Our Team

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Philip Lea

CHAIR OF TRUSTEES

Philip is a passionate advocate for improving the care, educational opportunities and support available to children with cerebral palsy and their families. He is the father of a daughter with cerebral palsy, and has spent his adult life working to making a positive difference for her and for others. He is a founding trustee of the Rainbow Centre in Fareham, Hampshire, a charity that supports people affected by neurological conditions; former Chairman of Governors of Ingfield Manor School, a special school for students with neurological motor impairment; and founding Trustee of the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity (formerly, the Dame Vera Lynn Trust for Children with Cerebral Palsy), a charity that provides free early intervention for very young children with motor learning impairment. Professionally, Philip has spent the past two decades as a clinical negligence solicitor specialising in cerebral palsy cases. Alongside his professional career, he served for 14 years as a firefighter and crew Commander with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Philip is also an obsessive gardener and woodworker and enjoys rambling (apart from in meetings).

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Anthony McGarel-Groves

TREASURER

Anthony is a chartered accountant who is now semi-retired after a career in international investment management. He is a director of and investor in several businesses and is currently a trustee of several small charities, also formerly the treasurer of The Thalidomide Society. Amongst his other interests, he is the chairman of an international classic car club and involved in local politics.

Action CP’s emphasis on early identification and intervention to assist children to fulfil their potential strikes a resonant chord with Anthony to ensure equal access to all such children regardless of their background or location.

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Katie Gollop QC

TRUSTEE

Katie has specialised in clinical negligence for over 20 years. She is a compelling and hugely experienced trial advocate and powerful negotiator who has represented both families and clinicians across a range of medical legal cases. She brings a wealth of experience of working with families and healthcare professionals to her role of Trustee.

Within her specialism of healthcare law, Katie has a broad practice. She is a highly experienced trial advocate sought after by claimants and defendants and a powerful settler of claims. Well known for her ethical work, many of Katie’s serious medical treatment cases in the Court of Protection attract national news coverage. She represents families and healthcare providers at high profile inquests (In Amenas) and is instructed in public inquiries (Shipman, Hyponatraemia). She defends in professional discipline tribunals. Katie is a quick witted, down to earth, tireless and client focussed advocate who likes to win. The directories have said she is “charming and deadly” as well as “an astonishing talent”.

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Dr. Helen Hunt

TRUSTEE

Helen is a mother to a young son with cerebral palsy; the Chair of Trustees of the Wyvern Academy; a special needs school in Dorset; and a qualified doctor. She also has 14 years of experience in complementary and alternative medicine having trained in shiatsu, yoga therapy and holistic pelvic care in the UK, Paris and the US, and had a private practice specialising in women’s pelvic health, as well as working for 5 years in the substance misuse field. We know Helen as Wilf’s Mum, who helps us to see that little steps ultimately lead to great achievements.

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Prof. Neena Modi

TRUSTEE

Neena Modi is Professor of Neonatal Medicine at Imperial College London. She has clinical duties as Honorary Consultant in Neonatal Medicine at Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust where she contributes to a team providing neonatal services for the tertiary medical and surgical perinatal unit for north-west London.

Neena has a national and international profile as a medical leader, clinical scientist, advocate for child health and wellbeing, and campaigner for the retention of the National Health Service as a primarily publicly funded, publicly delivered healthcare system.

She is immediate past-president of the UK Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (2015-18). Her contributions in this role included national reports on children’s biomedical research and child health in the UK, and campaigning in relation to UK health services, environmental issues and child refugees. She led the establishment of a Child Health Research Collaboration and Children’s Research Fellowship Fund and serves currently on a number of research committees and health service working groups.

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Duncan Walsh

TRUSTEE

Duncan is an IT specialist who worked for 13 years in special education before setting up as an independent consultant. He was a member of two separate National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guideline committees on cerebral palsy. He is also a keen skier, and lives with cerebral palsy.

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Amanda Richardson MBE CF

FOUNDER & CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Amanda Richardson has over thirty years’ experience of working with children with special educational needs in both mainstream and special school settings. She joined PACE, a charity and specialist centre for children with motor disorders such as cerebral palsy and their families, in 1995 initially working directly with the children as a teacher. Amanda became Head Teacher of PACE in 2002 and Chief Executive in 2012.

As a Founder and Chief Executive of Action Cerebral Palsy, Amanda played a key role in the Parliamentary Inquiry on Cerebral Palsy resulting in January 2015 in the report “Enabling Potential – Achieving a New Deal for Children with Cerebral Palsy”.

Amanda was awarded an MBE for services to Special Educational Needs and Disability in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, 2017 and is a Churchill Fellow, having carried out research in Australia in 2018 on best practice early intervention for children with cerebral palsy.

She is passionate about improving outcomes for children and young people with cerebral palsy and providing support for their families through the promotion of best practice and policy reform. 

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Pilar Cloud

PROJECT LEAD

Pilar has recently joined our team to help us to champion earlier detection which ultimately will lead to earlier diagnosis and intervention and improve the outcomes for children with cerebral palsy and their families. Key to this are our efforts to raise more awareness of the signs of cerebral palsy in very young children with more parents, grandparents, GPs, health practitioners and early years educators so that these vital early signposters can encourage parents to seek help from their GP or health visitor. This public awareness campaign is part of a much broader initiative aimed at making certain children and their families get the help, care and support that they need at every stage of their journey. Through the many parents she met in her role as Executive Manager of the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity, Pilar is aware of how happenstance this journey can be for many families. She has also seen the profound and positive impact that compassionate and consistent care can have on the child and their family. During her tenure at the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity, a free early intervention service for very young children with any form of motor learning impairment, Pilar oversaw a number of significant changes which have enabled the Charity to continue to thrive for the foreseeable future. Pilar also has over 20 years of experience running EdTech businesses in the UK and is looking forward to helping Action Cerebral Palsy to have an even greater positive impact on the lives of so many families with children with cerebral palsy.

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Paul Maynard MP

PATRON, BLACKPOOL NORTH & CLEVELEYS MP

“If it weren’t for the intensive physio and speech & language therapy I received as a very young child, who knows where I’d be today. I certainly don’t believe I would have made it to Parliament. I’m backing Action Cerebral Palsy as we know from experience that children with cerebral palsy who have the right support at the right time do far better in life. And that’s not just good for them, it’s good for their families, their communities and our whole society.

I’m living proof that people with cerebral palsy can achieve their dreams and I believe that, as a society, we should have much higher aspirations for children with cerebral palsy.”