We are very lucky to have a dedicated team of Trustees who support SWEDA and who have a wide range of skills and experience that they can bring to the charity.  Our trustees ensure that SWEDA has a clear strategy, and that our work and goals are in line with our vision.

They meet once every 6 weeks with our Chief Executive.

Here is a little bit about each of them:

Sarah Hall (Chair) likes to be busy - successfully combining her role as a Trustee of SWEDA with a full-time job in Marketing and home life as a mother of 3 young children. Sarah enjoys the variety of issues that Trustees need to consider and is never afraid to stand up for clients of SWEDA or what she believes to be right.  Although now fully recovered, Sarah suffered from both Anorexia and Bulimia in her 20’s. This very personal experience of Eating Disorders brings a unique point of view to the Board of Trustees and ensures that decisions are made with the users’ best interests in mind.

Brian Robert-Wray became a trustee and Chairman of SWEDA in 2004. In taking this step he was motivated by a history of both Anorexia and Bulimia in his own family. Before retirement in 2003 his career included 20 years senior management in marketing (with Unilever and J.Walter Thompson) before moving to the voluntary sector in 1989 as Director of Fundraising with Marie Curie.  There he presided over an increase in voluntary income from £15 million to £35 million over six years. He ended his professional career as a voluntary sector consultant, where he advised some 30 charities, large and small, national and regional on forward strategy. He served on the board of the Institute of Fundraising for six years, including two years as Chairman from 1996 – 1998

Richard Cussell is a local solicitor.  He has been a director at Chubb Bulleid Solicitors for over 25 years.  He is a family man with 5 children.  He has been a member of Wells Rotary Club for over 20 years and was its president in 2008 and 2017.  He believes in giving service to the community where he can and, through the Rotary, has contributed significantly to fundraising and service activities for the community; its youth and internationally including a trek to build a health centre in Nepal in 2010.  Privileged to be asked to become a trustee of SWEDA and is anxious to learn fast!

Nicholas Hooper spent his working life as a local general practitioner. He has lifelong interest in psychiatry and has had many patients with eating disorders. Having moved to Wells in 2012 he was happy to be involved in an important local charity which reflects his professional concerns. He continues to work in medicine, while at the same time being able to exploit his enthusiasm for playing the piano (badly) and keeping his pre-war car on the road with marginally greater result. Joined SWEDA as a Trustee in December 2015.

Marcia Cumper moved to Wells in 2016 following a career in Vocational Rehabilitation, working in the public, not for profit and the private sector. Initially working as a case manager then moving on to manage a team of Occupational Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Occupational nurses supporting clients, who following a period of illness or injury, wished to make a supported return to work. Her work also involved delivering awareness workshops to employers who wanted to gain a greater understanding of the impact of disability in the workplace particularly in respect of mental health.  Marcia was in the first UK group to gain the Certified Disability Management Professional (CDMP) Award, also achieving the CBDMA (auditor award) from the International Disability Management Standards Council.

Laura Jones started a career in accountancy straight from college as a trainee at medium sized local accountancy practice and qualified as Certified accountant in 2008. Having spent time working and travelling abroad her career moved to working in industry for several large multinational companies and she now heads up the UK Accounting team at a large locally based retailing company (Clarks), She hopes the skills and knowledge she has gained in her professional career can support the SWEDA team. Having grown up in Somerset and previously been a volunteer with the local Riding for the Disabled group she is passionate to give something back to the local community. She joined SWEDA as a Trustee in 2018 and is excited to learn more about their great work empowering members to take control of their recovery.

Barbara Clift had a long career working for the global technology company IBM, where she gained considerable experience working in business development at a senior level both in the UK and overseas.  After early retirement in 2005 Barbara worked briefly as a consultant for a not for profit sector skills organisation developing computer clubs for girls in schools with a longer-term aim of encouraging girls into the IT industry.  Barbara has used her skills to support the voluntary sector, particularly helping them to develop business and marketing strategies with a view to sustainability. Her voluntary sector work includes, preventative health measures and wellbeing, cancer care bereavement services, supporting adults with learning difficulties and a listening ear service for parents who have lost a child.

Barbara was appointed as a Non-Executive Director (NED) for Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in 2014 and was recently invited to serve a second three-year term of office. She sits on all committees and is the lead NED for Safeguarding. In this capacity she has developed a keen interest in Mental Health services and eating disorders in particular.  Barbara is passionate about the services SWEDA offers and is keen to use the skills developed both in the commercial sector, & the NHS to support SWEDA.


“I saw a SWEDA support worker on campus at university. I had been struggling with binge eating disorder and compulsive exercise for about ten years. The SWEDA support worker was able to help me look at my relationship with food and my body in a different way. I have learned to be kinder to myself and they taught me techniques which helped me to slow down my thinking. Now I can go out and have fun without worrying all the time.”

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