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Meet the Management

We place strong emphasis on training our care teams to meet the personal, medical and social needs of every resident and to provide facilities and amenities of the highest standards.

Mr Brian Thomas

Chairman of the Board of Trustees

Brian had a 30-year career with Fluor Corporation, a US based designer, engineer, and builder of international oil, gas, chemical, industrial and infrastructure projects. He held various positions including chief financial officer and chief executive of subsidiary companies in the Middle East, UK and USA.
His career included strategy creation and implementation, acquisitions and business restructuring.

Since taking early retirement in 2007, he has been actively involved in Rotary and enjoys international travel.

His wife, Jacqui is active in the Dempster Trust and The Farnham Support Fund.

They have 4 children; Simon, a GP, Cassie, a Market Research director, Faye, a Commercial Contracts Manager, and Alex, a financial management systems specialist.

Mrs Gillian Ward

Vice Chair of Board of Trustees

Gillian spent her teen years in Farnham before moving to London and working as a legal secretary. She then became PA to an MP for several years before marrying and moving first to Scotland, then to Esher with several trips to Indonesia and Libya in between. Gillian’s husband is presently the Mayor of Farnham, but was previously in the oil industry before he retired when he and Gillian moved back to Farnham in 1998. Whilst in Indonesia, Gillian became Treasurer then Chairman of the British Women’s Association, as well as starting up an organisation aimed at helping newly-arrived wives to settle into their new environment. Gillian is now helping to organise Farnham’s annual Heritage Open Days scheme. Her main hobby is singing in the choir and she also enjoys crafts of various kinds.  She has two children, a son and a daughter.  Gillian has always felt very strongly about the importance of dignity and independence for the elderly for as long as possible. As well as being a Trustee and Vice Chair of the Society, Gillian is a member of the Care Committee.

Mr Peter Duffy

Hon. Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance Committee

Peter had thirty years with National Westminster Bank, which included four years in France and three in Spain, where he was Managing Director of Banco NatWest, the Group subsidiary there. However, most of his time in the Bank was spent developing business with major international companies, especially in the oil sector. He was eventually responsible for leading all the sections covering the energy, mining, aviation, shipping and automobile industries. After retiring from Natwest, he returned to full time study, taking a B.A. and an M.A. in art history at the Courtauld Institute and a further M.A. in history at Kings College, London. He is a member of U3A, The University of the Third Age and has been a chairman and/or trustee of a number of local charities. He is married to Wendy and they have two daughters and five very active grandchildren. As well as being Honorary Treasurer, Peter is also a member of the Finance Committee.

Mr Tim Shepherd

Chairman of Care Committee

After leaving Kings College School in Wimbledon Tim studied Business Studies before joining the family firm of Road Surfacing and Public Works contractors. In 1971 he bought a Nursing Home in Hindhead and spent the next 38 years developing it to provide a personalised and caring environment for elderly residents and convalescents.   Tim retired in 2009. Tim is married with two children and two grandchildren, and is a member of The Haslemere Rotary Club, and Secretary of Elstead PCC. He enjoys sailing, music, theatre, gardening and travel in both the UK and France. As well as being a Trustee, Tim is Chairman of the Care and Housing Committee.



Mr Desmond Hutchinson

Honorary Secretary

Desmond Hutchinson was born in Kensington London, into a family of many generations of military service, both British and (up to the end of WW1) Indian.  He studied at Bedford School and then entered RMA Sandhurst, gaining his commission in December 1966 in the Royal Artillery, serving 1 completed officer tour in Germany, marrying his first wife Malti in 1969. After leaving the Army, he trained as a solicitor in Cambridge, and became a partner with the firm of Francis & Co, specialising in commercial property litigation. He set up his own practice in 1990 in Enfield, (having obtained an MBA through Henley Management College), specialising in Debt Recovery litigation, being one the first to develop and utilise computerised software for such purposes, as well as commercial litigation and company law. He  opened a second office in Cambridge and took over the Enfield practice of Daultry & Keen, and before merging with the Cambridge firm of Crossmans.  His wife, Malti, sadly died in 2001, in 2003 he married Shireen, and moved to Farnham in 2005 where he became a consultant (and later a director) solicitor with Burkill Govier, for whom he continues to work, continuing to specialise in Commercial Property Litigation and Company Law.

Desmond is secretary of the Code of Practice Committee of the National Office of Animal Health, a self-regulatory body dealing with animal health pharmaceutical promotion.  He became a trustee of AWVS in 2016 and became Honorary Secretary in December 2017. He and Shireen have three children and six grandchildren, between them.

