Skip to main content


Find out more about the Farleigh Hospice board of trustees, their responsibilities, and committee memberships

Governance Overview – Board of Trustees

Farleigh Hospice is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee and as such all Trustees are company directors of Farleigh Hospice and also a charity trustee. The Board of Trustees are responsible for the governance of Farleigh Hospice and have ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of Farleigh Hospice, ensuring that it is solvent, well-run, and meeting the needs for which it has been set up. Executive team members and the CEO of Local Hospice Lottery Ltd also attend the board meetings which are held at least 6 times a year.

The maximum term of office of a trustee is 9 years and the Chair and Vice chair are elected by the Board for 3 year terms. FH trustees (maximum 14) come from a variety of backgrounds, are of a range of ages and have a wide range of experience and skills and are all volunteers and unpaid.

We don't currently have a vacancy for a Trustee, but if you would like to register a future interest in becoming a trustee please email

Role of the Board

The main responsibilities of the board are as follows:

  • Consider, agree and review the long-term strategy and operational plan
  • Monitor implementation and performance against the plan and budget by reference to reports and updates
  • Monitor the performance of the organisation by reference to reports, statistics and standards, embracing quality of service, governance, ethics and finance
  • Develop and approve standing financial instructions, budgeting and accounting procedures
  • Regularly reviews all major risks faced by FH and ensure that action is taken to mitigate these
  • Appoint and monitor the performance of the Chief Executive
  • Set Chief Executive and Executive Team pay
  • Select directors of subsidiary companies including Local Hospice Lottery Ltd (LHLL), to ensure representation and regular progress reporting
  • Appoint a trustee to be a Freedom to Speak up Guardian to allow confidential reporting of matters of concern such as poor care, misconduct etc
  • Carry out Trustee Provider Visits at least once a year in a selected area(s) to provide an independent observational review of the organisation and its service delivery.

Board Committees

The above responsibilities are discharged by the Board, directly or through its committees, and the Executive Team and the Committees regularly report back to the Board. The standing board committees, which meet at least 3 to 6 times a year depending on the committee, are as follows.

The Board Governance Committee ensures all statutory governance matters are in order and ensures that Farleigh Hospice Board adheres to the principles of good governance, works to the Charity Governance Code and is compliant with company and charity law and regulation.

The committee comprises the Chair, Vice Chair, Chairs of other committees, Chair of LHLL, Chief Executive and Finance Director/Company Secretary.

The 3 other standing committees, namely Corporate Governance, Clinical Governance and Financial Governance, cover their respective areas including, for instance, monitoring relevant sections of operational plan and risk register. Each committee is chaired by a trustee and membership includes at least two to three trustees and the relevant Executive Team members or leads.

In addition, 3 Farleigh Hospice trustees sit on the board of LHLL (one as Chair) as Directors and regular reports of performance and any significant matters are provided to the FH Board.

Keith Spiller


Appointed as a trustee in 2016 and received chair in 2021

Keith has been a Farleigh Hospice Trustee since 2016 and has been a member of all the standing Board committees, as well as a Lottery company director. Keith worked in banking for 31 years before retiring in 2011, having gained experience in financial, operations and legal areas. His last position was at UBS Investment Bank in London where he was a Managing Director in the legal department and Chair of the Global Documentation Management Committee, as well as being responsible for setting up offshore teams. Keith, with his wife, have enjoyed participating in the Cycle and Walk for Life as well as helping with Christmas tree recycling.

Tracey Dickens

Committee member for the Lottery

Appointed 2023

Tracey is a Solicitor and Partner at Birkett Long LLP, specialising in Commercial and Corporate Finance work and GP partnerships, and heads up the Commercial Department for the firm, also sitting on its Oversight Board. Before becoming a solicitor she was a Medical Laboratory Scientific Officer in the NHS, worked for BT in estates management and in the communications team of a London insurance company. Tracey is a former trustee of another local hospice.

Known for her pragmatic and balanced approach, Tracey enjoys acting as a facilitator in her dealings with clients and others, acting as a trusted advisor to analyse risk and identify the best way forward.

Tracey is a keen golfer, enjoying golfing holidays and breaks with her husband. Tracey loves rock and blues music and going to concerts. Travelling is another passion, particularly road trips, when younger on the back of a motorbike, and, now older, in cars, usually aligned with the places we visit. Ford mustang for an American deep south music related tour and an Alpha Romeo for a recent top to bottom tour of Italy.

Mark Leach

Member for Corporate Governance & Farleigh Supplies Ltd.

