The Directors of the company are also Charity Trustees for the purposes of Charity Law and, under the company’s articles, are known as members of the Board of Trustees.


Mary Lynch - Chair of Board

Mary joined the Board in 2013 and is Chair of the Board of Trustees. As Chair she is responsible for ensuring high standards of governance in the way the Trustees and the Charity conduct business. 

With a background in the travel and tourism sector, Mary began her career with British Airways and Thomson Holidays after graduating with a Degree in Psychology. She then worked overseas for the British Tourist Authority before returning to the UK to take up the post of Chief Executive of the English Tourist Board. Mary also has extensive experience of business development through running her own company for 10 years.

Mary’s commitment to the provision of high quality support services to vulnerable people, and her role as a Trustee, emanates from personal experience in supporting her parents. She noted that in navigating a complex health and social care system, people at their most vulnerable often need access to professional, independent, advocacy support.


Jeremy Whyman - Vice-Chair

I am a retired dental surgeon, qualifying at Birmingham School of Dentistry in 1969. I worked for a while in the Community Dental Services, Wolverhampton, before moving back to my home town in the East Midlands where I was a partner in a National Health dental practice for some 35 years. Moving to Warwickshire in 2006 when I retired, I was invited to become a Trustee of IA, later taking on the roles of Vice-Chair and Chair of the Human Resources Committee. Other community commitments include serving as a Parish Councillor, and actively supporting “Adventures Offshore”, a Suffolk-based charity providing sailing adventures and experiences for young people from all walks of life.

I am a firm believer in the aims and ethics of Independent Advocacy and hugely admire the demanding work that the advocates, volunteers and supporting staff undertake and the results that they achieve. It is a privilege to be associated with the charity.


Graham Flemons - Treasurer

A graduate of Warwick University, Graham joined an international firm and qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Virtually the whole of his working life has been spent in practice, initially with the firm at which he qualified, but from 1985 – 2012 in a smaller, general practice of his own, in partnership with his wife. He has a wide experience of general practice matters and business advice.

Richard Collins - FCA

Retired Chartered Accountant. More than forty years’ experience in practice and industry. Worked in Venture Capital and Corporate Reconstruction. For the last fourteen years of his career he was Acquisitions Director in a Utility Services Group and sat on the Boards of several acquired companies.

He is a volunteer for the local support group of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Paul Anthony -Trustee

Paul has been a Trustee since 2016. He is a qualified engineer and his background in the private sector brings diverse business skills and perspectives to the work of the Board and the Finance and Audit Committee.

Following a successful career in sales and marketing, Paul developed a keen interest in the commercial use of computer systems and specialised as a consultant in Business Management and Information Technology.

Since retiring Paul has been an enthusiastic contributor to the work of Independent Advocacy and development of the Charity’s use of Information Technology. He is passionate about the role the charitable sector has in enriching communities and working in partnership with other sectors.

In addition to his voluntary work as a Trustee,he is also a business mentor with the Princes Trust, a Parish Councillor and a volunteer helping older people in his local community to attend medical appointments.


Chris Bennett - Trustee

Chris Bennett works with the Motor Neurone Disease Association, where his role is to lead a regional team in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. He leads a team of staff and volunteers in care and support services, campaigning and fundraising. Chris was previously Head of Operational Delivery in England for the MS Society, and prior to that was a Regional Manager for the Stroke Association in the Midlands.


Madelaine Hanlon - Trustee

I am a Chartered Civil Engineer and Chartered Arbitrator. I have my own business providing advice to businesses in the construction industry, specialising in dispute avoidance and resolution. My work often reminds me that people can feel overwhelmed when facing difficulty, and that it is sometimes not enough to merely provide advice and assistance, one must also recognise the way in which that difficulty may impact the individual. This is even more important outside of business, and is one of the reasons why I was delighted to be asked to be a Trustee for Independent Advocacy in 2016. The work undertaken by the charity is priceless and essential, and the people who deliver the support, assistance, and guidance needed by its users are very special individuals. I am proud to be associated with them, and to be able to contribute to the fine work that they do.


Nigel Parker BA(Hons), MSoc(Sc) - Trustee

Having graduated with a degree in Economics, but with a desire to use the skills and experience gained while working for a number of voluntary organisations, I spent many years as a social care manager in London working in both the public and private sectors predominantly managing provider services for adults with physical and learning disabilities. These included day and employment opportunities, together with domiciliary and residential services.

Having moved to Warwickshire whilst studying for a master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Birmingham, I continued to work in senior management roles with particular emphasis on business development, tendering and effective service delivery.

I have always been committed to developing resources that both maximise people’s independence and ensure that each individual has a full and meaningful say in the delivery of services. Throughout the course of my career I endeavoured to facilitate this through the use of independent advocates, who were able to support people to be an active part of service development. I am now, in retirement, pleased to be able to support the invaluable work carried out by IA staff in empowering people to take, and maintain, control over their lives.


Hilary Wood - Trustee

Hilary retired from a career in teaching with over 30 years experience working with children in primary education. Her work included supporting young people with Additional Learning Needs and individuals and families dealing with emotional difficulties. Hilary also has personal experience of supporting people with learning disabilities and autism. This background brings valuable insight, as well as expertise, to the Board in overseeing the development of our services. 

Hilary is a passionate advocate for the involvement of the people we support in shaping how we work.

Her person centred focus greatly adds to our work in enabling vulnerable people to exercise life choices and live independently as part of the wider community. This is reflected in her volunteering activities since retiring. Hilary has supported autistic students in Coventry and as a Trustee of a local charity helped to provide both fun and developmental educational experiences for people with a range of disabilities connecting them to their local area.

Hilary has been a Trustee on the Board of Independent Advocacy since 2014 and is also a member of the Charity’s Human Resources Committee.