Dr Geoffrey W Guy - MB BS, LRCP MRCS, LMSSA, BSc, Dip Pharm Med.
Having qualified in medicine at St Bartholomew’s Hospice in London in 1979 Dr Guy has a wealth of experience in pharmaceutical medical research. He is Executive Chairman and Founder of GW Pharmaceuticals plc which he established to develop a portfolio of non-smoked, prescription cannabis-based medicines. Dr Guy lives with his wife and two children near Sherborne.
Chief Executive Officer
Ms Alison Ryan - MA (Oxon) MCMI
Ms Ryan obtained an MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management. She initially worked in the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority but since1985 has held a number of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) roles within voluntary sector health and social care agencies, most recently as head of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers. She has been a non Executive Director of Somerset Partnership NHS Mental Health Trust and is a Non Executive Director of NHS Southwest. She has been CEO of Weldmar Hospicecare Trust since 2004.
Dr Richard Sloan - MB, BS; LRCP, MRCS; MRCGP; DA; DRCOG; FP Cert.
Dr Sloan was appointed Medical Director at Joseph Weld Hospice in 1993. He attended Medical School at St Mary’s Hospital, London 1971-76, then trained for general practice before obtaining a partnership in Merseyside. During this time, he developed special interests in asthma and palliative care and was a part-time lecturer in the Dept of General Practice, Liverpool. After 8 years, he decided to enter palliative medicine full-time and trained as a Registrar at St Christopher’s Hospice, London from 1992-3. He is particularly interested in palliative care for non-malignant diseases and teaching communication skills. He has spoken at conferences internationally and had work published in several books on motor neurone disease.
Registered Manager and Director of Nursing
Ms Ruth Burnhill - RN HV DN MSc
Ms Burnhill, trained at St. Thomas’ Hospital, London, has pioneered the establishment of Hospices in Italy and has considerable experience in the development of hospice, hospital and home care specialist palliative care services. Her qualifications include a Diploma in Health Visiting and a Master’s Degree in 'Advanced Clinical Practice (Cancer Nursing)' from the University of Surrey in 1999. She has also had a range of articles published and made presentations on palliative care at Italian National Conferences. She has worked at the Trust since autumn 2004.
Director of Fundraising
Caroline Nickinson moved into charity fundraising in 1981 when she joined the Dorset Health Trust, a registered charity whose aim was, and still is, to improve medical facilities for people living in Dorset. Having headed fundraising appeals for various initiatives, including the Children’s Centre at Dorset County Hospital and the establishment of a Mammography Service in West Dorset, she was one of the three founding Trustees of the Joseph Weld Hospice and was closely involved in its establishment. She was Appeal Director for the capital appeal for the hospice and became its Director of Fundraising when it opened in 1994. She has continued in this role throughout the two mergers and now holds this post for Weldmar Hospicecare Trust. Her work in fundraising in the county was recognised in 2002 when she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts by Bournemouth University.
Director of Finance
Sheena Keep has been Finance Director of Weldmar Hospicecare trust since 2004, having previously been Finance Manager of CancerCare Dorset since April 2002. A chartered accountant, she trained with Ernst & Young in Birmingham where she qualified in 1986. After a few years in their small business department, where she gained experience in all areas of accountancy and taxation, she became company accountant with a manufacturing company in Warwickshire for 12 years. She relocated to Dorset in 2002 for family reasons.
Director of Education
Carole Walford - RN BSc (Hons) MSc PGDip Ed RNT
Carole Walford brings to Weldmar Hospicecare Trust a rich and varied experience from over 20 years working within the field of cancer, palliative and end of life care. After training at St Bartholomew’s and The Royal Marsden Hospital, senior clinical roles preceded lecturing in palliative nursing at The Royal Marsden and then Kings College, London. Her career continued the blend of clinical and academic experience when first a regional, followed by a national, post with Macmillan Cancer Support gave responsibility for meeting education and learning needs of Clinical Nurse Specialists and Allied Healthcare Professionals across the UK. Her previous appointment was with the five London Cancer Networks; working across the capital implementing an eight-strand programme to support the development of the cancer and end of life care workforce. Carole joined Weldmar Hospicecare Trust as Director of Education in September 2010.
Director of Retail Operations
Valerie Burnham joined the Charity in October 1993 just following the opening of the Trust’s first charity shop in Dorchester. Her working career started off in the Civil Service but Valerie felt her interest leaning towards the challenges of retailing and so made a career move. She worked for 22 years with large corporate groups - including Hanson’s, UDS, Storehouse, and latterly Sears. Her role as a Senior Sales Manager was in ladies fashion and covered almost all parts of the south of England, including the West End of London, and all major city stores. She has continued her role through the two mergers and is looking forward to taking the Trust’s retail opportunities to greater strengths.