Appointed 2023

Mark has extensive membership and marketing experience working with a range of membership and charitable organisations. Since 2012 he has been working for the Royal Society of Biology, where he is a Director with responsibility for membership, regions & events and facilities, also managing a dedicated team
providing member administration services to a range of external organisations. Mark has lived in Chelmsford since 1995 following graduation from Anglia Polytechnic University, as it was then known, and has previously been a very appreciative beneficiary of Farleigh’s counselling services. He enjoys watching international rugby, and, as a regular visitor to the Algarve, is currently learning Portuguese.

Joanna Pittman

Vice chair and Chair of the Financial Governance Committee

Appointed 2015

Jo is a chartered accountant and partner at Sayer Vincent, a firm that specialises in audit and advice services for charities and social enterprises. Jo is the audit partner for several charities and she advises on charity accounting, VAT and tax and governance matters. Jo lives close to North Court Road in Broomfield with her husband and three children. Jo enjoys exploring the Essex coast and countryside and, as an archaeology graduate, she also likes visiting historical sites.

Richard Shail

Committee member of Farleigh Supplies Ltd, Financial Governance, and Lottery

Appointed 2016

Richard is a Chartered Accountant and was in private practice retiring in 1995. Since then he has held a number of Non Executive Directorships in the private sector. Richard has two adult children, James and Victoria. Apart from time spent with them his main interests are golf, travel and walking. He has been a Non Executive Director of the then North Essex Health Authority and Non Executive Director and Chairman of a London Housing Association.

Donald McGeachy

Chair of the Clinical Governance Committee

Appointed 2019

Donald trained at Glasgow Medical School and became medically qualified just over 40 years ago. Since then he has mostly worked as a GP both here in the UK and abroad in Tonga (South Pacific) and New Zealand.

He has also spent time working in local hospices for several months and have enjoyed providing palliative care to his patients over many years.

For the past 15 years or so Donald has been increasingly involved in commissioning and management of healthcare in Essex and certainly for the past 10 years has held Board level positions in PCGs/PCTs and CCGs. He is currently involved in the Mid and South Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership as their Medical Director in the Acute Commissioning team.

Donald is passionate about the need to provide high quality palliative care to our population and looks forward to his time on the Board of Farleigh Hospice.

Katie Lockwood

Chair of the Corporate Governance Committee

Appointed 2019

Katie is a Commercial Real Estate Solicitor at Birkett Long LLP, specialising in property development work. Katie qualified as a Solicitor in January 2016, having studied Law International Exchange at the University of Essex, which included a year living in Madrid studying Spanish Law. She completed her Legal Practice Course at the University of Law. Katie lives in Chelmsford and in her spare time, enjoys walking, travel and spending time with friends and family.

Caroline Rassell

Committee member for Corporate Governance & Clinical Governance

Appointed 2021

Caroline is the Chief Executive of the charity Parkinson's UK. Before this Caroline worked for many years at board level in the NHS both nationally and locally in Essex. Caroline started her career in local government and for 9 years worked at Essex County Council. Caroline is President of her professional body, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and a senior independent board member of Active Essex. Caroline has lived in Chelmsford for most of her life and is a proud parkrunner.

Emma-Jane Carrington

Committee member for the Lottery and Farleigh Supplies Ltd

Appointed 2021

Emma Jane is a seasoned Global Key Account Management Director specialist in high-level global accounts management, blue-chip clients interfacing, new business development, and customer acquisition and retention, including leading and developing global account managers teams. A strong commercial acumen with exceptional business presentation and negotiation skills, strong influencing, and stakeholder management. Leadership skills and repeated success in managing teams to deliver complex projects aligned to sales strategies. When not spending time working, Emma Jane is a keen amateur photographer and loves to travel.

Liz Fox

Freedom to Speak Up Guardian

Liz trained as a nurse at Great Ormond Street and The London hospital before moving into community nursing, and has held positions in NHS provider and commissioning organisations in London and Essex.

For the last 20 years Liz has specialised in safeguarding, working in partnership with the statutory agencies. Liz retired from the NHS in 2017 and now works as a CQC inspector. She lives near Stansted in Essex and is married with two grown up sons, and loves active holidays, home or abroad.

Chris Tilley

Member for Financial Governance

Appointed 2023

Chris is an experienced finance professional with almost 20 years' experience in the financial services industry. Having graduated from Loughborough University, Chris qualified as a chartered accountant with Ernst & Young in 2009 and is currently an Executive Director at Coutts & Co, focussing on corporate finance and private equity investments. Prior to joining the board of Farleigh, he was a governor at a leading Essex primary school.

Chris is married with two children and is a keen sportsman. When he's not watching his own kids play sport, he enjoys playing football, travelling and spending time with friends and family.