David Sear has been a trustee since 1995 and was elected Chairman from 1st July 2008. He is a qualified accountant and has worked for a number of public sector organisations in the London area and West Midlands. In 1998 he started Sear Associates Ltd which provided consultancy advice in the social housing sector. More recently he gained experience of the National Health Service as a non- executive director in Telford and was chairman of the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital in Oswestry for 4 years prior to 2008. He and his family have lived in Shropshire for over 30 years.
Born in May of 1957, originally from Liverpool, John was educated in Shropshire. After graduating from Hotel School he spent the first 15 years of his professional career in Hotel Management. Throughout that time he worked for the hotel interests of Bass Plc running hospitality operations and properties of increasing size and complexity for Crest Hotels and Holiday Inn Worldwide in a variety of locations across the UK including London, Edinburgh, Newcastle, York, and Leicester. In 1993/4 John pursued a change of career direction by studying and obtaining a post graduate Masters degree (MBA) in Human Resource Management at City University in London. His first Human Resources role brought him back to Shropshire as Personnel Manager at the Head Quarters of Windsor Life Assurance based in Telford. Since then he has held a number of HR Management posts in both the private and public sectors. He currently works with a syndicate of other HR professionals providing interim HR management and consulting services.
John was appointed a Trustee / Director of the Severn Hospice in September of 2001 and endeavours to place his HR knowledge and experience at the disposal of the board and management team taking a particular interest in the support and development of the Hospice’s considerable community of volunteers.
Mike Lowe CBE, Chairman of Finance. Trustee since 27 September 2001
Sarah commenced as a Trustee at Severn Hospice in 2006, having been a qualified nurse working in a variety of settings for nearly thirty years. Her nursing career started at the Royal London Hospital where she trained in the early eighties. She continued a career in cancer nursing working at the Hammersmith Hospital and the Royal Marsden before moving to Shropshire in the late eighties. Since then she has had a variety of roles from Ward Sister to Lead Cancer Nurse and undertaken a BSc in Nursing and a MA in Medical Ethics and Law. She feels strongly that in the changing culture of healthcare that it is important to maintain a focus on the principles of quality patient care at all levels. This commitment to deliver improvements in patient care and services means that she has spent the last five years working with the National Cancer Peer Review Programme, managing a programme of reviews to assess the quality and safety of cancer services nationally. With this experience, Sarah’s trustee role tends to concentrate on the nursing and clinical aspects of the Hospice. Sarah is married with two children and lives near Newport.
After graduating from Nottingham University, Tony moved to Birmingham to train as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG. Soon after qualifying he joined Ernst & Young in the Middle East where he undertook a wide variety of work in the banking, construction, insurance, oil, retail and other business sectors. He then became Director of Finance & Administration for an aviation company operating a fleet of turboprop and executive jet aircraft and carrying out aircraft maintenance and recoveries over a wide region. Soon after returning home in 1994 he joined CJ Wildbird Foods Ltd where he is now Chief Executive. Tony moved to Shropshire in 2002. He became a Trustee of the Severn Hospice in 2011 taking a special interest in its retail activities.
Following an early career as a probation officer and senior social worker, Marilyn spent 10 years running Capital Radio’s community activities, both on and off the air. This included a 24 hour emergency helpline and a job-finding service. However, it was running the annual broadcast Help a London Child appeal for several years that led her into the voluntary sector in 1987, first as Director of Fundraising for the Royal National Institute for Deaf People and subsequently moving on to fundraising consultancy with an international firm. She carried out feasibility studies for a range of not-for-profit organisations and then led a capital campaign for a mother-and-baby unit at an AIDS hospice in London. It was here, in 1991, that her interest in the hospice movement was sparked. Following a 3-year stint as Marketing/Commercial director of a large independent school she moved in 1995 to Guide Dogs as Director of Client Support Services. In 1999, Marilyn was appointed Director General of PDSA (the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals), a £100m turnover charity treating 4,500 pets each day in 47 PetAid hospitals nationwide. She retired in July 2008 after 9 years as DG.
The experience Marilyn brings to Severn Hospice is around strategic and financial planning, marketing/fundraising and employee relations.
Susan is a retired solicitor, having been admitted in 1972 after serving articles in Welshpool following graduating with an LLB in 1969. She practised in private client firms in Shropshire and Cheltenham until her remarriage in 1982 then as a sole practitioner from 1982 to 1995. She then practised with firms in Shrewsbury and finally Welshpool until her retirement in 2004. Susan specialised in domestic residential conveyancing, wills and probate and landlord and tenant work. She was President of the Mid Wales Law Society in 1995/96, Founder and Chairman of the Shropshire and Mid Wales Group of the Association of Women Solicitors and was a Member of the National Committee of the AWS for five years.
