Forum Central is delivered in partnership by two organisations: Volition and Leeds Older People’s Forum (both Registered Charities).

There are three Boards of Trustees which meet regularly to ensure the smooth running of the organisations and partnership:

  • Forums Partnership Board – currently meets quarterly
  • Leeds Older People’s Forum Board
  • Volition Board – currently meets monthly

Details of who is a Trustee on each of the boards is below.

Forums Partnership Board

The Forums Partnership Board comprises of trustees, including the chairs, from each of the trustee boards of Volition and Leeds Older People’s Forum, which in partnership form Forum Central. The role of Chairperson at the Forum Partnership meeting alternates, with each of the boards taking it in turn.

Roger HaringtonLeeds Older People's ForumChair
Tricia GradysLeeds Older People's Forum
Neil FranklinVolition
Ruth KettleInspire North
Zoe BawnAspire Community Benefit Society

Leeds Older People’s Forum

Leeds Older People’s Forum is made up of older people and managers, chief executives and project workers from some of the forum’s member organisations – all of which work with older people.

Roger Harington*IndividualChair
John O'DwyerCaring Together in Woodhouse & Little LondonVice Chair
Bill Rollinson M.B.E.*IndividualActing Treasurer
Carole Gosden*Individual
Bronwen Holden*Leeds Hospital Alert
Margaret Bell*Individual
Cath Mahoney*Individual
Ruth CornelissenCare & Repair Leeds
Tricia Gradys*Individual
Corrina LawrenceFeel Good Factor Leeds
John Welham*Individual
Satwant Rait*Individual
Gabrielle HamiltonLeeds Museums & Galleries
Rachel KoivunenPeople in Action
Susan Chesters*Relatives and Residents Association
Susan Phillips*Individual
David Smith*Individual
Cllr. Fiona VennerLeeds City CoucilRepresentative from Leeds City Council (observer)
Julia BadonSwarthmore
* Older person

A minimum of 75% of the charity trustees must be older people (an older person is defined by Leeds Older People’s Forum as a person aged 60 years of age and over).


The Volition Board of Trustees is the governing body providing leadership and direction for the organisation. The Board is drawn from Volition member organisations, all of which are third sector and offer services to people with learning disabilities, physical and sensory impairments or mental health problems.

Mark Law - Chair
Ruth Kettle
Ruth Kettle

Ruth became a Trustee in 2015, having worked in the field of mental health in Leeds since 2003. Working for a Leeds based mental health charity, Ruth was aware of and went to many events run by Volition, and it felt natural to join the board to ensure that it sings the praises of and highlights the impact the third sector has in supporting clients.

Ruth is passionate about the third sector and hasn’t worked in any other sector since beginning her career in the 80’s! She believes we can and do make an enormous contribution and difference, reaching clients and communities in a way that can be quite different to many other services.

Her key priorities are to influence service provision and system change on behalf of the third sector of Leeds, to ensure we are part of a true partnership and can hopefully accelerate change and be part of the solution for the challenges clients face, and that we face as a system and as service providers.

Ruth is pretty busy with a full-time job running a large mental health, homeless and domestic abuse charity across the North of England, and being a single parent to her two school age children. So any spare time she has is spent doing exercise, running, swimming and cycling. She loves parkrun and pre-covid had clocked up over 100 runs, taking her young son along who is so quick as has to run with her faster, fitter friends! Ruth has also taken part in the Leeds triathlon every year since it began in 2016, even swimming in Roundhay Lake. She’s also ended up being the safeguarding and inclusion officer for her local cycling club (which makes her chuckle as she thinks she’s the slowest cyclist in the club!).

Ruth doesn’t have a favourite place but feels lucky that we have lovely parks and open space in Leeds where she enjoys getting out in the fresh air. She also likes live music and comedy so is pleased Leeds now has a great venue in Leeds Arena.

Arfan Hanif
Arfan Hanif

Arfan is CEO of Touchstone. Arfan’s knowledge and experience of mental health comes from lived experience of using mental health services. Arfan has extensive senior management experience covering over a 25 year period of working in the public and private sectors in different areas of the UK. He is passionate about inclusion and putting the needs of service users always first.

Adrian Curtis
Adrian Curtis

Adrian was new to the Volition Board in 2020 but has been involved as a Trustee on other Boards, including Voluntary Action Leeds for almost 20 years. Adrian works for Groundwork, the leading Environmental and Social Regeneration Charity in the UK. The organisation has long identified that the environment has a critical role to play in people’s health and wellbeing – something that Covid-19 has really brought home to many.

