The members of the executive team are:
David Ford - Chief Executive
David Ford obtained a degree in Psychology at the University of Hull in 1975. He undertook social work training at the University of Swansea (1977), obtained an MSc (Econ) in Methods and Applications of Social Research from the University of Cardiff (1986) and an MBA from the University of Leicester (2006).
David worked initially as a Social Worker for Mid Glamorgan County Council becoming Principal Officer for people with learning disabilities as part of the All Wales Strategy for People with Mental Handicap in 1983.
He moved to the voluntary sector in 1988 as Regional Director East for Sense, the National Deafblind and Rubella Association; then as Regional Director South for Leonard Cheshire; then Director of Services for Shelter. Since January 2007 he has held the role of Chief Executive of Young Epilepsy.
Andy Bruen – Director of Resources
Having completed his degree in Physical Education at Brunel University in 1983, Andy started life as a fitness instructor at a small health club in Chiswick. Andy became a partner in the business and over the next 27 years was a senior member of the management team that developed the company to become the leading provider of health and wellbeing services to major corporations in the UK. In 2005 the business joined together with Nuffield Health and Andy stayed on for four years as Managing Director of the Corporate Wellbeing and the Community Fitness Divisions. Andy was part of the management team at Nuffield that acquired the Cannons Health Club chain with its subsequent rebranding and re-engineering of its services.
In 2010 he left Nuffield Health to take a full time MBA with the ambition of entering into the charitable sector. Having successfully completed his MBA (2011) he became a Trustee at SHAW Trust and also delivered a project for The Children’s Trust to establish the strategy for the provision of support to parents of children who have acquired brain injuries across the UK. Since June 2012 he has been Director of Resources at Young Epilepsy.
John Cowman - Director of Health
John Cowman joined Young Epilepsy in June 2011 as the new Director of Health Services.
Originally from Dublin, John trained as a physiotherapist at the University of Dublin, Trinity College. He has held several clinical posts in the areas of paediatrics, neurology and musculoskeletal. In 1998 he became the lead research physiotherapist for Gulf War Syndrome with King’s College Hospitals Trust and the Ministry of Defence and became an expert in the measurement of muscle strength. He then went back to clinical physiotherapy within the NHS leading to management roles and his previous role as Director at NHS Havering in North East London where he specialised in Business Development and Performance. He has spent time at Oxford University examining how the charitable sector can add value to the delivery of healthcare.
Lisa Farmer - Director of Fundraising
Lisa has over 15 years experience in Fundraising, starting her career with British Waterways, raising funds for the regeneration of Birmingham Gas Street Basin, Leeds Waterfront and the Commonwealth Games site.
Lisa then moved onto Loughborough University as Sport Fundraiser and raised £40 million for state-of–the-art sport facilities for the UK’s leading sporting talent. Most notably Lisa secured donations of over £1 million from the Wolfson Foundation and the Peter Harrison Foundation and secured £500k from the Alan and Elenora Ferguson Trust to complete the funding required for the ECB National Cricket Academy. Lisa also wrote Loughborough’s successful Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its contribution to sport.
Lisa then spent three years at Leicester University Hospitals NHS Trust, heading up a fundraising department raising £3 million a year.
Steve Love - Director of Children's and Young People's services
Steve Love joined Young Epilepsy in February 2012 as Interim Director of Residential Services and was appointed to Director of Children’s and Young People’s Services in June this year.
Steve started his career with the Probation Service and has subsequently worked for over 20 years in Local Authorities. He has held service management posts in children’s services in both the public and private sector. He has worked as a consultant to organisations undergoing major change programmes.
Steve is a qualified Social Worker and has a Masters Degree in Social Services.
Mary O’Dowd - Director of HR
Prior to Young Epilepsy Mary worked at LexisNexis as HR Director UK and previously she worked in technology, broadcast media, e-learning and brand marketing sectors managing teams in the UK, EMEA,and the US, at Director level. She spent several years in human resources specialising in cultural and transformation programmes, employee relations, mergers and acquisitions and talent management. Mary has a degree in Business Studies from the University of Limerick and has studied psychology and continual professional development at Cranfield School of Management.
Currently Mary is responsible for the development and implementation of the People Strategy for Young Epilepsy and, in addition, the delivery of HR services; including recruitment through to payroll and learning and development. She also manages the team of HR Business Partners who support the various directorates of the organisation.
Chris Trotter - Finance Director
Chris graduated from Essex University in 1986 and until 1990 worked for Pannel Kerr Forster where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant.
He became Finance Director of an adult disability services charity (Hospitaller Order of St John of God) in 1990, completing his Masters in Finance and Accounting in 1998. In 2000 he moved to his current role at the Young Epilepsy.
Whilst serving on the National Association of Specialist Colleges (NATSPEC) Steering Committee, Chris led on the review of the LSC funding system and has also implemented the current school fees model for Young Epilepsy.
Priority areas at present are financial strategy, capital/cash-flow modelling, pensions and risk management.
Joshua Coleman - Director of National Services
Joshua Coleman joined Young Epilepsy in 2011, since graduating in 1992 he has undertaken a broad range of roles across the creative, education and voluntary sectors including; prison education, special schools and colleges, general further education and residential care. Josh has significant senior management experience across the education and voluntary sectors including leading several high profile national programmes such as the implementation of the Foundation Learning programme. Through the diverse range of roles Josh has held, he has developed specialist knowledge and substantial experience consulting and managing, organisation transformation and operation management, curriculum design, quality assurance and improvement, management information systems (MIS) and capital bids. Joshua’s focus within the organisation is to help to facilitate and develop an innovative, flexible national service that meets the needs of young people and families affected by epilepsy.