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Pamela Rutter - Chair

Pamela Rutter held various General Manager/Directorship posts in the Building and Furniture Manufacturing industries before moving into the public sector in 1991. Pamela joined the NHS to establish a wide range of innovative community based services before managing a group of privately owned Care Homes for the Elderly in the North West. She finished her working career as Senior Commissioning Manager for Adult Care in local Government and continues to undertake work for the Care Quality Commission. Specialising in the review of services for the elderly and raising awareness of the impact of bereavement on health and well-being have been long-standing passions. Pamela has been a volunteer with Cruse Bereavement Care for 24 years. After making a successful bid to the Lottery in 1998 Pamela was instrumental in establishing the North West Region and has served in a number of capacities on Management Committees, Council Committees and as a Trustee. Previously Pamela had been the Vice Chair of Cruse Bereavement Care since June 2015, and chairs the Board of Trustees' Appointments and Remuneration Committee.

Michael Whitehouse OBE - Hon Treasurer

Michael has been Chief Operating Officer and Board Member of the National Audit Office (NAO) since 2009. An accountant and auditor by profession, he has had responsibility throughout his career for numerous public sector portfolios, including the Health, Education, Social Welfare, Housing, Defence, Diplomatic Service and International Aid sectors. As an NAO director, he developed the NAO’s work on cross government systemic issues, which is now a well-established feature of the NAO brand.

Helen Causley - Trustee

Helen is a senior health policy professional with a wealth of experience of policy development and implementation in mental health, quality improvement and regulation. Her current role is working as a Senior Policy Adviser on acute care in the NHS, specifically sponsoring NHS Improvement, and advising on medication safety, diabetes and cardio-vascular care. She has previously worked at DWP and has held a number of policy lead roles across the areas of secure mental health services, controlled drugs, and coronary heart disease. Before becoming a trustee, Helen was a Bereavement Volunteer for Cruse in Greenwich.

Poppy Mardall - Trustee

Poppy Mardall is a multi award-winning, progressive funeral director who quit her job as a Deputy Director at Sotheby’s auction house to revolutionise the funeral trade. Beyond her day-to-day work as a funeral director, Poppy sees it as her mission to get people talking about death, dying and bereavement, and to educate people about their options at the end of their lives, in the belief that to be informed is to be empowered. Poppy is a former Samaritan and Trinity Hospice volunteer. Poppy's work has been featured in The Times, The Independent, The Daily Mail, Newsweek, Tatler, Cosmopolitan and Stylist among other titles. She has made television and radio appearances including on BBC Breakfast, BBC Woman's Hour, You and Yours, BBC London and LBC.

Colin Robertson - Trustee

Colin is a qualified accountant who worked at a senior level in the corporate sector, and subsequently at board level with responsibility initially for Finance, and later, also for Marketing. He has had 15 years experience as an entrepreneur, running a £6 million turnover Retail business with multiple outlets and significant staff numbers. He ended his career as a Counsellor in private practice, having obtained Counselling qualifications from Warwick University and from the Relate Institute.

He has been a volunteer for Cruse for 18 years, initially as a Bereavement Support Volunteer, and as chair of an Area Development Committee, prior to Chairing the newly formed Area. He has for a number of years been the West Midlands Regionally elected representative on Cruse National Council, and for six years was a Cruse Trustee representing National Council on the then National Executive Committee. He joined the present Board of Trustees on 1 March 2017.

Nilufar Anwar - Trustee

Nilufar is Corporate Counsel at Salesforce, a leading technology company, with board-level experience at both private and public companies. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion and gives talks on the methods and challenges of attracting and empowering diverse staff. Nilufar is also a non-executive director for #techmums, a social enterprise that empowers mums, their families and communities, through teaching key technology skills. Nilufar is a keen advocate for the use of technology to support Cruse by empowering its volunteers and connecting with the people it supports on a personal level. She looks forward to supporting Cruse’s objective to reach a more diverse client and volunteer group.

Paul Butler - Trustee

Paul Butler is DfE FE Prevent Advisor, National Leader of FE Governance AOC, former Acas council member and Chair GFE College in London. Paul has been a chief executive and director within the community and voluntary sector, central government and regeneration and education sectors for over 25 years. He has extensive experience of post-16 provision and community development. He has worked with a range of regeneration agencies and employers within the public and private sectors nationally to provide career and professional training, enterprise, education and business development opportunities for disadvantaged and disenfranchised groups and local communities, and has also worked on a parliamentary cross-party group on employment and inclusion.

Jane Cryer - Trustee

Jane is a retired solicitor who specialised in cases involving fatal car crash cases and violence against women. She has completed the Cruse bereavement volunteers course and as a single parent raised three sons, who are now out in the world leaving Jane some time to focus on the work she loves, including improving the support systems around bereavement.

Letizia Perna-Forrest - Vice Chair, Trustee Safeguarding Lead

Letizia is currently the Head of Patient and Family Support at Royal Trinity Hospice in London. Letizia has previously worked as a clinical social worker and psychotherapist working with patients, family members/friends, and children around issues of grief and loss both at Royal Trinity Hospice and at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Centre in New York City. Letizia has over fourteen years’ experience in the non-profit/third sector as a clinician, clinical supervisor and educator. She is passionate about mental health issues and mental wellbeing and advocates for an end to mental health stigma and discrimination. She has vast experience of developing services and of working with volunteers within the charity sector. Letizia is a member of the London End of Life Clinical Leadership Group and a member of the Association of Bereavement Service Coordinators (ABSCo). Letizia is particularly interested in Cruse’s work around traumatic and sudden deaths.

Tina Challacombe - Trustee

Tina has been a volunteer for Cruse Bereavement Care for over 30 years. She started as a committee member with Greenwich Cruse, becoming Area Chair in 1998 and then REM for the South East Region, representing the Region on Cruse Council. Tina was a General Practitioner for nearly 40 years in Greenwich, during which time her special interests were in teaching and training, mental health and care of older people, and Clinical Governance. Tine sees her role as a link between the Cruse Board Trustees and the Bereavement Volunteers, with an emphasis on improving communication and understanding both at Board level and volunteer level about the issues and challenges Cruse faces.