0191 285 0063

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.

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.

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. 

Our team of Trustees is made up of:

    Mike Robson - Chairman
    Director of St. Oswald's Hospice Promotions Company Ltd

    Mike is a public sector accountant. Trained and qualified with Tyne and Wear County Council. He worked in the NHS for over 33 years, retiring in 2017. Prior to retirement he had a brief spell as Director of Finance at Northumberland CCG having been Director of Finance and Corporate Governance and Deputy Chief Executive at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust for many years. He previously carried out a similar role at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle.

    He first joined St Oswald’s Board of Trustees in 1998 and took over as Honorary Treasurer with effect from 1 April 1999, a position he held until his term as a Trustee ended in 2007. Mike was appointed as a Vice President in November 2007. He has remained as a Director of St Oswald’s Hospice Promotions Company Limited and re-joined Board of Trustees as a Trustee in November 2009 becoming Chairman of the Board in 2014.

    Mike is married with two sons and lives in Whickham.

    Marie Liston
    Vice Chairman, Chairman of SOHP and 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 8 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. Marie was appointed Vice Chairman of St Oswald’s in 2017.

    For the last 17 years Marie has worked for ScS Group plc, the 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.

    Brian Hedley
    Member of Board of Trustees

    Born in Newcastle and educated at Heaton Grammar School, Brian Hedley graduated from Bradford University in Materials Science and Technology. He is married and lives with wife in Ponteland. Brian has two grown-up children, daughter is Primary School Teacher in and son is musician/ tutor in Newcastle

    Professional Career
    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 moved to become Finance Manager in Housing Department and then 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 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 scrapping 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.
    Career post-retirement
    Trustee /Hon. Treasurer for Age UK Northumberland from 2008-2014
    Treasurer of REMAP Tyne Panel (Charity which provide mobility adaptations) from 2008 to date
    Clerk to Matfen Parish Council from 2008-2010
    Volunteer for Tynedale Citizens' Advice Bureau 2011-2012
    Currrent External interests
    Member of Heaton History Group Committee
    Season ticket holder for Little Theatre, Gateshead, Priory Theatre, Tynemouth and People's Theatre, Newcastle
    Friend of Tyneside Cinema
    Treasurer of Prudhoe Golf Club Seniors' Section  

    Dr. Steve Blades
    Member of the Clinical Governance and Quality Committee

    Steve was a GP in Gosforth for 19 years. During this time he was Chair of the Professional Executive Committee of Newcastle PCT. For several years, he was chair of the Newcastle and North Tyneside Palliative Care Strategy Group. One of his major achievements was leading the successful bid to the New Opportunities Fund and Macmillan which enabled the establishment of the Caring for Cancer at Home service.


    Steve now has a portfolio career in which he combines some clinical work as a locum GP with work as an executive coach. This takes him around the country to work with individual clinicians and also teams. His major interests are in time management, leadership development and increasing the effectiveness of teams.


    Steve lives in Gosforth, with his wife and two daughters.


    Kersi Fanibunda
    Member of Board of Trustees

    My family has had a long association with St Oswald’s. My wife has worked as a volunteer since 1992 and our son did it before her. It is therefore a real pleasure and privilege for me to serve as a Trustee.

    I retired as Senior Lecturer and Hon. Consultant of Oral Surgery at the Newcastle Dental School & Hospital and since then I have been invited back on a part time basis. During my career, I have been associated with undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, research, examinerships and several NHS & University committees. I was an elected member of the General Dental Council and served on its Professional Conduct, Health and Education Committees for 12 years. I 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.

    My interests are, oil painting: singing, playing bridge, secretary of Newcastle Religious Leaders Group, member of Friends of the (13th century) Chapel.


    Janet Clarke
    Member of Audit and Investment Committee

    Janet has been involved with St Oswald’s as a volunteer 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 the Christmas grotto.

    Janet retired in 2004 and spent 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 recently retired as a magistrate.

    Janet is married to Michael who is an academic and hobbies include running, walking ,and gardening. She has completed twenty nine Great North Runs and three marathons and hasn’t hung up the running shoes just yet.

    Helen Lucraft
    Member of Board of Trustees and Member of the Audit and Finance Committee

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

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

    I am a magistrate in Northumberland, and a Governor of the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation trust.

    I am married to a doctor and we have two daughters and two granddaughters.

    Julie Harrison
    Member of Board of Trustees

    Julie was born and educated in Newcastle upon Tyne, leaving in 1980 to finish 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 the law, 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 clothes, some thing 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 organization.

    Julie spends much of her free time with her family including eight nephews and nieces, two sisters and her lovely mother Mary, who was a nurse for 35 years.

    Dorothy Clasper
    Member of the Clinical Governance and Quality Committee

    My working career was in the Civil Service until I retired in 2003. I was involved in training and development of staff.

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

    In my spare time I enjoy walking especially in the Lake District.

    Kim Jobson
    Member of Board of Trustees

    I started my working life in the Travel Industry undertaking a range of roles within the Thomas Cook Travel Group. My career since that time has spanned both the private and public sectors, and I am currently working as the Head of Human Resources for both Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council, in a new regional partnership arrangement.

    I’m a qualified lecturer and for a period worked in Newcastle College delivering lectures and seminars for further and higher education students on a range of topics.

    My previous roles in Human Resources include working for the Metropolitan Police, undertaking the role of Head of Organisational Development for Gateshead Council, and as Head of Human Resources for Middlesbrough Council in one of the first Public/Private partnerships in the region for the delivery of support services.

    My most recent challenge in the HR field was leading the integration of eight County Durham Local Authority’s workforces into one new Unitary Council and managing the associated people issues. I have two grown up children and have lived in the North East for 17 years.

    A friend introduced me to the work of St Oswald’s and after a visit to the premises, I was left with the lasting impression of the positive atmosphere that the staff and volunteers have created, leading me to want to try to support in some way with the work that St Oswald’s does.

    Christine English
    Member of Board of Trustees

    My nursing career began in Newcastle over thirty years ago where I initially qualified as an adult nurse before I moved on to specialize in children’s nursing. I have had the privilege of working in a range of exciting roles in the NHS and University which have equipped me to lead, manage and innovate both in clinical care and nurse education. These roles have provided me with excellent learning opportunities and I would hope to be able to use the knowledge and skills I have accumulated over these years within the role as a Trustee.

    I moved into nurse education after working as a staff nurse, ward sister and senior nurse. After a number of years in education I decided that I 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 my time in this role I played a key role in the planning and successful transfer of services to their new home in the Great North Children’s Hospital.

    I am 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 I have leadership and management responsibilities within pre-registration children’s nursing and I teach and research in this area. As Director of Outreach and Widening Participation I have 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.

    My particular research interests are in quality of care and service user perspectives. I would welcome the opportunity to make a useful contribution to the on-going development of St Oswalds.