Who we are

The Trustees are a group of like-minded people who are concerned for the future of the Phoenix Stroke Club. The original idea was that the Trustees should include, from the local community, as a minimum a doctor, a solicitor, and a speech therapist.

The Trustees elect a Chairman from their midst. The Trustees meet on a regular basis.

Below is a profile of each of the Trustees:

Nigel Haverson – Chairman

I was invited to become a trustee in 2005. I have lived in Horsham for over 30 years. I was previously Horsham District Council’s Head of Public Health and Licensing and acted as their Health Adviser. I now run my own consulting business.

I have been a beneficiary of the club’s facilities having suffered a stroke in 1995. I consider myself lucky that my remaining disabilities are limited and I try l to lead as normal a life as possible and being a Trustee allows me to put something back having received myself.

I became Chairman in 2013 and hope to ensure that the Club continues to serve those residents of Horsham and its surrounding area that have survived their stroke.

As well as my responsibilities as Chairman I am also responsible for health and safety and building issues.

Don Burstow

In 1979 when the Phoenix Club was formed, I was asked by Kay Comley to assist with legal issues on creating the club and registering it as a charity. I became a Trustee in 1979 and have remained one ever since.

I have been a solicitor in practice in Horsham for over thirty years. At the time the clubhouse at Forest School was originally built, I was a member of Horsham Round Table and helped, with other service clubs in Horsham, with the building of the clubhouse.

I believe the Phoenix Club has provided a lot of support and happiness to a lot of people over the last 25 years and I do hope that during my period of chairmanship I can help the club continue to develop and meet the needs of those who have been unfortunate enough to suffer strokes or similar problems, as the club goes into the 21st Century.

Richard Bailey

I have been a trustee since 1986, soon after the Phoenix club opened.

I am a retired hospital doctor who trained at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, and I worked in Crawley and Horsham Hospitals since 1980. I was involved with the new stroke rehabilitation ward at Crawley Hospital since September
2004 until I retired in 2012 I had worked at Horsham Hospital with Kay Comley, the speech therapist who conceived the idea of Phoenix and made it into a reality with the support of local benefactors.

My role is to liaise with the Health Service and the other agencies involved with stroke, and involvement with the Carer’s support Group.

Celia Williams

I joined the Club quite soon after Cliff Michelmore opened the Clubhouse.

I had two young children and wanted to do some Voluntary work in the Community and take the children along with me so that they grew up with a caring and understanding of disability from an early age. This obviously worked, one is a nurse and the other a teacher!

My early duties at the Club included collecting the subscriptions and other general help. I then was invited to become a Trustee in 1986 and this led to me taking over the Chairman’s role when, sadly, Jenny Filby lost her battle against cancer in 1987. I remained Chairman for many years and only stepped down recently due to the pressure of full-time work and additional family commitments with my grandchildren.

I still remain a Trustee and continue to help with day to day management of the Club and it’s finances.

Lesley Niven

I was invited to become a Trustee in 1994 at a time when I was a member of Horsham District Council and had some experience of working with disabled people through my involvement in the West Sussex Association for Disabled People.

I have been an occasional helper at the Club and although now living in Scotland, I continue to enjoy my involvement as a Trustee. I help to maintain the club’s policies and procedures and organise an annual holiday for Phoenix Club Members and Carers.

John McPherson

In 2010 I accepted an invitation to become a Trustee of the Phoenix Stroke Club.

I joined the club as a volunteer after I retired from full-time employment as a Technical Executive with Ericsson Ltd and had done some of those must-do jobs and activities.

I went to the Volunteer Bureau, who amongst other places, suggested that I give the Phoenix Club a go, which I did and haven’t looked back since. That was in 2002, not long after Bev Norman, the first Manager, joined. I started in the kitchen, spud bashing, graduated to ‘running’ the kitchen then moved to ‘front of house’ getting more involved with the Members.

After a few years with the Stroke Association Dysphasia Group in Crawley it soon became clear that some members of the Phoenix Stroke Club could benefit from a similar group. As a result it was decided to start our own Communications Group in the Phoenix Stroke Club. This I did in March 2008.

I enjoy helping to make Members time at the club a good experience and where I can assist their recovery of independence and return of self esteem.

Matthew Haverson

I was asked to join the board of trustees in 2012 following providing advice around budgeting and financial management.

My father suffered a stroke in 2005 and received the benefit of the club as part of his rehabilitation process. I have seen the benefits of the club and the energy I see in our members encourages me we are providing both themselves and their carers with an unique offering.

I am responsible for the budgeting and preparation of the financial accounts of the club given my background as a chartered accountant working for a major international accountancy firm.

Sue Shier

My involvement with the Phoenix Club started in 2003 when my husband, Ron, having had a stroke earlier that year, started as a volunteer/member.

I have always taken an interest in the work of the club attending AGMs and helping where possible.

I have worked in the NHS for many years as a Medical Secretary in Acute Hospitals and currently as a Business Manager in Learning Disability Serrvices.

I am pleased to be invited to become a Trustee of Phoenix and hope my experience of the NHS and as the wife of a stroke survivor will prove useful in this role.

 Liz Kitchen

I have been a District Councillor representing Colgate and Rusper for over 20 years. and have,last year I also became a County Councillor for Slinfold Rudgwick and Warnham.

I am also a trustee of a local Trust whose remit is to help the older people of Colgate and Rusper, at the moment we are working with Age UK Horsham.

I was asked to become a trustee of the Phoenix club last year and was very happy to accept. I only hope that I will be able to contribute in some way to this excellent club.

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