Trustees

Paul Lawrie
Chairman (appointed in 2020)

Paul joined the Trustee team at the beginning of 2020. He became a member of the Foundation when his daughter, Eleanor, was diagnosed with WS at five years old. 

Outside of the WSF, Paul is Co-Owner of a HR & Recruitment consultancy company based in Warwick.  They support businesses with all people management activities and deal with many companies across the UK helping them to enable the best in their people. He has been in HR for the last 26 years and is looking forward to using his knowledge and skills to support the Foundation continue to do great things. 

Patrick Taylor
Vice Chairman (appointed in 1999)

Having joined shortly after his son was diagnosed with WS, Patrick has previously been a Regional Co-ordinator and our Company Secretary. He is now Vice Chair of the Foundation and our Safeguarding lead. Married with two children, he is recently retired having spent his career in education. 

John Follis
Treasurer (appointed in 2020)

John spent most of his career covering various roles in business finance before switching to sales and marketing for the last 10 years. John’s knowledge of Williams Syndrome comes through close friend and fellow WSF Trustee, Paul Lawrie, whose daughter has Williams Syndrome. Having retired recently he is thoroughly enjoying the extra time cycling, walking and travelling as well as helping the WSF.

 

 

Merry Burrows
Trustee (appointed in 2012)

Merry has been a member of the Foundation since 1990 and has served as a Trustee, Treasurer and Chairman (2015-2022). Merry worked for more than thirty years in the IT Industry. She has two adult children, Matt and Katy (who has Williams Syndrome and lives independently in her own flat in Southsea).

Louise Fisk
Trustee (appointed in 2012)

Louise was appointed as a Trustee having been a member of the Foundation since her son, Ethan, was diagnosed with WS. With a background in Public Relations, Louise specialises in helping companies raise awareness via the media and other key influencers. She has run notable campaigns for companies such as BT and Bonusprint, amongst others, and is currently Head of Global PR for Logica, a business and technology service company. She is married with two young sons, Charlie and Ethan. Ethan was diagnosed with WS when he was 13 weeks old.

Neil Martin
Trustee (appointed in 2015)

Neil has been associated with the Williams Syndrome Foundation since his original research into the biochemical abnormalities associated with the syndrome when training at the London Hospital in 1982. He was subsequently appointed as consultant paediatrician/neonatologist in East Kent in 1987 and has maintained his links with the Foundation as medical adviser and now Chairman of the Professional Advisory Panel. He continued his research interests producing the UK growth charts for Williams Syndrome with Wendy Smith his research nurse.

Bethan vasey
Trustee (appointed in 2022)

Bethan is mum to Alex (WS) and Agatha and partner to Don. Living in Aberdeen, Bethan has supported the Foundation in Scotland since 2016 and is delighted to join the board to support the charity in its next phase. Bethan has board experience in business and charities.

As a Manager for Energy Transition at Shell Upstream UK, Bethan delivers business change in line with climate targets. A chartered Project Manager and Civil Engineer with a Masters from Cambridge University, she has delivered global projects in challenging environments including work in the North Sea, Siberia, Qatar and Kazakhstan.

Bethan enjoys growing vegetables, doing yoga and knitting socks (when time allows!).

Stephanie Spencer
Trustee (appointed in 2023)

Stephanie lives in Nottinghamshire and is mum to Alexander (WS) and Emilia. She has been a member of the Foundation since Alexander’s diagnosis in May 2019.

Stephanie has a degree in Youth Justice and has spent the majority of her career working in the health and social care sector; predominantly in drug and alcohol services. Stephanie now works in Safeguarding for the Church of England. Stephanie is Chair of Governors at a local primary school, whereby she is also the safeguarding governor.

In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys spending time outdoors with her partner Jamie and the children, particularly visiting local National Trust sites. Stephanie is also a keen open water swimmer! 

 

Mike Wolfman
Trustee (served 1991-2015, reappointed in 2023)

Mike is a retired GP. He is married to Fran and they have 4 adult children. Freddie, who has WS, is the eldest, with 2 younger brothers — Greg and Archie, and a sister, Daisy.  Mike became a Trustee in 1992 and at the time, he was also a member of the PAP.  However, as work in the NHS became busier, he had to step down from both WSF posts around 2012. Mike retired from General Practice just before the pandemic (good timing) so now has more free time. He is looking forward to working with WSF again.

Dave Robinson
Trustee (appointed in 2024)

Dave is a retired Chartered Accountant, Chartered Financial Planner and Trust & Estate Practitioner.

His professional career spanned 10 years as a General Practitioner in Accountancy practice and 32 years as a regulated Independent Financial Adviser. During that time, he specialised in catastrophic injury cases, advising people in later life, those going through divorce or relationship breakdown and in providing financial & investment advice to trustees and to attorneys & deputies acting on behalf of people who lacked the ability to make their own financial decisions.

For many years he also provided informal support, guidance and advice to parents and carers of people with special needs. In addition to being a Member of the WSF Professional Advisory Panel he also collaborated with Scope, Mencap and the National Autistic Society.

He and & his wife live near Bristol and have 3 children the eldest of whom, Michael, was diagnosed with WS when he was around a year old in 1994.

Staff 

Liz Martin
CEO

Liz has been a Foundation member since her daughter Evie’s diagnosis in 2007, shortly before her 3rd birthday. Liz and her husband Gareth became Midlands Regional Contacts later that year. When her youngest son started school in 2014, Liz successfully applied to join the WSF as a Trustee. Liz has previously worked in Retail Management and Local Council. As a volunteer, she ran a successful support group for SEN parents for over 5 years. Liz also fulfils the Company Secretary role.

Camille Hollington
Communications Officer

Camille Joined the Foundation in 2017 as Communications Officer looking after the Foundation’s social media, magazine and website. She previously worked at the British Heart Foundation and the Institute of Cancer Research. Camille has two young boys, Oscar and Hugo.

Matt Burrows
Finance Officer

Matt has been the Foundation’s Finance Officer since 2017. Matt’s younger sister Katy has Williams Syndrome. 

Patrons

Peter Davison and Elizabeth Morton
Patron

Peter and Elizabeth have a strong connection to Williams Syndrome as they have a 19 year old niece, Molly, who has WS – Molly and her family have been WSF members for many years. Peter is best known for his roles in All Creatures Great and Small and Dr Who and  has recently been on our screens in BBC drama – Life, and Elizabeth is an actress and author. Peter is already patron of the Downs Syndrome Association and both he and Elizabeth look forward to helping us raise awareness of WS as Peter has done for the DSA for over twenty years. Although covid-19 dominated 2020, with the roll-out of the vaccine, we hope that we will again be able to host our national picnic at Regent’s Park which Peter and Elizabeth hope to attend.

“We are delighted to become patrons of the Williams Syndrome Foundation. Our experience of WS so far has been through our niece Molly, so we are excited to be meeting so many of you and your families soon. Looking forward hugely to spreading the word about Williams!” – Peter & Elizabeth

Tim Cooper
Patron

 

Tim’s late sister Clare, was one of the first children in the UK to be diagnosed with Williams Syndrome. Their parents, George and Cynthia, later set up the Williams Syndrome Foundation. Tim, a freelance journalist, lives in the London Borough of Hackney. He is married with two children.

Vacancies

Join Our Trustees

The Williams Syndrome Foundation are looking to recruit up to three new trustees to join our enthusiastic and dedicated board. We are seeking candidates who can demonstrate a passion for driving improvements, who can bring relevant expertise and diverse perspectives.

Click here to find out more and how to apply.