Our trustees

As a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee, The Brain Charity is governed by a Board of Trustees.

Our trustees are all dedicated individuals who freely volunteer their time, expertise and skills to ensure The Brain Charity is the best it can be.

Our current board members are:

Professor Bill Chambers, Chair

Bill Chambers

Bill has lived in Liverpool since 1973 and has worked at Liverpool Hope University for his entire working life, initially as a geography lecturer and finally as Pro Vice Chancellor External Relations and Widening Participation.

He is married to Fiona, a community educator, with 3 children and 6 grandchildren. They both love the Liverpool Philharmonic and Bill is also a season ticket holder at Everton. Bill became interested in the work of The Brain Charity after his mother was diagnosed with and subsequently died of dementia.

Bill hopes to bring commitment, life experiences and his contacts to the service of The Brain Charity.

Tim Walsh FCA, Treasurer

Tim Walsh

Tim is a Chartered Accountant who spent his entire working career in a variety of roles with PwC, the global financial services firm.

As part of a planned transition from full time working, Tim joined The Brain Charity in 2015, first as a volunteer and later as a trustee. He now acts as Treasurer, advising the charity’s management team and the board on financial matters, and serves as a member of the Finance & Governance Committee.

Having been part of a family network who supported both parents through their struggles with dementia, Tim was drawn to The Brain Charity. He is now committed to drawing on all of his financial and business experience to ensure our continued success.

Dr John Picton, Secretary

John Picton, trustee at The Brain Charity

John is a charity law researcher and teacher at the University of Liverpool, where he has been working and studying for the last 10 years.

He has a deep interest in the sector and the nature of charitable donation and is keen to put his knowledge and experience to practical use by taking on the role of trustee.

Dr Nick Silver

Dr Nick Silver - trustee at The Brain Charity

Dr Nick Silver is a Consultant Neurologist at The Walton Centre and an honorary clinical lecturer at the University of Liverpool. He specialises in headache disorders and has clinical interests in the relationship between headache disorders and non-headache symptoms and disordered sleep.

He has published many research papers around the diagnosis and treatment of neurological conditions, ranging from magnetic resonance techniques for Multiple Sclerosis to non-invasive nerve stimulation for treatment of acute chronic cluster headaches. Dr Silver remains actively involved in multicentre clinical trials to investigate new treatments for headache disorders.

Dr Silver became a trustee to forge a closer working relationship between The Brain Charity and The Walton Centre.

Karen Swan

Karen Swan - trustee at The Brain Charity

Karen has 25 years’ experience of marketing and communications. She has spent most of her career at the UK’s largest newspaper publishing group where she held a number of senior positions, including Insights Director and Director of Strategic Marketing.

Karen now part-owns Influential, a prominent communications agency with offices in Manchester and Liverpool, where she leads marketing strategies and campaigns for a wide range of clients including the NHS, professional service businesses and charities.

In this role, she first came across The Brain Charity when she worked on the rebrand of the charity in 2015. This gave her the chance to see first-hand what difference the charity makes and she is now committed to utilising her skills to help raise awareness and interest in the charity.

Mark Rea

Mark Rea - trustee at The Brain Charity

By training and qualification, Mark is a Corporate Finance Advisor; meaning he advises businesses on how to raise money and helps them get the right structures in place to be able to buy businesses or raise capital for their own growth. He does this through owning and operating his own consultancy business, in which he advises on both debt and equity finance. He is also an investor in and director of a national merchant services processing company and looks after his family’s property investment company.

Mark belongs to a number of professional organisations such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment.

Mark is also the Chair of Governors at a local primary school. He wanted to become a trustee as his wife has epilepsy and he wanted to offer the skills and contacts gained from his business to The Brain Charity.

Jackie Sale

Jacqueline Sale - trustee at The Brain Charity

Jackie was born in Southampton but has been an adopted Liverpudlian since moving here for university in 1976.

Beginning a career in teaching in 1982, she worked in education settings across the North West, including as head of a high school in Manchester for nine years. Achievements included coordinating behaviour and attendance across all high schools and secondary academies in Manchester and, as headteacher, bringing a school for young people with emotional, behavioural and social difficulties out of special measures.

Jackie began volunteering at The Brain Charity in 2017 after seeing the effects of dementia on close relatives.

She joined our board of trustees in 2019 to help us extend our services to young people, with her experience and contacts within education supporting the bid for our flagship children’s service – The Brain Changer Arts Project.

Jackie looks forward to continuing to help The Brain Charity expand its children’s provision to help many more young people in need in future.

Ian Craig

Ian Craig - trustee at The Brain Charity

Although Ian is a proud Aberdonian, he has lived in Merseyside since 2000. He is married to Dawn, has 2 boys and has recently retired from his role as a director at Nationwide Building Society.

Ian has previously held executive roles at both Barclays and Bank of America leading large operational and technology functions, both in the UK and internationally.

Having seen his father die of a brain injury when he was young, and how little support was available for families at that time, Ian is keen to support The Brain Charity and is passionate about the work we do.

Cllr Vanessa Boateng

Trustee Vanessa Boateng

Vanessa is a councillor at Knowsley Town Council.

She is also an accomplished business intelligence data analyst, philanthropist and policy maker.

In 2018, she was invited by Her Majesty The Queen to a reception at Buckingham Palace in recognition of individuals who have made a significant contribution to the UK’s Commonwealth diaspora communities.

Vanessa became interested in the work of The Brain Charity because she believes her experience in engaging with ethnic minority groups will enhance the support needed by these groups from the organisation.

She hopes to bring in fresh ideas into The Brain Charity in service to her community.

Julie Blomley FCIP

Julie is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has spent her entire working career in a variety of HR roles, more recently in senior HR positions with Matalan, New Look and The JD Group.

Julie has made a good recovery since experiencing a brain haemorrhage in 2019. She now wants to support The Brain Charity by helping others through their recovery and by supporting the work that the charity delivers.

Julie was born and brought up in Oldham, Greater Manchester, and lives in Rochdale with her husband.

The Brain Charity - proud holders of the Queen's award for Voluntary Service.
The Brain Charity - proud winners of the Clothworkers Govenance award 2018