Michael is a philanthropist and businessman. He has been Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families since 2003 (having become a Trustee in 1993). He has steered the growth of the charity, cementing its position as the leading children's charity dedicated to providing training and support for child mental health services.
He is Chairman of the cross-party Board of Trustees of Full Fact. He co-founded the charity in 2010 with the aim of checking and correcting facts reported in the news.
Michael also co-founded and chairs Civic in 2018, a not-for-profit which aims to support a major change in the approach of communities and organisations, to accelerate impact and help charities to do better. Civic works on a range of projects, including community development initiatives in the UK and also on overseas projects, for example working with Syrian refugees in Jordan and the Great Green Wall project in Africa.
Michael has a range of other charitable interests. He has been a Trustee of Helpforce since 2019, designed to increase volunteering in the NHS, and has been particularly supportive of the Somerset Community Foundation and Project Burma. As a donor, he is Chairman and Trustee of five family charities.
In business, after training as a chartered accountant, he built up Mayborn Group, specialising in baby products, over the course of three decades. He served as Chief Executive from 1978 to 2006, growing the business from a £1.5 million to a £115 million turnover.
He has been Chairman of the outdoor clothing company, Muddy Puddles since 2011 and is Chairman of Murex Energy (renewable energy). He was previously Chairman of AGL, a communications agency. He is a Conservative Party donor and also actively farms in Somerset and Scotland.
In the New Year’s Honours list 2020, Michael was awarded an MBE in recognition of his services to Young People and to Mental Health.