Julie Thornby

I joined SIL as a trustee in October 2020, and I have been inspired and impressed by the warmth and supportiveness of SIL’s staff and leaders.  I’m bringing to SIL my experience over a long career in senior management in NHS Trusts in Herefordshire and further afield, especially in governance and planning, and as a family carer to my elderly parents.

I first found out about SIL through reading the local newspaper, especially the nominations for health and care awards. I was struck by the stories from people using SIL services and their support workers. They showed that SIL was supporting people to not just do routine things, but things that they themselves really wanted to do, whether that was something “fun”, or something that mattered very deeply to them.

All that really struck a chord with me. Before I retired last year, I worked for over 30 years in NHS management, mostly in community health services. I heard from lots of patients with long term conditions or disabilities during this time. They described how the NHS supported them in the short term during a health crisis, but it was often very tricky to achieve a good life at home in the longer term,with support to live the life they wanted. That’s exactly what SIL is working to provide, and I would love to be part of the organisation as a trustee, so I can contribute.

At a personal level, I also support my very elderly parents although they don’t live locally – and sadly SIL doesn’t stretch that far!

I hope that as well as my commitment to independent living, I can bring relevant professional skills and experience. I have been a director at NHS Trusts in Herefordshire and elsewhere for over 20 years. I have been responsible for human resources, for planning and strategy and for governance (structures and processes to help an organisation to be well run). My experience includes for example preparing for CQC inspections, getting feedback from service users and staff, and helping Boards to develop, including hearing from all the people they need to. I like working with other people to develop and share ideas, leading to positive progress together.

I’ve really enjoyed my time as an ‘observer’ trustee and have found SIL to be friendly, imaginative, and very caring about the needs of service users and staff. I will work hard to support SIL now and for the future.

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