Our Directors work closely with the Board of Trustees. The Board takes responsibility for governance and strategy of the Association. A robust and formal reporting structure exists with the attendance of Directors at board and committee meetings.
Our Chief Executive and Directors are as follows:
Sally Light – Chief Executive
Linda Allen – Director of Fundraising
Dr Brian Dickie – Director of Research Development
Steve Bell – Director of Care (North)
Chris James – Director of External Affairs
Chris Wade – Director of Engagement
Having originally graduated from the University of London with a degree in Nursing Studies, Sally had a varied clinical and management career in the NHS, including being a member of the management team that took Barnsley Hospital to Foundation Trust status in 2005.
In 2006, Sally was invited to join Vancouver Coastal Health Authority where she spent three and a half years translating NHS lessons to the Vancouver health system and working on improvements to patient flow.
Returning to the UK in 2010 Sally was the Director of Rehabilitation at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, a national medical charity providing care to people following severe brain injury, before joining the MND Association in December 2012 as Chief Executive.
Linda joined the MND Association in February 2017 after 18 years in the charity sector.
After graduating from Sheffield University with a music degree, Linda spent her early career in marketing agencies, including Olgilvy and Mather Direct, working on blue chip commercial accounts.
She then decided to apply her skills in a more values driven environment so joined specialist not-for-profit agency Burnett Associates in 1999 as Client Services Director. Linda has since been Charity Sector Director at marketing supplier Dataforce and a senior consultant at Think Consulting Solutions specialising in Individual Giving, Supporter Care and communications.
For the six years prior to joining the MND Association Linda was the Director of Fundraising for the Campaign to Protect Rural England – a federal membership charity working both locally and nationally to protect the English Countryside from inappropriate development
Brian graduated in 1991 with a PhD in Neuropharmacology from the University of Wales College of Medicine.
He then took up a research fellowship in the Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, where his research on the mechanisms of cell death in Parkinson’s disease was combined with teaching roles as Departmental Tutor and Lecturer in Neuroscience at Lincoln College, Oxford.
Since 1997, Brian has worked for the MND Association as Director of Research Development, with the job of providing strategic guidance, raising the Association’s profile within the biomedical and care research communities, increasing the quantity and quality of Association-sponsored and collaborative research, organising the annual International Symposium on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Motor Neurone Disease and communicating advances in MND research to lay and specialist audiences.
After qualifying as a Chartered Physiotherapist in 1977, Steve has held a number of health and social care positions across the public, private and charity sectors. He gained an MBA degree in 1998 and specialised in the development of the “contract culture” within the charity sector.
Steve joined the MND Association in February 2002 as the first ever regional manager, and latterly as the Director of Care (North) since December 2009.
As a previous health and social care professional he brings a knowledge of statutory services and private sector provision to the Association coupled with experience in commissioning and contracting for service provision. He is passionate about driving up standards of care for people living with MND and their carers.
Steve’s other passion is around social care and the impact of local provision on people living with MND. Social care provision is of increasing concern to the Association as this is one area where the impact of cuts to statutory services is being felt the most.
Steve is currently a Director of the International Alliance of MND/ALS organisations representing the Association.
Outside work, Steve is an active member of the Scouting movement, maintaining a lifelong interest and actively contributing to local community based initiatives.
Chris joined the MND Association in September 2013 and has worked in the voluntary sector for over 26 years.
He joined Diabetes UK (formerly the British Diabetic Association) in 1987 to help develop their support work for young people with diabetes and their families and headed the Youth and Families Department for two years.
Following this he led Diabetes UK’s Voluntary Groups Section working with the organisation’s 450 Local Branches and Groups in delivering local support services.
In 2000, Chris left Diabetes UK to join Samaritans as their first Director of Volunteer Resources. This role included the development of new ways of working in the recruitment, retention and development of volunteers. During his time with Samaritans a new standardised national training programme for volunteers was introduced. He took on the role of Director of Rett Syndrome UK in 2004 with a major role in raising funds, promoting research and leading the organisation’s support services.
Prior to joining the MND Association, Chris was the Chief Executive of the Haemophilia Society for six years. Working across all aspects of the Society’s work he played a major role in campaigning for improvements in care and treatment services and the campaign for recognition for people with bleeding disorders infected with HIV and Hepatitis C through their treatment with contaminated blood products.
As Director of External Affairs, Chris has responsibility for the Association’s Communications, Information Development, Policy, Campaigning and VIP management functions.
Chris holds a management BA (Hons) and MA from Huddersfield University and a PGCE from Nottingham Trent University.
Outside of the voluntary sector Chris has been a university lecturer and researcher, hotel manager, aircraft engineer and trainer.
Chris spent 13 years with Victim Support where he held several roles including Head of Volunteering, Head of Learning and Development, Regional Manager and Chief Executive of Victim Support Nottinghamshire. Chris is also a trustee of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), Vice-Chair of the National Network of Volunteer Involving Agencies (NNVIA) and was formerly a trustee of Volunteering England.
Chris joined the MND Association in January 2014 and is responsible for volunteering, HR and learning. Chris says:
“This is an organisation that makes a difference to people’s lives directly or indirectly through the tenacity and skills of its people. It is my team’s job to help our volunteers, supporters and staff to be as successful at this as possible”.