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Our trustees

Our trustees

 John Fox (Friends of Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity) - Chair

Born in Harrogate, now retired, I spent my working life in the construction industry as a Senior Quantity Surveyor.  I was an elected member of Harrogate Borough Council for 25 years representing the Harrogate Granby ward. I’ve had an active political career since 1973, campaigning and working for MPs and Members of the European Parliament. 

 I started volunteering in the community at school. In the 1980’s I co-founded The Harrogate and District Drugs Advisory Group and have enjoyed being a Trustee of several local organisations.  I now work with and support a number of local charities including Harrogate Hospital Friends.  

I formed ‘Harrogate at Christmas’ to raise money for our Christmas lights and was a co-founder of Harrogate Christmas Market.  During my year as Mayor of the Borough in 2008 I started the Harrogate & District Volunteering Oscars Awards.  

Ian Bergel (Washburn Heritage Centre) 

Born in Hereford and raised is Shropshire I went to college in Hull and London qualifying as a Cost & Management Accountant in 1975.

I worked as an accountant/finance director in a number of manufacturing organisations including Gestetner, Waddingtons, Bowater/Rexam and Scientific Games International covering 30 years before working as a self-employed cost consultant for five years.

I have now lived in Harrogate for most of the last 40 years.

Since becoming self-employed in 2007 I have had the opportunity to volunteer with Disability Action Yorkshire and the Washburn Heritage Centre, as treasurer and for a period as chair. I have also worked with the Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce as a management team member and vice-president.

I enjoy being able to use my experience in the charity arena. I am an avid reader, a supporter of Harrogate Town FC and play a ridiculous amount of Bridge.

Helen Bourner (Individual Member)  

I have lived in and around Harrogate for almost 30 years. I came to North Yorkshire as I was working in the private sector as a Regional Director of Sales for Principal Hotels, travelling all over the North of England and Scotland. I left the private sector in 2000 and joined part of the Department of Health – NHS Estates – leading work to focus on improving customer satisfaction. 

I moved into NHS management in 2005 working at Barnsley Hospitals, and then as a Board Director my career took me to Swindon, Warrington and Bradford. Whilst I lived away during the week, the pull of Harrogate – and friends and family  - brought me back almost every weekend. 

My time in the NHS has opened my eyes to the hugely important contribution played by third sector and charitable organisations supporting individuals to live their best lives.
I am very pleased to join HADCA as a trustee working with the team and Board to ensure that we can support the vital work of charities locally.

  Caroline Shead (Macmillan Cancer Support)   

I am a mum to three boys, and we all live in Knaresborough. I am a Yorkshire lass, though have lived in other parts of the country with work prior to returning to my Yorkshire roots 17 years ago.

I worked in the corporate sector in a previous life, before joining HADCA in 2006. Discovering the voluntary sector was like finding home, and I ultimately became Volunteer Centre Manager in 2009 when I had the pleasure of supporting many of HARCVS members with all matters volunteer related. In 2009 I lost my Dad to cancer quite suddenly, and hence when an opportunity to join Macmillan Cancer Support arose in I made the difficult decision to leave HADCA in 2013.

I have experience in developing cancer services in collaboration with health and social care partners and commissioners, project management, managing transformational organisational change as well as management of staff. I am passionate about serviced user involvement – and of course volunteering! I am a member of the Association of Project Managers, as well as a certified Coach and Professional member of the Institute of Customer Service.

Outside of work, I enjoy walking my cocker spaniel, keeping fit, socialising and spending time with family. I’m a member of the school PTA and I’ve also recently discovered a passion for floristry which I am indulging via evening classes in Harrogate.

 Ann Allen (Individual Member)  


 Dr Phyl Hughes (Ripon Cathedral) 

I am based just outside of Ripon and I’m a Psychologist running my own business, specialising in senior teams, strategic change, and corporate Governance. I have been a faculty member and visiting Professor at two leading UK Business Schools. 

