Our trustee bios

Helen Hirst, Chair of Trustees

Helen joined the hospice in the early part of 2019 and in 2024 became the Chair of Trustees.  Born and brought up in Wakefield, Helen still lives in the district along with many members of her family.  She is married to Ian, has a fifteen year old daughter, Rebecca, a step daughter Vikki and a granddaughter, Freya, who’s three
Helen is also the Chief Executive of Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group. She has worked in the NHS in Bradford for nearly 30 years.  During that time she has also undertaken work with the Department for Health/ NHS England as Director of Primary Care Commissioning (2010-12); Director of CCG Development (2013/14) and with Vale of York CCG as interim Chief Officer in 2016.  She is currently also responsible for the System Development and Leadership Programme and the ICP development programme for the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Integrated Care System.

John Milne, Trustee and Chair of Clinical Governance and Quality Committee

John Milne grew up in Wakefield and attended Queen Elizabeth Grammar School. Following training at Leeds dental school John has been in dental practice in the Wakefield area since 1980. He has also represented dentists at both local and national level and  was chair of general practice at the British Dental Association from 2009-2015. He was awarded MBE in the birthday honours 2015 for services to dentistry. 

John is now the senior national dental advisor to the Care Quality Commission. John has been a supporter of the hospice since its foundation  and is delighted to bring his clinical and regulatory knowledge to assist the hospice at this time. He enjoys playing golf (badly), skiing when the knees permit and is also a keen bridge player. 

Mark Ashton, Trustee and Chair of Business Initiative Development Committee

Mark has been a trustee of the Hospice since 2018.   During the week he is a lawyer, and has advised charities of all shapes and sizes for over 10 years.   On a weekend you may find him following his beloved Huddersfield Town; on a cricket field; or riding his motorcycle.

Nina Bains Williams, Trustee

Nina joined the Hospice in 2019 as a trustee. She has over 20 years of IT experience, specialising in Infrastructure, Risk Remediation, Transformation, and service sustaining change, within the Finance, Telecommunications, Motor and Retail Industries. With her Business and IT knowledge she is an active member of the Finance, Estates and Resources committee. Nina lives in West Yorkshire with her family and keen on travelling and exploring new cultures and countries, she is an amateur sommelier learning more through her travels and experiences.

Bébhinn Browne, Trustee

Bébhinn joined the hospice in late 2020 as a trustee, she is a registered, practicing, specialist physiotherapist and qualified public health professional.

Bébhinn’s interest in service development and quality improvement prompted her to apply for the role of Trustee; she is currently a member of the Clinical Governance & Quality Committee and the Finance, Estates and Resources Committee. Bébhinn is looking forward to bringing her expertise in clinical governance, public health, procurement, contract management and service evaluation to Wakefield Hospice, to support the commitment to providing the highest level of symptom management and care for people who have life threatening illness.

Bébhinn lives in North Yorkshire with her fiancée John and enjoys travelling and live music in her spare time as well as visiting her family in Ireland as often as possible!

Lyndsey Clayton, Trustee

I am a relatively new Trustee just starting in October 2020. I have a full time role working for the local NHS as the Medicines Safety Officer in Primary Care and also have extensive experience working in community and hospital pharmacy. I have worked for the NHS for 25 years, so I hope that I can support the Wakefield Hospice by sharing my pharmacy knowledge.

On a personal level, I live with my partner in Pontefract and we have a cat called Stella. I love eating out, exercising and anything to do with Marilyn Monroe

Alan Hamilton, Trustee

Alan joined the board in 2020, having been a hospice supporter for over 25 years, since two different hospices cared for his grandparents in the last stages of their lives. His background is Cyber Security, Risk management, Crisis and Continuity management, having held several senior posts in a number of financial institutions, he is currently Head of Information Security for Royal London Insurance.  

Alan is a member of the Clinical Governance & Quality Committee where his experience in risk management plays a key part in the skills that he brings.

