Meet Our Council of Governors

  • Dr Jane Armstrong

    Public Governor, Somerset West and Taunton

    I am delighted to have been elected as a governor onto the Council of Governors for Somerset NHS Foundation Trust to represent Somerset West and Taunton, a very exciting opportunity, which I relish. I am very familiar with the world of health, research and social care as I am a former nurse, senior lecturer and researcher with a 38 year career in the NHS and Higher Education in UK and Oman. Prior to retiring on ill health grounds in 2015, I worked for the former NHS NIHR Primary Care Research Network, latterly as National Lead for Workforce Development. I bring an experienced healthcare focused and analytical perspective to my governor role through clinical, educational and academic knowledge and skills gained over the years. Together with over 30 years of undertaking senior volunteering roles at local, regional, national and international levels, including my current post of secretary for my GP Practices Patient Participation Group, I believe I can make an active and competent contribution to the work of the Council of Governors. I look forward to working with fellow governors and other colleagues to support and develop the excellent work of Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

  • Jeanette Keech

    Public Governor, Somerset West and Taunton

    I enjoyed a career in public relations and have been a governor of a sixth form college, a member of Crimestoppers and the Taunton Crime Prevention team. For twelve years I was a trustee of Age UK Somerset and am currently actively involved with a local patients' group (PPG) of a doctor's surgery. I have been a governor of Musgrove Park Hospital representing the people of Taunton Deane, and now enjoy being a governor of Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. I also worked as a non-executive director on the Musgrove Park Hospitals Board for nearly a decade. I use my experience and understanding of the Somerset health system to support the newly merged Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, in its vital and challenging role of looking after the health of the people of Somerset.

  • Sumitar Young

    Public Governor, Somerset West and Taunton

    My professional life has been spent as a teacher and as a manager in further education and I have always worked to make a positive difference in the lives of my students. My last role was senior manager in Bridgwater College where I saw the impact that poverty, mental health, safeguarding, and learning disabilities had on the learning of individual students and on their families. I have worked with colleagues from health, police, social services, voluntary organisations and other providers and have seen how working together can improve services. In my role as governor, I want to play my part in helping to improve the quality of our NHS services. I have worked with colleagues from health, police, social services, voluntary organisations and other providers and have seen how working together can improve services. In my role as governor, I want to play my part in helping to improve the quality of our NHS services.

  • Ian Aldridge

    Public Governor, Somerset West and Taunton

    The NHS is essential for everyone at some time in our lives and has been there when I needed it. I became a governor to give something back. I have been a patient, a carer, and worked in a commercial organisation supplying the NHS. I now have the time as a governor to contribute to the running of the service through representing the needs and views of the people who are served by the trust. I work to take the needs and aspirations of the people of Somerset to the heart of the trust and make constructive suggestions to the Board about how those expectations can be met within the limited resources available. It is also important to feed back to communities the reasoning behind decisions made in their interest by the Board.

  • Kate Butler

    Public Governor, Somerset West and Taunton

    I have spent my adult life caring for people, undertaking my nurse training in London at Great Ormond Street and the Middlesex Hospitals. I spent many years district nursing and developed the community liaison department within Musgrove Park Hospital. I have managed a 40-bedded nursing home, achieving the Investors in People award in six months, and have been a clinical advisor for NHS England on long term care appeal panels for the last ten years. I am very involved in the community, having set up and run a community lunch for the over 60s. I started the Good Neighbourhood Scheme in Stogumber with the Community Council and the scheme has now been rolled out across Somerset. I am a member of the village hall committee, a member of the Parochial Church Council and the Patient Participation Group at Williton Surgery. I enjoy gardening, walking my dogs and when I have time painting and upholstery; I especially enjoy my small grandchildren who live nearby. I was a governor at Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, and know how important links are with the community. As governor of Somerset NHS, I want to represent the people of West Somerset and ensure all their health needs are met mental and physical health.

