The Active Cheshire Trustees, Patrons and Ambassadors

Responsible for the governance of the organisation, the Trustees play a key role in determining the strategic direction of Active Cheshire.

Active Cheshire are driven and challenged to achieve the collective ambitions of the region, through scrutiny and advocacy by our experienced board of Trustees, Patrons and Ambassadors who bring a diverse range of skills and expertise to the organisation.

Led by the Chair, Paul Hancock, they all work on a voluntary basis and come from a wide range of backgrounds, including business, local government, health and sport. Together, they bring a diverse range of skills and expertise and through scrutiny, advocacy and challenge help us achieve our collective ambitions.

Board Champions/special roles:

  • Senior Independent Director – Susan Sellers
  • Safeguarding and Equality Champion –
  • Active Design Champion –
  • Activators Champion – To be confirmed (internal staff lead Roger Elliott)
  • Active Kids Champions – Bill Evans (internal staff lead Nont Iamkamphaeng)
  • Active Workplace Champions – Martin Pearson & Paula Cohen (internal staff lead Roger Elliott)
  • Active Minds Champion – To be confirmed (internal staff lead Roberta Pomponio)


As an independent charity in receipt of public investment, we are governed and managed robustly as you would expect. Active Cheshire see good governance as a keystone to constantly improving as a charity, and a positive way to provide better service to the community year-on-year.

Find out more about about Active Cheshire’s Governance.


Paul Hancock Active Cheshire Chairman

Dr Paul Hancock


Paul has served the Cheshire Fire Service as Chief Officer for the past 8 years and led public service transformation at both a local and national level. Passionate about health and wellbeing, Paul leads by example, continuing to fulfil the fitness criteria for active service fire officers, who as a team are involved in the delivery of health and wellbeing assessments in the homes of Cheshire’s most vulnerable people.

Martin Pearson Active Cheshire

Martin Pearson

Vice Chair for People/Performance, Trustee & Champion for Active Workplace

Martin started his working life serving an apprenticeship in Marine Engineering. He has worked in the UK Nuclear industry for over 30 years, which included running Dungeness B Nuclear Power Station in Kent. Martin has a Business Degree and lives in Cheshire. He has a strong belief that physical activity, good health and wellbeing is accessible to everyone.

Bill Evans

Vice Chair for Finance & Risk, Trustee and Champion for Active Kids

Bill is Vice-Chair of Chester Rugby Club, and Chair of its governance group, and has spent many years at a high level in education, including six years as Headteacher at Kings Grove High School in Crewe. He is a successful leader and manager in professional and sporting life and brings with him a wealth of experience from his time at Chair of South Cheshire Headteachers Association.

Paula Cohen Active Cheshire

Paula Cohen

Trustee & Champion for Active Workplace

Professional Background Paula had a successful career in banking prior to joining ActionCOACH. She worked her way from cashier to becoming the Manager of the training team responsible for developing over 6000 staff in the Bank's Administrative Centres. Paula has a wealth of experience in helping others to understand their own development needs and in guiding them to make the changes necessary for success. Sporting Background/Interest As a former athlete Paula represented Great Britain several times and was privileged to work with some world class coaches. She has first-hand experience of how a coach can inspire, motivate and empower others to continually improve and achieve greater success.

Davinder Gill


Davinder has had a successful career at a senior level in Local Government leading business transformation and workforce transformation programmes. Davinder is a qualified personal trainer and has previously established and run a health and fitness company. An intrepid hiker and firm believer in the difference physical activity can make to mental wellbeing, Davinder supports Active Cheshire’s Active Adventurer campaign.

Rachel Waterman


Rachel is the Director of Operations for LGBT Foundation, the largest charity of its kind in the UK and was previously the Head of Volunteering for Sport England – roles which both demonstrate her passion for helping people to live happier, healthier lives. She is particularly interested in working with those from marginalised communities to achieve their potential and empower their communities. She brings to the Board much demonstrable policy, strategic and stakeholder experience as a previous Assistant Private Secretary to the Minister for Health and her national leadership role for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Outside of work, Rachel is the Vice Chair of Governors for Rudheath Primary Academy and a Board member of the Cheshire charity ‘Changing Lives Together. She has recently discovered a love cycling and for kettlebell training but is not yet confident enough to combine the two. She is a Cheshire girl born and bred and has recently moved back here after 25 years away and so is very excited to be working alongside the whole Active Cheshire team – staff, Trustees and volunteers.

Heather Barnes


Heather has had an extensive international career working for global Blue Chip organisations such as Unilever, SC Johnson and Sealed Air, and latterly leading the Financial and Operational functions of a prominent independent day school in Cheshire. She has held senior leadership positions in large operations, procurement, sales and marketing and finance functions, and is a firm believer that great teamwork is the key to exceptional results. She currently runs her own management consultancy working with companies of all shapes and sizes, across a broad range of sectors. Heather loves the great outdoors and the sense of wellbeing that comes from being surrounded by nature. Her particular passion is hiking and she is regularly found in the mountains of Snowdonia.

Susan Sellars DL Active Cheshire

Susan Sellers, DL

Trustee & Senior Independent Director

A former High Sheriff of Cheshire Susan originally served for five years as an officer in the Women’s Royal Air Force, including time as a recruiter in Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Northern Ireland. She has a wealth of experience in Governance having been Chairman of the Countess of Chester Hospital for seven years during which time it became one of the first NHS Foundation Trust’s in the Country. She was also National Chairman of The Arts Society (formerly NADFAS) and was the Senior Independent Director on the Board of Alder Hey Children’s NHSFT, a role she also performed during her time on the Board of the Royal School of Needlework. Susan is currently a Board member of Tarporley War Memorial Hospital and is involved in a wide range of voluntary/public bodies.

Active Cheshire’s board members all work on a voluntary basis and come from a wide range of backgrounds, including business, health and sport. Together, they bring a diverse range of skills and expertise and through scrutiny, advocacy and challenge help us achieve our collective ambitions.