Governance and management


The Dunhill Medical Trust’s Articles of Association contain its Objects:

  • the furtherance of medical knowledge and research and the publication of the useful results thereof;
  • the provision of medical care and facilities in such manner as the Trustees shall from time to time in their absolute discretion think fit;
  • the research into the care of older people and the publication of the useful results thereof; and
  • the provision of accommodation and care for older people.

It is governed by a Board of Trustees, who can each serve up to two four year terms of office and meet four times per year.

Reporting to the Board are three Committees:

  • Research Grants Committee
  • Community Grants Committee
  • Investment Committee

The Trustee committee members are assisted by a number of special advisers who have professional expertise appropriate to the Committee they serve.

Susan Kay, Executive Director

Sue is a strategic planning and governance specialist having spent the first half of her career in private sector finance, strategic marketing and corporate transformation roles. Some pro bono work assisting universities with commercialising their intellectual property led to a sabbatical to undertake a Master’s degree in science policy and innovation. She has since served on the executive board of a number of UK higher education institutions in strategy, finance and planning roles and as a non executive on the Board of a college of further education. She has most recently combined heading up a national academic network of senior scientists and engineers (where she worked with several national bodies and government departments negotiating on funding policy for high cost subjects and devised and administered a range of grant funding streams) with being governance lead for an almshouse trust providing accommodation and community services for older people. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and in her spare time can usually be found in the vicinity of a boat.




T: 0207 871 5402

Sarah Allport, Head of Communities and Governance

Sarah is responsible for managing its funding programmes and special initiatives, working closely with the Grants Committees to ensure delivery of the Trust’s funding priorities.  A highly experienced grants administration professional, Sarah has spent over 10 years working with charities and membership bodies.  She has been with the Trust since 2010, having joined from the British Geriatrics Society.





T: 0207 871 5401

Vacancy, Head of Research Policy and Awards




Oliver Soutar, Grants Officer

Oli is a graduate of the University of Bristol where he received an MSc(i) in Biology.  Following successful completion of his Charityworks training programme,  he was promoted to the role of Grants Officer and is working on a number of strategic projects to help us to more widely communicate the impact of our work.


T: 0207 403 3299

Gemma Dasent, Graduate intern

Gemma has joined us through the Charityworks programme.  A graduate of the University of Sheffield where she received an BSc in Biology in 2019, she has been volunteering in the NHS in a variety of roles during the last year, including a period on the COVID “front line”.


T: 0207 403 3299


Professor Alison Petch OBE (Chair)

Originally trained in planning and in social work, Alison has spent most of her career involved with research and policy.  For two thirds of her career she focused on doing research; for the last third on research implementation.  Her research activity centred on the balance of care and support across community and institutional settings and on partnership working across health, housing and social care.  From 1985 to 1993 she worked at the Social Work Research Centre at Stirling University, funded by the ESRC and Scottish Government to evaluate social work effectiveness. In 1993 she moved to Glasgow University as Director of the Nuffield Centre for Community Care Studies. In 2005, the opportunity to put in place her belief that the findings of research need to get used tempted her south to establish Research in Practice for Adults (RiPfA).  Part of the Dartington Trust, RiPfA was a partnership agency funded by local authorities to embed evidence-informed practice at the heart of adult social care across England.  In 2009 she took the opportunity to return to Scotland as Director of IRISS (Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services), a third sector organisation primarily funded by Scottish Government.  The role of IRISS was to support the social services workforce in Scotland to deliver positive outcomes for people.  Close work with partners, particularly front-line practitioners, enabled IRISS to develop considerable expertise in ensuring effective mechanisms for knowledge transfer and in delivering user-focused outcomes.  She retired from paid employment in 2015, but maintains her commitment to co-design and co-production through involvement with organisations working to improve the quality of life for individuals.

