Our President and Vice Presidents
Sir Gerald Acher CBE, LVO
Sir Gerald Acher was educated in Wimbledon, became an articled clerk with Bird, Potter & Co in 1961 and has since had a long and successful career in accounting. He was a senior partner at KPMG from 1998 to 2001. He is presently non-executive director of the Camelot Group, a vice-Chairman of Motability as well as President of Young Epilepsy.
He is married with two sons and lives in Cobham. His interests include mountain walking, classics, vintage cars, gardening, opera and music.
Life Vice Presidents
Sir Bryan Nicholson GBE
Sir Bryan started his career as Director of Sperry Rand in Australia, before moving to the same position in the UK. Throughout his varied career, he has served in many positions, including Director of Rank Xerox Ltd (1977-87), the Post Office (1987-92) – were he also served as Chief Executive, and BUPA (1992-2001). He has also been a member of the Financial Reporting Council, non-executive director of the Evode Group plc, Baker Perkins Holdings plc, GKN plc and Equitas Holdings Ltd as well as chairman of the Nationalised Industries Chairmen's Group, CNAA, National Council for Vocational Qualifications and the Industrial Society. He was Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University from 1992-2001, and President of Young Epilepsy from 2005-11.
He lives in London and Surrey with his wife, Lady Nicholson.
Lord Howe CH, PC, QC
The Rt. Hon. the Lord Howe of Aberavon was called to the Bar in 1952 and became the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Aberavon in 1955. He served as a member General Council of the Bar and the Council of Justice, while serving as the Conservative MP for Bebington, Reigate and Surrey East. In terms of his parliamentary career, between 1965 and 1990 he held the positions of: opposition front bench spokesman on labour and social services; Solicitor-General; Minister for Trade and Consumer Affairs; opposition front bench spokesman on social services and on Treasury and economic affairs; Chancellor of the Exchequer and Lord Commander of the Treasury; chairman of the IMF Policy-Making Interim Committee; Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Leader of the Commons and Lord President of the Council, and Deputy Prime Minister. Among a vast and varied career, he was also President of Which? (1992-2010) and the Academy of Experts (1996-2005); Visiting Fellow at the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1991-92) and is an Honorary Fellow at Trinity Hall. He was previously President of Young Epilepsy before handing over to Sir Bryan in 2005.
He is married to Baroness Howe and they have 3 children.
Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. David Cameron, was born in London in 1966 and grew up in Berkshire. He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford and gained a first class degree before joining the Conservative Research Department. He became Special Adviser to Norman Lamont, then Michael Howard before becoming Director for Corporate Affairs at Carlton Communications. He was elected as the member of Parliament for Witney in 2001, became leader of the Conservative Party in 2005 and Prime Minister in 2010.
In 2008 he took part in the Great Brook charity run to raise money for the Chadlington School in Oxfordshire.
He is married to Samantha Cameron and they have had four children – Ivan, Nancy, Elwen and Florence. Ivan, the eldest, was born with cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy (Ohtahara Syndrome) and passed away in 2009.
Sir Cyril Chantler
Sir Cyril Chantler is Chairman of The Kings Fund and of University College London Partners. He is Chairman of the Beit Memorial Fellowships Board. He is a trustee of the Dunhill Medical Trust, a member of the Council of Southwark Cathedral and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Medical Association. He is an adviser to the Associate Parliamentary Health Group and a trustee of the Media Standards Trust, a non-executive director of a fostering agency “By the Bridge”, as well as being a member of the public sector advisory panel of Doctors.net.uk.
Cyril Chantler was Dean of Guy’s, King’s College and St Thomas’ Hospitals’ Medical and Dental School, where he was the Children Nationwide Medical Research Fund Professor of Paediatric Nephrology until his retirement in 2000. He was a consultant to Guy’s Hospital (1972 – 2000). Previously, he was Principal of the United Medical and Dental School of Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospitals (1992 – 1998) and General Manager of Guy’s Hospital (1985-1988). He was Chairman of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (2001 to 2008) and of the Clinical Advisory Group for NHS London 2007/2008.
In addition, he served as a member of the NHS Policy Board (1989-1996), President of the British Association of Medical Managers (1991-1997), and as Chairman of the Council of Heads of UK Medical Schools and Faculties (1998 – 1999). He was also a Member of the General Medical Council (1994 – 2003), where he was Chairman of the Standards Committee. He served for some years as an adviser to the Hospital Authority of Hong Kong and co-chaired the SARS expert advisory enquiry in 2003.
