Our Trustees

Our Board of Trustees ensure that assets and resources are only used for the strategic purposes of the Charity and that the Charity is run in accordance with its constitution, charity law and other applicable laws and regulations. We are fortunate to have a Board with a broad range of skills including healthcare and business

Neil Holbrook (Chair)

Neil Holbrook has been Chief Executive of Cotswold Archaeology, a Cirencester based charity, for over 25 years. During that time the charity has grown from very small beginnings to a current staff complement of around 200 professionals based in four offices. This experience provides Neil with a broad understanding of charity governance and the issues associated with growth and regional diversification. Neil has written many academic papers and is a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Reading and Chair of the Roman Research Trust, a grant-giving charity that supports research projects. He has also led collaborative research projects with a number of UK universities. Neil has lived in Cheltenham for over 20 years.


Ruth Goddard

A Chartered Accountant having trained with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ruth has 30 years strategic, commercial and finance experience. Originally from Cheltenham, Ruth moved to London to pursue a finance career initially with BBC Worldwide and advertising agency, TBWA, before holding Finance Director roles at branding consultancy Identica and architecture and planning practice tp bennett. Ruth is Finance Director for property consultancy Ridge and Partners LLP based in Oxfordshire where she lives with her husband and two dogs.


Dr Susan Owen

Dr Owen is Executive Chair of Phoenix MRC Limited comprised of Phoenix Market Research & Consultancy, a full service market research provider and Phoenix Rising, a CX & brand consultancy for innovation, insight, customer journey and brand development. Previously a Partner at Consumer Profile Ltd and an Account Director for Nielsen Consumer Research.

Dr Owen was a founding member of the Age UK Policy Panel, Board member of Age UK Gloucestershire from 2004-2012 and Chair there from 2005-2009. Dr Owen is currently Chair of Watermoor House RCH, an independent charity that provides residential care to the highest professional standards for frail older people in a friendly, homely atmosphere.

Mr John Parker

Mr John Henry Parker served as Chief Executive of the Stroud and Swindon Building Society for 13 years until December 2005. Prior to that, Mr. Parker worked as a Business Economist for Morgan Grenfell, Chief Internal Auditor for the Chelsea Building Society and in successive financial roles for Burmah Oil plc. He was a Director of English Partnerships and Finance Director to the Company of the Proprietors of Stroudwater Navigation. He was a committee member of the Building Societies Association Council for 6 years and Chairman in 2004. He was later Chair of the Department of Work and Pensions Investment Committee for four years.

He has been a Director at The Housing Finance Corp. Ltd. since 2010 and serves as its Senior Independent Director. He serves as a Director, Chair of Audit Committee and Member of Credit Committee of Affordable Housing Finance Plc. He has been a Director of Newbury Building Society since 2007 and Vice Chair for the past six years. He is a qualified chartered accountant and a member of the Institute of Financial Services.

Dr Janet Ropner FRCP FRCPath

Janet Ropner trained in Medicine at University College Hospital, London. This was followed by Haematology training in Oxford. She was a Consultant Haematologist at Gloucestershire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust from 1984 until 2008. During this time she held several managerial posts including Clinical Director for Medicine and Associate Medical Director.

She continued as Associate Medical Director part time from 2008 until 2018 when she retired. Her particular interest was patient safety.

Janet is also a trained Mentor, Executive Coach and Mediator. She lives in Cheltenham.

Dr. Valerie Udale

Valerie began her career as a scientist, and has a a DPhil in Developmental Neurobiology.  She then pursued a variety of roles in corporate finance and management consultancy and later trained as a mathematics teacher. She currently enjoys a range of professional interests in financial modelling and delivering corporate finance training.

Valerie is a member of Council at Cheltenham Ladies College and is currently Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, and a member of the Land and Buildings Committee.  She is also a trustee of Winchcombe School.

Valerie has lived in the Cheltenham area with her family for 25 years  and enjoys long walks and tennis.

Gordon Wilcock DM, FRCP, (Hon) DSc

Gordon Wilcock, DM, FRCP, (Hon) DSc, was an Honorary Consultant Physician at the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust in Gloucestershire from August 2015 until June 2017, and is Emeritus: a) Professor of Geratology, and b) Consultant in Geriatric Medicine, at the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Oxford. He is also a Trustee with special responsibility for Research for the Alzheimer’s Society, of which he was the Founder Chairman, and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Sir Halley Stewart Trust.

He has been involved in research into Alzheimer’s disease for over 30 years, including the development of some of the current treatments. Gordon Wilcock has received Lifetime Achievement awards from two international organisations for his work in Geriatric Medicine and Dementia.

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