Our Governance

The HVMN is run by an Executive Committee, an elected body of volunteer management professionals who are all currently working in palliative care settings. 

Being on the Executive Committee is a volunteer role, and one that is done alongside their day-to-day job. The Executive Committee meets at least six times a year and are responsible for the overall management of the organisation. View our Constitution.

New members can be co-opted at any time and will officially stand for election at our Annual Conference.

We’re always looking for new people to join the Committee. If you want to explore taking up a role on the Committee, please contact us for an informal chat.

Meet our Executive Committee


Peter Nesbitt, Chairperson

Head of Business Planning, Risk and Volunteering

St Catherine’s Hospice, Crawley

For Peter, what started as a temporary admin job in ‘an office’, turned into an amazing career. Working with volunteers and volunteering since 2005, Peter developed a passion for this work because of the positive action and benefit he saw volunteering have on the people who volunteer and those who benefit from their support. Peter quickly learnt about volunteer management, recruitment and support whilst working at the National charity, Volunteering Matters (formerly CSV) a charity leading UK volunteering in policy and practice for more than 50 years and who work with over 20,000 volunteers supporting over 85,000 people in over 1000 community programmes.

Here Peter’s career developed quickly, moving from his administration post to volunteer management, and then to training and developing volunteer managers, in less than 5 years, becoming Volunteering Matters’ International Recruitment Manager. This role involved managing international partnerships across 4 continents, supporting the work and volunteer management of hundreds of full-time volunteers in hundreds of organisation across England, Scotland and Wales and representing UK volunteering as a Board Member of Volunteurope in 2016/17, an international network promoting volunteering, active citizenship and social justice in Europe and beyond.

In 2017, Peter relocated from the Midlands to the South coast, and as part of this he began working for St Catherine’s Hospice in Sussex & East Surrey as their Volunteering Development Manager, later becoming the Head of Business Planning, Risk and Volunteering. Joining HVMN in the same year, Peter then volunteered to be the Regional Representative for the South in 2018 and later joined as a member of the HVMN Exec Team in 2019.


Steve Bond, Regional Development Forum Chair

Head of Volunteering

St Barnabas Hospice

Steve has had 3 career paths so far, including Supermarket Retail with the Co-op, ASDA and Sainsburys, policing with Lincolnshire Police as a response officer and in criminal investigation, and latterly in the charity sector.

Steve has worked for St. Barnabas Hospice in Lincolnshire since 2014.  Initially he was Assistant Volunteer Services Manager before completing his HR qualification and moving into a combined role of HR and Volunteer Services Manager. The roles were split again and Steve chose to return to a purely Volunteer Management role which now includes overseeing the Facilities Team too.
Steve said, “I became a member of the HVMN on day one with the Hospice and I have continued to be impressed with the amount we all get for our membership. The networking opportunities and conversations we have in regional meetings are so useful and the annual conference is thought provoking and reaffirming in equal measure. The conference alone could generate workstreams for 12 months!”

Steve became Regional Rep for the Midlands during 2020/21 and then decided to raise his hand above the parapet to join the Exec. He took on the role of Regional Development Forum Chair from the end of 2021.  “I have gotten so much out of the HVMN that its time for me to put something back and hopefully help the organisation develop over the next few years. I’d recommend anybody to get involved as an exec or regional rep.”


Rachel Stewart, Membership Secretary

Head of Volunteering

Dorothy House Hospice Care

With a background in education as a primary school teacher, Rachel has ‘dipped her toe into the water’ of a wide variety of jobs from the civil service to computer programming. After having children her career took off in earnest when she started out in the Voluntary Sector 14 years ago and she really has not looked back!

Her initial involvement was with children’s charities, Barnardo’s and Spurgeons supporting service delivery. From 2008 onwards she has been in leadership and management positions; these included setting up and running Sure Start children’s centres and a young carers’ service across Wiltshire. Inspired by seeing the difference volunteering made to both volunteers and service users, she set up a volunteer mentoring scheme for young carers. This led onto a new role, setting up a pilot project for another children’s charity with a volunteer team offering practical help and support to families with a child with a life threatening illness.

In 2017 Rachel took on the role of Volunteer Development Manager at Dorothy House Hospice, Wiltshire and quickly recognised how invaluable the support offered by the HVMN is. She took on the role of membership secretary to the Executive team in 2018/19 and co-chairs the south west region. Over the short 3 years since joining Dorothy House, she has tried out many ideas and models of working that have first been discovered at HVMN meetings and conferences.

Outside work Rachel has volunteered her time and skills to offer training for volunteers in another charity. She is involved in a range of church activities from worship leading to any events involving food.

Jenn Bird

Jennifer Bird

Head of Major HR Projects & Volunteering

Thames Hospice

Jenn stumbled into the Volunteer Management profession during her time volunteering at Helen & Douglas House in Oxford whilst working in HR for a childcare company. She then started as the Volunteer Services Manager at St Luke’s Hospice in Harrow, two years later moving to Thames Hospice in Windsor where she has worked for the past nine years as the Head of Volunteering and later the Head of Major HR Projects & Volunteering.

