Alan Sayles OBE


One of the founders of Farleigh Hospice, Alan was first approached in 1980 by Glenda Lance who was looking to form a hospice in Chelmsford. Upon the charity's establishment in 1984, Alan was appointed Company Secretary and Trustee before later being appointed as Chairman. Following Alan's retirement as Chairman in 1998, Alan was appointed into a new role of President whilst volunteering as an Ambassador for Farleigh Hospice.

Alan's continuing support of Farleigh Hospice has included the purchase and development of the original hospice building on New London Road, working with other Essex hospices to set up demarcation lines, and the formation of the Forum of Chairmen of Independent Hospices to create wider links between hospice Trustees. Alan was also involved in the formation of the National Council for Palliative Care and was asked to chair a committee regarding matters of governance and relations between nursing staff and trustee bodies.

Jeffrey Slater

Chairman. Appointed 2009.

Jeff started work in 1965 in the Pathology department of Ashington Hospital, Northumberland and moved to Chelmsford in 1974 to work at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London and then at St John’s Hospital in 1977. Jeff retired in September 2008 as a Consultant Biochemist at Mid Essex Hospitals NHS Trust. His interests include woodworking, cooking, reading, cycling, and spending time with his 4 children and 5 grandchildren.

Dr. Elizabeth Towers

Committee member of Clinical Governance. Appointed 2004.

After qualifying at Bart's in 1981, Liz undertook hospital jobs in mid Essex before becoming a Chelmsford GP in 1985 and a Macmillan GP in 2009. Liz also sits on a number of committees: the LMC since 1999, the PEC since 2002, the Mid Essex Locality board since 2007, the East of England End of Life Education Committee, and the Essex Cancer Patient Information Steering Group. Liz’s personal interests include cooking, sewing, and most sports.

John Chelchowski MBE

Committee member of Corporate Governance, Supplies & St Clares. Appointed 2009.

John was born and educated in Chiswick, West London. He joined the Civil Service in 1977 and was appointed to Her Majesty’s Customs & Excise. His work has taken him to all parts of the country and he has served overseas in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc, The Balkans an Central Asia. He settled in Chelmsford in 2004 and was made an MBE for services to HM Customs and Excise in the same year.  He continues to work for a non ministerial government department.

Since 2008 John has been undertaking voluntary work as a lay member of the Essex Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace. John lives in Great Baddow with his wife Katy and they both have a keen interest in tortoises. More recently John has taken up motorcycling passing his test in 2015.

Hilary Bebb

Committee member of Clinical Governance & Chair of Corporate Governance. Appointed 2011.

Hilary trained as a nurse after leaving school and worked in hospitals in London, Shropshire and Berkshire. After having two daughters, she qualified as a nurse tutor, and worked in nurse training in Colchester for over 10 years. Following a London University Masters degree in Education, Hilary worked as Head of Department for Anglia Ruskin University, managing groups of lecturers, and latterly, as Associate Dean for Education Development in the Faculty of Health and Social Care. Hilary retired in September 2007, and now enjoys spending time with her two growing grandchildren, working in her large garden, travelling and walking. Hilary undertakes voluntary work in her village, and is a member of a team who visit elderly, or housebound residents.

Emma Wraight

Committee member of Lottery. Appointed 2011.

Emma studied LLB Law (Hons) at University of Hertfordshire and completed her Legal Practice Course at the College of Law London. Emma developed her legal skills in British Sugar’s in house legal department, part of Associated British Foods, and One Housing Group (OHG) before coming to work as a Commercial Property Solicitor for Birkett Long LLP, the largest law firm in Essex. Emma has lived in Essex for over 23 years, and enjoys spending time with family and friends, art, and travelling.

Andrew Balfour

Committee member of Financial Governance & Chair of Lottery. Appointed 2012.

Andrew Balfour is a retired solicitor who now spends his time working for a number of charities and educational institutions. He retired as a partner from international law firm Slaughter and May in 2011 after a career of over thirty years. In addition to being a trustee of Farleigh Hospice, Andrew is a trustee of several other charities including Sustrans, as well as being a school governor. In his spare time Andrew enjoys watching sport, going to the theatre and cinema, gardening and walking and cycling in the countryside.

Dr. David Blainey

Chair of Clinical Governance, committee member of Financial Governance. Appointed 2013.

David completed his medical training at University in Cambridge and London before qualifying as a doctor in 1975. After training posts in London, Oxford and Bristol, David moved to Broomfield Hospital working as a consultant in chest medicine. Prior to his retirement in 2012, David developed additional medical interests including postgraduate medical education, lung cancer, and was appointed to a variety of positions, including Regional Director for National Cancer Peer Review, Medical Director for Mid Essex Hospitals NHS Trust, and Deputy Medical Director for MEHT (Broomfield). David's interests include travelling, music, and walking in the countryside.

Lesley Baliga

Committee member of Clinical Governance, Supplies & St Clares. Appointed 2015.

Lesley is a qualified chartered certified accountant (FCCA) with experience across a range of sectors including banking and finance, education and most recently in the charity sector. Her most recent positions have been as Finance Director for the RAF Benevolent Fund and Disability Rights UK. Lesley maintains her involvement with Disability Rights UK, as a member of their finance committee. She enjoys photography, art, football and spending time with her family.

Patrick Forsyth

Committee member of Corporate Governance & Lottery. Appointed 2015.

Patrick began his career in publishing, working in sales and publicity, before moving to a professional management institute and later a management consultancy and training firm, being appointed to the board prior to the formation of his own firm in 1990. Patrick is now a published author, with more than a hundred titles published and translated into 24 languages. He is also involved with several writing groups, marketing advisor to The Society of Women Writers & Journalists, gives talks, and conducts workshops about writing. Patrick's first contact with Farleigh Hospice was when his late wife was a patient, and says she was “so well cared for”.

Joanna Pittman

Chair of Financial Governance. 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 Financial Governance, Lottery and Supplies. 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.

Keith Spiller

Committee member of Corporate Governance, Lottery. Appointed 2016.

Keith worked in banking for 31 years before retiring in 2011. His last position was at UBS Investment Bank in London where he was a Managing Director in the legal department. He was responsible for setting up Legal Documentation teams in Poland and India and was Chair of the Global Documentation Management Committee. Whilst working, Keith was an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers. Keith is married with a son and enjoys golf, reading, music and having a go at DIY.