Who we are
Our team is based at our head office in Cheltenham Spa. From here we all focus our efforts to make sure we deliver the best outcomes we can for seriously ill children, young people and families.
Our senior management team have day-to-day responsibility for leading WellChild and the delivery of our strategy, whilst our board of trustees provide strategic leadership and support to ensure that we’re doing what we set out to.
Meet the senior management team
Colin Dyer, Chief Executive
Colin was appointed Chief Executive of WellChild in 2010 having joined the organisation two years earlier. Prior to joining WellChild, Colin spent five years heading up the Steve Redgrave Trust, a charity providing inclusion opportunities for young people across the UK. A qualified senior journalist and former news and sports editor, Colin spent 10 years directing and consulting on sports marketing and sponsorship accounts in the UK and across Europe – including work to incorporate cause-related and charity-focused elements in major sponsorships alongside organisations such as Comic Relief and the World Food Programme. Colin is passionate about ensuring that children and young people have access to the best possible opportunities. One of his proudest achievements has been leading on a change in direction at WellChild from grant funding to the direct, practical support programmes, which are now proving so vital for thousands of families every year. However, in his words, ‘there is still much to do’.
Tara Parker, Director of Programmes
Tara is a registered paediatric nurse with extensive experience across the UK. Her career in paediatrics has spanned both acute and community sectors and she has held senior positions within Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and NHS Acute and Community Trusts. Tara has specialised in commissioning of care for children with complex health needs and disabilities. Her move to WellChild will enable her to continue the important work of championing the rights of some of the most vulnerable children and young people and their families in the UK. Tara is mother to two children, one of whom who has complex needs and this has enabled her to gain a unique insight to both the lived experience and the professional challenges.
Vanessa Snell, Director of HR & Legal
Vanessa is an ex-commissioned officer with the Royal Air Force who has worked in many sectors but most recently in business management roles for not for profits and as a School Business Manager/Bursar before joining WellChild in 2011 as Director of Operations. Formal training has included the Institute of Legal Executives, National College for School Leadership and the Institute of Administrative Management. Working across the organisation, Vanessa moved to the Director of HR & Legal role in April 2019 and is responsible for the provision of human resources services, policies and programmes as well as legal services. Vanessa is also Company Secretary of WellChild.
Matt James, Director of Communications & Engagement
Matt joined WellChild in 2015 following over ten years marketing in the technology industry. Prior to joining WellChild, Matt co-founded Eccomplished, a consultancy advising early-stage retail technology companies on marketing, growth and fundraising. Matt was previously responsible for UK demand generation at MessageLabs (now part of Symantec) and ran marketing across Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean and Africa for Websense. Matt leads the communications and engagement teams at WellChild, ensuring that the charity continues to punch above its weight in getting the issues faced by thousands of families across the UK firmly in the public eye. Matt has an MBA from Cardiff Business School and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). He has a keen interest in the transformative potential of digital technology in the non-profit sector.
Emily Henderson, Director of Operations
Emily joined WellChild in 2019, having worked in business management and operational roles across various sectors, concentrating on the health, social care and charity sectors more specifically in the last 6 years. Emily works across the organisation and manages the operational and support services including business processes, finance, IT, Health & Safety, Data Protection and front of house to ensure that WellChild runs smoothly, efficiently and effectively. Emily is skilled at assessing the services that an organisation uses, such as IT, telephony and database to ensure they are robust, secure and effectively adhere to GDPR. Emily has undertaken training covering leadership and management, IT, health & safety and business administration.
Meet our board of trustees
Andrew Osborne, WellChild Chairman
Andrew Osborne is Chairman of the Osborne Group of Companies, one of the UK’s leading family-owned construction, civil engineering, property services, development and offsite manufacturing companies, with a turnover of £350 million in its last financial year. He has also taken on the roles of Group Finance Director and Chief Executive in the past. Andrew is a chartered accountant and has a degree in Engineering Science from Oxford University. He was a non-executive Director of FTSE 250 Engineer, Charter International PLC, from 2005 to 2012. He is also a Director of the Institute of Family Business.
Nick Fisher, WellChild Vice Chairman
Enjoying a business career spanning four decades Nick brings a wealth of experience to the WellChild board of trustees. Nick is the owner and CEO of Venture Studios, a nationwide family photography business. He has a PLC corporate background and is used to working in a disciplined and compliant structure. He is a member of the WellChild audit committee and in 2018 was appointed vice chairman of the board of trustees. He is a founder member of the corporate development board and also an advisor to the senior management team in his specialist area of marketing and fundraising.