  • Erica Adams

    Public Governor, Somerset West and Taunton

    I have a high regard for the NHS due to the excellent support received both by myself, family and friends. I have shared this enthusiasm as chairman of the Wellington Medical Centre Patient Participation Group and by forming the Welly Hopper, patient transport scheme. This membership has enabled me to participate in the work of the SCCG, which I have found equally fulfilling. My professional life consisted of 30 years working for the Headquarters of the National Federation of Women's Institutes primarily on the adult education programme, exhibition work and HR. Later I became deputy principal of the NFWI Adult Education College. My last posts, on moving to Wellington, were as administrator for Abbeyfield Taunton and Company Secretary of the Somerset Building Preservation Trust. My professional life consisted of 30 years working for the Headquarters of the National Federation of Women's Institutes primarily on the adult education programme, exhibition work and HR. Later I became Deputy Principal of the NFWI Adult Education College. My last posts, on moving to Wellington, were as Administrator for Abbeyfield Taunton and Company Secretary of the Somerset Building Preservation Trust.

  • Tim Slattery

    Public Governor, Somerset West and Taunton

    I believe passionately in preserving the NHS, as a force for improving the well-being of our diverse community. My work experience and voluntary service background in housing and environmental health; previous Councillor role representing one of the most deprived Wards in Somerset on Taunton Deane Borough Council; governor experiences as a school and college governor and as a public governor for Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, have given me a wide range of skills to bring to the newly merged Trust. The guiding principle of a foundation trust is that governors have a responsibility to be a voice on behalf of its members and non-members, ensuring those voices are heard and listened to. I use my listening skills to hear the views of patients and staff, and take these to the Board for response. This governor role will be challenging and I can use my developed knowledge to meet the challenges working with other governors to ensure good quality care for all our patients. I fervently believe in Equality and Diversity and that a happy workforce will ensure the best outcomes for patients and staff.

  • Bob Champion

    Public Governor, Mendip

    I became a governor to help people who have trouble helping themselves. I have spent the last 30 years of my working life with the Somerset Ambulance Service, most of it on the road, and sometimes in senior positions. I have been a town or district councillor for more than 30 years and was the Mendip District Council representative on the Somerset Community Health Council (health Watchdog) and vice chair for two years. I am now a member of Somerset Healthwatch, the local health/social care watchdog. During my years with the Community Health Council I worked with NHS partners to introduce a 24/7 service stroke service and saw community hospitals set up rehabilitation stroke units. During my 46 years with the NHS I have seen the patient's journey from the beginning to the end of life. My role as governor gives me opportunity to look more closely at the middle of life's journey and to ensure that Mendip residents receive what they are entitled to.

  • Dr Philip Jackson

    Public Governor, Mendip

    I have had considerable contact with Musgrove Park Hospital over the years plus other health services in the county. This has been both as a GP in Glastonbury, where I worked from 1974 until 2010, and also as a patient where I have always had excellent treatment. I am very keen that this high level of service should be maintained and further developed as re-organisations encourage and allow change. Health services have often suffered from fragmentation and I would like to see a greater degree of integration, particularly between primary and secondary care. I was responsible, with my partners, for developing the services we offered at our practice in Glastonbury and feel I that the interest, commitment and experience to be a governor of the Trust.

  • Judith Goodchild

    Public Governor, Sedgemoor

    The merger between Taunton and Somerset and Somerset Partnership is an exciting opportunity to benefit the care that all patients receive. It is a privilege to act as a public governor for the new trust, as it has been to be a Musgrove governor for the past eight years. The NHS is going through a period of change and it is important that the voice of the public is heard and taken into account when decisions are being made about future healthcare in Somerset. As a governor of Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and as chair of Healthwatch Somerset I have the opportunity to do this. I am chair of the Quality and Patient Experience Group, which listens to the concerns that patients and the public may have and bringing them to the attention of the executive team. I am also secretary to my surgery's Patient Participation Group, so am aware of local healthcare issues.

  • Dave Gudge

    Public Governor, Sedgemoor

    Over the past 30 years, I have worked with many people to deliver care to everyone and anyone in nursing homes, hospitals, and brain injury units. I have worked in professional and semi-professional sports, teaching and guiding both young and old athletes, mainly as a sport scientist, coach and psychologist. I wanted to become a governor to make a difference in my area with how care happens and who gets the care required. I would like to oversee NHS strategic planning and its delivery to the public, to help change the perception of some members of the public as to how hard staff in our NHS work. I want to help staff with their vocation and use my medical knowledge and vast experience for the need of the people. I would also like to help change and improve how social care is delivered and to ensure we support those who have to deliver the care. I am a qualified welfare officer with many proven strategies and theories. My best assets are my honesty, professionalism, versatility, patience and knowledge of the medical profession.

