Chair: Dr Anna Dixon MBE
Anna Dixon is an experienced senior leader with a commitment to improving people’s lives. In her most recent role, as Chief Executive of the Centre for Ageing Better, she took the organisation from start-up to become an impactful charitable foundation. Working with partners across employment, housing, health and communities, the organisation creates change in policy and practice informed by evidence to improve later life for people in England.
Prior to joining Ageing Better, Anna was Director of Strategy and Chief Analyst at the Department of Health. She has also held positions as Director of Policy at The King’s Fund, Lecturer in European Health Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, policy analyst at the Department of Health Strategy Unit. In 2005-6 she was awarded a Harkness Fellowship in Health Policy by the Commonwealth Fund of New York which she spent at the University of Oregon. She has a PhD in Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She served as a member of the Advisory Group to the Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland (Sept 2020-Jan 2021) and is a member of a number of other advisory boards. She is non-Executive Director of Helpforce, a CIC that supports the growth and impact of volunteering across the NHS. Anna is also author of a book “The Age of Ageing Better? A Manifesto for Our Future” published by Bloomsbury in 2020. Anna received an MBE for services to wellbeing in later life in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List. She is an active member of her local parish church in Islington.
Co-Chair: Rt Revd James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle
The Right Rev James Newcome is the Lead Bishop on Health and Social Care and medical ethics and sits in the House of Lords. As well as having personal experience of social care in his family, he has been closely involved with the care system in Cumbria.
He began his career working as a “housefather” in children’s homes near Nottingham before reading History at Trinity College, Oxford. After a year spent driving an ambulance in Hertfordshire he trained for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. A curacy in Watford was followed by a return to Cambridge as tutor in the Cambridge Federation and minister of an Ecumenical Project in Bar Hill. After eight years as DDO and Director of Ministry in Chester Diocese he became Bishop of Penrith in 2002 and Bishop of Carlisle in 2009.
James currently serves as Clerk of the Closet to HM the Queen and is Deputy Lieutenant of Cumbria. Until 2021 he officiated as National Chaplain to the Royal British Legion. James was made Honorary Fellow of St John’s College, Durham, after serving as President from 2011 to 2018. He is also Co-chair of Rose Castle Foundation.
Jabeer is Chief Executive of the Race Equality Foundation. Jabeer has gained an international reputation for the use of evidence in developing interventions that help overcome discrimination and disadvantage. His studies have been used to inform government thinking, including interventions such as Sure Start, as well as the NSPCC’s Grove House Family Centre. Jabeer provides leadership on the Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities parent education initiative at the Foundation. The SFSC programme has been widely adopted, in part because of its success in reaching, retaining and supporting poorly served families and communities.
Jabeer was on the Marmot Advisory Group supporting Sir Michael Marmot in the production of his recent report on the social determinants of health inequalities. Jabeer sits on a number of other boards and committees and presently this includes the Dementia Programme Board, chaired by the Minister for Care as well as PHE’s Health Ageing Advisory Board. Jabeer is a co-investigator on the NIHR funded extension of the VirusWatch study focusing in COVID-19 and the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and migrant communities led by Professor Robert Aldridge of University College London.
Jabeer was awarded an OBE in the 2013 Queen’s New Year Honours List.
Clenton Farquharson MBE
Clenton is Co-Chair of the Think Local Act Personal Partnership, a cross-sector leadership partnership focused on driving forward work with personalisation, community-based health and social care. Their unique strength is bringing together people who use services and family carers with central and local government, major providers from the private, third and voluntary sector and other key groups. Clenton is named in Disability News Services’ List of influential disabled people.
Over about twenty years, he has become an expert in accessibility issues working in a variety of sectors and disciplines. He has theoretical knowledge and training combined with personal experience and practical insights. Clenton works as a consultant, auditor, trainer, and coach on inclusion, equality, disability, and related subjects.
Heléna Herklots CBE
Heléna is the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales – an independent statutory role established in law to protect and promote older people’s rights. She took up post in 2018 after over 30 years working on ageing and older people’s issues. Starting her career working directly with older people and their families in day centres and care homes, she has influenced public policy, campaigned for change and developed and provided support services for older people.
