Our Trustees

Peter Davis

Peter is Chair of Carers First Board and joined at the start of 2015.  He has had a long career in financial services having worked in Building Societies, in branch and regional management and management consultancy. He went on become an executive director for Fidelity Investments, where his roles included running their global product development team, large programme management including purchase/integration of a German bank and investment operations. He has lived in Tonbridge for 25 years, has two sons both now working, and his wife Carolyn has been a volunteer at Carers First for over 5 years. He has been a charity trustee since 1997 as vice chair of a school in Tonbridge, chairing their Marketing and Development and IT committees. 

Amongst a wide range of interests, he enjoys photography and attempting to play golf.

Ruth Rankine


Ruth Rankine is Vice Chair of Carers First Board of Trustees.  She is Deputy Chief Inspector at the Care Quality Commission. She has responsibility for the regulation of GPs, online services and military health. She has a held executive board and senior management positions in both the NHS and Department of Health. 

Ruth lives in Tudeley outside Tonbridge with her husband Andrew and has no children. Her hobbies include keeping fit and going on holiday as well as gardening.



Shirley Briggs


Shirley Briggs has a secondary school teaching background, specialising in languages. She has also taught English as a Foreign Language both abroad and in London. Since 1995 she has run antenatal courses for the National Childbirth Trust. Shirley had personal experience of being a carer, including being a Young Carer when a teenager. Shirley has been a Trustee with Carers First for many years and enjoys working with the other trustees and the senior management team. 

Shirley lives with her family in West Malling. Among other interests Shirley enjoys dinghy sailing, sings in a community choir, and is a keen gardener, taking part in the annual West Malling Open Gardens for the National Garden Scheme.


Bill Swan


Bill was Insurance Manager for Kent County Council before taking early retirement.

He joined the Board of Rochester Crossroads in 1994 which later merged with Gillingham to become Medway Crossroads as he wanted to help in the caring sector and was the last Chair of Crossroads Care Medway before the merger with Carers First.

He and his family live in Gillingham and his interests are walking, birdwatching and Arsenal FC.


Dr Marie Wheatley

Joined as a Trustee in October 2019, Marie trained as a nurse in Leicester, then a District Nurse and then later moved into a range of Senior Management roles in the NHS. Her last post was Assistant Director of Education and Organisational Development. Retiring in 2009, she then worked for nine years as an Academic for the Open University. In most of her working life she has had the privilege of working with and alongside carers. She has also experienced the challenges of being a carer herself.

She studied for a BSc with the Open University, an MBA at Henley, an MSc in Continuing Professional Development at Greenwich and Doctorate in Education at Lincoln University.

Marie lives in Lincolnshire with her husband, she has two adult children and her hobbies are floristry, reading and cooking and very reluctantly working out at the gym.

Paul Fennell


Paul is originally from the East Midlands and spent most of his early life in Germany and the Middle East as his father was in the Royal Air Force. Paul first started his professional life working for the Metropolitan Police before having a long career in financial services having worked in Banking, Insurance, Investment Management as well as in both the Public and Third Sector before moving into management consultancy. For many years Paul was a school governor of a local Kent primary school where he chaired various committees. Paul lives with wife in West Malling, has two grown children and two grandchildren plus a Dalmatian, all of whom keep him busy. Paul is a keen follower of most sports, especially football with Tottenham Hotspur, and is now attempting to play bowls at a reasonable standard.

Sukwinder Bassi

Sukwinder is passionate about people development, making a difference to communities and being a carer for his mother are the reasons he joined Carers First.

As former Chief Executive Officer at GEMS and current Managing Director at BEL Group, he combines his passion for people with experience in business. In so doing, he has raised educational standards for international and national students across multiple countries, UK, Middle-East, Africa and India. The innovations he has introduced have improved educational outcomes, community connections and increased profitability through creating multi-national high performing teams.

Before GEMS, he held senior management positions in the international retail sector including at Adidas and Tesco. 

