Board of Trustees

Wendy Bell (Treasurer)

After studying Botany at Durham University I spent 12 years at Liverpool University where, as Head of Readers’ Services, I specialised  in library automation. In 1989 I joined IBM where I performed a variety of roles from solution design and delivery to operations management. I led organisational change in times of growth and in challenging economic environments. My responsibilities have included strategic planning, financial management, risk management and corporate governance. I am also an experienced people manager with a good track record of coaching and mentoring.On retirement from IBM UK, I set up a consultancy business with my husband with a focus on STEM education and, more generally, narrowing the attainment gap for disadvantaged children. I’m excited to use my business skills to support Platform for Life.


Dr John Breadon (Chair)

I’m Northern Irish by birth and upbringing but now firmly Anglo-Irish in identity having moved to England in 1997. For 16 years I was a priest in the Church of England, mostly involved with religious education in colleges and schools. As of 2016, I am a part-time counsellor with a small private practice in Hoole. The rest of my time is spent on family life: this includes helping to raise two young boys, being a partner to Alison who runs CSASS (Chester Sexual Abuse Support Service), and giver of regular walks to Chops, a rescue Staffie. My mental health and wellbeing concerns focus on men and masculinity, the relationships between men and women in intimate partnerships, and the overlaps between religion, spirituality and therapy.

Dr Andrew Garman

Scientist by background, I’ve worked the majority of my career in the pharmaceuticals and life science sectors, leading to being Director of Strategy Development at AstraZeneca.  In 2006 I took early retirement and trained to be a counsellor, qualifying in 2009/10.  Since then I have counselled in a variety of settings in the NHS and charity sectors, as well as having my own private practice.  Founded Platform for Life in 2017, bringing counselling and play therapy to deprived communities with low access to appropriate mental health provision. I also act as a supervisor to other counsellors and have a strong interest in taking a strategic approach to tackling poor mental health in deprived communities.

Ann Gill

After a long career as a teacher, headteacher and adviser in primary schools I am very aware that there are times when struggling families benefit from the support of counsellors.  As a Trustee of Platform for Life, I relish being part of an organisation dedicated to improving the life chances for children and their families.


George Hartley

I was born in Preston and grew up in the Weald of Kent where I attended Cranbrook School. Thereafter I went to Cambridge University where I studied Geography before completing a Masters degree in Environmental Technology at Imperial College London. I embarked on a career in teaching and taught at various schools in southern England before becoming Headmaster of Elizabeth College in Guernsey for eight years in 2009. Since 2017 I have been Headmaster of The King’s School, Chester. I live in Handbridge, Chester with my family. My interests include rugby, cricket, cooking and mountaineering.

Andrew Kerr

I have had a long business career, mainly in the insurance sector where I qualified as an actuary.  Over this time, I’ve undertaken a wide range of roles including risk management, finance and the delivery of a number of large multi-year projects.  In addition, I have also performed a number of voluntary and non-executive roles. I have lived in Chester for over 20 years, with both of my children going to school locally. I enjoy most sports (including rowing and cycling) as well as the arts.  I am very excited to be involved with Platform for Life and am very much looking forward to utilising my business skills to support the excellent work done.

Emma Price

I am a Cestrian, born and bred and completed all of my education here. I went to the University of Chester where I undertook an Undergraduate degree in Psychology and Criminology, a Master’s degree in Crime and Justice and I’m currently finishing my PhD, which looks at third sector support available for mentally disordered offenders. I am currently a full-time Criminology lecturer at the University of Chester where I enjoy teaching and researching around my areas of interest which include; green criminology, mental health and victimisation. I have become a Trustee at Platform for Life because I wanted my research and expertise to make a difference within the community and I feel I can achieve this through the charity. I am very passionate and excited about being involved with a charity that provides such prominent support for improving the mental health and wellbeing of its service users.


Councillor Trish Richards

I am a happily married woman; proud Mum and Grandmother.  I recently celebrated 1 year in the challenging role of Blacon Ward Councillor.I was a Science teacher in high school for many years. Always involved in Trades Union activity in the workplace and through my involvement gained various qualifications regarding industrial relations. Eventually I left teaching to become the Local Negotiating Secretary of a leading teachers’ professional association. After leaving that role I went through rigorous training to become an ambassador for the NSPCC. Once qualified, I delivered workshops in Primary Schools. These sessions revealed to pupils (and teachers) the forms of abuse and the ambition of Childline to halt harm to children. Later I was employed by DOVE to promote body confidence to older high school students. I am very pleased to be part of Platform for Life.

Paul Rossiter

I am a solicitor and own a law firm which operates in North Wales and Cheshire and which often undertakes “pro bono” work for people in the local community. I have accepted a role as a Trustee at Platform for Life with the hope of being able to help more people in need in my local area. I live in Chester and am originally from Widnes, so I am a native to the North West, and I used to visit Chester when I was a child. I have always found it to be a lovely place and I am happy to now be engaged in making the lives of people in this area better.