Meet our team members and trustees

Our people

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Mark Lever

Chief Executive

It was seeing the power of volunteering first hand that motivated me to move from the world of finance to the charity sector nearly 25 years ago – a move I have never regretted. I am now incredibly proud to be working with such a talented team who are all committed to maximising the impact of volunteering on the health and well being of local communities.

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Maeve Hully

Director of Volunteering

As a trained nurse I understand the genuine value volunteers can bring to patients families and healthcare. As someone who has volunteered in an NHS hospital I know how truly rewarding the experience of volunteering can be. We have already had great commitment from health boards in the three countries and I am looking forward to developing them.

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Paddy Hanrahan

Director of Strategy & Innovation

My personal driver is social change and Helpforce is a fantastic opportunity to help communities as well as support our brilliant NHS. Based on my own volunteering experience, the magic of helping other people is a win-win for all involved and should play a role in all of our lives.

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Sally Williams

Helpforce Network Manager

Every day I am humbled by the efforts of people who use their skills, time and compassion to help others. Volunteer managers across the NHS are creating opportunities for their volunteers to make a real difference to patients and staff and it is a privilege to work alongside inspirational healthcare professionals towards our shared vision of volunteer support for every patient.

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Debbie Ambrose

Network Coordinator

Working with Helpforce has given me a unique opportunity to meet and work with an inspirational and dedicated team of talented people whose aim it is to improve people’s health and wellbeing with the help of volunteers. I’m just a small cog in this big wheel supporting the network team by coordinating network activities and website content for its members.

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Maxine Moss-Black

Programme Manager

Through my experience of working with social impact organisations to design and develop and improve services, I’ve seen the growing value and benefit that volunteering services bring to the organisation, the volunteers and the community that they serve. It is this compelling reason that I am so excited and passionate to be a part of how Helpforce can work within the Health and Social Care sector to positively impact society.

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Melissa Griffith

Programme Manager

From experience working within the health and care landscape I can see immense opportunity to unlock the value volunteers can bring to staff, patients and the wider community. Helpforce are truly committed to supporting health and care systems reap the benefits of volunteering and I am proud to be a member of this team and working with incredible healthcare professionals striving to unlock the full potential of volunteering.

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Mark Burrett

Programme Manager

From my experience of co- designing innovative UK National employment programmes, supporting marginalised groups of people, to enable greater levels of social mobility. I have seen first-hand the benefits of volunteering and the experiential learning curve volunteers undergo themselves and the rewards it provides to others within our communities.

I am now very proud and excited to be working with amazing team here at Helpforce, in helping to grow our UK wide volunteering agendas within the Health and Social Care sector, in demonstrating the value of volunteering and subsequent benefits to our communities.

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Sara Miles

Programme Manager

Having spent most of my career working and volunteering within the third sector for health-related charities, I am delighted to be part of the Helpforce team. I have seen first hand the benefits that volunteers can bring across health and care, to those experiencing health challenges and their families. I am passionate about the benefit of partnership working to ensure the needs of the whole community are supported and look forward to supporting organisations to harness these local partnerships.

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Vy Tran

Communications and Content Manager

I’m fascinated by the power of volunteering and truly believe that volunteering plays an important role in our society. What appeals to me about Helpforce is the organisation’s ambition to embed volunteering within our healthcare system and a philosophy which embraces the values of kindness and compassion.

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Peter Agbon

Digital Solutions Architect

People helping people for me is the most strongest force of being human. Digital Innovation and developments is my strategy to support this movement. Working with Helpforce is such a great opportunity to be part of something wonderful, as it focuses on harnessing the power of community and volunteering innovation within the Health and Social Care sector.

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Kiran Sekhon

Research Analyst - Insight & Impact

Whilst working for the NHS, I gained first-hand experience of how important volunteering is to hospital staff, patients, and local communities. As a result, I am proud to be working at Helpforce, which has supporting health and care systems at the heart of their company. As a research analyst, my focus is to work alongside health and care systems to develop data collection tools and analyse data to gain an understanding about the impact of volunteers and develop strategies to boost their impact.

