Headway Essex

Providing Brain Injury Care & Support


Board of Trustee Profiles

Christopher White-Thomson (Chairman)

Christopher White-Thomson educated at Harrow and Sandhurst was commissioned into the Royal Fusiliers in December 1959.  His posts as instructor to young officers, assistant to a general commanding the strategic reserve and adjutant of an infantry battalion gave him early experience in people and administration both in the UK and around the world.


He joined the City in 1969 as a money broker to UK local authorities.  His achievements included setting up the foreign exchange market in the Middle East, launching the UK Oppenheimer Group of money and unit trusts as Chief Executive.  He was a board member of Oppenheimer in New York and on the main board of Mercantile House from 1980 until it was taken over in 1987.


Since retiring from the City in 1990 he has been involved with Headway, as Business Adviser and a Director of the Executive Committee.  He has retired as church warden of the PCC and recently retired as Chairman of the Parish Council in White Colne.


He brings to the Board of Trustees a general experience gained from the many and different posts he held during his former career and has seen the charity grow dramatically over the past ten years.  As a Director of the Executive Committee he can advise the permanent members on the day to day running of the charity and report from first hand to the Trustees.


David Parkins (Treasurer)

David is a Chartered Accountant and recently retired after a long career in banking with Lloyds TSB and also Bradford & Bingley. He has held a number of Finance Director positions and specialised in finance, risk management and business development. David has lived in Essex for over 30 years and was co-opted as a Trustee of Headway Essex in March 2005, bringing financial and business management experience to the Board. David is a Non Executive Director of Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.


Bob Juniper

Bob Juniper is the Senior Partner of Daniel Connal Partnership, Chartered Surveyors and has been responsible for their Colchester office for many years.  Bob's firm procures and manages construction works for many public and private clients including those in the Healthcare Sector and has been involved with various projects at the Colchester General Hospital in particular.

He now regularly acts as Arbitrator, Adjudicator, Mediator or Expert in the resolution of disputes in the construction industry.

He brings both general business experience and his particular knowledge and skills to the Board of Trustees.


Sean Attwood

Sean Attwood lives in Braintree in Essex and is a Solicitor in charge of the Court of Protection Department at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors’ Cambridge Office. Sean has worked his way through the ranks at Irwin Mitchell, having joined the firm immediately following his graduation from Law school, and has specialised in Court of Protection work for people who lack capacity for the past seven years.   He also has significant experience in other areas of law, including Clinical Negligence, Personal Injury, Neurotrauma and Public Law.


The majority of Sean’s clients have suffered an acquired brain injury as a result of road traffic accidents or clinical negligence, and he is therefore well aware of the difficulties faced by individuals and their families who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.


Fiona Dorey

Fiona represents the Carer’s voice on the Board of Trustees. She understands how a brain injury affects the whole family as her husband had a severe brain injury in 1993 while her two children were quite young. Although she is now divorced and remarried, Fiona has regular contact with her ex-husband and is fully aware of some of the difficulties, which need to be overcome by the injured person and their family in order to return to leading a normal life.

These difficulties can be practical, financial and emotional and both long and short term.  She has had experience in the rehabilitation process and dealing with some of the official agencies, which become involved after an injury of this nature. She has also been involved with Headway since 1993 in some capacity or other.

Fiona is a Head teacher working in the Primary Sector and also has an interest in educating young people in the prevention of brain injuries by making them more aware.


Paul Metcalfe

Paul Metcalfe has recently become a freelance Social Worker.  Previously he has worked as a Social Worker with Essex Social Services Sensory Team and spent many years in New Zealand as a rehabilitation assistant and support worker, helping brain injured people and their families through the rehabilitation process.  He has also worked in units specialising in challenging behaviour associated with brain injury. 

Paul’s association with Headway began as a volunteer in 1997 helping with both the education and Monday groups.  He brings to the Board of Trustees his experience as a worker involved in brain injury rehabilitation as well as his recent experience of Social Services


Jean Livingstone

Jean Livingstone qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1971 and became a Senior Night Sister. She transferred to day duty and worked as a Nurse Manager until being made redundant in 1992. She then spent some time working as a GP Nurse and in nursing homes. She returned to the NHS and retired in 2004 from the post of Bed Manager at Colchester.

