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Our Directors

Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard PhD FRCGP
Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard PhD FRCGPChair
As outgoing Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), Helen has shaped policy and led the strategy of the college to ensure the ‘voice’ of general practice and GPs is understood and represented. Helen will step down from the role in November.

Helen is also a part-time GP partner and a Professor in the Medical School at University of Birmingham (Chair of undergraduate GP Education). Previously, she has held the post of RCGP Honorary Treasurer, the first female to hold this position. Prior to training as a GP, Helen worked in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, experience that shaped her clinical and academic inspirations.

Helen is naturally enthusiastic and dynamic with a sense of humour and plenty of pragmatism.

Jonathan Marron
Jonathan MarronDirector
Jonathan is the Director General of Prevention, Community and Social Care at the Department of Health and Social Care.

Prior to this role, Jonathan has had a range of roles across the Health Service. These have included Director of Strategy at Public Health England, Transition Director at Public Health England, Director of Strategy and Planning at NHS South West Essex PCT, and Policy Director at Monitor.

Jonathan has also held the roles of Director for Primary, Community, Mental Health and 7 Day Services, and System Reform and Commissioning Lead whilst at the Department of Health and Social Care.

Jonathan lives in London with his partner and two children.

The Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE DL
The Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE DLDirector
Tanni is one of the country’s most decorated Para-athletes, having won 16 medals, including 11 golds, at five Paralympic Games between 1988 and 2004, plus six medals at two Para World Championships.

Tanni was appointed an MBE for services to sport in 1993, OBE in 2000, and DBE in 2005. Following her athletics career, she has sat on the boards of numerous bodies, including the National Disability Council and UK Sport, and is Chair of the Women’s Sports and Fitness Foundation Commission on the Future of Women’s Sport and Chair of ukactive.

In 2010, Tanni was created a Life Peer in the House of Lords and sits as a crossbencher. She has also been Chancellor of Northumbria University since July 2015.

James Sanderson
James SandersonDirector
James is the Director of Personalised Care at NHS England and NHS Improvement, leading a range of programmes that are supporting people to have greater choice and control over their health and wellbeing. Under his leadership, personalised care has become integral to the Long Term Plan for the NHS, as one of the five major practical changes identified in the plan.

He joined NHS England in November 2015 and was formerly Chief Executive and Accounting Officer for the Independent Living Fund (ILF). The ILF was an arm’s length body of the DWP and supported disabled people across the whole of the UK to live independent lives through the provision of direct payments, enabling the purchase of personal assistance support.

Prior to joining the ILF in 2002, James had a career in the motor industry, in a number of sales and marketing roles both in corporate and retail environments. James is a performing arts graduate with a background in community theatre.

Phoebe Vela-Hitchcox
Phoebe Vela-HitchcoxDirector
Phoebe is a Party Treasurer for The Conservative Party, with responsibility for fundraising and senior level business engagement. She is also an Advisor for the Yoo Group, an international residential and hotel design company.

Formerly, Phoebe served as a Partner and Group Director of Communications at Bell Pottinger, where she managed the marketing function. Earlier in her career, she worked in the conference and events production industry for over 15 years. She worked for Press Holdings Media Group, The Financial Times and Informa Group Plc as Corporate Affairs and Event Director, producing high-level strategic events spanning developed and emerging markets on five continents in a wide range of focus areas.

Phoebe is a Board Trustee of Chickenshed Theatre, a theatre company transforming the lives of children with disabilities and from disadvantaged backgrounds with a passion in performing arts. She was also a member of the NSPCC’s Rebuilding Childhoods Board.

Jonathan Badyal
Jonathan BadyalDirector
Jonathan has been Head of Communications at Universal Music UK since August 2017. He also sits on the boards of the Roundhouse and the Black Country Living Museum. He is also an associate board member at Julie’s Bicycle and is an Ambassador for the UK Government’s GREAT Campaign. He previously spent five years working in Westminster for former Culture & Digital Economy Minister Rt Hon Ed Vaizey MP, and his successor, Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP.

His passion for music came to the fore during his time working at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. Although knowledgeable and well connected across every facet of British culture, from film to fine art, he became a vocal champion of British music, and especially British urban music.

Jonathan grew up in Wolverhampton and was educated at Heath Park and Wolverhampton Grammar School. He studied Biochemistry at the University of Birmingham before going on to study a Masters in Political Science.

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Our Constitution

At our launch in October 2019, we were set up as a Company Limited by Guarantee (No. 12275770) with an initial team of six directors and the five key aims shown on this website. The aim now is to define our future work.

The next phase of the Academy development (between November 2019 and March 2020) will be to seek charitable status and recruit additional board members. Recruitment will seek representation from a number of sectors, including the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.

It is important that the Academy is an independent, not-for-profit, charitable organisation, which is representative of all partners involved in social prescribing, providing a strong voice for the movement.

Moving forwards, we will work closely with stakeholders across sectors at local, regional and national level to co-produce the Academy work plan. This will build on the work to co-produce the format and purpose of the academy over the past year, which has included people with lived experience, VCSE organisations, social prescribing link workers, government departments, ALBs, arts, sports and nature-based organisations, and local government.

We plan to launch our full programme of work in the new year and look forward to working with partners across the country. We want to thank all those who have supported our journey so far and share our mission to develop and advance social prescribing.