Ian Black

Ian is Chairman of South West Yorkshire NHS Foundation Trust and a director of companies in the fields of publishing, health, insurance and internet investment. He is also a despatch rider for Whiteknights (a charity that delivers blood and organs to NHS hospitals). He was previously Treasurer and Chair of Scope UK. His executive career was in insurance, management consultancy and chartered accountancy. He is married with three children; one of whom is disabled.

“I am very pleased to be serving a second three-year term as chair of Family Fund. We do great things to help families with the very basic increased costs of raising a disabled child and I have family experience of this.”

Lady Karen Girvan MBE

Lady Karen Girvan MBE retired as NI Chairman of Action Medical Research in December 2012 after eight years as Chair and 33 years as a volunteer for the charity. Karen has also been a trustee for the Grand Opera House, Belfast, actively involved in a £10 million pound project to renovate and extend the theatre. In June 2013 Karen was awarded MBE for services to Action Medical Research and the Grand Opera House, Belfast.

“Family Fund supports some of the most vulnerable families in our society as they face the challenges of giving their disabled children every opportunity to develop their full potential. I am delighted to help.”

David Lewis

David worked for international law firm, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, for 27 years, the last 17 as a partner where he specialised in commercial real estate.

He has a particular interest in the work of the Family Fund having grown up with a brother who was severely disabled.

David Braybrook

David offers a consultancy service across the UK as an independent strategic and operational partner in Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) working with children and young people aged 0-25 years. He works across educational and care settings in the public, private and voluntary sectors and has over 35 years’ experience gained in front line strategic, inspection, regulatory and consultancy roles.

Originally with a background in teaching deaf children, David has been a teacher, specialist teacher trainer, Head of a large residential special school, External Examiner in Higher Education, Registered Ofsted Inspector (SEN), Ofsted contractor, Ofsted Accredited Trainer (SEN), Independent Care Standards Visitor and a Director of Education and Chief Executive of two national educational charities. He was the Deputy Chair of Governors of The Retreat, an independent psychiatric hospital in York and a co-opted Trustee of Children’s Hospices UK. He has served and still serves on a wide range of national and public bodies including regulatory bodies and tribunals.

He was also a member in 2010-12 of the Department for Education’s Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project.  More recently he has been working with the Health and Social Care Commissioners  in Staffordshire County Council on the implementation of the SEND Reforms and in other Local Authorities reviewing the work of schools and specialist services.

Geoff Linnell

Geoff has over 35 years’ experience in transformation leadership and IT innovation as Board Executive, Non-Executive Director and Information Security advisor, who gained extensive international capabilities working with both SMEs and blue-chip organisations across multiple sectors.

Geoff is a Board Member with Incommunities Group Limited, a former Non-Executive Director with the NHS and an Advisory Board member with NaviSite Inc. He was Group CIO with Celerant Consulting, following 10 years as Managing Director, Technology and Security, with UBS (Investment Bank and Wealth Management) and a Transformation Leader with Gemini Consulting, Allied Irish Bank, Pearl Assurance, Halifax Building Society, National Air traffic Services, CAP Gemini and Arthur Young.

Geoff graduated from University of Birmingham and is former international basketball player and a keen golfer. Married, he enjoys travel and fine dining.

“I’m honoured to be a Trustee of the Family Fund. I feel my skills are ideally suited to grow and develop this important charity ensuring that families continue to receive essential items efficiently and effectively.”

Grant Macrae

Grant Macrae is a Chartered Accountant who has had a long career with KPMG in Scotland with a wide range of clients, specialising in clients in the public and not for profit sectors. After retiring from KPMG at the end of 2011 he spent two years in Canada working on the development of international public sector accounting standards.

Grant enjoys curling, skiing, golf and travel. He is married with three grown up children, one of whom has had long standing major health difficulties for 25 years, so he has personal experience of the impact this has had on everyone in the family.

"I am very pleased to be a trustee of Family Fund and to use my experience of the effects of a seriously ill and disabled child on family life to help support other families."

Gordon Anderson

Gordon is an economist who spent over 25 years in Local Government, retiring as Deputy Chief Executive of a London Borough. He then went on to form a management consultancy specialising in change management. Since selling the company in 2006, Gordon has concentrated his efforts in the field of charities.

Gordon is a Governor of Swansea University where he is a member of the Audit Committee and is a Trustee for the Buttle Children's Charity. Married with two children and three grandchildren, Gordon and his wife spend their time walking, cycling and golfing in West Wales.

Lucy Williams

Lucy is a married mother of two young children. She graduated from the University of Wales, Bangor in 2000 and pursued a career in the law. She qualified as a solicitor in 2004 and practiced in the area of criminal defence and subsequently prosecution.

Lucy left her career in 2012, following the birth of her second child the year before, to care for him full time as he is disabled. Since then she has taken part in various fundraising activities including a trek in Iceland. Lucy has also volunteered with Scope as a parent befriender.

Tara Palmer

Tara is Group Chief Operating Officer of Societe Generale Hambros Bank. Prior to this, Tara spent most of her career as an employment lawyer and has gained over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries, advising on significant restructuring programmes and all areas of employment law. She has worked at Royal Mail Group plc, Deloitte, and was Head of Employment with Societe Generale.

In her spare time Tara enjoys physical challenges and has climbed Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc and Aconcagua. Tara has a younger sister who is on the autistic spectrum and has learning difficulties, and through this Tara has experienced some of the challenges faced by those living with a disability

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with an organisation like Family Fund which is making a real difference to the lives of disabled children and their families every day.”

Neil Scott

Neil is Chief Financial Officer at Aston University. He has previously held senior positions at the University of Hull, Wyevale Garden Centres plc, Marston, Thompson & Evershed plc and the Ford Motor Company. He is a non-executive director at Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust.

Mary Bishop

Mary Bishop joined Family Fund as a Trustee in August 2017. She has worked with disabled children and adults throughout her career in both the statutory and voluntary sectors, including eight years as Chief Executive of Livability, a charity which offers a wide range of social care and educational provision. She was formerly an Assistant Director of Commissioning Children’s Social Services in a busy London Borough and Chief Executive of a London teaching hospital’s grant-giving charity.

Since stepping down from her CEO roles, more recently Mary has taken on board positions, including serving a three year term as a Non-Executive Director of a Community Health Care Service.

“The Family Fund provides practical help and support to families with severely sick and disabled children. I’m delighted to be able to join the committed team at the charity, who strive to make a positive difference to families when they need it the most.”

James Turton

James has worked in the consumer goods industry for over 25 years. He has held senior sales and marketing Director roles in Young’s Seafood, Aunt Bessie’s and United Biscuits. He is currently Managing Director for McVities Cakes in the UK, a £50 million business with over 250 employees.

James started his involvement with Family Fund as a Non-Executive Director of Family Fund Business Services in 2016, and has now extended his involvement into being a Trustee of the main charity. He very much hopes that his commercial and broad business experience can help the charity evolve and develop as it faces new opportunities and challenges in the future.