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board of trustees

Meet the board of trustees, a dedicated group of individuals who bring a host of professional experience and passion, supporting the hard work of the Senior Management Team, the professional staff and all the phenomenal volunteers

Shelley Gilbert

Dr Shelley Gilbert MBE

Founder & lifetime president
Dr Shelley Gilbert MBE

Dr Shelley Gilbert (PhD), PGDPM, PGDC, Snr. Accredited MBACP, UKRCP is Clinical Trustee and Lifetime President of Grief Encounter.

Having experienced the death of both of her parents by the age of 9 for which, like the majority of bereaved children, Shelley received little professional help or support. Shelley used her lifetime learning about the complex issues facing bereaved children and their families to set up Grief Encounter in 2003, now one of the UK’s leading child and family bereavement services. Awarded an MBE in 2015, She has a Doctorate in Psychotherapy, PGD Counselling, and is a Senior accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Her interactive grief work book, ‘The Griefbook’, is an award-winning bestseller, and she is a thought leader in the world of grief and trauma, with the model of the “Upward Spiral of Grief” process now widely adopted across the bereavement world.

Some of her story can be seen in her Ted Talk

Harold Gittelmon

Harold Gittelmon

Chairman of trustees
Harold Gittelmon

Ex CEO, Harding Retail and Flemingo Europe. Harding Retail is a specialist retail and spa operation, operating on many cruise ships around the world. Harold joined the business from the Private Equity industry where he developed a specialism in backing retail and consumer facing businesses.

Harold currently Chairs some commercial organisations as well as his not for profit portfolio where he is on the Board of Jewish Care, Camp Simcha, and the retail advisory group of Mencap.

Gary Sacks

Gary Sacks

trustee
Gary Sacks

Gary is the Founder and Managing Director of City and Docklands Property Group. In addition to his role as Grief Encounter trustee, he has been involved with Norwood for many years and held the title of Fundraising Chair from 2006 to 2014. Gary has also overseen many major fundraising events for both Grief Encounter and Norwood including Annual Dinners, Business Breakfasts, Property Lunches and a range of community fundraising and Challenge events.

Bernie Myers

Bernie Myers

Trustee
Bernie Myers

Bernie is a Senior Adviser of Rothschild & Co and a member of FAPI I Advisory Committee. Bernie joined N.M. Rothschild & Sons Limited in 1972 and has occupied various senior positions within Rothschild & Co. Bernie is a Director of The Industrial Dwellings Society (1885) Limited and was previously a Director of Moss Bros Group Plc, Smith New Court Plc and the Chairman of Lambert Fenchurch Group plc.

Bobby Lane

Bobby Lane

trustee
Bobby Lane

Bobby is founder and CEO of Factotum, which helps small businesses looking to outsource back office functions such as HR, PR and marketing. A chartered accountant with over 25 years’ experience in professional practice and as a CFO, he built the first multi award-winning SME outsourcing team in the accountancy profession before its sale in 2017. He is a SAGE Global Business Influencer & was voted No 1 in the Top 50 most influential sources of finance news and information on social media by Economia.

Bobby provides consultancy for fast-growing businesses, assisting with start-ups and helping to get struggling companies back on track.

Tony Beare

Tony Beare

trustee
Tony Beare

Tony read English at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and then law at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, where he obtained a Rugby Blue in 1982. He joined Slaughter and May in 1985 and, upon qualification, elected to specialise in corporate tax. He subsequently spent his entire legal career with the firm, becoming a partner in 1994 and retiring in 2017.  He has a been a part-time judge in the Tax Tribunal since 2015.

Andy Hart

Andy Hart

trustee
Andy Hart

Andy Hart is an experienced digital transformation leader who has helped transform companies and industries to the digital age over the last 30 years. He helped bring search engines to Europe before Google, and sold one of the first ever paid for search ads. In the noughties he was a founder inventor of the Daily Mail online platform and was renowned for scaling the transformation of classifieds listings to online marketplaces particularly in jobs, property & motors.

In the teens, he was responsible for huge scaled media businesses such as MSN, Bing, Outlook and Xbox while a senior executive at Microsoft. His final corporate role was global Chief revenue Officer at Hearst Corp. He was a board director of the UK Advertising Association, the IAB, and the IAB Europe: Helping influence the regulation and policy of the digital advertising industry and promoting its benefits.

Delia Goldring

Delia Goldring

trustee
Delia Goldring

Delia is a Director of Performance Options Ltd, a medium sized Human Resources Consultancy business, providing personnel, training and employee relations advice to a clients within a variety of private sector organisations, public sector & social and health care sector organisations as well as the not for profit sector organisations.

Her extensive previous experience includes HR Director in engineering, manufacturing and social & health care settings, as well as 12 years’ experience as a Lecturer at Middlesex University Business School. She is currently the Safeguarding Governor of Woodhouse Sixth Form College and has in the past had a Government appointment as a member of the Learning & Skills Council for London North and been a member of the Metropolitan Police Independent Advisory Group, a Chair of Governors of a Nursery School and a Trustee of a Museum.

Michael Peen

Michael Peen

Trustee
Michael Peen

A seasoned investor, large-cap C-suite Executive and Board Member, Michael Peen currently serves as Executive Director in an investment management firm specialised in direct PE and VC. In parallel Michael is a Senior Expert at Simon-Kucher & Partners, the worlds #1 management consultancy in revenue growth management and pricing.

Michael brings to Grief Encounter a long history of working with charitable and non-for-profit causes, currently serving on the Executive Advisory Board at Prostate Cancer Research UK, focused on funding world-class scientists working towards new breakthrough treatments. In 2012 Michael became a member of the World Economic Forum to support local community projects in Denmark.

A member of Young Presidents Organisation and Michael has earned dual MBA degrees from Kellogg Northwestern and Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, completed INSEAD’s Executive Management Program, in addition to finance studies at Harvard Business School and HEC Paris.

holding Trustee-staff image

Pam Firth

Trustee
Pam Firth

As a trained social worker (including time at Tavistock Clinic), Pam’s early career was in child and family psychiatry both in Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire, including the world-famous Mulberry Bush School (a therapeutic community for young children). In 1989 she moved to work in palliative care and to teach social work part time at Middlesex University. She started two Childhood Bereavement services, was a member of the Childhood Bereavement Network advisory group and Trustee for Youth Talk in St Albans. Between 2003-11, Pam was a director of European Association of Palliative Care, lecturing throughout Europe. In 2011, she was appointed by the EU to a three year post as a team member developing palliative care in the Republic of Serbia; her links with central and eastern Europe continue. Pam was Programme and Seminar Tutor for a large Counselling Charity covering Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire until January 2021.

Pam is a passionate advocate for family focused palliative care which includes the needs of children and young people and for the need for clinical supervision. She now works as an independent consultant in psychosocial palliative care & clinical supervisor for a large NHS trust in Essex and for several hospices in the South of England.