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Our Board of Trustees

St Oswald's is governed by its Board of Trustees. Members are appointed for a four year term and undertake the role of Trustee on a voluntary basis. Trustees are recruited from a range of professions and bring with them a blend of experience and expertise in their field, as well as an external perspective.

Meet our Trustees

Trustees play a vital role in the success of St Oswald’s. They add real value to the existing Hospice Management Team, ensuring that the strategic aims, objectives and direction of the charity are established and met.

The Board of Trustees meets on alternate months each year and each meeting focuses on an element of the Strategic Framework - which outlines the strategic direction of the organisation for the next three years.

Marie Liston

Chair of St Oswald’s Hospice Ltd

Member of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee

Marie has been involved with St Oswald’s since 1999, when she was appointed as a Trustee, retiring after the maximum eight years service. Marie then joined St Oswald’s Hospice Promotions Limited (SOHP) as an Independent Director and has continued to work with SOHP to date. She was appointed Vice Chair of St Oswald’s in 2017 and Chair in 2018.

For the last 17 years Marie has worked for ScS Group plc, a national chain of sofa and carpet retailers. She is the Group’s Corporate Service Director and has responsibility for Customer Services, Estates, HR & Training, Internal Audit, Safety and Compliance.

A keen fencer, Marie has competed at national and international level and was also involved in governance for the sport, retiring by rotation as President of England Fencing in March 2018.

Julie Harrison

Vice Chair of St Oswald’s Hospice Ltd and Chair of St Oswald’s Hospice Promotions Ltd

Member of Board of Trustees

Julie was born and educated in Newcastle upon Tyne, leaving in 1980 to complete her legal studies in London. Julie has practiced law for many years, first in the City of London and for the last 25 years in her home town of Newcastle, where she is Head of the Banking and Finance Practice of Ward Hadaway. Outside her professional work, she loves to travel, whether it is motor biking through the Dales or roaming through flea markets in Florence, skiing down the Alps or venturing further afield with trips from China to Mexico, although this was curtailed a little when she married Clive in 2006. She has always had a keen eye for fashion, something she and Clive have in common as he has been involved in the menswear industry since 1978.

She acts as a non executive for a local Arts organisation.

Julie spends much of her free time with her family, including eight nephews and nieces, two sisters and her lovely mother Mary, who retired from nursing after 35 years.

Brian Hedley


Member of Board of Trustees

Brian is a Qualified Accountant (C.I.P.F.A.). His professional career started at Newcastle City Council Treasurer's department in 1974. He then became Finance Manager in the Housing department and then moved to Tynedale District Council as Chief Accountant in 1982.

In 1986, Brian joined the NHS and the Northern Regional Health Authority as Assistant Director (Financial Planning). He later moved to Northumberland Health Authority in similar role, then re-joined the Northern RHA as Acting Regional Director of Finance.

In 1992, Brian was appointed as Director of Finance at South Durham Community Trust based in Darlington and in late 1993 took up post as Director of Finance at Sunderland Health Authority. Following the restructure of Health Authorities in 2002, he moved to become Director of Finance and Contracting with the North of England NHS Workforce Development Confederation, which had a shelf life of two years. Other roles included Acting Director of Finance with Selby and York Primary Care Trust and also Wakefield West PCT.

Post retirement from the NHS, Brian worked for Nomad Housing Group (now part of ISOS Group) as Housing Community Development Manager and for Newcastle City Council Strategic Housing Dept as Housing, Health and Social Care Co-ordinator until 2008.

Kersi Fanibunda

Member of Board of Trustees

Kersi's family have a long association with St Oswald’s, with his wife volunteering since 1992 and their son volunteering before her, therefore, it's a real pleasure and privilege for Kersi to serve as a Trustee.

Kersi recently retired as Senior Lecturer and Hon. Consultant of Oral Surgery at the Newcastle Dental School & Hospital and since then has been invited back on a part-time basis. During his career, he has been associated with undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, research, examinerships and several NHS & University committees. Kersi was an elected member of the General Dental Council and served on its Professional Conduct, Health and Education Committees for 12 years. He was also appointed as Subject Specialist Reviewer by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, which monitors the quality and standards of Dental Schools in the country.

Kersi's interests are oil painting, singing and playing bridge.  He is secretary of Newcastle Religious Leaders Group and a member of Friends of the (13th century) Chapel.

Janet Clarke

Member of Audit and Investment Committee

Janet has been a volunteer with St Oswald’s since 2005 working in gardening, fundraising and reception. Highlights are the Northumbria in Bloom awards for our extensive gardens, trekking in Peru and China and being an elf at our Christmas grotto.

Janet retired in 2004 after spending most of her working career in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry based in Morpeth, with a two-year secondment to Puerto Rico. She held a variety of positions in good manufacturing practice, quality assurance, lean manufacturing and logistics.

Originally from the Wirral, Janet has lived in Morpeth since 1980 and has been a town councillor, school governor and magistrate. Janet is married to Michael who is an academic and her hobbies include running, walking and gardening. To date, she has completed 29 Great North Runs and three marathons.

Helen Lucraft

Member of Board of Trustees and

Member of the Audit and Finance Committee

Helen was a Consultant Oncologist in Newcastle from 1984 until her retirement in 2011.  Her areas of special interest were breast cancer, haematological cancers and radiotherapy for children’s cancers. Helen was involved in cancer research, teaching of medical students and junior doctors and served on several national committees, most recently on the Council of the Royal College of Radiologists, where she was a Trustee of the College.

Helen visited St Oswald's weekly for several years from its opening in 1986 and was impressed by the calm, welcoming atmosphere, which she describes as remaining the same. Helen became a St Oswald's volunteer in 2012, working with medical staff on projects related to clinical performance.

