Trustees and senior staff

Our trustees and senior staff are dedicated to leading the fight against lung disease across the UK.


Professor Sir Michael Marmot

MichaelMarmotProfessor Sir Michael Marmot, founder of the Institute of Health Equity, has over 35 years’ research experience focused on how people’s social circumstances affect their health.

His work as Principal Investigator on the Whitehall Studies of British civil servants fundamentally changed the public health focus of preventing ill health from lifestyle behaviours to social causes. Sir Michael also chaired the World Health Organisation’s ‘Commission on Social Determinants in Health’, and the landmark English review of health inequalities (the ‘Marmot Review’).

He is a former President of the British Medical Association and previous winner of the Balzan Prize for Epidemiology and William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research.

Our trustees

Chair of the board of trustees – Peter Dolphin

Peter DolphinPeter has enjoyed a successful 40-year career in advertising and marketing. His first business, Moxon, Dolphin & Kerby, grew over the next 20 years to become one of the leading specialist recruitment advertising companies in the UK, before being sold to American advertising group TMP. Peter was kept on as CEO and over the next five years he led the way in acquiring similar businesses across Europe.

In 2001, Peter took responsibility for developing the internet brand throughout Europe. He helped turn Monster into the continent’s leading online recruitment business with a sales turnover of US$500 million by 2006.

Treasurer - Graham Colbert

Graham joined Genomics England, a company set up by the Department of Health to carry out a programme of 100,000 whole genome sequences, in February 2014 as CFO and chief operating officer.

Previously he spent 25 years with AstraZeneca in various senior roles, most recently serving as chief financial officer for world-wide commercial operations.

He is a chartered accountant and an alumnus of Exeter University, where he gained a BSc in Chemistry. Graham is a non-executive director of South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

Ralph Bernard CBE

Ralph BernardRalph Bernard’s media career has spanned over 30 years. He was responsible for the UK’s first commercial radio merger, which ultimately created GWR Group, the country’s largest radio group until 2008.

In 1991, Ralph had the original idea to launch Classic FM, Britain’s most successful commercial radio station. Ralph led the GWR Group for more than 25 years, stepping down as Chief Executive in 2008. He received a CBE for services to broadcasting in the 2002 Jubilee Honours.

In addition to his work with the BLF, Ralph is also Chairman of the Central School of Ballet and Chairman of Classic FM.

Richard Chappell

Richard ChappellRichard Chappell is the CEO of TC Facilities Management (TCFM). He is passionate about the business being the best-in-class service provider through the quality and investment in his people, his solid systems and processes that his company constantly looks to innovate.

Richard has been involved in service industries throughout his working life. The first eight years were spent in retailing for MFI, Aldi and Lidl and then in Support services. He worked for 16 years for the same group before joining TCFM in February 2014.

In addition to being a Member of IPSA, Richard is currently a Trustee of the British Lung Foundation as well as a Leeds United fan!

He completed his BA (Hons) in Retail Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University before being awarded the Diploma in marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Lord Borwick of Hawkshead

Lord Borwick of HawksheadJamie is a parliamentarian, managing director of Love Lane Investments and chairman of Federated Trust Corporation Ltd. He was previously CEO of Manganese Bronze Holdings, best known for manufacturing London taxis.

He also serves on the board of trustees for The Ewing Foundation, a charity that promotes inclusive education for deaf children, and the Edwin Borwick Charitable Trust, which funds research into the causes of congenital heart problems.

Jamie is also a director of the corporate trustees of the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity. He became Lord Borwick of Hawkshead in 2007, and in 2013 became a member of the House of Lords.

David Gill

david gillDavid has a vast business experience; he currently runs his own publishing consultancy and, in a distinguished career spanning 35 years, he has held a number of senior management positions including at The Economist newspaper.

He began to work with the BLF after he experienced some serious lung problems.

David joined the BLF’s Board of Trustees in 2012 and is also currently chair of the BLF communications sub-committee.

Professor Stephen Holgate

Professor Stephen HolgateStephen Holgate is Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology at the School of Medicine, Southampton, UK.

