Our Board

Joan Walley


Joan was brought up and educated in Biddulph before gaining a degree in Social Administration from the University of Hull and a community development diploma from University College Wales, Swansea. She went on to be elected Labour MP for Stoke on Trent North in 1987. She served on the front bench as Shadow Environment and Transport Minister and was elected to chair the Environmental Audit Select Committee of the House of Commons from 2010 up until her retirement in 2015. She is an honorary graduate of Staffordshire University and a member of the Council of Fellows of Keele University. She was commissioned as a Deputy Lieutenant of Staffordshire in 2016.

Speaking to the Beth Johnson Foundation she said “I’m keen to ensure that public health and wellbeing is at the heart of all policy making – especially here in Staffordshire and other areas where the Foundation operates. Cooperation and collaboration are vital including at an intergenerational level. I look forward to supporting the Foundation at this crucial time when the need for an integrated social care policy which takes account of people’s needs to be a part of a local community to overcome loneliness and isolation is such a high priority for our national debate. “

Joan is also a season ticket holder at Port Vale FC 

Professor Ziv Amir


Ziv (PhD, MSc, BSc, Certificate – Health Economics), is Honorary Professor in Cancer Survivorship at the University of Salford (UK). He is a social scientist with a particular interest in the socio-economic aspects of living with and beyond cancer.  Until 2012 he was the Director of the Macmillan Research Unit at the University of Manchester, UK. The research programme, which was funded by Macmillan Cancer Support, aimed at exploring the socio-economic aspects of people disabled by cancer and included both quantitative and qualitative studies.  Professor Amir has led on various studies to identify barriers for the return to work for people disabled by cancer by looking at the role of occupational health clinicians and line managers. He is involved in various national (UK) and European committees/networks dealing with vocational rehabilitation for people affected by cancer. Ziv is the programme leader of a new Post Graduate (on-line) Certificate programme in Cancer Survivorship, School of Health Sciences, Salford University, UK

Mike Cheshire


Mike practised as a Consultant Physician in geriatric and general medicine from 1983 until his retirement in 2011.  From 2009-2013 he was Medical Director for the North West Strategic Health Authority, and Secondary Care Clinician for Central Manchester CCG from 2012-2013.

 From 2007-2010, Mike was Clinical Vice President at the Royal College of Physicians and was clinical leader at The Patient and Family Centred Care (PFCC) Programme The Kings Fund, from 2012-2015.
 He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of General Practitioners and American College of Physicians.

Mike is currently a non-executive director (NED) of Stockport Foundation Trust and been the senior independent director from April 2016.  He chairs the Quality Assurance Committee.

Dr Jane Jervis

Board Member

Jane has over 20 years clinical experience in nursing and is currently Lecturer in Nursing at Keele University. Her research interests include the areas of advanced  clinical practice, resuscitation (including Family Witnessed Resuscitation) end-of-life care, intergenerational family and patient experiences of healthcare, and Participatory Action Research (PAR). She is currently a member of the Keele Palliative and End of Life Care Research Group and UK Participatory Research Network.

Nick Maslen

Board Member

Nick has over 30 years’ experience of working in the third sector with responsibilities including strategy development, culture change, systems and service development and implementation. 
He recently retired as Chief Executive of Age UK South Staffordshire where he established 4 day care centres for older people with dementia and complex needs and developed a range of care navigation services to reduce the number of older people having to attend A & E, be admitted to Acute Care or visit their GP.
Nick has chaired Staffordshire Voice, the forum of Voluntary Sector Chief Officers, been a member of the Age UK Regional Company Executive Board and the Services of Older People Committee.

Paul Riddell

Board Member

Paul is a Principal Consultant at Axis HR Consulting providing guidance for medium to large public and private organisations in the area of social policy development, along with legal advice to ensure that organisations are compliant with current equality legislation and best practice.
He previously worked in various roles for the Commission for Racial Equality before becoming a consultant.
In his role as a Consultant, Paul specialises in conducting equality and diversity audits; policy development and implementation; equality impact assessments; analysing and evaluating data; action planning; and workplace investigations.
He is also an experienced equality and diversity trainer and has developed and delivered general and specialised diversity and equality training courses at all levels within the private and public sector.
Paul is a Trustee and former Chair of Enfield Caribbean Association which provides social and cultural services and activities to the elderly in the London Borough of Enfield.

Hilary Stefanelli

Board Member

Before retiring from the Beth Johnson Foundation in 2023 Hilary had worked in the voluntary sector in North Staffordshire for over 40 years. 

During this time she worked as a Community Artist with Artaction, a Befriending Co-ordinator at North Staffs MIND, as Joint CEO of Asist Advocacy Services and as Operations Manager with Approach Dementia Services.  At BJF Hilary worked on the Cancer Advocacy Project and the Bereavement Friendship Project before her final role as Senior Development Manager.

She has previously been a Trustee with North Staffs User Group and with the Drug and Alcohol support charity Adsis.

Hilary is particularly interested in engaging and involving older community members in BJF’s work and is keen to support staff and volunteers in her role as Trustee.

Siobhan Heafield

Board Member

Siobhan started her nursing career in the Midlands region at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. She has a clinical background in intensive care and undertook intensive care training at University Hospitals Birmingham. She completed her Masters in Health Science whilst working as the Professional Development Sister across the critical care units and held an honorary position at Birmingham University as a Lecturer during 1999 – 2003. Following her work in critical care she moved into risk management and clinical governance.

Siobhan has previously worked at a regional level as the Deputy Regional Nurse at the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority (SHA) and has held a Director of Nursing position at an NHS community trust. Siobhan joined the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA) in 2014 and became NHS Improvement’s Regional Nurse for the Midlands and East in April 2016. When NHS England and NHS Improvement merged in April 2019 to become a single organisation, Siobhan was appointed to the position of Regional Chief Nurse for NHS England Midlands region.

Since retiring from the NHSE Regional Chief Nurse role, Siobhan has represented the Chief Nursing Officer for England team, providing strategic advice to the National Adult Critical Care Programme which is designed to implement the learning from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Siobhan was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours 2021 for her service to nursing and the Covid-19 response.

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