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Sibel Akbiyik

Research Analyst

The passion that Helpforce has for promoting volunteering in Health and Social care through different strategies is my biggest motivation to be a member of this family. From my experience in the NHS and various research projects as a researcher, I am thrilled to use my skills to make a difference while helping others. And I feel lucky to be part of this journey.

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Kate Crossan

Senior Data & Impact Analyst

My career break working in a clinical role in the NHS showed me how incredibly valuable volunteering can be in health and care. I'm thrilled to now be able to use my research and data experience to tangibly prove this value to others. Working for Helpforce and with people who are passionate and committed to continuing to grow the impact of volunteering is something I'm really proud of.

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Melior Whitear

Head of Communications

Optimising volunteers’ contribution has such an important part to play in our response to pressures across health and care. I’m thrilled to have joined Helpforce and looking forward to working with the great team here to get the message about Helpforce’s mission, services and network to the many teams and organisations who could benefit.

Our trustees

Dr Anna Dixon

Anna co-founded Helpforce with Sir Tom Hughes-Hallett in 2015 and has been a board member ever since.  She has a background in health and care strategy and policy at the highest level – including as Chief Executive of the Centre for Ageing Better and Chair of the Archbishop’s Commission on Reimagining Care.

Jayne Blacklay

Jayne is the Strategic Adviser for the Foundation Group of Trusts that include South Warwickshire Foundation Trust (SWFT), George Eliot Hospital Trust, Wye Valley Trust and Worcestershire Acute Trust. She has been a Helpforce Trustee since the beginning and is a non-executive director on a number of boards delivering healthcare and digital services.

Claire Newton

Chair of the Finance & Audit Committee
Claire is a chartered accountant and has previously worked in senior finance roles in the private, public and voluntary sectors. She has been the Honorary Treasurer of Helpforce since 2019.

Claire Riley

Claire is the Chief of Corporate Services for North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) and Executive Lead for Women's Health, Research and Innovation. Before joining the ICB, Claire was the Executive Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Karen Bonner

Karen is Chief Nurse and Director for Infection Prevention and Control at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust. In 2023, she was recognised by the HSJ as one of the 50 most influential Black, Asian, and minority ethnic people in health. She is a member of the Workforce Race Equality Standard Strategic Advisory Group and of the Nurse Executive Council at the Beryl Institute.

Massoud Fouladi

Massoud was Co-founder and Medical Director of Circle Health Group. His vision has been to build a co-owned and clinically-led partnership of healthcare professionals. In 2001, Massoud founded the Ophthalmic Clinical Leads Forum at the King's Fund and was Chair of the Association of Ophthalmologists in the UK from 2003-2007.

Lara Sonola

Lara is an independent consultant and former Programme Director in the NHS, who has worked in the areas of strategy development, integrated care systems, governance and leadership development. She is also a Non-Executive Director at Octavia Housing, Joint Chair of Age UK Wandsworth and King George and Queen’s Hospitals Charity's Chair Designate.

Rosemary Brook Arbiter

After university and ten years working in manufacturing industry, Rosemary developed a prominent career in strategic communications for national and global businesses. A former Trustee of the Industry and Parliament Trust and the Royal Voluntary Service, she has been a Helpforce Trustee since the charity’s foundation.

Professor Sir Mike Richards

Mike has been a cancer physician, National Cancer Director for England and Chief Inspector of Hospitals at the Care Quality Commission. Currently he is Chair of the UK National Screening Committee and he advises NHS England on diagnostic services. In addition to Helpforce, he is a trustee of Cancer Research UK.

The Honourable Michael Samuel

Michael is a philanthropist and businessman. After training as a chartered accountant, he built up the Mayborn Group and was Chair of AGL Communications Agency. He is Co-founder of Full Fact and Civic and is Chair of the Board of Trustees at the Anna Freud Centre. In 2020, Michael was awarded an MBE in recognition of his services to young people and to mental health.

Our Founder

Sir Tom Hughes-Hallett

Sir Tom founded found Helpforce in 2017 with the vision that everyone who visits the hospital will never be alone. He is also the founder of the Chair of The Marshall Institute within the London School of Economics and Political Science and was Chair of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. He is also a Trustee of The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The King's Fund.