Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Celebrating our Trustees - Guy's & St Thomas' Foundation

Celebrating our Trustees

8 November 2023

It’s Trustees’ Week and this year the theme is ‘Many voices. Working together. With Purpose.’ Which is a great chance to highlight the amazing work our trustees do and the impact they have at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation. But… Who are they, and what do they do? Our Chief Executive, Laurie Lee explains.

Confetti falls in front of a London window. Photograph by Clem Onojeghuo

What do Trustees do?

At Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation, our Trustees play a vital role in the governing of the organisation. They are responsible alongside senior executives for ensuring we meet our charitable objectives, which all feed into our vision of a society that is healthier for everyone. As well as fulfilling the core responsibilities at Board meetings, they contribute in many other ways. They have fundraised for us, represented us and shared their networks and experience with us. They are integral to achieving our mission and we’re incredibly grateful for the generous time they give – outside of their incredibly busy and varied day jobs.

Who is on the board?

Our board of trustees is up made of a diverse array of smart, experienced individuals, experts in their field, all driven by our shared mission of creating a healthier, more equitable society. From finance and investment to technology and health, they are experienced in a wide range of fields, expertise of which brings a huge amount of value to the Foundation. As an organisation and board we work closely with Dr Ian Abbs, who is Chief Executive at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Ian sits on our Strategy Advisory Committee, made up of multidisciplinary national experts who steer our work.

Our Trustees

  • Susanne Given is a leading non-executive director specialising in digital organisational growth. Susanne is our Chair.
  • Sir Ron Kerr is a senior NHS leader with over 30 years of experience. Ron is our Vice-Chair.
  • Helen Bailey is a senior public sector leader and advisor. Helen is our Chair for the Impact on Urban Health Committee.
  • David Bennett was an executive leader in financial services and having retired from full-time work is now a non-executive director, investment committee member and trustee of several major pension funds and foundations. He is the newly appointed Chair of our Investment Committee.
  • Dr Nikita Kanani is an NHS leader and a practising local GP. Nikki joined our board in early 2021.
  • Yasemin Lamy is an investment leader and leads on Impact Investments.
  • Andrew Lee was a chief executive in the financial services sector and is now an experienced non-executive director.  He is the newly appointed Chair of our Finance and Audit Committee.
  • Dr Danny Sriskandarajah is a well-established figure in the social impact and not-for-profit sectors. He chairs our Charity Strategy Committee.
  • Pamela Thomas is a Board observer. She is a financial services adviser and also sits on our Investment Committee.
  • Katherine Ward is a digital health and healthcare entrepreneur. Katherine chairs our Children’s Mental Health Programme Committee.

You can read more about their individual expertise and backgrounds on our trustees page.

Many voices, working together, with purpose

As an independent charitable foundation driven by a mission for health equity, we are committed to embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion across everything we do, from the way we operate, to who we hire and how we partner. It’s central to achieving our mission, as you cannot build health equity on unequitable foundations. It’s particularly important therefore that our Board of Trustees is diverse and represents the voices of those with lived experience of the communities we’re working with across Southwark and Lambeth.

With a background in healthcare, Dr Nikita Kanani is passionate about the Foundation’s different routes to impact. She says:

“There are so many big challenges in delivering healthcare. I encounter them daily in my work as a GP and my roles with NHS England and the King’s Fund too, and none can be solved by coming at them from just one angle. That’s why the Foundation’s work to bring together many voices is so important and it’s a privilege to be part of a diverse board working together with the purpose of more equitable health.”

Andrew Lee is our newly appointed Chair of Finance and Audit Committee. He says:

“I am passionate about quality Healthcare and Social systems being available to all members of society. In doing so, society itself will become a fairer, caring and more stable place for people to achieve their potential. Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation are a super example of one such charity that can reach places others can’t. Having already participated in one Board meeting, I know the teams at the Foundation reflect those goals so passionately. I am honoured to be able to play what is a small part in forwarding those outcomes.”

David Bennett has also recently joined the Board as Chair of our Investment Committee. He says:

“After retiring from full-time work I was looking for a pro bono role to go alongside my role as trustee of the Science Museum Foundation where I could use my skills and experience to actively support the work of an important charity or foundation. When I heard about the vacancy at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation it was an easy decision to apply. I’ve always felt very close to medicine and admired the work done in the NHS as my wife is a retired GP. I was born and raised in South London and lived in the diocese of Southwark until I was 18. And finally, I passionately believe in the Foundation’s ambitions to invest in a healthier society and to help drive more equitable health.”