We’re pleased to announce that we have four new co-opted trustees joining the Above & Beyond team!

Drawing from Bristol’s diverse business community, we’ve welcomed Lee Aston, Steve Bluff, James Fox and Samantha Hawkins to the board. Each brings with them a wealth of experience from the retail, legal and financial sectors and all have strong ties to the city of Bristol.

Lee Aston previously worked at KPMG both in the UK and as part of the European leadership team in Frankfurt and is now Director of Finance at Thrings Solicitors. Staff members from Thrings have twice taken part in Above & Beyond’s flagship fundraising event, the Bristol to Paris Cycle Challenge.

Steve Bluff has spent much of his career in senior leadership roles for companies including Crabtree & Evelyn, Nuffield Health and House of Fraser. He has recently set up his own coaching and consulting company, nCourage Ltd., to help businesses develop their operation and leadership teams.

James Fox has over 30 years experience as a stockbroker and investment manager in Bristol and is Regional Director at Rathbones. Alongside his management responsibilities, James deals with portfolios for charities and trusts. Rathbones is the sponsor of Above & Beyond’s Christmas Star Concert.

Samantha Hawkins has 20 years experience in the corporate and commercial legal sector across Wales and the South West. Obtaining her Joint Insolvency Examination Board qualification while at Deloitte, Samantha is now Principal of Hawkins Insolvency Limited.

The board of trustees meets every two months to approve grants that further the charity’s aim to go above and beyond what the NHS can afford so as to provide the best patient experience possible.

Some of the projects recently approved by the board include £108,000 for the continuation of the much valued free hospital bus service used by 12,000 patients, visitors and staff per month; £31,120 for a state-of-the-art camera for retinal imaging at the Bristol Eye Hospital and £90,600 for a Neurosciences Educator and the development of two university accredited children’s neurosciences modules at the Faculty of Children’s Nurse Education to enhance the specialist skills of nurses in Bristol and across the country.

Our chairman Drummond Forbes took the skydiving leap for us in 2015 and trustee Chris Monk trekked the Three Peaks with staff members and volunteers earlier this year so watch this space to see if we can get any of our new trustees involved in some of our fundraising challenges...!