Meet the Trustees
Muriel Simmons, Chairman
Muriel joined the Board of Trustees in 2010 after thirteen years as Chief Executive of Allergy UK and is now Chairman of the Board.
Due to her in-depth knowledge of the organisation and allergy, Muriel is ideally positioned to fully support the staff and the Board. With increasing numbers of sufferers seeking help and the complex nature of allergy, Muriel ensures the charity’s information and governance is maintained to the highest possible standard.
Muriel has over twenty years experience in the NHS. This allowed her to develop a thorough understanding of the demands and pressures placed on the health service, particularly in times of financial hardship. Allergy UK has made great progress, working in unity with leading allergy specialists and patient organisations to provide improved services. There is still a long way to go but Muriel and the Board believe Allergy UK has a strong economic argument for allergy to be prioritised by the health service. The Board are working alongside staff with an aim of enabling anyone suffering from an abnormal reaction to be able to access good diagnosis, management and support through the NHS.
Maggie Compton, Vice Chairman
Maggie is a Solicitor and Partner for a general practice based in Bexleyheath, Kent. With over 40 years’ experience, she brings her exemplary legal expertise to the charity.
Maggie suffers with allergy and intolerance, along with her daughter and grandson. She has experienced first-hand what she sees as the ineptitude of the medical profession in dealing with this area of medicine. She has also seen how serious allergy and intolerances can impact on family life, causing considerable stress to all concerned if not tackled correctly.
Having connections with the charity as an allergy sufferer, Maggie was impressed by the level of expertise, commitment of staff and amount of work undertaken in this difficult and under-funded area of medicine.
Based in Northern Ireland, Andy is a retired police officer where he worked for 30 years before becoming a civilian crime scene examiner and crime scene manager for a further 10 years. After leaving the police service he became a Senior University Lecturer in forensic science.
As Chairman of the trading arm Allergy Research Limited, Andy is passionate about improving allergy services in the future. He understands the challenges faced by the NHS, as both his wife and daughter-in-law are nurses.
Andy gained an interest in allergy after seeing the impact allergy had on one of his two sons, as well as his students and colleagues who suffered from the condition.
Dr Adam Fox, MA(Hons), MSc, MB, BS, DCH, FRCPCH, Dip Allergy, FHEA
Adam read Medicine and Neuroscience at Cambridge University before completing his clinical training at University College, London. Having completed specialist training in Paediatric Allergy, he is now a consultant at the Evelina Children's Hospital (Guy's & St Thomas' Hospitals, London), one of the UK's largest specialist allergy centres.
Adam's particular interests are sublingual immunotherapy, gastrointestinal allergy and medical education. Adam is a member of the NICE Food Allergy Guideline Development group and Chair of the Royal College of Paediatrics Food Allergy Care Pathway project. He is also a member of the BSACI executive.
Sarah is a primary school teacher, living in Kent with her husband and their three children. Both of her two daughters suffer from allergies. Her eldest was diagnosed with allergies to dairy, egg, soya, fish, sesame seeds and nuts and at 18 months old had her first anaphylactic reaction. This was an unbelievably frightening time for the family, followed six months later by her first hospital admission for asthma.
When her youngest daughter was born it was clear she was also an allergic child. She was diagnosed with similar allergies to her sister but also allergic to wheat. Over time her daughters have outgrown some of their allergies but remain extremely allergic to dairy and egg.
Sarah found there was such a huge lack of understanding, information or support when her children were first diagnosed. She wants to support Allergy UK to change that. Sarah brings her experience as a parent and an Allergy UK support contact to the Board.
Roy Dudley-Southern MBE, BSc(Econ), Dip HSM,
FRSPH, MIHM, AHRIM
Roy Dudley-Southern brings a wealth of experience to the Allergy UK Board of Trustees, having been awarded an MBE ‘for services to the NHS’.
He began his career in the NHS in 1968 when he joined the National Graduate Management Training Scheme.
Roy’s influence is significant. He has led or been actively involved in the development/planning of a wide variety of key services within the NHS at a strategic level, such as, frameworks for an Allergy Services network, Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders, Long-Term Ventilation and Weaning, Occupational Lung Disease, Severe/Difficult-to-Control Asthma, Interstitial Lung Disease and Chronic Unexplained Cough.
Recently a member of The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s Allergy Care Pathways Project Board, Roy has two daughters and has been a full-time wheelchair user since contracting polio in his childhood. Roy has authored, co-authored or contributed to over 20 published reports
Dr Brian Hewitt
Brian initially started his career working in allergy research, an area that he has long been passionate about. Since then Brian has been Managing Director of a number of healthcare and industrial businesses.
With a background in research and development, Brian also brings expertise in marketing, sales and business development to the Allergy UK board of trustees, having developed strategic and business plans for the organisations with ultimate responsibility for their successful implementation.
Brian is based in France and has had wide involvement with trade organisation committees.
Jamie joined the Allergy UK Board of Trustees in 2012 with extensive experience in business, financial strategy and mergers & acquisitions.
With a deep commercial understanding and acute business acumen, his career has spanned fund management and international strategy consulting, working for companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Richard’s three daughters inherited his allergies to pollen and house dust mites which have a notable impact on family life. It was his personal experience of allergy issues that brought him to Allergy UK.
With a background in business, Richard’s career has predominantly focused around technology, and has seen him turn his hand to telecommunications and interactive services. Based in Kent, Richard was a Business Advisor for a number of years where he supported small companies.
Richard has a keen interest in theatre and is a member of The Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Since retirement he is an active volunteer and continues his role as Chairman of the Medway NHS Foundation Trust Charitable Fund.