Mr Paul Whitlock

Paul Whitlock was born in Chichester and attended Woodbridge School in Suffolk. After ʻAʼ Levels, he went to the University of Sheffield where he graduated in electrical engineering. Following a graduate apprenticeship with Smiths Industries in London, he worked for Bell South in Atlanta, Georgia and for Bell Canada in Montreal and Toronto – where he met his wife. He attended York University in Toronto where he gained an MBA after which he worked as a management consultant for Coopers & Lybrand (now PWC) in Canada and Ireland. His subsequent career has been primarily in international management with major telecommunications manufacturers such as Plessey and Nortel Networks, but has also involved running a Canadian daily newspaper. Paul and his wife (now deceased) have lived in Farnham since 1987, have three sons all of whom attended local schools including Weydon and then went on to university. They have three small granddaughters. Paul is now retired and in addition to being a trustee of the Society is also a trustee of the Dempster Trust and an active member of the Rotary Club of Farnham.

Elaine Edgar

After studying for a degree in history, Elaine joined the civil service and worked mainly at the Department of Health in central London, in many different policy jobs for over 38 years. Her last job was lead on policy for family carers and she was awarded an OBE for support to carers in 2014. Elaine has lived in Dorking for 24 years and is now an active member of Rotary in Dorking and a lay partner in the Surrey Downs Health & Care Partnership Board which covers Mole Valley, Epsom, Ewell, Banstead and East Elmbridge.

Elaine became an ABVS Trustee and member of the Care Committee in September 2022 when Nower House in Dorking merged with the Society. She was a member of Nower House’s management committee from 2017. Elaine’s hobbies include gardening, reading and travel.

Nicholas Grealy

Nicholas’ whole career has been in social care. He went to university
as a mature student, reading social studies and social work, and then
started work as a mental health social worker. For the last twelve
years of his career he was a Senior Manager, running the Learning
Disability Service in parts of Surrey.
A widower, Nicholas was married for forty years and has three stepchildren.
Sadly his wife developed Alzheimer’s Disease in her sixties
and he was her carer for many years before she moved into a nursing
His main interests are in Art, especially Dutch Art, plays, especially Shakespeare and some
history, although he says he not a great reader!

Andrew Dick

Andrew is a Chartered Accountant who, after qualification, worked in various senior accounting and general management roles within British and American companies in Europe and the UK. Since retirement, he has spent much of his time in roles within the not-for-profit sector. These have included acting as the Chair of Governors of a special needs school and as a Trustee of Amnesty International.

Andrew has had extensive experience of the challenges facing residential homes for older people, including those faced during the Covid pandemic. He has been involved with the Abbeyfield movement for over 20 years and, from 2005, was the Chairman of The Abbeyfield North Downs Society, based at the David Gresham House residential care home, in Oxted. This home merged with the Abbeyfield Wey Valley Society in May 2023.

Andrew is married to Felicity and has two children and three grandchildren. He is a great lover of cricket and of music, especially opera.

Paul Gresham

Paul is a Chartered Accountant and worked for KPMG for over 30 years with 15 years as an Audit partner. He was the Senior partner of KPMG’s Southeast Practice, based in Crawley, for ten years.

Since retiring from KPMG in 2014, Paul has worked as a Forensic Accountant and has recently been helping three technology start-up’s.

Paul’s parents, David and Millie Gresham, helped establish David Gresham House in Dorking during the 1980’s and Paul joined as a Trustee in 2017, and became Treasurer in 2019.

Paul lives in Horsham, West Sussex and is married with four children. Until recently, he was Vice Chair of a local Secondary School and Chairman of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative.


Sally Tidy


Sally is a Registered Nurse trained at St Thomas’ Hospital London. Following her training she specialized in Intensive Care and Coronary Care, however realised this was not her niche. She moved from the NHS to work with the elderly. After working with Friends of the Elderly for 5 years she moved to the Abbeyfield Wey Valley Society as Matron of Wey Valley House.

When Hatch Mill opened in 2001 Sally became the General Manager over the two homes and subsequently over the four when Ridgway Court and 8 Shortheath Crest joined the group after the merger with Abbeyfield Farnham. With AWVS and Abbeyfield Haslemere merger and the restructuring of the Board of Trustees and Sub-committees, Sally was appointed Chief Executive Officer.

Shelley Hartley

Chief Operating Officer

 Shelley has had over 20 years’ experience in caring for the elderly. She started working for Abbeyfield Wey Valley Society in 1987 as a Care Assistant. She then undertook all her NVQ qualifications and became a Senior Care Assistant 1995 and Deputy Manager in 2000. She was appointed as the Registered Manager of Wey Valley House in September 2001 and in November 2014 Shelley became the Registered Manger at Hatch Mill.

Shelley has her Registered Managers Award, NVQ3 and NVQ4 in care and currently studying NVQ7. She has also had courses in First Aid, Health and Safety, Infection Control, Fire Awareness, Food hygiene, Manual Handling and SOVA Management, COSHH, Drug Administration, Palliative Care, Diabetes Awareness, Dementia, Customer Service and Equality and Diversity, Support and supervision.

