Our Board of Trustees comprises a wide range of experts from health inequalities researchers to community practitioners, from voluntary and private sector specialists to senior policy developers.


Paul Ballantyne

Paul is our Trustee for Scotland. He is an experienced regeneration practitioner with over 30 years’ experience of planning, managing and delivering a variety of social, economic and physical regeneration programmes. His background is in community development and he has worked in a variety of settings, including local government, the Scottish Government, a regional health board, a national housing and regeneration agency and latterly the Scottish Community Development Centre. His interests focus on how agencies can work together to tackle social exclusion, engage effectively with local communities but especially how communities can lead regeneration and change in their own right. His experience includes leading some large scale initiatives, including a 10 year multi-agency regeneration partnership, a health board strategy and programmes to support patient and public involvement, national third sector training, employment initiatives and national regeneration learning networks. He has also acted as a Trustee in a voluntary capacity with a range of third sector organisations in Scotland at national and local level. 

Sue Cohen (Chair)

Sue was Chief Executive of Single Parents Action Network UK from 1990 to 2013 (an organisation she founded with volunteers). SPAN is a national organisation working to support parents and self-help groups to empower themselves in improving life chances. Sue helped to develop a network of over 1000 grassroots groups from many different cultures and backgrounds across the UK, including women with experience of violence, disabled parents and children and refugees and asylum seekers. She currently works at Bristol University, where she is Co-Investigator on the Productive Margins programme, developing co-produced research with marginalised communities on regulations that restrict life chances and considers how these might be transformed. Sue has also held trustee, board, and committee roles at a local, regional, national and EU level, including; Chair/Trustee of a local Community Interest Company; Executive Member of a governing body of the SW Doctoral Training Centre and non-executive member of the government's Social Inclusion Advisory Committee.

Liz Dowler photoProfessor Elizabeth Dowler

Liz is a public health nutritionist and the Emeritus Professor of Food & Social Policy in the Sociology Department at the University of Warwick. She draws on science and social science in working on food poverty, security, rights and justice; public health and local food initiatives; policy evaluation; and ‘reconnection’ to sustainable food systems. Liz is an advisor to the Food Foundation and a member of the Food Ethics Council, a small charity working for a fairer food system. She was a member of DECC/Defra’s Social Science Expert Panel, and Defra’s Council of Food Policy Advisors. She does brief international consultations evaluating food policies. Her work is extensively published.

Dr Eva Elliott

Eva is our Trustee for Wales. She is lecturer in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University and is a researcher in the Cardiff Institute of Society and Health and Wellbeing. In addition, she is the Director of the Wales Health Impact Assessment Support Unit. Her research has a focus on action to reduce inequalities in health and improve health and wellbeing. She has over 15 years’ experience of conducting research with academics in other disciplines and through engagement with local communities, practitioners and policy makers. Eva is interested in alternative approaches to research and is involved in two research projects in a major UK wide research programme called Connected Communities. In these she is also working with performers and artists to engage communities and help design policy which tackles health inequalities.

Alan Lally-Francis

Alan has 11 years’ experience working in advocacy and public affairs. He started his career working for an MP and government minister in parliament before working in international development and human rights for various non-governmental organisations, including CAFOD, CSW and Amnesty International, before working for Sport England, where he looked at the social impact of sport. Alan currently leads the advocacy work at Transparency International UK. Alan was born in Pakistan and lived in Spain for five years before coming to the UK. He grew up in east London, where he continues to live today.

Sue Hawkett OBE

Sue’s career spans working in senior clinical, educational and managerial roles at local and national level, including the NHS, third sector, overseas development agencies and latterly government. Her background in nursing, midwifery, critical care, palliative care and education culminated in one of her most satisfying roles – as leader of the end of life care team at the department of health, resulting in the first ever ‘End of Life Care Strategy’. Sue was awarded an OBE in 2005 and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 for services to nursing and palliative care. Sue lives in Dorset, is a non-executive director of Weldmar Hospicecare and is a Lay Member on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Service Delivery Guideline Committee for end of life care.  She is involved with Marie Curie, supports people with learning disabilities as well as working with the local church in pastoral care.

Barbara Simmonds

Barbara is a Chartered Accountant who, for the last 20 years, has been working both in the UK and overseas as a freelance financial consultant with private and charitable sectors. She has worked on a variety of international aid projects funded by the European Union and other donor organisations in Asia, Africa, the CIS, Middle East and Eastern Europe. Barbara is on the Board of a charity providing emergency relief and development assistance worldwide. Previously Barbara worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Avis Europe plc.

Duncan Stephenson

Duncan is Director of External Affairs for the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and is responsible for developing the organisation’s voice on public health issues. He has been behind many of RSPH’s new policies including: campaigning for alcohol calorie labelling; creating outdoor smoking exclusion zones; and most recently drug policy reform. Duncan has more than ten years’ experience in campaigns, media relations and public affairs - working mainly on health and wellbeing issues. Before joining RSPH, Duncan looked after parliamentary and stakeholder relations for the Care Quality Commission. He was also the Head of External Affairs at the YMCA. In this role, he set up the All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image and was instrumental in the Campaign for Body Confidence, now the BeReal Campaign. As External Relations Manager at Unilever UK, he supported their response to the Public Health White Paper, covering issues such as food labelling, marketing and advertising to children and product reformulation. Duncan is also a volunteer for OCD Action.

Nigel Turner (Deputy Chair)

Nigel has led charitable enterprises which provide social care and support for people with learning disabilities and people with long-term mental health support needs. Most notably, he was CEO of Support for Living (now called Certitude) for 18 years, taking the charity from an organisation running two care homes to managing a diverse range of services across five London boroughs. Nigel holds the Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors, has chaired a housing association board and is a Non Executive Director of a local authority trading company providing housing and social care.



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