Richard joined the board of trustees in April 2020 and was also appointed to the role of Treasurer. He has 25 years experience in the corporate banking sector which brings considerable financial acumen to LifeNow. Richard now runs his own gardening business having decided on a career change in 2017.
He has followed Life Now since it’s inception and is looking forward to taking a more active role.
Richard is married to Emma, has two children and a labradoodle.
Before her retirement this year Gill was a Teaching Assistant at a local Junior School. Gill has been married to Steve for over twenty years. She provides administrative support to Life NoW. They enjoy holidays, dining out and caravan outings with friends.
Stephen joined the Board of Trustees in January 2017 to focus on the business requirements and brings a wealth of experience as an entrepreneur in social enterprise, social care and health.
Stephen’s initial social work was with adult mental health conditions in 1985. He managed operational child protection services across Lancashire before joining Blackburn with Darwen Council in 1998 to lead Children’s Services. In 2003 Stephen became Director of Social Services. He subsequently took on the role of Strategic Director of Adult Social Care in 2005 which included the development of one of the few NHS and Local Authority Care Trusts in England. He left the Council in 2010 to lead Salvere, a community interest company and social enterprise that helps people organise care and support using direct payments and personal health budgets.
Denise has been married to Derek for over 30 years, is a mother of two grown-up children, Robert and Jennifer, and a grandmother of two young grandsons. Her connection with Life NoW, and campaigning for more age-appropriate health and social care for young people stems from her own personal experience.
Robert had testicular cancer at age 22 and fortunately made a full recovery; he has gone on to marry and have two sons. Sadly, the outcome for Jennifer was not a successful one. Following the diagnosis of myelofibrosis, a rare bone marrow cancer, at age 21, Jennifer passed away a year later in 2008 with most of her last year spent in a general hospital ward with mainly older adults.
Denise is a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health at a North-West University and qualified as a Registered Mental Nurse in 1986. She enjoys spending time with her family, holidays, and creative writing.
Steve was a Chartered Engineer in the Aerospace sector before his retirement in July of this year. He provides IT and fundraising support to Life NoW. Steve has been married to Gill for over twenty years and they have three daughters and a son.
George ThomasCo-Founder of LifeNoW, retired Vicar & Patron
Canon Ruth Fabby MBEDirector of Disability Arts Cymru & Patron
Russell HogarthHonorary Fellow University of Central Lancs & Patron
David Briggs MBELord-Lieutenant of Cheshire & Patron
I am delighted and honoured to be asked to be a Patron of LifeNoW. I am also thrilled to be joining such a distinguished group of Patrons who each in their own right is making the world a better place. To be asked to be a Patron at such a time as this is also inspiring because the Trustees have set out such a stimulating vision for LifeNoW’s future and I’m eager to support them and draw attention to the excellent work they are doing. At the heart of that work is a desire to see young adults, facing an unknown and unpredictable future, given the best provision possible. The Trustees’ intention to increase the number of LifeNoW Family Support Workers in the next 5 years and to be influential throughout the North West and North Wales is highly commendable. In 2007 when Joan, my wife, and I started what has become LifeNoW, we were following the call of God upon our lives. The current Trustees share that calling, seeking to fulfil the Father’s desire to see these young adults well cared and provided for. I commend them to your prayers and encourage your support to enable their plans to have the success the young people deserve.
Canon Ruth Fabby MBE
Ruth is the Director of Disability Arts Cymru (DAC), a cutting-edge Disability Arts Agency which is the lead organisation for disability and the arts in Wales. DAC supports approximately 400 members across four regions, helping them to achieve their creative aspirations, develop new work and engage in creative practice. DAC also acts as an advocacy agency and as a training specialist providing DET (Disability Equality Training) and MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) to a range of arts and third sector organisations.
Ruth is passionate about disability and deaf arts celebrated as cultural diversities. Ruth speaks regularly at conferences globally about disability and deaf arts.
Russell Hogarth is Honorary Fellow of the Schools of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Central Lancashire. He is also Community Engagement Ambassador and Co-Founder & Chair of the Creative Communities Group.
Russell co-founded the Pan-University Creative Communities Group in 2012 along with a number of his colleagues including, Professor Rod Dubrow-Marshall, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Derby University, and Stephen Sloss, Chief Executive of Salvere and formerly Director of Social Services, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.
Russell is a Fellow of the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing.
With his knowledge of mental health, social care and policy-making Russell is now recognised and well respected both nationally and internationally. His voluntary and community work in this area has resulted in him being invited to consultations at the House of Commons, the House of Lords and at the European Parliament.
David Briggs MBE
David Briggs is a barrister by profession. His duties as Lord-Lieutenant include arranging Royal visits to the county and presenting awards on behalf of Her Majesty. David is also Cheshire Chairman of the Order of St. John and a Member of the NW Leadership Team for the Prince’s Trust.
He is Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace and Honorary Colonel of the Cheshire Army Cadets. He also encourages good nominations for honour, both personal and for The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and for The Queen’s Award for Enterprise. He is involved with a large number of local charities and is keen to act as a bridge between the commercial, professional, and voluntary sector.
He was appointed MBE for his services to St John and the community in Cheshire in 2009. In March 2010 he was appointed HM Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire.