Hear from our people
Watch our short video to find out what motivates our people and what it’s like in our charity.
Lydia's story - Stroke Coordinator
"My role is really varied and I love having the flexibility to go out and find opportunities to further raise the awareness of the Stroke Association and the many support services that we offer, as well as the risk factors of stroke and what people can do to reduce their risk."
Lucy's story - Helpline Information Officer
The nature of the Helpline means that we don’t usually know what happens with our callers. I find myself wondering about some callers at random times, hoping that they’re OK. I can’t call them for a catch-up, or pop round for a cuppa, but I do know that I have given them my time and my care when they needed it.
Our leadership team
Meet the team leading the Stroke Association, and discover the wealth of experience they bring to our organisation. Our leadership team is made up of the following people:
Chief Executive - Juliet Bouverie
Juliet has been chief executive of the Stroke Association since June 2016.
Prior to joining us, Juliet worked at Macmillan Cancer Support for 16 years in roles including head of planning and policy, director of corporate development and executive director of services and influencing.
In this last role, she led a staff team of over 800 people, managed a budget of £150m and oversaw a programme of award-winning innovations and service design across the UK. She also secured important government commitments to improve patient experience and post-treatment support through the 2015 Cancer Strategy for England.
Prior to Macmillan, Juliet worked at the British Red Cross in strategy and service evaluation, the Community Development Foundation in fundraising and a political consultancy. She was a trustee of the Long-Term Conditions Alliance and chaired the Cancer Patient Experience Board for University College London Hospital (UCLH) from 2011 to 2014.
Juliet has a degree in modern languages from Oxford and a postgraduate diploma in management.
You can follow Juliet on Twitter.
Executive Director, Locality Impact - Alexis Kolodziej
Information will be available soon.
Executive Director, Customer Experience - Andrew Cook
Andrew joined us in July 2017. His leadership of a new five-year income generation strategy will ensure we can help more stroke survivors than ever before.
Andrew is also chair of the Advisory Board for the International Fundraising Congress and a trustee of Malaria No More UK.
Previous positions include Head of Private Partnerships and Fundraising at the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland (2012 to 2017), a global role where he lead the development of a new international Private Partnerships and Fundraising Division. Earlier he worked at WaterAid (1998 to 2012) as UK Deputy Chief Executive and International Director of Communications and Fundraising. He led the establishment of WaterAid America as its first Executive Director, and supported the establishment of WaterAid Australia, Sweden and Japan.
Other previous non-executive appointments include trustee for homeless charity Depaul UK, a steering group member of the International Fundraising Leadership Forum. Previous executive positions also held at British Red Cross, Oxfam and Charities Aid Foundation.
Executive Director, Strategy, Insight and Tech - Dominic Brand
Information will be available soon.
Executive Director, Finance - Christopher Fyfe
Chris joined the Stroke Association in September 2019 and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the charity’s financial management and procurement. This includes financial planning and strategy, financial reporting, financial systems and financial and management accounting.
After completing a BSc in Accounting and Biotechnology at Strathclyde University, Chris spent his early career with Glasgow City Council completing his Chartered Public Finance Accountant qualification. After that Chris worked in Guyana as a VSO volunteer. This started a long career of financial management within development, humanitarian and environmental organisations across Africa and Europe. Most recently, he was the Group Finance Director of an International Homelessness Charity in London and the International Finance Director of a major environmental NGO in the Netherlands. Chris recently completed an Open University MSc in Development Management including research on the impact of girls’ education programmes on poor, disabled and marginalised girls in rural Kenya.
His role at the Stroke Association includes ensuring the long term financial health of the association. This involves improving financial processes and working with trustees to manage investments so that the organisation can guard the funds raised by supporters and use them to best support stroke survivors and their families.
Chris says: “I am delighted to be working with such a great team at the Stroke Association. I promise that I will do everything in my power to direct resources to maximise the positive impact the Stroke Association has on the lives of stroke survivors”.
Executive Director, People - Chris Rennison
Chris joined the Stroke Association in January 2000 and has held a number of operational and strategic positions across the charity, including in the areas of business development and service management.
Chris joined the executive board in April 2015. His role includes overseeing human resources, health and safety, talent and workforce development and engagement and internal communications. His role at the Stroke Association includes developing and delivering an organisational development and people strategy and leading major organisational improvement programmes.
