Who's who

Get to know the team at Head Office and in the Regions.

Audrey Barbour – Patron of Attend South West
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Audrey first became involved with the National Association of Hospital and Community Friends in 1977, when she was invited to become a member of Bristol General Hospital's Committee, and has remained with them until the hospital closed in 2012.
During those years she fund-raised for many projects for the benefit of the patients and the hospital.She then became Chair of the Committee and subsequently became a member of the Head Office Board and Chair of the South West.
During that time she visited many Leagues of Friends in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Bristol, and with help arranged four conferences for the South West.
In 2006 she was appointed Deputy Chairman of Attend, and was also invited to become a Regional Patron for the South West.This was an excellent opportunity for Audrey to maintain her relationships with many hard working members of Attend, without whom the organisation would find it impossible to function.

Debbie Baverstock – Membership Services Officer
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Debbie started working for Attend in June 2007 as part of the office services team supporting Janet, the Office Services Manager. She has now moved to the Membership Support team. Her job entails day to day membership enquiries, new membership and membership renewals, producing our e newsletters and updating member details on our database. Debbie also deals with the ordering and despatching of our Freshen Up! toiletry packs, and is also the contact for retail enquiries.

Before Debbie came to Attend she spent several years working in a Graphic Design Studio and some years with other charities such as The Work Foundation and Centrepoint. Debbies spare time is spent with friends and family especially her granddaughter, as well as visiting exhibitions, reading, walking.

Contact email address: [email protected]

Ann Caffyn MBE – Patron of Attend South East
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Ann trained to be a nurse at a London hospital. She then married and after her children had gone to school she became a trustee of her local hospital League of Friends and later was elected Chairman.

In 1992 she was elected to be a council member of the National Association of Hospital & Community Friends (now Attend)

In 1996 she was made South East Regional Chairman, a post she held until her retirement in 2005. She was awarded the MBE in 2004.

On her retirement Ann was invited to be a Patron of the South East Region of Attend. She keeps in touch with the Chairman and has helped to judge and present the awards at each Regional Conference.

A keen water colour painter, she organises an art exhibition to raise funds each autumn for her local League of Friends.

Mrs. Christina Cameron – Chair Attend Scotland
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Christina has been volunteering with the Friends of Raigmore Hospital, Inverness for over thirty years years holding various posts. Currently she is the Chairman. Over the years she has also served on the Attend Scotland committee. After taking early retirement, volunteering has become a major part of Christina's life.

Christina is Chair of the Town Twinning Committee, President of the Inverness Wine Appreciation Society, Chair of the Friends of Old High Church and Elder of the Old High Church.

Contact email address: [email protected]

Sarah Coombes – Attend Academy Associate
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Sarah is an experienced consultant, facilitator and trainer specialising in strategy, impact and development. She has significant experience of undertaking qualitative and quantitative research and evaluation in the public, voluntary and community sectors. Sarah is a skilled project manager working with both national and local front-line organisations. She has a broad understanding of the sector and has worked on a range of social policy areas including volunteering, infrastructure development, regeneration and employability. As an associate of NCVO, Sarah has supported voluntary organisations across England in developing community led innovation work, funded through the Neighbourhood Challenge from NESTA and the Big Lottery Fund. She is currently supporting the BIG Assist programme, helping to strengthen infrastructure.

Sarah is an active volunteer and has volunteered both in the UK and abroad. Currently she is a trustee of a music education project working with young people in deprived areas of London and is providing support around strategy and impact with an emerging Social Enterprise in Hackney.

Sue Crowley – Attend Academy Associate

Sue Crowley has been Treasurer of Wellingborough Old Grammarians Rugby Football Club since 2006.

Sue reports to the Committee and has involvement with sponsorship initiatives, recruitment and long term planning. She also co-ordinates fund raising and social events and uses her own professional skills to provide mentoring and support to other committee members to help them fulfil their own roles.

In addition, Sue is leading a team working towards Club Mark Status for the achievement of the Seal of Approval.

Sue is currently Secretary of Invocation, and HR Director at Invocation Learning & Assessment Limited.

Becki Cullen – Attend Academy Associate
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Becki is the Managing Director of The Inspirations Consultancy, she has a Disability Studies Master's Degree with Distinction, Business Management Honours Degree and NVQ Level 2 in Youth and Community Work. Beginning in youth work, Becki has since carved very successful careers in Volunteer Management and Training Development.

As the only disabled Youth Worker in her area, Becki quickly became an experienced Disability Equality Trainer and ignited her passion for empowering and inspiring through informative and interactive training delivery. Becki subsequently took the role as Manager of Scope's Inclusive Volunteering Project, successfully working with over 700 volunteer-involving organisations through a programme of Inclusive Volunteering Training.

With over five years experience of recruiting and managing disabled volunteers and ten years Consultancy and Training experience, Becki has an in-depth understanding of the barriers to being inclusive and the practical, realistic and achievable solutions that can ensure your organisation and staff are disabled-volunteer ready.

Combining her enthusiasm for volunteering, dedication to promoting inclusion and passion for professional training, Becki is now the Managing Director of The Inspirations Consultancy, providing a range of Disability Equality, awareness raising and best practice consultancy and training across public, private and voluntary sectors.


Eric Dontenville – Development Volunteer
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Eric started volunteering with Attend in May 2012, and is working on a variety of projects, including reviewing Attends current membership scheme.
He previously worked for BT as a Team Manager.

