Our Board of Trustees

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Supporting Member votes for Trustees 2024

Our Trustees ensure that the Board has the necessary skills to govern the charity effectively. Many of the Board have or have had ME; the majority of the rest have strong connections with ME, usually through a family member or close friend.

Scroll down for profiles of each candidate, who will be formally appointed subject to the votes of our Supporting Members. You can do this digitally below, as well as by post via InterAction magazine (see pages 10-12, issue 116)

Please indicate your vote for each candidate here by 5pm on Thursday 5 September 2024

Only those candidates who receive more ‘yes’ votes than ‘no’ votes will be re-appointed to the Action for M.E. Board of Trustees.

Results will be announced at our online AGM on Friday 13 September 2024 - all are welcome to join us to hear about our services, support, campaigns and research.

Introducing Jeff Banks, our new candidate

Jeff has worked across health, education and social care for over thirty years, leading voluntary and community sector organisations and multi-agency partnerships. “I am honoured to have the opportunity of supporting this wonderful charity,” says Jeff. “Having lived with ME myself since 2002, I am acutely aware of the importance of ensuring individuals with ME and their families get the information, advice and support they need, and that health and care professionals, employers and the wider community understand the impact of ME.”

Jeff's work has always focused on equality and human rights, and he has led a number of disabled-led organisations. Recently, Jeff served as Director of Strategic Partnerships at a large NHS Integrated Care System, where he led the establishment of a large and complex Integrated Care Partnership and the system-wide Integrated Care Strategy.

“I am excited by the prospect of working with the fantastic team in developing their work, while promoting the charity’s core values of empathy, clarity, courage and collaboration.”

The following Trustees are up for re-election:

Philip Courtney

Philip is Head of Tax (EMEA and APAC) for Cantor Fitzgerald. Philip has specialised in international tax since qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in May 1988, first in the profession and, since 1995, in industry with Fiat Group and Clifford Chance – one of the world’s pre-eminent law firms.

Philip has firsthand experience of the challenges faced when doctors and healthcare professionals run out of traditional medical solutions. One of Philip’s best friends at university has had ME for many years, and approached Philip to be a founding Trustee of the M.E. Trust. This merged with Action for M.E. in 2022.

Shaun De Boo

“My three years as a Trustee have flown by,” says Shaun. “I have learned so much about the need to advocate, represent and research for people with ME.” After initially supporting the finance committee, Shaun is now involved in making sure we have good governance at Action for M.E. and is on the communications and public affairs committee.

“I believe I have a much stronger understanding of the issues facing my daughter and others with ME,” says Shaun. “I would like to continue as a Trustee to make sure that I use all that I have learned about ME, healthcare and communications to maximise the effectiveness of Action for M.E. in its vital role in supporting people with ME, campaigning and research.”

Julianne Devine

Julianne is a commercial solicitor, currently Head of Competition law at Diageo PLC. “I am delighted to be a current Trustee on the Action for M.E. board,” says Julianne. “I am passionate about making a difference to the health and social care that is available to people living with ME – whether that be as a result of the vital healthcare services the charity provides or by lobbying for action and research.”

Julianne’s brother has ME. “I have seen how difficult the disease is to manage, both in terms of accessing effective care and support, as well as socialising and integrating into society,” she says. Her two young children keep her on her toes – “they inspire me every day to do better for myself and others.”

Rollo Hope

Rollo is a civil servant in the Department for International Trade, leading a team to drive UK technology exports. Prior to this, Rollo was Chief of Staff to a senior MP for five years.

Rollo chairs Action for M.E.’s Healthcare Services Board and was previously chairman of the M.E. Trust. Having lived with ME himself from 15 to 25, Rollo is keen to continue supporting this crucial work of providing care and support to people struggling with this devastating illness.

David Leigh

David is the CEO of AMS, a global talent outsourcing and advisory business. “I was delighted to join Action for M.E. as a trustee in 2020, having had ME as a teenager / young adult,” he explains. "The services the amazing team at Action for M.E. provide are incredibly important. It is also critical that more is done to understand the illness, recognise the impact it has and, ultimately, eradicate it.”

David is married to Lucy with two children, aged 18 and 15.

Jonathan Manuel

Since qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, Jonathan has worked mainly in senior finance and commercial roles at FTSE 100 company Diageo, both in the UK and overseas. After this, he moved to the charity sector, first at Christian Aid and then, for the last two years, in his current role of Executive Director of Finance at St Mungo’s homeless charity.

Jonathan is currently our treasurer. “Over the last three years, I have learnt a lot about ME,” he says. “I hope that I can continue to use my professional, commercial and charity experience to really help support the great work of Action for M.E.”

Notes for your information

  1. Only Supporting and Lifelong Members of Action for M.E. (known collectively as Supporting Membership) are eligible to vote in the election of new Trustees.
  2. Supporting Membership does not mean membership of Action for M.E. as a company limited by guarantee. The Trustees of Action for M.E. have resolved that those candidates who are endorsed by the Supporting Membership will be elected as Trustees by the members of Action for M.E. as a company law matter. Conversely, the Trustees have undertaken that those candidates who are not endorsed by the Supporting Membership will not be elected as Trustees by the members of Action for M.E.
  3. Any votes received from persons who are not part of the Supporting Membership or who cannot be identified by Action for M.E. as such shall be deemed invalid.
  4. An individual Supporting or Lifelong Member shall only be entitled to one vote for each candidate. Any further votes received from that individual shall be deemed invalid.
  5. All votes must be received by Action for M.E. on or before 5pm on Thursday 5 September 2024. Any votes received after this time will not be counted.
  6. A candidate shall be eligible for appointment or reappointment as a Trustee on and from Action for M.E.’s Annual General Meeting, Friday 13 September 2024, in the event that he or she receives more valid ‘yes’ votes than ‘no’ votes. Any ‘no preference’ votes or non-indicated votes shall be disregarded for these purposes.
  7. In the event of any dispute regarding the ballot or the voting process, the decision of the Board of Trustees of Action for M.E. shall be final and binding.