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our trustees

Like all charities, we are governed by a Board of Trustees. These volunteers ensure we have a strategy with a clear and appropriate direction, and that we operate within the relevant regulations and guidelines.

Our Board is made up of twelve Trustees, bringing decades of experience and expert knowledge – legal, financial, medical, aviation, marketing and fundraising.

Sarah began work as a dentist in general practice for 10 years before changing direction. Following a year back at university, she moved into marketing and branding initially in the healthcare sector and then the charity sector. More recently, she has spent time as a trustee or Chair, initially at Pancreatic Cancer UK, before joining the board at Thames Valley Air Ambulance in 2017.

Her roles at a senior leadership level within the charity sector have provided her with the appropriate governance, strategic development, marketing, and fundraising skills that she can use to best effect leading the Board of Trustees at Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

Lesley is an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in General Practice and senior leader in an independent healthcare provider. Within this role, she is the executive lead for safeguarding with a responsibility for governance and quality at all levels of the business.

Furthermore, she was previously a Care Quality Commission specialist advisor. Through her experiences she has a recognised and proven track record of implementing and monitoring governance frameworks within healthcare providers.

Chris joined Thames Valley Air Ambulance in March 2021, bringing to the board a decade’s experience in helicopter aviation. He is an Aero Systems Engineer Officer in the RAF, who has completed a wide variety of roles from Head of Engineering for a large multi-type helicopter fleet to Chinook Capability Manager and Head of Integrated Logistics Support for Future Chinook.

Chris is also a Chartered Engineer whose vast operational, engineering and strategic planning expertise provide vital assurance for Thames Valley Air Ambulance’s helicopter operations.

Vijay is Assistant Director of Policy and Strategic Partnerships at the National Emergencies Trust, a charity set up to raise funds and support people affected by national emergencies in the UK.

He was previously Head of Fundraising Strategy at the British Red Cross and has worked in the charity sector for more than 12 years, with experience also in public affairs, research and risk management.

Paul has more than 30 years’ experience in both commercial and personal lines insurance and joined his current role as Chief Underwriting Officer at RSA in 2020. Paul has operated in both the London and Lloyd’s insurance markets leading underwriting teams throughout London, the regions and international markets.

As chair of the delegated oversight committee Paul looks at technical pricing, underwriting guidelines, operational performance and adherence to underwriting rules. He is also a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion.

Abi is a qualified accountant with more than 15 years’ experience in a variety of finance and commercial roles within industry in both large and small organisations. She is also an advocate for a diverse and inclusive culture and actively works to drive organisational change.

Her broad experience in all areas of finance enables her to support the management of risk, integrity, and balance at Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

Aisha is a marketing communications professional with a background in digital engagement, engagement systems and product design and development. Aisha has worked for national and international non-governmental organisations for over 20 years, in a functional lead role for many of these.

She is a design thinking and agile practitioner with a keen interest in agile marketing. Aisha joined Thames Valley Air Ambulance in January 2023 as part of the fundraising and engagement committee.

Becky is a communications specialist and has worked within the healthcare sector for more than a decade, predominantly within London-based public relations agencies following a brief period within the NHS.

During this time, she has advised charities as well as public sector, pharmaceutical and MedTech organisations across areas ranging from press and digital media to strategic communications and public engagement. She is also a volunteer for St John Ambulance.

Jane Cotton’s career spanned Civil Service policy roles and HR Director posts in the public and charity sectors. In recent years she has focused on charity governance including trustee appointments with charities working on the environment, wildlife and canals.

She is currently a trustee of a large YMCA, Independent Chair of RSPCA’s Governance Committee and joined Thames Valley Air Ambulance as a trustee in 2023.

Sarah is a senior HR director with over 25 years’ commercial experience gained in financial consulting, technology, energy, and retail. She is currently Group HR Director, Executive Committee, and RemCo member at a small global consulting firm specialising in regulatory advice.

Sarah was previously a trustee at Oxford Parent Infant Project charity where she advised on people strategy and governance during a time of significant change to funding pathways and working partnerships. In 2023, she joined Thames Valley Air Ambulance as a trustee where she joins the Risk, Finance & Planning committee & RemCo.

Hamish is a Royal Air Force navigator with many years’ experience flying helicopters on operations within the UK and across the world.

More recently, Hamish has spent time in aviation related appointments such as Deputy Commandant for the Defence Academy, the UK’s military university. One of the highlights of his career was his time spent as Station Commander for RAF Benson, where he had the privilege of getting to know Thames Valley Air Ambulance and it’s crew.

Chris has spent almost 40 years working in financial services in a career that has included positions in financial markets, treasury management and general management in the UK and Australia. In addition to his executive role, Chris has extensive governance experience having served as a non-executive director, charity trustee and pension scheme trustee for a variety of banking, asset management, charity, and pension scheme boards.

Chris is passionate about Thames Valley Air Ambulance and returns after previously holding a position as Trustee between 2014 – 2022. Alongside the broad commercial and governance skill set that Chris brings to the charity, he also brings a passion for aviation gained from a lifelong family association with the industry.