Contact email address: [email protected]

Tim Eastwood – Attend Academy Associate
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Tim has been involved with the voluntary and private sectors in client work and project management roles for the last 15 years, with a primary focus on equalities.  Tim is currently project managing the development of a national quality-framework for an LGBT mental health charity; he coordinates a small team assessing organisations’ implementation of equalities practices across England. 

Having been a trustee of Hull University Union’s student-led charity HUSSO, Tim moved to London in 2007 to work in the voluntary sector within infrastructure, supporting small voluntary and community organisations. Since then he has also managed a schools outreach project, leading on the provision of a youth group for vulnerable young people.  More recently, as part of his consultancy work, Tim has been involved in conflict resolution, as well as qualitative evaluation research, managing semi-structured interviews with vulnerable study participants.  He is also an accomplished trainer, having frequently delivered a range of courses to clients, professionals, senior leaders and governors.


Baroness Audrey Emerton DBE DL – Attend Vice President
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Baroness Emerton was registered as a State Certified Midwife in 1954, as a State Registered Nurse in 1957, and a Registered Nurse Tutor in 1964. She was County Commissioner of St. John Ambulance, Kent 1985-88 and Chief Nursing Officer for St. John Ambulance between 1988 and 1996. She was created Baroness Emerton, of Tunbridge Wells in the County of Kent and of Clerkenwell in the London Borough of Islington in 1997

Audrey was elected to the Chairmanship of the organisation in 2003 and was in post until the spring of 2006.

Her period of office was one of substantial change, including the move from Colchester back to London,the appointment of regional staff, and a total review of the governance of the organisation. This culminated in the governance structure and the change of name to Attend.

Bridget Foley – Attend Chair
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Bridget first became involved with the organisation when she was our client manager at the CIPD. Employed with us when we first took over the ABI Project, Bridget was responsible for building relationships with companies who might offer the clients jobs. During her time she has also chaired fAABI, and was instrumental in helping it build the foundations from which it has gone from strength to strength.
Bridget is married to Mick, has two grown daughters and a new joy, a nine month old grand-daughter. She has lived in south London for much of her life. The next big adventure is a move to north-west England.
Bridget says “my life has taught me that nothing ever stays the same. I am delighted to be able to support Attend in this new way, and look forward to working with the Board, staff members and clients as we enter our 70th year of service.”

Volunteering has always been part of Bridget's life; within the church she has helped out wherever she can; from regularly doing the readings and being a children's liturgist. Outside church Bridget was a school governor for over 20 years. Starting as Parent governor and then Chairman of Governors.

Emma Foxall-Chauhan – Attend Academy Associate
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Emma has built a career as a programme manager around equality and diversity, health and the voluntary sector in England. She has worked for three national voluntary sector support charities around these issues; the National Children's Bureau (NCB), BTEG (the Black Training and Enterprise Group) and the Consortium of LGBT VCOs (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered voluntary and community organisations). Emma's particular areas of interest and expertise include volunteering, capacity building, equality and diversity and health policy. She is a trustee of Olmec, a social enterprise led by BAME communities which champions race equality through economic and social justice, and she volunteers as a mentor to an Iranian woman at the Migrants' Resource Centre. Emma has an MPhil in Development Studies from Cambridge University and a BA in Spanish and Portugese from the University of Birmingham.


Rachel Gilpin – Attend Academy Associate
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Rachel lives in Devon but spent most of her childhood and teenage years living in Africa, surrounded by some of the worst third world poverty and witnessed many years of drought with all the horrors it brings to those trying to survive the conditions.

Having undertaken a teaching diploma she then worked for 17 years in Barclays Bank Plc. Rachel has a love of all sports, swam for her school at county level, played ladies football, and on the odd occasion ladies rugby. Rachel has held the position of Treasurer and Child Welfare Office in her local village football club, one of the largest community football clubs in Devon for the last 13 years. Having knowledge of the charity sector has enabled her to offer advice, assistance and practical guidance to other community run sports groups.

Her current role is as Chief Executive of Estuary League of Friends, a community based league whose work revolves around assisting anyone in their community to live as independently as possible in their own home.

Estuary has 15 members of paid staff and over 95 volunteers and has seen its work grow by 40% in the last 12 months and is currently negotiating to take over the running of Topsham Community Library from Devon County Council and to run it staffed by volunteers.

Contact email address:
[email protected]

Louise Grimmett – Attend Trustee
David Gulliver – Attend East, Norfolk Area Chair
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David is a new member of the Eastern Region Team of Attend overseeing Norfolk Community Hospitals. David is presently the chairman of the Swaffham Community Hospital League of Friends and has been for the last sixteen years. The Leagues aims are to raise funds either for the purchase of equipment or facilities for the patients of the hospital and community, which is achieved by staging events with the Committee or individuals from the community who wish to say thank you for the care they or a relative have received from the hospital.

For the last thirteen years David has made a point of visiting groups either in the town or the villages that are supported by the doctor's surgeries to give presentations to promote the workings of the League and Attend.

Since retiring from the Royal Air Force some eighteen years ago after completing thirty six years in service, David had the great desire to give something back to the community and was approached by the League of Friends to consider the possibility of joining the Committee, since then he has not looked back. David has found this a very rewarding job and to be involved with a hospital whose staff is totally committed to caring for the patient can only be described as the icing on the cake.

