Meet our volunteers

Our volunteers are passionate, enthusiastic and dedicated. Find out a little more about them, in their own words, as well as what they're currently working on.

Hello, my name is… John Curtin

After retiring from a career in systems design in local government and the NHS, I worked on my parish Neighbourhood Plan, then, in summer 2017, got involved with the NHS Leeds CCG.  I think my background, plus being a disabled person, lets me bring a wide perspective in putting forward the patient view while understanding the constraints facing the CCG. While with the CCG, I’ve participated in:

In addition to attending the Patient Assurance Group (PAG), I am currently working on the following projects:

Never boring, often challenging, always worthwhile – and still some time left over for the music!

Hello, my name is… Pauline Hope

As a retired teacher, I have always been involved in the learning potential of myself, others and supporting people to achieve their best.

When I retired I set up a social enterprise to support the community and be inclusive in the community setting up activities and groups such as art groups, salsa classes as well as a memory cafe and mental health support group. I wanted to support people with health issues and give them a voice. I’m involved in my community with the Neighbourhood Forum, a trustee of the Oulton Institute as well as volunteering with several groups.

I started supporting people at my PPG and working with the wider locality PPG. I also got involved with the social prescribing work at the CCG.

I became a CCG Volunteer to continue to represent the patient and community voice in changes to NHS services. Whilst being a volunteer I have continued to be involved with social prescribing and I recently attended a conference in London and got involved in procuring the new social prescribing service in Leeds. I am also heavily involved with the PPG Network and have helped support the urgent care engagement.

Hello, my name is… Dave Kagai

I’m passionate about learning and supporting people to make positive changes by gaining confidence and getting involved in building better communities. In 2014 I was awarded Vice-Chancellor’s certificate for student representation.

I’m currently working for the Workers Educational Association (WEA) as an adult tutor in the community, as well as being a school governor and a member of the NHS Leeds CCG Volunteer programme. I have a wealth of transferable experience and skills, and have worked in five different countries both in commercial and charity sectors.

Hello, my name is… Prof. Dick Killington

When I retired in 2012 I was Professor of Virology at the University of Leeds with research interests in Infection/Immunity and Vaccination.

Since retiring I have been very interested in the role that patients can play in helping the NHS and as such joined my Patients Participation Group (PPG) as soon as it was set up.  From there I became a member of the Leeds North Patient Assurance Group (PAG).  We had the remit to ensure that commissioning in Leeds was done only after the appropriate patient engagement.  This group was disbanded in 2018 when Leeds moved on to just one clinical commissioning group (CCG).

I became a CCG volunteer in September 2018 in order to continue my passion for ensuring patients are involved in decision-making.  I am particularly keen on developing interactions with PPGs and as such am a member of the PPG network.  It is a pleasure to work alongside the very proactive Engagement Team of the CCG.

In addition to attending the Patient Assurance Group (PAG), I am currently working on the following projects:

Hello, my name is… Tricia McKinney

I became a CCG volunteer because I firmly believe that the patient voice needs to be heard at all stages of commissioning and delivering local NHS services.  My previous professional experience, commitment to the NHS and involvement with various CCG projects has given me a useful background for championing patient involvement.

In addition to attending the Patient Assurance Group (PAG), I am currently working on the following projects:

Hello, my name is… Sue Watson

I moved to Leeds from London about 15 years ago and became involved in the NHS in 2008 when I was diagnosed with severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. Having been through the system as a patient I was interested when the CCG asked for volunteers to help shape health services.

Having worked in corporate legal I had no prior knowledge of health services but what is good about volunteering with the CCG is that you don’t need to come from a medical background or have masses of medical knowledge, just an interest in improving services where necessary.

The volunteers all come from different backgrounds and interests with lots of different experiences and it’s great to meet other individuals who all want to put the patient at the heart of health services and are able to put their experiences to good use achieving this.

In addition to attending the Patient Assurance Group (PAG), I am currently working on the following projects:

Hello, my name is… Kath Newton

My background is operational management in Insurance and the Legal profession, so I wasn’t sure when I retired 3 years ago if I had the right skills for a volunteer role in the NHS.  However I have always felt a strong and modern NHS is a cornerstone of our society so I applied and was accepted as a CCG volunteer.

The CCG volunteer role is to make sure when we change NHS services we understand what people are telling us and use peoples feedback to develop our services.

Working with the engagement team and other CCG volunteers I’ve seen the difference we can make . Successful teams have people in them who come from a variety of backgrounds with varied experience and skills. This is the team that is being built and I really enjoy working with this diverse and supportive group of people.

In addition to attending the Patient Assurance Group, I am also involved in the following projects:

  • Leeds Cancer Programme – leedscancerprogramme.org.uk
  • Supporting the development of Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust Engagement Strategy
  • System Leadership

I also volunteer at St Gemma’s Hospice.