After completing a short period in the nursing profession, Chris spent his early management career with an international charity in the area of community service management and delivery.
Chris has held non-executive director and vice-chairman positions for a large NHS commissioning trust, along with two company directorships involved in childcare and training. In his spare time, he is a volunteer Community Responder for the East Midlands Ambulance Service responding to life-threatening 999 calls.
Chris says, “It is an honour to be working for such a great organisation and having the opportunity during my career in shaping and leading our work with such dedicated colleagues and volunteers.
Board of Trustees
Our Board of Trustees contribute to our strategic direction and play a key role in monitoring implementation of our corporate strategy, agreeing variations in strategic emphasis and solutions to issues and obstacles.
There are currently 15 Trustees, led by our Chair, Stephen King:
Chair of Trustees from August 2017
Stephen is a long-serving trustee of the charity Sightsavers International and is deputy chair of NHS West Essex. Prior to retiring in 2013, he spent 23 years as an executive director of RNIB. He follows in the footsteps of Sir David Varney, who stepped down in December 2016, after four years as the charity’s Chair.
Stephen said: “It is a privilege to be part of the Stroke Association, which has already achieved so much for stroke survivors, their families and carers. Stroke has affected members of my family and I know how devastating the condition can be. The charity’s work to fund pioneering research, campaign for better stroke care, and push for greater awareness of stroke has never been more crucial. I hope I can help the Stroke Association find new ways to prevent stroke, and support even more stroke survivors throughout their recovery.”
Trustee from October 2015
Mark Smith is passionate about stroke. He qualified in 1985 as a physiotherapist and very soon decided to specialise in stroke. Over the course of the last 25 years, Mark has developed significant experience in this field. He became Scotland’s first Consultant Physiotherapist in 2006, specialising in Stroke Rehabilitation, and working within NHS Lothian. He completed an MPhil in Physiotherapy in 2009 and is also a member of the National Advisory Committee for Stroke, playing a key role in the design and delivery of Life after Stroke services in Scotland.
He has travelled extensively, teaching and presenting courses and workshops on stroke rehabilitation in the UK and internationally.
Mark will work to represent the needs of those who have had a stroke both in Scotland, and at a UK level, within the Stroke Association and will energetically contribute to the ongoing work of the charity in research, prevention and service development.
His many interests include playing golf and assisting people touched by stroke to access the sport. He is a medical committee member of the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) and an international classifier at their tournaments.
Trustee from April 2014
Tom is Head of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences and Professor of Stroke Medicine at the University of Leicester. He was appointed an NIHR Senior Investigator in 2016.
His research interests include clinical trials, particularly of blood pressure management and reperfusion therapies in hyperacute stroke. In addition, he undertakes research on physiological perturbations of cerebral autoregulation and cerebrovascular haemodynamics following acute stroke. His research has been funded by the UK National Institute of Health, the British Heart Foundation, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Health Foundation and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, as well as The Stroke Association. He is National Specialty Lead for Stroke for the National Institute for Health Clinical Research Network, and President of the British Association of Stroke Physicians. He has previously served on the Stroke Association Research Awards Committee and was a former chair of the UK Stroke Forum.
Peter Troy MBE
Trustee from March 2014
Peter worked for the British Government’s international development department for 36 years, including overseas postings as 1st Secretary Development in Ghana and Bangladesh and, in the UK, as Head of Humanitarian Programmes, managing the UK’s humanitarian response to numerous natural disasters and conflict situations for over a decade. He has participated in various international meetings covering humanitarian action and `Education for All’. Awarded the MBE, in 2007, for humanitarian work.
Community work includes serving as an elected Member of Southwark Council from 1982-85 and terms as School Governor in Lewisham and Southwark. In October 2009, he suffered a brain haemorrhage, recovering to return to work in 2010. In 2011, he left the Civil Service. He is now retired and has been doing voluntary work in support of the Anti-Trafficking campaign and also helping with an English language training project.
Mr Niraj Shah, MA(Cantab), CFA
Trustee from July 2014
Niraj Shah is an investment manager by profession; having worked at a number of institutional investment and private wealth management organisations in London since 2000. He is currently in the process of establishing a Family Investment Office.
