About the Brigitte Trust
The Brigitte Trust, an independent registered charity, was set up by Dorking resident Brigitte Watkin to support people at the end of life in their own homes, offering support and respite to their carers and emotional support to the wider family too, plus bereavement support if it was requested.
From small beginnings in the early years the Brigitte Trust has grown over the past 30 years to cover most of Surrey and, more recently, Crawley and Horsham in West Sussex. The Trust is grateful for the partnership of Macmillan Cancer Support which has enabled the recent growth of the service, to Surrey Downs CCG and local and national funders.
Our Strategic Priorities for 2016-2019
- Reach more people with qualifying conditions in our area.
- Provide excellent support for clients.
- Maintain and promote good governance and financial health.
- Broaden our networks to influence discussion, decisions and outcomes.
- Strengthen our skills and systems
Corinna, Lady Hamilton of Dalzell
Sir Adrian White CBE DL, Biwater Ltd
Sir Paul Beresford, MP Mole Valley
Nicholas Owen, Broadcaster and Journalist
Our Trustee Board
We have an experienced Board of Trustees including members with backgrounds in Healthcare, Finance and Business.
Fergus Addison - Chair
Fergus joined the Board of Trustees in January 2016. He recently retired from BP which he joined in 1982 after completion of his PhD. During his time at BP he held a number of senior leadership positions in exploration and major projects as well as technical, commercial and corporate planning roles. During his career he worked and lived in the UK, USA, Colombia, Angola and Middle East.
In additional to the trustee role, Fergus also volunteers with other charities around Surrey, enjoys mountain biking and walking, and is now able to spend time with his family.
Fergus’ motivation to become a trustee of Brigitte Trust stems from the experience of the last years of his mother’s life, where he came to understand and appreciate the support others gave to his mother during that time.
Jean Scott - Vice Chair
Jean Scott joined the Brigitte Trust as a Trustee in January 2010. After completing her PhD in molecular biology at Edinburgh, Jean joined the pharmaceutical industry and spent more than ten years as a clinical research scientist helping to develop medicines to treat cancer. Jean is now a freelance medical writer and works from her home in Dorking, giving her flexibility to combine work with raising her family.
Jean’s decision to join the Brigitte Trust stemmed from her interest in all aspects of caring for patients with cancer, from her own experience of losing both parents, and a desire to help her local community.
David Farmery - Treasurer
David is the Charity’s Treasurer and has been a Trustee since 2007. David trained as a chartered accountant with KPMG and worked for the firm in a variety of roles in London and in Paris – specialising in auditing of financial services. In 2000 he qualified as an Associate of the Institute of Corporate Treasurers.
In 2004 David left banking and established his own IT business and in 2005 David also became a director of a specialist city based software company, where he is Chief Operating Officer.
David is married and lives in Dorking.
Born in June 1957, Peter is a Chartered Architect and former Managing Director and now Executive equity Director of Broadway Malyan, an international practice of Architects, Urbanists and Designers. During his period as MD, Broadway Malyan grew from an annual turnover of £17m in 1999/2000 to a turnover of £46.6m ten years later, employing over 600 professional staff. More importantly, the practice evolved from its predominantly south of England base into a major international business with offices throughout the UK, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, and with 70% of its turnover coming from outside the UK.
Peter lives near Dorking in the village of Holmbury St Mary. A widower with two children, Verity age 18 and Joshua 21, Peter’s wife Stephanie died at home from cancer in January 2011. He therefore has first-hand experience of the issues which The Brigitte Trust seeks to support. His back story also includes having had two severely mentally and physically handicapped twin sisters who lived at home until they died separately in their 20ies. Peter has successfully completed the Volunteer Training Course at the Brigitte Trust and is also a Governor of St John’s School Leatherhead and Chairman of their Estates’ Committee.
