Our Trustees and Patrons

Our charity is built on the expertise and dedication of our wide range of outstanding individuals. They bring with them a wealth of knowledge, business acumen and passion for our unique charity.


CEO and Founder: Barbara Altounyan

Barbara Altounyan created The Hospice Biographers in November 2017.

She recorded her very first audio biography many years ago when she learned that her own father was terminally ill. Barbara suggested to her family that she should record her father’s life story whilst there was still time.

Her mother and four siblings were appalled by the idea! They said “ Leave Dad alone, the poor man doesn’t want to be bothered at this difficult time. “

“well, let’s go ask dad then,” Barbara said. As it turned out he was utterly thrilled by the prospect. 

Barbara postponed her BBC TV career, "borrowed" a recorder from the beeb and set about recording her father’s entire life story. Two weeks after completion he sadly died. 

Not surprisingly, all the members of her family then wanted  copies of her audio interviews and today those life story recordings remain one of her family’s greatest heirlooms.

Later Barbara resumed her career in TV where she still works today.



Claire Cater, Chair

Founder of The Social Kinetic: Design thinking, change and engagement consultancy Claire Cater brings 20 years of expertise in patient and stakeholder engagement, healthcare and communications to The Hospice Biographers in addition to her valuable contacts from the world of philanthropy and national grant providers. Having lost her son in 2005, followed soon after by her parents and brother in law, Claire is passionate about the importance of recording the voices and life stories of loved ones.

Sunil Sheth, Law partner of Fladgate LLP

Sunil is a law partner with Fladgate LLP, a prestigious  international law firm serving a wide range of corporate, institutional and private clients. He is also founder and former chairman of the Society of Asian Lawyers in the UK. Sunil has an impressive charity track-record as Chair of Sense International, which helps deaf and blind people and Trustee of One World Media, which assists media in the developing world. Sunil has previously been a member of the British Association Panel of the Bank of England.


Lorraine Crossland, Training Consultant

Lorraine leads our specialist training programme to train 400 journalists to become Hospice Biographers.

She has 26 years’ experience of working in the education and training of young people and adults, plus deep experience in  safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults; projects she has managed include the design and opening of a centre for young adults with autism and designing courses to educate/integrate asylum seekers and refugees.


Adam Altounyan, CISSP - Information Security Manager, Reward Gateway

 Adam is a first class communicator and problem solver, and has extensive industry experience in building and running highly available secure information systems.

Adam ensures the confidentiality, integrity and availability of all the  information stored and controlled by the charity. His focus is on implementing processes, procedures and oversight of the way any data is shared, stored and processed.


Stevan Jackson FRGS, FInstLM, FCMI, MCGI, Chartered MCIPD – CE0 Mary Stevens Hospice

Steve started life as a Coal Miner, later joined the Royal Navy and rose to the rank of Captain. Today he is CEO of one of the most successful and influential hospices in the UK. It was thanks to him that we were able to launch our first training pilot at his hospice back in May 2017.


David Smith: Economist + Bid Writer

David is an economist and founding director of Triple Line Consulting Ltd,  which designs programmes to help support development and reduce poverty in poor countries. David has worked in 15 African countries as well as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea. Clients include the World Bank, European Commission, the  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Government (DFID).

David has an MBA from City University Business School (CASS) and an MSc in Agricultural Economics from Oxford University.

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Nicola Ibison: Media Strategist

Nicola is CEO of The Ibison Talent Group, an executive search company for senior creative and leadership roles within the media and news industry. A former manager of on-screen talent, she has strategized the careers of some of the UK’s biggest TV names, including The Hairy Bikers, Clare Balding, Eamonn Holmes and Gabby Logan.


John Barton - Treasurer

John Barton has 20 years of commercial experience in the Financial Services sector focused on running large programmes for clients in the UK, Switzerland and Hong Kong.

A qualified Financial Risk Manager he has experience in managing large budgets, commercial retail property and start-up businesses.

Our Patrons


Baroness Ilora Finlay

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff is an internationally renowned expert in palliative medicine. She has been an independent cross-bench member of the House of Lords since 2001.

She was formerly a GP in inner-city Glasgow before returning to Cardiff to work full time in palliative medicine.

The first consultant in Palliative Medicine in Wales, she developed palliative and hospice services across Wales and chaired the Palliative Care Strategy Implementation Board for Wales.


Dr Ros Taylor MBE - Palliative Medicine Consultant

Dr Ros Taylor’s impressive career bridges medicine with hospice management, strategy and innovation. 

She began her career as a GP, and went on to lead an innovative palliative in-patient unit in West Cumbria Hospital. 

In 1997 Ros became Director at the Hospice of St Francis where she led a successful project to rebuild the hospice, creating a well-being and early intervention service, and partnering  with the local hospital to foster a new culture in end of life care at ward level. She later became the Medical Director for Hospice U.K. and consultant for the Royal Marsden in London.

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Claire Henry 

Claire Henry is  a palliative engagement consultant and is a former Director of Hospice UK. She is also a former Chief Executive for The National Council for Palliative Care & Dying Matters. 

Earlier she was Head of Programmes for Long Term Conditions and End of Life Care at NHS Improving Quality + National Director for the NHS End of Life Care. Claire’s background is in nursing and after qualifying, she worked predominantly in cancer and palliative care.


Jessie Khan

Jessie is a former Registered Nurse and Registered Manager In the care industry for more than 30 years specialising in frail elderly care, dementia, end of life and palliative care.


Dr Jamsheed Khan

Former surgeon Dr Jamsheed Khan and his wife, Jessie, own two care homes in Essex. 

He was Chairman of the Havering Care Association for over twenty years and set up a professional "Gold Standard " quality of care for other care homes in the region to follow.

He was recently awarded the Mayor’s award for meritorious services to the community.

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Roger Bolton

Roger is known as the Father of Investigative Journalism. He’s currently presenter of Radio 4’s Feedback series. He founded the independent TV company Flame TV together with Barbara Altounyan, creator of The Hospice Biographers’ charity. 

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Phil Harding 

Phil is the former Editor of Today, Radio 4’s flagship current affairs programme. 

He now works as a consultant with media groups across the world on editorial leadership and strategy dealing with topics such as public broadcasting in the digital age, editorial standards and social media and public interest journalism in the modern media world.


Charlie Marshall

Charlie served in the British army and Hong Kong Police. For the past 20 years he has worked in the charity sector, specialising in research and bid writing.

A keen amateur historian, he believes strongly in the power of oral history and its value for future generations.