Helen is a magistrate in Northumberland and a Governor of the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.  She is married to a doctor and they have two daughters and two granddaughters.

Dorothy Clasper

Member of the Clinical Governance and Quality Committee

Member of the Audit and Finance Committee

Dorothy's working career was in the Civil Service, where she was involved in the training and development of staff, until she retired in 2003.

She joined the Hospice as a volunteer in 2004 working in Human Resources.

In her spare time Dorothy enjoys walking, especially in the Lake District.

Christine English

Member of Board of Trustees

Christine's nursing career began in Newcastle over 30 years ago where she initially qualified as an adult nurse before specialising in children’s nursing. She has had the privilege of working in a range of exciting roles in the NHS and University, which have equipped her to lead, manage and innovate both in clinical care and nurse education. These roles have provided her with excellent learning opportunities, using the knowledge and skills she has accumulated over these years within the role as a Trustee.

Christine moved into nursing education after working as a staff nurse, ward sister and senior nurse. After a number of years in education she decided that she wanted to return to practice and negotiated a secondment as a Senior Matron/Senior Lecturer within Paediatric Oncology (2005-2010). The post was a joint appointment between Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust and Northumbria University aimed at providing professional nursing leadership and management whilst developing research capacity within the specialty. The paediatric oncology service included in-patient, out-patient and day patient care as well as palliative and end-of-life care. During her time in this role she played a key role in the planning and successful transfer of services to their new home in the Great North Children’s Hospital.

Christine is currently employed as a Principal Lecturer (Children’s Nursing) and Director of Outreach and Widening Participation within the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Northumbria University. As Principal Lecturer she has leadership and management responsibilities within pre-registration children’s nursing, including teaching and research in this area. As Director of Outreach and Widening Participation she has strategic leadership responsibilities across all departments in the Faculty (Health, Lifesciences, Education, Sports) to ensure successful engagement with local schools and colleges to raise aspirations and widen participation in higher education.

Christine's particular research interests are in quality of care and service user perspectives and welcomes the opportunity to make a useful contribution to the on-going development of St Oswald's.

David Hicks

Member of Board of Trustees

David Hicks is a key member of the Newcastle tax team in Deloitte, and has been instrumental in helping to build a leading practice. In particular, his presence in the market as a heavyweight personal tax adviser has seen the team go from strength to strength, both in the region and further afield.

David is a Deloitte ‘lifer’, having joined as a school leaver from a working class family in 1990.  He started his career in the Leeds office, where he gained his CTA qualification, and has been an integral part of the Newcastle office since moving to the North East in 2006.  His talents saw him progress to Director in 2012, and since then he has gone from strength to strength showcasing not only his own abilities regionally and nationally, but also that of the entire team.

In Leeds, David worked in a specialist and deep technical team, which acted as a centre of excellence for the UK business.  As a result, his tax talents are principally in problem-solving, and coupled with technical knowledge and his commercial and pragmatic approach, he is a go-to person not locally and across the national Private Client business.

For the last four years, David's reputation has seen him assume the position of ‘tax expert’ to the Daily Mail’s personal finance team on Budget Day. Spending the day with the team and helping them to interpret, would then take the Chancellor’s speech and the Treasury Press Releases to the Mail’s significant readership.

David also takes people development very seriously, being a ‘People Leader’ in Deloitte’s performance management process.  He is responsible for a cohort of 15 or so individuals in the team.

Despite his busy diary, David is also passionate about leading a school partner relationship with Cardinal Hume Catholic School in Gateshead as part of Deloitte’s One Million Futures campaign.

Alison Elsdon

Member of Board of Trustees

Alison is a CIPFA qualified accountant and has worked in the public sector for nearly 36 years, starting in local government after leaving school at 16 years old. She started her career at Blyth Valley Borough Council as a Bonus Clerk and then worked as a Payroll Assistant and an Accounting Assistant. After seven years at Blyth Valley, she moved to Northumberland County Council as a Senior Accountant where she completed her professional qualifications and over the years has been promoted a number of times.

Alison has been fortunate enough to participate in many exciting projects such as implementation of the Oracle ERP system and local government reorganisation, where she was responsible for tightening the finances of the six district councils in Northumberland and the County Council. She currently occupies the post of Service Director: Finance.

She lives in Blyth with her husband Ian who is retired, their son, Jonathan and Bichon Frise, Barney. She loves to spend her spare time with her family and friends, enjoys living close to the beach where she spends a lot of her time walking Barney and taking in the fresh air. Alison and her husband love to holiday abroad, usually somewhere hot.

Neil Morris

Member of Board of Trustees

Neil has worked as a General Practitioner in the North East for 25 years as a Partner at Oxford Terrace and Rawling Road Medical Group in Gateshead and now as a locum GP for Gateshead CBC. Both Neil and his wife, Ruth who is also a GP undertook training in the North East and as such spent time at St Oswald’s learning about end of life care in the hospice and within the community. He has been involved in NHS management for many years, initially as Deputy Medical Director at North of Tyne PCT between 2004 and 2012 and then as a Medical Director for Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group between 2012 and 2019.

Outside of healthcare and work, Neil is a Welfare Officer for the Low Fell Running Club and is also a Volunteer Leader for Ski Club of Great Britain.

Steve James

Member of Board of Trustees

Steve is an experienced HR Director who has worked at board level in both the private and public sector. Steve's early career was in professional services where he became a partner at Deloitte, leading the HR function during a period of major organisational change. For the last 15 years he has worked as an interim HR Director and consultant leading on change programmes for central government departments, local authorities and not for profit organisations. He is currently interim HR Director for the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman.