Care for the elderly in Northumberland.

The Trustees of Charlotte Straker are detailed on this page. As with any Charity one of the principal responsibilities of a Trustee is to safeguard the assets of their Charity, and in the case of Charlotte Straker they should seek to ensure that the Home delivers Care to the residents and patients that is of a high standard.

Each Trustee goes through an introductory induction to Charlotte Straker and is assigned to one of the three main committees – namely Finance, Fundraising and Staff, Property & Governance. They are all volunteers and have an area of expertise that aligns to the overall responsibilities just described.

The Trustees meet every other month to review performance and discuss issues and strategy. Each month an individual Trustee carries out an Inspection of the Home covering important areas of function and these reports are considered by the Trustees at their formal meetings.

Dr William Cunningham

billcunningham2Bill has been vice chair for the last 7 years. He has been a medical practitioner in Corbridge since 1979 and retired as Senior GP of the Corbridge Practice in July 2011
He has held posts with the University of Newcastle as a Course and Scheme Organiser for vocational training for general practice and as Clinical Governance lead for West Locality of Northumberland Care Trust. He is currently chair of Hexham’s Palliative Care Partnership.
Bill has wide experience of running organisations, strategic planning, staffing issues and clinical quality improvement processes. The Management and Trustees are able to call on Bill for medical advice concerning the running of Charlotte Straker. Bill lives in Corbridge and was the principal driving force in establishing the new health centre.

Lady Blackett
Board Member

annablackett2Anna is well known for the key role she has played in the development of Matfen Hall Hotel and Leisure Club, the largest privately owned hotel in the North East of England. The Hotel has won a number of prestigious awards and is a major employer in the Tyne Valley.
She has wide experience in general business management and in particular human resource management and is chairperson of the Staff, Property and Governance committee.

Mr David Johnson

davidjohnson2David has been involved with Charlotte Straker since its inception and spent al his career in banking with Lloyds TSB. As Treasurer he is responsible for the financial management and monitoring of investments.
He is treasurer for his local church in Whickham, a Trustee and Treasurer of Broomley Grange and President of the Tyneside Battalion of The Boys Brigade.

Mr Peter Wood
Board Member

peterwood2Peter spent 38 years of his career in banking and retired in 2001. He held senior posts with Barclays in risk and operational management working from their North East Regional office. His main expertise lies in the provision of strategic business advice and leadership. He is a Non-Executive director of The North East Ambulance Trust, a Director and Trustee of St Oswald’s Hospice. He also Chairs two locally based Charitable Trusts Appeals Committees. Peter lives in Corbridge.

Mrs Angela Jones
Board Member

angelajones2Angela is a member of the Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Administrators and Receptionists and qualified with Diploma in Practice Management in 1992.
She worked at a number of practices in the Cheshire area and now provides administrative and secretarial expertise to the Board of Trustees and organises a number of the sponsored events as part of her role on the Fundraising Committee. She lives in Corbridge.

Mrs Ann Wagstaff
Board Member

annwagstaff2Ann retired in May 2009 after 30 years in District Nursing in the Corbridge practice.
She is a member of the Staff, Property and Governance Committee and her extensive experience of nursing, including palliative care and managing GP beds, enables her to provide advice and support to RGN staff, care assistants and the Manager of the Care Home.

Mr Michael Pottage
Board Member

pottage03Mike worked in Project Management in the IS/ IT Industry for 38 years, retiring from Nissan in Sunderland in 2010. He has extensive experience of project and event management both professionally and in home life. Mike lived in Scandinavia for 5 years and has a great interest in the outdoors and community projects. He is currently Chairman of Corbridge Parish Council.

Mr Neil Braithwaite
Board Member

neilbraithwaite2Neil is a solicitor and has been with Newcastle law firm Dickinson Dees LLP since 1980. He was their Managing Partner for 10 years to 2008. He continues as Senior Counsel to that firm.
Neil undertakes a range of other roles. He is a member of the Council of Newcastle University, a member of the North East Regional Council of The Prince’s Trust and is a Trustee Director of a group of pension schemes. He is also a Trustee of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums Development Trust and a member of other charitable trusts. Neil lives in Corbridge.

Mr Richard Dixon
Board Member

Richard DixonRichard worked in the electrical power industry for 40 years, principally as a Director for Merz and McLellan consulting engineers, retiring in 2002. He has had much experience of managing electrical power system projects in the UK and overseas. During his career Richard travelled extensively in the Middle East, Africa and South America. He is now a member of Tynedale Lions and St Andrew’s Corbridge Church Council.

Mrs Lesley Thirlwell, Vice Chair

lesley-thirlwellLesley has been employed by the North East Ambulance Service since 1987, starting as a paramedic and progressing into management as a named professional for safeguarding. Lesley became a Charlotte Straker Trustee in 2012 as she wanted to become more involved in the community in which she was living. Lesley provides safeguarding support and advice to the residence and staff of the Charlotte Straker Project.

Mr Gavin Black
Board Member


Gavin is a Chartered Surveyor and the Senior Partner of Gavin Black and Partners, a practice he founded in 2004, based in Newcastle upon Tyne. He is Chairman of Northumbria University, Chairman of Remedios Limited – a biotech company specialising in remediation of contaminated land – and was Deputy Chairman of Chesterton for ten years from 1994 until 2004. He joined the Board of Trustees in 2005.
He had extensive experience in the provision of strategic property advice to a wide range of blue chip clients, including funding and the acquisition and disposal of commercial property investments.
Gavin advises Charlotte Straker on all aspects of property development and acquisition.

Ms Berenice Groves, Board Member

Berenice is a registered Paramedic who has held a number of roles in the NHS over 31 years. Currently she is employed by South Tees Hospital as an Operations Director. During her time in the NHS she has been involved in commissioning, design and delivery of urgent & emergency care, services and  palliative care pathways. Recently  she has been instrumental developing a national programme implementing improvements in Health and Social Care. Berenice has lived in Corbridge for 17 years and is keen to support Charlotte Straker Project meet the current challenges faced whilst supporting an inspiring local service.