He is married to Angela, and has three teenage boys, and enjoys hill walking and motor racing in his spare time.

Rob Otter, Trustee and Chair of Finance Estates and Resources Committee

Rob became a Trustee of the Hospice in 2020.
He has lived in and around the Wakefield area for most of his life and works in Wakefield.
A Business Studies Graduate and Chartered Financial Planner, Rob is a Director of a Financial Planning business based at Calder Park.
Rob is married with three school age children and a dog, who keep him fully entertained outside of work!

Claire Kendall, Trustee

Claire became Trustee in December 2022 and is a Director at Richard Kendall Estate Agent, a family business which has been serving the Wakefield community over 50 years with 6 local offices across Wakefield and Pontefract. 
Prior to this, Claire work as a commercial surveyor and has experience with landlords on both rental (residential and commercial) and the sale residential properties. 
Claire has worked with the Hospice over many years on the valuation and disposal of Hospice owned properties and has extensive experience with her own marketing within the local and national media.  She has also been part of the Hospice’s numerous fundraising initiatives over the years.  Keen to assist in marketing of the Hospice, working closely alongside our values and aims within the community.
She was born and bred in Wakefield, and with the exception of a 7 year stint working in London as a Chartered Surveyor, all her life has been about Wakefield and seeks to work on behalf of the Hospice to the best of her endeavors.

Amanda Gait, Trustee

Amanda became Trustee in December 2022 and is a Qualified Solicitor for over 30 yrs at Thornton Jones Solicitors. Amanda has practiced in many different areas of law and is in charge of the financial management of the practice.

Qualified mediator and collaborative lawyer, currently working in Private client department dealing with Wills, probates, estate planning, trusts, LPAs court of protection etc. Passion for estate accounts and estate taxation, supporter of `make a will week’
Outside of work Amanda is a Member of Ossett Rotary and is a passionate environmentalist with her own allotment. Amanda aims to try at least one thing a year that scares her, owns 4 rescue dogs and enjoys baking and craft work when she has time.

Chris Beck, Trustee and Chair of Income Generation Committee

Chris became Trustee in December 2022 and is currently semi-retired/non Exec Chairman of Beaucare Medical Limited and was the Card Factory executive Director & shareholder (2007 to 2020) 
Formed and chaired the Card Factory Charitable Foundation from inception in 2017 to retirement in 2021
Governor of Bradford Grammar School, covering Resources, investment, Pensions working party, and Chair of Junior School Development project
Worked 15 years international Accounting firm (Mergers & Acquisitions)

Strong connection to Wakefield through personal ties, duration at Card Factory with national infrastructure based locally and connections to network of peers in and around Wakefield area. 

Pam Banwait, Trustee

Pam became Trustee in December 2022 and is Founder and Managing Director of Banwait Group Holdings.
Pam has an extensive background in HR and is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD.  Prior to setting up Banwait Group Holdings, she has over 16 years’ experience in Senior HR roles in both the private and public sector.
Pam’s proven track record in Business Growth and HR is renowned and recognised as best in industry. Pam is a key note speaker speaking at a professional development seminars for aspirational Entrepreneurs, Business leaders & HR professionals.

She is passionate about working with the elderly and improving the end of life experience. Pam has raised money for charities including raising money for Hospices.  She now wants to give a greater commitment to working with a Hospice as a Trustee and to dedicate her time, skills and experience in really supporting a Hospice on a wider strategic level.


Brandon Ralph, Trustee

Brandon became Trustee in December 2022 and is the Service Delivery Manager with AND Digital, currently Giving Back Champion at AND Digital and previously Charity Champion EA Change Group.

Brandon has rich experience in treasury and financial management, communications, and learning & development.

He is a local resident and previous supporter of the Wakefield 10K.

Lives locally on the City Fields development and part of the City Fields Residents Committee. Avid musician, runner and swimmer.