Our Board

Meet the Healthwatch Dorset Local Board

Vivienne Aird

Chair of Local Board

Vivienne has over forty years’ experience of working in the voluntary sector, most recently as CEO of Bournemouth Council for Voluntary Service.  Previously, she worked in community health development, advocacy for the rights of carers, and community centre management.  She is a trustee of SEDCAT (South East Dorset Community Accessible Transport).

Vivienne is committed to the ideal of a healthcare system which is holistic and preventative in its approach, tackling the root causes of ill health which are often socio-economic in origin.  She believes passionately that health and social care services can be improved if they reflect and respond to the views and needs of the people who use them: “In all the settings where I have worked, the need for more responsive health and care services became a key priority.  I am committed to achieving this locally through my work with Healthwatch Dorset.”

Margaret Guy

Vice Chair of Local Board

Margaret is a retired public health physician and ex Executive Director of NHS Westminster, and current PPG Chair in Swanage.  She brings over 40 years’ experience of working with the NHS to the Local Board – with particular experience of improving the population’s health and wellbeing, reducing health inequalities and improving the quality of health services.

“I believe it is essential to enable people to share their experiences of health and social care services in order to improve the quality of current services – and to help shape future services. Healthwatch Dorset is best placed to give local people a strong voice to influence and challenge how health and social care services are provided in Dorset.  It is Healthwatch Dorset’s independence that makes it special.”

Judy Crabb

Local Board member

Judy had worked at Dorset County Hospital for over 35 years before retiring in 2019. Becoming a publicly elected hospital governor representing West Dorset in 2021 has allowed Judy to continue to have a role at the hospital. Also being part of the Your Voice group means that she is part of new developments taking place. Living in a rural community means Judy is always looking at how services are made available for people from the farming community and those who live outside the larger towns. Also as someone with a disability she has had first-hand experience of using many of the services discussed.

Karen Sherman

Local Board member

Karen worked as Practice Manager in a large Somerset General Practice. After eleven years she changed career and joined Somerset Social Services supporting Carers. She retired early to move to Dorset where she worked as a volunteer chaplain in Dorchester Prison, and then helped start a new charity with her husband – The Footprints Project – which provide mentors for those released from prison. She trained the volunteers, as well as supporting the more vulnerable and unstable clients. After the closure of the Prison, she became a founder Trustee of another charity – Poole Community Exchange – working with marginalised and vulnerable people in the BCP area. She currently is a voluntary Chaplain at Poole Hospital and has recently completed training as a Lay Pastoral Assistant with her local church, supporting those going through illness, bereavement, and other difficulties. Her experience of working with those who are marginalised due to addiction issues, homelessness or poverty, and unpaid carers, made her realise they often do not have adequate access to the services they need, and she is passionate to see this situation change.

Jack Welch

Local Board member

Jack is an autistic advocate and highly experienced with roles across the charity and health sectors for over a decade. Locally, his day job is in the library at Dorset County Hospital and is active across different staff forums. He is a co-author of the award winning ‘Know Your Normal’ research co-produced with UCL and Ambitious about Autism in 2017. From 2018, Jack was appointed as Chairperson of Royal Mencap Society’s Voices Council, which is made up of people with lived experiences of learning disability to inform and support the governance of the organisation. Within healthcare, Jack sits as an advisor for NHS England on issues relating to learning disability and autism, as well as being a member of a public engagement group for NHS Dorset ICB (formerly CCG), which he has done since 2014. Jack has been a Healthwatch Dorset Champion for several years now and feels strongly about the wider public having a role in the decisions made about health and social care.

Simon Standish

Local Board member

Simon has worked as a management consultant in health and social care for over 30 years, within the UK and internationally. His work has included projects to improve services for mental and physical health and wellbeing offered across statutory and non-statutory community and hospital settings. While familiar with many of the technical and policy issues, he has always been committed to honouring the user perspective. He is passionate about helping to improve collaborative working and the bringing together of services across organisational boundaries for the benefit of those who need them. Simon is new to the county having moved to Dorchester from the London area. Watch our interview: Meet our Local Board

Amanda Shirlin-Brown

Special Advisor (Children, Young People & Families)

Amanda is employed by BCP Council as the Parenting Lead for Children’s Centres in Poole.

“I am hoping to be able to raise the profile of families within the area and to highlight some of the issues they are facing.”

Sue Warr

Special Advisor (Older People)

Sue is the PramaLife manager at Pramacare, managing community-based support for older people across Dorset.

“It’s good to share knowledge and experience as it builds your own knowledge and experience!  I think I have both things to contribute and things to learn.”

Meet Simon

Board meeting minutes

Contact us

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