Mr Mike Bellamy

Mike grew up in London and graduated from London University.  After teaching in a coed Grammar School for three years he joined the NHS and worked in it for 36 years in London, 18 of which were as a CEO.  He has since been on three NHS Boards as non executives, as well as being a Governor on two University Boards.   He has also been a Trustee of various health charities.  He has had a longstanding interest in research and innovation as well as in education and training.  He is Deputy Chairman of the local branch of the U3A and so is very interested in improving the wellbeing of older people. He is also a school governor as well as being a Mental Health Act manager.

Professor Bernard Conway

Professor Bernard Conway

Prof Conway is currently the Vice Dean Research for the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. From 2007 to 2014 he was Head of Biomedical Engineering where he continues to pursue his primary research interests in the control and recovery of movement following neurological trauma and disease. A key part of his work is translating advances in neural engineering and neuroprosthetics to users. Prof Conway’s work is currently funded by grants from Scottish Government Health Directorate and he is a co-investigator for the EPSRC funded CDTs in Medical Devices and Healthcare Technologies and Prosthetics and Orthotics. His work has been published in a diverse range of journals, reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of his research including The Lancet, Brain, Journal of Physiology, Neuroimage, Journal of Engineering in Medicine and others. He has been actively involved in supporting RCUK funding agencies in various advisory capacities linked to bioengineering, health technologies and ageing and is a member of the scientific awards committees for Medical Research Scotland (where he is also a Trustee). His most notable research work has created insights into rehabilitation strategies that can be applied to people affected by CNS injury or movement disorders and has informed fundamental studies on motor circuits and event coding in the nervous system.

Professor Deborah Dunn-Walters

dunhill-medical-trust-181116-52After a PhD in Molecular Toxicology at the University of Surrey, Deborah did her first post-doctoral position with Professor Roger King at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund before moving to the University College London’s Pathology department to study B cell lymphomas.  There she became fascinated with the mechanisms of antibody diversity and affinity maturation in man, and found ways of studying immunoglobulin sequences in order to track B cells through an immune response and between different tissues.  As a newly-independent Principal Investigator at King’s College London, Deborah built on her experience with immunoglobulin genes, and her contacts with computationally-aware collaborators, to investigate the footprints of somatic hypermutation.  This work was critical in our present understanding of the mechanism of hypermutation, and was used in her first studies to investigate how the humoral immune response changed with a person’s age.  Deborah became a member of the British Society for Research on Ageing at this time and has devoted her research to the study of immune senescence ever since.  She is now Professor of Immunology and head of section at the University of Surrey with over 90 research publications in the area of B cell immunology and a number of interdisciplinary collaborations in mathematics and bioinformatics.  She reviews for various journals and grant awarding bodies and is on the Bioscience for Health Strategy panel of the BBSRC.

Professor Tom Kirkwood CBE

Tom Kirkwood is Professor Emeritus at Newcastle University, where he directed the Institute for Ageing and Health since 2004. During his directorship the Institute grew to become the largest on ageing in the UK and one of the foremost of its kind in the world. Of particular significance has been his work on the scientific basis of ageing, examining why and how we age and the underlying causes of age-related disability and disease, including the impact of social and behavioral factors. He led a major population-based investigation (the Newcastle 85+ Study) which examined in unprecedented detail the spectrum of health and associated biological, functional and psychosocial measures in a cohort of very old people. He has advised the UK government and international organizations on aspects of population ageing. He has published many scientific papers and won several international prizes for his research. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and has also worked with bodies in the business, professional and voluntary sector. He served previously on the Grants and Research Committee of the Dunhill Medical Trust, as well as on various national and international grant-awarding panels. He has contributed extensively to shaping the public debate on ageing, through his 2001 BBC Reith Lectures and frequent contributions to television, radio, and print media. His books include the award-winning ‘Time of Our Lives: The Science of Human Ageing’, ‘Chance, Development and Ageing’ (with Caleb Finch), ‘The End of Age’ based on his Reith Lectures, and ‘An Age of Wonders: the Story of the Newcastle 85+ Study’ (with Gordon Morris).

Mr James Lorigan

James has worked in the NHS for over 10 years, predominantly in service commissioning but latterly moving into economic regulation. He has extensive experience of working with, and commissioning healthcare services from, the voluntary sector. He holds a BSc in Management Studies from Brunel University, an MA in Philosophy from the University of Manchester and an MSc in Public Services Policy and Management from King’s College London.

