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."
Paddy's story - Volunteer
"For me, the best part of the last six years has been the people I’ve met along the way. I’ve met several stroke survivors who have inspired me with their courage and strength. If I had to sum it up in one sentence, I’d say volunteering is an opportunity to try new things, meet new people and to have fun along the way."
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.
Executive Director of Marketing and External Affairs - Dominic Brand
Dominic joined the Stroke Association in April 2015 and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the charity’s external communications. This includes marketing and brand management, PR and communications, digital and content creation, and policy and influencing.
After completing a marketing degree at Lancaster University, Dominic spent his early career developing his marketing expertise in the drinks industry, both in the UK and USA. More recently, he was global marketing director in the luxury goods sector and worked as an independent marketing consultant.
His role at the Stroke Association includes developing integrated marketing, communication, policy, and influencing campaigns to build awareness and understanding of the Stroke Association’s life-changing work.
Dominic says: ‘It’s an honour to lead such a dedicated and talented team at the Stroke Association. With someone in the UK having a stroke every five minutes, knowing that you can make a real difference to the lives of those affected by stroke is incredibly rewarding.’
He is also a member of the Institute of Directors and UK Marketing Society.
Executive Director of Stroke Support - Bridget Bergin
Bridget has considerable experience of working in Health and Social Care and has held a number of senior management positions in both London and Northern Ireland covering hospital and community services.
As Strategic Commissioner in the Western Board of Northern Ireland she led on the integration of health & social care and commissioning for older people’s services.
She also subsequently worked on the North West London Integrated Care Programme and has co-ordinated a number of successful integration projects and initiatives.
Bridget was part of a team developing the Northern Ireland 20 year Strategy for Health & Social Care and was also Director in the Northern Ireland Telehealth Programme as part of the European Centre for Connected Heath. She was responsible during this time for procurement and implementation of system wide innovation and secured extensive engagement and support across Health & Social Care organisations in Northern Ireland.
Bridget joined the Stroke Association as Executive Director for Stroke Support in 2014 and has led the development of the Stroke Recovery model and Outcomes Framework for stroke services. She has completed a substantive restructure of stroke support provision across the UK to enable growth and development of support to people affected by stroke.
Executive Director of Income Generation - Andrew Cook
Andrew joined us in July 2017 and oversees all our fundraising and commercial activity. As Executive Director of Income Generation, he is at the forefront of our transformation. 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 & 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, 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 of Finance and Resources - 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 of People and Organisational Development - 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.
In April 2015 Chris joined the executive board as director of people and organisational development. This 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.
Executive Director of Strategy and Research - Hilary Reynolds
Hilary joined the Stroke Association in October 2017 to lead a new directorate responsible for corporate strategy, planning, programme management, research, insight and evaluation.
Hilary comes to the charity sector after 30 years in public service, working for central government here and in New Zealand in the social welfare and health sectors, in policy, change and operational roles. More recently she has also worked for the Care Quality Commission as their Transformation Director and as the Executive Director for Research Councils UK.
She was awarded a CBE in the 2018 New Year Honours for services to policy and research. Throughout her career, she has been a strong advocate for personal development and for embracing diversity and is an active mentor for people stepping into leadership roles.
As Director for Strategy and Research, Hilary’s role supports every team across the organisation, and with a new corporate strategy scheduled for 2019, there are exciting times ahead.
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.”
Sir Charles Cockburn
Trustee from October 2015
With over two decades of Government Relations experience, Sir Charles Cockburn is a highly experienced public affairs communicator. Charles founded Portcullis Public Affairs in 1989 to offer an ethical approach to the practice of Government Relations. In that time his clients have saved many hundreds of millions of pounds and opened up new markets. Charles’ key goals is to support companies and organisations in implementing campaigns to correct policy wrongs. Charles has an unrivalled record in achieving results for clients across a range of sectors, advising on campaigns in both the UK and the EU.
Charles was Chairman of Speakability before its merger with The Stroke Association and, as part of his wider duties as a Trustee, acts as the voice of aphasia on the Stroke Association's Council. He is also Chairman of Trustees of East Hampshire Citizens Advice Bureau.
When he gets a spare moment, Charles, picks up a guitar and plays up to his creative instincts by writing songs. He has been a committed cycling commuter for 40 years and is glad to see so many more cyclists on the road.
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.
Stuart Fletcher OBE
Trustee from July 2011
Stuart is a native of Southport, in Lancashire where he was head boy of King George V Grammar School and subsequently studied Classics at Oxford. Immediately after leaving Oxford he joined the National Management Training Scheme for the NHS and subsequently spent his whole career in management in the NHS. He has worked in many areas of the UK and held some of the most senior posts in the NHS including Chief Executive of West Midlands Regional Health Authority which spends 1/10 of the UK Health budget.
