A warm welcome to our new Trustees

We are delighted to welcome five new members to our Board of Trustees.

As a not-for-profit social enterprise and a registered charity, we deliver a wide range of leisure and cultural services from theatres to parks, and arts programmes to leisure centres in the Selby district of North Yorkshire and in the Cannock Chase area of Staffordshire.

Our new trustees are joining five existing board members to support and deliver IHL’s vision, values, impacts and aims, which are:

  • To inspire people to choose healthy, active and creative lifestyles
  • To provide experiences that empower people to be responsible for their own lives
  • To foster a positive and healthy workforce
  • To build close relationships with its partner local authorities in the areas it serves
  • To build strong partnerships that deliver impact and meet the needs of customers at its arts and leisure facilities.

Our Managing Director, Chris Derbyshire, says: “We’ve come through a period of significant change in the last 12-24 months and our first priority is the recovery and rebuilding process post covid, as well as the development and sign off of a new business strategy for the organisation to really reflect what we want to achieve as a charity over the next three-year period.

“As this is a new chapter for us we want to ensure that we deliver tangible social impact by promoting good health through participation in physical activity, culture and arts across the communities in which we work.

“We also wanted to re-align our board of trustees to make sure it truly represents the geographical areas where we are providing our key service contracts.”

Our new trustees – appointed following a rigorous recruitment campaign – met their existing counterparts for the first time at a board development day at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

Among them was Pete Burt, our former MD who retired from his post in 2021 after 17 years. A keen hiker and cyclist, Pete is still keen to contribute to our work after handing over the reins to former Deputy MD Chris Derbyshire.

The other new trustees are:

  • Rebecca Boocock – Head of delivery at Staffordshire-based Codeweavers Ltd, which provides digital finance solutions for 160 of the UK’s top 200 automotive retailers. She is passionate about leisure, wellbeing and cultural facilities and is a user of the services IHL delivers in Cannock. She is a full member of Women on Boards and the Association for Project Management (APM)
  • Stephen Gambles - Reward, performance & people experience director at Arrow Global PLC, which is a leading European investor and asset manager. He is a commercial HR professional with significant experience of working with executive leadership teams. Based in Staffordshire, he is a volunteer football coach at grass roots level and an advocate of wellbeing services.
  • Joanne Green – Head of data, insight and evidence at Spurgeons children charity. She has 20 years’ experience working in the charity sector and is passionate about the value, intelligence and opportunity that data offers. She is originally from Cannock Chase and is still based in the West Midlands.
  • Louise Peace – Head of strategic HR at Barnado’s, where she leads on volunteering. Based in north Yorkshire, she is an advocate for physical activity and its benefits – and runs every morning. She has significant experience in retail having held numerous roles at B&Q and Sainsbury’s.

Existing Trustees

Appointed from the existing trustees, our board also has a new chair and vice chair in Darren Wood and Emma Wetherby respectively.

Darren is a head of product for retail services at Cox Automotive, the world’s largest automotive services organisation, and sits on the retail solutions senior leadership team board. Cox Automotive is a $25bn business based in 200 locations worldwide. He previously worked at Auto Trader UK, where he has performed a number of roles in product and marketing, helping their digital transition from print.

A keen gym-goer, Darren likes to work out several times a week to keep fit. You can often find him in IHL’s facilities after work or at weekends.

Emma is a personal change and transformation coach empowering and compassionately supporting individuals on their journey to transform their lives, encouraging them to be the best version of themselves.

She holds a BA (hons) from University of Central Lancashire in Management and a MSc in Managing Business Performance from Salford University.  Emma also holds a Level 5 Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and has completed a NLP Master Practitioner course in addition to a number of coaching qualifications.

Prior to her career break, Emma's career focused on both the public and private sector (financial services, social housing, legal services and education) managing projects and operational activities in process re-engineering, quality management, internal and external audit, governance, risk management and business excellence.

Emma has contributed in a volunteer capacity throughout her career. This has included roles as a Prince’s Trust business mentor, vice chair school governor for over 10 years, health walk leader and now a trustee.

IHL also has a new chair of its audit committee. He is Paul Farrington, a director at NR Barton Chartered Accountants based in Wigan. Paul started his accountancy career in 2006 after graduating from Lancaster University with a first in Mathematics and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2009. Paul acts for a varied portfolio of clients and specialises in audit where he looks after clients up to £60 million turnover.

He lives in Shevington with his wife and young son. He is a season ticket holder at both Wigan Athletic and Wigan Warriors and, time permitting, is now tentatively starting to enter the world of triathlons.

Completing the board is Catherine Wilks. On completing her PhD in theoretical particle physics, Catherine has worked within data strategy, visualisation and analytics. She is now Data & Analytics Director at Slalom, a modern consulting firm focused on strategy, technology and business transformation.

Catherine provides strategic guidance and advice on how companies can innovate, scale and improve operational efficiency through the use of data, analytics and technology. She has worked with a range of organisations within financial services, retail, manufacturing and transport.

Catherine is the winner of the UK Data Leaders Awards 2018 and a top 50 Data Leader and Influencer in the UK for 2018 by Information Age.  She was also a finalist of the Barclays Woman of the Year Award in 2017 and winner of Insider North West Young Professional in IT and Technology 2016.

Catherine founded ‘Lean In Circles’ for women in the Manchester area. Whilst these gatherings are open to all women, many members are data scientists, researchers and other technical professionals. They are attended by over 250 individuals and meet monthly to discuss a range of issues facing modern women, for example working with female peers, negotiation and succeeding in male dominated environments.

Outside of work Catherine's main past time is keeping fit and can mainly be found in the gym doing strength work, pounding the pavements or doing any other sport which gets her moving.

Key strengths that Catherine brings to the board are in data management and optimisation, and the ability to be flexible and respond to the acceleration of changes in the technology industry.

Sue Price

from Selby, joined us as a trustee at the start of 2019 and retired at the end of 2021 with grateful thanks from the IHL board for her contribution to the trust.


Length of Office

Our trustees serve for a three-year term which is deemed to run from the beginning of the calendar year in which they were appointed and conclude at the first board meeting held after their third anniversary in post. Trustees may be re-appointed by the board at the end of each term of office. Trustees are entitled to serve a maximum of three consecutive terms of office before being required to stand down as a trustee.


IHL development day: back row (left to right): Stephen Gambles, Rebecca Boocock, Chris Derbyshire, MD, Darren Wood, chair, and Pete Burt, new trustee and IHL’s retired MD. Front row (left to right) – Jo Green and Louise Peace.

Last updated: 19 January 2022