David has witnessed enormous changes in the last twenty years in life style, which ultimately has affected people's desires in wanting to carry out voluntary work. It is imperative we endeavor to persuade them by highlighting the benefits and the high levels of satisfaction of working in the voluntary sector.

Contact email address: [email protected]

Melvin Hartley – Attend Associate
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Melvin has a wide range of experience in local and national government and the third sector. He is skilled in project management in both criminal justice and health fields and is currently the Drug and Alcohol Action Team Manager with the London Borough of Southwark. He was previously the CEO of a national domestic violence charity.

Through his consultancy work in the South and East, he offers support and expert advice with the view to bring about change in practices in commissioning, operations and partnership working. He has worked with a wide range of organisations and influences change through review and evaluation, gaining understanding of organisation and partnerships and pulling out key areas to help develop new plans for action. An accomplished public speaker he regularly leads and speaks at conferences and events.

In his spare time he serves on the Executive Committee of the London based LGBT domestic violence forum.

Dame Elisabeth Hoodless DBE – Attend Vice President
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Dame Elisabeth Hoodless is a former Islington Councillor and currently a volunteer youth court magistrate, chairing Islington Youth Court. She is President of Volonteurope (European network of volunteer agencies), Vice Chair of Innovations in Civic Participation (USA), and Chairman of the International Association for National Youth Service. She is married to Donald Hoodless, Chairman of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. She is a proud grandmother of two.
Dame Elisabeth had long standing roles with the National body, and in 2004 was co-opted to the Board to help support the ever increasing need to understand the world of volunteering.
With the re-organisation that came with the changes to Attend, she was appointed as a Vice President.

Suzy Horne – Attend South East, Area Chair Sussex
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Suzy represents Attend in Sussex and is the administrator at Friends of Brighton & Hove Hospitals. She has over ten years experience running a large and very active Friends group, and is particularly interested in current and new ways for Friends groups to communicate with supporters, NHS patients, and staff. Suzy is happy to assist with any queries and provide support and information.
Email:[email protected]

Faith Humphries – Chair of Nottinghamshire Association League of Friends
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After closing her gift shop and both her sons went to University, Faith applied for a voluntary job at her local Community Hospital. She worked in the League of Friends shop and tea bar and was asked to take over the role of fund-raising Chairman. In 1993, she was approached to become a Trustee with the Mansfield & Sutton League of Friends. Faith also became Constituency Member for Nottinghamshire, then Regional Chairman, East Midlands Region, which encompassed five Counties. Faith was also a member of the Community Health Council and after that was dissolved she attained a role as Non-Executive Director with Mansfield Primary Care Trust. She is now the Chairman of Nottinghamshire Association of Leagues of Friends, a member of the newly formed East Midlands Regional Committee, Trustee of Mansfield and Sutton League of Friends, and Vice Chairman of Bassetlaw League of Friends. Having undertaken a number and variety of roles with; local leagues of friends, regional roles with the national body (formerly NAHCF) and local health authorities, during the last 20 years, Faith feels she has now reached a nice place to be and looks forward to maintaining the Nottinghamshire Association Network and supporting developments within the East Midlands.

Lord Barry Jones – Attend Vice President
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Lord Jones has done a lot of work with the local groups in North Wales. He became parliamentary under-secretary of state for Wales from 1974 to 1979 and became MP for Alyn and Deeside in 1983.
In 1994 Lord Jones was appointed by the Prime Minister as a member of the then new Intelligence and Security Committee on which he served until 2001. Lord Jones retired from the House of Commons and was made a life peer.
In the 1999 Queen's Birthday Honours, Lord Jones was made a member of the Privy Council.
In 2007 he was elected as President of NEWI (Glyndwr University) and became Chancellor of the University in 2009. He became an Attend Vice President in December 2013.

Barbara Kelly - Attend Associate – Llb, Barrister at law, PG Dip (coaching & mentoring practice)
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Barbara is a Lawyer and Leadership Coach and combines her wealth of business experience, much of it at Board level, with her professional and academic qualifications in the fields of coaching, mentoring and facilitation.

She has over 25 years’ experience in the corporate world with particular emphasis on business growth and development.

Barbara has an empathic and encouraging style and specialises in coaching individuals and corporate teams in times of particular challenge and change.

She helps clients seek their own solutions and provides them with the space in which to think and to create strategic goals and business development plans for themselves and their organisations.

As well as her legal qualifications she holds a Post Graduate qualification in Coaching & Mentoring Practice and is a Professional Certified Coach.

She has also written two books on company secretarial practice and lives in Sussex where she practices yoga in her spare time. 

Kate Lee – Attend Academy Associate
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Kate joined Myton Hospice as CEO in December 2010 after leaving British Red Cross, where she had been for 16 years in various roles including Director of Strategy and Director of UK Operations. During 2010 she took a break to study as a full-time Clore Social Fellow, to complete some research into the state of transparency across the voluntary sector and undertake various charity consultancy projects. She is a very proud trustee of Coppafeel.org and lives in Coventry with her husband, two children and an allotment.

Anthony Mercier – Member of the Clinical Reference Group
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Anthony is a member of Attend’s Clinical Reference Group.

Anthony originally joined Attend as an intern upon graduating from the University of Sussex in Psychology, predominantly assisting the delivery and development of the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Programme, which he thoroughly enjoyed.

