Keech Hospice Care is governed by a Council of Management comprising the charity's trustees. The trustees are volunteers and contribute specialist skills, experience and knowledge relevent to our aims and objectives.
Chair - Patricia GarrardPatricia retired in 2008 and during her career she was the East of England Regional Finance Director for the Government funded charity, Groundwork UK. She financially supported numerous trusts throughout England and set up the accounts departments of new Trusts before training new staff and handing over the day to day running.
Patricia was also Finance Director for the National Urban Forestry Unit for 11 years. During that time she financially managed a Millennium funded £7.6million project where she worked very closely with the Millennium Commission, The European Regional Development Fund and the ODPM (Office of Deputy Prime Minister). She was a consultant Finance Director for both these charities and also acted as Finance Director/Manager and Financial accounting advisor for 14 other charities during the 20 years she worked in the Third Sector. Pat is also Trustee - Finance Director of Hertfordshire Community Foundation.
Patricia has been involved with the hospice for about 8 years and has organised grand summer balls and acted as the networker for Hertfordshire.
Vice Chairman - Michael Coward
Mike is married to Pam and has one adult son. He began his career as a commissioned Officer in the RAF, progressing to Management and Purchasing Officer (Assistant Bursar) at the University of Bristol. He then became Bursar and Clerk to Governors Bristol Grammar School and has been Chief Executive Officer at St Luke’s Hospice (Harrow and Brent) since 2000.
Michael is a Councillor for Shefford Town Council (Chairman of the Services and Maintenance Committee) and is also involved with the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.
Robert Ryall is an experienced litigator, with a particular expertise in complex high value contractual claims, construction and intellectual property disputes. He has been described by clients as “focused, practical and providing immediate advice”.
Robert heads up the Commercial Dispute Resolution Department, which has been ranked since 2007 by the Legal 500 as a tier one firm in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Middlesex and Buckinghamshire.
Robert has expertise in many sectors including not-for-profit, retail, construction and financial services.
He acts for a number of blue chip companies and household names advising them across a broad spectrum of contentious matters. Robert’s clients include General Motors, Vauxhall Motors, Watford Football Club, Eltek Valere, Snappy Snaps and Furniture Village.
Maria is a registered nurse living in Bedfordshire. She has held senior nursing posts in five London Teaching Hospitals specialising in intensive care nursing and infection control. She then undertook further training to become a Public Health Consultant, working with inner city London communities, drug and alcohol abusers and prisoners, as well as working to improve services for those with a life limiting diagnosis.
She led the NHS Prison Health team for London, before joining Great Ormond Street Hospital as Director of Partnership and Public Health. In 2008, Maria set up an independent consultancy company, which led to work with the Ministry of Defence addressing health of children and families of serving personnel.
Maria is now Managing Director of a domiciliary care provider, Home Instead Senior Care.
Leslie was born and brought up near Edinburgh and has 3 children 7, 11 and 14. He has worked in the electronics, engineering, agrochemical and pharmaceutical industries across a range of specialist areas including human resources, business development and sales and marketing.
The last 24 years were spent working with AstraZeneca where Leslie was Area Director Eastern Europe, Head of Gastrointestinal Marketing UK and Head of Operations in the UK Marketing Company.
Leslie is leaving AstraZeneca in 2011 to set up a consultancy focusing on Organisational Development and Change Management.
Karen is a registered nurse and midwife and currently holds the position of Deputy Chief Operating Officer/Lead Nurse. Previous positions include Chief Operating Officer/Director of Midwifery and Board member of an Acute Trust and Service Improvement Manager at the Institute of Innovation.
Prior to this Karen worked in the acute hospital sector in a variety of both professional nursing and midwifery and managerial roles leading and managing a variety of different services.
Michael lives in Luton and is married with two children and four grandchildren. He is now retired but worked for 24 years at Arriva Head Office, Luton, as a driver and eventually marketing and Office Manager and then 20 years at Vauxhall Motors Ltd as a Warranty Relations Engineer.
Michael has been an invaluable volunteer at the hospice for the last 9 or 10 years and has helped in many areas from fundraising to driver training.
Ashley lives in Bedfordshire and is married with 3 children and 3 grandchildren. He studied Purchasing and Company Management at Luton College for Further Education whilst working at Electrolux and Vauxhall Motors.
Ashley has also worked at AWD Trucks, KPMG, Marshalls of Cambridge, and Cardale Group, in various Purchasing and Materials Management roles in the UK, Europe and Canada.
He is currently President of Mid Bedfordshire Conservative Association, after 2 spells as Chairman of the Association. Ashley is presently Deputy Chairman of Luton Conservative Association after he was appointed by the Board of the Party in 2007 to administer that Association.
Tobi was born in Hemel Hempstead, emigrated to Israel and then returned when she was 8 years old.
She founded and launched Diverse HR Dolutions Ltd in March 2010 due to her passion for Employment Law and Diversity. The inspiration for Diverse HR Solutions was born following over 10 years of employment with Royal Mail Group where Tobi worked in various roles from Employment Law Manager for Post Office Ltd to Diversity Development Advisio for Royal mail Group.
Colin Skidmore spent his corporate career working for C&A in a wide range of roles before being appointed Head of Marketing Communications for C&A GB. There he was responsible for developing, implementing and managing the national Marketing Communications strategy. He then spent 5 years based in Brussels as Head of Database Marketing for C&A Europe advising the C &A Boards on their database marketing strategies.
In the last 7 years he has worked mainly in the Voluntary Sector, reviewing charities’ use of data and guiding the development of supporter profiling and segmentation techniques.
Colin was a Trustee of Richard House Children’s Hospice in the East End of London for 13 years, standing down in November 2012. In addition to his role he was instrumental in the creation and development of a Trading Company, which became the commercial arm of the charity and lead the development of a profitable chain of shops.
Colin joined the Board of Trustees at Keech Hospice Care in March 2013 and also sits on the Fundraising, Retail and Marketing Committee.
Danny is a qualified social worker working as a Virtual School Personal Advisor for looked after children within Hertfordshire County Council. Danny has worked with young people and their families since he was 12, where he worked as a volunteer youth worker, he completed his social work degree at University of Bedfordshire in 2010.
Throughout Danny’s work he has organised many events for various companies that he has worked for or had work experience with, these have ranged from quiz nights to a World Aids Day Event for Luton. He has always supported friends with events and looked for a charity to support himself. In September 2011, Danny found that Charity in Keech. Danny and his wife Sam had the need to use Keech when their daughter Lexi was born, as she was very ill and unfortunately passed away aged 19 days old at Keech.
Since Lexi passed Danny and Sam have organised two events for Keech and have so far raised over £10,000, they have also attended other events and given talks to local companies about Keech and the support it provided them. Danny and Sam have been instrumental in the promotion of Keech in their local area through the paper and their events.
Danny and Sam have recently added to their family with the birth of Caitlyne and are more determined than ever to raise money for Keech. Danny states that Keech gave them hope when he had none and that he is keen to ensure that Keech can continue to do this for other families.
Danny wants to be the voice of Keech families and would love to hear from them about how they find using Keech and the services that they provide.