Our Members
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Claire Wood - Date of appointment 15/09/16

In my 37 year career in the NHS, I held positions in clinical nursing and executive management and leadership. Before retiring in 2008, I held the post of Chief Executive for the former East Riding of Yorkshire Primary Care Trust for 2 ½ years. During my professional career, I became adept at developing, interpreting and implementing strategy; able at meeting deadlines and targets and competing priorities; and flexible and resilient to the ever- changing policy agenda.

Over the years, I have held voluntary positions in the community as a youth leader in 2 local churches, a member of an Independent Monitoring Board for a local prison, a Trustee for a national Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Charity, a Magistrate and a Parish Councillor. This varied experience has exposed me to different organisational systems and cultures, given me new networks, knowledge and confidence, and allowed me to transfer my skills to support and challenge leaders in different fields.

My interest in education began in 2009 when I coordinated a team of 12 mentors supporting GCSE maths students at Sydney Smith School. This prompted my pursuit to become a school governor, which I did first at Sydney Smith and then at Kelvin Hall. I was elected Chair of Governors at Kelvin Hall in 2014. It has been a real privilege to be a governor in an outstanding school and to support the co-operative values of the schools seeking to become partners in the Thrive Trust. Whatever new changes are ahead for education, I am keen to work with local leaders to develop the best possible environment for our students and staff to be successful.


John Smith - Date of appointment 15/09/16

John Smith is Chief Executive of Hull & East Yorkshire Credit Union (HEYCU), the social enterprise that he helped to found, with a group of colleagues at Hull City Council in 1999. He has seen HEYCU develop and grow from a small savings club serving a single employer's workforce into a multi-functional community-wide business helping over 11,700 adult members and 1,300 junior savers to manage their money wisely and looking after collective savings of over £8.8 million.

John is a Chartered Secretary by profession and is passionate about the values and ethics of the co-operative movement. His lifelong service to the movement included a decade as a non-executive director of The Co-operative Group.

John was born and brought up in the Hull area, where he lives with his wife, daughter and son. He is a member of the Governing Body of a local primary school in the area.

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Professor Peter Draper - Date of appointment 15/09/16

Peter Draper is Professor of Nursing Education at the University of Hull, and also an ordained priest in the Church of England.

Peter has worked in the nursing profession since 1976. As a clinical nurse he specialised in the nursing care of older people. In his current academic role he leads the team who deliver the undergraduate nursing programme, supervises PhD students, develops and promotes learning and teaching in the University and publishes research on a wide range of professional and educational topics. Peter is a distinguished teacher who holds a National Teaching Fellowship and is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

In his ordained role, Peter serves as Associate Minister in the parishes of South Cave, Broomfleet and Ellerker. Peter is also a keen Park Runner, and regularly represents his local archery club at competitive events.

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Chris Shepherdson - Date of appointment 11/10/21

Chris is a proven Chartered Manager and accountant with a BSc in Accounting and Financial Management. He has past experience in the public-sector having led multi-agency work and been a member and chair on a number of commissioning, strategy, partnership and delivery boards including being a regional steering group member to Lord Bradley.

Chris is experienced in safeguarding issues with previous responsibilities for missing persons. He has performed the legal role of Designated Officer in ascertaining and promoting child welfare and best interests. He has been responsible for a number of organisational policies, risk management and business continuity planning, along with a number of organisational projects including restructuring delivery through modernising workforce and process improvements and comprehensive spending review re-modelling.

Chris is a previous board member with the trust and also a local father of two children, community volunteer, a keen runner and avid football supporter.


Susan Bailey - Date of appointment 11/10/21

Mike Whitehead - Date of appointment 31/10/21