Isabelle Hughes

Yvonne Emmett Cannell

Chair of Trustees

Yvonne joined the Board  of Trustees in 2020 and became Chair in 2023 

Yvonne has wide ranging senior leadership experience at  Board level in the NHS, Local Government and Charities. She is an accountant by profession and spent her senior career in Finance Director and deputy Chief Executive roles in the NHS and Local Government.

Yvonne possesses particular skills in the field of financial management, service delivery and transformation. She has extensive experience of developing business cases and leading on large scale capital developments.

Originally from Ellesmere Port, Yvonne is married and lives in Frodsham. She enjoys modern art, travelling and spending time with family and friends. 

Yvonne also sits on the board of Chester Zoo

Isabelle Hughes

Dr Isabelle Hughes

Chair of the Care sub-committee

Dr Isabelle Hughes joined the board of trustees in November 2014. She is now the Chair of the Care sub-committee.

For nearly 30 years she was a general practitioner in Chester and before her retirement in 2013 she spent 18 years at City Walls Medical Centre. Her particular interests were female health and medical education.

Isabelle has greatly appreciated the assistance given by the hospice to her patients and colleagues and is now delighted to have the time to help support its management and delivery of services. She is married with two adult children and enjoys golf, walking and family life.

Bill Bennoy

Bill Benoy

Bill is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years’ experience in general practice advising a wide range of owner managed and family businesses on accounting, taxation, audit and business development matters.

Bill has worked at Morris & Co Chartered Accountants for 19 years, the last 12 year as a partner in the firm.

Bill joined the Hospice Board as a Trustee in May 2015 and chairs the Finance and Investment Committee.

Originally from East Anglia, Bill lives in Pulford with his wife Jeanette. Bill enjoys walking, golf, following Ipswich Town Football Club and when in sunnier climes, scuba diving.

Robert Mee

Robert Mee

Robert Mee joined the Board of Trustees of the Hospice of the Good Shepherd as Chair in March 2018. He then stepped down as Chair and continued as a Trustee from April 2023.

Robert had a 40 year career in banking and financial services and held senior roles including Managing Director of Capital Bank in Chester and Chief Executive of Bank of Scotland Retail Bank before leaving in 2002 and then as a Non-Executive Director for a number of Companies.

Robert is a member of the Cheshire and Warrington LEP where he chairs the Strategy Board and is Chairman of the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone.

Robert also chairs the Cheshire Oaks partnership board and is a trustee of Cheshire Young Carers.

Justine Watkinson

Justine Watkinson

Justine Watkinson has been Head of the Employment Law team at Hillyer Mckeown for 15 years working with many clients across the UK and has been listed in the Legal 500 for the last 5 years as a HR and Employment Law solicitor of choice.

Many of her friends and family have had the benefit of the amazing care that the Hospice provides and she feels that volunteering as a Trustee a very important role and a great way to support her local community.

Justine a born and bred Cestrian, a keen runner and is passionate about historical fiction and city breaks.

She has been married to Paul for 23 years and has 2 beautiful daughters. Justine’s background is invaluable for her role on the People and Development sub-committee.

Martin Howlett

Martin Howlett

Martin Howlett has had 25 years’ experience in education, coaching and mentoring. He currently works for Cheshire Connect as CEO and the Youth Federation as an Operations Director and Designated Safeguarding Officer.

Martin also works for Achievement for All as an Achievement Coach. He supported the Department of Education in the role-out of the 2014 Children and Families Act.

Martin also works to support the skills development in cyber security to fill the skills deficit in the North West. As a result of this work, Martin was appointed as the North West Ambassador for the Information Assurance and Advisory Council in the U.K. Martin sits on the Information Governance sub-committee.

Mike Davies

Mike Davies

Mike Davies is Managing Director of Catalyst Group and has responsibility for over 30 staff. Catalyst have been providing Property Management & Specialist Healthcare Interior Design since 1999 and have been instrumental in changing the way people design residential healthcare interiors, with a specialism in designing for residents with Dementia.

