Trustee Board

We are governed by our Board of Trustees. The board is ultimately responsible for our management and conduct as a charity. The board sets the strategic direction that enables us to work towards achieving our vision.

Janet Dillaway – Chair of Trustee Board

Janet Dillaway is an independent social care and health consultant with over 35 years experience in the fields of adult and children’s social services. Qualified in social work, she holds a post graduate diploma in applied social studies, and is a Master of Business Administration of the University of Birmingham. Her management and leadership experience is drawn from a wide range of strategic and operational responsibilities, holding senior roles in local government for over 20 years.

She has worked extensively with the third sector, and believes passionately in people being supported to care in the way that they want to. As a carer herself, Janet understands how difficult, time consuming and draining it can be to get the care needed and for it to work well. Janet hopes to put her experience and skills to good use for Suffolk Family Carers and is delighted to join the board of such a well regarded and successful organisation.

Janet has lived in Suffolk for almost 20 years with her partner; has two grown up children who have left and then returned to East Anglia and is involved in her local community in a variety of ways. Currently she’s trying to learn the mysteries of golf, as well as table tennis and enjoys her membership of various choirs.

Dennis Weston

Dennis worked for Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance for 38 years. Originally from Leicester, Dennis moved to Birmingham and back to Leicester before moving his family to Ipswich in 1990 to become the Manager of the Buttermarket Branch. He is a ‘Chartered Insurer’ and became President of the Insurance Institute of Ipswich, Suffolk and North Essex in 1994. Although he and his family continued to live locally, the rest of his career was spent working in the City of London where he was involved in marketing and strategy, distribution and project management.

Having retired, he is keen to give something back by making a positive contribution to the welfare of others. Having experience in caring for elderly parents, Dennis believes that “most carers have their role thrust upon them by circumstances and make heroic personal sacrifices in order to care for their loved ones. They deserve every help possible and I cannot think of a more worthy cause to support”.

Dennis lives with his wife in Claydon. He has two sons, each with their own families and is very proud of his five grandchildren. His hobbies include outdoor pursuits such as walking, bird watching, and watching all sports. He also attends art classes and enjoys painting. He also helps to run the Felixstowe and surrounding villages carers group which meet on the second Monday of each month.

Don McElhinney

Don was a general practitioner in Ipswich for 30 years and trained at Cambridge and Kings College London. He was involved throughout his career in trying to improve NHS services as a GP representative on the Suffolk Area Health Authority, as Chair of Ipswich Primary Care Group (PCG), and as the Chair of the professional executive committees of Ipswich Primary Care Trust (PCT) and East Suffolk PCT. Lately he was on the board of the local GP consortium, IPSCOM.

He is a trustee of East Anglia Hospice, Healthy Ambitions Suffolk and is Suffolk GP Macmillan facilitator.

He has a family of 4 and 2 grandchildren, and in his spare time tries to play golf!

Susan Brooks

Susan is an experienced senior marketing professional having spent over 30 years working in London for a variety of FTSE 100 companies including, Centrica, The Automobile Association, ITV plc and latterly as a Marketing Director with RSA Insurance Group.

After leaving the corporate world 3 years ago, she moved to Suffolk. Having been a carer for her mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimers, she wants to use her marketing knowledge to help support the work of Suffolk Family Carers.

Susan lives in Kettleburgh with her husband Denis and her bouncy springer spaniel, Molly. She is involved in supporting local village activities, playing tennis and walking in the beautiful Suffolk countryside.

Terry Ward

Terry began his career at the Welfare Department at the London Borough of Camden in 1970. After 12 years, during which he gained a professional social work qualification, he became Community Development Officer for the Western division of Suffolk Social Services. Whilst there he helped to set up West Suffolk Crossroads. Several jobs at Social Services HQ followed, during which he helped establish Crossroads schemes across the whole county. He also worked with others to create the Suffolk Carers Project in 1988, which has since become Suffolk Family Carers. Moving to the NHS in 1995 he held several posts at Suffolk Health Authority, and then became a Director of Ipswich PCT in 2002.

Terry has always stayed in touch with Suffolk Family Carers and was delighted to be asked to become a Trustee following his retirement in 2006.
He continues to work part time as a consultant specialising is carers’ issues.

Terry has had direct experience of being a Family Carer at various times throughout his life. He lives with his wife in Woodbridge.


Sue Thomas

Formerly an Ipswich Suffolk county councillor (20 yrs) Sue was a deputy lead for children & young people when Labour led the authority, and then a shadow cabinet member for Human Resources & Customer Service.

Sue also chaired The Suffolk Early Years Development & Childcare partnership working with the independent, voluntary & maintained sectors.

She was also member of the Suffolk Police Authority; and a magistrate for fifteen years. Sue worked as a medical secretary in the NHS; for the Labour Party; and later was a press officer, for an MP, at the House of Commons.

Sue cared for her husband and co cared for her parents. She is also currently a Parish councillor, school governor, and a management committee member at the Waterfront Community Centre, Ipswich.

Jane Millar

Jane has spent a considerable proportion of her career working as an NHS manager of mental health services for adults, children, young people and families.

For six years up to 2018, Jane was an elected governor of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health services throughout the two counties.

In addition, Jane has extensive experience of providing 1:1 and group therapeutic work to support individuals with relationship difficulties, challenges with self esteem and confidence as well as support specifically for parents.

Jane has enjoyed working as a trustee to other organisations offering support to families, for example, Homestart.

Jane is keen to promote recognition of the invaluable contribution made by carers of all ages and to work to support the needs of carers in Suffolk.

Family is a high priority for Jane personally too and Jane is a daughter, sister, wife and mother. Jane is currently a family carer.

James Tucker

James is a Chartered Accountant and partner of regional accountancy firm Scrutton Bland.

James is the Treasurer of Suffolk Family Carers and is devoted to ensuring the charity’s finances are managed in a way which secured its long term future at the same time as delivering the highest quality service to those who need it.

James is a school governor, treasurer of Ipswich Round Table and part of the management team of his local community owned pub.

Carole Burman

Carole is the Managing Director of MAD-HR Ltd (an HR Consultancy) and has over 25 years HR and leadership experience including 10 years’ as HR Director of Marshall Motor Holdings based in Cambridge. She is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and is also Member of the IOD.

Carole became a Trustee because she could easily see the immense value that Suffolk Family Carers brings to the carers and communities in which it serves however there is always more to be done to help those who don’t know of its existence.

Carole has lived in Suffolk since 2004 with her husband and their Labrador. However, her association with Suffolk began much earlier as she is a passionate Ipswich Town supporter.