Introducing Our Team
The BANA team comprises employees at our head office in Chesterfield, our Board of Trustees, plus a host of volunteers from around the country who act as area support group leaders and in editorial and area group administration roles.
Stephen comes from both a practical and management background, having spent most of his career working in construction and allied trades. His involvement with BANA (British Acoustic Neuroma Association) stems from being diagnosed with the condition in 2009. He immediately joined the charity. Stephen’s surgery in 2010 necessitated his early retirement from work, but he was able to use his transferable management skills when he was co-opted onto the charity’s Board of Trustees at the start of 2013. Stephen played an active role in the formation of BANA’s new website and has strong ties within the BANA membership. He feels he brings integrity and the ability to identify and interact with people from all walks of life in his role as Chairman. His desire is to help others affected by the condition and to facilitate this by effective dialogue with all concerned. In his spare time Stephen teaches literacy to adult learners as a volunteer with the Salford Literacy Project. He is currently studying counselling skills through a local college.
George is a retired Human Resources Director and Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development who has worked in private consultancy and for a number of blue chip corporations over the last 35 years. Prior to this he served in the Army for 12 years, including 3 years in Northern Ireland during the troubled 1970s. He says he is a very experienced acoustic neuroma sufferer having been through Watch and Wait, Gamma Knife and neurosurgery, plus post-operative meningitis. He now says he is fully recovered and his diary seems so full he wonders how he ever had time to work. Although a BANA member since 2005 he did not become an active member until he moved from the Highlands of Scotland to his native North Yorkshire in 2010. He joined the Board of Trustees in early 2013. Married to Ann, George has a grown up family who live in such places a Laos, Germany and St Albans. A keen gardener, woodworker, fisherman and cyclist, he has worked with a range of charities over many years, he is a committed Christian and an Elder of the Church of Scotland.
Mike is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Audiology and Deafness Research Group, University of Manchester. He originally trained as an audiologist in 2005, before pursuing research interests centred around plasticity of the central auditory system. Brain plasticity is thought to underlie several prominent symptoms amongst acoustic neuroma sufferers, such as tinnitus (sounds that are heard without an external source) and hyperacusis (over-sensitivity to loudness of sounds), and it is hoped that an improved understanding of the underlying physiological mechanisms will lead to improved care for sufferers. Acoustic neuroma patients provide a unique opportunity to study key aspects of brain plasticity in humans and this overlap of interests is what drew Mike to work with BANA. In his spare time he enjoys cycling, hiking and cooking, and was very much looking forward to representing BANA in the 2015 London Marathon.
Phil Whiley is a semi-retired senior manager with 30 years’ experience in the electricity industry, responsible for Sustainable Development, Quality, Environment, and Health & Safety management systems. He is extensively travelled and enjoys working with other cultures. Phil lives in Staffordshire with his wife Sue, and now runs his own Business Consultancy. Phil was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma in 2004 and underwent surgery in 2011. Having come though his operation successfully, Phil wished to share his experience with other AN sufferers and joined BANA in 2014. Phil feels that he can benefit BANA through his knowledge of business strategy and practices, and his involvement with ethics and corporate social responsibility. Despite now being deaf in one ear, Phil still enjoys listening to music (in his youth he was an amateur DJ around the Birmingham area), is keen on wildlife photography and sound recording, and maintains a personal website. Phil also collects antique scientific instruments, enjoys woodwork, and is a keen caravanner.