In January 2021 Shelley was promoted to  the Chief Operating Officer  of the Society, overseeing daily operations at all of the homes.

Louise Arnold

Operations Manager

Louise has worked for 18 years in caring for the elderly. She started working for The Abbeyfield Wey Valley Society in 2001 as a Care Assistant. Louise then became a Senior Care Assistant and then the Deputy Manager.

In November 2014 Louise was appointed as the Registered Manager of Wey Valley House. Her qualifications include NVQ3 and Diploma in health and social care level 5 in care. Louise has also had courses in first aid, health and safety, fire awareness, food hygiene, drug administration, palliative care and SOVA and keeps up to date with her personal development in the care industry.

Having spent the last eight years as Registered Manager of both Wey Valley House and Ridgway Court care homes, Louise now heads up the operational management of the Abbeyfield Wey Valley Society family of homes.

Tammie Baker

Registered Manager Hatch Mill

Tammie qualified as a Registered Nurse in 2007 and    had  worked in the care industry for over 10 years prior to obtaining her qualification.

She has extensive  experience in Palliative care, Wound Management, Diabetes, Chronic Diseases Management and  is a Registered Mentor for nursing students. Tammie also holds qualifications in Fire Awareness, SOVA Management, COSHH and Infection Control.

Having joined Hatch Mill as Clinical Manager in 2014, Tammie was promoted to the Registered Managers position in 2021 and now leads the  care  and nursing teams that provide such great care to the residents.

Outside of work, Tammie has two children and two grandchildren. She is also the custodian of Hatch Mill’s Miniature Schnauzer, Co-Co.


Tracy Frampton

Registered Manager – Maitland House Care Home

Tracy has been working in care since leaving school in various areas of the care sector including working in busy hospital wards, learning difficulties and mental health although her preference is care of the elderly.

Tracy joined Abbeyfield in 2010 at Ridgway Court and has worked in all three Farnham homes. She joined as a Senior Care Assistant and with Abbeyfield Wey Valley Society’s support, she gained her NVQ5 and progressed to Deputy Manager of Wey Valley House in November 2014. In April 2021 Tracy made the short move  over to Hatch Mill to become the Deputy Manager and in July 2022 she was promoted to Registered Manager of our Maitland House care home in Reading.

Michelle Blower

Registered Manager  Wey Valley House

Michelle has worked in Health and Social Care for 10 years. For 5 years Michelle worked with Adults and Children with learning disabilities. Michelle started working for Abbeyfield Wey Valley Society in 2015 as a Senior Care Assistant at Wey Valley House. She then progressed to Deputy Manager at Ridgway Court in 2019.

Michelle has NVQ3 and NVQ5 in Health and Social care and the Care Certificate. She has also had courses in First Aid, Health and Safety, Infection Control, Fire Marshall, Food hygiene, Manual Handling and SOVA Management, COSHH, Drug Administration, End of Life Care,  Diabetes Awareness, Dementia, Mental Health, Equality and Diversity, Support and supervision.

In April 2021 Michelle switched roles within the society to return to Wey Valley House as the new Deputy Manager and in July 2022 she was promoted to the Registered Manager and she now leads the team at Wey Valley House.

Bonnie Looms

Abbeyfield Wey Valley Society – Wellbeing Manager

Bonnie, who joined the Society in early 2024  is Canadian and has lived and worked in England for the past twenty years.

Having had extensive experience in event management, Bonnie works across the whole Society alongside the Activities Teams to ensure each home enjoys varied, stimulating and engaging daily activities.

She also organised the schedule of outbound residential trips for each home, together with being the lead in recruiting and managing the expansive team of volunteers who support the Society so wonderfully.

Having lived, and worked in a number of countries before settling in the UK, Bonnie still enjoys travelling and has regular trips back to Canada to see family and friends.

At home she is married, with an 8 year old son called Joshua. Bonnie volunteers as admin for Josh’s kids  football team and also enjoys helping out at the local Beavers group.






Angela Irving

House Manager – Roundhay

Angela was born in the little village of Mapplewell near Barnsley in Yorkshire.

She has worked in care homes and sheltered housing sine 1983 and most recently, before joining the Society, she managed an assisted living facility in Kent.

Angela has been married since 1986. She has two grown-up daughters, Ellie and Hannah, and two grand-children, Evelyn and Hamish.

Her passion for cooking, gregarious personality and extensive experience in operating assisted living facilities, helps enable the residents at Roundhay to enjoy a relaxed and friendly supported living environment on a day-to-day basis.

When not at Roundhay, Angela can be found taking lovely walks in the countryside, or maybe enjoying her favourite holiday in Scotland.

