Specialists in palliative care


Our Board of Trustees is made up of a broad mix of skills, experience and attributes to lead the efficient and effective governance of St John’s Hospice.
Our trustees have the knowledge, experience, aptitude and commitment to help ensure that the hospice remains an integral part of our community for many years to come providing excellent palliative care to those who need it. All our trustees are volunteers who give their time and their talent free of charge.

Chris Heginbotham

Chris retired from Higher Education in 2011 where she was Associate Dean of a large Faculty of Health. A registered nurse and health visitor by profession, she has worked in acute hospitals and in the community in a variety of roles before becoming a nurse educator. She has a particular interest in quality in health care.

Since joining the hospice as a volunteer in 2011, Chris has become a member of the Trustee Board and was recently re-elected as Chairperson. She is also a Trustee at Help the Hospices. Her leisure interests include patchwork and quilting, embroidery and gardening.
Read More

Caroline Redhead

Caroline is currently a Research Fellow in the Centre for Social Ethics and Policy, part of the School of Law at The University of Manchester. She is involved in researching and teaching socio-legal and bioethical issues, mostly in the context of healthcare. As a practising solicitor, Caroline worked in the UK and in Hong Kong, advising on corporate, commercial, charity and education law matters, with a focus on governance. Most recently, she was a partner at Cumbrian firm Burnetts. Caroline has a PhD in Palliative Care.

Caroline supports the Hospice with the occasional provision of pro bono legal and governance support. Together with John Yarnall, she is one of the Hospice’s inaugural Freedom to Speak Up Guardians.
Read More

Emma Bales

Over the course of her career Emma has worked in management and leadership roles in both the private and public sectors. Having started her professional working life and career in retail management the delivery of high service standards and “customer” focussed service has been an underpinning principle within all roles Emma has held. Over the course of her career Emma has developed a diverse range of knowledge and experience within the areas of strategic human, and facilities, resource management.

Emma has served for six years as the elected staff director on the Board of Directors at the University of Cumbria, and over the 12 months Aug 18-19 was the University’s nominated Trustee on the Board of Trustees for Kelsick Educational Foundation Trust in Ambleside.
Read More

Fiona Inglis

Fiona has over 20 years’ experience working in Human Resource Management. Fiona has worked predominantly in the Financial Services sector initially for Provincial Insurance (latterly AXA) and for the last 10 years with both The Co-operative Bank and The Co-operative Group based in Manchester. Her focus is primarily on planning and implementing organisational transformation and change, including behavioural and cultural aspects.

Fiona has lived in South Lakeland for most of her life, a retired hockey player she now enjoys fell walking, travelling and trekking further afield.
Read More

John Sharples

John is a Chartered Building Surveyor and Building Engineer, as well as Principal of ACS Partnership, Chartered Surveyors, John has worked in the building industry since 1974, and has developed specialist knowledge in building defect analysis and remedy.

John has been married to Angela for over 30 years who is a sister at the Royal Blackburn Hospital, and they have a son who lives and works in London. The family have experienced first-hand the services of St John’s Hospice, as both Angela’s parents received palliative care in the final weeks of their terminal illness. This experience became a motivation for wanting to become a trustee of the hospice.

As a trustee John hopes to be able to offer his particular expertise to help move the work of the hospice on, and to make a difference.
Read More

John Yarnall

John describes himself as someone who has over thirty years as a “cradle to grave” Family Doctor, and later experience as a GP Trainer and Vocational Training Scheme Organiser, which fuelled a desire to become a Trustee at St John’s subsequent to retirement in 2013.

“Other interests include seeing as much as is possible of our far-flung children and grandchildren, growing organic fruit and vegetables, walking, all sports, though mainly only golf as a participant now and improving my French for our holidays there.”
Read More

Kamal Essa

Kamal is currently Managing Director at SQ Digital, a Lancaster based digital marketing agency established in 2000 by his two younger brothers. As Managing Director, Kamal oversees all of the company’s business operations, from ensuring that SQ Digital achieves its financial vision to making sure the business stays on track with all strategic goals.

Kamal is a qualified accountant and has previously worked predominantly as a Finance Business Partner for large organisations. Before joining SQ Digital in 2016, he spent 10 years at The Co-operative Group, based in Manchester, providing financial advice and support to Operations, Commercial and Property Directors.

Along with his brothers, Kamal became an avid supporter of the hospice after experiencing first-hand the fantastic end-of-life care provided to their mum in 2018. Becoming a trustee was a great opportunity for Kamal to give back and help support the hospice.

