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Current Location : Our People | Board of Trustees
What We Do

Board of Trustees

Chairman: Sarah Phillips OBE

Sarah was diagnosed with MS in 1981 and volunteered subsequently in the MS Society at branch, regional, national and international level, becoming the first Chairman with MS of the UK Society (1998 – 2005) and the MS International Federation (2004-2011). She has played a pivotal role speaking out for people affected by MS and giving the patient perspective. During her leadership the MS Society won a number of awards including one for Governance.

In April 2005 Sarah was appointed Chairman of Victim Support, the national charity supporting people affected by crime, either as a victim or a witness. She successfully led Victim Support through a major change from a federation of 90 local charities into a single national charity and stood down in November 2011 at the end of her 2 six year terms. She remains a local volunteer visiting victims of crime in her community.

Amongst other activities, Sarah serves as a Non-Executive Director of North Essex Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.

In 2005 she was awarded an OBE for services to disability and made a Deputy Lieutenant for Essex.

Deputy Chairman: Gary Clarke

Since 2008, Gary Clarke has been UK Chief Executive Officer of Campus Living Villages, a global developer and operator of large scale university halls of residence.

Prior to that, he spent 23 years in the investment banking sector, working in London and Asia, having most recently held the position of Managing Director of Corporate Finance for Europe and the Americas at ANZ Investment Bank.

In this role Gary was responsible for the bank’s structured debt and equity financing activities, with a particular focus on infrastructure investment and public finance.

Chairman of Finance and Fundraising Committee:
Pauline Hargraves

Pauline was appointed as a Trustee in October 2010 and is a member of the Fundraising sub-committee and the Care and Finance sub-committee and was one of the interview panel for the recruitment of the Finance Director. Pauline is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and worked in Audit and Management Consultancy for Price Waterhouse for thirteen years. She spent twelve years in the not for profit sector as Head of Core Services at the Actuarial Profession and Director of Finance at the Inns of Court School of Law. As well as finance, Pauline has extensive expertise in audit and corporate governance and was Head of Group Internal Audit at The Burton Group. Pauline is a past member of the Main Committee and the Business Board of the London Society of Chartered Accountants where she served as a member of the Ethics working group. Pauline is a Lay Adviser for the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements in Sussex and is an active member of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce where she has been a Fellow for many years.

Trading Company Chairman: Bridget Skelton

Bridget comes from a strategic, commercial and consultancy background, as Founder and Principal Partner of an Executive Coaching Business, whose clients include City Law Firms, Banking, Government Departments, Retail, Charity and Pharmaceutical organisations. Business experience has been gained at senior executive and Board level in the UK and overseas. Bridget has strong interpersonal skills which enable positive client interactions at senior levels.

Bridget has 25 years of business leadership including her role as Head of Business Transformation and Change in a £32m business. Bridget has an understanding of good governance and has advised clients on best practice, communication and performance management issues to ensure these businesses are run efficiently and effectively at the same time as motivating staff, volunteers and all stakeholders associated with the organisation.

Bridget has been a supporter of Demelza for many years. She also has retail experience having had management roles at Jaeger and the John Lewis Partnership, as well as running her own independent fashion business.

Chairman of HR Committee: Gerard Collins

With over 20 years HR experience, Gerard is currently employed as HR Director for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals delivering HR strategy internationally to their Research & Development and Medical Divisions. Gerard’s experience encompasses large complex organisations providing HR strategy together with organisational design and delivery. Gerard will be able to offer Demelza a strong HR contribution together with a broader business perspective. Gerard lives in Kent with his wife and his 3 daughters.

Chairman of the Care Committee
: Paul Richards

Paul is an experienced care sector professional with a significant track record in high growth health and social care businesses. He established the Healthcare division of Aria Assistance and played a key role in the turnaround of Premier Occupational Healthcare following the acquisition of the company by Aria.

He has recently been appointed as Managing Director of Superior Care, a leading Kent based care provider. Paul is an innovator and is creative in the way that he operates.

