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Members & Trustees

Our Members

Paula Cain - Member

Appointed 5th September 2016

Paula is a former Chief Executive of both Knowsley and Halton Chambers of Commerce. Having left her role at Halton Chamber in August 2017, she spent time as a self-employed business coach and mentor, working with individuals and local small businesses. She now works for the Charity Commission for England & Wales as Complaints Case Manager in the newly formed Customer Relations team. Prior to joining the Heath Family (NW) Trust as a Member, she spent two years on the board as a Trustee. Over the years Paula has played an active role on the boards of other bodies including the NHS as a Non-Executive Director of a Hospitals Trust (where she chaired a number of committees – Audit, Clinical Governance), a director of the former Merseyside Training & Enterprise Council and the Business Link for Greater Merseyside, as well as being a Trustee of a number of local charities.

Lisa Driscoll - Member

Appointed 6th January 2019

Lisa has had more than twenty years’ experience in the field of policy, strategy, regulatory compliance and partnership development across a range of different public and private sector bodies. Lisa has spent a significant amount of time working within local government policy and strategy leading on areas such as education, economy and skills, as well as within policy development, compliance management and regulation of social housing.

Alison Duckworth - Member

Appointed 15th December 2022

Alison is a marketing professional with 30 years’ national and international experience. Her sector experience includes economic development, sport, culture and tourism. As a senior marketer, Alison has worked at Manchester’s Commonwealth Games, Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture, and sub-regional tourist boards promoting the North as a place to live, work, invest and visit. Her public and private sector experience includes both local and national government departments developing partnerships across the North of England. As a marketing consultant, Alison advises and develops marketing strategies for destinations and business. She is keen to ensure a sustainable, bright future for all. Alison also has governance experience in that she sat as a Trustee on The Heath Family Trust Board prior to her becoming a Member. She is also a Trustee for Room at the Inn, a local homeless charity in Warrington.

Sally Yeoman - Member

Appointed 6th January 2019

Since school age Sally has had a keen interest in working and volunteering in local services. After graduating in 1995 with a BSc (Hons) in Sociology, Sally Yeoman spent time working in services for adults and children with learning disabilities. Working for Council and Housing Association services supporting people resettle from long stay institutions. In 1997, she joined the staff of the office of Bill Rammell MP for Harlow whilst he was PPC to support the communications and policy side of his campaign to be elected the MP for Harlow. She joined Voluntary Action Epping Forest in 1999 as Older People’s Services Co-ordinator and was appointed Chief Officer in August 2002. In August 2006 she was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer at St Helens CVS.

Sally has experience of working across a range of sectors and organisations with officers, members and stakeholders at all levels. Sally now leads the newly merged local infrastructure organisation Halton and St Helens Voluntary & Community Action. Halton and St Helens VCA is the local support and development organisation providing advice, information, support and practical services to charities, voluntary organisations, community groups and social enterprises in St Helens and Halton. Offering such support to help create a strong local civil society sector that makes a positive difference in the lives of local people and communities. Since merger VCA is connected with more than 2500 groups, charities and organisation in the 2 Boroughs. Alongside having overall responsibility for the running of the organisation, Sally’s key role is to undertake the influence and voice functions on behalf of the local sector and works with partners to achieve this.

Sally is currently a Board member at the Saints Community Development Foundation, a Chair of Voluntary Sector NW and Vice-Chair of VS6 the Liverpool City Region VCSE sector partnership. She is an Institute of Directors (IOD) certified Company Director. Sally was awarded an MBE in the 2022 Queen’s Jubilee Honours List for services to the community in Halton & St Helens.

Our Trustees

The Trustees of the Heath Family (NW) meet regularly throughout the academic year, either as a full board or through either of their sub committees of Education & Standards or Business, Finance & Audit.

Helen Stevenson - Chair of the Board

Appointed 15th January 2018

Helen Stevenson was previously the Director of Development & Governance of a large MAT, where she oversaw the growth of the Trust from 2 academies to 32 plus a Free School. She has been responsible for the successful conversion of over 50 academies, and has led on the development of numerous successful Free School applications, opening a primary Free School in the East Midlands in 2013. She is a former teacher and senior leader with NPQH, and has worked extensively on the Academies and Free Schools programmes since 2008, working directly for DfE, local authorities and a number of multi academy trusts. She recently established her own consultancy business supporting the development and set up of MATs, as well as supporting leadership recruitment and resourcing across the education sector.

Helen has been is the Chair of Governors at Carmel College, an outstanding Sixth Form college in St Helens, and is also Chair of the Local Academy Board for Waterhead Academy in Oldham.