Jenn joined the HVMN Exec team in 2016 as Regional Development Forum Chair supporting the Regional Reps but has since supported on projects for HVMN around the website, securing freelance support, rebranding and is currently part of the Conference sub committee. She has also been Regional Rep for the London & North West Thames region. 


Deborah Vickers

Head of Voluntary Services                         

Douglas Macmillan Hospice


Deb joined Dougie Mac in Stoke 10 years ago after her family were touched by the care her Grandad received in his final days.

“I started at Dougie Mac (as we are known locally) in fundraising which was so inspiring to meet people who wanted to raise money and give something back. I met so many volunteers and found their reasons for volunteering amazing”.

After maternity leave Deb moved over to the volunteering department she now manages. “I remember the first HVMN conference I attended, I got so much out of it to implement at my hospice, it was so reassuring being in a room full of people who do the same job and have the same day to day issues”.

Deb is an Investors in Excellence practitioner and previously worked for national companies as a coach and performance manager. “Moving to the voluntary sector was the best thing I did. I love working with volunteers, the experience they bring, the diversity and inclusion it allows, you just don’t get that anywhere else”.



Jenn Bird

Maria Cuthbert

Voluntary Services Manager

Highland Hospice

Maria started with Highland Hospice over 20 years ago in the fundraising department, never having worked in the charity sector before. After a period of maternity leave moved into voluntary services as admin support and apart from another slightly longer maternity leave and then a move to Learning and Development has been there ever since. In 2019 she applied for and was successfully appointed to manager of the department.

She loves working with such a diverse and committed workforce. Ensuring the development and support of volunteers within the organisation is her priority as well as looking at ways of involving young volunteers, working with schools and local youth groups.

Having always been supported by the HVMN network in the years she has been a member she felt would like to contribute to this so has joined HVMN exec this year.

HOSPICE STAFF MARCH2016 – Gillian Austin

Su Bennett, Executive Team

Volunteer Development Manager

The Hospice of St Francis

Su joined The Hospice of St Francis as a volunteer in 2018, after her family were touched by the care her mum and family received in 2016. Prior to joining the Hospice, Su worked corporately as an Executive Assistant for a multi-national luxury retail clothing brand where she played a key part in their corporate fundraising events and other local, social responsibility initiatives for the organisation.

Su’s volunteering journey started when she was 16, volunteering in her local charity shop and with holiday schemes for Mencap. This kicked off a lifelong love-affair with volunteering! Over the years Su has enjoyed volunteering in a range of organisations; including NCT, Girl Guides Association and Scouts, as well as various informal volunteering roles. After being interviewed for a voluntary role at The Hospice of St Francis, Su was so inspired by the range of volunteering opportunities available and the work of the Voluntary Services Team that she decided it was the right time to change career and applied for a paid administration role within the Volunteering & Training team. Since joining The Hospice of St Francis, Su has developed her career, being promoted to covering the department due to maternity leave, as a Voluntary Services Advisor and was then promoted to Volunteer Development Manager in 2021 to permanently head up the service.

John Johnson

Ian Turnbull, Executive Team

Volunteer Engagement Manager
Willowbrook Hospice

Ian is a returning member of the Executive Committee. He has been the Regional Rep. for the North West Group (stretching from Cumbria to Cheshire and across the sea to the Isle of Man!) for some time and, after a nostalgic experience at the HVMN Conference 2022, Ian decided he would gladly re-join the committee to support its continuing development for the membership.

Ian is the Volunteer Engagement Manager at Willowbrook Hospice, Merseyside.

Previously Ian worked for Nat West for 25 years in  the North West, Guernsey and Hereford before moving back to Liverpool and was given the opportunity as the Volunteer Manager at Bury Hospice in Greater Manchester. Ian has been at Willowbrook looking after volunteers for the past 14 years.

Ian is a volunteer himself as a Trustee at The Plaza, a local community cinema in Crosby and has been a National Trust volunteer in Herefordshire as well a volunteer Treasurer for ECHO – an independent charity and the leading provider of day services for people with a disability in Herefordshire.

Photo of Avril Roberts

Avril Roberts, Executive Team

Volunteer Development Manager
St Peter and St James Hospice

Avril joined STPH Hospice as Volunteer Coordinator in 2016 after a professional library background of 23 years who fancied a change and had experience of developing volunteering opportunities in libraries. She joined the HVSM then was AVSM at the beginning of her role and found the support and expert knowledge of her peers invaluable. Her first conference literally blew her away and she came back with ideas of how to improve volunteering practice, engagement, and management in her hospice. Joining the Executive Team enables Avril to contribute to the forum both locally and nationally for volunteer professionals to come together, share good practice and continually learn and develop. Since joining STPJ Hospice Avril has grown her team of 1 to 3 and heads this up as the Volunteer Development Manager. Presently she is undertaking the Investors in Volunteering Accreditation process for her hospice.

How to Get Involved?

Executive Committee members can be co-opted on to the board at any time during the year and will officially stand for election at the Annual Conference. If you are interested in finding out more about the Executive Committee or would be interested in joining the team, then please contact us.

Become an HVMN member today