Jean’s husband was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in 1996. He attended Headway House for five years, which he enjoyed very much, but sadly died in 2003. Jean became a volunteer at Headway in October 2008 and now helps out at the Headway Centre two days a week.


Christopher Humbles

Chris Humbles was born and brought up in South Africa and came to England with his mother in 1969 following the death of his father.  He has been married to Wendy for 33 years and has 2 stepchildren and 3 step grandchildren.  He commenced his career in the National Health Service in 1973, qualifying as a Registered Nurse in 1980 and has held many clinical and managerial posts.  He retired from the post of Deputy Chief Executive/Director of Nursing & Governance at Southend Hospital where he had spent 18 years in 2007.

Chris is determined to remain professionally active and was appointed to The East of England Health Authority (Education and Training) as a part time Professional Advisor in 2007.  He retired from the NHS fully in 2010.

He continues to work in a consultancy capacity acting as a Health Care Surveyor for a private company.


Peter Macdonald

Following his graduation in Economics, Peter took a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and a post at Poole Grammar School as a maths teacher. Peter left the teaching profession after completing his probationary year and joined Ford Motor Company. He spent nine years with Ford in different HR roles in the UK and abroad.


In 1998 Peter left Ford to join British Aerospace Airbus at Bristol, where he was Head of Learning and Development. He then moved to Toulouse in 2000 to take the role of Global Head of Executive Development for Airbus. In the summer of 2003 he returned to the UK to take the post of HR Director of EADS Astrium - the UK space technology and satellite business of EADS (the parent company of Airbus).


Peter joined Parcelforce Worldwide in April 2007 as Director of Human Resources. In 2010 he moved within Royal Mail to take the role of Group Director, Talent and Resourcing. In February 2015 Peter became HR Director with Engie, a major French owned global energy business.


Peter has extensive experience of HR practice with leading private and public sector organisations both in the UK and abroad.


Alan Bacon

Alan Bacon is the senior/managing director of BTMK Solicitors Ltd. in Southend-on-Sea.  Alan’s area of work is exclusively for claimants in personal injury/clinical negligence claims and he is the head of this department in BTMK.  Alan is a member of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel, a Fellow of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and a senior associate member of the Royal Society of Medicine. 


Alan has a particular interest in acquired brain injury and has worked closely with Headway for a number of years.  Alan is the chair of Essex Acquired Brain Injury Forum and was one of the first members of the Forum steering group.  The aims of the Forum are to raise awareness of acquired brain injury throughout Essex and to campaign for better services for people with acquired brain injury.



Tony Emms


Tony Emms is Director of Vine Grove Ltd, a business consultancy firm.  Tony has had a full career with blue-chip organisations, most recently as a senior executive at Zurich Insurance Ltd as UK Chief Claims Officer.  Since 2012 he has been Vice President of the Chartered Insurance Institute.


He brings to the Board of Trustees extensive experience in management consultancy, corporate strategy and transformational change.


Donate to Headway Essex

West Essex Support Groups

Please note due to unforeseen circumstances the West Essex Support Group meetings will be held at a new venue. We will update you in due course on the new location, if you have any immediate enquires relating to this please call the Community Support Team on 01206 768797

The Showman's Ball - Friday 9 March 2018

Inspired by PT Barnum and the forthcoming film 'The Greatest Showman'.


Set at the beautiful Stoke-by-Nayland  Hotel, Spa and Golf resort it will be a night to remember.


Auction ~ Raffle ~ Live music ~ Entertainment


Tickets include; Canapes and sparking reception, three course dinner and coffee.  


Standard £70    per person or £650    for a table of 10

Headway Essex joins the Essex Lottery

Headway Essex is delighted to say that we have joined the Essex Lottery, which is expected to be one of the largest Council-run lotteries in the country! For every £1 ticket you purchase, 50p will go directly to your chosen cause, which if you choose Headway Essex, will be us! And, you’ll be in with a chance of winning up to £25,000.  

Not only will we receive half the proceeds, an additional 10p will be donated to a central Essex Lottery fund, which will see small grants given to a wide range of good causes in Essex.

Registering is free and easy to complete, with no administration charge. To register, visit   www.essexlottery.co.uk

For details of our upcoming Support Group meetings please  click here.