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our Trustees

As a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity, Muscular Dystrophy UK is governed by a Board of Trustees. The Trustees are responsible for the charity’s overall governance and strategic direction.

Responsibilities of our trustees

Their responsibilities include:

  • Setting the charity’s strategic direction
  • Monitoring the delivery of the charity’s objectives
  • Upholding our values and governance
  • Advising and supporting our Chief Executive, who leads the Senior Leadership Team in achieving the charity’s vision and purpose.

The Board of Trustees are supported by our committees and panels, which focus on specific tasks, provide detailed insights, and support the Trustees to make informed decisions.

The Board meets quarterly and is led by the Chair, Professor Mike Hanna, who was elected at the charity’s 2016 AGM. Trustees also act as Directors of the Company for company law

Current Trustees

Professor Michael Hanna (Chair) 

Professor Mike Hanna joined the board of Trustees in 2013 and is passionate about applying research to find better treatments for patients and families with neuromuscular conditions. He is a Consultant Neurologist, specialising in neuromuscular conditions at the National Hospital Queen Square, Director of the MRC Centre for translational research in neuromuscular conditions, and Director of the UCL Institute of Neurology. He leads an active research programme and has published more than 200 peer-reviewed original research papers. 

Joseph Gordon (Treasurer) 

Joe Gordon joined the board of trustees in 2019. He is the COO of OVO Energy and is responsible for all aspects of Operations across OVO, including frontline service and back-office operations. Joe also sits as Executive Chair of OVO’s Home Services Insurance business. Previously, Joe held senior roles in retail finance, including being the CEO of First Direct Bank and the Customer Service Director for HSBC UK.  

A lifelong customer service professional, Joe has been recognised as a leading industry voice and has attained many industry and pan-industry awards for customer experience. 

In addition, Joe has held several advisory roles across HMRC as an Independent Advisor and at the Institute of Customer Service as Vice President. Joe has a brother with Muscular Dystrophy and, as such, has had a long fundraising affiliation with Muscular Dystrophy UK in several running events before becoming a Trustee to the charity in 2019. 

Joe was appointed Chair of the Finance Committee in October 2023. 

Ian Gordon (Senior Independent Trustee) 

Ian has four children, and his youngest son, Ben, has limb girdle muscular dystrophy. Ben went to university and now has a full-time job working in media for a major UK plc. 

Ian’s early career was in human resources and he now runs his own management consultancy business alongside working for Cranfield University. Ian brings his insights from this experience to the charity, and he has the longest continuous service of the Trustees, having joined the Board in 2004. 

Michelle Anthony  

Chair of the Microscope Ball since 2018, Michelle hosted her first event in 2019, which beat previous fundraising records. During the pandemic she recruited volunteers to lead a new virtual wellbeing programme and drove an £100k net target from the property industry, despite the cancellation of the 2020 Ball. Michelle’s network also introduced us to the Piccadilly Lights opportunity, which led to further marketing sites and increased media interest in the ‘Walk with Carmela’ fundraising campaign. She joined us as a trustee in 2021. 

Michelle has worked at Oxygen Asset Management since 2014, taking on responsibility for the overseeing of development projects, liaison with building management and tenant engagement. Her background is in the management and delivery of the development, refurbishment and management of buildings. She has significant experience in central London buildings. An active member of the British Council of Offices, Michelle sits on their Committee for the Mentoring of New Talent in the property industry. 

Martin Cardoe 

Martin is a career marketing and communications professional. He is a specialist in the development and direction of strategic programmes, embracing brand and reputation management, financial and corporate communications, business development and public relations. He has worked for major international corporations, including Barclays Wealth, 3i Group, Orange, Arthur Andersen, Goldman Sachs and S.G.Warburg & Co. 

Martin was appointed as one of our trustees in 2019. He supports and champions Muscular Dystrophy UK by enthusiastically and actively providing appropriate encouragement, advice, and guidance drawing on his communications and marketing knowledge, experience and expertise. 

Scott Keown  

Scott is a Partner in the Real Estate Commercial team at JMW Solicitors LLP, with over 15 years’ experience transacting in the commercial property sector in the UK and Australia. He has been an active member of the Microscope Ball committee for four years, securing tables and auction prizes. His pro bono support and advice was invaluable during the pandemic in terms of Muscular Dystrophy UK’s legal position regarding contracts for cancelled events, saving the charity thousands of pounds in the process. He also sought assistance from a colleague in his firm for the Blackbaud data breach at a reduced fee. 

Scott was appointed as a trustee in 2021.  

Professor Deirdre Kelly CBE 

Professor Deirdre Kelly, a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, is Professor of Paediatric Hepatology at the University of Birmingham and Consultant Paediatric Hepatologist and Founding Director of the Liver Unit for Birmingham Women’s & Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. She has trained in both adult and paediatric gastroenterology and hepatology. 

In 1989, Professor Kelly set up the Paediatric Liver Unit at Birmingham Women’s & Children’s Hospital (BWC), which has a track record of academic and clinical innovation. She retired from routine clinical care in 2021 but continues her academic research. She has significant Non-Executive Director/Board Experience as a member, including GMC, 2013-2020. She is currently a Non-Executive Director at Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of Evelina London. She set up a small charity to support children with liver disease and has been a Trustee for several national Charities, including Breast Cancer UK. She has been President of many professional societies, including the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) (2006-2010). 

Professor Kelly was made a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) by Her Majesty the Queen in 2016 and received the ESPGHAN Distinguished Service Award in 2016 and the EASL Recognition Award in 2019. She is married with two children, one of whom has FSHD, and four grandchildren. 

