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Board of Trustees

Beat has a board of Trustees who are the Directors of the Company. The Trustees reflect a range of skills, including governance, finance, HR, strategy and clinical expertise. They are responsible for the overall direction, policies and strategy of Beat. The majority have personal experience of eating disorders as parents, family members or sufferers themselves.

Mike Cooke – Chair of Trustees

Mike’s main role outside of Beat is as the Chair of the North Central London Integrated Health and Care System. He also provides independent occasional advisory services to public sector organisations.Until 2019 he was the chief executive of the London Borough of Camden. He joined Beat in 2017, being keen to contribute to Beat’s work because of his experience of supporting a close family member with a serious eating disorder.

David Smart - Treasurer and Chair of the Finance & Risk Committee

David worked in the investment management field for 34 years for Barings, County NatWest and Fiduciary Trust, which was subsequently taken over by Franklin Templeton. He served on a number of the subsidiary boards of the last two and chaired the board of Fiduciary’s Swiss Bank for a number of years. He currently serves on the investment committee of Beazley plc and of UNRWA, the UN agency that looks after Palestinian refugees in the Middle East. David was elected to the National Trust Council in 2012 and appointed to the Board of Trustees in January 2015.

Jo Bennett - Chair of the HR Committee

Jo is an experienced Human Resources leader with over 30 years working in businesses such as Mars, Cadbury and Costa Coffee, both in the UK and overseas. She has broad HR expertise including remuneration, and a specific interest in change management and talent development. Jo has personal experience of caring for a family member with an eating disorder. She has a Biochemical Engineering degree from University College, London.

Adam Leigh

Adam spent the first twenty years of his career in global advertising agencies in a succession of management positions. He was the CEO of The Communications Agency for 9 years, overseeing its sale in 2014. He is currently a partner in HBAL, a global executive search consultancy specialising in leadership roles in the creative industries. He has extensive trustee experience with charities including The Anne Frank Trust, World Jewish Relief and Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice.

Dr Selma Stafford MRCGP DFFP

Selma is a Clinical Director for NHS Sussex with a special interest in children’s and young people’s mental health. She has worked as a GP for 24 years and works with asylum seekers. She has been vice chair of governors at a local school and was recently awarded the Nye Bevan certificate in Executive leadership from the NHS leadership academy.

Selma has personal experience of caring for a young person who has been very unwell.

Selma graduated from Manchester Medical School in 1996 and became a member of the Royal College of GPs in 2001. She joined the board as a trustee in 2023.

Dr Stephen Anderson

Stephen is a Consultant Psychiatrist in Eating Disorders, working in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Before moving to this post in December 2020, he was a Consultant Psychiatrist in NHS Forth Valley for 14 years. He has previously been Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland Faculty of Eating Disorders, and has served on the Royal College of Psychiatrists Faculty of Eating Disorders Executive Committee. He was joint lead of the Scottish Government’s national review of eating disorder services which was published in June 2021. Together with Beat Ambassadors, Stephen delivers regular teaching to the University of Glasgow Medical School and is keen to improve education and training on eating disorders across the multidisciplinary team. Stephen acts as Beat's medical advisor.

Stephen is a keen runner and has previously raised money for Beat running the Glencoe Marathon. He is currently running the 2278 miles of Route 66 in a virtual challenge, raising money for Beat along the way.

Robin Hepburn

Robin worked in the City of London for 30+ years, holding business leadership roles with major organisations in the UK’s public relations sector before founding his own consultancy. He is an experienced advisor on business transition issues, including growth and funding questions, business planning and crisis management. He has also acted as a non-executive director and charity trustee. In addition to Beat, which he joined in March 2023, he currently serves on the board of The Matthew Project in Norwich and chairs the trustees for the London Centre for Spiritual Direction.  Robin has personal experience of caring for a family member with an eating disorder.

Emily Rothwell

Emily joined Beat in early 2017 as a Beat Ambassador. At the time she was completing an MSc by Research, investigating a digital treatment for those affected by binge eating difficulties. Emily then began working as a Research Officer and as a Senior Helpline Advisor for Beat, and in 2018 began working as Beat’s Clinical Advice Co-ordinator, which later became Clinical Advisor. She left Beat in 2020 to begin her training on the clinical doctorate programme.

Valerie Jolliffe

Valerie has been a trustee since 2012. She has over ten years’ experience in the charity sector and is currently a trustee of the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine. She acts as part-time finance director for two university spin-out companies. . She has a First Class degree from Cambridge, a Masters degree in charity finance and management from Cass Business School, and is a Chartered Secretary.

If you have any comments or concerns about how the charity is run, please forward them to the Trustees via email.