Leadership Team

The Leadership Team consists of the Chief Executive (who acts as Chair) and the Directors. Its role is to manage and oversee all operations of the Trust and to ensure that customers are well-served by the projects and services provided by the Trust. The Leadership Team is also accountable for delivering organisational performance against plans and identifying and managing risks in an appropriate way.


Vicky McDermott is the Chief Executive of Papworth Trust

Vicky joined the charity in May 2014. She was the Head of Operations and Strategic Resourcing for the NHS Business Services Authority. She is also chair of the Care and Support Alliance (CSA) which represents more than 80 of Britain’s leading charities campaigning alongside the millions of older people, disabled people and their carers who deserve decent care. 

Jacqui Penalver, Transformation Director

Jacqui is the Trust’s Transformation Director, leading our organisation wide change at Papworth Trust.  She has worked in leadership roles in a number of national disability charities including Scope, the Multiple Sclerosis Society and Sense, and her career has included leading on a number of significant corporate programmes. Jacqui has a strong track record in transformation.

Mark Blake, Director of Central Services

Mark is the Director of Central Services which will include Finance, Human Resources, Procurement and Internal Insurance. Mark brings significant national and international experience from the charity and private sectors ranging from Fauna & Flora International to the highways and rail maintenance company Amey PLC. 

David Martin, Director of External Affairs

David is the charity’s Director of External Affairs, which includes Business Development, Fundraising, Policy and Marketing. After a career as a political journalist, he forged a track record in change and innovation in several senior roles at the BBC before originally joining the Trust as the Director of Strategy and Marketing. David is also a non-executive director of the Cambridge Arts Theatre.

Helena Harris, Director of Operations

Helena has been working at Papworth Trust since 1996. She originally trained as a teacher but ran her own business for the majority of her working life prior to joining the Trust. Helena has had a number of jobs within the Trust prior to her role as Director of Operations, including a number of years as Head of Employment.