Joanne trained as a chartered accountant in Edinburgh with PwC, moving to London with the firm after qualification. She has worked across several industries during her career targeting SME’s where she had a reputation for streamlining operations, improving efficiency and saving costs while improving management information and ensuring solid financial governance. She has experience working with Venture Capital funders, leading a business recovery, instigating an MBO and achieving a further two successful sales including Montal Computer Services, a local Dorking company.
Joanne is married with two adult children and lives in Leatherhead.
Peter Lagerberg has worked for over 25 years in Financial Services in a variety of senior management roles working in a Regulatory, Legal and Governance capacity. Peter currently works for Partnership Assurance, which provides annuity products at enhanced rates for people with health conditions, as Head of Compliance ensuring the company complies with relevant Financial Services regulations. Peter has a Law degree, has passed the Bar Finals exams and is a qualified Company Secretary.
Frances joined the Board of Trustees in January 2018 and has over 10 years' experience in the charity sector working for charities such as Prince's Trust, NSPCC and Action on Hearing Loss in their high value fundraising teams. She is currently Head of Fundraising for Girlguiding UK where she is responsible for voluntary income generation. She is passionate about fundraising and has undertaken a number of gruelling challenges including Brighton Marathon, a stair climb and a five day run/trek/cycle across the Sahara. As a local resident of Leatherhead Frances is keen to make a difference in her local community.
Anne Moved to Surrey 4 years ago and has a wide and rich professional background that has included Director of Nursing and Family Services as well as Director (care services) for North and East Hampshire Primary Care Trust. Anne has held a number of consultancy positions within the NHS and private sector and well as in recent times re-trained to become a Health Visitor. Anne has an MA in Management, Learning and Leadership and has been a Samaritan Listening Volunteer. She was delighted to accept the offer of trusteeship in 2016. Anne’s NHS senior management experience, strategic problem solving skills and experience in the design of services and experience as a volunteer herself make a fantastic fit for The Brigitte Trust.
Our Management & Operations Team
Lee Bennett - CEO
Lee has been working in the charity sector since 2004 and has had numerous roles which have included services manager of Headway Surrey, a charity supporting people experiencing long-term neurological conditions. He is also a Trustee at Mary Frances Trust, a charity that provides support for people experiencing emotional or mental distress.
Lee has acted as an Assistant Psychologist, as part of the East Surrey Mental Health Team, been an advisor to Surrey Police around discriminated groups, worked at Baker Tilly within their social impact program and enhanced his management skills by completing a PgDIp in voluntary sector management at Cass Business School. He is passionate about empowering disadvantaged groups, alleviating social isolation and providing people with a voice.
Lee says "I feel the charity sector has so much to offer but it is up to us at the Brigitte Trust to continue to ‘punch above our weight’, offer value for money as well as demonstrating the impact that our incredible team and volunteers make. It is a privilege to take on the role of CEO at such a well thought of charity and one that is in receipt of the Queens Award for voluntary service, something I take very seriously and I look forward to building upon the excellent work already in existence.”
Jane Bellingham - Service & Development Manager
Jane comes from a background of 30 years in policing, training and training development and she moved into the voluntary sector, as a volunteer with The Brigitte Trust in 2003.
She joined The Brigitte Trust in 2007 working as a trainer/supervisor of volunteers. In 2011 she became the Service and Development Manager, responsible for the recruiting, training, supervision and ongoing support of volunteers. She has worked on the development of service provision across the expanded geographical area, supported by Macmillan Cancer Support.
Vanessa Smith - Promotions Manager
With a background in publishing and event management plus a period working abroad in advertising, the hotel business and supermarket promotions Vanessa has been a Brigitte Trust volunteer and Area Organiser, coming full circle to promote the charity and the vital support it offers at the end of life.
Ingrid Walker - Administrator
Ingrid joined The Brigitte Trust in 2017. She comes from a background in public sector administration, having previously worked for the Institute of Physics, London South Bank University and the Department for Work & Pensions.
Mandy East - Training & Support Officer
Mandy joined The Brigitte Trust in 2017. She comes from a background in training and facilitating, with over 15 years experience working for a national charity.