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Our vice presidents

Our vice presidents (VPs) play a crucial role in helping to strengthen our profile, voice, networks and income streams. Our VPs make an enormous contribution to our work and we are very grateful for their wonderful support. 

One of our Vice Presidents, Claire Williams

Claire Williams OBE

Claire is passionate about building specialist expertise across the health and care sectors, as well as empowering people with spinal cord injury through knowledge and advocacy.

Claire is recognised for her pioneering work in Formula 1 as the former Deputy Team Principal of the Williams F1 racing team. In recognition of her contributions to Formula 1, and in particular as an advocate for diversity and inclusion in motorsport, she was appointed OBE in 2016.

Her father, the late Sir Frank Williams, sustained a spinal cord injury in a car accident in 1986, aged 44, yet went on to achieve so much in F1 racing. Inspired by his success and motivated by the challenges he faced, Claire is passionate about building specialist expertise across the health and care sectors, as well as empowering spinal cord injured people through knowledge and advocacy. She is working with SIA to establish the Frank Williams Academy, to revolutionise the care and support available and give all people with spinal cord injury the best chance to achieve a fulfilled life after injury.

One of our Vice Presidents Gerard McDermott KC

Gerard McDermott KC

Gerard is passionate to ensure that all people with spinal cord injury have access to the specialist care and support they need, not only those with a potential claim for financial compensation.

Gerard McDermott KC is a pre-eminent UK barrister and is based in London and Manchester, with associated offices in Abu Dhabi and New York.  His main areas of practice are personal injury, medical malpractice and employment law at all levels, although he maintains a diverse practice across the common law and commercial fields. He acts for both claimants and defendants, with over thirty years’ experience of cases which involve catastrophic personal injury such as spinal cord injury and brain injury.

Gerard is passionate to ensure that all people with spinal cord injury have access to the specialist care and support they need, not only those with a potential claim for financial compensation. He is working with us to build and coordinate a network of support services nationwide, whilst also supporting many of our fundraising activities and events.

 

Image of Martin Hibbert, one of our Vice Presidents - taken on Mount Kilimanjaro which he climbed to raise money for SIA

Martin Hibbert

Martin was the closest person to the 2017 Manchester arena terrorist bomb to survive. His spine was severed by shrapnel, leaving him with a T10 complete spinal cord injury.

Martin was determined to turn an act of terror into something good and in 2020 launched the Martin’s Mountain campaign – an ambitious challenge to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and raise £1 million for SIA. Despite being hampered by the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns, Martin and his team reached the summit of Kilimanjaro in June 2022. This incredible initiative has not only raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for SIA, but also resulted in national press coverage, including numerous TV and radio appearances.

Martin is working with us to build on the success of Martin’s Mountain and to continue to campaign for change; tackling the barriers faced by people with spinal cord injuries on a daily basis.

 

 

 

Image of Paul Roy one of our Vice Presidents

Paul Roy

Paul has made a significant contribution to our success by hosting and supporting a range of events, and endorsing funding bids and charity of the year applications.

Paul was formerly co-president of global markets and investment banking at Merrill Lynch & Co and had responsibility for worldwide investment banking, debt and equity markets. He was previously CEO of Smith New Court Plc, a leading market making and brokerage firm on the London Stock Exchange. He subsequently founded NewSmith Asset Management and has been chairman of The British Horseracing Authority responsible for governance and regulation of the sport. He is currently chairman at Bloc Ventures Ltd. and is on the board of S4 Capital Plc.

With Paul’s encouragement and support, SIA made a successful bid to be the charity partner of The October Club in 2019, a partnership that raised more than £850k towards the transformational expansion of our frontline clinical team. Paul is helping us to grow and diversify our networks and income streams, so that we can provide critical health and care support for all people with SCI.