Sue Gunner

Admin Manager

Sue joined as Admin Manager in September 2020. She gained her administrative qualifications, including basic accounting and law certificates, at Farnborough College of Technology and worked for a number of years as a secretary and PA at various management levels. A sales role then provided a springboard into marketing and public relations, at which time Sue achieved professional marketing qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Sue’s last role was Marketing Manager for a local domiciliary care provider, where her work supported both client and staff recruitment.

Pam Packham

Registered Manager  – David Gresham House 


Pam has worked at David Gresham House since May 1990 and has been the Registered Manager since 1994. She has gained City and Guilds and NVQ4 in Management of Care and Registered Managers’ Award (RMA) NVQ Assessors Award.

Since David Gresham House  merged with Abbeyfield Wey Valley Society in 2023, Pam has continued to lead the home as it enters an exciting new era as part of the AWVS family.


Toni Chandler

Training Manager

Toni has had over 18 years’ experience in caring for the elderly, joining Abbeyfield Wey Valley society in 2001 as a Night Care Assistant at Hatch Mill. In 2004 Toni worked as a Senior Care Assistant and in 2007 she became Deputy Manager on Hatch Mill’s residential wing.   She also covered maternity leave as Deputy at Wey valley House before being given the position of Trainer in 2014.

Toni has NVQ2, NVQ3, NVQ4 and NVQ Assessors award, First Aid, Health and Safety, Fire Marshall, Food Hygiene, Manual Handling, SOVA Management, COSHH, Drug Administration, End of Life Care, Diabetes Awareness, Dementia, Customer Service, Mental Health and Equality and Diversity, Support and supervision and Health Conditions. Train the Trainer, Train the Trainer in Manual Handling, SOVA and the Care Certificate.


Gemma Twist

Care Quality Manager

Gemma joined Abbeyfield Wey Valley Society in 2005 as a care assistant at Wey Valley House. Since then she has undertaken her NVQ qualifications level 3 & 5 and became a senior carer, first at Wey Valley House and then moving to Hatch Mill. In 2019 Gemma was appointed as the Care Quality Coordinator for the Society.

Gemma has also had courses in First Aid, Health and Safety, Infection Control, Fire Awareness, Food hygiene, Manual Handling and SOVA Management, COSHH, Drug Administration, Palliative Care, Diabetes Awareness, Dementia, Equality and Diversity, Quality Improvement & Changing Perceptions.

Iain Looms

Marketing  and PR Manager

Iain hails from the Midlands but has spent the last twenty years living and working in the Farnham area.

Whilst launching and managing small customer facing businesses within the local community, Iain completed a qualification in Professional Marketing and is now a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

His introduction to the senior care sector emerged when he was  faced with looking after his elderly mother and he now has a passion for developing innovative customer focused environments for all the Abbeyfield residents and their families.

Away from work Iain has great interest in sport – he actually spent his early career as a member of the Professional Golfers Association competing around the world and coaching. Now he enjoys social golf rather more and his coaching skills are put to the test as coach for the Farnham under 9’s rugby teams, and Bourne Blades  under 9’s football team!

Mel Harris

Registered Manager Ridgway Court 

Mel has 17 years of experience in the care industry, she started caring in the community for the elderly and progressed to Senior Carer in 2004. From there she managed her own care company for live in carers and gained extensive experience in providing exceptional care to her clients. She discovered that she had a passion for learning and trained as an assessor to assist carers with their diplomas.  Starting with Abbeyfield Wey Valley Society in 2021 as Deputy Manager, Mel has recently and recently promoted to Registered Manager and now leads the team at the Farnham care home.

Mel has level 3 diploma and is currently working towards her level 5. She is also a qualified Taqa assessor in health and social care.

James Wigmore

Chief Financial Officer

James trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1985, starting his early career with Deloitte in London.  He joined us late in 2022, bringing with him a wealth of experience gained within the small business sector where he supported a variety of small businesses with financial, strategic and commercial input.


James lives in Farnham and has two grown-up children.  When not working, he enjoys outdoor pursuits such as walking and gardening.

Lisa Sparrow

Registered Manager – Nower House 

Lisa’s career in care has spanned over twenty years. After starting off her journey as a care assistant, Lisa has gained a huge amount of experience managing both residential and nursing establishments as well as Domiciliary care.

She was a member of the Transition Team which implemented the necessary change management needed to transfer her previous care home into a modern, innovative facility and brings a huge passion for providing person centred care. Lisa joined us in January 2023 and is excited to work with her team to further develop the care offering at  Nower House.

Outside of work, she is married with a thirteen-year-old daughter, April, and she enjoys spending time at the gym, running or simply reading a book.

The energy and enthusiasm she brings, together with her vast experience is helping Nower House be recognised as one of the leading Residential Care Homes in the Area.

A really friendly atmosphere, staff and Residents are like one big family.

Lorna, member of staff

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