Dr Katherine Rake and Ian Holborn

Meet RISE’s new Non-Executive Directors

Dr Katherine Rake, OBE and Ian Holborn


Dr Katherine Rake, OBE, RISE’s new non-executive Chair was formerly Chief Executive of Healthwatch England before moving on to establish her own consultancy services. Katherine is an experienced charity sector leader having previously run the Family and Parenting Institute and the Fawcett Society.

Katherine was drawn to RISE by its mission to transform lives and Katherine describes her passion for social justice as the “golden thread” through her career. “It is an enormous privilege and responsibility to help people whose lives are going through a period of turmoil and change.”

Katherine’s work on the family sees makes her a natural advocate for RISE’s ‘whole family’ approach to transform the lives of service users: “People who are in contact with the criminal justice system need support from wherever they can get it,” says Katherine, who went on to say that we need to bear in mind that behind every offender there are most likely family members who are affected or trying to support the individual, “although we need to also consider those where a family may not be present.”

In 2008, Katherine was appointed an OBE for services to equal opportunities. The secret to diversity she says is “recognising that one-size fits no one. Services need to recognise the diversity of needs among their clients.” This is an important point for RISE who deliver programmes where there is forever the conundrum of striking a balance between individual and group needs. Many feel that to solve this is to solve the issue of attrition and Katherine points out that RISE now has the opportunity to address this issue: “RISE has a new opportunity to ensure that its services are creating the greatest impact they can and it can now research and fine-tune the services it is delivering.” In this, Katherine calls for RISE to continue the process of gaining evidence on the impact of programmes and use that to “influence up the chain” and build upon the foundations laid down by NOMS.

RISE places ‘change’ as one of its core values and as well as a belief that all people deserve to be given the opportunity to change their lives, the company must also look at continually evolving. Katherine is determined to develop RISE’s reputation: “We should make it our priority to build RISE’s identity and self-confidence…we can do this by clearly articulating the value of our services and the value we bring to society.”

Our mutual status is vital to our success as a company and all employees have an intrinsic stake in the future of RISE. Katherine says she has a clear idea of her role, “To help the Board steer a course through the complex terrain of criminal justice reform and the government scrutiny of the quality of probation services.” She went on to say “Everyone should have a clear idea of their role’s impact upon individuals, upon the community and also upon wider society.” Clearly, this is achieved not only through the fulfilment of out TR contract but also through the cultivation of new business.

As we head into our third year as a mutual, Katherine brings with her a wealth of experience, a commitment to building a better society and some powerful ideas on how RISE can achieve further success.


Ian Holborn joins us after a 20-year career in the industrial sector and with an aim to introduce commercial thinking into community and public services.  His career has included a number of years working for Unilever and Bird’s Eye before moving into further and higher education. After working with a number of colleges, Ian became Deputy CEO and Chief Finance Officer of the Manchester College Group: “I became fascinated by the decision making processes,” Ian explained. “Colleges are like so many public services; slow in their decision making and far less used to taking risks; It is also clear that providing services which the Government are not always prepared to pay for is an important part of how services might need to support their clients and communities in the future”.

Ian’s passion for helping ‘hard to reach’ and disadvantaged families and communities is what attracts him to RISE. His experience with Centrepoint, the UK’s leading youth homelessness charity where Ian is a Trustee, works with clients, many of whom are in the criminal justice system.

The Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation policy has given RISE, he feels, “Some real power to shape and influence the sector in which we operate. It is in this area that Ian will be calling for RISE to think stronger and perhaps become a little more combative; to be more self-assured and confident of the value we bring to the world of rehabilitation: “It is clear that the Criminal Justice System is a sector in change.  RISE is an early product of the mutualisation process and as a result we should have the respect of the Cabinet Office for taking the plunge and for committing ourselves to the TR ethos – “it is important that mutual leadership and a high level of quality in our services lead our offer to our clients” he comments.

Loaded with experience, skill, and a strong commercial ideology, Ian is excited to be working with RISE.


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