Adrian aims to use his experience of the positive impact that the environment can play to support the role Volition plays in influencing decision making with health partners. Adrian is passionate that fuel and food poverty have an insidious impact through society in Leeds and we should do all we can to not only mitigate it but find permanent solutions. Allied to this is the relative accessibility of green space for those struggling with day to day challenges, and this is something that can be changed as part of the changes that are already planned. In his role as a Trustee of Volition, Adrian is keen to build an understanding of the great work Volition does, and to help Volition and its fellow infrastructure partners work more closely together.

Outside of work, Adrian enjoys spending time in the garden, travelling with his family, and cycling. His favourite place in Leeds is the Dark Arches/Granary Wharf, where canal towpaths lead in and out of Leeds and under the train station.

Carol Hill
Carol Hill

After a career in finance, Carol took up the role of Director at Catholic Care in 2012. Instead of dealing in numbers she now works with real people, the issues that matter to them and how barriers can be dismantled so that they can achieve the very best life has to offer. Carol enjoys a challenge and this change in career has certainly provided that, but she has never looked back and wouldn’t swap it for anything.

Carol has been a Trustee of Volition since 2014. She became involved as she believes no one should be left behind by society because they don’t confirm to a perceived norm. To support organisations who in turn support those with poor mental health, visual impairments or a learning, so called, disability seemed a good way for Carol to give something to these people.

Carol is most passionate about services across the city achieving equality in health regardless of postcode. Her priorities as Trustee of Volition are to ensure recognition for the valuable work of the third sector, and supporting smaller organisations working within their communities at grassroots level.

Outside of work, extended family are Carol’s priority, and she also enjoys gardening and walking. A certain pub in Headingley is her favourite place in Leeds as it’s where she met her husband!

James Hill
James Hill

James is the Director of Pyramid, an arts organisation that has been supporting people with learning disabilities to discover the arts and to develop as artists, for over 30 years. James was a Trustee of Tenfold for three years before the organisations merged in 2020. He believes that many of the barriers and issues faced by people with learning disabilities arise out of different organisations not working as well together as they could, so the partnership working involved with Volition seems incredibly important to him.

James’ key priorities as a Trustee are to learn more about the other groups of people supported by Volition and to make the most of the opportunity to work across the sector. In terms of Health and Care in Leeds, he is passionate about overcoming the inequality of opportunity too often faced by people with learning disabilities.

In his spare time, James enjoys playing the guitar, writing music, and going walking. His favourite place is a The Cardigan Arms because it’s a beautiful building run by a local business, sells lovely beer, and welcomes kids and dogs.

Oliver Sutton
Oliver Sutton

Oliver is independent and enjoys making his own decisions and making the most of his free time. He became a Trustee in 2019 because he wants to speak up for people who have learning disabilities and get their voices heard. His key priorities are to make good suggestions at suitable times, and listen to and take opinions and ideas of others onboard.

Oliver is passionate about the services out there for people with learning disabilities. He likes being in supporting living and having a care team.

Oliver likes going to see his Gran who lives in Ilkley when he can. He also enjoys DJing and walking and has done a few 10k walks for charity in the past as well as walking some of the Leeds to Liverpool canal route. He also plays rugby and is a huge Leeds Rhinos fan.

His favourite place in Leeds is Harewood, because he used to go there as a child with his mum, and it’s a nice place to be.

Pam Bhupal
Pam Bhupal

Pam works for the West Yorkshire ICS and Calderdale council. She is one of few ensuring the voice of Local Authority is heard and involved in the partnership. She also provides support to Health and Wellbeing Board Chairs and Leaders of WY councils. Also leading on the BAME Covid19 action plan for Calderdale and the Cochair of Calderdale councils BAME network. Pam has 13 years’ experience of working in local authorities and tackling health inequalities.

Leeds is a great place to live learn and play but there are still many inequalities. the pandemic has further highlighted those. The VCS sector does and can achieve things for its place. Pam will assist in elevating that voice and purpose of VCS to the regional and local place leaders to ultimately create better outcomes for the people of Leeds. Pam would particularly like to raise concerns for those from BAME backgrounds who are often less represented in these forums.

Pam also is the co-health lead at Sikh Alliance Yorkshire raising awareness on a variety of issues to the Sikh Community. She also is a trustee at Northern Broadsides theatre company, which provides an opportunity to connect health and wellbeing to arts and culture. Leeds born and bred and thoroughly enjoy all that Leeds has to offer like, the great outdoors, shopping and places to socialise.

