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Our People



Chief Executive Robert Breakwell
Head of Clinical Services Faye Chappell
Deputy Head of Physiotherapy Anitha Jacob
Clinical Counsellor/Speech & Language Therapist Carolyn Angell
Senior Occupational Therapist Amy Smissen
Complementary Therapies Co-ordinator Karen Shaw 
Head of Fundraising and Communications Harriet Karia
Business Manager Aaron Cox
Finance Manager Andy Graham
Office Manager

Jo Kendall

* Volunteer 



Tony Winterbottom, Interim Chair of Trustees
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Trained in the city in investment management , I spent many years working for the United Nations on major development projects . I spent 12 years living in the Lake District and tackling economic and development problems in West Cumbria and  for the past 20 years in  London involved in the delivery of major projects , working for the Mayor of London and subsequently my own company. Projects included The London 2012 Olympics, Wembley Stadium, Tate Modern the new Crick  medical research centre and a host of others . I live in Aston Clinton and am proud to be involved with the MS Centre doing what I can to help.”

Pippa Evans, Company Secretary & Chair of Human Resources sub-Committee
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I qualified as an accountant in 1995 and spent 23 years working in the Energy Industry.  Half of that time involved a number of finance positions and for the last 10 years of my career with Statoil I held the position of Chief of Staff. I was responsible for the provision of, amongst other areas, Finance, Facility Management, Human Resources and Communications. I now run my own consultancy company, providing support and advice in finance and general business management to small and medium sized companies.

I first became aware of the Chilterns MS Centre when a close friend of mine was diagnosed with MS.  Since then I have seen how the Centre has helped her and I am well aware that the Centre can be a lifeline to its members. It has become a charity that I feel passionate about as a result of seeing first hand the great work that it does. I am very happy to share my broad business experience with the Centre.

Anthony Parks, Treasurer & Chair of Finance & Investment sub-Committee
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I am a chartered Accountant with a career in the profession servicing the commercial and charity sectors. I was involved in the preparation of the Chilterns MS Centre’s 2014 year-end accounts for audit and also the preparation of subsequent monthly management accounts. The new finance team is now established at the Centre but I want to continue to support this local charity. I feel I have accounting and commercial skills which will be of benefit to the Centre.

Linda Oatley
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I was diagnosed in 1999 and found the Chilterns MS Centre in 2002.  I was delighted and relieved to find out that I was not the only person with MS.  My background is in sales and marketing and I am also a JP.  I have a particular interest in fundraising and generating much needed income for the Centre and acting as its Ambassador, meeting sponsors and representing the Centre.  I am delighted to note that since we moved into our new home we have gone from strength to strength and now see and help many, many people with MS who benefit from the services we offer.

Lesley Whitesmith
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Lesley qualified as a nurse in 1985 and holds a BSc Honours degree in Nursing Studies RCN from Manchester University.  She currently works as Emergency Planning Officer for Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

Lesley is Chair of Governors at Westfield First School, Berkhamsted and a school governor at Tring Secondary School.  She is also a South Centre Ambulance Community First Responder.

Lesley’s interests include reading, drawing, walking, photography and music.  She is currently involved in charity work supporting schools and healthcare with designated charities in Malawi, Africa, including a recent visit and voluntary work.

Alison Heywood
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I have worked in the NHS for over 30 years, initially training and working as a nurse, then retraining as an Orthoptist. I am currently Head of Orthoptics at Milton Keynes University Hospital where I am responsible for clinical staff management, service provision and strategic development. I’m also a qualified clinical tutor, teaching and lecturing to medical students and other health care professionals.


Through my work I have experience of incorporating competency frameworks and clinical outcome measures into the provision of clinical services that meet national guidelines and NICE standards. I am responsible for the development and review of clinical protocols, guidelines and patient information resources and understand the importance of clinical governance.


I was diagnosed with MS in 1990 and have benefitted greatly from membership of The Centre over the past three years, crediting physiotherapy with helping me to continue with my job. I am very happy to use my professional experience to help The Centre as a Trustee and a member of the Clinical Governance Committee, assisting the Therapies Team in developing a robust clinical governance structure.




