Our Trustees

Bryan Casbourne MBE

I was a project director for a subsidiary of GEC working mainly in India, Moscow and Australia alongside joint venture organisations. I was made redundant in 1995 and joined Crossroads Caring for Carers in Liverpool. In 1999 I moved to Herefordshire and subsequently found Aspire which I joined in 2004 ish! I took on the role of Chair about 5 years ago and have found working with our trustees, staff and the people we support so very rewarding.

I gained an MBE for work with my community and charities in Liverpool and Herefordshire in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours’ list 2015.

Outside of Aspire I am on our parish council, a member of our community shop and a director of Wigmore Centre CIC, a company set up to adapt our 1000 year old church for wider community use. To keep me on my toes I have 2 children and 5 grandchildren.

Rose Hunt

I have been a Trustee of Aspire for 20+ years after being Chair of Herefordshire Mencap (how Aspire began). I am a family carer and have worked extensively with family carers locally, regionally and nationally: I was a member of the team that started Herefordshire Carers' Support and was its first vice-chair.

My passion is supporting people with a learning disability to have a voice and I still work with Herefordshire Mencap and Royal Society Mencap with this purpose. I am a Trustee of Echo and Chair of Governors of Blackmarston Special Primary School, where my son Jonathan was educated when the family moved to Herefordshire.

I was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce in 2006, the citation being for the impact I had made on my community.

Ken Jollans

I joined Aspire as a trustee in 2006. It has been a privilege to be involved with the organisation as it has undergone many changes, without ever losing sight of its core defining principles.

I chaired the Finance sub-committee for some years and I now chair the HR sub-committee. Prior to my (early!) retirement I worked for many years in the food industry, both in the UK and in the Netherlands.

I live near Gloucester, I am married to Sandra and we have three children. One of my daughters, Becky, has a learning disability but this doesn’t stop her very much enjoying life; she is currently studying at Derwen College in Shropshire.

Roger Whalley

I have spent my working life in the motor industry. I ran a Ford dealership in Manchester and built it up into a most successful business. In 1984 I looked for a new challenge, sold the garage and joined a consultancy company specialising in motor trade matters. This move completely changed my life and I went from going on the same road to work every day for 15 years to almost never going down the same road twice.

In 1989 I started my own company and broadened operations to Europe and then practically every continent, specialising in the Middle-East and South Africa. I came home to help my wife in her family motor business and retired in 2011. I became a Trustee of Aspire in 2014.

My interests are motor racing, rugby and cricket. We have three children and four grand-children.

Karen Boyce-Dawson, Director of Operations at Thera Trust 
Karen has 30 years’ experience in supporting people with a learning disability in a variety of roles. Karen qualified through the years as a therapist and social worker before moving into operational senior and executive director positions some 15 years ago.

Karen is driven daily to achieve better support for people with a learning disability so that they in turn have more control and better lives. As director of operations, Karen ensures that Thera has the resource and capability to deliver the best quality support in line with Thera’s vision. Over recent years this has meant leading on the review and redesign of management structures, operational systems and processes and implementation of group performance management frameworks.

Having ‘come through the ranks’ of social care herself Karen is particularly driven to ensure organisations nurture and bring on new leaders into the world of social care and has worked to make accredited leadership & development, talent programmes and coaching available to staff, working with exceptional partner organisations such as the Institute of Leadership and Management and Charity Works.


Jill Parker
Services should be designed in a way that enables people to get the most out of life. For most of us a good life means some combination of friends and family, home, work, health and the things we enjoy. I believe that it is my role as a trustee to contribute to the big decisions that help Aspire make these things possible for the people we support.

I have a background in delivering care and support services and now provide consultancy around quality, regulation and social care policy. I’m also an executive coach and mentor. In my personal life, I love wildlife, exploring other cultures and visiting remote places.