Professor Stuart Parker

Stuart trained in medicine at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and subsequently worked in the TNO Institute for Experimental Gerontology, Rijswijk, the Netherlands and the University of Leicester. He took up a Chair at the University of Sheffield in the Barnsley General Hospital NHS Trust in March 2000 and returned to Newcastle in July 2013 as the William Leach Professor of Geriatric Medicine. He served a three-year term as NIHR CRN Theme lead for Ageing, Dementias and Neurodegenerative Diseases, Neurological Disorders and Genetics between (2015-18) and, while now formally retired, continues in part time and occasional clinical practice.

Mr John Ransford CBE

dunhill-medical-trust-181116-35John trained as a social worker and started his career as a Probation Officer in London. Then for twenty five years he worked in local government in Yorkshire, becoming successively Director of Social Services and Chief Executive, first in Kirklees Metropolitan Borough ‎and then at North Yorkshire County Council. He held several senior roles in ADASS (now The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services) and was Honorary Secretary from 1992 to 1996. He was awarded the CBE for services to social work in 1997. From 1998 to 2011 he worked at the Local Government Association (LGA) supporting councils in England and Wales and representing them in Whitehall and Westminster. During this period he led on health and social policy, public protection services and pay, conditions and pensions for local government staff. He was the lead national employer’s officer dealing with the Fire Service dispute from 2002 to 2005. More widely, he was responsible for consultation and negotiations with local government and health bodies in regional, national and European forums. He became Chief Executive of the LGA in 2009 until his retirement in December 2011. A Trustee of the Dunhill Medical Trust since 2013 and Chairman of its Investment Committee since 2014, John is active in national and local lobbying for improved and sustainable health and social care. He is a Director of HC-One Ltd, a major national provider of residential care for older people, and a non-executive Director of Care Management Group providing high quality services for people with learning disabilities. He is also Chairman of the management company of the Spurriergate Centre, a charitable enterprise in the centre of York, the city where he lives.

Mr Keith Shepherd

Keith is a qualified accountant who has specialised for over 25 years in managing and advising on the investment of major institutional portfolios. He has worked in the public, private and charitable sectors, responsible for the investments of various pension funds and endowments. This has involved helping to develop and implement investment strategies and management arrangements appropriate to meet the requirements for a very diverse range of stakeholders. Keith started his career in local government, culminating as Head of Investment and Treasury at the City of Edinburgh Council. From there he went to be the Head of Public Equities at the UK’s largest endowment, the Wellcome Trust. After 5 years he moved to the Railways Pension Scheme, eventually becoming Chief Investment Officer of its investment operation, RPMI Railpen. His most recent role was at the BP Pension Scheme, where he was the Investment Strategy Executive for the Trustee. He now runs his own advisory business.

Mrs Kay Glendinning MBE

Kay, the great niece of Herbert Dunhill, has been the beating heart of the Dunhill Medical Trust for more than 50 years. It is her commitment and support that have ensured the success of numerous creative endeavours in the field of medical research and care for older people. Having left school at 17 to work in the family business, she was the first female to work on the shop floor, for which she was paid the princely sum of £2.50 per week.  She was invited by her Uncle Alfred Dunhill to help out at his brother’s charity on her return to work from maternity leave and there she stayed, serving as an Administrator, Director, Trustee and now, as Patron.  She has served as a Governor, Director, Trustee, Chairman and non-Executive Director of a wide range of other trusts, hospitals and research institutes – including as a Member of the Council at King Edward VII Hospital in Midhurst, a Non-Executive Director of the Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust, a Director of Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research and a Trustee of Breakthrough (Breast Cancer) Research Charity. She is an Honorary Fellow of University College, Oxford.


Research Grants Committee



Community Grants Committee



Investment Committee


The Dunhill Medical Trust
5th Floor
6 New Bridge Street
London EC4V 6AB

Telephone: 020 7403 3299