How are we organised?

We are based at York Hospital, where the NHS Trust provides an office, with computer and storage facilities. Everyone actively involved with the Friends is a volunteer – except one paid member of staff, our Administrator and Volunteer Co-ordinator (AVC) Andy White.

Our hospital volunteers are organised and supported by the AVC plus our Volunteer Development Trustee, Ann Taylor. All our volunteers, including our Trustees, are automatically Members of the Friends of York Hospitals.

We also have Members who are unable to volunteer but who show their support by paying a membership subscription. They receive newsletters, are invited to fundraising and social events, and are able to vote alongside voluntary Members at our Annual General Meetings.

Our charity operates within the framework of a Constitution and a Volunteer Policy – for these and associated documents please refer to the Documents page of this website. The Friends of York Hospitals are also affiliated to Attend, which represents around 29,000 local volunteers and fundraisers in hospital Friends groups right across the country.

Our charity is managed by a Committee of voluntary Trustees, led by our Chairperson, Derek De Vere.
Here are the members of our Trustees' Committee:


Liz Bartrum

Liz joined the Friends as a weekend patient refreshments volunteer on the stroke rehablitation ward in York Hospital. She carried out that volunteer role for several years while she worked full-time at her job in the banking sector. She showed a number of new volunteers the ropes during that time. More recently Liz completed a postgraduate course in journalism and she is currently pursuing that line of work. Her particular interest is improving local awareness of FOYH.

Derek DeVere

Derek De Vere

With a background in banking, Derek originally joined the Friends in the Treasurer role 25 years ago. He became Chairperson in 2012. In the years since then Derek has led the renewal of our charity's organisation.



Jenny Hildyard BEM

Jenny deputises for Derek when he is unable to chair meetings or represent the Friends at meetings and events. She is a previous FOYH Honorary Secretary and has been on the Trustees' Committee since 2004. Her particular interest has always been the funding of additional equipment and services for the hospital, and the fundraising work which is required to pay for them. She was awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year's Honours List for 2017 in recognition for her service to the local community. She is also an active Trustee at York's historic cemetery (near her home in Fishergate), and at Antibiotic Research UK.

Stephanie Neale 
Honorary Secretary

Stephanie's background is in NHS Trust management in the Tyneside area. She held a number of senior positions there, and has experience of being responsible for dealing with the media, dealing with public complaints and implementing new government regulations, amongst other things. She retired in 2014 following marriage and relocation to the York area. In the FOYH Stephanie keeps the charity's records and makes sure that the Friends' constitution and agreed policies and procedures are complied with. She also represents the FOYH at meetings and events.


David de Silva

David has been a member of the Friends' Trustees Committee since 2012, carrying out the Vice-Chairperson role for much of that time. He is Managing Director of 121 Housing Solutions Ltd and has extensive experience of property management and projects where the public and private sectors work together. In 2016 Inclusion Housing - a community interest company David founded in 2007 - won UK Small Business of the Year.

Hussein Syed
Honorary Treasurer

Born and bred in the Caribbean, but based mainly in London since his university days, Hussein married a Yorkshirewoman and retired to York. Hussein has a lot of experience of running a successful hospital Friends organisation - he is a previous Chair of the Friends of St Mary's Hospital, Paddington.

Ann Taylor
Trustee - Volunteer Development

Ann's Volunteer Development role involves making sure the volunteers have what they need and get the support they need, and representing the volunteers in meetings with hospital Trust staff. Ann grew up in York, then worked for the NHS locally – including at York Hospital - mainly in the field of personnel/ HR. She left to create a very successful greetings card company with her husband David.

Judith Whitehead

Judith's involvement with the Friends began in 2013. Judith started out by helping on the stroke wards as a Talking and Reading Service volunteer. Then she became a Trustee. Before joining the Friends Judith worked for BT for many years, (including in HR/ personnel), and also for the Leeds branch of the relationships support charity Relate, first as their Centre Manager, and then as their Company Secretary.