We are privileged to have the support of our voluntary Board of Trustees.  Our Trustees are elected or co-opted in line with the terms of Trust Deed and serve initially for a period of three years. The Trustees are responsible for preparing the Trust's Report and Financial Statements and are also responsible for keeping accounting record and ensure that all financial statements comply with the Charities Act, the Charity (Accounts and Reports) Regulations and the provisions of the Trust Deed.  They also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the charity and providing expert advice and guidance.

Current Trustees

Richard Tolkien, Chair of Trustees

Richard has worked in the financial sector for over 30 years, now acting as a non-executive director for two companies and as an independent expert witness.  Richard's passion for Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research continues to be motivated by the memory of his brother David who spent nine months rehabilitating at the National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC) following a spinal cord injury. 

Professor Rob Brownstone

We are delighted that Professor Robert Brownstone became a trustee of SMSR in 2017. Professor Brownstone works at University College London (UCL) in the Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience.  Here, work in the lab aims to understand how motor circuits contribute to rehabilitation of movement in disease or injury.  As movement is affected in many neurological conditions, his research program has widespread impact for the development of new strategies to improve movement in people with neurological disorders.  He joined UCL from Dalhousie University in Canada, where he was a Professor in the Departments of Surgery (Neurosurgery) and Medical Neuroscience, and a neurosurgeon at the QE11 Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Nigel Deacon, Honorary Board Secretary

Nigel worked in the healthcare sector for twenty-four years firstly as a senior executive in NHS finance and support services and subsequently as an independent management consultant undertaking a wide range of finance and transformation projects within the NHS and elsewhere.  He is a Fellow of the Chartered Governance Institute and is also a practicing accountant specialising in the not-for-profit sector. 

Mr Nigel Henderson

Nigel came to Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1986 as a consultant orthopaedic and spinal surgeon. He developed a close relationship with the National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC) and the surgical management of the patients there.  He was Clinical Director of the NSIC for 5 years before his retirement from the NHS in 2018. This gave him the opportunity for closer involvement in the development of spinal cord injury services locally and nationally and he served as a member, then chair, of the Spinal Cord Injury committee of the NHS England Spinal Services Group concerned with service organisation, specification and commissioning.

Amanda Martin

Amanda has over 25 years experience of fundraising, publishing and marketing for not-for-profit organisations in the UK and overseas.  She currently works on major fundraising campaigns for Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust (BHNHST), alongside consultancy and voluntary work for other healthcare, research and membership organisations.

Dr Tom Meagher

Dr Tom Meagher graduated from Cork University and trained as a radiologist in Oxford.  He was appointed as consultant radiologist at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1991.  The imaging of patients with spinal cord injury has been a major part of his career and he works closely with the spinal injuries clinical team at Stoke Mandeville.  He served as Clinical Director of the NSIC from 2003-2007 and also served as Director of Research for BHNHST.

Jamie Polk

In 2000, Jamie had a diving accident that left him paralysed from the chest down.  Following this life changing incident, Jamie decided work needed to be something that he really loved doing, so he left the city and set up his own art dealership - the Animal Art Fair.   Jamie is a passionate supporter to SMSR and helps raise awareness of the vital work we do through our Ambassador programme.

Phillipe Vienot, Treasurer

Philippe has worked in the financial sector for over 20 years, in both corporate and real estate finance.  Following a motorbike accident in 2011, he became paralysed from the chest down.  Phillipe strongly supports SMSR's goal to improve the quality of life of people with spinal cord injuries and in particular overcoming the daily obstacles to being able to work. Phillipe is current Treasurer at SMSR.  We would like to thank Nurole, the recruitment platform for senior executive and board roles, for helping us to find Phillipe and appoint him as our Treasurer.