  • Jack Torr

    Public Governor, Sedgemoor

    Throughout my working life I have been involved with improving patient outcomes by enhancing the skills and knowledge of healthcare professionals, developing independent education programmes across many therapy areas and am a published co-author on Guiding Principles of Continuing Medical Education in Europe. I see being a governor as a potential extension of improving patient outcomes. I am an associate hospital manager at a private mental unit, reviewing patients sectioned under the Mental Health Act, recently joining the trust in a similar role. Mental health is a major challenge and my exposure to the medical, social, financial and legal aspects of mental health as well as direct involvement with often particularly challenging patients I believe will be of value my role as governor.

  • Eddie Nicolas

    Public Governor, Sedgemoor

    I am retired registered mental nurse and also a global chartered management accountant. For many years I was active in the local network of CIMA and was chair of the Bristol Focus Group. I am a member of the Patient Participation Group of the East Quay Medical Centre. I frequently attend the Somerset Mental Health Stakeholder Engagement Forum. Prior to the merger of Somerset Partnership NHS and Taunton and Somerset NHS I was a governor of the Somerset Partnership NHS for three years. During my term of office, I sat on the Strategy and Planning sub-committee. I am currently a governor of a secondary school in Bridgwater and am the chair of the Leadership and Management sub-committee. The Trust has done some great work during the recent difficulties but we should not rest on our laurels. We have to make sure that the recent recognition that the NHS has been given does not get forgotten in the coming years. Its weaknesses have to be remedied and we have to ensure that it is ready the next challenge. I sincerely intend to continue the work that I started and ensure that further improvements are implemented.

  • Paddy Ashe

    Public Governor, South Somerset

    I have served in the Royal Navy for the last 41 years and I am now employed as a civil servant in air traffic control at RNAS Yeovilton. I have a son and daughter, and my wife works for the NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group. I cannot think of a better way to participate in the wider community than by being a member of the Council of Governors, helping to preserve and improve the NHS in all aspects of patient care for the people of Somerset.

  • Michael Beales

    Public Governor, South Somerset

    Originally from the East Riding of Yorkshire, at the tender age of 15½ I joined the RAF as a Boy Entrant qualifying as an avionics engineer and progressed through the ranks leaving the service in 1993. I served at various stations around the country and overseas including the Far East and Germany. In 1989 I was awarded the BEM in the New Years honours list for duty to the service and for service in the local community. After leaving the RAF in 1993 I took up a post as technical author in Yeovil working for Westland Helicopters (now Leonardo). Whilst at Westland I gained a diploma in Safety and Health and sat on the Health and Safety Committee until my retirement in 2010. Having lived and worked in Yeovil for over 30 years I became involved with the NHS when working with the hospital radio which led me to be become a volunteer and have I been a Governor at YDH for the past four years. In addition, I am currently vice-chair of Preston Grove PPG. I am looking forward to serving as a Governor at SFT, representing the membership and I hope to actively contribute positively to the team.

  • Nick Craw

    Public Governor, South Somerset

    I am a doctor, a consultant in intensive care and anaesthetics, working in Yeovil for the last 10 years, after training in Oxford. I have survived the last 2 Years, working with COVID patients on life support machines, so I am very aware of what hospital staff have just been though. I want to help represent staff and fight for their needs. I am very aware of what patients have just been through, and I want to help represent patients and their needs, in terms of long term conditions and the services they require. I know there is a massive backlog now of patients needing surgery. I work in the operating theatres , and I want to help speed up patients access to excellent surgical procedures, delivered close to their own home. I want to help make the proposed merger a success for both patients and staff, and wish to fight for new services and investment of new money in all our Somerset hospitals, to "level up "what is fair and what is excellent for all of us.

  • Ian Hawkins

    Public Governor, South Somerset

    Born, bred and educated in Somerset, my family were for four generations the village bakers. Following three years at Cardiff studying food technology, and 10 years in the north of England managing large bakeries, I returned to Somerset with my Yorkshire-born wife and two children, to run the family bakery. I also set up a new IT company, Bakery Computing, to write and support software specifically for the bakery and food industries in the UK. Being lucky enough to live in a small village with a vibrant community, it is important to be involved. Over the years I have served as parish councillor, school governor, church warden, village hall trustee and chair of our local GPs Friends group. In the past 10 years my involvement as a volunteer with Samaritans of Taunton and Somerset has reinforced my interest in not only the improvement of, but also the need for, simplified access to support for people suffering from poor mental health. Through my practical business experience, involvement in rural community life and Samaritan ethics, I bring a practical yet empathetic view to the Council of Governors.

