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

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

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

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… 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

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

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

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 –
  • Supporting the development of Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust Engagement Strategy
  • System Leadership

I also volunteer at St Gemma’s Hospice.

Hello, my name is … Leanne

I have been involved with the CCG since before the volunteer scheme in its current form was set up, being a Patient Leader, then a Patient Champion. I decided to become a CCG Volunteer because I wanted to continue my involvement with the projects I was already involved with.

With the CCG I have been involved with the procurement of primary care mental health services and, as a member of the Engagement Hub, I have helped to plan and deliver training on co-production. I think that co-production is instrumental in providing high quality services that meet the needs of local people, and the support from the CCG in the training shows they value this too. I have spoken at many events on this topic, including in Leeds, Huddersfield, and Birmingham.

In addition to attending the Patient Assurance Group, I have been involved with staff recruitment and the urgent treatment centres engagement.

I also volunteer for Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, where I am involved in their Service User Network, and the Equality and Inclusion Group.

In my spare time, I enjoy line dancing, attending Unorthobox boxing sessions, and spending time with friends and family.

Hello, my name is… Yvonne 

Having previously worked in the NHS, and then spending the following 25 years as a therapist, I value giving people a voice. As a CCG Volunteer, I can help represent public views and what matters most to people, so that they are accounted for in proposed changes. I also volunteer as a ‘Leeds Voices’ Health Ambassador at Voluntary Action Leeds, so I get to hear from the public (including less often heard groups) directly.

I enjoy walking, travelling (often combining both!) as well as a few classes at the local gym, friends (including obligatory coffees) and family.

As well as meeting new people and hearing different views, I am looking forward to the challenges that representing these, collaboratively, as a CCG volunteer will bring.

Hello, my name is… Robert

I am a qualified youth and community worker and have been working with diverse groups and young people in Leeds for over four years. My role involves empowering young people, supporting their potential and ensuring that their voices are heard, understood and acted upon.

I also have a passion for community development and believe that real community development can only be achieved by listening to the community’s voices. Each community has its own needs based on the nature of that community, environment and the lived experiences of those within it.

The CCG Volunteering opportunity was very attractive to me and it will allow me to continue supporting those whose voices need to be heard. It is a privilege for me to be part of this process and I am looking forward to getting involved and doing my best to achieve the CCG’s goals.

Besides youth and community work, I used to be a professional musician and I’m now involved with different music projects in Leeds, other cities in the UK and internationally.

I write, play guitar, and sing. I am a big football fan, play table tennis and like to watch other sports such as basketball, tennis, golf, athletics etc. Arts and sports can also be vital for outreach and engagement initiatives.

Hello, my name is… Lewis

I moved to Leeds in 2009. Although my roots are not in Leeds, I consider it my home and have always felt very safe, happy and comfortable here.

I work for a large housing association with 21,000 customers, from all walks of life. My role is to facilitate opportunities for customers to shape service delivery, and to champion their voice.

I believe Leeds offers its residents a good quality of life. That being said, I understand the challenges of involving customers in consultations and hope this role helps marginalised and underrepresented groups to have their views heard.

I enjoy keeping fit; I cycle 10 miles to work every day. I like being outdoors generally, and think Yorkshire has a great deal to offer in terms of ‘the great outdoors’ (although sometimes it is less kind with the weather!).

I am also an artist, a keen cook, and a baker – I am constantly challenging myself with new and increasingly complex recipes!

Working in customer engagement, I am keen to find out how other organisations consult their customers and involve them in decision-making. I am keen to apply my skills and experience to new challenges and become more familiar with the healthcare operating environment.

Hello, my name is… Carol

As a person with complex medical conditions, and being a carer for 29 years for disabled family members, I have been a regular user of health services within Leeds for 50+ years.

I have always worked alongside service providers and other patients to improve services and patients’ experiences.

About six years ago, I began to do this on a more formal basis, including:

  • Working with Patient Participation Groups at our local GP and citywide,
  • Being part of the process to tender, assess and monitor the social prescribing projects in the city,
  • Delivering a patient perspective to the NHS Leadership Academy programmes,
  • Presenting to the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network,
  • Being involved with the Leeds Hospices for seven years.

During the years I have gained the ability to bring forward my own personal experiences, and those of others less able, as a representative of the wider local communities in Leeds.

Hello, my name is… Francis

I joined the CCG Volunteer Programme in August 2019, having graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in Politics. Since 2011, I have volunteered for several public-facing organisations including Leeds City Council’s Access and User-Ability Group and the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Youth Advisory Group.

My membership in each group has required me to scrutinise policy proposals on multiple sensitive issues, raise concerns with various stakeholders and suggest appropriate alterations and/or alternatives based on objective findings from other local authorities or countries where similar (if not identical) plans have been actioned. Ultimately, my aim is to ensure no stone has been left unturned, so to speak, and that the needs of vulnerable people, in particular, are sufficiently met.

In relation to the CCG, I have, due to my disability, periodically used NHS services, and am fascinated by how health systems are designed and function, and what impact this has on patients and staff. It matters to me greatly that as the NHS evolves, it continues to be responsive to ever-changing needs. Thus, I joined to transfer my current civic experience to the NHS whilst putting my enthusiasm to good use.

Hello, my name is… Vicky

In my professional life, I work on the frontline of social care. I was observing how the way health services are organised can affect groups of people with particular needs and identities. This sparked my interest in finding out more about the way changes in services are planned and how it is ensured that the needs and views of patients, particularly those who might not find it easy to speak up, are taken into account. When I came across the opportunity to become a CCG Volunteer, it seemed like such a valuable and interesting role which I’m thrilled I’m able to take on.

I hope to use my existing knowledge and skills I bring from my day to day working life to help the views of patients in Leeds to be heard so that, ultimately, out NHS services can provide effective healthcare. That said, I feel I have a lot to learn about the process of ensuring that patient engagement is proportionate, robust and effective. I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead; I’m reassured by the fantastic the support that has been given to us volunteers so far.

I moved to Leeds from my hometown several years ago. I feel I have been made to feel so welcome by my fellow residents and I hope that my role with the CCG will enable me to “give back” to my adopted city.

In my spare time, I love to cook, get outdoors with my family and read.