)