  • David Recardo

    Public Governor, South Somerset

    Having been a governor at Yeovil District Hospital for a number of years, I like to also be a governor of the Somerset foundation trust, as the Yeovil Trust will soon no longer exists. I am currently the South Somerset District Councils appointed governor, but I would like to become a governor in the new trust in my own right. I have found being a governor of Yeovil Hospital very interesting and rewarding, I would very much like to continue representing the community I live in, here in Yeovil, as having a local voice is very important. I am retired, so I can give time to being a Governor, this is very important as there is always something new to learn with meetings usually during the day time. I have my own transport so attending meetings will not be a problem, My Town and District Council career is coming to a close after 20 years, with the formation of the new Somerset Unitary Council, so I will have plenty of free time to carry out the duties of a Hospital Governor.

  • Dr Paull Robathan

    Public Governor, South Somerset

    I have been involved with the NHS for over 50 years as an employee, nominated governor, non-executive Director and now as Chair of the South Petherton League of Friends. I recently completed a PhD focussing on the impact of housing on the health of social rented tenants. I was Leader of South Somerset District Council from 2004-2006, Chairman of South Somerset Together (Local Strategic Partnership) and Chairman of South Petherton Parish Council. Somerset is about to go through major structural change through the creation of a new Unitary Council and the establishment of an Integrated Care System that together will bring significant opportunities to improve the care and health of everyone in Somerset. I would hope I can bring my knowledge and expertise to bear as a Governor to represent the needs and aspirations of all residents, and especially the ageing population. Apart from the roles mentioned I am a member of Taunton Deane Male Voice Choir, Ilminster Probus and a keen supporter of Welsh rugby.

  • Sue Steele

    Public Governors, South Somerset

    As a Yorkshire girl having moved to the West Country several years ago, I trained in general nursing along the way. Ran my own Nursing Home for 14 years. Changed direction to become a South Somerset District Councillor and for 10 years Chair of Scrutiny and Overview with particular interest in Social Housing and Troubled Families in deprived rural areas. Having been a partnership governor at Musgrove Park Hospital and now a Public Governor for Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, my hope is to continue to support Somerset Rural Areas in all aspects of Health and Wellbeing in the Community.

  • Judith Morris

    Public Governor, South Somerset

    I am a trustee member of our local hospital. I am a member of a family of medical professionals, both in general practice and as specialists in the hospital services. I know first hand how important the medical services are to my community. I shall do all I can to maintain and improve those services for my community.

  • Alan Peak

    Public Governor, Outside Somerset

    I have spent the last 17 years working with the Patient Transport Service at South Western Ambulance Service and I was a staff governor too. I retired 18 months ago and I am now a councillor on Weston-super-Mare Town Council. I was the mayor of Weston too in 2016/17. When we attend hospital for any appointments or to be admitted for an operation, you and I are their customers. As customers we need to know how our hospital is run and that we have the confidence that any of our concerns are listened to. As a governor I want to use my experience in talking and listening to the concerns of patients to make improvements at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

Staff Governors

  • Shabnum Ali

    Staff Governor

    As a Staff Governor, I aim to represent the voice of the workforce to the best of my ability, in a compassionate manner so that staff are empowered to effect change where required, to improve patient outcomes and staff experience/wellbeing. I have worked for the NHS for 15 years in primary, community and secondary care settings, and have seen the tremendous work done by the NHS workforce who work earnestly, and with significant levels of skill to continually exceed best practice. It is an honour to work in the formal capacity as Governor to ensure that the viewpoints of the workforce can be brought to the Board in a constructive and considered manner, particularly with the upcoming merger. I am passionate about maintaining an inclusive workplace culture and honouring diversity of thought. The skills I feel I will bring to the role are: - Collaborative working with multiple stakeholders - A track record in Healthcare Leadership/Quality Improvement - Experience of working with a breadth of professional backgrounds - Ability to support and provide objectivity/constructive challenge in order to achieve shared goals and make robust decisions - Acumen to get to root causes of matters in order to find solutions - Board level experience (My Board and I received the Queens Award for Voluntary Service in 2019 - Queens Honours list). My core values I hope to bring to the role are: - authenticity - honesty - integrity - kindness

