Our Board

Roger – Founder and Chief Executive

Roger Blackman   bio pic 2024

With over four decades of experience in crime, prisons, and offender engagement, I am deeply committed to understanding the causes of offending and to the development of effective offender resettlement support. As the founder and Chief Executive of The Reasons Why Foundation. Since July 2012 I have led the strategy and development of our mentoring service, focusing on gang intervention, coaching, and innovative, sustainable solutions to deep problems.

My academic background in Mental Health and Wellbeing from the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, along with ongoing studies in Social Psychology, enriches my perspective, enabling me to bring a broader context to our work. I am skilled in stakeholder engagement, fundraising, managing community relationships, and raising public awareness about reformed offenders. My efforts are dedicated to their destigmatized inclusion in communities, providing support for ex-offenders through project development and practices that encourage habitual change, sustainable rehabilitation, and reintegration into society.

Simon – Chair

SimonWillis   bio pic 2024

Board of Reasons Why Foundation, Independent Councillor, Hastings Borough Council and Senior Vice President, Public Sector Innovation, Mastercard
Simon manages strategic government partnerships globally at Mastercard. Formerly global head of public sector innovation at Cisco for many years, Simon has also worked at a number of Govtech start-ups and twice run UK voluntary sector organizations, Motability & The Young Foundation. The first half of his career was spent working for the UK Government.

He is a widely acknowledged expert on managing complex innovation ecosystems for the public good and has published on the subject as well as addressing the UN, TEDX and many others. His book on the subject is being published by Pearson in late 2024.

Andy – Director

Andy Hillery   bio pic 2024

Andrew Hillery is currently COO and Co-Founder of Rize Group Holdings (RGH). RGH contains a number of International Recruitment Companies specialising in the provision of skilled consultants to the Global Telecommunications Industry. Andrew started out as a Telecommunications Engineer and then moved into Telecommunications recruitment some 35 years ago. He co founded RGH in 2005.

Andrew became involved with the RWF in 2017 firstly as a mentor and then joined the board in 2020.

Andrew left school and before becoming a Telecommunications Engineer joined the Civil service where he also attended University attaining a degree in Russian and American history.

Andrew is now based in London and enjoys boxing, Scuba Diving and Trekking

Chris – Director

Chris Brees   bio pic 2024

Chris has worked in various roles in the Civil Service, including in the Ministry of Justice and the Department of Work and Pensions, and he is currently training to be a Vicar. His work has largely focused on community policy and organising and has extended into social enterprise and the charity sector.