Anthony then worked in talent and development for a large retailer, whilst undertaking an MSc in Cognitive & Clinical Neuroscience. For his dissertation, he volunteered to conduct a service evaluation of Attend’s ABI Programme - the findings of which have been presented to a number of stakeholders (NHS, DWP, third sector organisations) across numerous events and conferences in London - including the 2015 ABIL (Acquired Brain Injury forum for London) Conference.
Anthony undertook a range of roles with Attend, supporting project delivery with a particular focus on Attend’s ABI and Stroke services, before moving on to an organisation that develops NHS patient reporting outcome measures.

Stephen Moreton – Training and Development Lead
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Steve is an independent consultant maintaining a portfolio of clients in the voluntary and community sector. He carries out a variety of roles from HR advice, strategic analysis, workshop and conference facilitation and study days. His initial career was in education but moved to the voluntary sector over 20 years ago. Here he worked both in managing volunteers and in the HR department. He also leads on and delivers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Higher Education.

Steve has been associated with Attend for many years, leading the development and delivery of a wide range of accredited volunteer management programmes. His work with Attend includes an involvement in Attend Academy, which puts together and delivers a range of professional training and accredited programmes tailored to the voluntary sector. His current work is focusing on the design and delivery of on-line courses. He also leads on research and evaluation, working with a range of Attend’s projects to establish the impact of the volunteering contributions, and identifying opportunities for learning and development.

Steve is also undertaking Doctoral studies focusing on community engagement, and in his spare time supports local community groups on committees, currently with Friends of Milton and Friends of Old Subbuteo.

Contact email address: [email protected]

Pamela Morton OBE – Attend Vice President and Chair of Attend Yorkshire and the Humber
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Pam has spent her entire career in education in the North of England, for most of which she was a headteacher. Volunteering has always run through her life, and she first learned to knit making squares for blankets for refugees at the age of five. The refugees she knitted for were Jewish children coming out of Europe on the Kinder Transports.
When she left school she started volunteer work with Oxfam, through which she became connected with a good deal of work locally and nationally with World Refugee Year and later helped arrange sponsorships for displaced people still in Europe after the close of that year. Pam first started volunteering for Friends 14 years ago in York and is well known for the fundraising and social events that she organises.
Pam was previously Chair of Yorkshire and the Humber region of Attend for three years and has now taken up the post again. She is a keen supporter of the national body and has sat on a number of committees. Pam was Chairman of the National body from 2007 until 2011, and her work was recognised in the Queens birthday honours in 2009.
In recognition of her contribution as Chairman, Pam Morton was appointed a Vice President as she stepped down from the Chair.

The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE – BSc (Hons) MSc MA Pastoral Theology RN DIp Theology - Attend Vice President
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The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE was installed as the 133rd Bishop of London at St Paul's Cathedral on 12th May 2018. She sits in the House of Lords as one of the Lords Spirituals, having been introduced on 24th May 2018. She was sworn as a member of the Privy Council on 14th March 2018. Bishop Sarah studied first at South Bank University for her BSc followed by an MSc and then at Heythrop College, University of London where she got her MA. She was awarded Honorary Doctor of Science from Bournemouth University (2004), University of Wolverhampton (2004) and University of Hertfordshire (2005) and was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2005 for her contribution to nursing and midwifery.
She is a late ordinand who before ordination was Chief Nursing Officer in the Department of Health. She trained for the ministry at the South East Institute for Theological Education and served her first curacy at Battersea Fields from 2001-2006. From 2006 to 2012 she was Team Rector at Sutton, both in the Diocese of Southwark. She was Canon Residentiary and Canon Treasurer at Salisbury Cathedral before her consecration as the Suffragan Bishop of Crediton in the Diocese of Exeter in 2015.

In 2019 Bishop Sarah succeeded the former Bishop of London, as Dean of Her Majesty's Chapels Royal. Bishop Sarah is married to Eamonn and they have two adult children. She is a member of the Council at King's College London University. She is a novice potter.

Simon Needham – Attend Trustee and Chair of Attend East Midlands
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During my working life, I developed as an experienced, professional activist for the voluntary and community sector. I live in the Vale of Belvoir with my wife, a retired District Nurse. We enjoy time with friends and family - home and abroad, meals at home, the theatre, gardening, country walks, driving and maintaining our classic car.

Based at Nottingham City Hospital for over 30 years, I led the development of voluntary services in line with the NHS 'modernisation agenda' and managed arrangements to support over 900 multi- agency volunteers on site, from my position of corporate lead based within the senior team of the Human Resources Directorate.

An enthusiastic networker within local, regional and national circles, I was Chairman of NAVSM, the National Association of Voluntary Service Managers for 4 years until 2006, served as a representative on the National Strategic Partnership (for Volunteering in Health and Social Care) and a have been a member of: NHS Trent Modernisation Council, Employers in the Community Network and Nott’s County Council Voluntary Sector Forum.

During my formative years I was a boy - then officer in the Boy's Brigade and also a Youth Club leader in Nottingham. Presently, I am a trustee of the Barkestone Old School Village Hall and member of the management committee.

I took early retirement from the NHS in November 2005 and was employed by Attend as a Regional Development Manager in 2006 and later as NHS Development Manager, leading on Attend 500 in the midlands and eastern regions. I retired from paid work at the end of March 2010 but continue to support the development of volunteering in my capacity of Chairman, East Midlands Region, Attend and Chairman of the League of Friends of Grantham Hospital. I am currently a trustee of Attend and represent the charity at the England Volunteering Development Council. To underpin my practical and strategic engagement in the voluntary sector I successfully completed an NVQ level 5 in Personnel Strategy, (awarded by the CIPD).