Niraj was born and brought up in Kenya and came to the UK in 1996 to read Computer Science and Management Studies at Trinity College, Cambridge University. After graduating from Cambridge University, he joined Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette (later Credit Suisse First Boston) as a Mergers and Acquisitions analyst, followed by a move to UBS Wealth Management and Europe Arab Bank where he headed the Structured Products department.
From 2005 to 2008, he was a portfolio manager at Nikko Asset Management managing absolute return strategies across all mainstream asset classes. Niraj attained his CFA Charterholder status in 2004. More recently, he was Head of Market Risk at the National Employment Savings Trust and a Director and Fund Manager at MENA Capital.
Niraj is married to Rakhee and has two children; his daughter, Aarya and son, Aarav. He is passionate about education and serves as a Governor at a local primary school. His interests include reading, travelling, chess and racquet sports.
Dr Martin James
Trustee from July 2014
Martin James is a Consultant Stroke Physician at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Exeter, and Associate Professor at the University of Exeter Medical School. He trained in Southampton, and he completed his research in hypertension in the elderly with Professor John Potter and the late Professor John Swales in Leicester.
He has led the Stroke Service at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Exeter since 1997. The service was awarded NHS Beacon status in 2000 and Exeter was one of the first UK centres to introduce emergency thrombolysis for acute stroke in 2003.
Martin is an Associate Director of the Stroke Programme at the Royal College of Physicians of London with responsibility for the national Peer Review Scheme for Stroke Services, and a member of the Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party responsible for the Stroke National Audit Programme and the RCP National Clinical Guideline for Stroke 2012. He is a Past-President of the British Association of Stroke Physicians.
Trustee from July 2014
Helen Sanders is an independent writer, editor and marketing and communications consultant, mostly in the treasury and banking fields. She regularly produces industry research reports and chairs industry events, and was formerly editor of Treasury Management International. Previous roles include Director of Education at the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT) and Director of Sales and Marketing, Europe at SunGard, now part of FIS.
Helen's academic background is in classics and global development management. Her interest in stroke was first ignited when her father experienced a life-changing stroke in 2011.
Dr David Buckle
Trustee from September 2018
David worked as a GP in Woodley Berkshire for 30 years. In 1995, he was awarded Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners. He later became senior partner and was a GP trainer for many years. In 2000, he joined the local Primary Care Trust Board and that decision started a long career of clinical leadership and then medical management.
Having been a Medical Director for an NHS Primary Care Trust and then a Commissioning Support Unit, David was appointed Medical Director to Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group in spring 2015. In early 2018, David chose to retire from his clinical and executive roles to concentrate on his non-executive and trustee interests.
David was appointed a non-executive for Berkshire Healthcare Foundation NHS Trust in 2015 and he remains on the mental health and community trust board. In September 2018, he became an associate non-executive director for East and North NHS Hertfordshire Hospital Trust.
David has been a member of the Society for the Assistance of Medical Families for nearly 30 years and early this year he was voted president of the charity.
David believes that his clinical understanding of how stroke affects people and his knowledge of primary care and the wider NHS will help strengthen and develop the Stroke Association for the benefit of those in need.
Trustee from September 2018
Katherine Gillespie is currently studying on a part-time Masters Programme in International Development at Edinburgh University.
Katherine has over 15 years’ management experience in the investment banking and commercial training sectors. During this time, she was involved in establishing, and subsequently managed, the Operations team for a new bank based in Dublin, bringing experience of start-ups and setting up internal businesses.
She has extensive experience in service delivery; risk management; building and improving processes and controls for new and existing businesses lines; coordinating groups of people across different functions; and restructuring and developing teams. Katherine had a stroke in 2013.
Trustee from September 2018
Prior to setting up his own business Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA) in 2017 helping organisations to improve cash flows through effective procurement and supplier management, Harvinder Rattan’s career spanned over 25 years in Financial Services, the last 10 years at HSBC.
He is an energetic business leader and trusted partner, leading finance teams in London and India. He is a change leader with excellent people skills combined with strong commercial acumen and a consistent ability to identify and deliver process and system efficiencies. As Head of Regulatory Reporting for Europe and working at HSBCs Global Finance Shared Service Centre in India, he led large teams to centralize capital and operational risk reporting for multiple regions and businesses.