Rosalind Futter, WellChild Treasurer
Rosalind became a WellChild Trustee and Treasurer in 2018. Rosalind is a chartered accountant with nearly 20 years’ experience in practice and industry working for companies such as Andersen, PwC, Reuters and BT. She is currently Commercial Finance Director for Landsec, the UK’s the largest commercial property development and investment company. In addition to her role as Treasurer, Rosalind also chairs WellChild’s Audit Sub-committee.
Huw joined WellChild as a Trustee in 2017 having been a member of the WellChild Advisory Panel. Huw was a consultant in child health for 30 years based at the Children’s Hospital for Wales in Cardiff and has a wealth of experience in the clinical aspects of healthcare for children and young people. He was seconded (half time) for seven years to the Welsh Assembly Government as the first National Director of Clinical Services for Children and Young People and adviser to three Health Ministers. One of the specific responsibilities was the production of the National Service Framework and the policy for Specialist Services for Children & Young People. Huw is a passionate advocate that children’s services should be central to UK healthcare priorities.
Liz is a registered general nurse and children’s nurse with extensive experience across the UK, beginning at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. A former Director of Nursing at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Chief Nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Liz was professional advisor for children and young people’s health policy at the Department of Health, where she worked on several national policy initiatives for children, young people and families. She has been a lecturer at the University of Central England and Birmingham University and is currently an independent nursing and healthcare advisor having recently held the role of Director of Nursing and Patient Services for G4S Healthcare Services Ltd. Liz holds an MSc Public Sector Management from Aston University, Birmingham.
John has been involved with WellChild since 1993 when he was a broker in the international money markets and then the energy markets from 1996. John joined the Board of Trustees in 2002 as part of a new group of trustees that oversaw the transition of the charity through a rebrand and from its original research focus to the delivery of new direct services such as the WellChild Nurse and Helping Hands programmes. In 2009 he took on the role of Chairman, working closely with the CEO and the now greatly expanded Board of Trustees to enable the charity to provide the level of support it currently does. He retired as chairman at the end of 2017 but remains a trustee.
Leanne is mum to three daughters, Erica, Sophie and Kyla. Sophie has cerebral palsy and multiple complex needs. Leanne has worked at regional and national levels to improve services for children and young people living with serious health needs and is the driving force behind the parent-led #notanurse_but campaign. Through the campaign, Leanne has shared her experience through a powerful series of video diaries, which have been viewed widely online and used to educate child health professionals and decision makers across the sector. As a WellChild Parent Ambassador and campaigner, Leanne has spoken at many conferences and events, sharing her experiences caring for her daughter and her passion for making a positive change to services and helping raise awareness of WellChild’s work.
With four children, including Fraser who has Cerebral Palsy and a large amount of daily care needs, Craig has first-hand experience of the challenges facing families caring for a child with complex health needs. As a WellChild Parent Ambassador, Craig has spoken about his experiences at a number of conferences, events and was part of the team that spearheaded the #notanurse_but campaign, shining a light on the reality of life behind closed doors for thousands of families. Craig is Group Managing Director at global professional services firm, WYG Group. He is a Chartered Surveyor and a Fellow of both the RICS and CIOB.
Paul joined the Board of Trustees in 2011 and was the inaugural Chair of the WellChild Advisory Board and is currently Chairman of the WellChild Nominations Committee. A Solicitor by qualification, Paul’s senior management career has been in the Financial Services sector. Having been Head of London Private Banking for Coutts Bank and a Director of Barclays Wealth, Paul is now Chairman of Frenkel Topping Group Plc, a listed wealth manager which specialises in advising vulnerable clients with complex illnesses or injuries. Prior to his Trusteeship of WellChild, Paul was Chairman of the Steve Redgrave Trust for 8 years.
Rosemary Rogers BA, RGN is a consultant and project manager, specialising in healthcare and the public sector. A qualified nurse, Rosemary trained and worked at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, before completing a History degree at Christ’s College, University of Cambridge. She has spent most of her career in clinical publishing, working as a journalist, editor and publisher for titles including Nursing Standard, Professional Nurse, Nursing Times and Health Service Journal. She was the founding editor of Paediatric Nursing (now Nursing Children and Young People). She has been a trustee of WellChild since 2010.
