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Our Team

A world-class team passionate about healing children, historic buildings and communities  

Guided by elite architects, artists, and designers, Shurland Castle is transforming a historic landmark into an unparalleled sanctuary for healing. Rooted in a symbiotic vision: while nature provides a therapeutic haven for children, they in turn are empowered to become stewards, championing nature's rejuvenation

Meet the Shurland Castle Trustees: a dynamic ensemble of seasoned professionals whose expertise spans the globe. Their backgrounds boast of steering premier therapeutic centers, launching and exiting successful enterprises, curating other significant historical estates, and driving global sustainability initiatives. As trustees and school governors, they possess mastery in sustainability, history, business strategy, project orchestration, community liaison, design, and finance. Together, they form the mosaic of excellence, strategic leadership and governance that is at the heart of Shurland Castle.

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Tom Latchford, chair of trustees

Tom has 15 years in the charity sector as a trustee and tech entrepreneur. He was founder and CEO of Joyful (, a platform that has generated tens of millions of pounds for over a thousand charities across the UK and Australia. Under Tom's leadership, it grew to a 70-strong team and later was successfully acquired by Access, a top UK tech firm. Environmental concerns led to his trusteeship at Hubbub, while his deep connection to theatre is underscored by a three year chairmanship of the Belarus Free Theatre at the Young Vic. Their poignant performances and campaigning warned of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Additionally, Tom has been a board advisor to the Secret Cinema founder and catalysed the creation of the immersive studio, Tom's dedication to harnessing play's therapeutic qualities is evident in his years of service at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Our Trustees


Maria Teresa Chavez, trustee

Maria is an accomplished holistic health coach, nutrition expert, and therapeutic practitioner, impacting over 1,500 clients on their paths to wellness and purpose. As the former Head of Therapeutics at the esteemed Crossroads Center, she championed treatments for those battling addiction and mental health challenges. In her tenure as Head of Programming for the expansive Carmel Valley Ranch Resort, she managed 75 weekly wellness activities and directed a 30-member team for the $20M revenue company. With a passion for making healing accessible, Maria has fundraised for critical therapies for uninsured US patients. As a doula, she supports new mothers in postpartum transitions, and her insights have graced leading podcasts, covering topics from psychology to evidence-based alternative healing.


David Langer, trustee

David, the visionary Founding Partner of Lionheart Ventures, is at the forefront of impact investment, focusing on enterprises that foster human resilience and contribute positively to our shared future. His entrepreneurial roots trace back to a community platform,, a venture akin to, backed by Index Ventures. Following this, he introduced, an innovative nutrition platform, which was later acquired by Beyond tech, David's fervor for mental health sees him holding key roles as a board member or investor in groundbreaking companies such as Bexson Biomedical, Lief Therapeutics, Wavepaths, Breathwrk Inc, and Journey Clinical. Additionally, David's insights into mental health innovations make him a popular figure at leading global conferences. His overarching mission revolves around advancing technologies and platforms to address pressing existential risks.

Gillian Mead, trustee

Gillian brings over a decade of experience in the environmental sector and business operations to the table. At Vivid Economics, she managed HR and operations during a pivotal growth phase, overseeing the firm's expansion from 20 to 70 members in under two years, culminating in its acquisition by McKinsey & Co. Gillian founded the sustainable fashion brand Araminta (, an organic cotton women's wear fashion label. This was birthed from her academic research during her master's at Oxford and a subsequent scholarship project at Cambridge that led her to exploring the organic cotton supply chain in India and the environmental pollution of the textile dyeing industry. Her expansive environmental portfolio encompasses roles at prestigious organisations, from the UN and the Aldersgate Group to an eminent environmental charity. Gillian harbours a profound commitment to helping children with critical health conditions.

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