Meet our Executive Directors and Trustees that help govern Acorns with a diverse range of skills, experience, and knowledge to help Acorns run effectively.

Executive Directors

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Trevor Johnson, Chief Executive Officer

Trevor was appointed as CEO in March 2023. He has been in a variety of leadership roles in the hospice sector for 14 years and is passionate about the difference hospices make, as well as ensuring that Acorns continues to reach more children and families across the West Midlands.

“Our For Any Child strategy means that we want to be there for families. This means that we need to continue to adapt and change to reach them where they need us, when they need us.”

Trevor is married and lives in Worcestershire.

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Matt Bullock, Chief Operating Officer

Matt joined Acorns in August 2020. He is an experienced HR Director, with a background of leading and managing in complex UK and international businesses.

He has worked across a diverse range of sectors including health and social care, education, welfare to work and local authority as well as the private sector. He has a particular passion for creating effective organisational cultures that allow people to develop to reach their potential and creating the people strategy to align to organisational goals.

Matt is married and lives in the West Midlands.

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Sarah Lorking, Chief Financial Officer

Sarah joined Acorns in October 2021. Sarah has worked as a finance professional for over 20 years and has led numerous teams in various organisations, having spent most of her career in the NHS and Healthcare, and more recently in the Education sector.

Sarah resides with her Fiancé in Derbyshire and enjoys playing an active role in her village community.

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Katie Burbridge, Director of Care and Executive Nurse

Katie joined Acorns in March 2024.

Katie qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1999. and has had career spanning numerous roles in Advanced Clinical Practice and as a Nurse Consultant, with over 20 years in Palliative and End of life Care across primary, secondary and charitable care. Katie is also a qualified educator and has worked with Higher Education, and the National Institute for Health Research.

Leading on quality assurance and regulatory compliance Katie has also led two CQC inspections gaining Outstanding ratings in both.

Katie is passionate about meeting the needs of the children and families that need palliative and end of life care. She’s always willing to go above and beyond to ensure high quality care is provided to those who need it most.

Katie lives with her partner Adrian in Solihull and they have four children between them and two dogs.

Board of Trustees

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Mark Hopton, Chairman

Elected as Chairman of Trustees in 2017, Mark joined the Board in 2012.

He is a Chartered Accountant who enjoyed a diverse and rewarding 40 year career with global business advisory firm KPMG until his retirement in 2012.

Mark was also Pro Chancellor and Chairman of Governors at Birmingham City University and Chairman of Governors at Solihull School until his recent retirement from those boards in 2023 and 2021 respectively.

“It is no coincidence that each of my current responsibilities reflects a long held personal interest in the development, motivation and care for children and young people, where I believe there is the greatest potential to help make a real difference.”

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Alastair David

Elected to the Board of Trustees in 2017. Alastair is a Qualified Chartered Accountant having worked as a Finance Director in the manufacturing sector.

“When I retired in 2016 I wanted to use my skills to help others less fortunate than myself. I was therefore pleased to be invited to become a Trustee of Acorns, an organisation which improves the lives of so many families in our community.”

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Amrick Singh Ubhi

Elected as a Trustee in 2018, Amrick Singh is currently Centre Director of the Nishkam Centre – a faith inspired third sector civic organisation that merges spirituality and secularity, creating a seamless fusion of values, ethics and justice for the common good of all humanity. He is an innovative, forward-thinking Organisational Development Consultant and Change Manager, with experience of working in private, public and the third sectors.

As a Sikh, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and the Institute of Leadership Management, Amrick is passionate about growing and developing the capacity of those around him to excel and together make a positive impact. Amrick made the decision to join Acorns to support the ‘great work that is undertaken to help young people’.

“I am passionate about trying to create the best support environment for the children and their families with fellow Trustees.”

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Bobby Waris

I’m Bobby Waris, MD at PAK Travels, rooted with a strong history in Birmingham and the travel industry. I’m dedicated to supporting our great city of Birmingham prosper.

I am honoured to be appointed as a trustee for Acorns Children’s Hospice and am committed to helping the organisation succeed and continue to offer much needed care to the wonderful children and their families in the West Midlands.

We are stronger together as a community and I for one am committed to seeing Birmingham shine and grow further into a welcoming national metropolis.

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Chris Maddox

Elected as a trustee in December 2022, Chris has more than 30 years of experience as a senior executive in a mix of corporate environments including plc, owner managed and both private equity and venture capital backed businesses, encompassing roles such as Divisional FD of Lloyds Chemists plc, CFO of Poundland, as well as both FD and subsequent CEO of The Works and more recently CEO of the e-commerce business Poundshop.com.

As a trustee, Chris is committed to understanding how the benefit of his own corporate experience can contribute to the significant breadth of experience of that of his fellow trustees, so as to maximise how they can collaboratively as a board of trustees and continue providing essential guidance and support to the executive management team.

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Dave Munton

Elected to the Board of Trustees in 2022, Dave has enjoyed a long and varied career within professional services, being a partner with Grant Thornton UK LLP for almost 20 years. During this time, Dave has had the opportunity to work with many different organisations across many sectors and looks forward to bringing this experience to Acorns.

