Mandie Lavin is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Funeral Directors. She is a qualified barrister and was previously Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, with significant experience of working in professional bodies having also run the Bar Standards Board and acted as Director of Regulation at the General Optical Council.
Mandie has an invaluable insight into the introduction of regulation and has been working closely with Scottish Government ministers over the future of the profession, including the introduction of regulation.
Richard Meade is Head of Policy and Public Affairs Scotland for Marie Curie. This includes representing the work of the charity to the Scottish Parliament and Government as well as campaigning to ensure that people living with a terminal illness and their families get the best possible care and the support they need wherever they are.
He has previously worked for Barnardo’s Scotland, Children 1st, Fleishman-Hillard, Help the Aged, the NHS and the Home Office. He has a BA (Hons) in History and Politics from Stirling University and an MSc in Policy Studies from Edinburgh University.
Tim Morris is Chief Executive of the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management. He has 35 years’ experience of the management and operation of cemeteries and crematoria in both the public and private sectors. He is a Fellow and Life member of the Institute and holds the ICCM Diploma.
He has overall responsibility for the Institute’s accredited education and training programmes and the provision of best practice guidance and legal and technical advice to cemetery and crematorium practitioners and authorities.
Tim represents the ICCM on the Ministry of Justice’ Burial and Cremation Advisory Group. He also represented the Institute on the Infant Cremation Commission established by the Scottish Government.
Helen Morrissey is a personal finance specialist who joined Royal London in May 2017. Prior to this she was a journalist specialising in retirement issues for 13 years.
Alison Penny is Coordinator of the Childhood Bereavement Network, the national membership organisation for those supporting bereaved children and their families. Alison has coordinated a group concerned about changes to bereavement benefits, provided written and oral briefings on the reforms to parliamentarians and officials, and gave evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee.
Dr Wendy Walker is a Reader in Acute and Critical Nursing at the University of Wolverhampton, having joined as a Senior Research Fellow in 2011. She is based in the Institute of Health, and deputy lead for a research group: Loss, bereavement and end of life care. Wendy formerly practiced as a Registered Nurse, and specialised in the field of adult intensive care. This practice-based experience led to a growing interest in evidence-informed care and support for families who were suddenly bereaved. Her research includes inquiries that focus on dying, death and bereavement in the context of a life-threatening illness or event, and is typically hospital-based. Deceased organ and tissue donation features prominently in acute and critical care, and has always been an integral and inspirational part of her clinical and academic career.
Stewart Wilson is the Chief Executive of Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland. He has worked in the field of counselling since 1990. Initially he trained and worked as a volunteer counsellor with a Scottish agency which provided support to parents of children newly diagnosed with significant physical or learning disabilities. Stewart was appointed to the post of Executive Director (CEO) of COSCA, the professional body for counselling and psychotherapy in Scotland in 1998, a post he held for 4 years. In 2002, he became the Chief Executive of Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland (CBCS), where he is responsible for overall management of a team of around 350 active volunteers working throughout Scotland, providing a range of types of support to over 8,000 bereaved people in Scotland each year.
Dr Kate Woodthorpe is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Bath. She has worked in this field for over 15 years. In 2016 she acted as Special Advisor to the Work and Pensions’ Select Committee Special Inquiry into Bereavement Benefits and has just finished a secondment with the Department for Work and Pensions supporting improvements to the Funeral Expenses Payment.
Dr Woodthorpe has conducted research and published widely on funeral costs and practice, families at the end of life, the deathcare sector workforce, cemetery usage and researching death, dying and bereavement. She co-edits the inter-disciplinary journal Mortality.