Outside of the office, Kamal loves nothing more than getting stuck into some DIY and spending quality time with the family. He currently lives in Lancaster with his wife and two daughters.
Read More

Mark Cullinan

Mark is an experienced Non Executive Director, Chair, Executive Director and Chief Executive. His experience has been gained in Health, Housing, Local Government and Voluntary sectors. He has particular expertise in Governance, Regulations, Finance, HR and Communications. Within the Hospice Board Mark takes a lead on Finance and other resources and serves on the Shops Board. He joined the Hospice as he wants to help make a difference to the quality of life for local people, especially when they need support and care.
Read More

Nick Sayer

I have worked within Morecambe Bay as a doctor since 1982. I was appointed as the first medical director of St Mary’s Hospice in the early 1990s and since 1998 have worked as a palliative care consultant within Cumbria and North Lancashire. Palliative care has been an inspiration for me, and I am very keen to continue to be involved and contribute as much as I can as I near my retirement. I hope my experience will be useful.
Read More

Richard Gaskell

A retired Chartered Accountant, Richard was a Partner inScott & Wilkinson a local firm of Chartered Accountants, retiring in 2012. He is also a non-executive Director at a north Lancashire/Cumbria Community Development Finance Institute.

Richard has two daughters and four grandchildren who all live locally. He became involved with the hospice when they provided end of life care for his wife.

In his spare time Richard is a member of a local film making club and is involved in activities with Lancaster and Morecambe U3A.
Read More

Sue Smith OBE

Sue joined the Board of Trustees in 2016. She became a Trustee here because she passionately believes in the importance of her local hospice on the lives of those who need its services both now and into the future. Sue Chairs the Care, Quality & Services subcommittee.

Sue brings experience as an NHS Executive Chief Nurse/Deputy Chief Executive; Director of Infection Prevention and Control and Executive lead for Risk, Governance and Safeguarding as well as sharing corporate responsibilities for delivery of NHS services across primary and community services. She Chairs the National NHS Providers Medical and Nursing Directors Group which provides an opportunity to influence at a national level.

Sue is Chair of the charity Transform Healthcare Cambodia where she leads healthcare teams in the UK to travel to Cambodia to help train and educate healthcare staff rebuild and develop healthcare services following the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge.

Sue was awarded an OBE for services to the NHS and patient safety in 2018.
Read More

Alison Bargh

During her work experience, Alison has developed a diverse range of skills. A former Chartered Physiotherapist and now co-owner of CityBlock Student Accommodation, she is responsible for commercial, residential lettings and facilities across all sites nationally including the design of new projects and student wellbeing.

As a member of St Johns Hospice Choir, Tangent and a former friend of Lancaster Royal Grammar School, Alison has been involved in numerous fundraising projects locally.

Alison became a Trustee after experiencing first hand how vital the Hospice is to supporting families who depend on its services both at the Hospice and at home.

In her spare time Alison enjoys walking the 214 Wainwrights, playing golf and spending time with her 3 sons.
Read More

Hilary Fordham

Hilary retired from the NHS in March 2023 where she worked for nearly 30 years, firstly as a radiographer and then as a manager. During the middle of her career, she worked in the private sector for two consultancy firms undertaking audit and consultancy work in the NHS and Local Government. During the last part of her career Hilary was the Chief Operating Officer for Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group, having responsibility for overseeing the provision of a large range of health services.
She is very pleased to be appointed as a Trustee of St John’s to support the organisation in the great work that it does through the knowledge and experience she has gained over her career.
Read More

Patrons of St John's Hospice

Pam Barker

Pam, known by many for her work as Constable of Lancaster Castle, has also become a Patron. Many will also know of Pam’s role as the Head Teacher at Lancaster Girls' Grammar School. This experience will undoubtedly be used going forward as St John’s welcomes families to the Forget Me Not Centre.
Read More

Mike Warren

Mike is a former GP who worked with St John’s over 37 years ago when the St John of God Hospital first opened in Silverdale. Mike, the first Hospice Medical Officer MRM was formally director, worked with Sister Aine, supporters and fundraisers to get St John’s up and running. This was at a time when Hospice care was a new concept to many. Mike knows our history and how we have grown into the local Hospice we know today. He recently retired as Trustee, having been chairman some years ago, and worked extensively in regional and national roles in the Hospice world.
Read More