Our Trustees

Papworth Trust's Board has collective responsibility for the financial health and wellbeing of the organisation, holding the charity in trust for present and future beneficiaries, and making sure that it remains true to its charitable objects.


Rob Hammond, Chair

Rob's early career was as a development economist. He subsequently worked in the social housing sector. In 1990 Rob became Chief Executive of Cambridge City Council, a post which he held until taking early retirement in June 2009. He now works as a part-time consultant in the management and improvement of local councils.

Rob has been a Trustee since 2010.

Debbie Sorkin, Vice Chair

Debbie is the National Director of Systems Leadership, at the Leadership Centre based at the Local Government Association from May 2014. She was previously Chief Executive of the National Skills Academy for Social Care. Debbie is also a member of Department of Community and Local Government’s Voluntary and Community Sector Partnership Board, a Trustee of the Camden Society, Vice-Chair of the social justice charity Novas Scarman Group and a Group Board Member of East Thames Housing Group.

Debbie has been a Trustee since 2011.

Richard Norton, Honorary Treasurer

Richard was a partner with Deloitte for 28 years and worked in the London, Cambridge and New York offices in a wide variety of industry sectors, including technology and support services. He held a variety of leadership roles, having full profit and loss responsibility and accountability for regional offices, IT and Enterprise Risk Services. He also played an important role in the firm's governance, having been an elected member of the Board, Remuneration Committee and Audit Committee for many years.

Richard has been a Trustee since 2011.

Peter Agar

Peter Agar is the Director of Campaigns at the University of Sheffield. He was previously the  Director of Development and Alumni Relations for the University of Cambridge for more than 10 years, with responsibility for the planning and coordination of the institution-wide 800th Anniversary Campaign which launched publically in 2005. In June 2010 the University announced that it had passed its £1 billion milestone two years ahead of schedule.

Peter has been a Trustee since 2011.

Wes Cuell

Wes has experience in just about every area of social work including residential and day care, and working with disabled people of all ages. He was Head of Children's Services in a local authority before joining the NSPCC as UK Director of Services for Children. Wes chairs two adoption and fostering panels and is also a Trustee of the Children's Society.

Wes has been a Trustee since 2013.

Andy Hirst

Andy is the CEO of Cambridge Policy Consultants Ltd (CPC), a highly respected research organisation with a diverse client group. He has also worked with numerous governmental bodies and local authorities throughout the UK.

Andy joined the Board in 2014.

Patrick Hughes

Patrick is Director of Salientwork Ltd, the strategic labour market consultancy offering senior leadership solutions and advice on good practice and policy for lasting employment. He has a particular interest in helping disabled people achieve their full potential in the jobs market, having been lead Director for the Department of Work and Pensions on the Access to Work and Pathways to Work programmes. He is also a Trustee of For You By You, a member of the Civil Service Appeal Board, and an Ambassador for the Prince's Trust in London.

Patrick has been a Trustee since 2013.

Vanessa Stanislas

Vanessa has worked in the third sector since 1998, following a long and varied career at the Department for Work and Pensions. She was as Director of External Services at Disability Alliance before becoming its CEO in 2006.

She has worked as a Director of Operations and HR and most recently as the Director of Quality at Scope, where she designed and implemented a bespoke Quality Assurance Framework for its social care services.

Vanessa is passionate about quality, equality (particularly disability equality) and is a diversity expert. She is a champion of evidenced based outcomes for any work she is involved with and works hard to reduce silo working and increase joined-up whole systems thinking approaches to work.

Vanessa became a Trustee in 2017.

David Atkinson

David worked at Goldman Sachs from 1994 to 2017 in London, Tokyo and Hong Kong. He worked in a number of roles in the Finance and Risk Divisions and recently retired as Managing Director, Risk Division

He had considerable Committee responsibilities most recently as a member of the Firmwide Risk Committee, co-chair of the Asia Pacific Risk Committee, and vice-chair of the Asia Pacific New Activities Committee.

Prior to Goldman Sachs, David worked at Touche Ross & Co in London from 1991 to 1994 where he qualified as a chartered accountant.

David became a Trustee in 2017.