Board of Trustees

Beat has an elected board of Trustees who are the Directors of the Company. The Trustees are nominated and elected by the voting membership and reflect a range of skills, including governance skills, legal and financial expertise and media skills. They are responsible for the overall direction, policies and management of Beat. The majority of our trustees have personal experience of eating disorders as parents, family members or sufferers themselves.

Mike Cooke - Chairman

Mike Cooke

Mike is a local government chief executive with extensive experience of service delivery and public policy development, particularly in the field of health and social care. He has previously worked in banking and in number of local authorities and housing associations, specialising in organisational change and transformation. He was keen to contribute to Beat’s work because of his experience of supporting a close family member with a serious eating disorder.

Valerie Jolliffe – Treasurer

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 Imperial College Healthcare Charity and Alcohol Research UK. After working in the City she moved into early stage venture capital and currently manages a spin-out fund in the Norwich Research Park. 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.

Neil Roskilly

Neil Roskilly

Neil is Chief Executive of the Independent Schools Association. Neil is a passionate educator and advises DfE, HMRC, and a range of examination awarding bodies on educational policy implementation. Neil represented the independent sector on the General Teaching Council for England and is a Board Member for The Independent Schools Council, as well as UK director and trustee of the international charity and social movement “We”. As well as advising school leaders across the country, Neil taught in both the state and private sectors, is an experienced independent headteacher and state sector governor, and regularly comments on educational matters in the media.

David Smart

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 which 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.

Melanie Smith

Mel Smith

Melanie currently is Strategy Director at Marks and Spencer. Previously she ran SmithHerbert a boutique strategy consulting firm specialising in consumer goods, marketing and retail.   Prior to this Melanie was a partner at McKinsey & Company in London.   Melanie has law (honours) and commerce degrees from the University of Auckland and an MBA from Northwestern University.  Melanie is an active member of the Maori community in London and is on the board of Manaia and Whakaako.

Anne-Marie Winton

Anne-Marie Winton

Anne-Marie is a partner at ARC Pensions Law and specialises in advising companies and Trustees on all aspects of pensions law.

She is also a member of the Risk & Audit Committee of the Pensions Management Institute and chairs the Education Committee of the Association of Pension Lawyers.


Jo Bennett

Jo Bennett

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. 

Hubert Lacey

Hubert Lacey is currently a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of London and Professor Emeritus, St George’s, University Of London. He is also the Medical Lead of the Eating Disorders Services at the Capio Nightingale Hospital and the Director of Newbridge Healthcare Systems in Birmingham. He is Chairman of the European Council on Eating Disorders and has over 140 publications in learned journals on anorexia, bulimia, obesity and psychosomatic illness.

Melanie Carter

Melanie Carter is a partner at the law firm, Bates Wells & Braithwaite LLP.  She heads up their public and regulatory law practice.  She is also a Tribunal Judge in the First Tier (Information Rights) Tribunal and an international adjudicator for the Marine Stewardship Council.  She is formally a magistrate and a legal Chair of the Adjudication Panel for England.  She has been a trustee of various charities, most recently Vice Chair of the Public Law Project but before that a local CVS, a women’s refuge and Central London Law Centre. She has for many years been a supporter of Beat and those who work in and around eating disorders.  She was involved in setting up a phone line for people with eating disorders in the 1980s and has remained interested in this area ever since.