Stephen spent two years at Harvard Medical School to acquire skills in allergic disease mechanisms. On returning to Southampton, Stephen set up a research group focused on the mechanisms of asthma. He is a past president of the British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and British Thoracic Society.

Currently Stephen is chair of the MRC Population and Systems Medicine Board; Member of MRC Strategy Board and chair of Panel A of the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014. He is also chair of the UK Government Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances and member of the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants.

Ian Kenworthy

Ian Kenworthy, BLF trusteeIan Kenworthy was director of an electrical engineering company until his retirement in 2001. Personally affected by COPD and lifelong lung disease, he has founded and chaired Breathe Easy Tameside and Glossop, sits on respiratory advisory groups at his CCG, and was a member of the NHS North West Respiratory board until its closure in 2013.

He regularly presents to patients and health care professionals on lung disease, campaigning for improvements in care and promoting patient self-management.

Toby Maher

Toby Maher, BLF trustee Toby is a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinician Scientist and Consultant Physician at the Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK. He is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London.

Toby trained at Southampton University, UK, and obtained his PhD at University College London. He runs a specialist clinical service for interstitial lung disease (ILD) and sarcoidosis as well as overseeing an active research programme focused on clinical trials and biomarker discovery in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung disease.

Toby also works with NHS England as Chair of the Specialised Respiratory Clinical Reference Group and he sits on the Executive Committee of the British Thoracic Society.

He is the author of over 100 papers and chapters on IPF and interstitial lung disease and sits on the editorial board of several international respiratory journals.

Richard Pettit

Richard Pettit Richard's career as a solicitor began in Baker Street in his family firm, before spending thirty years as a partner of Clifford Chance LLP, based in the City.

He founded and managed the firm's office in Singapore for seven years. He is now a consultant with Thorp Alberga, an offshore law firm.

Outside the practice of law, he was a non-executive director at a subsidiary of Mizuho Corporate Bank; and he spent five years as an original trustee of Sparrow Schools Foundation, a Dulwich based charity which funds schooling for disadvantaged children living in Johannesburg townships.

Professor Stephen Spiro

Stephen SpiroStephen is a professor of respiratory medicine. He was Head of Department at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) until retiring from the NHS in December 2008 and is now an honorary consultant physician at UCLH and the Royal Brompton Hospital, London.

Stephen helped form the London Lung Cancer Group, which has run clinical trials for more than 30 years. He has also undertaken research into respiratory physiology, sleep disordered breathing and screening in people with a high risk of lung cancer.

He is now working to improve undergraduate teaching at UCLH, alongside further research, seeing private patients and working for the BLF.

Sandy Walmsley, RGN, MSc

Sandy Walmsley BLF trusteeSandy has been involved in the care of patients with respiratory conditions for over 20 years, having been a Practice Nurse for 13 years prior to her current role of Lead Respiratory Nurse Specialist for Heart of England Foundation Trust Community Services.

Sandy has been the Joint Clinical Respiratory Lead for the West Midlands region since 2010. She is passionate about high quality care for patients, with a particular interest for end of life care. She has been a regional trainer for Education for Health in Warwick for 10 years and is committed to ensuring that nurses involved in caring for people with respiratory conditions are appropriately trained to deliver excellent care.

Our senior staff

Chair, Scientific Committee - Professor Stephen Holgate

Chair, Communications Committee - David Gill

Chair, Finance Committee - Graham Colbert

Chief Executive - Dr Penny Woods

Chief Operating Officer - Steven Wibberley

Chief Financial Officer - Alex Fowles

Director of Fundraising and Communications - Clare Cox, Malcolm Tyndall (Interim Director of Fundraising), Tamora Langley (Interim Director of Communications)

Head of Research - Ian Jarrold

Head of Patient Services - Mike McKevitt

Head of Wales - Joseph Carter

Head of Scotland and Northern Ireland - Irene Johnstone

Honorary Medical Advisers
Professor Mark Britton
Dr John Moore-Gillon
Dr Keith Prowse
Chris Fehrenbach (Honorary Nurse Adviser)