Our Trustees

David Hodgson
David HodgsonChair
David is a Chartered Banker and Chartered Accountant. His full-time employment is as senior partner at Read, Milburn & Co, Chartered Accountants in North Shields. In addition to David’s accountancy work, he has been a Governor of Tynemet College and a Non-Exec Finance Director of a regional building society. David is currently President of YMCA North Tyneside and Chairman of Patterdale Hall Estate Ltd. He also acts in various capacities for a variety of charities and community based organisations and was honoured with an MBE for ”Contribution to the Voluntary Sector and Community of North Tyneside” in 2016.
 Sarah Carnegie
Sarah Carnegie Vice Chair
Sarah Carnegie, Lecturer at Newcastle University Business School, leading and teaching on various undergraduate module related to human resource management and business consultancy, drawing on her career as an HR Consultant and Quality Assessor. Interested in integration of work integrated learning into the curriculum, the transition of students into HE, their acquisition of academic and professional skills, and in particular the development of employability skills. Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), and Co-Chair of the CIPD North East of England Branch Committee, she is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).
Kay WightmanTreasurer
Kay is a qualified accountant and teacher; she is a fellow of the Institute of Financial Accountants; a fellow IFA Tax Advisor and she holds a PGCE in adult education. Having worked in the not-for-profit sector for over 30 years Kay brings a wealth of broad experience and a passion for the sector which is undiminished. Kay is a director of Accounting for Good CIC, a community interest company and a social enterprise which exists to benefit the community. Accounting for Good works primarily as an accounting practice and consultancy set up to develop, grow and ensure sustainability of social enterprises and charities it also helps businesses run by people with disabilities and/or long-term health conditions.
Jenny Palmer
Jenny PalmerTrustee
Jenny was born in Dundee and trained as a Registered Nurse then came to Newcastle to train as a Registered Sick Children’s Nurse. Her career has mainly involved nursing children and young people in Newcastle and Gateshead as a: Staff Nurse, Ward Sister, Specialist Nurse, Modern Matron, Named Nurse Safeguarding Children, Lead Nurse and Matron for Children’s Cancer and Bone Marrow Transplant Services. Jenny developed a specialist interest in safeguarding children, recruitment, staff development, and capturing user views to develop services. Jenny has been a Trustee for the Children’s Cancer Fund. Jenny volunteers at the Magic Hat Café, fighting food waste.
Rob Eldon
Rob EldonTrustee
Rob is a solicitor at Ward Hadaway in Newcastle. He advises individuals and businesses of all sizes, including a number of local charities, in relation to a variety of commercial disputes. Previously, Rob spent four years working in-house at Northern Rock (as was). His professional experience means he is well placed to understand the demands placed on commercial and charitable organisations. Rob is originally from East Yorkshire but moved to the North East over 17 years ago to study at Northumbria University. He now lives in Whitley Bay with his wife Sarah and their border collie Eva.
Andy Preacher
Andy PreacherTrustee
First and foremost Andy is a dad and a husband: a story teller, a teacher, a human trampoline and a confidant. Andy is also a People and Culture leader who aims to empower creativity, collaboration, ambition and a passion for progress in teams and the people he works with. Andy has proven success across various industries and cultures, fostering a sense of trust and loyalty to deliver exceptional experiences for colleagues and organisations. His enduring ambition is to stimulate change and growth by taking an honest, imaginative and genuinely people centred approach to HR, combining integrated strategic planning with a relevant, pragmatic and sleeves-up attitude.
Phil Hodgson
Phil HodgsonTrustee
Phil’s background was originally with the Royal Marines and in private security where he worked with the Home Office to develop industry best practices and governance and with UKAS to develop ISO standards. After a period living abroad working as a director of a firm in the UAE, Phil returned to the UK where he worked as a project consultant before taking a job as a senior manager in a global oil consultancy firm which involved corporate strategy, policy and processes, compliance procurement and insurance management.
Fiona HoldsworthTrustee
Fiona’s most recent clinical role was managing The Oncology Day Unit in Hexham General Hospital, with a team of 12 staff members on a unit seeing between 200-300 patients visits per month. Alongside this Fiona leads on audit, education and patient group direction management at a trust wide level. She has 16 years post qualifying experience, 12 of which in a senior role within oncology and chemotherapy delivery. Within Newcastle University Fiona works predominantly on the PostGraduate Masters Oncology and Palliative Care programme. She also has experience working on national and regional projects for Macmillan Cancer Support and AstraZeneca UK.
Gary ShewanTrustee
Gary has spent the past 25 years in Technology, leading teams in Financial Services and Support Services across Europe, the Middle East and Africa with some of the largest companies in the World. He has lived in London, Edinburgh and Dublin before moving to the North East. When asked what he does – Gary make sure there’s still common sense involved. If you’re not technical Gary will explain what can and can’t be done in an understandable way. If you’re technical he will ensure what you’re doing will still work in the real world, with real people.