Prior to this, Mike was Director of Property & Procurement at Community Integrated Care (CIC) which was a leading not-for-profit service provider and registered charity.

Mike sits on the Income Generation sub-committee.

Neil Fergusson

Dr Neil Fergusson

Dr Neil Fergusson joined the board of trustees in September 2017 after working as a consultant anaesthetist with an interest in intensive care at the Countess of Chester Hospital for 26 years. He retired from full time work in 2013 and part time work in 2018.

At the beginning of his retirement from full time work, he spent two and a half years volunteering in Nepal with International Nepal Fellowship treating people in isolated communities and helping set up a new Ear Hospital in Pokhara.

Neil is married to Hilary, they have three adult children and 2 grandchildren. They live in Barrow, near Chester. Neil enjoys running, walking and anything to do with mountains, he is a keen gardener and has a smallholding with a few sheep and chickens. Neil is delighted to be able to continue to use his knowledge to help support the excellent care provided by the Hospice.

Neil Fergusson

Jamie Christon DL


Chair of People Development sub committee

Jamie has been a trustee since 2021 and is the Chief Executive Officer at Chester Zoo. The zoo is a conservation education charity and major visitor attraction with turnover in excess of £50m. Jamie is also the Chair of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums and a director of Marketing Cheshire.

Jamie lives in Chester and is a keen defender of the city and promotes all that is good about life in Cheshire.


Neil Fergusson

Lesley Mills

Lesley joined the board of trustees in October 2022. She has been working in the NHS nursing for 35 years, working across Cheshire and Merseyside in both community and hospital settings. She is passionate about improving quality and care for both health care workers and patients.

In her spare time she is very hands on, volunteering for festival medical support, particularly attending Glastonbury festival along side her husband and family.

Neil Fergusson

Suzanne Crutchley

Suzanne started her career in the NHS in 1987, and has worked across multi-disciplinary teams with clinicians, directors and various senior managers, and also in partnership with other statutory organisations, including Councils, the Police, and Fire & Rescue.  She has worked across hospital trusts, community services, GP Practices, and various NHS commissioning bodies, and has sat on various Government working parties, representing the NHS, over the years.

Suzanne has a wealth of experience, in Information Governance, and has a LLM Master of Laws Degree in Information Rights Law & Practice.  She currently supports the NHS digital & data programmes across the Cheshire & Merseyside Integrated Care Service, ensuring that patient data is processed fairly, lawfully and transparently.

Suzanne has been doing voluntary work since the age of 14, including 10 years general duty voluntary work at the Hospice.

Her NHS and voluntary work highlight the huge importance of confidentiality and protecting patient data in the workplace, as well as sharing data across partner organisations as appropriate.  Suzanne is very passionate to use her knowledge, skills and experience at the Hospice.

Suzanne is from the Wirral, and now lives in Cheshire with her husband Peter.  They enjoy live theatre, classical music concerts, cooking, and spending time with family & friends.

Neil Fergusson

Gary Barr

Gary joined the Board of Trustees in August 2022. Gary started work after leaving school at sixteen joining Lever Brothers (now Unilever) as a laboratory technician. Fortunate enough to continue his education part time, he studied Chemistry and whilst working in the R&D team based in Port Sunlight was awarded a patent for his work. He then took the opportunity to move into manufacturing and after fulfilling a number of roles ended up as Operations Manager in one of the factories. He then moved into IT as European Service Desk manager prior to supporting the outsourcing of the service to a third party after which he was in a variety of global roles. These gave him extensive exposure to contract and vendor management and many opportunities to travel to Europe plus some more exotic locations such as Singapore and India. In May 2020 he retired from Unilever after almost 43 years of service.

His main interest now is centred around the assessment of football referees on most Saturdays, something he is passionate about as an ex referee himself. He also enjoys playing golf, and has also been involved in volunteering for golf events, the highlight being the Solheim Cup in 2019. Gary also decided he wanted to see more of the UK (and possibly Europe) and purchased a VW Campervan to facilitate his travels and new hobby.

Gary sits on the Information Governance and Health and Safety sub committees.