Georgie Bigg - Our Chair

Our Chair

Georgie retired from a career in banking where she specialised in investing in high growth businesses and leadership coaching. After retiring Georgie began working as a business adviser, supporting an educational charity, helping young people develop their business skills. She has also worked for Voluntary Action North Somerset, where she gained a wide knowledge of North Somerset communities and the organisations / individuals who provide support to the most vulnerable.

Georgie is keen to help the public engage and shape the future of their health and social care services. Her interests include the environment and she is currently Chair of Campaign to Protect Rural England Avonside, Director of the West of England Rural Network and a Parish Councillor.

Dick Whittington - Our treasurer

Dick Whittington - Treasurer

Dick’s career where he had responsibility for Post Offices across the South West, has given him a clear appreciation of the impact public services can have on people, especially in isolated communities. Dick has worked with Community Action and more recently Community Transport Groups, ensuring vulnerable people can get to their appointments.

Dick has a particular interest in Social Enterprise. He helped set up Healthwatch North Somerset as a Community Interest Company, has had a lot of experience with fund raising and done a lot of work on community engagement.  

Our board member Lance Allen

Lance Allen

Lance is a retired IT consultant who has worked, both in the UK and internationally, in management, technical and marketing roles. When he retired he was Global Management Director of a major IT company. Since retirement he has worked in voluntary roles as both a business mentor and a director of a community charity.

Lance is an active member of Portishead Rotary Club which has a number of community projects within the area, and is a keen golfer and sailor.

Board member - Raquel Benzal

Raquel Benzal

Raquel was born in Spain and came to the UK over 12 years ago. She therefore has the benefit of seeing first had two countries healthcare systems. Raquel feels that being from an ethnic minority gives her an insight into equality and diversity issues.

Raquel is a Civil Servant working in Bristol and also volunteers for North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group. Her interests include furniture restoration and interior design, along with cooking and walking her dogs in the countryside.

Board member - Shaun Fitzpatrick

Shaun Fitzpatrick

Shaun is retired and enjoys devoting his time into areas where he can improve local health, care and housing services. During his career spanning 42 years, as well as in volunteer roles, Shaun has worked for a number of local authorities and housing associations. More recently he has enjoyed volunteering for various not for profit organisations to help make a difference.

Board member - Tim Evans

Tim Evans

Tim previously worked as a driver for elderly and disabled people in North Somerset. He is passionate about ensuring everyone, whatever their needs, is able to get around their local community to lead an active life. After a serious car accident in 2009, he became involved in LINks, the predecessor to Healthwatch, and has been helping Healthwatch since its inception.

Tim has been involved with Healthier Together programme looking at transport plans as he believes improving transport provides better access to health and social care which reduces health inequalities.

Board member - Karen Whitaker

Karen Whitaker

Karen began her career as a social worker before moving into the voluntary sector. When she retired, as CEO of a carers’ charity, she became an active volunteer. She has volunteered with Riding for the Disabled, Shropshire Geology Society and as Chair of Age UK Hertfordshire.

Karen is currently Chair of Hours of Human Happiness, a charity working to reduce poverty in Uganda, a volunteer with Victim Support, a telephone befriender with Deafblind UK, a helper at Portishead Open Air Pool and at the Curzon Cinema in Clevedon.

Past Board papers

We make the papers for our public Board meetings available online. We also publish a summary of what was discussed. Check out our past meetings to read more.

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