Simon K.W. Lloyd MBBS, BSc(Hons), MPhil(Cantab), FRCS(ORL-HNS)
Consultant Skull Base and Auditory Implant Surgeon
Simon Lloyd is a Consultant Skull Base Surgeon at Salford Royal Hospital and an Auditory Implant Surgeon at the Manchester Royal Infirmary. He is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester. As part of the Manchester Skull Base Unit he strives to offer a balanced, multidisciplinary approach to the management of patients with vestibular schwannomas. He is also committed to improving outcomes for patients with Neurofibromatosis Type 2. Mr Lloyd’s current research interests include transtympanic drug therapy and novel methods of predicating vestibular schwannoma growth. He is widely published in the field of skull base surgery and has written 6 book chapters and a book as well as guidelines on the management of vestibular schwannomas in NF2 for the European Academy of Otology and Neurotology. He is also committed to training the next generation of skull base surgeons, running one of the leading international fellowships in skull base surgery. Mr Lloyd has been involved with BANA since 2007 when they provided a grant to support research into outcomes in patients undergoing conservative management of vestibular schwannomas
Gemma is a doctor working in Clinical Radiology at Kings College Hospital, London. She completed her medical degree in 2009 and spent the first few years of her career training in general medicine where she gained membership to the Royal College of Physicians, London. She has a keen interest in medical education and has previously held an Honorary Lectureship at St George’s Medical School, London and also holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Medical Education. Gemma was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma in 2007 and subsequently underwent surgery in 2015. Gemma was keen to become involved with BANA due to her unique perspective of being both a medical professional as well as a patient who has had an acoustic neuroma. In her spare time she enjoys running, swimming and yoga and is an avid lover of the outdoors.
Karen is an ex-employee of BANA, having worked in the BANA office in the role of Office Administrator from 2011 to 2013. The charity has been close to her heart since meeting and talking to its members during her time working for BANA and she was thrilled to be asked to join the latest team who are now at the helm.
Karen has many years of experience working in accounting and financial organisations. She also has many fundraising skills which she hopes to utilise now that she is a trustee. The last three and a half years have been spent setting up and running her own business up to her early retirement, due to family circumstances, in November 2015.
Having more spare time now, Karen is looking forward to helping the charity to move forward into the future in any way she can to ensure that the members have the support that BANA has given them since it was first started in 1992, and to work with the team to secure the future of the charity.
Karen and her husband Mike have been married for 40 years in September 2016 and they have a daughter and a son, both now married, and also one grandson who arrived in 2012. Karen quotes “Our family are very special to us and have always been supportive with my work and my many fundraising achievements in the past as well as for BANA, and are always keen to help me. They give me the motivation needed to have a very positive approach to the challenges that come along in life.”
Achievements in the past include running the Mansfield Half Marathon for her local hospice and learning to design and make mohair teddy bears, and her hobbies are walking, regular theatre visits and chocolate making, which she does on a regular basis with local young adults with learning disabilities.
Karen Frampton feels lucky to have enjoyed a long career with Marks & Spencer, where she held several positions, starting as a Saturday girl and ending with responsibility for recruitment and training. Now considering herself in the twilight of her working life, she works in the charity sector for YHA (Youth Hostel Association – England & Wales), fundraising to support disadvantaged young people.
Karen has been married to Kevin for 37 years and they have two sons and a beautiful granddaughter. She enjoys voluntary work, where time permits, and loves holidays abroad and in the UK. Her hobbies include supporting Sheffield Steelers Ice Hockey team, playing pub games and cake decorating. She is an avid sports fan, watching all major events from golf to football. She is thrilled to be joining the Board of Trustees at BANA and hopes to support the charity and its members in the best ways she can. She believes she has skills and loyal support to offer to BANA into her retirement and beyond.
Hello, I’m Julie and I am thrilled to be BANA’s CEO. I have had a long career in local government before moving into the charity sector, where I have worked locally for a number of years. I am also a qualified counsellor. Although originally an Essex girl I have lived in the Chesterfield area for many years and love the surrounding countryside. I enjoy travelling aboard with my partner Phil and our daughter as well as simply chilling out with friends. I enjoy my postage stamp sized garden and have an interest in Tudor history. I am also a volunteer for a local Royal British Legion Branch, being their Poppy Appeal Organiser, and I’m a member of the local TimeBank. My role with BANA will enable me to work together with the acoustic neuroma community in the UK, and I also hope to spread the word about the excellent work that BANA is doing, as our charity continues its new development and meets its full potential.
