Our Trustees

Diane akers mug shot

Diane Akers

Diane Akers grew up in East Anglia before studying nursing at University College, London and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Stanmore.

She then worked as a nursing sister in general practice for many years before studying for a BSC hons at the Royal College of Nursing, as a mature student. Diane then worked as a Nurse Practitioner in the community trying to establish, the then new role, in West Sussex

Since joining FSH she has become a member of the main fundraising committee, the West Sussex Fundraising Committee and organises the West Sussex lunches at Tottington Manor.

Diane is married to an historian and has had two children.


Simon Baer

Dr Simon Baer

Simon studied Medicine at St Marys Hospital before training in Ear Nose and Throat surgery. He was appointed as a Consultant at Hastings (later East Sussex Hospitals) in 1994. He was a visiting surgeon at Benenden Hospital and Chair of the Medical Committee at Spire Sussex Hospital. He recently retired from medical practice. He is on the Board of Rye Golf Club and a Trustee for Friends of Sussex Hospices.

He is married to Amanda and has one son and two daughters.

Ian mug shot.

Dr Ian Gough

Ian trained as a dental surgeon at Guy’s Hospital and after serving as a dental officer in the RN and RNR worked in general dental practice in Shoreham by sea and Hove until his retirement in 2013. He was a General Commissioner of Income Tax for Brighton and Hove for ten years.

Married to a retired physiotherapist he has two grown up children. His daughter is a criminal barrister and his son works in aviation flight simulation.

His interests include restoring old cars, growing vegetables and amateur genealogy. He’s also a trustee of the Friends of Lancing Chapel.

Andrew Hicks

Andrew Hicks ACMA (Treasurer)

Andrew grew up in Sussex and moved back over 20 years ago and now lives in Danehill. A qualified accountant for many years he has worked in finance and supply chain across a variety of business sectors and is currently employed by The National Trust. Andrew is and has been Treasurer or Independent Auditor for several local charities. A keen walker he is also actively involved in the local Parish Church.



David graduated from Cambridge University and trained at Guy’s Hospital and spent 17 years in the Royal Air Force, initially in general practice and then adult medicine before training in paediatrics. He retired as a Wing Commander. David has been a Consultant Paediatrician for over 30 years and moved to Hastings, Conquest Hospital in 1988 where  he set up and developed the Paediatric Department. He founded the ‘Children of the Milky Way Appeal’ in 1992, which funded the first Community Paediatric Nurses in Hastings. He has a special interest in epilepsy. In 1996 David became Trust Medical Director a post he held for 12 years.
He has done work for the Healthcare Commission, the Department of Health and the General Medical Council and chaired the British Medical Association Medical Manager’s Commitee for 7 years until 2012.

David is married to Mimi and has two grown up sons and three grandchildren. His interests are gardening, photography and travelling.

Helen Searle

Helen Searle

Helen Searle is a leading intellectual property lawyer specialising in the entertainment industry with a particular focus on the music, film and TV industries.
Her client base is global and includes artists, song writers, producers, independent record labels, publishers, managers, booking agents and film and TV production companies. She has been instrumental in forging and guiding the careers of many superstars and has a particularly strong reputation for representing recording artists, from established household names to emerging talent, providing advice on recording and publishing deals, branding, sponsorship, worldwide tours and films.  Helen has an incredibly wide range of contacts within the entertainment industry.
Helen is also frequently engaged to broker a settlement in music industry disputes.
She is a non-executive director of two established music charities. Go North and CM.
Helen regularly writes and lectures on music industry related matters.  She also keeps bees and teaches yoga.

Chantal-Wilson mug shot cropped

Chantal Wilson DL

Chantal lives in Crowborough where she was born having returned after several years living elsewhere including abroad.  She has 2 adult daughters and two granddaughters.

Chantal has been involved in the charity and voluntary sector for many years. As well as being a trustee of FSH now and for 9 years until 2019, she is chairman of Crowborough Community Association and a Sussex Charity Mentor.  She has previously been chairman of Action in rural Sussex and the Friends of Crowborough Hospital.

Chantal was a local councillor for 32 years and independent chairman of Wealden District Council for 2 years.  She is a recently retired deputy lieutenant of East Sussex.

She currently runs an architectural business with her husband.