This year is a period of major change at BRACE, change that we are confident will help bring about the further growth of the charity.

The latest developments were announced at the charity's Annual Celebration in Filton, South Gloucestershire yesterday. 

Several Trustees, including Alan Parsons, who has been Chair of Trustees since 2011, are due to retire in the next few months. We have planned ahead and appointed new Trustees as well as a new Chair and Deputy Chair.

There is also a change of leadership on the Scientific Advisory Committee.

Thank you, Alan

Alan Parsons

Alan Parsons has been Chair of Trustees since 2011, during which time he helped oversee the protracted and difficult relocation of BRACE from Frenchay Hospital to Southmead Hospital. This was part of a major project that resulted in the creation of The Bristol Brain Centre; in collaboration with North Bristol NHS Trust and the University of Bristol, this is one of BRACE’s most important achievements.

Alan has moved to Manchester and decided earlier this year the step down.

Professor Stephen Lisney said, “We would like to thank Alan for all that he has done for BRACE over the past six years, often in difficult circumstances. He has proved to be a steady hand at the tiller while BRACE passed through turbulent waters, and our optimism about the future owes much to him.”

New Chair – Professor Stephen Lisney

Prof Stephen Lisney

Stephen, who has been a BRACE Trustee since 2009, was formerly Professor of Physiology and Dean of Medicine at the University of Bristol.

With the wealth of scientific and medical knowledge he has brought to the charity, Stephen has helped BRACE develop into much more than a fundraising organisation. Until recently, he was Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee and has helped ensure that BRACE funds are always used wisely. He has also taken part in the BRACE conference and community meetings, and edits the annual Research Update, thereby enhancing the way we communicate with the public about research.

As the new Chair of Trustees, Stephen will help BRACE to develop its work in new areas. He said, “Everyone is aware there is still much research to do into the causes of dementia and in the search for therapies, and I want BRACE to continue to play an important part in this.  There is no shortage of sound research proposals submitted to BRACE and the challenge we have is to find the funds needed for those projects to take place."

New Deputy Chair – Jane Dare

Jane Dare

Jane joined BRACE as a Trustee in 2013 and has extensive experience in the world of large and small businesses.

Her experience of managing change and negotiating large scale projects proved invaluable to the charity during the long process that resulted in our move to Southmead in 2015, including the creation of the Bristol Brain Centre.

Jane will be working closely with the BRACE staff team and helping to support the work of the office.

New Trustees

With several planned retirements due later this year, the Trustees have planned by appointing five high calibre newcomers to the Board. They are:

  • Sue Blatchford – a businesswoman who also has significant experience of charity governance
  • Peter Lippett – a businessman and current BRACE volunteer
  • Bridget Lumb – Professor of Systems Neuroscience at the University of Bristol
  • Mary Whittington – an experienced architect and project manager
  • Heledd Wyn – a solicitor at Mowbray Woodwards in Bath, dealing with wills and issues affecting the elderly

We will announce Trustee retirements later in the year.

New Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee – Professor Bridget Lumb

Prof Bridget Lumb

Bridget joins the Board of Trustees and takes over from Professor Stephen Lisney on the BRACE Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). As Professor of Systems Neuroscience at the University of Bristol and President of the Physiological Society, she is eminently qualified.

The role of the SAC is to make sure that every research application received by BRACE is subject to rigorous scrutiny, including peer review. To put it another way, we are committed to ensuring that every penny BRACE spends is well used, and that only the best planned and most promising research proposals win our support.

Photo: Some of the new and established Trustees at last night's Annual Celebration. From left: Roger James, Dr Mark Norman, Robin Battersby, Heledd Wyn, Peter Lippett, Alan Parsons, Sue Blatchford, Prof Stephen Lisney and Sylvia Perry.