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Our Steering Group comprises:

  • David Boyland - Chair
  • Bob Champion - Vice Chair
  • Eilleen Tipper - Clinical Commissioning Group Rep
  • Diane Jepson - LINks/Healthwatch Health and Wellbeing Board Rep
  • Anne Woodford
  • Lorna King
  • Elaine Hodgson
  • Penny Rawson
  • Cliff Puddy
  • Chris Rugg
  • Julie Roost
  • Justin Charnock
  • Gaynor Brown

The Steering Group meets once every month, with a break in August. The meetings are held in public, and are advertised in the Events section of our website.

To read our full Governance Document, please click here.

Meet the 2012 Steering Group

David Boyland

David Boyland (Chair)

David has worked for the Healthcare Commissioners, reviewing NHS complaints and for the Welsh Assembly reading the development of Guidance for Public and Patient Involvement in the NHS in Wales. He was a member of the PPI forum for Taunton & Somerset NHS Trust, a member of the previous LINK Stewardship Group, and is currently a Patient safety Champion with NHS Somerset. David says: "I have a genuine, rather than cosmetic, interest in public and patient involvement in Health and Social care matters."

Bob Champion

Bob Champion (Vice-Chair)

Richard R Champion, known as Bob, spent the last 30 years of his working life with what's now called 'South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust'. He spent most of it on the road and on several occasions acted up to Station and Divisional Officer. I have been a Town and or a District Councillor since 1989, then in September 1998 appointed by Mendip District to be their representative to the Somerset Community Health Council, was made vice chairman for the last two years of its life. Then I joined the PPIs (Patient & Public Involvement) which replace the CHC health watchdog.

When on the CHC I became involved with the Somerset County Councils 'Overview & Scrutiny Committee' again a health watchdog, this involvement continued after the demise of the CHC, this when with the PPIs included Cornwall and Devon OSCs. In November 2003 I was appointed as a forum member to the 'South Western Ambulance Service PPI' and during our first meeting I was elected as Chairman of the Forum. In June 2007 I was approached by Taunton & Somerset Hospital to be a Mendip Public Governor this I accepted and left the PPI.

Eilleen Tipper

Eilleen Tipper (Rep on the Clinical Commissioning Group)

I have been involved in health as a patient and public involvement volunteer since 2002. I work with Musgrove Park and the PCT. I was chair of the PPI forum for Somerset Partnership before the LINk. Because I came from education I am particularly interested in promoting the health and well being of children and young people and giving them a voice.

I also have an interest in inclusion and the provision of services to vulnerable groups and individuals which includes improving safeguarding practices.

I have worked with patients and carers and am committed to the development of user participation in Somerset.
I have also been involved in commissioning and procurement and am therefore especially interested in working with the development of GP commissioning.


Diane Jepson

(Rep on the Health and Wellbeing Board)

Diane retired from the NHS in 2010. Her last role was Director of Infection, Prevention & Control. She has had a varied career in health, mental health, social services, nursing and residential homes, Human Resources, and learning and development. She has been based in Somerset for the majority of her working life based. Diane was born in Oake, near Taunton and lived, schooled and worked in Wiveliscombe. She has also lived in Wells, Dulverton, Bishops Lydeard, Taunton and now Frome. Her hobbies are varied, and have included banger car racing, sculpture, hand and machine knitting and meditation. Diane has two children, now adults and seven grandchildren. Diane says: "I lead a busy life, enjoy people with a philosophy of being unable to change the past and the future is yours for the taking. Turning what may be negative into a positive and living life to the full. A young at heart ageing hippy."

Penny Rawson

Penny Rawson

Dr Penny Rawson runs a consultancy specialising in Brief Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. She is a BACP accredited Psychotherapist & Supervisor. She runs training courses in the Brief Approach to Therapy. She has numerous published articles to her name and 3 published books. Penny has served on a number of National Committees including the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy's (BACP) Accreditation & Standards & Ethics. She worked as a therapist for many years managing services in higher Education (London) as Director of a Youth Counselling Service (Hants) and participating in one the first Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) in Britain, in Somerset. Penny has a special interest in spirituality and also runs Bereavement Courses.

