Neil Scott

Neil is Chair of the Board of Trustees of Family Fund and Chief Operating 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 chair of governors at AUEA, a University Technical College in Birmingham, and was, until December, a non-executive director at Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust.

“Being a trustee of Family fund is deeply humbling. It is an organisation that helps a great number of children, their parents and siblings, enjoy the things many of us take for granted. The determination of these families is an inspiration to all of us at the Fund. It is an honour to support them.”

Kate Fleck

Kate has worked in the voluntary sector in Northern Ireland for over 35 years in a number of roles. Her experience spans from volunteering to paid employment with Phab NI, Diabetes UK and Arthritis Care (now Versus Arthritis). I was a founder member of LTCANI (Long term conditions alliance NI) and have continued to work with the alliance since retirement. I spent five years as a member of the Board of CO3 (Chief Officers of Third Sector). I am currently Chairperson of the Board of OCN NI (Open College Network NI) where I have been a member of the Board for five years the last three as Chair.

“I am delighted to be a trustee of Family Fund, an organisation that makes such a positive impact on the lives of so many children and young people living with disability or who are seriously ill and their families.”

David Lewis

David joined the Family Fund Board of Trustees in June 2013. He 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 with a severe learning disability.

“It is difficult to think of a more vital charitable purpose than providing help and support to families with disabled or seriously ill children; as someone who grew up with a severely disabled brother, I appreciate the importance of the support Family Fund can provide.”

Grant Macrae

Grant 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 & 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 & 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 had had on everyone in the family.

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

Geoff Linnell

Geoff has over 35 years’ experience in transformation leadership and IT innovation. 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.

Former Non-Executive Director with the NHS and an Advisory Board member with NaviSite Inc. 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, former international basketball player, keen golfer. Married, enjoys travel and fine dining.

“I’m honoured to be a Trustee of 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”

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.”

David Braybrook

David offers a consultancy service across the UK as an independent strategic and operational partner in Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) work which involves working across the public, private and voluntary sectors. He 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 DfE Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project and the DfE project to develop Training Resources for Special Education for the 21st Century.

More recently he has been working with the Health and Social Care Commissioners in Staffordshire County Council on the implementation of the SEND Reforms which are a part of the 2014 Children and Families Act.

“I feel very fortunate to be a trustee of Family Fund. It is a very focussed and effective charity which provide very real and flexible support to families who have children and young people who are seriously ill or disabled.”

Andy Piper

Andy is a Director at Barclays Bank where he specialises in governance and control, particularly with respect to technology and cyber security, bringing over 15 years of experience in the field. Prior to joining Barclays, Andy worked as a Risk Consultant for Deloitte, a ‘Big 4’ professional services company, and gained insight into a number of different industry sectors.

Andy is married and has two young children. In his spare time Andy likes to keep fit and enjoys travelling.

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to join the board of trustees at Family Fund. I’m looking forward to utilising my skills around technology risk, IT security, operational governance and process improvement to support this wonderful charity as they grow, evolve and continue to make such a valued difference to the lives of disabled and seriously ill children and their families.”

Gareth Lambert

Gareth is a Senior Partner at Ernst & Young LLP, focusing on the financial services industry and advising clients on a wide range of regulatory matters. He has worked in the banking sector for over 30 years both in industry and professional services roles around the world. Gareth’s area of specialism is structural change in banking, and he has for the past decade committed his energies to delivering a safer, more robust financial services industry in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

Gareth has three grown up children and lives in York. He enjoys travel, golf and current affairs.

“It is an honour to be a Trustee of Family Fund and play a small role in the life changing work undertaken by the staff and volunteers of the charity. Every positive action, however large or small, has the potential to make a lasting difference to the lives of disabled children and their parents and carers; Family Fund delivers on that, every day.”

Jonathan Evans

Jonathan has spent most of his career in Human Resources and has been HR Director of some of the largest organisations in both the public and private sectors. Amongst them Orange and the Ministry of Defence. He now provides consultancy and interim director services across the public sector. He has been interim HR Director in a number of local authorities including Birmingham, the largest local authority in Europe.

In addition to his work he is a also trustee of Ebony Horse Club which through the medium of horse riding and equine management supports less advantaged young people in Brixton.

When not working he enjoys his home in North Yorkshire, studying military history, following the mixed fortunes of Bristol rugby club and spending time with his granddaughters.

Mary Bishop

Mary 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.

“Family Fund provides practical help and support to families with disabled and seriously ill children and young people. 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.”

Neil Ashton

Neil is the Chief Operating Officer of UK Coaching, an organisation which supports coaches at all stages of their development and promotes the wider benefit to society of engaging in sport and physical activity at all levels. As COO, Neil manages all financial, regulatory and operational deliveries of the charity, and leads the business development of the commercial trading subsidiary.

Neil is a qualified accountant with over 25 years of experience in senior finance roles at TT Electronics, Marshall Group and Rentokil-Initial. 

Neil is married and lives in York. He has five children and enjoys football, cycling, fishing and painting. 

"I am proud to be a Trustee of Family Fund and contributing to the fantastic work of the charity as it continues to make a difference to the lives of disabled and seriously ill children."