Papworth Trust's Board has collective responsibility for the financial health and wellbeing of the organisation, holding the charity in trust for present and future beneficiaries, and making sure that it remains true to its charitable objects.

Brian Stewart OBE, Chair

Brian is now a portfolio non executive director, consultant and trustee, following an executive career in local and regional government to 2010. He was the Chief Executive of two Scottish unitary local authorities, and the Chief Executive of the former East of England Regional Assembly. He was part of the NED team which secured Foundation Trust status for the West Suffolk Hospital in 2012 and also chaired the Board of the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds. More recently he was a main Board member of Clarion Housing Group, and Vice Chair of its stockholding subsidiary. He also was Vice Chair of Ormiston Families, a regional children and families charity operating across East Anglia. His current portfolio includes chairing the Anglian (Great Ouse) Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, chairing the Sizewell C Community Forum, and Panel Member work for HS2 on discretionary compensation schemes. He lives near Bury St Edmunds.


Debbie Sorkin, Vice Chair


Debbie Sorkin is National Director of Systems Leadership at the Leadership Centre, a national charity with close historic ties to the Local Government Association that specialises in strengthening leadership across public services. Prior to joining the Leadership Centre, Debbie was Chief Executive at the National Skills Academy for Social Care, which had a remit to strengthen leadership in the sector. She is a Trustee of the Royal British Legion and a Board Member of Octavia Housing, leading on care and safeguarding issues. Debbie became a Trustee in 2011 and has been Vice Chair since 2012.


Richard Norton, Treasurer

Richard was a partner in Deloitte for 28 years and worked in the London, Cambridge and New York offices.  He has worked in a wide variety of industry sectors, including technology and support services.  Richard held a variety of leadership roles during his time with Deloitte, having full P&L responsibility and accountability for regional offices, IT and Enterprise Risk Services. He also played an important role in the firm’s governance, having been an elected member of the Board, Remuneration Committee and Audit Committee for many years.
Richard became a Trustee in 2011.


Peter Agar

Peter began his career in the Treasury as an administrator and economist, later moving to the Ministry of Overseas Development.  He then worked as a management consultant and as a strategy consultant. In 1994 Peter returned to his first area of interest, public policy, when he joined the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) as Deputy Director General. During six years he managed a large policy staff and worked with ministers and senior civil servants in both the Major and Blair administrations. In 2000, Peter was appointed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as UK Consul General in Toronto and Director of Trade and Investment for Canada. In 2002, Peter joined the University of Cambridge as Director of Development and Alumni Relations and in 2012 became Director of Campaigns at the University of Sheffield before finally retiring from full time employment in 2015. Peter became a Trustee in 2011.


Wes Cuell 

Wes qualified as a social worker in 1971 and worked in local authority Social Services Departments in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Luton, where he was Head of Children's Services from 1997 to 2004, when he joined the NSPCC as UK Director of Services for Children. Wes has worked in just about every area of social work including residential and day care, all age groups and many forms of disability. Wes retired from full time work in 2011 but works part time and chairs the Hertfordshire Adoption Panel and the Board at PACT (the Oxford Diocesan Adoption Society). Wes is also a Trustee of the Children's Society and Chair of his local Parish Council of Husborne Crawley in Bedfordshire. Wes became a Trustee in 2013.


Andy Hirst

Andy is the CEO of Cambridge Policy Consultants Ltd (CPC), a highly respected research organisation with a diverse client group. He has also worked with numerous governmental bodies and local authorities throughout the UK.
Andy became a Trustee in 2014.


Patrick Hughes 

Patrick is Director of Salientwork Ltd, a strategic labour market consultancy. Patrick was Jobcentreplus Director for London and the Home Counties, from 2008 to 2011 and for East of England from 2004 to 2008. His previous civil service roles included commissioning and delivering employment programmes and labour market services, and building effective partnerships. He has a particular interest in helping disabled people achieve their full potential in the jobs market, having been Lead Director for DWP on the Access to Work and Pathways to Work programmes. 
Past roles have included membership of the Ministerial Steering Group on child poverty, the London Mayor's Skills and Employment Board and Chair of the East of England Skills Partnership. 
Patrick’s active interest in the third sector includes roles as a Trustee of the Charity for Civil Servants, an Ambassador for the Prince's Trust in London and a Director of the Institute of Employability Professionals. 
He is currently a Member of the Civil Service Appeal Board, an Associate of the Learning and Work Institute and a Trustee of Clarion Futures. Patrick became a Papworth Trustee in 2013.

Vanessa Stanislas

Vanessa has worked in the third sector since 1998, following a long and varied career at the Department for Work and Pensions. She was as Director of External Services at Disability Alliance before becoming its CEO in 2006.
She has worked as a Director of Operations and HR and most recently as the Director of Quality at Scope, where she designed and implemented a bespoke Quality Assurance Framework for its social care services.
Vanessa is passionate about quality, equality (particularly disability equality) and is a diversity expert. She is a champion of evidenced based outcomes for any work she is involved with and works hard to reduce silo working and increase joined-up whole systems thinking approaches to work. Vanessa became a Trustee in 2017.


David Atkinson

David worked at Goldman Sachs from 1994 to 2017 in London, Tokyo and Hong Kong. He worked in a number of roles in the Finance and Risk Divisions and recently retired as a Managing Director in the Risk Division
He had considerable Committee responsibilities most recently as a member of the Firmwide Risk Committee, co-chair of the Asia Pacific Risk Committee, and vice-chair of the Asia Pacific New Activities Committee.
Prior to Goldman Sachs, David worked at Touche Ross & Co in London from 1991 to 1994 where he qualified as a chartered accountant. David became a Trustee in 2017.