Contact email address: [email protected]

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff – Attend President

Illora is a doctor, Professor of Palliative Medicine at Cardiff University, and an Independent Crossbench member of the House of Lords.
She is a past President of the Royal Society of Medicine, the British Medical Association and the Association for Palliative Medicine. She is a consultant at the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff. On 28th June 2001, she was made a Life Peer as Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, in the County of South Glamorgan.
Baroness Finlay is a co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group, which brings together parliamentarians committed to tackling carbon monoxide poisoning. She also chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hospice and Palliative Care. She chairs the independent think-tank Living and Dying Well. She is Vice President of Marie Curie, Patron of The Trussell Trust's foodbank network in Wales, and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. She is also patron of Student Volunteering Cardiff.She was a Founding Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales and a Member of its inaugural Council.In 2017 she was appointed one of two patrons of the Royal Microscopical Society. She has received serveral Honorary degrees for her work. In March 2015 she was awarded the Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Honouree for her vigorous championing to improving the care of dying patients. She currently chairs the National Mental Capacity Forum for England and Wales.

Baroness Jay of Paddington PC – Attend Vice President
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Baroness Jay started her career working for the BBC between 1965 and 1977 on current affairs and further education television programmes. She then became a journalist on the BBC's prestigious Panorama programme, and Thames Television's This Week. She went on to present the BBC 2 series Social History of Medicine. She was appointed a life peer in 1992 with the title of Baroness Jay of Paddington, in the City of Westminster, and acted as an opposition Whip in the House of Lords. In association with the shop workers' union, she led opposition to the liberalisation of Sunday trading hours. After her party's election victory in 1997, she became Health Spokesman and Minister for Women in the House of Lords. From 1998 she was Leader of the House of Lords, playing a pivotal role in the major reform that led to the removal of most of its hereditary members. She retired from active politics in 2001.

Her father was former Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan.

Following Baroness Robson's retirement as Chairman of the National body in 1994, Baroness Jay was elected Chairman of the National body. At that time she was the Labour Party Health Spokesman in the House of Lords. With the change of government in 1997, she resigned as Chairman on her appointment as a Minister of State in the Department of Health.

During her time as Chairman, there were a great many changes including the involvement of community groups.

Lillian Owens – Attend Deputy Chairman and Chair of Attend West Midlands
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Chair of Voluntary Sector Mental Health forum of Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin. Lilian is also Partner Governor of South Staffordshire and Shropshire Foundation Trust and on the Executive Board of AXIS. Lilian’s first involvement with LofF was during 1986 when the Strategic Health Authority plans were to close the Cottage Hospitals in Shropshire. At this time Lilian was Chair of Broseley Hospital LofF. Lilian negotiated a peppercorn rent with the solicitor of the SHA and campaigned along with many others for the retention of Shropshire Cottage Hospitals, many of which were saved by their local community. Secretary to Shropshire Association for 15 years, during which time, she realised the value of networking and sharing information. Lilian’s background is working in the voluntary sector predominantly in Mental Health and is always working in partnership with many other agencies promoting the voice of service users. Previous work includes working for rural Minds and the Mental Health Helplines Partnership working with colleagues at DH and NHS Direct and across many partnerships.

Chandra Patel – Attend London, Treasurer
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Lord Patel – Attend Vice President
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Lord Patel was educated in India, Tanzania and London. He graduated from the University of St Andrews in 1964 and since qualifying has continued to work in Scotland, including more than 30 years at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School.

His academic and clinical interests were in the field of high-risk obstetrics. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, honorary Fellow of several Royal Colleges in the UK, Ireland and overseas and honorary doctorates in the UK and overseas.

Umang Patel – Member of the Clinical Reference Group
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Umang graduated from Southampton Medical School in 2004.
Umang fondly remembers the warm smiles of the volunteers at Poole’s League of Friends, who unbeknownst to them helped get him through that crucial first year of being a proper doctor. After completing his house jobs in Poole, he took up paediatric training in Berkshire, Oxford and London.

Currently, Umang can be found treating children at Frimley Park Hospital on Fridays. Monday to Thursday is spent trying to improve the health system and making sure safe, effective and personalised healthcare is available to everyone.
During his training, Umang realised that there needed to be more clinicians that understood and actively engaged in health management. To help be someone to bridge the gap between clinicians and managers he joined the NHS Leadership Academy as a Clinical Fellow in 2012. This set him on a slightly alternative medical career path which now includes being Clinical Transformation Lead at Aviva UK Health.
Umang heads up the clinical reference group within Attend specifically supporting the ABI programme.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @UmangPatel1

Helen Platt – Communications Consultant
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Elvis regularly comes in to Attend with Helen Platt to make sure the biscuits are up to standard. Helen is Attend Communications Advisor.

Helen is a social strategist, which means she develops initiatives that have social impact. She specialises in communication campaigns and has worked with numerous clients including London 2012, Amnesty International, Comic Relief, Channel 4 and the BBC.

As a consultant, her projects usually involve developing ideas to meet a challenge such as how to engage young people with London 2012 and ensure they have a lasting legacy from the Games, or how to engage a populist audience with human rights and Amnesty International, or how to get grassroots involvement for the first ever Sport Relief Mile.

She then follows up the strategic development with as much project management and delivery as a client needs - such as carrying out media evaluations of organisations receiving Sport Relief funding or running the communications for Amnesty's Secret Policeman's Ball.

