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Disability Initiative

Patron – Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex

Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex has been the Patron of Disability Initiative since 2003. A regular visitor, her support and encouragement has had an incredible impact on all involved. She takes a keen interest in each and every person and all aspects of our work.


Bill Biddell VLL

Bill Biddell is the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey. Bill is the Chief Executive of The Hampton Estate. He trained as a Chartered Surveyor qualifying in 1985 and practiced in central London and West Sussex. Along with being DI's President, he has been involved in numerous voluntary organisations in Surrey as President, Trustee, Chairman or Board member, including Surrey Clubs for Young People, The Whiteley Homes Trust and The Surrey County Agricultural Society.

Bill joined DI in 2002.

Vice President – Terry Berridge FCMA

Terry joined DI in 1991 as a volunteer to improve accounting and administrative systems. He served as Company Secretary and Treasurer and became a Trustee in 1996. Previously, he was Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of various subsidiaries of a major US/Worldwide pharmaceutical and consumer products corporation.

Terry joined DI in 1996.


Bob Ricketts
Director of Commissioning Support Strategy & Market Development at NHS Commissioning Board

Seconded to NHS England since September 2012 to develop & implement two core national strategies, developing excellent and affordable commissioning support services and creating autonomous NHS Commissioning Support Units by 2016. Launched the CSS Lead Provider Framework in February 2014.

Bob held previous Director roles within the Department of Health leading policy on commissioning, developing the NHS Standard Contract, competition policy, patient choice and choice of any qualified provider, enabling the participation of social enterprises within health & social care, transforming community services and supporting the passage of the Health & Social Care Act.

Bob graduated from Cambridge University with an MA in Geography and later gained an MBA from Henley Management College. He is a member of the CIPD.

Bob has been involved with DI since 2014 and became Chairman in August 2016.

Board of Trustees

Marianne Calder - Vice President & Managing Director, EMEA, Puppet Inc

Marianne has over 20 years' experience in leading global sales teams, sales support organisations, business development and global leadership programmes. Marianne joined Puppet in 2016 to lead Puppet's customer operations, including sales, marketing, and customer success throughout EMEA to help fuel Puppet's aggressive expansion in the region. Prior to joining Puppet, Mariane spent 21 years with CISCO systems in various leadership roles, most recently as Managing Director for the EMEA Collaboration business and the EMEA Virtual/Inside Sales Organisation.

Marianne holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from Copenhagen Business School. She specialised in International Communication and Marketing and developed her thesis at Stanford University, California focusing on ''Customer Supplier Relationship in Innovative Technology markets.''

Marianne became a Trustee at DI in 2015.

John Scott - Chief Risk Officer, Zurich Global Corporate, Zurich Financial Services

John Scott is Chief Risk Officer for Zurich Global Corporate. He joined Zurich in 2001 becoming Head of Risk Insight in 2007 and took on his current role in 2009. John leads the global, regional and local implementation of the Group's enterprise risk management strategy across Zurich's Global Corporate business.

A graduate of Oxford University, with a PhD in geology from Aberystwyth University, John's early career was in the upstream oil & gas industry, where he gained wide-ranging international experience with BP. In 1995 he gained his MBA at Cranfield and joined BOC, working in the Group Strategy & Planning team and then helping to develop BOC's fast-growing Edwards business division.

John is a member of the Institute of Directors in the UK and is a contributor to the World Economic Forum Global Risks Report.

John has supported DI since 2005 and became a Trustee in 2016.

Trevor Torrington - Chief Executive Officer, Priory Healthcare

Trevor Torrington's first introduction into the healthcare industry occurred in 1982 when he worked for a medical and surgical distribution company in South Africa. The company operated 10 distribution, sales and administration centers throughout the region. His key roles as he progressed through the organisation were as Logistics Manager, Sales and Marketing Director, and Managing Director.

In 2001 Trevor joined the Glen Care Group as Managing Director. He transformed a small independent hospital group into a larger corporation operating 8 hospitals and 6 care homes. He also played a major role in securing NHS contracts and Public/Private Partnership arrangements.