Susan has been a board member of Mid Wales Housing Association Ltd since 2004, and chairman of the Scrutiny Committee. She has been a Welsh Assembly appointed board member of Montgomery Community Health Council since 2005. She is also a member of the Executive Council of the Friends of St Asaph Cathedral (since 1998), a member of Guilsfield Parish PCC and secretary of Guilsfield Church Charitable Trust. She is married with three sons.
Mike has lived in the Shrewsbury area for most of his life and attended the Wakeman Grammar School from 1971 to 1978. He commenced my working life and professional training with L C Wakeman and Partners in Shrewsbury as a Trainee Quantity Surveyor. He joined M A Boswell Contractors in 1983 but returned to Wakemans in 1988. During this period he worked on a number of interesting projects in the county including schemes at Moreton Hall School, Inland Revenue Centre Telford, RAF Cosford and COD Donnington. He was also project surveyor on the new Hospice and day centre at Bicton Heath which concluded with a presentation of the final costs to the then chairman Peter Vincent. He achieved chartered status in 1990. Mike was appointed office manager of Wakeman’s Oxford office in 1990 and moved to their London Office in 1992. In 1995 he returned to Shrewsbury and joined his current practice Derek Evans and Partners, becoming an equity partner in 1996. Since then his clients have included Barclays Bank, Scottish Widows, Nintendo and Microsoft, together with numerous health authorities, councils, housing associations, and education bodies both state and independent.
By far the most enjoyable project of Mike’s career was the Apley Castle Hospice where his practice was appointed project manager and quantity surveyor. They were involved from the early stages and assisted with site selection, funding and the interview and appointment of the other consultants. This detailed involvement with Severn Hospice led to him becoming a trustee in 2008, a role that he finds fulfilling and interesting. His aim is to positively add to the organisation and hopefully bring expertise in property, development and construction.
He is married and has one son, together with a manic labrador, three guinea pigs and two chickens.
A recent arrival to Shropshire, Barbara-Ann was appointed a trustee of the Severn Hospice in September 2011. Born and educated in Ireland, she graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with a degree in Modern Languages and subsequently has spent most of her working life based in the UK. As a Senior Executive with over thirty years management and consultancy experience working for leading plcs in the healthcare, financial and international bloodstock sectors, and more recently for a leading barristers’ chambers in the Inner Temple, she brings a wide range of business skills to her role as trustee. In particular her experience in the healthcare sector and the demands of working within exacting statutory and regulatory frameworks dovetail well with her interest in the Hospice. She lives with her husband in South Shropshire.
Dr Wendy-Jane Walton trained at Guy’s Hospital in London, has been a GP in Shrewsbury for 20 years between 1988 and 2008, and joined the Trustees in 2007. She has always been interested in providing people with the best possible care at the end of life, and feels that it has been a privilege to join the Board of Severn Hospice and be part of such a high quality organisation. She now works for Shropshire and Telford Primary Care Trusts as a GP with special interest in Palliative Care and can often be found lurking around the ward and Day Unit at Telford Hospice as clinical work remains her passion. She dabbles in writing and has had articles published in a number of professional journals, as well as winning essay awards from the Royal College of GPs and the Royal Society of Medicine. In 2007 she was awarded the Shropdoc Steve Hugh award for Primary Care for her work in promoting palliative care in the community. Beyond work she loves the outdoors, keeps backyard chickens, enjoys fell running and cycling, long distance walking and is interested in Pilgrimage as a metaphor for life. She is married with two grown up sons and a teenage daughter.
Gabrielle de Wet is an actress who has appeared in a number of television plays and series, including UFO, The Brothers, Crossroads, and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries under her professional name, Gabrielle Drake. She has also worked extensively in the theatre, playing leading roles in various London West End shows, as well as in productions in the regional theatre, including the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, where she has starred in many plays over the years. She lives in Shropshire, with her husband, the artist Louis de Wet.
After graduating from McGill University in Montreal with an honours degree in chemistry Francis worked for Wiggins Teape Ltd and Proctor & Gamble. He became a director of ASC Management Consultants, selling, directing and carrying out management consultancy in both the public and private sectors, mainly in HR areas. His clients ranged from small owner managed firms to government departments. He now manages the mainly arable family farm / estate in East Shropshire.
Francis has particular experience in project planning and management, change management, pay and reward systems, performance management and improvement, quality management and improvement and marketing strategy development and planning. He is a member of the Institute of Business Consulting and the Chartered Institute of Marketing.