Contact email address: [email protected]

Stephen Redman – Attend Trustee

Stephen’s day job is as a Christian Minister in the city of York where he has had his home for most of his adult life. He has one wife and three daughters, a Masters degree in Theology, and is Chairman of the board of Candlelighters the children’s cancer charity, and is also the Chair of Friends of Amarna House and is a trustee of One Voice another local York group. Stephen is committed to listening to people and trying to encourage them to work with each other. Stephen had a little boy who died of cancer in 2001 when he was just 7 years old, but is better known for his loud laughter than for his tears.

Ken Rees – Attend Trustee and Chair of Attend South Wales
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Ken’s working background has been mainly in the Steel industry whereby he retired in 2002. Coinciding with retirement in 2002 Ken’s father was progressing into Alzheimer’s disease and the need of his care was increasing, as a result, Ken became principle carer, until his father entered a care home in 2008.
For the past 18 years Ken has been a member of Hospital League of Friends at Prince Philip Hospital Llanelli. He was also a Secretary for the group and returned to that position in May of last year.
He was also formerly a County Councillor for Dyfed County Council and more recently Carmarthenshire County Council. Formerly a Town Councillor for the Town of Llanelli and Town Mayor from 2001 to 2002.
Ken is very active, in that he is Chairman of Llanelli Scouts and a School Governor of Two Primary Welsh Language Schools.
Ken is married to Carole, now a retired Special School Nursery Nurse, and likes to spend time with his two grandchildren. He lists his interests as gardening and is also a Poultry keeper.

Lee Robinson – Attend Academy Associate
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Lee Robinson has been managing Robinson Consultancy since 2008, delivering training, evaluation and research solutions to the third and public sectors.  As a skilled project manager, Lee has experience of managing projects that require collaborating with a range of stakeholders and communicating sophisticated projects, research and evaluation methodologies in a straight forward way.

Having spent several years working with various charities and social enterprises prior to becoming a consultant Lee became a qualified NLP practitioner during this time, focusing on the coaching application of NLP.  Lee also gained experience of grant and community fundraising, as well as managing delivery and infrastructure projects.  Lee's previous work managing an LGBT domestic violence helpline also contributes to his competence in working with vulnerable clients in a supportive and appropriate manner. 

Lee has experience of conducting assessment in a variety of contexts having assessed professional candidates for city and guilds qualifications as well as being a registered psychometric test-user with the British Psychological Society.  His recent work has included monitoring and evaluation work involving social return on investment analysis, contributing to the development and assessment of organisational quality standards and research on the influnence of employee control beliefs in determing employee job crafting behaviour.  He has also worked up a number of social business cases for various third sector projects. 

Valerie Semeria – ABI Projects Coordinator

Valerie was born in Chicago, USA, where she received formal recognition for her professional research in her undergraduate studies. After graduating from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, she began working in Australia and England, seeking opportunities in health-related roles. She then joined Attend with a passion to support individuals who have suffered from an acquired brain injury. Alongside her role at Attend, she successfully completed her MSc in Cognitive Rehabilitation and is now looking forward to completing her PhD. Her main research interest involves virtual reality and rehabilitation for a range of neurological conditions.

Janet Simpson – Deputy Chief Executive, Office Manager: Executive Assistant to Chief Executive and Chairman
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Janet joined the organisation in 2006 as PA to the Chairman and Chief Executive of Attend. Having previously worked for a software retail distribution company and within education, the Charity and volunteering sector has proved to be challenging but enjoyable. Janet has worked in administration for most of her career.

Contact email address: [email protected]

Daniel Singleton – Attend Academy Associate
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Daniel Singleton is the National Executive Director of FaithAction, a role that he has performed for over four years. Prior to this role, Daniel was a Quality Director for a large voluntary sector organisation and previously he was a History teacher in East London.
FaithAction is a national network of over 1200 community and Faith based organisations. Originally a Strategic Partner of the Cabinet Office, FaithAction is now a Strategic Partner of the Department of Health.
Daniel is passionate about raising the voice of Faith based organisations, and levering the expertise and commitment present in the faith sector into public services and the wider community. Driven by his passion, Daniel has been involved in the Merlin Standard work at the DWP as well as being on Ministerial Advisory Boards and numerous forums. Through these forums, Daniel is able to highlight the work of Faith based organisations as well as influence policy and decision makers. Daniel often meets members and provides 1-2-1 support and advice to enable faith groups to reach the most marginalised in their communities.


Sona Sladkova – Project Administrator
Jean Slater – Secretary - Attend Scotland
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David Sollis – Attend Academy Associate

Having worked for Attend as the Membership Officer, David followed a career in the Third Sector working for Young Persons Disability Charity Whizz-Kidz, REHAB UK and the National Sports Charity, Sported.

David is a huge supporter of disability sport and for the sport for development area of work.

He is a volunteer with the National Award winning sports charity Achievement through Football and continues to support sport in Essex through his networks.

Nikki Squelch – Attend Trustee
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Nikki is an experienced people leader with a strong background in innovating the engagement of volunteers. With over 20 years’ experience in leadership roles at charities like Alzheimer’s Society, where she was instrumental in establishing Dementia Friends. She has also worked as a Social Worker at Charing Cross Hospital and has a deep commitment to the NHS and the groups that support this globally admired institution.

