Senior Management Team

Mental Health Foundation

David Knott

David Knott


David was appointed Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund in October 2021.

Before joining the Fund, David had a varied career in public service. As Director of the Office for Civil Society, he was responsible for government policy on charities, volunteering, young people, philanthropy, dormant assets, impact investment and mission-led business.

Before this, as an international development adviser, he supported governance and public policy reform programmes in more than a dozen countries, particularly in Asia and the Middle East where he lived and worked.

David’s earlier career was in UK Civil Service working in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit (principally on education, health and public services), in the DFID and the Cabinet Office.

His leadership has particularly spanned fields of education, health, civil society and community development, and topics including social mobility, loneliness and culture change. A common thread through his career has been his passion and commitment to community, and the social connections and community activities that are at the heart of creating healthier, happier lives and a flourishing society. This brought him to The National Lottery Community Fund and the development of their 2030 strategy ‘It starts with community’.

He enjoys leading people and organisations in support of social improvement and positive change.

He has two degrees in economics and one degree in Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Kate Beggs

Kate Beggs

Northern Ireland Director

Kate Beggs was appointed as The National Lottery Community Fund's director for Northern Ireland in January 2019.

Kate said: “I’m proud to work for The National Lottery Community Fund and have the opportunity to meet a wide range of stakeholders, volunteers and the beneficiaries involved in the projects we fund.

“It’s exciting to see people using National Lottery funding to take control and bring to life their own ideas for strengthening communities in Northern Ireland and across the UK. It’s also wonderful to see the genuine and lasting difference this makes in people's lives.”

Kate leads the Fund’s grant-funding activity, relationship management and operations in Northern Ireland.

Before joining the Fund, Kate was an experienced leader in the public sector, with 17 years in the UK Civil Service. She was previously Deputy Director in the Northern Ireland Office, leading their external political and community engagement.

Before joining the Northern Ireland Office, Kate held a wide-ranging series of roles in the Diplomatic Service, in the UK and abroad.

Phil Chamberlain

Phil Chamberlain

England Director

Phil joined the Fund in June 2022 as England Director (Strategy, Partnerships & Engagement). He is responsible for jointly overseeing our largest funding portfolio and ensuring our new funding strategy is best informed by partnerships and engagement with key stakeholders.

Most recently, Phil was Executive Director for External Engagement at City Lit - the largest adult education college in London. Prior to that he held a number of senior leadership positions at the Youth Sport Trust, Legacy Trust UK and Big Lottery Fund. Phil also spent 10 years within the Civil Service, working on a range of high-profile policy issues and international campaigns, as well as directly within a Minister’s private office.

Phil’s career to date has led to extensive experience in strategy development, corporate communications, political engagement, policy and programme development, funding distribution, strategic leadership, and stakeholder relations. He is a committed and enthusiastic individual, offering both a sense of purpose combined with a sense of humour.

“I am fortunate enough to have been informed by all my experiences, and I am excited to help lead and further champion the work of the National Lottery Community Fund through the delivery of their strategy 'It starts with community', and best support the communities and individuals it serves.”

Emma Corrigan

Emma Corrigan

England Director

Emma joined the National Lottery Community Fund in July 2022. As one of our England Directors, Emma is responsible for the Leadership of Programmes, Operations and English Regions.

With over 20 years’ experience in grant making, Emma was most recently the Head of Design and Delivery at BBC Children in Need, ensuring the successful delivery of the fund across the UK and leading multiple major change programmes for the charity. Prior to that, she worked for a diverse range of funders, including Community Foundations and Housing Associations, gaining significant experience in charity governance and compliance during this time.

Since October 2022 Emma has been a member of the board of Trustees at London Funders, which continues to diversify her knowledge and relationships across the funding sector.

Emma has been a strong advocate for wellbeing and empowerment of staff at all levels of the organisations she has worked at and believes passionately in the need for open and transparent communication.

"I am delighted, as someone whose career has centred around quality grant making, to be able to support work of such scale and breadth. The capacity available to enable communities across the UK is humbling to me, and making time to listen to the wealth of knowledge and expertise of the organisation is key my role to enact positive and meaningful change where it is needed most."

Stuart Fisher

Stuart Fisher

Chief Finance and Resources Officer

Stuart joined the Fund in January 2022 as Finance Director where he is responsible for ensuring strong financial management alongside the oversight of internal audit services, procurement and risk management. Stuart also has strategic oversight for the Fund’s counter fraud, controls assurance, strategic planning, and the Fund’s technology and cyber security arrangements.

In addition to ensuring compliance with the relevant standards, codes and regulations; the finance and resources directorate plays an important role in adding value through the provision of reliable management information, enabling support services, and risk analysis to support strategic decision-making across the Fund.

Stuart previously spent time working in accountancy, audit and professional services with KPMG’s public sector division and prior to joining more recently has spent over a decade working in social housing as a Finance and Corporate Services Director.

