Meet our senior leadership team and board of executives.

Our management have the overall responsibility for our strategy and performance. They oversee the running of the Foundation and meet up on a regular basis.

Day-to-day management and operations are delegated to an Executive Team, which is led by our Chief Executive.

Meet The Executive Team

John Preston Interim CEO and Chief Financial Officer
Alison Williams Director of Corporate Services
Andrew McGreevy Director of Business Development
Charlotte Jones Director of Health and Wellbeing
John Steward Director of Education
Lynsey Dawson Company Secretary

We are governed by a Board of Trustees which has overall responsibility of our conduct and management as a charity. They set the long term strategic direction that enables us to work towards achieving our vision.

Meet The Trustee Team

Paul Foreman Trustee
Ewen Weir Trustee
Clare Thompson Trustee
Janet Donnelly Trustee
Dr Nicola Hutchinson Trustee
Dr Peter Emerson Trustee
Laura Parker Trustee
Lucy Craig Trustee

Paul Foreman

Paul joined the Foundation as a Trustee in December 2019 and is currently Chair of the Finance Committee.

He has a background in finance, as a qualified accountant.  Paul spent 19 years at Formica, a manufacturing business in various roles in finance, IT and operations.  He left and joined PD Ports as Chief Technology Officer in December 2020, moving to the role of Chief Operating Officer in October 2022.

Paul still tries to play football in his spare time.  He has twins, one of which attends Percy Hedley School.

Ewen Weir

Ewen joined the Percy Hedley Foundation in February 2021 as Safeguarding Trustee and is Chair of the Quality and Standards Committee and a member of the Audit and Risk Committee.

He is an experienced senior leader in local government and the NHS. Ewen was Director of Adult Social Services and Director of Children’s Services at Newcastle City Council and a Non-Executive Director of Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust when he retired at the end of 2019.

A social worker by professional background educated at the University of Edinburgh, MA (Hons) History, Diploma in Education and M.Phil, CQSW from the University of Newcastle.

Ewen has always been passionate about equality and diversity and creating an environment where everyone is valued for the unique perspective they bring to the table.

Away from work Ewen’s hobbies include fly fishing, reading and being an active grandparent!

Clare Thompson

Clare joined the Foundation as a Trustee in July 2022 and is Chair of the People and Culture Committee and a member of the Quality and Standards Committee.

Clare is a practising solicitor, accredited by the Law Society as a specialist in clinical negligence law. She is currently head of the clinical negligence team at Hay and Kilner LLP, a North East firm. She specialises in birth injury work which has brought her into contact with families with children with cerebral palsy and profound learning difficulties, many of whom have a link with the Foundation.

Clare also holds a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management and is passionate about equality and diversity, particularly promoting and encouraging women in the law. She has Chaired the Women Lawyers’ Division North East for the last 8 years, bringing together women from across the region at networking and educational events.

In her spare time, Clare enjoys spending quality time with her friends and family, spinning, travelling, good food and walking in the beautiful Northumberland countryside.

Janet Donnelly

Janet was appointed to the Board of Trustees in July 2022 and became Chair of the Board of Trustees in February 2023.

She is an experienced HR Director, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIPD) and a Member of the Institute of Directors.

Having led the people agenda in leading financial services companies as well as operating as a successful business consultant, her professional expertise and leadership covers all aspects of people strategy, including organisational culture and effectiveness across private, public and not for profit organisations.

Throughout her career Janet continues to advise Boards and Executive Teams on transformation and leadership, disruptive HR concepts as well as future state workforce planning and driving people engagement at all levels.

Outside of work Janet relaxes with a good book, travels to new places, and spends time outdoors with the family and dogs.

Dr Nicola Hutchinson

Nicola joined the Foundation as a Trustee in November 2022 and is Chair of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee and Member of the People and Culture Committee.

Nicola is currently CEO of Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria, which supports the health and care system to identify, evaluate and adopt new innovations, which improve population health, reduce health inequalities, and drive economic growth.  She helped create the organisation back in 2012 and has spent almost 20 years supporting innovation across the regional NHS. Prior to this, she gained a PhD in Chemistry from Durham University.

She is extremely passionate about innovation and the impact it can have, having witnessed this first hand with her severely disabled brother, Steven. Steven’s memory is one of the key drivers for her commitment to the Foundation.

Away from work, Nicola enjoys spending time with her husband and two small children.

Dr Peter Emerson

Peter joined the Foundation as a Trustee in November 2022 and is a member of the Finance Committee and a member of the People and Culture Committee.

He has a PhD in Chemistry and has had an extensive career in General Management in Chemistry associated industries. For much of his career he specialised in restructuring and returning underperforming businesses to profit.

Latterly he was also a Non Executive Director of END Clothing prior to Carlyle Group’s investment in that business in 2021.

Peter is also a Director of Ashworth IMS Ltd and is involved in the acquisition and management of Commercial/Industrial properties.

Laura Parker

Laura joined the Foundation as a Trustee in February 2024, drawn to the charity because of its person-centred values.

Laura’s career spans varied sectors including education, criminal justice system and social welfare across the profit and not-for-profit sectors. She is currently an executive Director of Operations for a social care organisation specialising in supporting individuals with a learning disability and/or autism across Yorkshire, her passion is promoting community inclusion and active citizenship.

Laura has a BA Hons in Criminology, completed post-graduate qualifications in strategic leadership and is currently undertaking a Master of Business Administration (MBA) specialising in Healthcare Management.

In her spare time, she is also a Trustee for Healthwatch North Yorkshire, enjoys running to stay fit and is a busy Mum of Charlie who is a football fanatic, so she spends lots of time supporting him from the sidelines!