Our people


As well as our passionate and dedicated operational staff that keep things working 24 hours a day, we have several key figures that shape the direction of the Trust, provide expert advice and support us. These are all below.


We also have a team of brilliant volunteer translators and other skilled individuals, who we are exceptionally grateful to.


If you would like to contact any of our team, or volunteer your services, please use the contact page.


Executive Management:


Matt Searle MBE FRSA - Chief Executive


Matt has been with the Trust since its very early days in 2004. 


Matt is regularly asked to contribute to consultations on government policy and sits on a number of key groups.


Awarded the MBE in 2013 for his work supporting British nationals overseas, Matt also Chairs the Victim's Services Alliance.



Hedley Finn MBE - Chair of Trustees


Hedley is an exceptionally well known and respected figure in the third sector.


Awarded the MBE for his work as founder of Radio Lollipop, he has been with the Trust since its inception and brings a wealth of experience.


Catherine Owen - Trustee

Claire Borrett - Trustee

Oliver Hall - Trustee

Hayley Tutton - Trustee

Advisory Board:


Cmdr. Simon Foy (retd.) QPM LLB


Having joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 1982, Simon was promoted to Commander in 2003 after 20 years working on murder and child abuse cases, and in some of the most challenging environments.


From 2007 to 2012 he was the head of the Metropolitan Police Homicide and Serious Crime Command, dealing with the investigation of murder and serious crime in both London and (where called on) around the world. In 2009 he became the head of the new specialist crime teams dealing with the investigation of rape, and also the teams dealing with child abuse and paedophile activity.


He was the national lead for the role of family liaison officers, Deputy Chair of the ACPO Homicide Working Group, and Chair of the Europol Homicide Working Group. Simon was a key figure in the creation of the National Homicide Service. He was awarded the Queens Police Medal in the Birthday Honours list of 2009.



Det.Supt. Neville Blackwood (retd.) MSc FCMI


Neville retired having completed 30yrs service. The majority of his Police career was spent as a Detective investigating and managing serious organised crime and major crime incidents.


For the last 3 years he was on secondment to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) as Police Adviser within the London Consular Directorate. In this role he provided consular staff at home and overseas with advice and guidance and acted as a gateway for the FCO to UK law enforcement helping to form and consolidate effective working relationships particularly in the Police Family Liaison arena. 


He has worked on the UK National Crime Squad, is an experienced Senior Investigating Officer, has run a 'Cold Case' homicide review team and managed numerous sensitive inquiries including suspicious deaths, missing persons and kidnaps involving British nationals overseas. Neville regularly trains law enforcemengt and government personnel worldwide.



Det.Con. Duncan McGarry MBE


Duncan retired in 2012 after 30 years service, the last 11 as National Police Family Liaison Advisor working with all UK Police Forces.


Duncan initially took up his role at Scotland Yard in the aftermath of the Stephen Lawrence Public Inquiry.


His role was to develop a modern Family Liaison response to people in crisis for the Metropolitan Police. This role expanded again with the publication of Lord Justice Clarke's report following the Public Inquiry into the deaths of 51 people on the Marchioness in 1989.


Duncan led on the Family Liaison response following the Ladbroke Grove train crash, and Team Leader for the UK Police response to British families in New York in the months that followed the September 11th Terrorist attacks on the US.


In 2002 Duncan was seconded from Scotland Yard to be National Advisor and almost immediately was sent to Australia to assist their response to the Bali Bombings in Indonesia.


Duncan has had a leading role in many major disasters since then, the Boxing Day Tsunami and 7/7 London Bombings amongst them. Duncan was commended by the Metropolitan Police following the London Bombs for his role in setting up and running the Humanitarian Assistance Centre.


Duncan received an MBE for his services to Policing in the New Year’s Honours list 2012 and since retiring from police service has been serving as Family Liaison Advisor to the Hillsborough Inquiry.


Charlie Hedges


Charlie Hedges is acknowledged as one of the UK’s foremost experts on missing persons, particularly children and those who are abducted and trafficked.


During a career spanning nearly four decades, he has helped to shape policy and strategy in this area, working for the National Crime Agency, Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre, and UK police forces.


A sought-after media commentator who has been at the centre of some of the most high profile cases of recent times, he now offers a range of specialist consultancy and advisory services through his company, Charlie Hedges Advisory.



Current Missing

Benjamin Garland

July 27, 2020

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