WellChild Nurses provide specialist care and practical support to seriously ill children, young people and their families. They play a crucial role in enabling children to leave hospital and be cared for at home, reducing the practical, emotional and financial impact for families. WellChild have funded 38 WellChild Nurse posts across the UK.Meet some of our WellChild Nurses
Helping increasing numbers of seriously ill children and their families relies on our ability to understand and respond to the critical issues facing our key stakeholders, to grow our income streams efficiently and build a sustainable and effective organisation. This is why we invest time listening to and developing our advisory networks to help guide our charitable and business development strategy.
Meet the WellChild Advisory Panel
The WellChild Advisory Panel (WAP) is a prestigious group of senior health professionals from across the UK who help guide the direction of our services in relation to children and young people’s health.
Professor Jane Coad (Chair) PhD, MSc (PG Research Methods), BSc, BA, RGN, RSCN, RNT – Director, Centre for Children and Families Applied Research, Coventry University.
Sue Banton MBE – Director of STEPS charity which supports people affected by lower limb conditions.
Dr Monica Lakhanpaul MBBS, MRCP, FRCPCH, DM – Senior lecturer and Consultant Paediatrician
Liz Morgan MSc, Dip, IHSM, RGN, RSCN, RNT – WellChild Trustee and former Chief Nurse and Director of Education at GOSH
Dr Patricia Jackson DCH, MRCP (UK), FRCPCH – Retired Consultant Paediatrician at NHS Lothian
Dr Kathryn Bannell BM, MRCP, DCH, MRCPCH, MRCGP – Currently working as a GP in Hampshire
Rosemary Rogers BA, RGN – WellChild Trustee, project manager and consultant with a background in nursing and e-health
Dr Helen Bedford BSc, MSc, PhD, RGN, RHV, MFPHM, MRCPCH – Senior Lecturer in Children’s Health at the Centre of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UCL Institute of Child Health
Dr Huw Jenkins MA, MBBChir, MD (Cantab), FRCP, FRCPCH – Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist at the Dept of Child Health, University Hospital of Wales
Trevor Jones – WellChild Trustee and former Head of the Scottish Health Department and Chief Executive of NHS Scotland
Dr Mark Whiting PhD, MSc, PGDipEd, B Nursing, RGN, RSCN, HV Cert, DN Cert – Consultant Nurse in Children’s Community and Specialist Nursing for the Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust
Karen Brombley BaHons, RGN, RSCN, CCN Specialist, QN – Nurse Consultant for Children’s Palliative Care
Sharon McCloskey MSc, BSc, RGN, RSCN, CCN, SN – Care Services Manager with the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice
Paula Davies BSc(Hons), RGN, RSCN, SCPHN(HV), Diploma in Paediatric Intensive Care Nursing – Lead Nurse, Community Child Heath, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Peter Campbell, RGN, RSCN – Deputy Associate Nurse Director, The Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh
Dr Emma Twigg DClinPsych, PGCE (Prim), BSocSci (Hons), BA – Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Joint Head of Service, Psychological Services (Paediatrics) Alder Hey Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Mrs Nicola Lewis ,Msc,Bsc , PGCE ,RSCN,RGN – Interim Senior matron for Children and Neonatal Services Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board
Trudy Ward MSc, BSc, RNC, RNA, RNE – Head of Children’s Specialist & Community Nursing- operations & governance at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust
Meet the development board
The WellChild Development Board is a group of successful business leaders and entrepreneurs who advise on the charity’s fundraising and growth strategy.
Carl Hayes – Deutsche Bank AG
Dave Beaton – Noble Group
James Grant – Martin & Co
James Prosser – Front Events
Kerstin Sallows – Brookvine
Konstantin Yelin – Arthur Yelin
Marc Davis – Swiss Re International SE
Michael Green – InterContinental Park Lane
Nick Fisher – Venture Photography
Paul Landsman – LGV Capital
Pete Rhodes – All for Good
Peter Roach – Graphicks
Pippa Robins – Velvet Twenty
Riccardo Emanuele – Imagefast Ltd
Stephen Hall – RPMC
Suzanne Pennings – Christies
John Evans – Osiris
Paul Richardson – WellChild Trustee