Elaine Hodgson

Elaine Hodgson

Elaine says: "I have been a service user (mental health mainly) for many years. I am committed to giving back to all those who have helped me on the road to recovery. I am also committed to being a volunteer in helping in helping other service users to gain confidence and empower themselves, to have a voice that can be heard and so improve their mental well-being. I am also committed to fighting any discrimination to stigma, in any walk of life."

Anne Woodford

Anne Woodford

Anne's background is in training, assessing and verifying various NNVQ's up to level 5. She was previously self-employed training workers and their managers in Devon, Cornwall, Surrey, Ireland and Bristol. Formally a lecturer in FE College Cornwall. (NNVQ's teaching Management skills & Communications), in the 90's she represented Open University Students in the South West on National Committees & Conferences which were in various parts of the county. Anne gained an MA at the age of 62 and later still a DIP in Life Coaching. Her interests are sketching and printing, writing & singing with UBA groups, playing scrabble and relaxing with friends and family who all live a distance away. Anne says: "I enjoy cooking, reading watching TV, playing croquet, short walks and keeping in contact with distant friends via the internet."

Lorna King

Lorna King

Lorna has worked with Somerset County Council as a Youth Worker. She takes a keen interest in involvement and a member of Musgrove Hospital. Lorna has also worked with Bridgwater Social Services helping school-aged young mothers.


Cliff Puddy

"My name is Cliff Puddy. I live in Burnham-on-Sea. I am disabled and I use a wheelchair. I have been a volunteer for Compass Disability for 6 years and now a Trustee Chairman. I joined the LINk about 6 months ago and now sit on the Steering Group. I have done a lot of work for the NHS. I worked on the reablement board for Somerset (Taunton). I am now on the reablement board for South Somerset. Being disabled I have a lot of interest in the NHS and enjoy what I do."


Justin Charnock

"I am Justin Charnock. I am a senior support worker at the National Autistic Society. This involves supporting adults with Autism Spectrum Conditions achieving the greatest degree of independence possible in their own homes in the community, as well as providing line management to support workers to inspire and motivate them to achieve the highest standards of person-centred care. I have worked for the NAS for 3 years now, and it is this involvement in the health and social care sector that inspired me to join the Somerset LINK. I firmly believe that everyone in receipt of any kind of care is entitled to have their voice heard, by whatever means possible. Only by listening to those who receive services can change and improvement be implemented. I am excited at the prospect of working in the Somerset community to gain a true understanding of the quality of health and social care services and of being a member of the steering group which can help to facilitate, and contribute to positive change in the county."


Julie Roost

Julie has lived in Taunton for 33 yrs where she ran a busy Pub with her husband for 14 yrs. and then worked in a Somerset secondary community school in the capacity as School business manager for 13 years prior to her becoming ill with  Encephalitis, which is inflammation of the brain a neurological illness. She is now the Somerset & Dorset Encephalitis Society Regional Representative providing support for people who have been directly/indirectly affected by the illness and to raise awareness. She is a member of the Somerset Neurological Alliance a sub-group of the LINK Steering Group which provides a voice for people who have a neurological illness, is interested in local health and social issues and intends to bring to the attention of commissioners the issues and challenges that they are presented with. Somerset LINK has been supportive in the setting up of the Somerset Neurological Alliance.  


Chris Rugg

Waiting for some info about Chris ...


Gaynor Brown

"I am a retired teacher and Ofsted Early Years Inspector. Since retiring I was Community Campaign Support Officer for Tescolopy and a Board member of both Hillingdon LINk and a health campaign called “Community Voice”.

I moved to Burnham on Sea with my partner in 2011 and joined the Somerset LINk. I’ve been leading some of the Somerset LINk’s Enter and View visits and I’m now looking forward to playing a more active role as a Steering Group member. I am also Chair of a new Charity in Burnham on Sea which was started to support those with cancer, mental health issues, dementia and their carers."


Want to join our team?

We still need volunteers to join our teams and help take the LINk work forward in this important year. Could it be you? Please email us for more information on somersetlink@makesachange.org.uk.

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