Who we are

Willow is lucky to have the support of many amazing volunteers, donors, companies and individuals who all ensure we can continue to provide Special Days for seriously ill young adults at the most difficult of times. The following senior representatives of the charity work to underpin that support and continue to help make Special Days a reality. 
 

         

Bob & Megs Wilson, Co-Founders & Life Presidents
 

"The inspiration for Willow came from one special woman's determination to live every moment to the full, despite the most difficult of circumstances. "
 

Leadership Team

Mark

Mark Rappitt
Special Days Director
email

 

Claire

Claire Kermode
Director of Finance and Resources
email

 

Jo

Jo Tredgett 
HR Manager
email

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

Board of Trustees

Our Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall control and strategic direction of the charity. They meet regularly during the year to consider, determine and review Willow's strategies and policies, and to receive reports from the Leadership Team. They work for Willow in a voluntary capacity.

 

Richard King (Chair)

Richard has a long history of supporting Willow and was voted in as Chairman of the Board in 2010. Prior to this, Richard spent 35 years with Ernst & Young becoming Deputy Managing Partner of UK and Ireland. He currently has a portfolio of chair and non-executive director roles in a range of private companies. 

 

Dean Barrett

Dean is the Managing Director of Bastion, a PR and Marketing agency which assisted Willow in its national launch, at which point he became hooked on Willow’s mission. Dean has been passionate about Special Days ever since, initially serving on the Willow advisory board before becoming a Trustee in 2008. He is also the Chair of Trustees of Hillside Clubhouse.

 

Stewart Bennett

Stewart became a Trustee in April 2013 after discovering first hand, through his family’s experience, the difference a Special Day can make to the lives of seriously ill young adults. He brings with him over 18 years of investment banking experience and currently is a partner of Ondra Partners; a corporate finance advisory boutique. 

 

Maurice Gammell

Dedicated to Special Days and a Trustee since 2011, Maurice is a successful entrepreneur having founded several multi-outlet businesses in the food and restaurant industry, eventually leading to his role as CEO at Compass Group plc. Since leaving Compass Maurice has worked with a number of Private Equity organisations and has held several non-executive directorships.

 

Oliver Peterken (Vice Chair)

Oliver, a firm believer in the impact a Special Day can have on those most in need, has been a Trustee since 2010 and Finance & Audit Committee since Chairman since 2012. Oliver has over 25 years of experience in financial services including Aspen, Willis and Prudential. He is currently Director at Stepper Point Limited and Non-Executive Director at Amlin plc. 

 

Gina Tress (née Coladangelo)

Gina became a Trustee in January 2010. A cause close to her heart, Gina’s ‘gorgeous cousin’ Anna, is her inspiration for supporting Willow. She has more than 15 years experience in communications management and is co-owner of Luther Pendragon, one of the UK's leading independent communications consultancies. Gina has also worked with many charities, including Young Enterprise and the Stroke Association.

 

Rachel Jones

Rachel joined Willow as a Trustee in 2015. She is currently Associate Director of Development at Moorfields Eye Charity and has 15 years experience developing and implementing successful fundraising strategies and campaigns. Rachel is keen to help Willow boost its profile, ensuring it can provide more Special Days for all those who want one.  

 

Nick Aldridge

Nick became a Trustee in 2015 after being inspired by Special Days. He is CEO of PayPal Giving Fund, which supports all kinds of charities’ work by raising new funds through technology, including Willow. Nick also sits on the advisory board for the Institute of Fundraising National Convention and has served on several trustee boards.

 

Dave Waddington

Dave Waddington CBE joined Board of Trustees in December 2015, after an impressive career in the RAF. He’s since founded Perspective Consultancy, supporting decision makers on organisational capability, strategy design and performance management. Having supported Willow for several years, Dave is committed to helping make a difference to the lives of many more young adults who face the challenge of serious illness.

 

Philip Lodge - Honorary Medical Advisor

Philip became a Trustee in 2010, having discovered Willow through his work as a consultant in palliative medicine. He has been at the Royal Free Hospital and Marie Curie Hospice, Hampstead since 2004. His work has given him experience of both acute hospital and community NHS services, and the voluntary sector.

 

Willow Ambassadors

Ossie Ardiles

 

Martin Chivers

 

Lee Dixon

 

Pat Jennings OBE KSG

Sam Kane

 

Natasha Kaplinsky

 

Hardeep Singh Kohli

 

Gary Lewin

Linda Lusardi

 

Gary Mabbutt MBE

 

Simon McCoy

 

Lee Mears

Mary Nightingale

 

Frankie Seaman

 

Ian Poulter

 

Jim Rosenthal

David Seaman MBE

 

Katie Swan

 

Theo Walcott

 

Ian Wright MBE