Parkinson's UK Board of Trustees

Our Board of Trustees is the governing body of Parkinson's UK and is ultimately responsible for everything we do and how we do it.

The board makes sure we're financially stable, well-run, and delivering what the Parkinson's community really needs. 

Read their profiles to find out more about each of our trustees and why they joined the board.

Gary Shaughnessy CBE (Chair)

I was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2015. I became a trustee of Parkinson’s UK in 2018, and then Chair of the Board in October 2019. 

I’m passionate about using my voice and experience to raise awareness of Parkinson’s and improve life for people living with the condition.
My career was in the insurance and financial services industry. I stepped down from my role as CEO of Europe, Middle East and Africa for Zurich Insurance in 2018. I wanted to spend more time with my family, on non-executive roles and my fitness.

Exercise helps me manage my Parkinson’s symptoms. I enjoy combining sport with community engagement to raise funds and awareness for the charity. This has included wing walking, abseiling and running marathons.

If you have any thoughts or ideas on how we can continue to support people with Parkinson’s, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me via email [email protected] or on Twitter @gshaug7741.

Kyle Alexander

I was appointed Northern Ireland Trustee in 2018 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2016. Thanks to medication, exercise and a ‘can do’ mindset, I’ve been able to manage my symptoms well. I’m a member of the Parkinson’s UK Lisburn Branch and appreciate their support hugely.

I’m a member of the People Committee because I want to make sure volunteers and staff feel valued for all the fantastic work they do. And I’m committed to prioritising the needs of people with Parkinson’s.

I have a career in urban regeneration and am particularly passionate about social inclusion. After overseeing the transformation of Belfast's waterfront, I was honoured to receive an OBE for services to regeneration in Northern Ireland. 

As well as being an elder in my local church, I like to spend my spare time gardening, golfing and having fun with my 2 grandchildren.

Samantha Aylieff

I was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2021. I was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2019 aged 45 and since then have been actively trying to support others.

I started a Facebook blog of my Parkinson's journey and opened an online craft shop with all profits donated to Parkinson's charities. Being a trustee means I can continue supporting the Parkinson's community on a much larger scale.

My role as an Operations Manager in a City-based law firm means I have to communicate at all levels, manage complex multi-currency global budgets, report on spend and contract manage over 80 people. I oversee projects to ensure tasks are carried out efficiently and cover all the aspirations of the end user. I have also been a trustee for a number of smaller local charities in the past.

I firmly believe that no one with Parkinson's should have to fight for support, as I did at diagnosis, or be subject to a postcode lottery system. 

Sally Bromley

I was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2021. Before this I was Chair of the Oxford Branch from 2014-21.

I was diagnosed with Parkinson's 13 years ago. The shock of my diagnosis led me to co-write the First Steps programme that has helped so many people come to terms with their diagnosis. 

I bring my experience as a senior teacher in a large middle school and as an advisory teacher. This work has given me the confidence to speak to many audiences, including hospital staff, nurses, students and community groups, about the challenges of living with a progressive and degenerative condition.

I have encouraged people to participate in research projects including the Parkinson's UK-funded Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre (OPDC), and I've been awarded 3 honorary degrees for my work with Parkinson's. 

I’m honoured to be at the heart of the charity as it recovers from the impact of coronavirus and moves into the future with renewed vigour.

Jane Burston

In my day job, I run a charity of a similar size. I bring experience of what others in the charity sector are doing, so we can keep up to date. I also have a lot of fundraising experience, having raised over £150m for my organisation in the last 4 years. Previously I was head of a department of a large science lab, responsible for managing £18m of scientific research each year, so I can also contribute to discussions about research for new treatments.

I’m involved with Parkinson’s UK because my dad was diagnosed at age 40. I used to run a lot of marathons for Parkinson’s and have met some fantastic people on sponsored walks who are now firm friends. Because of my dad and my younger friends with Parkinson’s, I think a lot about how Parkinson’s UK can support people of working age with Parkinson’s and the challenges they face, such as caring for younger families.

As well as being a Board Member I also volunteer on the People Committee. As part of this role, I supported better recognition and integration of volunteers at Parkinson’s UK (and continue to work on this, acknowledging we can always do better!). I was on also the panel that recruited the new chief executive last year. I love volunteering for Parkinson’s UK and hope I get re-elected so can continue to contribute to making life better for everyone affected.

Brian Carson

I am delighted to join the Board of Trustees for Parkinson’s UK and look forward to supporting the charity in helping to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s and their families, friends and carers.