  • Lynn Pearson

    Staff Governor

    I have worked for the NHS now for 20 years, starting at Minehead Hospital and working there for three years before transferring to Musgrove in 2003. I have seen some significant changes in this time and have been fortunate to work in many different teams with fantastic colleagues and inspirational leaders. I was heavily involved with setting up the Council of Governors in the first instance when we applied for Foundation Trust Status, as I was public involvement officer at the time and remember all the recruitment drives to encourage members and to persuade the first governors to step up to the plate. This involved amongst other things - meetings in draughty village halls to drum up support and canvassing on the streets in various costumes! So it feels as if I have come full circle sitting at I do now as a staff governor, which is a role I take very seriously alongside my day job which is currently head of performance. Recently I took on the role of Chair of the Governors People Group which is interesting and an important group as we consider the impact of our merger on our colleagues.

  • Owen Howell

    Staff Governor

    I currently work for the Home Treatment Team in Yeovil, and have been qualified as a mental health nurse since 2011. I have worked across all areas of mental health, including child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and older adults mental health, and was lucky enough to complete some of my nurse training in New Zealand. I'm deeply passionate about the core values of the NHS and equally as concerned about its future. I became a governor to bring the stories of the people I care for to board level, and to find positive solutions that as a Trust we can offer to the local community. I want to use my role to positively represent the voice of mental health, and to champion change in our working practice, so we can ensure improved wellbeing of staff and better working environments.

  • Phil Hodgson

    Staff Governor

    I have volunteered my spare time to Musgrove Park Hospital since 2010 when I joined the then hospital radio station, Apple FM; on average giving over 30 hours a week. I have also spent a few years with the League of Friends as one of the charity's executives. Importantly, I spent a few years as a publicly elected governor for the former Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. I believe that the newly formed Somerset NHS Foundation Trust can deliver the very best services to the community it serves, but it needs guidance from people with staff experience and viewpoint. I am a service-user of the Trust and I believe I can bring energy, enthusiasm and a passion for helping to make OUR hospital and Trust the best in the South West with careful and considered scrutiny of spending and policy. I am extremely approachable and believe wholeheartedly in the Community the Trust serves being represented and that the Trust be answerable to its Members.

  • Manuel Blanco-Guzman

    Staff Governor

    I have been a consultant in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery since 2007, working at Musgrove Park, Yeovil and Minehead hospitals. I had the privilege of being a staff governor for Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust since 2017. During this period, I have been involved in the process for the recently completed merger with Somerset Partnership, creating the new Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. I strongly believe the creation of this new trust offers an exciting opportunity in which we can improve the way we deliver our services and also the professional development and work conditions of all the staff, without the previous boundaries. However, there is still additional work to do, supporting, helping and challenging the Trust Board with openness, honesty, objectivity and integrity. As our new Trust employs over 8000 staff members, working together over multiple different sites, improved communication at all levels will be paramount. As a staff governor, I will ensure I am available to all staff members, so I can continue to bring our observations, ideas, concerns and solutions to the Board in a supportive and constructive way.

  • Joe Silsby

    Staff Governor

    I have been a consultant anaesthetist in the Trust since 2007. I actually started as a novice anaesthetist here back in 1999. Following subsequent registrar and sub-specialty training in Bristol, I returned in 2007. I have undertaken a number of directorate and Trust roles, most recently taking over as CSL for anaesthesia in 2020. The last few years have been a challenge for us all. I remain firmly of the opinion that our staff are our MOST important element - way above our 'space' (beds, theatres etc), 'stuff' (equipment etc), or 'SOPS' (protocols and procedures). We must never lose sight of this as we face post COVID 'recovery' of our patient services together. My guiding principle with respect to healthcare is simple - "If it isn't good enough for my family or friends, it isn't good enough for the patient in front of me". I believe my grounding in our organisation (over many years!) gives me a sound base to contribute positively and challenge with candour when required, in this role as a Staff Governor

  • Neil Thomas

    Staff Governor

    I am a senior psychiatric nurse who has worked in Somerset for 13 years. Since my first employment as a Support Worker through to the last 10 years as a registered mental health nurse, I have worked across every mental health inpatient and community team within Somerset. In 2019 I led a suicide prevention project for Health Education England and worked as a clinical trainer in Learning and Development. The unique opportunity to deliver corporate induction has enabled me to see objectively the progress and impact of both trusts coming together. I currently work for psychiatric liaison teams across both Musgrove Park and Yeovil District Hospitals. Within these roles I have front line experience on a daily basis of the difficulties front line teams face within the current health service climate. Alongside my nursing roles I maintain other voluntary roles within International and local charities attached to psychoses or men's health. I currently chair a local boy's and men's health movement in Somerset and support local Public Health campaigns. At the age of 21 I was voted Regional Health and Safety representative for the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and have been an active advocate of staff for 20 years.