In her spare time, Helen enjoys travelling, reading and socialising with friends and family.

Karl Smith - Vice Chair and Chair of Education & Standards Committee

Appointed 24th May 2018

Karl is a serving Principal of an outstanding Sixth Form College. The college consistently reports at the top of performance leagues tables for A Level progress. Karl delivers and coaches across a number of nationally accredited leadership programmes and has successfully led several school and college improvement projects.

Prior to teaching, Karl was a Commercial Director in industry, responsible for all aspects of managing operations including marketing, sales, purchasing and administration. His has particular strengths lie in strategic, resource, and financial planning, developing people, designing and implementing effective systems.

Christopher Davis - Trustee

Appointed  22nd January 2021

Christopher has been a Headteacher and Executive school leader for a number of years, with experience in both the local authority and multi academy trust settings.

Now as Director for Secondary Education for another multi academy trust; Christopher has oversight of 8 secondary schools and 1 alternative provision setting. Leadership coaching is a real interest for Christopher and he has coached both primary and secondary leaders, many of which have gone on to secure headship opportunities.

Anthony Gundersen - Chair of Business, Finance and Audit Committee

Appointed  22nd January 2021

Anthony has held a number of senior roles working in Financial Services including as the UK Director for an international Fintech company. Anthony is currently working with a Fintech start up as Head of Operations.

In addition to this, Anthony has over 20 years’ experience as a Governor in one of the largest inner city primary schools in Liverpool and has served as Chair of Governors for the past 5 years. Anthony has also held Safeguarding responsibilities for his LGB.

Janine Inglis - Trustee

Appointed  22nd January 2021

Janine has over 15 years’ experience in professional and financial services in areas including Risk, Compliance, Operations, Consulting and Change. Roles centred on delivering transformation, operational efficiencies, risk maturity and new regulatory requirements.

In the later part of her career she operated at a senior level designing strategic road maps, culture and engagement campaigns and target operating models to embed new frameworks. Janine’s specialism is 3LOD (Three Lines of Defence) Risk Management Models and the operational resilience and effective business management this brings about.

Annette Williams - Trustee

Appointed  22nd January 2021

Annette has been teaching since 1994 and worked at a number of schools across the North West region. Latterly, she has been the substantive Headteacher of Barnton Community Nursery and Primary School in Northwich and it was in this role, that the decision to convert to academy status was taken.

In April 2017, Weaver Trust was formed and Annette is now the CEO. During this time, Annette has had experience in turning a sponsor school around; with it being one of the lowest 20% nationally when the school converted, to it now being in the top 1% of schools nationally for progress in Reading, Writing and Maths.

Annette’s expertise is in primary education and during her career, she has worked in a range of schools across all demographics, from a 3% rural school, to 75% urban school - each with their own challenges! Previously, as an Advanced Skills Teacher, and more recently, as a Local Leader of Education, Annette has enjoyed several secondments to schools needing leadership support.

Alan Price - Trustee

Alan has been at the forefront of championing good business practices for over 23 years, from supporting employees with the trade union movement at the start of his career, to now supporting over 110,000 SME’s covering 3 million employees worldwide, in his current position as CEO at BrightHR and Chief Operations Officer at the Peninsula Group.

The Peninsula Group provides people support namely HR, employment law and health & safety transformation to over 75,000 businesses in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. He is responsible for the leadership of the Group’s operations strategy, presiding over 250,000 client monthly service interactions and client experience engagements. He also holds a number of non-executive positions across the 11 Group companies, while maintaining a Group operational overview and Group HR responsibilities.

Alan is proud to be a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD with 18 years’ experience in employee relations, a Chartered Manager and Fellow of the CMI, a certified practitioner and Fellow of the AHRI (Australian Human Resources Institute), and a Senior Certified professional member of SHRM, Chartered Professional in Human Resources with the Canadian Human Resource Professional Association

Having demonstrated a significant contribution to business and society, he is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA)

In 2003, Alan was appointed to His Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service and was one of the youngest judicial appointments which he continues to hold.

He formally served for 4 years as a Charity trustee and Non-Executive Director for the world's second largest HR professional body, the CIPD, which represents over 140,000 HR professionals worldwide as well as a Non-Executive Director for the Chambers of Commerce in Ireland who represent over 10,000 organisations across Ireland also serving on the Audit Committee.  Alan is an Ambassador for the North West Air Ambulance Charity, Parish Councillor and Honorary Industry Fellow at the University of Salford.


Trustees who have left within the last 12 months

Edward Vitalis (Chair of Business, Finance and Audit Committee) - resigned 14.07.23

Cheri Kelly - resigned 05.01.24