- Dame Judi Dench CH DBE
- Esther Rantzen CBE
- Arthur Smith
- Sir Andrew Buchanan Bt
- Mr. David Mills
- Hugh Kemsley, OBE
- John Spence OBE, FCIBS, FIFS, FRSA
- Denis Green
- The RT. Hon. The Lord Crawshaw
Dame Judi Dench CH DBE
Dame Judi Dench is a world famous star of stage and screen and widely recognised as one of the finest actors of her generation. Dame Judi has been a Vitalise Vice President for over 20 years and most recently she fronted the Vitalise Christmas Appeal 2013.
In her Christmas Appeal message, Dame Judi said: “There are millions of people in the UK struggling to cope with disability. Whatever their situation, it’s more than likely that their daily existence is a hard, unrelenting struggle against isolation and loneliness. For them, Christmas is no different to any other time of year. That’s why we urgently need your help this Festive Season.”
Among the charitable causes Dame Judi supports alongside Vitalise are Survival International and the Shakespeare Schools Festival, of which she is Patron. She was awarded the title Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 1988.
Esther Rantzen CBE
Esther Rantzen has been a much loved broadcaster and campaigner for over 10 years. She first sprung to fame as a presenter on BBC TV’s That’s Life, which succeeded in raising much needed public awareness for the need for child organ transplants. After a chance meeting with Joan Brander, Vitalise’s founder, Esther became a Vice President soon afterwards.
Recalling their meeting, Esther said: “The more I discovered about her, the more impressed I was by what she had created. I knew this was a charity I could support. I've had the honour of being a Vitalise VP to this day.”
Esther supports a wide range of charities in addition to Vitalise, including ChildLine, which she set up in 1986, and most recently The SilverLine, a telephone befriending service to help older people cope with loneliness, which she set up in 2012. Esther was awarded a CBE in 2006 for services to children.
One of the most active Vitalise Vice Presidents, Arthur is a frequent visitor to Vitalise. In 2013 he was the face of the charity’s Raise a Room fundraising campaign and also featured as guest of honour at the Vitalise 50th Anniversary Gala. Most recently Arthur helped organise and headlined a comedy night in Southport to raise funds for Sandpipers.
When sharing his story in the special Vitalise 50th anniversary book Arthur commented: “In 2006, not long after I became a Vitalise Vice President, I popped over to Jubilee Lodge to see for myself what Vitalise does on a daily basis. I went out with a big group of guests and volunteers on a day trip to London. My abiding memory of that day was of a big group of people having a whole lot of fun. Everyone was happy, everyone was laughing. As a carer, you couldn't ask for better than that."
Arthur is considered an elder statesman of the British stand up scene, having been a performer since the 1980s. Arthur continues to perform live and is also a regular roving reporter on BBC TV’s The One Show. He describes himself as the Night Mayor of Balham, adding “I don’t do days.”
Sir Andrew Buchanan Bt
Sir Andrew was educated at Eton and Trinity College Cambridge. He served in the Coldstream Guards and later in the Territorial Army. Sir Andrew was also High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire from 1976 to 1977. He and Belinda, Lady Buchanan, have four children.
Sir Andrew and his family are farmers at Hodstock Priory, famous for its magnificent early spring snowdrops. In addition to running the estate in an environmentally friendly way, they are active volunteers and are involved in many aspects of local and regional community life.
Mr. David Mills
David joined Vitalise as a Trustee and became a Vice President in 2006. He is a former Chief Executive of the Post Office and a Director of Royal Mail Holdings. Prior to this David spent 40 years with Midland Bank and then HSBC Bank in the UK banking retail sector, where he conceived and established First Direct.
David has been Chair of the Employers Forum on Disability, a Trustee of the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation and a Member of the National Disability Council. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Financial Services and a Distinguished Sloan Fellow of the London Business School. David lives in Cambridgeshire with his wife, Lesley, and has three grown up children.
Hugh Kemsley, OBE
Hugh Kemsley has been involved with Vitalise as a Trustee since 1982 and was Chair of Trustees from 1989 to 2005. In his early years with the charity, Hugh was closely involved with the creation of Vitalise’s Sandpipers centre in Southport. In the late 1980s Hugh also took on the management of Netley Waterside House in Southampton.
Hugh is a Chartered Surveyor by profession and a partner in the firm Matthews & Goodman, with offices in London, Manchester and Liverpool. Hugh was awarded an OBE in 1999.
John Spence OBE, FCIBS, FIFS, FRSA
John first joined Vitalise as a trustee in 2005 before taking up the role of Vice President in 2010. He was educated at George Watson’s College, Edinburgh, then Trinity College, Dublin, where he obtained an Honours Degree in Economics, followed by a PMD from Harvard Business School in 1984.
John joined Lloyds Bank in 1973 and had ascended to the position of Managing Director of Business Banking by 1996. In 1998 he was appointed Chief Executive of Lloyds TSB Scotland. In 2000 he became Director of the Lloyds TSB UK Branch Network, in charge of all branches, telephony, ATMs and internet banking. He received The Prince of Wales’s Business Ambassadors Award in 2005.
Among other positions, John is currently a non-executive Director of HM Revenue and Customs, Deputy Chair of Business in the Community and a Church Commissioner for the Church of England. In recognition of his services to charity, John was awarded an OBE in 2006. He has been married to wife Yvonne for 30 years and has three adult children.
Denis retired as Chairman of the Friends of Jubilee Lodge after 14 years service during which, under his leadership, the Friends of Jubilee Lodge raised almost a quarter of a million pounds to support Vitalise’s work at Jubilee Lodge.
Dennis’ passion for Vitalise, combined with his strong networking skills among Rotary Clubs and other influential groups in the region, meant he was instrumental in helping Vitalise through several stages of growth and development.
The RT. Hon. The Lord Crawshaw
David Gerald Brooks, 5th Baron Crawshaw, was born in 1934, the son of Gerald Beach Brooks, 3rd Baron Crawshaw and Marjory Sheila Clifton. He was educated at Eton then the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester. He married Belinda Mary Burgess, daughter of George Burgess, in 1970.