Meet our Trustees

Meet our Trustees

Willow Burn Hospice is governed by a Board of Trustees who have strategic responsibility to ensure the Charity delivers its services.

The Board of Trustees all act in voluntary capacity and their role is to give the charity purpose and direction. The Board makes overall policy and plans, monitors progress towards them and makes sure that the work and resources of charity are managed to good effect.

Paul Jackson – Chair of the Board
Paul is a retired local businessman with a strong connection to the area. He joined the Willow Burn board of trustees in 2006 to bring a business focus to the organisation, and get more involved in income generation ideas and activities. In 2017 Paul was appointed chairman of the board and continues to lead the trustees into Willow Burn’s new, sustainable future.

Paul is a passionate supporter of Willow Burn and is determined to make it the best hospice the UK.

Anne Britton – Vice Chair
Anne grew up in the North East of England and is passionate about support for local communities. She has been a trustee with Willow Burn Hospice since she retired as Head of Economic Development with Gateshead Council.  Her career has included work across the five Tyne and Wear authorities, policy development in Europe, promotion of the North East, support to business start-up and growth, regeneration and development of social enterprise and employment for local people. She completed an MBA at Sunderland University whilst a working mother.

Anne is currently a non-executive director of the family business which provides on-line educational resources. She has supported Willow Burn since she retired through developing volunteering and served as chair of the domiciliary care company.  More recently Anne’s involvement with Willow Burn has been more personal as her mother was provided with respite care and passed away there. She fully appreciates the work which goes on behind the scenes which allows Willow Burn to confidently proclaim that ‘Treasuring Life’ is a key message.

Mark McArdle - Vice Chair
Mark was born and raised in Stanley and attended St. Bede’s Comprehensive School in Lanchester. Upon leaving school, Mark completed a Mechanical Engineering Degree at Newcastle University and then joined Nissan at its newly formed European Technology Centre. Mark left Nissan in 2000 to join the family business which was then building and operating care homes for the elderly under the name of his mother, Helen McArdle Care. As well as running the care homes Mark also helped establish a successful children’s nursery business, Kids 1st. Both businesses were sold in 2016 and 2017, and since then Mark has helped Helen fulfil her charitable ambitions, one of which was to rebuild the IPU at Willow Burn Hospice which was completed in 2018.

Lesley Telford - Treasurer

Coming soon...

Dr Cindy Kelly

Coming soon...

Sue Brent
Sue Brent is a Registered Nurse, Registered Nurse Teacher and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, with 34 years of experience as a nurse, 21 years in clinical practice in the NHS and 13 years’ experience of working in Higher Education.

Sue began her career as a nurse in 1984, and practiced as an Oncology Nurse within the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust, then moved into an education role in the Trust in 2002. Sue moved into higher education in 2005 as a Senior Lecturer in Health. Sue was appointed into the role of Principal Lecturer and Team Leader Health in 2008 and led the Health Team in the development of extensive CPD provision for nurses and allied health professionals.

Sue is currently the Head of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing, providing strategic academic leadership and operational management in line with Faculty plans and objectives.  The Sunderland School of Nursing, which is Sue’s greatest professional achievement to date, was launched in 2016.

Sue is a Nursing Member of the Royal College of Nursing, Deputy Chair of the Royal College of Nursing Research Committee (North East), Council of Deans of Health UK -University representative and the Million Plus Health and Social Care Group -University representative.

Richard Bennett
Richard was born and educated in Newcastle Upon Tyne, completing his degree in Analytical Chemistry whilst working for Northumbrian Water in the chemistry department. After seven years with Northumbrian Water, Richard was approached by a site investigation company to run their chemistry laboratory. Two years later, following the planned sale of the company Richard, set up his own Environmental Chemistry Laboratory: Derwentside Environmental Testing Services based in Consett. The company was established in 1999 and grew to be one of the UK’s leading environmental laboratories employing 130 staff and generating revenues in excess of £6m.

The company was sold to the French Group Suez in 2016 allowing Richard to pursue new interests, including Gateshead Football Club and now National Print Solution Group.

Richard brings a wealth of business experience and knowledge to the board of trustees at Willow Burn, where he is a member of the Finance, Income Generation and Communication Sub-Committee. Having only joined the board late last year Richard is still finding his feet in the hospice but enjoying every minute of it.

Willow Burn is close to Richards’ heart given the vital support and services it offers to the local community, and having spent the last 20 years in Derwentside.

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