I am closely associated with Ripon Cathedral having been a recent member of ‘Chapter’ [essentially the board of directors] and now sit on the audit committee and the Rural Affairs Committee. 

My work sees me regularly travelling between Glasgow, Salford, London and Leeds. 

My pastimes include cycling, Pilates, gym membership, my dog, my friends and family. Born in Liverpool, educated at University at Leeds and post graduate level at Cranfield, I am committed to the North. I am a member of various forums and pro bono coaching exchanges, having been based back in Yorkshire since 2010.

 Victoria Pilkington (Individual Member)   

Harrogate is my home town and having lived in different parts of the UK I am now delighted to be returning to my roots. I am a mum of two and my extended family live in the Harrogate area. 

I have been extremely lucky to gain extensive experience in Health and Social Care in a variety of different sectors such as NHS, Charity and Clinical Commissioning Groups. My experience and expertise spans operations management, clinical, nursing and commissioning across a number of specialities including head injury, mental health, learning disability, dementia care, children’s services, general health and social care. 

I am passionate about the impact local charities can have on communities and I feel it is extremely important to support those charities to deliver good quality and safe services. I have a keen interest in safeguarding, supporting people to live their best life and the power of social inclusion. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with HADCA as a Trustee. 

 James Plummer (The Avalon Group)   

I have worked in social care for over a decade, with previous experience managing Community Planning departments for construction companies, and managing executive remuneration within the financial sector. 
I currently work at Avalon Group in Harrogate, and have been there since 2014. In that time I have managed various departments such as Marketing, Communications and Fundraising. My current role is the Business Development Manager, helping Avalon to grow its services and develop income streams through new contracts, property development and non-statutory funding such as grants and trusts.

I’m passionate about creating opportunities, and seeing people achieve their dreams and aspirations when they are able to access the right support; that’s why I love what I do and why I became a Trustee for HADCA; to be able to support more local people through the development and growth of important community services. 

At home I love to read and cook. I have a 4 year-old son, Charlie, who I spend most of my time with. Like me, Charlie loves The Muppets, and so on weekends we can often be found putting on silly puppet shows and making up even sillier songs.  With whatever time I have left I also write musicals for primary schools around the UK, with a particular focus on productions for SEN schools, aiming to make theatre and performance accessible to all; something that I’m very passionate about. 

 Alistair Ratcliffe (Rotary Club of Harrogate)  

My career was mainly as an agricultural adviser in MAFF and DEFRA. As a trained facilitator in total quality management I was involved in the creation of three organisations within DEFRA. Finally I headed up the planning/ reporting team at Natural England.   

I was a school governor for several years. I continued my membership of Rotary on retirement and have been president twice. Currently I chair the Community & Vocation projects within the Rotary Club of Harrogate. I am also a trustee on the Finance Board of Vision Support.   

Throughout the Covid lockdown I was instrumental in setting up a team, through Rotary, providing meals for vulnerable people working with the Oatlands Community Group and organising the donation of funds to 12 charity organisations within the HADCA group. I was also a volunteer at the Harrogate vaccination centre. 

Over the last two years I have got to know some of the HADCA team and been impressed with what they have achieved. I would like to increase my involvement and believe I have skills and experience to contribute. Being a HADCA trustee will help to strengthen Rotary’s connection with and support to our local community. 

  Cllr Sam Gibbs (Harrogate Borough Council representative) 

I was born in Darlington and moved to Harrogate in 2014 following six years at University in Scotland graduating with a BA (Hons) in History and an MSc in International Politics.

Working in local Politics, I was elected to Harrogate Borough Council in 2018 representing the Valley Gardens ward. I have been Chair of the Council’s Voluntary and Community Sector Liaison Group for the past three years which has enabled me to get involved in volunteering in the community. I’m looking forward to getting more involved with local voluntary and community groups through my work with HADCA.

Away from work I am usually found playing cricket or rugby.