ASH Board of Trustees


ASH is governed by a Board of Trustees of twelve people. The ASH Board of Trustees is made up of a wealth of experience and knowledge in the tobacco control field. Its members are chosen at our Annual General Meeting by an Advisory Council of more than 70 eminent people from fields such as medicine, public health, public relations and politics.

Dr Sanjay Agrawal
Dr Sanjay Agrawal is a Consultant in Respiratory and Intensive Care Medicine at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. Treating tobacco dependency effectively in the NHS has been a key focus as well as wider tobacco control measures. Dr Agrawal chairs the Royal College of Physicians Tobacco Advisory Group.

Dr Somen Banerjee

Dr Noel Baxter
Dr Noel Baxter is a portfolio GP who works clinically for the NHS in London and has interest in respiratory medicine and treating tobacco dependency. He is the immediate past chair of the Primary Care Respiratory Society in the UK and is the current executive policy lead. He is a board director for the International Primary Care Respiratory Group. Recent roles have included Clinical Director for Quality at Southwark CCG and primary care lead for the RCP national asthma and COPD audit.

Rt. Hon. Paul Burstow

Professor John Britton
Professor Britton is Professor of Epidemiology and Head of the Division of Epidemiology and Public Health at Nottingham University, and is a consultant in respiratory medicine at Nottingham City Hospital. He is Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies, and a former chair of the Royal College of Physicians tobacco advisory group.

Alison Cox (Vice-Chair)
Alison Cox is Director for Cancer Prevention at Cancer Research UK, responsible for the charity’s policy and strategic direction in the area of cancer prevention. She is a board member of the Smokefree Partnership. She is also a member of the steering group of the Obesity Health Alliance and of the International Advisory Board for the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies. Alison has more than twenty years’ experience working on civil society campaigns, including as Programme Director of the Framework Convention Alliance, the global alliance promoting the WHO treaty on tobacco control, and as a strategy consultant to the NCD Alliance.

Carolan Davidge
Carolan Davidge is the Executive Director, Marketing and Engagement at the British Heart Foundation (BHF). She leads the charity’s award-winning brand, marketing, communications, digital engagement and customer teams, involving people in the BHF’s life-saving work. Passionate about the role charities can play to change society for the better, her career has included senior roles at Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council, Macmillan Cancer Support and Shelter. Carolan is also a Non-Executive Director at the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust and a qualified coach and mentor. She has been named the charity sector’s most influential communications professional by the PR Week Power Book and has received an Inspiring Communicator Award from CharityComms.

Kate Harrison (Treasurer)
Kate Harrison is a Chartered Accountant and Fellow of the ICAEW.  She has worked in charity finance since 2007 and is currently a Finance Business Partner at the British Heart Foundation.

Dr Nicholas Hopkinson MA PhD FRCP (Chair)
Dr Nicholas Hopkinson is a Reader in Respiratory Medicine & Honorary Consultant Physician at The National Heart and Lung Institute of Imperial College and the Royal Brompton Hospital where he runs the Advanced COPD service.  His research focuses on addressing exercise and activity limitation in COPD in areas including pulmonary physiology and lung volume reduction, skeletal muscle impairment and pulmonary rehabilitation. He chairs the British Thoracic Society COPD Specialist Advisory Group and is also active in tobacco control advocacy. He trained at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and The London Hospital Medical School and subsequently at St George’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals.

Jonathan McShane

Dr Debbie Robson
Debbie is a Senior Research Fellow at the National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London. Her current role involves the development, implementation and evaluation of tobacco dependence treatment initiatives for people with a mental health condition and/ or substance use disorder who smoke.

Dr Helen Walters
Dr Helen Walters is Public Health Consultant Advisor to the Public Health Research Programme for NIHR working at the national coordinating centre in Southampton University. She focuses on the funding of research that is relevant to Public Health practice, particularly in local government. Helen brings extensive experience of coal-face Public Health practice having led the Health Team in the Mayor of London’s office for five years. Prior to this Helen was Director of Public Health for the City of Westminster, Consultant in Public Health in Portsmouth, has been a GP partner and served as an elected member in her district council. Helen is the Tobacco lead for the UK Faculty of Public Health and a trustee of St Mungo’s.

The ASH Advisory Council

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) is a small public health charity that works to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco. ASH was established in January 1971 by the Royal College of Physicians. We do not attack smokers or condemn smoking.

The governing body of the Charity is the Advisory Council which is made up of around 90 individuals whose activities and experiences are relevant to our work. The involvement of such people is invaluable to the work we do. The Council meets at least once a year. As ASH is both a charity and a company limited by guarantee, from a legal point of view, the Members of the Council are also the Members of the Company.

The Council has three important functions:

  1. To elect the Board of Directors (who are also the Trustees of the Charity).
  2. To advise the Board on important matters of policy and strategy.
  3. To approve the annual accounts, receive activity reports, appoint the auditors and generally hold the Board to account for the work of ASH in the previous year.

These functions are mainly carried out at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) though, from time to time, additional meetings of the Advisory Council may take place. The AGM usually takes place during December of each year.

ASH welcomes applications to join the Advisory Council from BAME, LGBT+, women and those with disabilities.

ASH has limited resources and does not provide renumeration for either Trustees or Members of the Council. However, we welcome expressions of interest in joining the Council from suitably experienced people. If you are interested, you should send your curriculum vitae and covering letter, marked for the attention of the Company Secretary, to enquiries@ash.org.uk .

Phil Rimmer
Company Secretary
22 June 2020