He has developed and launched a variety of care businesses within the childcare, care home and domiciliary care sectors. His early career was spent in the advertising industry including 5 years at Saatchi & Saatchi in London.


Charmion Pears

Charmion is currently Head of Innovation and Development (4 days per week) for Insight Investment Management based in London and is responsible for leading key strategic initiatives and managing innovation and development across the business. Previously she was also Head of Marketing there.

Charmion is a New Zealander and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in New Zealand, where she also held strategic and business performance roles with Air New Zealand and other FMCG companies. Charmion’s career spans a period of 20 years with experience in leading strategic development, both in a commercial and consultancy capacity. Charmion has a strong marketing and financial background, with specialist experience for underdeveloped or underperforming businesses. She has a passion for innovation and significant experience in leading large scale strategic programmes.

Philip Brown
LLB (Hons, Leeds University)

Bar Vocational Course, Inns of Court School of Law

Practising barrister for the last 19 years dealing predominantly with Real Property; Landlord & Tenant; Commercial law including property and insolvency; Wills, Trusts & Estates.

Member of the Chancery Bar Association

Age 45. Married with 4 children [aged 8-14]. 

Sue Gower

Sue received an MBE for services to disabled children and young people in Bexley (2009) and the Mayor’s Civic Recognition Award for Voluntary Service in Bexley (2008) and is currently working as Local Safeguarding Children’s Board Development Manager at Kent County Council.

Sue has over twenty years strategic and operational management experience in the public sector (nationally and locally) across a range of sectors, including health, the judiciary, education, social care and voluntary/community. With specific areas of expertise in governance, disability, (including palliative care), early intervention/prevention, audit/risk management, workforce development and project management. Sue has commissioning experience within health, voluntary and local authority, is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee office of the Children’s Commissioner, England. Sue’s work experience encompasses both paid and voluntary positions, both nationally and locally. Sue is a bereaved parent - her late son suffered from duchennes muscular dystrophy and died in 2006 aged 21.

Jacky Turner

Currently working at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and manages the clinical team providing the oncology pharmacy service to the Haematology and Oncology Service Directorate Unit.

Jacky is the Macmillan Principal Pharmacist and Network Pharmacist for the South East London Cancer Network and therefore has invaluable experience of clinical governance and medicines management.

Her presence on the Board will add significant skills in the field of medication.

Dr Charles Unter

Charles is a consultant paediatrician with Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and plans to retire from full time practice next year. He has a special interest in paediatric respiratory disease conducting regular clinics for asthma and cystic fibrosis and also has an honorary appointment at Kings College Hospital. Charles has 17 years experience in clinical management including six years as the first medical director of a newly merged Trust. As designated and now named doctor for safeguarding children he has been a member of the Kent Child Protection Committee and Safeguarding Children Board for many years.

Currently he is vice chair of the Kent Child Death Overview Panel and designated doctor for unexpected child death in south-west Kent. He is fully involved in postgraduate teaching and clinical governance activities. Charles was a foundation governor of a Kent catholic secondary school for 18 years, chairing student welfare and staffing committees. Charles is married with three children and is a New Zealand citizen and British subject. His postgraduate experience in England from 1975 to 1979 included 18 months paediatrics and one year in general adult medicine, including intensive care. Both these posts gave him early experience working with families especially in the areas of life limiting illness and bereavement, understanding the importance of communicating in an open and empathetic way and supporting patients and families through difficult times.

From 1979 Charles trained in paediatrics in New Zealand gaining experience working with children with cancer both in New Zealand and in Sydney as part of a bone marrow transplant team. He was appointed as a consultant paediatrician in New Zealand in 1987, returning to UK five years later. 

Company Secretary:

PA to the Board of Trustees: Karen Bennett

Demelza Kent : Rook Lane, Bobbing, Sittingbourne, Kent. ME9 8DZ
Demelza South East London : 5 Wensley Close, Eltham, London. SE9 5AB
Demelza Community : Langtye Farm, Langtye Lane, Ripe, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 6BA 
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