“I feel privileged and proud to be able to work for The National Lottery Community Fund, an organisation which helps to improve peoples’ life chances and facilitates change and impact leaving a legacy of sustainable and inclusive communities. I strongly believe in the importance of developing and maintaining thriving communities; and I’m looking forward to working with colleagues to ensure supporting communities across the whole of the UK is at the heart of everything we do”.

Stuart also supports the Fund’s Chief Executive as Deputy Accounting Officer and is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants with over 20 year’s post qualification experience across the public and commercial sectors. Stuart has also held various non-executive roles.

Verity Prime and Laura Lucking

Verity Prime and Laura Lucking

Funding Strategy, Communications and Impact Directors

Laura and Verity joined the Fund in November 2022, as a well-established job-share and are the Funding Strategy, Communications and Impact Directors.

They have worked together over several years in a range of challenging roles within the Civil Service. They are well respected as effective strategic leaders, with a collaborative approach that ensured successful delivery on issues as diverse as Education, Equality, Maternity care and Local Government response to Covid.

They are driven by a passion for delivering for all our communities, and designing services which put citizens at the heart – with a focus on reaching those who find it hardest to access. With a public service background they are passionate about ensuring we are continuing to deliver work that really makes a difference. With values deeply rooted in people they are committed to creating brilliant, fun places for teams to work.

Neil Ritch

Neil Ritch

Scotland Director

Neil was appointed as The National Lottery Community Fund’s director for Scotland in July 2019.

Neil is responsible for the development, delivery, administration and communication of The National Lottery Community Fund’s grant programmes in Scotland and is ultimately responsible for The National Lottery Community Fund’s work and reputation in the country.

“I am delighted to take on the role of Scotland director. The work we are doing is as interesting and exciting as it’s ever been in all the time I’ve been here. It is a great place to be and I am excited I now get the opportunity to lead on our work across Scotland.”

Neil first joined The National Lottery Community Fund in 2000 to set up the Scottish Land Fund and has since gone on to progress through a number of positions, from Funding Officer through to Deputy Director.

Prior to joining the Fund, Neil started his career as a community worker in Shetland and worked as a Scottish Civil Servant in community care policy, both of which gave him his thorough grounding in community led action and the importance of putting local people in the lead.

John Rose OBE

John Rose OBE

Wales Director

John is accountable for the development, delivery, and communication of The National Lottery Community Fund’s operations in Wales, as well as leading the Fund’s UK wide environmental strategy.

“The projects we fund really touch the lives of the people and communities they support. I enjoy seeing people and communities take the lead and helping that continue to happen, ensuring that the National Lottery pound is well spent and celebrating the positive impact National Lottery Funding has on communities.”

John has enjoyed an eclectic career. Having trained as a chef before travelling internationally, John went on to study a BA in Environmental Systems and MSc in Applied Hydrobiology at the University of Wales, before working for an Environmental Charity. He spent five years working on the Landfill Tax Community Fund, managing operations in Wales, the Midlands and South West England before joining The National Lottery Community Fund in 2003.

In 2022, John was awarded an OBE in the New Years Honours List in recognition of his contribution to civil society.

“I am humbled to receive this award. It’s been an honour to work for The National Lottery Community Fund since 2003 and in that time witness the remarkable work undertaken by communities, thanks to National Lottery funding.”

Shane Ryan

Senior Adviser to the CEO

Shane Ryan is the Senior Advisor to the CEO at The National Lottery Community Fund. He was appointed for his extensive expertise in social justice, community engagement, and strategic philanthropy. Shane plays a pivotal role in driving the Fund’s mission to support and empower communities across the UK.

Before joining the Fund, Shane served as the Global Executive Director of The Avast Foundation. There, he successfully expanded its initiatives to 27 countries, focusing on digital inclusion and citizenship. At The National Lottery Community Fund, Shane’s leadership has been instrumental in creating our initial Youth Voice strategy, which ensures young leaders are integral to decision-making processes, and our Partnership strategy. He also initiated and developed the Phoenix Fund, an initiative dedicated to supporting black and minoritized communities, and more recently, The National Lottery Innovation Unit.

Shane’s career spans significant roles across the public, private, and charity sectors in both national and international contexts. This includes time at DCMS as a strategy advisor and significant time as a Chief Executive Officer in the charity sector. He has collaborated with global organizations and business from Sony Columbia and Unilever to UNESCO and ITU, leveraging his expertise to address critical social issues and promote sustainable development worldwide.

A dedicated community advocate, Shane is also a trustee for various organizations and remains active in his own community. His contributions to the charitable sector were recognized with an MBE in 2023 for services to charity and young people. Shane’s executive education at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, supports the organization’s current and future work around sustainability. His MBA studies focused on Leadership and Sustainability at the University of Cumbria, which supports his strategic approach to philanthropy and community development.

“Throughout my career to date, I have been driven by a commitment to social equity and community well-being. My leadership at The National Lottery Community Fund reflects my passion for creating inclusive, resilient communities and fostering positive change.”

Senior Management Team expenses