Sam Gyimah MP
Sam Gyimah was elected as the Member of Parliament for East Surrey in May 2010. He is a member of the International Development Select Committee and sits on the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission.
Sam's interests include the economy, education, planning and the local environment as well as International Development issues.
Sandra Howard (nee Paul) was one of the leading fashion models of the 1960s, appearing on the cover of American Vogue two months running. She worked as a freelance journalist alongside modelling, before turning to novel writing. She continues to write regularly for the press and speak at various events, most of them literary.
Her three books, Glass Houses, Ursula’s Story and A Matter of Loyalty are available in paperback and she is busy on a fourth with the working title of On the Edge.
As well as being an active Vice President for Young Epilepsy, Sandra Howard is also a trustee of Addaction, a charity which helps people to fight drug and alcohol addiction.
She has three adult children: Sholto, Nick and Larissa, and is married to the former British Conservative Party Leader Michael Howard. They live in London and Kent.
Nicholas Owen was born in 1946. He started his journalistic career on the Sunday Mirror before moving to Fleet Street in 1968. He switched to television in 1981, and is now one of the most recognisable faces on the news, having been one of the main presenters for both ITV and the BBC.
He lives in Surrey with his wife, Brenda. They have four children between them. He has a passion for railways and provides the voiceover for the Tramlink to Croydon.
He is an Honorary Patron of Kidney Cancer UK, having battled the disease in 2002. As well as supporting Young Epilepsy, he is also a patron of Hope for Children and a celebrity supporter of the British Red Cross.
Sir Richard Stilgoe
Richard Stilgoe, OBE, is a songwriter, lyricist and musician. He was born in Surrey in 1943 and attended Clare College, Cambridge, where he was a member of the Cambridge University Footlights.
He is well-known as a comic musician and for his love of wordplay. He has appeared on the quiz show Countdown over two hundred times and has two Tony nominations, three Monte Carlo Prizes, a Prix Italia, an honorary doctorate and an OBE to his name. He collaborated on the lyrics to The Phantom of the Opera and wrote those to Starlight Express. He donated all his royalties from Starlight Express to a village in India – such was the musical’s success that for some years the donations exceeded £500 a day. He founded the Orpheus Trust in 1998, based in a previous family home in Godstone, Surrey, offering performing arts experience to young people with various disabilities, as well as the Stilgoe Family Concerts series at the Royal Festival Hall, which feature young performers and regular commissions of new music.
He was High Sheriff of Surrey in 1998-99 and is currently President of Surrey County Cricket Club.
He is married to Annabel Stilgoe, a Trustee of the Alchemy Trust (which donated £2k to Young Epilepsy in 2009 towards the National Schools Programme), and together they are also patrons of the Foundation for Paediatric Osteopathy.
Opera and concert singer Jean Rigby is a keen supporter of Young Epilepsy, her son Oliver attends Young Epilepsy’s St Pier’s College located on the campus. She has combined being a mother of three boys and a successful career as a talented mezzo soprano.
She was heavily involved with our 2012 Glyndebourne event by organising and performing on the day. The whole event raised an incredible £100,000 for the charity.
Nicole Ronson Allalouf
Nicole Ronson Allalouf is the Managing Director and Founder of Nicron Productions Ltd., and international consultancy specialising in entertainment strategy, special effects and special feature design for the leisure and property industry.
Apart form being Vice President of Young Epilepsy, Nicole is involved in several other medical and welfare charities and also sits on the Advisory Board for ‘Bringing Research to Life’ for Great Ormond Street Hospital. She was instrumental in the funding of the new Cupcake Brain Telemetry Suite in the new Neuroscience floor at GOSH.
Nicole graduated from Bristol University and Brown University in America and is married with 3 children. Her involvement with Young Epilepsy stems from the fact that her eldest daughter was born with a brain tumour and suffers with daily seizures.
Andrew Wates was formerly Chairman of Wates Family Holdings, the ownership forum that oversees all Wates family interests, but still remains an owner/shareholder. Until April 2006, he was Chairman of Wates Group Limited, having originally joined the company in 1964. Founded in 1897, Wates Group is one of the largest privately-owned construction and development companies in the UK with 2,000 employees and an annual turnover of c.£1billion.
Currently, Andrew is Vice-Chairman of FBN International, but has also held the role of Chairman of the Institute for Family Business until December 2010. He is also Chairman of Gambado Ltd, Chairman of the Grants Committee of the Wates Family Enterprise Trust and is on the Board of Myriad Energy Solutions. In addition to this, Andrew is extensively involved in a number of Surrey-based charities, including being Vice President of Young Epilepsy and St. Catherine’s Hospice.