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Trustees

Courtyard bathed in sunshine at Pembury Hospice in the Weald

Meet our Trustees

Gary Withers Chairman

Gary Withers

Chairman

Gary is the Senior Independent Director of GIB (UK) Ltd, Chairman of GAM London and an NED at Whitehelm UK. He was previously CEO of Whitehelm Capital, European Managing Director for First State Investments and CEO of Norwich Union Life. His early career was with McKinsey and Mercury Asset Management after studying at Cambridge University and INSEAD. He has lived in the Weald since 1991, with periods away in Yorkshire and Sydney.

Joanna Ford Trustee

Joanna Ford

Trustee

Jo is a managing associate at Cripps LLP, specialising in commercial disputes and restructuring & insolvency. She has 15 years’ experience and worked in the City before joining Cripps in 2010. She provides pragmatic commercial advice on a wide range of contentious matters to businesses and individuals, including restructuring & insolvency, intellectual property, and IT & technology contracts. Jo has lived with her family in Tunbridge Wells since 2006.

Dr Sue Grieve

Dr Sue Grieve

Trustee

Sue is a scientist and a lawyer and has spent her career in the healthcare sector working for both large pharmaceutical and small biotechnology companies. She has for the last six years been a trustee and chairman of Horder Healthcare and its hospitals in Crowborough and East Grinstead. She is a trustee of the Meningitis Research Foundation and a member of the London Central Research Ethics Committee. Sue and her family have lived for many years in the Tunbridge Wells area, where her husband was a GP.

Suzanne Cockaday Trustee

Suzanne Cockaday

Trustee

Suzanne currently manages large scale transformation programmes for IBM. Previously she negotiated and ran large-scale technology outsourcing contracts. Prior to IBM, Suzanne was a management consultant with PwC Consulting and Coopers & Lybrand covering strategy, change and cost management across public and private sectors. She has also worked in investment banking and in the chemical industry, where she qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Suzanne has lived in Tunbridge Wells with her family since 2000.

Ed Wesson Trustee

Ed Wesson

Trustee

Ed is currently Headmaster at Skinners’ School in Tunbridge Wells. He went to school at Tonbridge and read Law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, graduating in 1984.After two gap years and a year in journalism he went into teaching, working at the New Beacon in Sevenoaks, Wellington School, Somerset, Hampton School, where he ran the cricket and became Head of Sixth Form. He then moved onto Deputy Head at Reigate Grammar School, before moving to King’s School, Tynemouth as Headmaster, and finally onto Skinners’ in 2013. Over those years Ed has taught English, Latin, French, History and Politics, and has coached a lot of cricket, hockey and rugby. Ed is married to Susie and they live in Speldhurst, within walking distance of The George and Dragon and the cricket club. Both provide welcome respite from their two daughters, Molly and Ella who are both at Speldhurst Primary School.

Linda King Trustee

Linda King

Trustee

After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, Linda moved into merchant banking with County Bank in London. She joined Barclays Investment Bank (then BZW) in 1985 and worked in Corporate Finance, Project Finance, Private Equity, Workout and Credit Risk. Linda became Head of Credit Risk for the Investment Bank in 2002 with a team of over 500 staff around the world. She chaired various Risk Committees for Barclays and was appointed a Vice Chairman of the Investment Bank in 2012. She retired in 2014 to spend more time with her 3 sons, her dogs and her golf club.

Claire Ratnayake, Trustee

Claire Ratnayake

Trustee

Claire is a Senior healthcare professional with significant experience as an innovator and advisor for healthcare transformation and service improvement. Successes include the development, transformation and integration of a large community services with primary care within London.
As an experienced Healthcare professional, she has worked at Senior management and Board level. Claire is also a registered nurse with over 25 years’ experience and an accredited mediator who can support workplace and commercial disputes.

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Paul Stevenson

Trustee

Paul joined the Hospice Board in July 2023 as Chair of the Finance and Commercial Committee. After gaining an Economics degree from Cambridge University and becoming a qualified accountant, he enjoyed a long international career in the corporate world, primarily with Unilever where he held senior financial positions in the UK, South East Asia and Latin America. Latterly he moved into the not-for-profit sector and was Chief Financial Officer at the Royal Mencap Society for three years before retiring, gaining invaluable experience with this leading national charity. He is now Treasurer and Director of the International Institute for Environment and Development, chairing their own Finance, Audit & Risk Committee, and is also a pension fund trustee. A resident of Tunbridge Wells and Crowborough since 1991, Paul has a range of sporting interests including local clubs.

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Dr Andrew Long

Trustee

Andrew was a consultant in general paediatrics for over 30 years. He commenced his consultant career in Bromley, South London in 1991; where he was also Director of Medical Education and Associate Medical Director; before moving to Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2011 to support the development of the new team of general paediatricians. He became Associate Medical Director for GOSH in 2016 with responsibility for professional affairs. He has also been Vice President for Education at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to which he now represents senior members and fellows. Andrew is married to Carys, and, during his leisure time, Andrew enjoys singing, cycling, baking (not all at the same time!) and spending time with his four children and seven grandchildren.

Tim

Dr Tim Palmer

Trustee

Tim has recently retired from General Practice having been a GP in Tonbridge for 35 years. He was also a Forensic Medical Examiner for many of those years. He has served on several committees of the now evolved Primary Care Trust including chairing the Medicine Management Team meetings. His professional contact with Hospice in the Weald has been nearly career-long.
He is married with three daughters, two stepdaughters and a stepson and also has three grandchildren. Sailing holidays have been a feature of his life for several years and he has taken up golf in retirement, which he is struggling to improve. He is also interested in photography which can be time consuming but rewarding.