He created and maintained high-performing function that consistently delivered best-in-class operational performance with capacity to design and execute complex, controlled processes. He also recruited, developed and motivated teams and ensured team skills evolve to match business needs. Harvinder led engagements across functions and geographies in complex global organizations to align organizational structures and systems.
Harvinder is a qualified accountant with excellent technical and financial analysis skills, and uses his experience to rapidly identify challenges and priorities in business support functions. He has driven delivery of change improvements in control, accuracy, efficiency and levels of service through design and implementation of solutions tailored to evolving needs.
Trustee from September 2018
Ed is the Chief Digital and Information Officer for the London Boroughs of Camden, Haringey and Islington (450 staff and an operating budget of circa £45m). Member of the Digital Steering Board for the North Central London Strategic Transformation Programme.
Previous roles include:
- Group Chief Information Officer, Tri-Borough.
- CIO, Lambeth.
- BA programme management role – online travel booking.
- Background in consulting on systems analysis and development in finance and Gove/public sectors.
This experience has covered both IT infrastructure/architecture/systems AND digital transformation and creative approaches e.g. Digital and ICT enable opportunities for sharing information and awareness-raising – both crucial in developing a better understanding of how to prevent and deal with strokes. He is involved in lots of NHS projects and sits on the digital board for health in North London, dealing with care and wellbeing in a community setting and insight into local authority, health care and commissioning.
He sponsored a year-long ‘proof of concept’ project to consider how we can use data, and to understand the implications of data sharing, working across local government, public health and the NHS.
Stephen Torrans is a Trustee and Chair of the Northern Ireland Regional Advisory Committee.
A native of Belfast and graduate from The Queens University of Belfast, Stephen has spent most of his working life in Human Resources and Management Consultancy with a range of local and international manufacturing organisations. From 1997 until retirement, he was employed by Caterpillar Inc in a variety of senior roles, most recently as Global HR Director for the Industrial Power Systems Division. Based in Peterborough, England, he was responsible along with co-directors for a $ multi-billion business, with 6500 employees in 17 locations worldwide.
As well as in-depth HR experience, Stephen has specific experience in the development and deployment of strategic corporate plans, values-based employee engagement programmes, values-based leadership programmes and effective community strategies both in the UK and in developing countries.
In addition, he has held voluntary Board positions with Engineering Training Council NI, The Northern Ireland Centre for Competitiveness, Business in The Community NI, Engineering Employers Federation NI Association and National Skills Academy for Manufacturing, East of England Region and Radius Housing Association. He is currently a volunteer with The National Trust. Stephen is a Stroke Survivor.
Trustee from June 2019.
Ian is a chartered accountant with extensive experience in public accounting and auditing, and board and audit committee work in the private, public health and charity sectors.
He is a trustee and chair of the audit committee at Erskine Hospital and a trustee of the Endrick Trust. He has recently been vice-chair and a member of the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board, and a non-executive director and chair of the audit committee at Ricardo plc and a member of the audit committee at the Student loans company. He was previously a non-executive director and chair of the audit committee at Clyde Process Solutions plc.
He was a senior audit partner of Ernst and Young with senior client service roles with a wide variety of listed companies, large private companies and universities. He has had various EY management roles and was a member of the UK governing council. He has been convener of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland’s audit and assurance committee, summer conference committee and a member of the accounting standards committee.
His personal interests include skiing, sailing, tennis, French language and opera.
Ceri has 25 years’ experience working in the third sector and with healthcare systems across the UK; in consultant, executive and non-executive roles. She is currently a management consultant supporting third sector organisations in strategic and transformational projects.
Ceri, who is based in Cardiff, will also take on the role of Chair of the Stroke Association’s Wales Advisory Committee, working closely with the charity’s senior leadership team in Wales.
Ceri said, “It’s a privilege to take on this role with the Stroke Association at what is a pivotal time for stroke in Wales; with the imminent end of the Government’s Stroke Delivery Plan and the upcoming appointment of a new Wales Clinical Lead on Stroke.
The COVID pandemic has had a huge impact on stroke survivors’ recoveries and wellbeing, and I look forward to supporting the charity as it holds the Government and health systems to account as we recover from COVID and beyond.”