  • Julius Ndlovu

    Staff Governor

    I am a Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) and work for a Community Mental Health Team (CMHT). I have also worked on the mental health wards. I am passionate about mental health. I am equally as keen to keep improving the patient experience of their journey within our Trust services, as I am of the experience of the staff delivering that care. I have worked in third sector and private hospitals and so appreciate not just the challenges the NHS faces, but also the great work we do as a Trust. I am delighted to play my part as we reshape services for the future. I am always happy to talk things through, be if from a patient and/or their carer or a member of staff. Transparency and compassion are important values to me, which I believe are at the core of our Trust Values.

Appointed Governors

  • Cllr Heather Shearer

    Appointed Governor, District and Borough Council

    For the last 11 years I have run a company that supplies temporary warehouse buildings, and before that I was in operational management in charities and companies. I moved to Street in the summer of 2015 with my dog Fred and since then I have also been actively involved in the community as volunteer co-ordinator at Strode Theatre, treasurer for Houndwood Community Group where I live, and now as councillor for Mendip District Council and Street Parish Council. I am an executive member at Mendip Council, and lead on community health services. At the start of my career I worked in public and private sector organisations, principally in training and development. After about 10 years, I was able to spend time as a volunteer with Citizens Advice which opened my eyes to the challenges many of us face daily. I believe that good healthcare, social care and education should not be dependent upon where you live and how much you earn. On a more personal note, I have benefitted hugely from the NHS, with my treatment of a rare cancer and the excellent care given to my late-mother. I bring to this role, experience in working with trustee boards, both as an executive officer and a board member, and I will be conscientious and committed to the role.

  • Caroline Toll

    Appointed Governor, Carers UK

    I have worked in a variety of settings including airlines, public relations in fashion and other industries, counselling - ending with training managers in many organisations in people skills. Since my husband died I have been an energetic advocate for better support for unpaid carers and that experience is what I mainly offer as a governor. I am an ambassador for Carers UK, member of Carers Voice, CCG Advisory Group and Frome Medical Practice Patients Participation Group. I am interested in the arts, particularly music and am an enthusiastic amateur gardener.

  • Jos Latour

    Appointed Governor, Universities (Plymouth, Bournemouth and Bristol)

    I am a Professor in clinical nursing at the University of Plymouth. Before I moved to Plymouth in 2014, I worked in the Netherlands as a nurse for over 35 years. I received my PhD from the Medical Faculty of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. My main research lines are related to patient and family empowerment and involvement in health care as well as end-of-life care practices, paediatric sepsis, and issues improving dementia care. I combine my academic work between the University and two NHS trusts; Musgrove and Derriford Hospital. I am the director of the Clinical School at Musgrove Park Hospital. The aim of the Clinical School is to build research capacity and develop a research culture in clinical settings. Previously I have been involved in strategic and advisory roles from establishing a nursing advisory board to an expert in various court cases.

  • Cllr Ross Henley

    Appointed Governor, Somerset County Council

    Photo and Biography awaited

  • Robert Cornes

    Appointed Governor, Samaritans

    I have been a Samaritan for over 10 years and have recently come to the end of my three years as the director of the Samaritans of Taunton & Somerset. I have always had a strong interest in supporting those who are in need of emotional support and in my time as director, I have led the initiative to support street sleepers in Taunton through our work at Open Door and at Taunton Foodbank, where our volunteers now offer weekly support. My next challenge is to join the Samaritans Postvention team, supporting schools anywhere in the country where there has been a suicide. Now retired, I was a teacher for nearly forty years, starting my career as an English teacher in Dorset and most recently was deputy principal at The West Somerset Community College in Minehead for 15 years, overseeing the curriculum. As a governor I hope I can help to make our NHS support for those with mental health needs the best it can be.