Over the years he has turned around many failing businesses, grown companies from start-ups, made more profitable established companies, built trust and created positive environments where people are happy to give their best.

Peter Jenkins

Peter has over 20 years’ experience of successfully building and leading communications and public affairs functions both large and small with improvements in reputation and trust for organisations working within highly regulated sectors - energy, financial services and social care. For almost five years he was a Board Trustee and then Vice-Chair at Cambridge House, a settlement charity based in Southwark. 

He is a former Director of Corporate Affairs at the leading disability charity, Leonard Cheshire, where he was responsible for communications, marketing, campaigns and policy. Prior to this, he worked within the energy sector and within government communications. He started his career at the BBC and at the House of Commons Library. He currently works as a communications and public affairs consultant for the UK water industry as he leads their response on COVID-19.

Georgina Hoare

Georgina has been working as a senior manager in the voluntary sector for over twelve years including senior roles at SurvivorsUK (joint CEO de facto) a small national campaigning charity supporting men who have experienced sexual violence and, more recently, as Head of Talking therapies at Wimbledon Guild. 

Prior to this she had a long career as a Music therapist and Psychotherapist working in the Voluntary sector, Education sector and NHS. In all these roles Georgina has worked alongside carers and has experience of being a carer herself.  

She has held Trustee roles with Embrace CVOC and is also a Pilotlighter with Pilotlight, a charity that supports other charities to become more sustainable and effective by coaching CEO’s and their boards.  She completed an MA in Consultation and Leadership in 2014 at the Tavistock and Portman focused in this area.  

Living in London with her family, Georgina is also a keen musician, having originally trained as a cellist and enjoys playing in amateur orchestras and hiking in the Lake District.  

Julian Sinclair

Julian qualified as a solicitor in 1997 with DLA Piper, one of the world’s largest law firms. For the past 20 years he has worked as an in-house lawyer for several companies, including Centrica plc and First Title Insurance plc, where he developed commercial and legal teams that worked hand in hand to deliver strategic and operational projects. Julian has been a Board Director and is a firm believer in developing and motivating colleagues to achieve their potential. 

Julian lives in Tunbridge Wells and is married with 3 children ranging from 14 to 23 years old. Julian enjoys cooking, travelling, socialising with friends and, when time allows, playing golf, an interest he picked up whilst studying at the University of St Andrews.  

Antony Hall

Antony started his career in educational management where he established several major health and social care programmes. This led him into managing multiple primary care services, including establishing one of the country’s first ‘Darzi’ walk-in centres.

In 2012, Antony joined the Care Quality Commission as an inspector of social care settings before becoming an Inspection Manager, Directorate Manager, and latterly, Head of Inspection for London. 

In June 2020 Antony moved to the country’s largest provider of care homes to head its quality and regulation function to ensure the safety and improved quality of life for the 17,000 residents in its care across 328 care homes throughout the United Kingdom.

Outside of work, Antony is married with children in their late teens. He is a keen musician, avid reader, and a volunteer with a national charity aimed at helping people set up their own businesses.

Vicki Wells

Vicki is a Deputy Chief Inspector at the CQC. She has extensive experience of regulating and has successfully delivered large and complex regulatory programmes across the health and care landscape. Vicki currently has the responsibility for the regulation of GPs across England and has a particular interest in understanding the experiences of people using services. Vicki is a registered nurse and has held senior clinical leadership roles in the NHS and independent sectors.

Vicki lives in Lincoln with her husband and has two adult children. Vicki enjoys spending time with family and friends, walking and travel.

Craig Pashler

Craig has been working in accountancy and finance for over 20 years, spending his early career in retail but then moving to the not-for-profit sector in 2006, where he joined a multi academy trust.  

Craig has worked his way through several roles in the sector and is now the CFO of a large trust where he has worked for the past six years.  He is a qualified accountant and holds an MBA from the university of Warwick.  

Craig lives in the Midlands with his wife and two young children.  In his spare time, he can be found doing several sporting activities, ranging from cycling to jogging and badminton to tennis.