John Bedford
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As an engineer by profession I worked for an international engineering company for over 30 years, culminating in running their North American operation as President.

My wife was diagnosed with MS twenty years ago and since we returned to the UK in 2002 she has been member of the Centre. Being impressed by the warmth and friendliness of the people using the Centre facilities together with the staff, I volunteered to help operate the oxygen chamber. Since 2013 I have been the Oxygen Therapy Coordinator as well as a Trustee. 

Sarah Jones
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I am a psychologist/organisational development specialist and trained primary school teacher.  

I have run my own consultancy business with a very diverse range of clients, worked in large organisations and currently I operate as an independent coach and therapist.  I have been ‘medically retired’ from a fantastic organisation (a Bank) where I had a role I loved that included extensive global travel across the US, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, which involved lots of personal development and intellectual stretch. 

I have experience in organisational strategy, change management, coaching and team working. I have benefited so much from the CMSC (and continue to do so), that I would like to use my experience to support the CMSC in what ever ways I can.  We have a great location, totally dedicated staff and volunteers, a lively and supportive membership and I want to do all and anything I can to support and grow that. 

Catherine Golds,  Chair of Fundraising sub-Committee
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Before I was medically retired in 2012 as a result of my worsening MS my career spanned 20 years. My last role was managing an international business for the commercial arm of the charity the Electrical Safety Council. 

I believe the skills I bring to the Board of Trustees include change management, diversification and growth, decision making and people skills. I would like to describe myself as friendly, focussed and forward thinking and I have a track record in delivering increased profit, reducing costs and developing and implementing strategy. 

I am passionate about the Centre, the work we do; the services we deliver and the physical, emotional and social support that that we provide to our members.

Darayus Motivala, Chair of Facilities & Support Services sub-Committee
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After graduating from University, I worked in the IT industry for many years. In 2002 I made a career change to move into the hospitality industry; owning a themed restaurant and a cafe in a gym. Customer service was the key to our success which won us local awards.
I have been involved in various other fundraising initiatives and charities, particularly the
World Zoroastrian Organisation (WZO) a faith based charity. I have been involved in organising charity events and seminars, overseeing constitutional changes, setting up regional branches overseas, communicating with others, locally and overseas, and providing assistance in the preparation of fiscal and legal reports.


MS is a condition close to my heart as my wife was diagnosed many years ago. I am delighted to be supporting the Chilterns MS Centre and contributing by giving them my time and expertise. 


Simon Turner
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Recently retired after 32 years with the Metropolitan police, at the rank of Superintendent. Served mostly across North London, both borough based, and latterly as a Firearms commander. Specialist public order officer, involved in most major incidents in London over the past 20 years. In retirement I work both at Wembley stadium and freelance at other events , such as Glastonbury and the recent Rugby World Cup. I have also provided commentary to major events on both Sky & Russian TV !!. Two grown-up children, the oldest of whom has special needs. I hope I bring a depth of management experience, particularly command and control and communication expertise to the trustee group, plus a carers experience from a different viewpoint. 

Steve Bowles
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Steve is a partner in the Chartered Architectural practice of HFP Architects based in Wendover and has been with the practice for over 25 years. 

Steve firmly believes in playing an active role within the communities in which one lives and works and to this end he is a District Councillor on Aylesbury Vale District Council representing Wendover & Halton and is cabinet member for Economic Development . He is also a Bucks County Councillor representing Wendover, Halton and Stoke Mandeville. 

Steve is involved with charitable concerns being a member of the Game Club (a local charity which raises funds for local charities) and Rotary he is also a Freeman of the City of London and a member of the Feltmakers Livery company. He is also a trustee of The Adventure Learning Foundation based in Green Park. 

Steve’s interests include reading, gardening, music, the countryside and watching most sports especially Rugby (he is a London Wasps season ticket holder), Football and Cricket but he most enjoys spending time with the family.