Maurice Rumbold, chair

Maurice Rumbold is chair of the board of trustees and chair of the executive committee.

Maurice is also chair of the Finance and Resources Committee of Sussex Housing and Care. He was previously vice-chair of the Public Guardian Board and the senior independent director of the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. He has also been a member of theUniversity of Greenwich's Business Forum.

Previously, Maurice was chief executive of NCH (now known as Action for Children). Over a substantial period in senior positions at the charity, he was responsible for developing it into the largest provider of services to children, young people and families in the UK. Prior to this, Maurice worked as a senior manager for a number of local authority social services departments.


Brian Aird, vice chair

Brian is currently chair of the nominations committee and a keen advocate of our services for older people with learning disabilities; a group he feels is sometimes neglected by society.

He was drawn to join the United Response board by the strong values of the organisation, as well as the quality of services we provide.

Brian is managing partner of the Work-Life Partnership, providing independent strategy, development, executive and life coaching services to the healthcare industry and elsewhere. He is also the former vice chairman of the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, a director of Work-Life Properties Ltd and Chairman of Coffee on the Corner, a small community interest company.  

Brian has spent over 40 years working with the public and not-for-profit sectors, and has held chief executive and non-executive roles in several organisations. He is a former president of the Institute of Healthcare Management and has previously worked for KPMG as a principal consultant. Brian is a past honorary treasurer of United Response.


Charles Garthwaite, honorary treasurer

Charles joined our board of trustees in 2015.

He is currently the Global Head of Operational & Conduct Risk at Aegon NV, the Dutch international insurance business. Prior to Aegon, Charles has held a variety of executive roles within the UK life and pensions sector, and was most recently CEO of Fund Partners, the second-largest fund-hosting business in the UK with approximately £6 billion under administration.

Charles qualified as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse and has worked in the UK, Australia and the US.


David Aitman

David is our chair of the audit committee. 

He is the global managing partner of international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. He was co-head of the firm’s global antitrust, competition and trade practice group (a group of nearly 300 lawyers working in 17 countries) until summer 2010. Since then he has sat on the firm’s supervisory council.

His clients include companies such as Sony, BAA, Paramount Pictures, Hasbro, the Football Association and Thames Water.

Outside the law, David runs a series of charitable concerts and has made recordings supporting two charities set up by family members – the Rufiji Leprosy Trust in Tanzania and Study Guatemala, helping street children in Guatemala City. 


Karie Clifford

Karie Clifford joined United Response in 2007 after being impressed by the quality and level of our person centred approach to support.

Karie has 17 years' experience in both the research and commercial sides of the pharmaceutical industry. She is an expert in health economics and was previously director of global health outcomes in Europe for GlaxoSmithKline.

Karie has considerable voluntary sector experience as board member of the Ealing Blind Club and a representative of Ealing Community Network on the funding and social services boards with Ealing Council. She also worked with SANE to set up SANEmail – an email-based helpline for people affected by mental illness. 


Helen England, a trustee of United ResponseHelen England 

Helen has spent most of her career in the health service and is currently an Executive Director in a Mental Health and Learning Disability NHS Trust.

She started her working life as a music therapist working with people with learning disability and mental health needs and worked in education and social care settings before joining the NHS. She moved from clinical work into management roles and has held executive posts for the last decade in both commissioning and provider organisations.

Helen is passionate about using her experience to support the delivery of high quality health and social care services for service users.


Sandra Hannington

Sandra Hannington joined the United Response Board, having been impressed by the senior management team. 

She feels passionate about developing initiatives that enable people with disabilities to integrate fully into the community, such as skills training and employment.

After studying Zoology at Nottingham University, Sandra joined Rentokil as a biologist. During her 36 years there, she had wide-ranging responsibilities including branch management, innovating training programmes, running incentive schemes and implementing computer systems. For the last ten years she ran the company’s corporate property department.

She is a fully qualified and active nutritional therapist, and a member of the Independent Monitoring Board for HMP Downview. 


