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Our Trustees

James Wilkinson

James Wilkinson

Dr James Wilkinson BSc (Hons), MB BS, PhD, FRCP
Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Wessex Cardiac Unit, University Hospital Southampton.

James Wilkinson is a Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at University Hospital Southampton. He qualified from St George’s Hospital Medical School in 1995 and trained in London, before being appointed to University Hospital Southampton in 2011. His main interests at work are treating narrowed and blocked arteries, often for acute heart attacks. He also performs specialised minimally-invasive techniques to treat leaking mitral valves. James has a special interest in training future cardiologists, as well as participating in research studies.

James became a clinical trustee for Wessex HeartBeat Charity in 2012. He has introduced a number of clinical projects to the trust, including simulators for training and dedicated patient information videos for patients at Wessex Cardiac Unit. James says “Wessex HeartBeat regularly supports innovative projects and research, which would not be funded by the NHS. This improves the standards of care for all the patients of Wessex Cardiac Unit and has helped the unit remain internationally renowned.”

Outside of medicine he lives in Lymington with his family (wife and two daughters) and in his spare time can usually be found in, on or under the sea.

Jean-Paul Evangelista

Jean-Paul Evangelista

Hi I'm Jean-Paul Evangelista (also known to many as JP). I came to the UK and joined the cardiovascular and thoracic (CV&T) team as an internationally educated nurse from the Philippines in 2003. My clinical background is critical care in cardiac surgery. I've been a trailblazer in CV&T for the past 21 years and have worked in various roles as a charge nurse, nurse researcher and clinical practice education lead before moving to senior nursing management.

On my previous role as the education lead, we have organised a few regional cardiology and cardiovascular and thoracic conferences and have generated charitable donations for Wessex Heartbeat. In my current role as a Trustee, I help create an environment in our care group that celebrates and champion our local charity. We include the Wessex Heartbeat team in our weekly communication meeting so they can join and listen to what's happening in our services and also gives them an opportunity to showcase any projects and fundraising initiatives.

Robbie Burns

Robbie Burns

Robbie has been a patient at the Wessex Cardiac Unit for over 25 years and worked his whole career in senior hospital management, including as the manager of the Cardiac Unit in Southampton. He also has a national voluntary role in the NHS representing all UK people who have had or are waiting for heart or lung transplants.

Robbie is delighted to be appointed a Trustee of Heartbeat as he appreciates the vital role charities play in helping clinical staff provide high quality care to patients. He has witnessed first hand the significant benefit Wessex Heartbeat has given to the patients and their families receiving cardiac care in the region

Heather Eyers

Heather Eyers

I recently asked if Heartbeat would be interested in taking me on as a Trustee as i feel that my employment background in Human Resources and my voluntary work with Heartbeat over the years may be useful.
My husband Malc and I have first hand experience and involvement with the Charity since Malc had his quadruple heart bypass surgery in 2010. Since then we have held music events at The Concorde Club each year prior to Covid and last year held a very successful night which raised the funds to replace the blinds and curtains at Heartbeat House.

Apart from that, I felt that my background as a Human Resources Consultant - previously employed for 42 years working for Hampshire County Council, Education Personnel Services - supporting and advising the Headteachers and Governors of Schools in Hampshire - and since then as a consultant supporting Havant and Southdowns College, two Independent Schools plus Wildern Academy Trust and The Gryphon Academy Trust in New Milton, might be useful to the Charity.

As I now only support the two Academy Trusts, I am looking to offer some spare time to do something fulfilling and worthwhile.

My experience is wide ranging across the people management field - training, safeguarding, employee relations, recruitment as well as general HR advice to both employers and employees. Based on this I believe I could offer practical advice to the Board as well as continue with my enthusiasm and support for the future work that the whole team at Heartbeat are involved in.

I hope to be utilised in whatever way I can and am looking forward to the challenge!

Tom Pierce

Tom Pierce

Dr Tom Pierce worked as a consultant adult and paediatric cardiac anaesthetist in the operating theatre and cardiac catheterisation labs as well as in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit for 30 years from 1992 to 2022. Tom has witnessed first hand the beneficial impacts of Heartbeat funded infrastructure changes at University Hospital Southampton and the benefits for staff, patients and for the children, their parents. Tom has a special interest in the psychological aspects of cardiac disease and is currently leading on the Heartbeat sponsored research into graded physical exercise ahead of cardiac surgery. He continues to work part time for the Medical Examiner Service in Southampton.

George Longhurst

George Longhurst

I am a retired police officer. In May 2008, my wife underwent a quadruple heart by-pass in the SGH which sadly was un-successful. At that time having spent many hours in the cardiac unit I got to know about Wessex Heartbeat and the house. I was asked if I would like to be a volunteer, which I did. A little later I was invited to join the board of trustees, where I have served for 12 years, in particular I look after the house and staff.

Bill Blain

Bill Blain

Bill has been a pioneer of the Alternatives sector in the institutional investment markets. He has been closely involved in the financing of renewable energy, sports, waste-to-energy, agri-funding, transatlantic fibre-optic cables, property and aviation finance projects. He has built up an unparalleled list of buy and sell side clients. His experience of what makes deals work and how to approach financing them is unrivalled.

Bill has nearly 40 years investment banking market experience – primarily in debt markets. He started in the middle office of Morgan Stanley, served time as a financial journalist for Euromoney and Bloomberg, before becoming a syndicate manager and then originator in the debt capital markets. He became head of the Financial Institutions Groups at Bear Stearns and then HSBC. In 2007 he left to found a leveraged-credit hedge fund, but the financial crisis of 2008 caused him to successfully redirect the team into “special-situations” broking illiquid bank debt and capital. That group evolved into a specialist real-asset financing business in the Alternative Markets: private debt and equity, hybrid capital, securitisation, direct lending, SME lending and convertibles.

Bill was recently appointed honorary professor at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh where he lectures on the post-graduate investment management course.

Cliff Morris

Cliff Morris

I have been a lawyer with Paris Smith for approximately 30 years, having joined them as a trainee.

Paris Smith have a long history or working with Wessex Heartbeat, I believe since it’s inception. During that time a partner of the firm has always been a trustee. I have maintained an interest in Wessex Heartbeat, for several years which was well known to one of my colleagues, who was at that time a Trustee. After he had decided to step down, having been a trustee for several years, he asked if I would like to take his place, and I jumped at the opportunity.

It has always been my intention to be involved in the community around Southampton, and this was too good an opportunity to turn down, being able to be involved in a charity that delivers a sizable impact to Southampton and wider area is something that very few get the chance to achieve or be involved with, and I am delighted to be given the chance to do so.

Nigel Scarfe

Nigel Scarfe

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