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 – Paul McGladrigan
  • Active Design Champion – Carol Clarke
  • Activators Champion – To be confirmed (internal staff lead Nont Iamkamphaeng)
  • Active Kids Champions – Bill Evans (internal staff lead Adam Norris)
  • Active Workplace Champions – Martin Pearson & Paula Cohen (internal staff lead Roger Elliott)
  • Active Minds Champion – To be confirmed (internal staff lead Nont Iamkamphaeng)


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.

Carol Clarke

Trustee & Champion for Active Design

Carol is a Chartered Town Planner with over 15 years consultancy and client side experience in brownfield, greenfield and Green Belt land. Most recently Head of Planning for the largest private landowner in Cheshire East, her significant experience major residential employment and leisure uses. Carol has been a volunteer member of the Physical Activity Task Force over the past 9 months, contributing to the development of the Blueprint.

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.

Nigel Allman


Nigel is an experienced leader in the financial services sector having served on the Executive Committees and Boards of a number of UK companies across banking, insurance and wealth management. He is currently Managing Partner of Ashton Consulting Board and is on a number of Boards locally and is a corporate governance and strategy specialist . He has a passion for sport and whilst at Vitality was part of the leadership that developed the Vitality rewards scheme and Britain’s Healthiest Company

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.

Graham Evans


Graham was born and raised on a Poynton council estate. After leaving comprehensive school, he worked in a supermarket stacking shelves. Graham studied as a mature student, graduating with a Business Degree and Diploma in Marketing Management from Manchester Metropolitan University and received an MA from Kings College London in International Security Strategy. He had a successful thirty year career, working for companies such as BAE Systems and Hewlett Packard, eventually becoming a Company Director. He has always served his local community, spending four years as a Special Constable in the Cheshire Constabulary and ten years as a local Councillor and school governor in Macclesfield. In July 2007, he was selected in an open primary by residents of Weaver Vale and was first elected in 2010, with the highest swing in the country. Graham was re-elected as Member of Parliament for Weaver Vale in 2015, pledging to work hard for all constituents. Graham continues to serve as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Sir Michael Fallon MP. In his spare time Graham loves history. He plays for the Parliamentary Cricket, Rugby and Football teams and heads up the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Running, training for his 6th consecutive London Marathon. Graham is a lifelong Manchester United supporter. Above all, Graham is a family man.

Michelle Partington


Michelle was the first female paramedic with the RAF Regiment and was operationally deployed on various tours with the Medical Emergency Response Team, taking emergency lifesaving care to casualties from the point of wounding. She has worked in the UK and overseas in some of the most remote and austere environments. She joined the RAF in 1991 as an Aircraftwoman, reached the rank of Sergeant before taking the Queens Commission as a Medical Support Officer, providing tactical and strategic support for the Defense Medical Services. Michelle, a qualified paramedic herself was a key part of building a paramedic cadre within the RAF and became the subject matter expert officer. Since retiring from the RAF in 2015 Michelle has undertaken public speaking engagements and is writing a book about her operational experience and her subsequent journey with PTSD. In October 2017 Michelle joined a 90 strong team of athletes to compete in the Invictus Games. She competed as part of Team GB in rowing and powerlifting. The power of sport helped Michelle by providing an outlet for her anger and frustrations. It also helped to ensure she looked after herself both mentally and physically. She now shares her experience to help others to find their strength again. Having never competed in any sport previously, Michelle proves that through adversity, anything is possible. Her inspirational story can provide hope to others that they can overcome adversity to live a good quality of life. As Michelle says: “You walk away from one fight only to walk into another, but it is one that you can win if you want to”.

Professor Steven Broomhead


Steven is an experienced Board Member and Chairman in the private, public and academic sectors. Steven is currently in his 2nd term as the Chief Executive of Warrington Borough Council, having also held the position from 1997 to 2003. Steven holds the position of Chair of Entrepreneurial Education at Liverpool Hope University and is also a current Board Member of Warrington Wolves. In 2007 the University of Chester named their new library the ‘Broomhead Library’. From 2003 to 2011 he was Chief Executive of the North West Development Agency. He is also a trustee of the National Football Museum and Chairman of the Trustees of St. George’s Hall, Liverpool. Steven is also the independent Chairman of the Health & Wellbeing Board setting priorities for the Health Service in Warrington. Steven is listed in “Who’s Who” and since 2003 has been listed in the top 25 of key influencers in the North West.

Stuart Davies


Stuart is General Manager of St. David’s, a 140 bedroom hotel near Chester, and has had a successful career in private sector leisure management. He brings with him strong commercial skills and an acute desire for high standards.

David Briggs, MBE, KStJ, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire


David Newton, DL


Sir Philip Craven, MBE


Mark Greaves, DL


David Pollock, DL

Ambassador for Active Workplace

Kathy Cowell, OBE, DL

Ambassador for People

Michael Darby, DL

Ambassador for Mental Health

Neil Kelly

Ambassador for Foundation Trusts

Terry Harrop, MBE

Communities Ambassador

Karen Tonge, MBE

School Games Ambassador

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.