THE dedicated team running one of the North-East’s best-loved charities has been strengthened with a series of impressive key appointments.

Butterwick Hospice Care has brought in Ginny Harrison as its new Director of Finance and Business Services and has also been reinforced with seven new trustees bringing a wealth of experience.

Ginny, who lives in Teesdale, is a former student at Darlington College and qualified as an accountant in 1990. She has filled senior positions in a number of commercial organisations, most recently serving as Group Financial Controller of TTE Technical Training Group in Middlesbrough.

She said: “I feel absolutely privileged to join such a positive and passionate team in a role which enables me to use my extensive skills and knowledge to enhance the business and to be part of such a worthwhile cause.”

Ginny is also an active member of the voluntary sector, working to alleviate loneliness among the elderly by volunteering as a ‘telephone friend’.

The seven new trustees – Professor Mike Bramble, John Armitage, Paul Walker, Lesley Cooke, Colin Pitcher, Ben Hart, and Peter Hinton – come from a wide range of professional disciplines.

Butterwick’s Chair of trustees, Judith Hunter, said: “We are thrilled to announce this series of high-calibre appointments, which underline the continuing confidence that the wider community has in the precious services provided by the Butterwick Hospice. We already had a dedicated and skilled team in place, but we are now better equipped than ever to shape the future of this amazing organisation and lead it into a positive new era.”


Professor Mike Bramble: A retired Consultant Gastroenterologist, having worked at Middlesbrough General Hospital and then the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough since 1982.  Prof. Bramble was Vice-President of the British Society of Gastroenterology and Chairman of the British Society of Gastroenterology Endoscopy Committee 2000-2002. From 2000 -2006, he advised the government on endoscope decontamination in relation to CJD and patient safety. In April 2005, he became the Trust’s Medical Director, retiring in June 2010 and returning to part-time clinical work, mainly at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, until 2018. In 2013 he was appointed to the Board of Sunderland CCG for a four-year period as the designated Secondary Care Doctor.

John Armitage: A Billingham father-of-two, John is a 35-year veteran of the automotive industry, working at senior management and board level. He now runs several businesses, covering management consultancy, specialist sales training, and mind-set education. He is also a semi-professional musician, working the north’s pub and club circuit as a singer, and is also a qualified Motorcycle Training Instructor. John was inspired to join the Butterwick team after losing two close family members to cancer, including his sister, who was cared for in the hospice.

Paul Walker: Teessider Paul also has a background in the motor industry and his wife, Leann, is a children’s nurse at North Tees Hospital. From cleaning cars, he rose through the ranks to run two car dealerships in Darlington, and now works for family business, RMB Automotive. Father-of-two Paul is a Middlesbrough Football Club season ticket-holder and has been an active supporter of local good causes, including raising £12,500 for North Tees Hospital children’s ward by cycling the Coast to Coast route with friends. He said: “The work the Butterwick does is amazing and I am truly honoured to be able to offer my assistance in any way I can. After the recent loss of my father to cancer, the Butterwick is an ideal partnership for me.”

Colin Pitcher: A father-of-two and grandfather-of-four, Colin is retired after spending 45 years in NHS senior management, with posts including Head of HR at South Cleveland Hospital, Director of HR at the Ambulance Service, and Director of Estates. Colin has lived in Long Newton for 36 years with his wife, Olwyne, who is a volunteer for Butterwick. He said: “I have followed the Butterwick story since its inception and have known Mary’s family for many years. I think now is the time to help in any way I can.”

Ben Hart: Principle Consultant working in Service Delivery; specialising in process engineering, automation and digital technologies. Ben, from Norton, said: “I wanted to join the Butterwick Hospice after conversations with both Debbie and Judith; seeing two people so passionate about supporting our local people in their most vulnerable time fills me with hope.”

Lesley Cooke: A mother-of-three and grandmother-of-five, Lesley trained as a diagnostic radiographer at Stockton and Thornaby Hospital before moving to North Tees. Stockton born and bred, she has worked as a radiographer in the NHS and private sector as well as for ICI Billingham. Lesley has been heavily involved in the voluntary sector, starting with the Scouting Association, and the playgroup association. She was a magistrate for 15 years and the lay member for Stockton Safeguarding Children Board. She worked for a number of years for Cleveland Probation Service and retrained as a teacher in the early 1990s. She is now employed by Middleborough Community Learning Service as lead Internal Quality Assurer and coordinator for observations of teaching and learning.

Peter Hinton: Peter is a designer, developer, keen traveller, and proud Teessider. Collaborating closely with forward-thinking companies, Peter is a multidisciplinary producer of industry-leading UX, design, and development solutions with more than a decade’s experience as both a manager and service provider.”