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The Right Honourable The Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws


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Helena Ann Kennedy, Baroness Kennedy of Shaws has had a distinguished career in law, politics, and academia. Helena has been a member of the bar since 1972 and gained the Queen’s Council in 1991. She served as the first Chair of Oxford Brookes University from 1994-2001, and later Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford from 2011-2018 and Chair of Sheffield Hallam University from 2018 to today.

In 1997 she was awarded a life peerage for her previous work in law. Recently in 2020 she worked across the aisle with MP Ian Duncan Smith to create the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, whereupon she was sanctioned by the Chinese government. She recently led a successful evacuation of 740 women judges and their families on three flights from Afghanistan with the aid of the International Bar Association which sorted temporary asylum in Greece following her personal appeal to the Greek President for their safety.

Helena has been an active and enthusiastic supporter of Flight from Plight’s work.


Charles is an academic, activist, and Managing Director. In the 1990s he was a Fellow of the Government Department at the University of Essex, where he published articles, and co-edited a four-volume reader on ‘Critical Assessments of Marx’s Social and Political Thought’ published in English, French, German, Korean and Chinese. He researched the 1983 & 1987 British Election Studies at the European Social Research Centre, the findings of which were published by the Cambridge University Press in Crewe, Fox and Day’s ‘The British Electorate: 1963-1987’. He was Secretary of the Centre for Citizenship Development. He taught Social and Political Science at Cambridge and was a Visiting Fellow and Director of the Institute for Democracy & Conflict Resolution. He helped shape degrees in politics offered by Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin universities and advised the Department of Education in the 1990s on the provision of postgraduate and doctoral degrees at Cambridge. His ideas also influenced New Labour’s 1997 campaign.


Since the 2000s he has been active in Nepal for democracy, founding the Mountain Trust, an NGO operating there to alleviate poverty – for example by broadcasting free top quality education via FM radio to students otherwise economically excluded from education and funding health camps, operations etc. He has worked with UCL and the Wellcome Trust on a high-altitude genetics study in Nepal to engineer a genetic therapy for hypoxia. Since 2013 he's been the Managing Director of the Dixon International Group, a world-leading innovator in smoke and fire seals and of Tullamore Investments, its parent company. He recently founded the Smoke Control Consultation Group of experts and peak associations advising Government and Regulators on improving smoke safety provisions in buildings following the Grenfell tragedy because smoke is the primary danger. Following in Baroness Kennedy’s path breaking footprints evacuating three flights of women judges from Afghanistan, Charles began Flight from Plight.


Chairman - Charles Malcolm-Brown


Secretary - Melanie Malcolm-Brown


Melanie Malcolm-Brown graduated with a BA (Hons) in History and English Literature and has had an extensive career at Senior Management level in the NHS and the not for profit Housing Sector including as Chief executive of a Cambridge based Housing Association. More recently she developed a PR and Marketing strategy for the Dixon International Group and joined Cambridge Acoustic Laboratory as Managing Director in August 2020.​​

Director of Operations - Charlie Beckwith


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Charlie graduated from the University of East Anglia with a BA (Hons) in Politics and went on to work as a Communications Officer for a prominent Minister in the British Government. His studies focused on short vs long term electability.


In 2022 he was recruited to the private sector, working as a Researcher for the MD of Dixon International Group. As part of the remit, he oversees the MD’s charity in Nepal, The Mountain Trust, and is playing a key role in evacuating Afghans under the auspices of the Flight From Plight initiative.


In his spare time, Charlie is a semi-professional footballer.

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