Zoe Bawn
Zoe Bawn

Zoe is Chief Executive of Aspire Community Benefit Society. Aspire is a staff-owned, not-for-profit, social enterprise who provide care and support services to adults with a learning disability across Leeds.

She previously worked for 15 years with United Response, a national charity supporting young people and adults with learning disabilities, autism and mental health needs, as Head of Business Performance and Development

Zoe has always chosen to work in not for profit, charitable or public sector environments. She was Director of Business Development at Yorkshire Culture which supported charities and third sector organisations with grants and infrastructure support. Here she achieved a successful legal incorporation of eight companies from non-statutory government departments to separate arm’s length companies.

Zoe has also worked as a Project Manager for the Arts Council supporting secondary schools in South Yorkshire to develop creative partnerships with local artists and community organisations. She was a Trustee of Dark Horse Theatre in Huddersfield for a number of years, who are a theatre company offering accredited actors training for people with learning disabilities. Zoe became a Trustee of Tenfold in 2018 and is currently a member of the Forum Central Partnership Board. Outside work she is a mum of two daughters and an avid fan of weight lifting and tries to run but sometimes but feels this is work in progress!

Neil Franklin
Neil Franklin

Neil is 74 years of age, born and bred in Leeds where he’s always lived. Neil attended Roundhay School and studied law at Liverpool University.

Neil practiced law as a solicitor in private practice from 1975 until 1979 when he joined the office of the West Yorks County Prosecuting Solicitor. Neil joined CPS on its inception in 1986 and became Chief Crown Prosecutor for West Yorkshire in 1999, retiring from the service in 2011 when he was Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Yorkshire Region.

From 2007 Neil was a NED on the Board of the Leeds PCT until it ceased to exist and appointed Chair of the Leeds Community Healthcare Trust in May 2012, retiring in May 2020.

Neil became a Trustee for Donisthorpe Elderly Care Home in April 2020 and Chair in April 2021, a position which he currently occupies though, given that the Care Home is in Administration, shall cease to do so in early 2023.

Neil is married and has two sons and three grandchildren. He is a keen walker, reads a lot, watches a lot of football and cricket and cares greatly for his city and its people.

Nicky Lines
Nicky Lines

Nicky Lines is an Autism and Learning Disability Digital Inclusion Coordinator (ALaDDIC.)  She works for Pyramid of Arts and is matrix managed by the 100% Digital Team who are part of Leeds City Council. 

Nicky works closely with organisations throughout Leeds who support autistic people and people with learning disabilities.  She works with the organisations to ensure that they have the resources, training and knowledge in place to help their members to get online in a way that is useful and helpful for them.  This work is important as having basic digital skills and equipment allows people to access a huge number of essential services and to participate fully in society.  Assistive technologies can also be life changing for people who have additional needs as it can give them much greater levels of independence. 

Nicky has worked on lots of projects, including work around improving health outcomes, managing money and helping people to access employability opportunities.  She organises a monthly meeting where organisations come together to share resources and information.

If you are interested in working with Nicky or hearing more about her team please contact [email protected].

Rob Wilson
Rob Wilson

Rob is the founder and coordinator for the Angels of Freedom, an LGBT+ community safety and support organisation based in Leeds. He has extensive knowledge and experience on community development having previously volunteered with the Leeds City Council LGBT+ Hub and Yorkshire MESMAC, in addition to setting up The Leeds Hunters LGBT+ rugby team and The Bad Mittens LGBT+ badminton group, the latter of which he continues to coordinate.

In his employment at Leeds City Council he’s worked extensively on staff voice and representation through support and development of employee resource groups alongside delivery of EDI projects, and currently focuses on internal communications, staff engagement and wellbeing.

Rob is keen to bring this learning, experience and connections to the board of trustees to support a truly intersectional approach to health and wellbeing in Leeds.

Karl Proud
Steve Hoey
Steve Hoey

Steve is the CEO at Turning Lives Around (TLA). TLA has 150 staff working at a number of schemes in Leeds and Wakefield, housing and supporting 1200+ homeless people a year in a range of settings. TLA works in partnership with Local Authorities and other key partners including GIPSIL, Foundation, Touchstone and Basis Yorkshire. Steve is also the Chair of the Homelessness Prevention Forum in Leeds.

He was the Director at the United Nations ‘World Habitat Award’ winning Canopy Housing (2008 – 2017), where he led an innovative, sustainable and replicable organisation with a strong global reputation in community-led housing. He graduated with a BA degree from Leeds University and has since gained an MBA. His career since 1993 has been in housing and leadership, in positions ranging from volunteer to Founder, from Resettlement Worker to CEO.

Outside of work he enjoys family time, climbing, running and learning.