Prior to her appointment as Older People’s Commissioner, Heléna was Chief Executive of Carers UK, the national membership charity for unpaid carers. Experience before that includes as Services Director at Age UK, Head of Policy at Age Concern England and Corporate Strategy Manager at Anchor.
Heléna has led and contributed to a number of UK Government advisory groups covering topics including care and support, housing, dementia and carers. She also spent a year on secondment working on older people’s issues at the Department of Health.
Heléna is Chair of the UK Industrial Strategy Healthy Ageing Challenge Advisory Group, a member of the British Society of Gerontology and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2017 Heléna was awarded a CBE for services to carers.
Richard is a recognised national commentator and writer on social care reform and the integration of health and social care. His current portfolio of work includes Senior Policy Advisor at the Health Foundation, non-executive director/deputy chair of Wye Valley NHS Trust and Visiting Professor at the University of Worcester. He was Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund from 2009 to 2021. His lockdown project is writing a book about the future of social care which will be published in 2022.
A graduate of LSE, his professional background is social care, and over the past 35 years he has worked in a variety of roles, including as director of social services and health authority chief executive and in senior roles in the Department of Health.
Debby Ounsted CBE
Debby is an experienced non-executive director in the social housing and charity sectors. With a career in the housing association, local authority, disability and care sectors, she is now a Director of Funding Affordable Homes Sicav, a new social investment fund that builds affordable and specialist supported housing across the UK, and of its Registered Funding Affordable Homes Housing Association.
A Past Master of the Mercers’ Livery Company and current Court member, she chairs the Mercers’ Charitable Foundation, and the Social Investment Advisory Group and serves on the Philanthropy Committee. She is a Council Member of Gresham College where she chairs the Nominations Committee. She is a co-opted member on the City of London Corporation’s Social Investment Board.
Former roles include: Chair of Trustees, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Chair of Trustees, Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust from 2002-2011; Master of the Mercers’ Company 2014-15; Vice-Chair of Governors at Thomas Telford School; Governor at Hammersmith Academy. Board member of various housing associations/charities concerned with disability and specialist housing. Independent Chair of Cottsway Resident Scrutiny Panel; Chief Executive, Octavia Hill Housing Trust; and Chief Executive at Habinteg Housing Association which first developed the Lifetime Homes design concept.
Debby was appointed CBE in 2013 for services to the charitable sector in the UK.
Anna is one of the convenors of Social Care Future, a diverse social movement looking to bring positive change to social care. She lives with multiple long-term conditions and disability, bringing her personal experience of receiving both health and social care to her roles. She strongly believes that care should be personalised, focused on what matters to a person, to enable them to live the life they want. Anna also champions co-production, working with people with lived experience, to improve the quality and people’s experiences of services.
Until August 2020 she was the co-chair of the Coalition for Collaborative Care (C4CC), a coalition of 62 national organisations, working together to increase the use of personalised care in health and social care. She was a commissioner on the DEMOS Renew Normal commission, sits on the National Quality Board of NHSE&I and is a member of the East Midlands Academic Health Sciences Network PPI Senate. She qualified as a doctor but had to stop practicing medicine in 2012 due to her declining health.
Anna lives in Leicester and is a member of a large Pentecostal church. She enjoys photography and is an avid tea drinker!
Professor John Swinton BD, PhD (Aberdeen), RMN (Registered Mental Nurse), RNMD (Registered Nurse for People with Learning Disabilities)
John is the Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies at the School of Divinity, History, and Philosophy, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Previously he worked for sixteen years as a registered mental health nurse and spent several years as a hospital chaplain and community mental health chaplain. He is particularly interested in mental health issues both as they relate to the spiritual dimensions of care offered by religious communities as well as the spiritual care offered by established “secular” mental health services. He has published widely in the fields of disability theology, spirituality and health, and qualitative research and mental health. His book ‘Dementia: Living in the memories of God’ won the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Ramsey Prize for excellence in theological writing in 2016. He is founder of the Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability, where academics, researchers, practitioners, and educators collaborate in the development of innovative projects researching the theology of disability and the relationship between spirituality, health and healing, and contemporary healthcare practices. John is an ordained minister of Church of Scotland.