Pamela Barnes Cert Ed, SKTC Dip, Dip inCou, M.Phil, M.R.S.M., Hon.FRCPCH, Chairman
Over 50 years experience of working with children, young people and their families in both health and education in the statutory and voluntary sectors. This has included the setting up of the academic programme for hospital play specialists, part time lecturing posts in hospital play, child development and early years education, over 50 years experience of representing a children's voice on community health councils, health authorities and trusts.
Dr Deepak Kalra MB ChB, DCH, FRCP, FRCPCH, Vice Chairman
Consultant Paediatrician since 1987 at a large District General Hospital, with special interest in children’s cancers and blood disorders. Also been involved in various management roles for the clinical department (including as Clinical Director of Paediatrics for seven years in 1990s) and for the hospital. These have also involved multi-disciplinary working as member or chairman of different committees.
In clinical practice, continue to participate in audit. Also participated in multi-centre trials of new treatments (2001 – ongoing), as the local researcher. Been trained by course attendance in research ethics and methods (2001). Acting (2003 – 4) as advisor to National Children’s Bureau on a research project involving children.
Has been a member of Action for Sick Children since 1989, and then Trustee and Vice Chairman of Trustees since 2001.
Margaret Jeal, Vice Chairman
Margaret has over 35 years experience of working with children, their families and carers in the health sector, as a Registered Sick Children's nurse. Finally becoming a modern matron for paediatrics in a large district hospital.
John Hendle, Hon treasurer
Harjodh Singh Gill, Trustee
Hon treasurer 2003-2006 now Director on the Board of Trustees
Dr Richard Wilson, Trustee
Honorary Consultant Paediatrician, Kingston upon Thames. He trained in London hospitals and Southampton in adult medicine and paediatrics. In 1973 became a single handed consultant at Kingston upon Thames, and Honorary Consultant at Charing Cross Hospital.
He was one of a group which produced 'The Loss of Your Baby', and became adviser to Surrey SANDS. He held a weekly clinic for bereaved parents and a clinic for those having subsequent babies. He has worked extensively in the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths.
He was one of the Professional Advisory Panel of NAWCH, on the national 'Playboard' and the HPSET. At Kingston he built up the Play Specialist Team, created a Paediatric Outreach Nursing Team, and a Child Development Centre with residential facilities. He was a member of the Spastics Society Child Assessment Team. He was Regional Paediatric Adviser to the RCP and RCPCH and Chaired the RCPCH Report on 'Fabricated or Induced Illness'. He founded the journal 'Current Paediatrics' (now Paediatrics and Child Health).
Now retired, he works with bereaved children in Jigsaw 4U. He is a trustee of FSID and Action for Sick Children, and a Patron of NAHPS. In his spare time he likes to travel, paint and spend time with his family and grandchildren.
Carole Myer, Trustee
Carole's interest in improving NHS Maternity Services grew after the birth of her children. It progressed as they grew older, to one centred on NHS provision for sick children as they experienced a number of hospital admissions.
She became a member of London CHC, shortly after they were set up, representing the views of women and children. She then became a member of NAWCH and then Chairman of the Cambridge branch. Carole has been Action for Sick Children's national Chairman from 1994 until 1998. She chaired the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Patient's Group from 2000- 2005.
Over the years she has been a spokesman for the health and welfare needs of children and young people on a number of committees. She currently sits as a lay member on the East Anglia Faculty Board of the RCGP and The Society of Radiographers and attends her local PCT's Patient Focus Group.
Carole also works as a volunteer General Adviser at the Citizens Advice Bureau and finds her work very interesting, rewarding and satisfying. She enjoys learning something new at every session and being able to help people find ways to tackle their problems. In her spare time Carole enjoys travelling, going to the theatre, music, books, tennis and badmington.
Jo Thorogood, Trustee
I have worked with children and their families in a variety of roles. Commencing my career as a Nursery Nurse/Play Specialist within the Evelina Children’s Unit at Guy’s Hospital. Deciding after three years to pursue a career in children’s nursing. I trained as a Registered General Nurse at St George’s Hospital, London and then returned to Guy’s Hospital to complete my registered sick children’s nurse training. Specialising in paediatric cardiology when I qualified. I have been working in the community as a Health Visitor for the past 8 years. I qualified as a Health visitor in 1994 and completed a BSc(Hons) Degree in Community Health the following year.I am currently working between two roles as a Health Visitor in South London and as aPaediatric Liaison Health Visitor within the Children’s Unit, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Trust.I am in my final year of a Master of Science Degree in Child Health at the Royal College of Nursing.
Mo Cartwright, Trustee
Mo has recently retired from teaching. She enjoys a busy retirement looking after 5 Irish Setters, making greetings cards for charity fundraising and skiing.
George Meakin MD, DA FRCA, Trustee
Consultant Paediatric Anaesthetist, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and Senior Lecturer in Paediatric Anaesthesia, University of Manchester. In addition to his clinical and research roles Dr Meakin serves on several national and international bodies concerned with training and standards in children's anaesthesia.
Gill Westall, Trustee
Held senior administrative posts before having her family and subsequently worked as a school secretary in several junior and infants schools for twenty years. She has a longstanding family connection with Action for Sick Children. Since retirement she has been a volunteer in the Action for Sick Children office and acts as the Membership Secretary. An active member of her local U3A she spends any free time walking, travelling and visiting her family in this country and abroad.
Susan Fairclough, Trustee
Susan has over 29 years experience of working with children, young people, families and professionals in Healthcare, Education, Social Services and the Voluntary Sector. She has been Head of Therapeutic & Specialised Play Services and Manager since 1991.Susan is passionate about leading Play Services and organising events and entertainment to help create positive experiences and healing environments. She likes going to the theatre, fitness classes, music and spending as much time as possible with her family and friends. Above all else as a parent of a young child, Susan is wholly committed to having child centred high quality care for families.
Hannah Macdonald, Trustee - Youth Ambassador
Hannah is in her final year at the University of York studying History. During my time at university I have produced a radio show, produced a pantomime, volunteered at Oxfam and written articles for magazines. In the holidays I have travelled around Indonesia and volunteered at Action for Sick Children to find out more about the workings of a charity.
Norma Jun-Tai, Trustee
Having trained as a nursery nurse and then as a nurse in mental handicap, the hospital environment always had my attention. Employed at Kingston Hospital in 1983 and seconded to do the hospital play specialist course I was offered the post of play coordinator where I continued in this role until I left in 2009. I have been privileged to teach student play specialists as a lecturer/practitioner at NESCOT college for many years and have learned much from them. I was invited to join the Board of HPSET as the tutor representative but now represent the National Association of Health Play Specialists I am currently employed as a lecturer in Early Childhood Studies. I am the chair of Kingston branch Action for Sick Children and as a branch we support the work of head office as well as local issues.
Dr Annie Mercer Trustee
Annie has worked as a Clinical Psychologist at Alder Hey for almost 30 years. During this time she has been Head of Clinical Psychology and for 8 years was Clinical Director of CAMHS. In the early part of her career she worked in the community with children known to Social Services. In later years her work has focused on the psychological needs of children with chronic/acute illness and their families particularly those cared for by the Oncology Service. Annie has the great privilege of leading a team of hospital based Clinical Psychologists who are in turn part of various medical or surgical multi-disciplinary teams. The team also provides governance through supervision and training for the Hospital Play Specialists and Music Therapist. Annie received the Judith Houghton Award in 2011 for her contribution to Paediatric Psychology. Annie has been a member of Action for Sick Children for over 20 years.