Mary Whittington – Chair

A retired Architect and Project Manager, Mary has spent the last 20 years working in the private sector, working in partnership with the NHS and other healthcare providers, supporting them to improve the patient experience and generate savings.

She will apply her experience in project management, business development and strategic thinking to the Board of Trustees.

Mary has lived in Bristol for over 35 years and is also an active member of Rotary, involved in community projects and charity fundraising.

Jamie Lavis – Trustee

Jamie has worked in Estate Operations, Sustainability, Governance, Compliance, Contract management, Dispute resolution, Relationship management, Project development and Project delivery in various roles across the supply chain for over 20 years.

He has worked across various sectors including the Healthcare acute, healthcare community, education, and manufacturing, leisure, hospitality, retail, and charity. He has worked with North Bristol NHS Trust since 2015.

Having been a young carer himself, Jamie is passionate about giving back to support the charity by using his professional and personal experience to make a difference to carers.

His leadership approach is to foster collaboration across organisational boundaries, to live and breathe a just culture, to always look for improvements in the way things are done.

Jen Cheshire – Trustee

Jen is the national implementation project manager for a young person’s charity. She is managing the development and UK roll out of a digital platform to support young people with cancer. Jen has developed services across the NHS and charity sector, and has a special interest in digital service delivery. She is passionate about supporting services for carers and excited to be a trustee at Carers Support Centre

Jen Tomkinson – Trustee

Jen is a senior manager within the NHS, managing specialist adult health services to deliver safe, effective care for people with long term conditions. Prior to this, she worked for 15 years as a physiotherapist. Throughout her career, she has seen the impact and value of caring, and wants to ensure there is increased awareness and support given to carers.

Louise Manley – Trustee

Louise has a background in health, social policy and public involvement. Her most recent role for the past 8 years was as the Head of Patient and Public Involvement for South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group. This experience has given her an invaluable insight into how local health services are commissioned and the importance of partnership working.

Her passion has always been to ensure that everyone’s views are heard and taken into account in decisions which impact on them. She feels this is particularly important for carers whose views and concerns can sometimes be overlooked. She hopes to be able to bring my considerable experience in public involvement to Carers Support Centre to genuinely improve the lives of carers in the Bristol and South Gloucestershire area. She has grown up in Bristol, which combined with her work experience gives her a passion and an excellent knowledge of the local area.

She has first-hand experience of being a carer. She is passionate about supporting carers and ensuring that the views and experiences of carers help shape the support, information and advice appropriate to their needs. She believes the work of Carers Support Centre is crucial to securing better outcomes for carers and those who they care for and hopes she will be able to contribute positively to this in her role as trustee.

Sian Jones – Trustee

Sian works for an NHS organisation in Bristol, supporting the spread of best practice for improved patient safety. She has worked for the NHS her whole career, specialising in intensive care, evaluating and improving patient services, workforce education and training and commissioning services for Bristol. She first became interested in the role and challenges of carers when she set up a nursing outreach service.

Julia Deacon – Trustee

Julia has worked as an employment lawyer for one of the UK’s leading law firms for over 10 years. In addition to advising the boards of employers and their staff on employment law related issues, she also has over 10 years of board level experience as a statutory director of a property management company. Prior to her legal career, Julia had a career as a Speech & Language Therapist for North Bristol NHS Trust. Whilst very different, all of these roles share common themes which Julia is passionate about – people, problem solving and working as part of a team.

Personal circumstances have given Julia an insight into both the value and complexity of some issues facing carers and this prompted Julia to become involved with Carers Support Centre. Julia looks forward to applying her experience and skills to support the excellent work it does.