Sue Jagelman

Sue Jagelman has over 30 years' extensive experience in the voluntary sector, particularly through her work with Save the Children, at both community and national levels.

Her fundraising and volunteering background drew her to United Response, where she currently acts as board representative at United Voice meetings – our staff representative body.

Sue served as chair of Save the Children UK’s volunteers for a five-year term on the board of trustees. With a particular interest in education and communication, Sue played a key role in setting up Speaking Out, a national resource, training and support scheme for school and community volunteer speakers. She provides ongoing management and strategic support as UK Speaking Out ambassador.


Bronagh Scott

Bronagh is the Executive Director of Nursing at the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board in South Wales.

She qualified as a nurse in Northern Ireland and specialised in Intensive Care Nursing in Belfast and Perth, Western Australia. She has held a number of senior posts in Health and Social Services in Northern Ireland and London. Bronagh’s most recent job was Deputy Chief Nurse for NHS England, London Region.

From 2004-2010 Bronagh held the posts of Director of Nursing and Deputy Chief Executive for United Hospitals Health and Social Services Trust and Director of Nursing/Chief Nurse/Director of Operational Services for Older People and Community Health and Social Care at the Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT) in Northern Ireland. In these roles Bronagh provided nursing leadership across large multi complex trusts, covering diverse geographical areas. She led a number of large complex change projects aimed at improving community health and social care for the populations her organisations served.

Bronagh was recently appointed by the Health Minister in Northern Ireland as the Nurse Adviser on an international expert panel tasked with leading an informed debate on the best configuration of Health and Social Care services in Northern Ireland.


David Willis

David Willis is a solicitor and was a partner in international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills for 25 years. 

Prior to his retirement in 2014, he was the firm's joint CEO. 

David is a member of the governing body of Queen Mary University of London, where he chairs the Audit and Risk Committee. 

He is a director of Paradigm Trust, an academy trust responsible for three primary schools in deprived areas of East London, and a director of the Solicitors Regulation Authority. He has also worked with a number of small charities through Pilotlight.


Bill Hodson

Bill Hodson worked in local government for over 35 years.

Until 2010, Bill was Director of Housing and Adult Social Services for the City of York. Since then he has worked as an independent consultant and was the National Professional Adviser to the Care Quality Commission on adult social care for four years.

He is the independent chair of the Wakefield Safeguarding Adults Board and is a member of the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust board.

Bill has a particular interest in promoting personalised care and support. He was drawn to United Response from his professional experience of their work and the strong commitment to the principle of ensuring that the people we support have choice and control in their lives.


A portrait photo of Alastair Ballantyne.Alastair Ballantyne

Alastair is the Company Secretary for Big Society Capital and Big Society Trust, having previously been their Head of Communications from July 2011.

Prior to this he was Communications Adviser to Sir Ronald Cohen and Social Finance. During this time, he was also Secretary for the Social Investment Task Force.

Previously Alastair worked for 21 years for Morgan Stanley International, initially in the Investment Banking Division and latterly in the Office of the Chairman where he led its European Government Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility teams.

He also developed the firm’s Global Environment Policy. While at Morgan Stanley, he was a Trustee of Community Action Network.


Katherine Rake

Katherine’s career has been driven by a passion for social justice.

Previously a lecturer at the London School of Economics, she went on to lead the women’s rights campaign the Fawcett Society and was the first Chief Executive of Healthwatch England, the independent voice for people using health and social care services.

She now runs a consultancy, totalpolicy, which supports organisations to create impact and positive change for their service users.

She has worked with governments from across the political spectrum and her advice has been sought by a range of Government departments, the Prime Minister's Policy Unit and HM Treasury. Katherine has an OBE for services to equal opportunities, an Institute of Directors 'Good Director' Honour and the Social Policy Association's Annual Award for Outstanding Contribution from a Non-academic.

Katherine is a Governor and member of the Ethics Committee at the London School of Economics, the Chair of RISE Mutual CIC and a Trustee of the Centre for Ageing Better.