mEET OUR TRUSTEES
Gavin Grant - Chair of Trustees since 2014
A Wiltshire Councillor for Malmesbury and a Town Councillor, he has lived with his family in Malmesbury since 2004. He retired as CEO of the RSPCA in February 2014. He was UK Chairman of global public relations consultancy Burson-Marsteller, joining in in 1999 from The Body Shop International where he was global head of communications and public affairs, working with company founders Anita and Gordon Roddick. Gavin is a Trustee of the Friends of the Westonbirt Arboretum, chairs Wiltshire Council's Area Board Local Youth Network and is a Director of the Malmesbury Town Team.
Richard Dodridge - Joined HEALS as a trustee in 2015
Richard has lived in Malmesbury since 2004. Following a career in aircraft engineering, Richard retired from the RAF in 1992, then joining the Ministry of Defence, working in training and development, validation, quality assurance and auditing. He helped people with disabilities integrate into the MoD workforce. Until he retired in 2011, Richard was Regional Resettlement Advisor for the South West, helping officers leaving the armed services to re-enter civilian life and employment. More recently, he was Project Manager setting up the Malmesbury & District Foodbank.
Liz Cook - Volunteering for HEALS since 2016 & became a trustee in 2019
Liz has organised many events for Heals over the years, including the Christmas Community Lunch and the Summer Programme for young people and likes a nice spreadsheet! She has a professional PR background and until April 2023 worked for Wiltshire Police in the Communications & Engagement Team. She held senior PR roles at the Environment Agency, G4S, London Fire Brigade and RSPCA. Liz and Gavin moved to Malmesbury in 2004 and loves living in this vibrant community and giving a helping hand to families and individuals in our town.
Karen Franklin - Became a trustee in 2019
Karen moved to the Malmesbury area 28 years ago and since then has enjoyed running the family farm with her husband Richard and raising a family.
She also runs a property management company with her sister. Once her children had grown up she found that she had extra time on her hands and joined Heals as a volunteer 3 years ago, becoming a Trustee in 2019.
Her hobbies are sewing, yoga and walking Britain’s National Trails.
Paul Overton - Joined as a trustee in 2020
Paul retired in 2017 from a career in education as head teacher of four primary schools, as well as head of a Special School for students on the severe end of the autistic spectrum. He became an Ofsted Inspector and an assessor and trainer for the National Professional Qualification for Headship programme. He was also an inspector and senior advisor for three Local Authorities. Paul has lived in Malmesbury since 2011 and in 2018 became co-chair of the new Malmesbury Carnival Committee. His hobbies include walking Millie the cocker spaniel and writing.
Janet Snedden - Joined HEALS as a trustee in 2020
A specialist in data, digital and direct marketing, Janet has been a champion for insight-driven decisioning and effective customer engagement throughout her career, culminating in several outstanding industry contribution awards, including one in the fundraising sector. Named in the UK’s Twenty leading Women in Data & Technology and the Data IQ 100 in 2019, Janet runs her independent marketing consultancy from home at Malmesbury, where she has lived with her family since 1992. A former chair of the Friends of Malmesbury School (PTA) and the Malmesbury branch of the NCT, Janet has been committed to helping the community thrive in the town she loves for over 25 years. She joins HEALS at a vital time, compelled to scale services and establish sustainable funding sources.
Brian Leitch - Joined HEALS as a trustee in 2023
Brian grew up in Chippenham but married into a Malmesbury family and has children at a local school, where he is a governor. He attends the Abbey and is involved with the youth work there. He became involved with HEALS through the meals delivery during COVID and has been on the fundraising committee since 2021. He spent most of his early career in the charity sector, mostly working overseas in either a project or operations development function, including on tsunami relief in Sri Lanka, child protection with Burmese migrants in Thailand, and domestic violence prevention in India. He now works in the NHS, leading on diabetes and cardiovascular disease across Bath, Swindon and Wiltshire
Laila Valentine - Joined HEALS as Treasurer in 2023
Laila spent her early life in Denmark, Australia and New Zealand, moving to the UK in June 2002 with her husband and two children, settling in the Malmesbury area. She worked as a bookkeeper and assistant accountant for several companies in Australia and New Zealand. In the UK she
found employment in the finance department of a local domiciliary care company and was there for 13 years, qualifying as an accounting technician.
She has been involved with various school committees and community groups on a voluntary basis over the years in a number of roles, including secretary, treasurer and chair.
Laila became involved in HEALS’ work, including delivering food during Covid, and joining the community fridge volunteer team. Then in February 2023 she took over as Treasurer and became a Trustee. In her spare time, she enjoys cycling, walking, wild swimming and reading.