I have been volunteering for some time as part of the Glasgow Young Onset Parkinson’s Support Group and also set up and run a weekly table tennis session for people with Parkinson’s.

As a volunteer, I have already worked closely with Parkinson’s UK, local health providers and other volunteers on various projects delivering support and services.

I look forward to bringing my experience and connections, across the Parkinson’s community, to my role on the Board of Trustees.

  • Brian retired 3 years ago from a career in engineering, where he designed, built and tested complex warships for the Royal Navy. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2017.

Andrew Cavey

I became a trustee of Parkinson’s UK in 2018.  

I currently work at BMS, a pharmaceutical company, where I lead the development of new medicines for cancer. 

I’m a UK-trained physician, and a member of the Royal College of Physicians, with qualifications in physiological sciences and public health. I’ve always been passionate about improving people’s health.

I live in Switzerland with my wife and 3 sons, who certainly keep us busy. I spend any spare time I have to myself running or cycling, and reading books on international geopolitics. 

Matthew Durdy

I’ve been a trustee for Parkinson’s UK since 2018, and was delighted to be elected Vice Chair of the Board in 2019. 

I co-founded, and am currently Chief Executive of, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, which supports research into possible gene and cell therapies. 

I got my MA from the University of Oxford in pure and applied biology, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. I’m passionate about integrating healthcare economics into healthcare decision making and the design of clinical products. 

As well as my role with Parkinson’s UK, I’m also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment. These projects keep me very busy, but in my spare time I like to cycle. 

Elaine Evans

I was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2000, when I was 47. I then became a trustee for Wales in 2020. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to share my Parkinson’s journey in a positive way, and love to hear other people’s experiences.

Before retiring in 2015, my career was in local government. After qualifying as a social worker, I progressed to working as a general manager in health and social care. 

Now, I live in Rhos on Sea in North Wales where I’m a member of the Parkinson’s UK Llandudno and District Support Group. I enjoy keeping fit, and whatever the weather I walk daily using Nordic poles.

Katrina Green

I was appointed trustee and Finance Trustee in 2020. My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2017 after experiencing symptoms for over a decade, so that’s where my motivation comes from. 

In my day job I work in corporate finance for an insurance company and I’m a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder. Outside of work and Parkinson’s UK, I love to travel and play an active role in my community in North London.

My experience in finance means I’m passionate about making the most of every penny Parkinson’s UK receives. I want us to find a cure and in the meantime make life better for people with Parkinson’s, and their family, friends and carers. 

Annie McCallum

I was co-opted as a trustee and became Chair of the People Committee in 2021.

My dad had Parkinson's from a relatively early age and I was too young then to understand his many challenges. I have learnt much more now and I want to do all I can to help Parkinson's UK to improve public understanding, deliver stronger support, develop better treatments and find a cure.

Professionally, I have held leadership positions in Human Resources, Talent and Organisation Development in a variety of large organisations. These roles have helped me to develop skills in transforming organisations, building successful teams, identifying potential in people and supporting their development. I am a qualified Executive Coach and have a Master’s in Strategic International HR.

Outside of work I love helping out at my local Parkinson's support group and doing anything that involves family, friends, food, fitness or far-flung travel!

Paresh Thakrar

I joined the board as a trustee in 2018, having lost a grandparent to Parkinson’s many years ago. 

I currently work as the Bursar of Winchester College, an independent school in Hampshire. Before this, I worked mostly in financial services in various executive roles, and as a senior diplomat serving the government as a specialist in global security issues.

Outside of the office, I’m kept busy with my 3 young sons. We enjoy sport, music, and cooking together.

Kate Platts

I was honoured to be appointed in 2023 to represent Members on the Board of Trustees for Parkinson’s UK and look forward to helping shape and ensure the delivery of all of the charity’s strategic aims.

As the finance contact for the Sheffield Support Group of volunteers, I work proactively to support and create a community for those with Parkinson's locally. I also enjoy supporting the regional fundraising activities.

As a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the Finance Director for a national social care sector charity, I believe I can bring my financial skills and acumen to be a highly effective member of the Board and ensure we have the funds to invest in Parkinson’s UK.

I will use my experiences of postdoctoral work in cancer research within the NHS and university settings to contribute effectively at meetings, supporting the provision of excellent health care and investing in research for new treatments.

In my spare time, I love nothing more than being with my family, keeping fit, going to the theatre and reading.