Stuart came to Wales in 1995 as Chief Executive of Pembrokeshire and Derwen NHS Trust and later acted as Chief Executive of Health Commission Wales – accountable for the commissioning of specialist and tertiary health services for the people of Wales with an allocation of over £500m. He has served on numerous National Health Service bodies and is a former National President of the Institute of Healthcare Management
After retirement Stuart was appointed as Chairman of the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust in April 2006 a post he held until August 2013. He Chairs the Medical Practitioner Tribunal Service’s disciplinary panels in Manchester. He was awarded an OBE for services to the NHS in 2003.
He is very active in the local community as:
- Governor of Pembrokeshire College where he Chairs the Curriculum and Standards Committee.
- President of Pembrokeshire MIND.
- Past President of the Haverfordwest Rotary Club.
- Past Master of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales.
- Chairman of St John Council for Pembrokeshire.
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. Has participated at 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 & 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 & 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.
Mr Ian Black
Trustee from December 2010
Ian Black is an accountant currently working in private practice. He also lectures in Accountancy and Auditing on the Plymouth University Financial Services degree.
After graduating in economics Ian worked for the London Boroughs of Haringey and Tower Hamlets where he qualified as an accountant. He moved to Jersey in 1985 and held a number of posts in government including Assistant Director of Education. From 1999 to 2010 Ian was Treasurer of the States of Jersey with overall responsibility for the island’s public finances.
As well as being Chairman of the Jersey Stoke Association, he is also Treasurer of the Island Games Organising Committee. Ian is married to Pamela and has two daughters. His interests are reading, golf, cycling and skiing.
Trustee from July 2014
Helen Sanders is an independent writer, editor and marketing & 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 & 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.
Trustee from December 2011
Bob is founder and Managing Director of White Maple Consulting Ltd.
He is also currently a tutor at Warwick Business School. Previous positions include: founder and Commercial Director of Cites in Sound Ltd; Partner/director at Smith & Williamson; Director at Baker Tilly Management Consultants Ltd; President of the Institute of Management Consultancy; and various positions with BP Oil International plc.
Dr Liz Mear, Chief Executive, Innovation Agency
Trustee from September 2018
Dr Liz Mear is the Chief Executive of the Innovation Agency, the Academic Health Science Network for the North West Coast.
She helped to set up the Innovation Agency in 2013, before which she was Chief Executive of the Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of the Cheshire and Merseyside Comprehensive Local Research Network.
Liz chaired the national AHSN Network, representing all 15 AHSNs in England, from 2016 to 2017.
She has leadership roles in various other organisations; as a Board Director of the Northern Health Science Alliance; a member of the Well North Board; and of the Health Service Research UK Network Board. She is co-chair of the NIHR Health Services Research and Delivery Services Dissemination Centre; chair of the North West Procurement Development Board; and vice chair of the North West Coast Genomics Medicine Centre. Liz is also a Non-Executive Director for the Lancashire and Cumbria Innovation Alliance, which is the NHS England Test Bed for the North West Coast region.
Previously, Liz held a number of director roles in a variety of NHS organisations including the acute sector, mental health and ambulance service. She worked in local government for 17 years, holding a variety of senior customer service roles. Liz has also worked as a senior management consultant, specialising in public sector business performance improvement and change management.
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 a 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.
Michael Lynagh, Managing Director, EMEA, Dow Jones Corporate, Office of CEO
Trustee from September 2018
Michael is the Managing Director, EMEA, for Dow Jones Corporate, reporting inot the office of the CEO. In this role, Michael is responsible for promoting Dow Jones’s suite of products to international customers, as the company strengthens its presence in global markets. Michael has played a pivotal role in the establishment of Dow Jones Sports Intelligence, and the development of Dow Jones’s corporate sales and partnerships and Professional Information Business.
Prior to joining Dow Jones, Michael held a range of asset management, equity investment and residential property investment positions, including at CBRE and Prestbury Investments. He combined this with a stellar rugby career, winning a World Cup with Australia in 1991, and still holds the title of Australia’s top point’s scorer, probably one of the longest standing records in Australian sport.
A seasoned broadcaster, Michael appears regularly on television as a rugby analyst. He has also written extensively for The Times and The Sunday Times.
Michael remains very much involved with Stroke Association, raising funds and awareness in support of their important work. He lives in London with his wife and three children.
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 Expence 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 & 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.