Hi, I am Trish Hibbert and I am pleased to have joined the team at BANA, working in accounts and administration. By way of a short introduction I would like to tell you a little about myself. I am 57 years young, have four children and I am a proud grandmother of two. I am a Yorkshire lass by birth and lived and worked as an accountant in Derbyshire for 25 years. Ten years ago I went to live in the Jalon Valley in the Valencia Region of Spain for a chance to do something different with my life. During that time I had some wonderful adventures including walking the 500 miles of the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain. I also used my time in Spain to develop another aspect of myself and train in Buddhism, Yoga, Art, Psychotherapy and Counselling. Last year I decided to return to my roots and to be close to my family once more. Since my return I have been extremely fortunate to have found this job with BANA; to be able to use my accountancy and administration skills to help the charity. I am very excited to get to know everyone in the course of my work.
Hi all. My name is Heather Trueman and I am pleased to be part of the team at BANA and supporting the cause as Community Support Administrator. I have previous experience working as a youth support worker in local communities, and working for Mencap supporting people with learning disabilities and difficulties; helping them to have a voice and up-skill to achieve their goals. Other work history includes working as cabin crew in Dubai for 4 years. I loved this fast-paced opportunity to travel, experience different cultures and make new friends around the world! However, after my travels I was pleased to return home to be closer to my family. I live with my husband Ben and our son Oliver. I enjoy spending time with my family visiting new places and exploring. I also enjoy running and regularly enter charitable races. I am looking forward to help BANA to be as helpful and supportive an organisation as possible for people with an acoustic neuroma and I hope to raise awareness throughout my journey with them to develop a better understanding of the condition.
Hi, my name is David Crookes and I am taking on the responsibility, from July 2016, of holding the fort while the inestimable Heather Trueman is on maternity leave. I promise that I will endeavour to work with the same application and professionalism that Heather demonstrates and I am looking forward to working with the trustees, staff and members.
A wheelchair user since an accident in 1988, my employment since the early 80’s has been in training, skills development and regeneration for statutory organisations, such as the former Learning &Skills Council, and a variety of enterprises within the voluntary, community and charitable sector. As an example of the latter I have until recently been working to provide positive opportunities in employment and training for people with various mental health issues.
My personal experience and work with disadvantaged individuals and communities have reinforced within me the need to show empathy, practical support and kindness to people in need and I hope that I will be able to demonstrate this during my time at BANA. I certainly intend to understand and develop my awareness and knowledge of acoustic neuroma and would welcome any insight from members.
Away from the office I am married to Julia and have two gorgeous, if demanding, grandsons courtesy of my daughter Caroline and her husband Trevor. Babysitting has become a big part of my life and fending off Caroline’s complaints about spoiling them!
My other main interest is sport, particularly football, and I am an avid reader with eclectic tastes apart from science fiction.
I am really looking forward to my new post and will strain every sinew to become an asset to the team and organisation.
Jackey Weightman has been a member of BANA since 2002, when husband Alan was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma. Two years later the couple took early retirement and relocated from London to the Isle of Sheppey in Kent. For some years Jackey was a BANA Trustee, serving in an Officer role as Secretary, and she continues to give great support to the charity in a volunteer administration role as Area Group Liaison. Jackey also formats the charity’s magazine, Headline News, and helps to run the Greater London area group meetings. Jackey has been married to Alan since 1972 and has two daughters and four granddaughters. In her spare time she is an avid crafter, making greeting cards to send to family and friends. Since receiving an iPad a couple of years ago, she spends a lot of evenings online and is a keen contributor to the charity’s members’ forum and social media groups. Jackey is a a keen photographer, gradually teaching herself to work her way around Photoshop. Jackey says: ‘I have certainly found that retirement is not a time for sitting on your laurels – I am busier than ever and loving every minute!’
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