“I am honoured to be joining the team at Acorns at such an exciting time. Having worked in the Midlands for the majority of my career, I am well aware of the brilliant work that Acorns does and look forward to working with the charity as it goes from strength to strength.”

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Ghzala Ahmed

Elected as a Trustee in 2018, Ghzala is a registered general nurse with over 27 years of experience in Canada, USA and the UK. She is now training care staff and nurses in nursing care. She has been involved on many boards for different organisations, focusing on empowering and supporting carers, people with learning disabilities and mental health.

“As a parent of a child who used the services of Acorns, I know and trust the exemplary care that is provided. In honour of my daughter, Aisha, I am thrilled to be a part of such a life affirming organisation. I bring a holistic understanding and wish to promote Acorns as a beacon of hope, giving children the best quality of life possible.”

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Graham Muth

Elected to the Board of Trustees in 2015. Graham is an experienced Corporate Finance professional acting for clients engaged in public and private equity markets, with significant experience acting for professional services businesses.

“Acorns has been ‘dear to my heart’ for a number of years having been involved in the past in organising a number of Acorns Balls. I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to make more of a contribution.”

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Jenny Ladbrooke

With a career as a Group HR Director in a FTSE 250 company covering all areas such as senior remuneration and talent development, Jenny was elected a trustee of Acorns in May 2020. With significant experience as a board member in a number of settings, Jenny is delighted to take on this role working with the excellent team at Acorns to help towards its further care and commitment to children and families in the region.

Jenny said: “I’ve been aware of Acorns for many years. How could I not be with a Villa supporter at home! Having heard so many moving testimonies of families for whom Acorns have been there at the most difficult and distressing times, it’s a privilege to join the board of trustees and contribute to this amazing organisation.”

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Katrina McNamara

Elected as a Trustee in 2018, Katrina McNamara is a nurse who has worked in a range of health and civil service settings, including children’s palliative care. She has an interest in promoting an awareness and understanding of children’s palliative care and in ensuring children and families have access to high quality care when they need it.

“I was honoured and delighted to become a Trustee of Acorns, an organisation I have known and respected for a long time. I look forward to supporting the work of Acorns as it moves into its fourth decade of caring for children and families.”

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Kevin Heslop

Kevin has 25 years experience of the IT industry, in particularly within sectors dealing with supporting people and care. Previously the CIO of Sanctuary Group, one of the UKs largest and leading housing and care home providers, Kevin now uses his expertise to support organisations with their IT strategies, operating models, with data and cyber security, via his business, Amplify Technology Limited.

Kevin joined the Acorns Trustees Board in April 2024, and said “I’m thrilled to be involved with Acorns. Since relocating to the Midlands 10 years ago I’ve been very aware of Acorns and the amazing work they do to support children and their families, I’m passionate about doing all I can to assist along the way.”

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Lynda Bull

Lynda joined the board in May 2021. She has over 34 years experience of working in the children and adults local authority social care sector; from social worker to statutory director. Since ceasing working full time she has worked as an associate consultant with the Institute of Public Care (Oxford Brookes University) and continued to support local authorities, health and community organisations to develop and improve care and support services.

“Throughout my career I have aimed to support and encourage children, young people, and adults to live fulfilling lives in the way that they want. I am delighted to be able to bring my experience and passion to the staff, families and supporters of Acorns and ensure that those who need our services are supported in the way that feels right for them”.

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Dr Penny Dison

Elected to the Board of Trustees in February 2016, Penny worked as a Consultant general paediatrician in Wolverhampton for 22 years with a special interest in epilepsy, neurodevelopment and palliative care. Penny retired in 2015 and undertakes some work for the Care Quality Commission.

“Through my work I have seen the invaluable support provided by Acorns for children and their families. The Hospice at Home service is one of many fantastic developments and I am proud and excited to have been invited to work, as a Trustee, with such a forward thinking team.”

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Sam Watson

Sam Watson has over 22 years of retail management and senior leadership experience. She is currently General Manager for Selfridges, leading the team at the Birmingham store.

“I’m so delighted to join the Board. Acorns is a name I grew up with, coming from Walsall – my primary school used to raise money every year for our local hospice, Acorns in the Black Country.

I strongly believe in the Acorns Vision and I will do my very best to support Acorns mission. The charity’s Values align perfectly to my own personal values.”

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Ray O’Donoghue

Ray joined the Acorns board in April 2022 having worked in the financial services sector for the majority of his career. As the Managing Director for Barclays across the Midlands, Ray has led teams and worked with a wide variety of businesses across all sectors. He is excited to bring this experience to Acorns.

Ray is a keen cyclist and has two daughters.

“It was a real privilege to be asked to join Acorns as a Trustee, having been a supporter of the charity for many many years. Acorns does such amazing and invaluable work, helping to improve the lives of children and families across the West Midlands and Gloucestershire. I will do all I can to help the charity continue to grow and thrive.”