Headliners (UK) is governed by a committed Board of Trustees who come from different walks of life including former participants in the Headliners programme. 

Jon Hudson - Chair of Trustees

Jon is the Chair of Headliners (UK). Jon was a member of Children’s Express, the precursor of Headliners, between 1998 and 2005. As a member, he published a number of media features and was also involved with Children’s Express’ partnership with Sky News, interviewing a number of politicians and championing the voice of young people.

Now, Jon specialises in stakeholder engagement and communications and currently works for the UK Government. Previously, Jon has worked as a consultant, in a number of communications roles at the Prince of Wales’ responsible business charity Business in the Community, and as Political Advisor for the Labour Party.

Jon is a Spanish speaker and has spent time living and working in Latin America, Spain and Scandinavia. Jon has a master’s degree from the London School of Economics in Global History and a first-class degree in International Business and Globalisation from De Montfort University.

Throughout his college and university years, volunteered with a number of NGOs to advocate for youth participation, the organisations included UNICEF UK and Save the Children. With Save the Children, he worked with other young people to produce ‘On the Right Track’ which surveyed young people on what mattered to them to inform policy makers. In 2001, he also interviewed UK Chancellor at the time Gordon Brown, as part of their ‘take children seriously’ challenge.

With UNICEF UK, Jon was one of their first UK Youth Representatives and advocated for the involvement of young people to decision makers. One of the highlights involved facilitating the ‘C8’ summit, a youth summit to coincide with the UK’s hosting of the G8 summit in 2005 in Scotland.

Dr David Baines - Trustee


Dr David Baines is currently a Senior Lecturer in Journalism at Newcastle University. He researches and lectures in journalism and prior to that he spent 30 years working in local and regional daily newspapers. While he was working in journalism, he was also very much involved with journalism education and training. David chaired the North East Advisory Committee of the National Council for the Training of Journalists, the industry training body; he was involved with community journalism courses from the Open College Network; delivered career development courses to working journalists and for 10 years was an associate lecturer on undergraduate and postgraduate journalism programmes at Sunderland University.  For the past four years David has chaired the National Union of Journalists’ Professional Training Committee.    

When he joined Newcastle University, David helped to launch the first postgraduate degrees in journalism – and shortly afterwards he was delighted to be invited to join the Steering Committee for Headliners in Newcastle. That was the start of a long and enduring relationship with this charity which does such wonderful work with young people by helping them to use the skill sets and tool kits of journalists to benefit their lives and their communities.  

Newcastle University’s journalism programmes – now at undergraduate as well as postgraduate level – are now very highly regarded and draw many hundreds of students from around Britain, and around the world. David's research is in local and community journalism. In particular, he explores the ways in which journalism is developing different roles in - and ways of serving and strengthening - our communities. Especially those communities which are often disadvantaged, marginalised and ignored.  

David Seymour - Trustee

David Seymour has worked as a journalist on regional papers in the Highlands, Aberdeen, Reading, Luton and Hemel Hempstead but spent most of his career on nationals – the Daly Mirror, Daily Mail, Sunday Mirror, Sunday People and Today, mainly as a political journalist and leader writer. He was political editor of the Mirror Group for ten years. He was a regular broadcaster on radio and television. He ran the annual student journalism awards with the National Union of Students and established and edited Student Mirror, a termly newspaper for university students.

Maggie Taggart - Trustee

Maggie Taggart is a well-known broadcast journalist, mostly based in BBC Northern Ireland.  She has been a journalist for over forty years, having started in the first commercial radio station, Downtown.

She has covered a wide range of stories and presented many radio and television news and current affairs programmes.   She has also worked on Sky News and BBC network programmes such as Woman’s Hour and Business Breakfast.  Maggie has been associated with Children’s Express which later became Headliners (UK) for about twenty years.  She is currently a Trustee and represents the Belfast and Derry/Londonderry bureaux. She regularly attends Trustee meetings in London, either in person or online.  She is a keen supporter of the beneficial effects of the training and experience offered to young people with Headliners.

She has been a media trainer for businesses and has taught broadcast journalism in the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast.  Maggie currently shares her journalist experience with colleagues in BBC NI. She was the Arts and Education correspondent for almost twenty years and still works part time as a staff senior broadcast journalist.

Past Board experience includes with a juvenile justice detention centre and the Nexus Centre for Survivors of Sexual Abuse.

Vicky Gashe - Trustee