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:
Juliet joined our charity back in June 2016 and is our Chief Executive.
She also co-chairs the Stroke Delivery Programme Board with NHS England and is a member of the NHS Assembly. She is a World Stroke Organisation Board member and Fellow. She was recently awarded an OBE in the Queen’s 2020 New Year’s Honours list.
Before joining our charity, Juliet was at Macmillan Cancer Support for 16 years in a range of roles covering strategy, policy, research and HR. From 2011 – 2015, she was Executive Director of Services and Influencing with a team of 800 and a budget of £150m. She oversaw a programme of award-winning innovations and service design across the U.K. and secured important government commitments to improve patient experience and post-treatment support through the 2015 Cancer Strategy for England.
Before Macmillan, Juliet worked at 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 – 2014.
She ran the London Marathon for the Stroke Association in April 2019.
Juliet says, “Our vision is for there to be fewer strokes and for everyone affected by stroke to get the help they need to live the best lives they can. We know that rebuilding lives after stroke is a team effort. I’m so proud of how our staff and volunteers work together with people affected by stroke and all our partners to provide hope after stroke.”
You can follow Juliet on Twitter.
Alexis joined our charity back in 2015, and became our Executive Director for Locality Impact in 2020.
Her role is to lead the charity’s engagement with local health and care systems across the UK. She leads on the implementation and quality assurance of our stroke support services and our engagement with communities and stroke support groups.
Previously, she held the post of Deputy Director – Policy and Influencing. Her team’s work led to improvements in stroke policy across the UK, and specifically to the creation of the National Stroke Programme in England making stroke a clinical priority.
Originally from Washington D.C., Alexis moved to London in 2005, working as a researcher and policy analyst in Parliament, before joining the health charity sector focusing on patient advocacy, policy development and service improvement.
Alexis says, “We are working to put stroke on the map in every part of the country. We want everyone touched by stroke to know that we are here to help.”
Andrew joined our charity in July 2017, and has been our Executive Director for Customer Experience since 2020. This directorate comprises teams responsible for income generation, external communications, brand, research, policy, campaigns, and customer care.
Andrew has previously served as Head of Private Partnerships and Fundraising at the International Committee of the Red Cross. Before this, he worked at WaterAid for fourteen years, including as UK Deputy Chief Executive and International Director of Communications and Fundraising. He also supported establishing WaterAid America as its first Executive Director, and supported establishing WaterAid Australia, Sweden and Japan.
Andrew is also a trustee of Age International.
Andrew says: “Every stroke survivor deserves the support they need to live the best life possible. We’ll work together as the leading stroke charity to make this a reality across all communities in the UK.”
Dominic joined our charity in 2014, and became our Strategy, Insight and Technology Executive Director in 2020. Dominic’s team set the overall strategic direction of the charity through the use of both external and the Stroke Association’s own knowledge, data and insight to determine and deliver against what really matters to stroke survivors.
Before joining us, he worked in the commercial sector predominantly in marketing roles using his expertise in customer understanding and product management across the UK and in International markets. He has nearly 20 years of experience serving on boards of different organisations, focusing on strategy development and digital and data-driven marketing.
Dominic says: ‘The more we can understand about stroke and its impact the more effective we can be in enabling our charity to prevent stroke and support the 1.3 million stroke survivors across the UK’.
Chris joined our charity back in September 2019, and became our Executive Director for Finance in 2020.
Chris oversees all aspects of our charity’s financial management and business support.
After completing his Chartered Public Finance Accountant qualification, Chris has had a long career of financial management within development, humanitarian and environmental organisations across Africa and Europe. He was the Group Finance Director of an International Homelessness Charity and the International Finance Director of a major environmental NGO.
Chris recently completed an MSc in Development Management including research on the impact of education programmes on poor, disabled and marginalised girls in rural Kenya.
Chris says: “We want to drive better outcomes in stroke prevention, treatment and lifelong support for everyone affected by stroke. Each pound we spend is to increase benefit to stroke survivors.”
Chris joined our charity back in January 1999, and became our People Executive Director in 2020 after holding a number of operational and strategic roles across the charity.
Chris oversees our people practices, people experience and people development. And has held a number of operational and strategic positions across the charity.
After a short period in the nursing profession, Chris spent his early management career with an international charity focused on community service management and delivery. Chris has held non-executive director and vice-chairman positions for a large NHS commissioning trust, held trustee board roles for a number of charities and two company directorships involved in childcare and training. Chris volunteers as a Community Responder for the East Midlands Ambulance Service responding to life-threatening 999 calls.
Chris says, “We unleash potential in people affected by stroke, ourselves and others. It is only by harnessing the value and diversity that everyone brings, that will help us deliver our goals.”
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 14 Trustees, led by our Chair, Stephen King:
Stephen has been our Chair of Trustees since August 2017.
Stephen has wide experience in improving health and care systems in the UK and internationally. He’s an experienced charity trustee and non-executive director in health and commercial organisations, and has a particular interest in aphasia and stroke from family experience. Previously, he served 23 years as an executive director at the Royal National Institute of Blind People and 12 years as a trustee at Sightsavers International.