He worked as a partner and Managing Director of Brookdale Care Limited where he transformed a failing hospital group through the implementation of a robust recovery plan.

Trevor joined Priory Healthcare in 2008 as a Regional Manager, before being made Managing Director of the Priory Healthcare in October 2009. Trevor now holds the position of CEO for Priory Healthcare.

Trevor became a Trustee at DI in 2016.

Elizabeth Kennedy - Former High Sheriff of Surrey

Elizabeth Kennedy has extensive business experience and has worked for several well-known retailers, including Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Debenhams. She ran her own retail business for nearly 20 years.

Elizabeth's past charitable and voluntary work includes Cobham community group Envisage, the Cobham Conservation & Heritage Trust and Chairman of African Revival.

She was High Sheriff of Surrey for 2015/16. She is currently a Trustee (and previous Chairman) of Transform Housing and Support, a Trustee of the High Sheriff Youth Awards, a Director QEF Retail Trading, Chairman of the Cobham Heritage Day Committee, a Panel Member for the Elmbridge Community Fund and a Panel Member for the PCC Community Safety Fund.

Elizabeth became a Trustee at DI in 2016.

Geoff Bignell - Founder of Just Employment 1999

Geoff is one of the UK's leading employment lawyers. He has worked with Nottinghamshire Police, Leicestershire County Council and Warwickshire County Council, where he was the Principal Solicitor. Geoff then became Assistant Secretary-General (Management) at The Law Society of England and Wales, responsible for a £50 million turnover, as well as IT and human resources for 700 staff. He has also been Chief Executive of Law Society Services. In 1999 Geoff founded Just Employment in addition to lecturing at the Surrey Law Society on employment law.

Geoff has been a non-executive director of companies in the transport and media sectors. He has been vice chairman of the Rail Passengers Committee for Southern England and is a member of South West Trains Passenger Panel. Geoff is also chairman of his parish finance and property committee.

Geoff became a Trustee at DI in 2015

Martin Parker - Head of Integrated Adult Care Commissioning, West Sussex County Council

Since 2014 Martin Parker has been Head of Adult Integrated Care Commissioning for West Sussex County Council working to transform the health and social care system in the county. Martin also leads a team managing the implementation of the Care Act in West Sussex, developing dementia services and enhancing the availability and use of Telecare and Telehealth, throughout the county. Prior to this Martin worked for Hampshire County Council for more than 13 years in a number of key roles including: Strategic Care Commissioning Manager; Joint Commissioning Manager for the Hampshire Drug and Alcohol Action team and as Business Support Officer for Early Education and Childcare.

Martin became a Trustee at DI in 2015.

Neil Jones - Chief Executive of Steps

Neil has worked in the third sector for over 25 years following a career in investment management in the city.

Having held a long tenure at the Charities Aid Foundation as Director of Communications, Neil brings a wealth of experience to the role including a wide range of matters covering charitable activity, charity law, tax-effective giving, training, publications and end-user relations. In addition, Neil has conducted extensive media work on charitable matters: sitting on the voluntary sector working party that worked on the then National Lottery Bill; working with the then Chancellor of the Exchequer on a small working party to introduce what was then called Millennium Gift Aid which morphed into Gift Aid in its current form.

Neil was the CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation between 2004 and 2015. Under his leadership, the charity grew substantially and continues to thrive. Currently he is the Chief Executive of Steps, the national charity for serious lower limb conditions.

Neil joined DI in 2013 as Chair for a 3 year tenure.


Trustees take overall responsibility for everything a charity does and they act collectively to govern the organisation. DI’s Trustees are volunteers who are passionate about the work we do here. Their experience helps them make decisions about the policy and direction of the organisation although in practice many day-to-day tasks are delegated to staff through the Chief Executive.

The Charity Commission

The Charity Commission for England and Wales is established by law as the regulator and registrar of charities in England and Wales and its aim is to provide the best possible regulation of charities in order to increase a charity’s efficiency and effectiveness and public confidence and trust in them.