Doris Stow BA – Attend Yorks & Humber Committee Member
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Doris is 67 years young and along with her late spouse David, joined the Northern General Hospital League of Friends in 1987.  Having worked at various jobs she joined Sanofi Aventis in 1986 and during that time did a part time degree course, obtaining her degree in 1998.  Doris took over as chair of the Northern General League on the retirement of Graham Gillott and also joined the Yorkshire and Humber Region Committee. Apart from her role in the League of Friends she also chaired a patient practice participation group, sings with Chapeltown Amateur Operatice Society, cheers for two local speedway teams (Sheffield Tigers and Buxton Hitmen) and offers a cheer for several F1 sidecar teams most especially one Ian Guy/Carol McBride number 19 outfit.

Leah Stuttard – Trusts Fundraiser

Leah has worked as a Fundraiser for many years and now fits bid writing around a number of other interests including Medieval music and academic study.

Matthew Swan – Attend Trustee & Attend East Committee Member
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Matthew’s first involvement with Attend first started in January 2002 when it was then the National Association of Hospital and Community Friends. He took over the banking relationship whilst working for Barclays, and also arranged for the organisation to host one of our AGM’s at Canary Wharf. Matthew has been in banking for over 25 years.

Matthew spent some time on the Eastern Committee as Treasurer for a league in Dunmow. Matthew is currently the Treasurer for the Colchester Rotary Club and Vice President for the Colchester Chamber of Commerce.

Matthew became Treasurer of Attend in 2009. In the New Years Honours List 2021, Matthew was honoured with a BEM for his contribution to local charities.

Contact email address: [email protected]

Darren Vella – Attend Academy Associate
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Darren Vella, is an associate who works closely with Attend on various issues such as Mental Health and Equalities, he has been doing so since 2007. Darren has an academic background in the social sciences with a specialisation in psychology. Darren has been involved in numerous local, national and international charitable organisations in a variety of roles that included; service delivery, project management and organisational development amongst others. Darren currently oversees all of Richmond Borough Mind's Services including Counselling Services, Carers in Mind Project, Well Being Centre, Ecotherapy, Equalities in Mental Health, and Peer-Support Project to name just a few. Darren is also the co-founder of the Third Culture Collective a consultancy agency whose main aim is to assist organisations realise their potential for change.

Darren is a self-proclaimed geek with a unnatural love of all things technological and science fiction.

John Vickery – Chair, Avon County Association
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Margaret Walker – Attend Vice President
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Margaret is the Chairman of The Friends of Whitstable Hospital & Healthcare, one of the first friends groups in the country to extend their role of support to all primary care services, including GP practices, in the community. She has been involved in organising a number of very successful health information events bringing together the expertise of more than thirty nursing, specialist and voluntary groups to give advice and information to patients and members of the public.

In addition to her interest in health-related matters, Margaret has also held positions of responsibility in a number of other fields including sports organisations at local, national and international levels. Having been involved for many years with Friends and other voluntary activities she has gained experience in a variety of roles including recruiting, training and supporting volunteers and also initiating and developing several projects. Margaret became an Attend Vice President in 2012

Jamie Ward-Smith – Attend Academy Associate
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Jamie Ward-Smith (formerly Thomas) is the founder of ivo.org, a social network that connects people and organisations that want to change their worlds through volunteering and social action.  ivo follows a successful pilot site called i-volunteer and launched in 2012.  Prior to setting up ivo, Jamie founded and ran Red Foundation, a social enterprise that promoted volunteerism and social action through consultancy and development services, for five years until 2011. 

Prior to setting up Red Jamie was deputy director for community engagement at the Home Office Active Communities Unit, the forerunner of the Office for Civil Society, where he set up the Gold Star programme and ran the Russell Commission on youth action and engagement which led to the set up of the v charity.  Before this he was marketing and communications director for online advice charity YouthNet UK, where he co-funded the do-it.org.uk volunteering database and led the increase of their traffic base to over 5000,000 users a month, prior to which he ran one of London's most successful volunteer centers in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea


Sir William Wells KBE – Attend Vice President
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Sir William Wells career encompasses senior positions in public health, commercial property, insurance and small business.

Sir William Wells is the Chairman of the Department of Health Commercial Advisory Board, which advises ministers on the effects of policy on the private sector. In 2001 he established the NHS Appointments Commission and became its Chairman. Sir William is also a former Governor of the Royal Free Hospital, London, and Regional Chairman of the South Thames Region.

Sir William was Managing Partner and then Chairman of Chesterton chartered surveyors for 34 years, where he oversaw their transition from a private partnership to a listed company.

Sir William is Chairman of ADL, an AIM-listed care home provider and of CMG plc, a specialist in the care of adults and children with learning difficulties, and a director of Urban Village, which is developing a mixed use village in Shoreditch to provide homes, support and training for over 300 homeless people.
Sir William Wells became Treasurer of the National Association in 1992, and remained in post until 2005.

