Meet our Trustees

Guiding, supporting and challenging us to meet the future.

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Barry Knevitt

Barry is a retired senior police officer with over 31 years’ experience in Durham Constabulary. In addition to his general policing skills, he has managed large strategic projects, for example the introduction of a Centralised Communications Department with Command and Control IT systems and the implementation of a major force restructure.


He has extensive experience in partnership working at local and strategic levels and was formerly the police liaison officer and advisor representing the North East's police services within Government

Office North East.


Barry has experience in working with multi-cultural/gender/racial groups. Between 2008 and 2011 he lived in the United Arab Emirates and was employed by Abu Dhabi Police as a strategic advisor.


Since returning to the UK Barry has actively sought to engage with charity and voluntary  organisations.  Barry was a pro-active member of the Rotary Club of Newton Aycliffe

responsible for organising community events/fundraising activities and was formerly a member of the Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership Board.  Both of these activities have now ceased, providing Barry with the time to undertake the role of PCP Chair.


Barry is well-known locally as a cycle marshal and walk leader, an active PCP volunteer and was honoured to be Vice Chair prior to taking on the position of Chair in 2018.

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Carol Briggs

Carol originally trained as an State Registered Nurse and as a wheelchair user has been involved with local disability groups since 1979 including founding and organising a Disabled Ladies Group which won the Sedgefield Borough Disabled Persons Games in 1981.


Carol was appointed as a member of the South Durham and Weardale Community Health Council in 1990 and has also been involved as a member of the Local Planning Team for people with physical disabilities and a member of Newton Aycliffe Local Advisory Group from 1996 - 2001.


An advocate for user voice, Carol has been involved in many groups including County Durham User & Carer Forum, the Home Equipment Loans User Group, South Durham Wheelchair Service User Group, Sedgefield Community Empowerment Network and Sedgefield Primary Care Trust Partnership Board.


In 2018 Carol won the prestigious Regional Charity Award for her outstanding contribution to Charity recognising her work and commitment to the voluntary sector which spans more than 50 years.

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David Cockburn

David first became involved in the Pioneering Care Partnership as a health trainer client, accessing many of the services in the Pioneering Care Centre and enrolling as a garden volunteer in 2014.


David received the Learning and Work Institute’s Festival of Learning’s Social Impact Award Highly Commended individual in July 2018, recognising his achievements in adult learning. 


Having spent over 20 years in rehabilitation and the past 8 years as a wheelchair user, David has an awareness of the challenges those with physical disabilities can face and aims to inspire others to reach their potential.


David was co-opted to the Board of Trustees in April 2018, and appointed at the AGM of August 2018. 

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Vijaya Kotur

Vice Chair

Vijaya is currently working as a consultant in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at NHS Blood and Transfusion, guiding and advising the organisation on matters relating to Diversity and Inclusion for both Employees, service users and their stakeholders.


Vijaya has a vast and varied work experience.  She has worked at a Local Council, University, in the NHS and in the Voluntary sectors. She has also been a School Governor at a local school and represented Durham County as a Hon Secretary at the National Governors’ Council.  She was chosen to represent the North-East for the "Active Citizens Project" working with NGOs in Ukraine hosted by the British Council.  Having worked both in public and voluntary sector she brings skills, experience, and knowledge to the organisation.


Vijaya has been a trustee in local and national charitable organisations and has raised funds for many worthwhile causes.  She has been a keen cyclist and a Marshall at the PCP for the past 10 years. She is an effective team player with excellent mediation, influencing, presentation and team management skills. She is also creative, innovative and proactive – all underpinned by a natural ‘can do’ attitude.


Vijaya was elected as a Trustee at the July 2019 AGM after being a co-opted Trustee since November 2018.  She was also elected as Vice Chair by her fellow Trustees. 


Vijaya is looking forward to serving as a Trustee at PCP and hopes that her contributions will be an asset to the organisation.

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Lynn Mohan

Lynn worked for the civil service as a clerical assistant and Tax Officer until leaving work to move to Newton Aycliffe in 1980 to get married.  She has three grown up children who attended Sugar Hill School and Woodham. Lynn became involved with Sugar Hill as part of the Parent Teacher Association helping children with their reading, painting furniture and organising discos after school.


She returned to work part time in 1990 as a production operator, working her way up to becoming a Regional Health & Safety Manager and spending the last 10 years as a consultant.  


Lynn was associated with Sedgefield 75 Swimming Club for approximately 8 years as a committee member and looking after the swimwear shop to create funds for the Club.  Her interests are involvement in Neville Residents Association, Trustee for Neville Community Centre and spending time with family and friends, holidays, knitting, reading, going to the theatre, meeting people and walking her dog.


Lynn was co-opted to the Board of Trustees in April 2018, and appointed at the AGM of August 2018. 

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Dame Dela Smith

Now retired, Dame Dela has had a successful and enjoyable career in Education, focusing her energies on promoting equal opportunities for children with learning difficulties and disabilities. Although Primary trained, Dela began her career teaching in a residential special school, moving on from there to a special school headship in Darlington. It was at this time that she was honoured with a DBE for ‘Services to Special Education’, as a result of her work locally, regionally and nationally, including developing the strategy for the role of special schools and a national strategy to promote inclusion for pupils with SEN. She felt to be honoured in this way for a job she loved was testament to the wonderful staff and children she worked with throughout her career.


Dela's final move was Executive Director at the ground-breaking Education Village in Darlington, overseeing the building design working with the staff of the three schools involved into its development as an inclusive community and educational setting.  Since retirement Dela has been happily involved in voluntary work with school governance, as well as previously chairing a charity for children with Down syndrome and is a Deputy Lieutenant of Durham County. She also loves travelling with her husband and dog in their motorhome.


Dela regards being a Trustee of the PCP as a privilege and is delighted to have the opportunity to focus her passion for supporting those less able through the core principals and mission of this wonderful organisation. Dela was elected as a Trustee at the July 2019 AGM after being a co-opted Trustee from November 2018. 

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Heather Brewster


Heather is a Chartered Accountant and spent 32 years working in NHS Finance, the last 5 years commissioning mental health and learning disabilities services across the North East.


As the accountant for her husband’s business (AK Brewster), Heather has a specific interest in building links between businesses and education providers.


For several years Heather was Vice Chair and then Chair of Governors at Vane Road Primary School and Vice Chair of Governors at Woodham Academy.


Heather is also an ASA Qualified Swimming Teacher and for several years taught swimming to Primary School pupils and Woodham Swimming Academy students at Woodham Academy.

Heather is Chair of Neville Residents Association, with the aim of building a stronger community.

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Bee Davidson

Bee has lived in the South West Durham area for 25 years.   She has practised as a solicitor in Newton Aycliffe and Bishop Auckland since 1989 and is now the Managing Partner of Hewitts Solicitors which has 4 offices across South West Durham and Tees Valley. 


In addition to her solicitor practice, Bee was appointed the Deputy Coroner for County Durham and Darlington between 1997 and 2011.  In 2008 she was appointed a Deputy District Judge on the North East Circuit. 


In addition to her working life, Bee volunteers in the Advice Sector in County Durham and is a longstanding Trustee Board member of the Pioneering Care Centre.