Professor Kelly was appointed to our board of trustees in 2021. 

James Lee 

James was diagnosed with SMA type 3 as a small child. He is the Head of the Bridge Programme at the City Bridge Trust and a former Chair of the Grants Committee at BBC Children in Need. He also sits on the Disability Advisory Group working with Transport for London and is a member of the London Recovery Board for the Greater London Authority. 

James previously served as a volunteer before employment with the Trailblazers team at Muscular Dystrophy UK – spanning seven years across volunteering and employment. Currently a panel member for Joseph Patrick Trust, James became a member of the Muscular Dystrophy UK judging panel for the 2022 President’s Awards. 

James is an experienced campaigner. He has worked at local and national levels on policy design and management of grants, and he has extensive experience in the world of Trusts & Foundations. He has lived experience combined with professional expertise in matters of equity, diversity, and inclusion. James is an active member of disabled communities with muscular dystrophy and across a wider disability spectrum. Professionally, he has worked to advance the rights of disabled people to participate politically, access employment and achieve greater equity. 

He was appointed as a trustee in 2023. 

Gerry McMenemy 

Gerry became involved with Muscular Dystrophy UK shortly after his son’s diagnosis with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. He and his wife appreciated the support of the charity, so they joined as a member and launched the family fund ‘Muscle in with Somhairle’. Gerry became a member of the Muscular Dystrophy UK Scottish Council. He was appointed as a trustee in 2023.  

He brings his lived experience as a parent and ambassador of a child with a muscle wasting condition and his skills as an accomplished communicator and negotiator from his role as a Scottish Police Officer working through a variety of front-line, operational, critical, and specialist policing fields in both management and leadership roles. Gerry has a personal interest in the promotion of the wider quality of life beyond reliance on clinical care, breaking barriers and pushing boundaries in inclusivity and equality. 

Claire O’Hanlon MBE 

Claire has extensive experience (since 2007) in Business Development with a key focus on early-stage entrepreneurship, business development and organisational change, communications, learning, and coaching and mentoring for team, business and personal development. Claire has a family history of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and her 9-year-old son and 7-year-old cousin live with Duchenne. In 2012, she started a fundraising group, Leap for Luke, which raised £100,000 for various muscular dystrophy charities. Through Leap for Luke, she raised local awareness about Duchenne and actively campaigned.  

Alongside being appointed as trustee in 2020 Claire is Chair of our Northern Ireland Council, a Peer Support Volunteer with Muscular Dystrophy UK and was part of the delegation that travelled to Washington in 2016 in support of FDA approval of Eteplirsen (Exondys 51). She completed the EURORDIS Summer School in June 2018, which aims to equip attendees with the skills & knowledge to advocate for access and changes to the development of drugs for rare diseases.

Lord Sharkey 

John Sharkey has spent most of his commercial life in communications businesses. He was joint managing director of Saatchi and Saatchi UK, founded and ran his own advertising agency and was chair of various other communications and recruitment enterprises. He became strategic communications advisor to Nick Clegg in 2007 and was chair of the Liberal Democrat’s General Election campaign in 2010 and of the 2011 Fairer Votes campaign. 

He is a former Chair of the Hansard Society, a former Governor of the Institute for Government, a founding director of the financial services think-tank New City Agenda Ltd, and a former director of the not-for-profit fact-checking organisation Full Fact Ltd. He is also a Member of Council at UCL and chair of its Remuneration Committee. 

He chairs the Specialised Healthcare Alliance and is the former Chair of the Association of Medical Research Charities. He is a member of the House of Lords and its EU Select Committee on Industry and Regulators. Lord Sharkey sits on the Muscular Dystrophy UK Appointments and Remuneration Committee. He was appointed as a trustee in 2023. 

Charles Scott 

Charles was appointed as one of our trustees in 2016. Having started his career in corporate finance with Wood Gundy in Toronto. He joined Morgan Stanley in 1985 and left the firm as Chief Operating Officer of Morgan Stanley UK in 2007 after serving as Head of Equity Sales, Europe and Head of Investment Research, Europe. He was a Trustee of the Morgan Stanley International Foundation from 1992-2007 and Chairman from 1993-2000. 

Charles serves on a number of Polar Capital Fund Boards, is Chairman of MAN Fund Management UK Limited, and is on the Investment Advisory Committee of Brasenose College Oxford. He is a long-standing supporter of the work of Muscular Dystrophy UK and of the Q Trust. Charles sits on Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Finance and Appointments and Remuneration Committees. 

Brigid Sutcliffe 

Brigid has been a member of the Muscular Dystrophy UK Finance Committee since February 2022 and a Trustee since October 2022. Brigid is an experienced Non-Executive Director and a chartered accountant and has worked in professional services, banking and as a strategic change management consultant. She is the Audit Chair and Non-Executive Director of Strategic Equity Capital plc and Troy Income & Growth Trust plc, both listed investment trusts, and an independent member of the Finance Committee of Newnham College, Cambridge. 

She was, until 30 September 2022, the Audit Chair of the National Physical Laboratory and Chair of CDS Co-operatives, a housing association. She also sat on the Audit Committees of the Imperial War Museum and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Her experience of Muscular Dystrophy UK conditions comes from caring for her husband and two of her adult children who have myotonic dystrophy type DM1. Brigid and her family have fundraised for the charity and helped to raise the profile of muscle wasting conditions. 

Become a trustee

Becoming one of our trustees is an incredibly rewarding way to guide and support our work. It is a voluntary position that requires energy, commitment and passion. Although our Trustees are unpaid, they play a central role in determining our strategic direction and ensuring we deliver on our objectives