Nichole Wheaton – Head of Projects Delivery
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Nichole started at Attend in 2005 and has had several roles over her years at Attend including Regional Development Officer, Membership Services Officer, Membership Services Manager and ABI Volunteering Manager. She is now Care Homes Project Manager. This is a project which sets up Friends groups in care homes and recruits volunteers to work within care homes to enhance the lives of the residents. This is a very busy role which includes traveling to care homes, interviewing potential volunteers, attending committee meetings, setting up trolley services/befriendings/tea rooms in care homes.
Contact email: [email protected]

Mrs. Ann Wickham BEM – Attend Trustee
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Ann Wickham has been dedicated to the Barts Guild her entire adult life; she first joined in 1966 when her husband became part of the hospital’s medical staff. The next year, she was elected to the executive committee, which was just the beginning for Ann. Over the years, she has
served on four different Guild committees, been elected Vice-Chairman, then Chairman twice, and finally took on the role of Guild President in 2008. In addition to her well-deserved titles,
she designed the Guild’s logo in 1988 and even wrote a book, A Century of Service,
on the Guild’s first 100 years of history. In 2016, Ann was rightfully honoured for her 50 years of work with Barts Guild with the esteemed League of Mercy Award for volunteering. She has just been awarded a BEM in the New Years Honour list 2024

John Wills – Attend East Committee member
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John has been involved with Attend for over twelve years, firstly with the charity, HEAL (working with survivors of childhood abuse) and now as manager of the charity Greenpath Ventures, offering bushcraft and related activities to disadvantaged groups across Essex.
John has a wide range of experience in the voluntary sector and is a qualified manager, therapist and outdoor instructor. In previous roles in mental health he has been lead facilitator in a therapeutic setting, supervised staff and heavily involved with funding. Through the Open University he has gained The Professional Certificate in Management.His outdoor training has included survival training in both the Arctic and Amazon jungle and he is a qualified Bushcraft Instructor. He is passionate about improving services for disadvantaged groups and is happy to support new groups through Attend Eastern Region.

David Wood – Chief Executive OBE BA(Hons) AKC PCC Chartered FCIPD MCIOF MIWFM
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David’s personal passion is supporting local communities to solve the issues they have identified.
He was appointed Chief Executive of Attend, formerly the National Association of Hospital and Community Friends, in 2002. Now, over 20 years later he works part time for the organisation. As part of his role, he has travelled from Scotland to Cornwall speaking to member groups, and hearing about both their successes and challenges.
During those years he has spent many years involved in committees and taskforces at the Department of Health, as well as well as chairing and contributing to networking and developing groups in the voluntary and community sector.
Much of his spare time is spent supporting small organisations who are making practical differences to their beneficiaries lives. Some are in the community where he lives, while others are further afield.
When asked what motivates him, David references his favourite quote by George Bernard Shaw
“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose….
….I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations. “ George Bernard Shaw – A Splendid Torch
In 2009, David was awarded the OBE for his services to volunteering.

Contact email address: [email protected]

Christopher Wood – iCan Project Navigator

iCan is a partnership project run in Enfield, and led by Age UK Enfield. Christopher is self-employed and based with this team to deliver this service.

The iCan Service aims to improve health and wellbeing of vulnerable adults by ensuring they have the provision of personalised coordinated care and support across a network of providers, the service will focus on improving the self-management of their health conditions and prevent them from accessing primary and secondary care services.

He works with service users in a holistic manner and identify their physical, emotional, psychological, social and practical needs and then support them in accessing other resources, facilities and services which are available to them and assist in improving their wellbeing.

Alongside this Christopher is very interested in music, and its production. He uses these skills to support a number of organisations and projects.

Catherine Wood RGN, MSc, BSc (Hons) – Consultant Clinical and Quality Lead
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Catherine has joined the team at Attend in a part-time consultancy role as the Clinical and Quality Lead, where she manages project development for clinically based services, monitors audit and quality systems and leads on Clinical Governance Issues.
Catherine is a qualified Registered Nurse with over 30 years experience of working in the NHS and Voluntary Sector. She also has a BSc. (Hons) degree in Specialist Nursing.
For the last 20 years Catherine has been working within the Hospice Sector and has extensive experience of End of Life Care, Mental Health and Dementia, Quality and Project Management, Service Development, Teaching and Staff Management.
She has been an assessor with CHKS, inspecting other Health Care Providers for an international healthcare accreditation award and has worked with a House of Lords Committee on End of Life Care and assisted dying.
In 2012 Catherine won the International Journal of Palliative Nursing’s International Development Award for work with The African Prisons Project, setting up health services within prisons in Uganda. Catherine is an accredited trainer for Mental Health First Aid courses and Dementia Awareness and also teaches widely on issues relating to End of Life, Death and Dying. Catherine is the Chairperson of The Friends of Oaklands, a care home in Essex and is also on the board of the local Parish Nursing Service where she advises on development of services and mentors the local Parish Nurse. Catherine is passionate about making sure we get care and support for vulnerable people right, whatever their circumstance, believing that we need to get it right the first time. To this end she is currently undertaking a PhD with the University of Hull, looking at how we can improve end of life discussions for people living with dementia. In her spare time, she loves singing and is the administrator for a local choir company that specialises in Musical Theatre. She also has two miniature Dachshunds (Milly and Herbie) who go almost everywhere with her and who are no strangers to Attend.

Julia Worthington – Attend Academy Associate
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Julia Worthington is a Fundraising Consultant who founded Amber Consulting and has been a fundraiser for over 17 years. Operating in a number of positions for a variety of organisations, including as a fundraising volunteer for National Childbirth Trust, a sole fundraiser for The Railway Children and for the last five years Head of Fundraising for The Prince’s Trust. Julia is also a Trustee of an Academy High School.

Julia’s experience has built up an extensive range of expertise and knowledge, as well as understanding of exactly how not-for-profit organisations work and the importance of great relationships with the supporters of your organisation, whether they are donors, volunteers or clients.