Meet the Team

Alison Twycross

Alison Twycross

Chairperson

Alison has been living with Long Covid since March 2020 but is doing her bit to advocate for UK healthcare workers with Long Covid including as joint-Chair of the Royal College of Nursing’s Long Covid working group.

Career

Alison has nearly 40 years of experience in nursing as a practitioner, researcher, and university educator with a passion for children’s nursing and developing leadership potential in the nursing community. She also has extensive experience in researching children’s pain management. A vocal advocate, writer and blogger, Alison addresses key policy issues and often challenges the dominant discourse. Alison is passionate about ensuring evidence is used in clinical practice as well as in nurse education. Since 2010 Alison has been the editor-in-chief of Evidence Based Nursing.

In March 2023 Alison became an Honorary Associate Professor in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Birmingham.

Long Covid Advocacy

In January 2022 she founded Long Covid Nurses and Midwives UK but stepped down from her role with the group in October 2022. She continues to campaign and advocate on key issues and remains a member of Long Covid Support and the Long Covid Support Employment Advocacy Group. Alison also enjoys working with colleagues from Long Covid Work.

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Adrian Powell

Deputy Chair/IT Lead

Adrian’s career as a captain for the UK’s flag carrier airline came to an end after 32 years following a bout of covid in September 2020. Having previously taught himself how to create websites and databases to while away the time spent away from home he now finds himself with plenty of spare time on his hands. His cognitive issues and headaches of long covid means everything takes much longer than it should, but it does get done eventually.

Adrian initially got involved with the PilotsTogether charity, which was set up to help pilots who were made redundant at the beginning of the pandemic, and he saw the parallels with healthcare workers who were also losing their job. He is now looking after the IT side of SHH-UK and helping to drive forward with their aims and aspirations.

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Michaela Barnard

Trustee

Michaela is a children and young people’s nurse and an academic at a UK university. After 20 years in clinical practice where she cared for children and families’ palliative and bereavement needs in an ICU, Michaela moved to an academic setting. She undertook a PhD in neonatal palliative care and she continues to teach the next generation of children and young people’s nurses.

Michaela found herself seriously ill in hospital with COVID-19 pre-vaccine and watched healthcare colleagues work like they were on a battlefield, short-staffed yet delivering excellent care. She has been living with Long Covid since December 2020. Michaela has a good employer who has provided a disability support plan with reasonable adjustments so that she can stay in work. This is the minimum that healthcare workers who acquired Long Covid during the pandemic should receive. Therefore, Michaela is passionate about advocating for and aiding those who are unwell and out of work because of their commitment to others in this context.

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Vanessa Powell

Trustee - Secretary

Vanessa has lived many lives, gaining experience and excellence along the way. First was secretarial college, then onto nursing with the NHS in Kingston. This was followed by a stint as a stewardess, rising to the role of purser and travelling the world. With children arriving she returned to nursing as a bank nurse but an opportunity to move abroad came up and she grabbed it.

Unable to nurse due to the differing qualifications required Vanessa turned to teaching (English as a foreign language) but her organisational skills were never far behind as she became the de facto administrator. As the children have grown up and started to move on she looked for more opportunities where she good use her skills, and SHH-UK will be all the better for them.

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Lisa Rickers

Trustee

Lisa is a specialist nurse, performance coach and entrepreneur, she has 20 years of clinical experience, specialising in long term conditions. Lisa has an MSc in health psychology and is a certified Hinsta performance coach, she enjoys using these skills and expertise to empower people to achieve good health, recovery and perform to the best of their ability. She believes in a partnership approach to health and is passionate to include people with lived experience in the design, content and evaluation of services.

During the pandemic Lisa worked in a specialist long COVID service, she became curious and delved into the research so she was able to support those living with this condition. She is an advocate for early support following exposure to the SARS CoV-2 infection and believes that this should be something that everyone can access.  She has experienced post viral syndrome following an Epstein-Barr virus and has family members who live with Fibromyalgia and Post Exertional Malaise.  These experiences have helped Lisa understand the challenges from both a professional and personal perspective.  Having worked in the field of obesity and metabolic disease she is aware of how bias and stigma can impact both physical and psychological outcomes and is a strong advocate for reducing stigma in health care.

Lisa has a number of other roles in an entrepreneurial capacity including Co-Founder at Evinco Health,  Founder and Director of The iCrowd CIC and Founder of Beyond 49.  She is delighted in her capacity as trustee to be able to support and advocate for fellow health care professionals and will endeavour to use her skills and expertise to support those who are experiencing financial hardship as a consequence of carrying out their duties during the pandemic.

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Dame Sarah Cowley DBE

Trustee - Safeguarding Lead

Sarah retired on health grounds in 2012, after a career that started in nursing in 1964. An interest in public health, inequalities and social injustice led her into health visiting in 1980, and a move from the NHS into academia in 1992. That provided many opportunities for teaching across community practice, research, publications and international travel, culminating in the award of a Damehood in 2013 for services to health visiting. She continues to stay in touch with former colleagues and the profession through her work with the Institute of Health Visiting, as a patron for a specialist home visiting programme and through occasional writing and editing.

New interests in retirement include living close to my family and grandchildren, editing for a ‘citizen journalist’ website, walking the dog along the beach and in local green areas. Having been so long retired at the start of the pandemic and being declared ‘clinically vulnerable’ meant she was protected from the worst effects of Covid, but also frustrated at being unable to help when so much was being asked of former colleagues on the front line. She is pleased to turn her passion for social justice to help support those affected by Long Covid, which is a particularly unfair burden faced by healthcare workers who contracted the disease through clinical practice.

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David Mashiter

Trustee - Treasurer

David graduated from Bristol University and then trained as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse (now PwC). On qualifying, he joined the International Planned Parenthood Federation, where he spent seven years, working in London and in Nairobi, in a variety of financial management roles. He and his wife, Clare, met at the IPPF, and went on to have two children. David and Clare moved to France, where he spent 36 years with the Aga Khan Development Network. He had a range of programme and financial management roles, working principally on health and education programmes in South and Central Asia and in East Africa. He retired in 2021. He and Clare still live in France. Leisure activities include hiking, cycling and tennis.

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Trustee - Fundraising Lead

Do you have spare time to get involved in some voluntary work? Do you have experience in fundraising, most notably for national charities? We’d love you to get involved!

Visit our get involved page and see how you could help.

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Trustee - Social Media Lead

We are looking for an enthusiastic user of social media who has a lot of spare time who could lead on our social media pages. You need to have plenty of spare time and some experience in growing an audience and engaging with them through social media. Please visit our Get Involved page to see if you could help.