Stephen is also chair of IC24, which provided urgent care services to 7 million people, audit chair of NHS West Essex and a trustee of two large pension schemes.
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 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.
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.
Avril Drummond is a Professor of Healthcare Research in the School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham. She is an occupational therapist with a longstanding clinical and academic interest in the rehabilitation of people with stroke and has published widely on clinical services and specific rehabilitation interventions.
Avril is a past Chair of the UK Stroke Forum, a member of the Royal College of Physicians Intercollegiate Working Party for Stroke (which produce the clinical guidelines for stroke care in the UK and Ireland), Fellow of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, and currently chairs the Scientific Committee for the European Life after Stroke Conference. Avril is Editor-in-Chief of ‘Clinical Rehabilitation’ which is a highly ranked, multi-professional journal.
As a trustee of the Stroke Association, Avril is keenly interested in issues relating to both rehabilitation and research.
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.”
George was born in Canada and became a British citizen in 2003. His financial career has involved senior management positions at alternative investment companies (Brevan Howard, Cheyne Capital) and investment banks (Societe Generale, Nomura).
He earned an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of British Columbia and an MBA in Finance (Beta Gamma Sigma honours) from the University of Denver. He was Chairman of the CFA Society of the UK and is a former member of the Board of Governors of CFA Institute. He is a Trustee at The Tapscott Learning Trust and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.
In recognition of his contributions to the investment profession, he was made a Fellow of the Society of Investment Professionals (FSIP) by the CFA Society of the UK.
George has two daughters, Raine and Alexandra. His interests include reading, travelling, chess, ice hockey and baseball.
Andrew is Commercial Director at the MDU, a medical and dental mutual dedicated to supporting clinical professionals in the medico-legal sphere. He's responsible for leading the organisation's strategy, product development and sales and marketing. Prior to joining the MDU, he worked in senior customer experience, marketing and operational roles across a diverse range of industries, including finance, healthcare and travel.
Andrew’s greatest strengths are his creativity, drive and leadership. He thrives on the challenge of bringing an 'outside-in' approach to traditional organisations and is passionate about how organisations can use digital and data technologies to provide rewarding experiences to customers and colleagues.
Andrew is an active volunteer and dedicated to supporting his community. He's the head coach for the girl's section at Matlock Juniors Rugby Club and was a Non-Executive Director for Ashgate Hospicecare, north-east Derbyshire’s largest end-of-life care provider, for six years.
Formerly an Independent Advisor to the Audit & Risk Committee since October 2021, Hannah (she/her) joined the Board as a Trustee and Chair of Audit and Risk Committee in June 2022.
Hannah is a partner and Head of the Not-for-Profit sector at RSM, one of the leading global accounting firms, working with local and national charities and educational institutions. She advises on assurance, financial reporting and governance. Hannah sits on RSM’s Partnership Council, looking out for partner wellbeing.
Hannah is also an executive sponsor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and chairs the Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group for RSM, joining the Stroke Association Board with an enthusiasm to make a difference.
Hannah holds the ICAEW Diploma in Charity Accounting as well as an MSc in Voluntary Sector Management from Bayes Business School.
Hannah’s personal interests include cooking, yoga, walking and cycling. She is also a Trustee of a young people and families charity in the East of England where she lives.
Rustam was appointed as a Trustee in October 2023.
Rustam is a professor of clinical neurology at The University of Edinburgh and an honorary consultant neurologist in NHS Lothian. He trained in Cambridge, and after completing his general medical training in London, he moved to Edinburgh in 1998 as an MRC clinical training fellow, subsequently completing his training in neurology and progressing to MRC patient-oriented clinician scientist and senior clinical fellowships.
He leads the Research to Understand Stroke due to Haemorrhage RUSH programme, which is dedicated to improving the outcome for adults who have diseases that may cause, or have caused, intracranial haemorrhage. He cares for people with neurological conditions including stroke in-hours and out-of-hours, he audits care, and he helps undergraduate and postgraduate students to develop and address clinical uncertainties within the RUSH programme. He is the Past President of the British and Irish Association of Stroke Physicians.
Niamh was appointed as a Trustee in October 2023.
Niamh is a Senior Lecturer in School of Psychology in Ulster University. Her research specialises in stroke recovery and life after stroke, she has published widely in these areas. Niamh had a stroke at age 14; she had significant upper limb and speech impairments following this but has since fully recovered. This experience has led her to a career trying to understand the brain post-stroke better and to explore aspects of stroke recovery. She believes this experience has also given her insight into life post-stroke and made her passionate to work collaboratively with stroke survivors to help ensure better recovery.
Niamh who is based in Belfast, will also take the role of chair of Stroke Associations Northern Ireland advisory committee, working closely with the Northern Ireland team.
Niamh said: 'I'm really looking forward to working with all those affected by stroke, to help improve stroke care within Northern Ireland and across the UK.'
Patron and President
All of us at the Stroke Association are incredibly saddened to learn of the death of our Patron Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We are very grateful for her years of loyalty and service as our Patron. Read our statement of condolence.
Our President is The Duke of Kent.