Meet our Trustees

Dementia Friendly East Riding has a dedicated team that strive to help make the East Riding dementia friendly.

Katherine Mathew

Katherine lives in Beverley and is the Principal Business Transformation and Improvement Officer for East Riding of Yorkshire Council. She has wide employment experience and involvement in roles supporting young people and the youth volunteering strategy in East Yorkshire. In March 2017 she was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Katherine obtained a Masters in Public Administration as well as a Diploma in Youth and Community Work.Her drive and enthusiasm to support the community based work of this charity will enable greater connectivity with local people, particularly young people, in raising awareness and understanding of dementia. In her spare time Katherine enjoys cricket, reading and the theatre.


Suzy Bunton
(Trustee, Dementia Friends awareness deliverer)

I currently work as Advanced Nurse Practitioner in the GP practice in Hull. Prior to this I was the lead dementia nurse for Hull University Teaching  Hospitals where I had also worked since 1987. I am due to qualify as a Psychotherapist in 2021 and feel that the combination of my general nursing and mental health knowledge helps me to understand and support individuals and their carers living with a diagnosis of dementia.
In 2008, My mum was diagnosed with dementia, so this is very close to my heart and has given me first hand and personal experience of this disease.
In my spare time I enjoy being with my family and our golden retriever, cooking and gardening too. I am also learning  Spanish to keep my brain active. 

Sandra Burley
(Trustee, Flower competition lead)

I am very proud to be a Trustee of Dementia Friendly East Riding and believe we have already and will continue to influence and raise awareness of dementia in our local community. I am a Yorkshire girl and have spent the last 27 years living near Pocklington. I think people get involved in working with charities such as ours because they have themselves been supported in many ways by friends, family and charitable organisations in their own lives and it is an opportunity to help others when you can. I have a long association with dementia care both professionally as a registered nurse for over 40 years and personally in caring for my grandmother and mother. I am a real ‘people’s person’ and will always strive to use my expertise, passion and support, driving dementia  and fast-moving developments happening across the country.


Ian Bunton

(Trustee & Treasurer)

I am a qualified Chartered Accountant and am very proud to be the Treasurer and Trustee of Dementia Friendly East Riding. It is a disease that is close to our families hearts and for many years, we have seen first  hand the effect that dementia has, both on persons diagnosed with it, and their loved ones. This initially led me to share my passion of family and football, and write a book about Hull City, entitled ’46 and Counting’, at the same time raising funds for dementia. In turn, this has seen my involvement with DFER – anything that we can all do to help those affected, must be a good thing.




Fiona Garth


Trustee DFER

I am proud to volunteer my skills and time to help this amazing charity. I have lived in Bridlington for the past fifteen years and am originally from Halifax.

I currently run several businesses in the area with my husband but prior to being self-employed and living  in beautiful East Yorkshire I worked in Sales Management for a major FMCG company covering the North of England. Prior to that, I gained extensive and invaluable experience in hotel management around the UK.

I have also worked closely with other people focused charities before joining DFER. Dementia is something we all need to be more aware of, so anything we can do to promote awareness and support for those living with the condition is totally worthwhile.

Gillian Brown

I am proud to be a Trustee with the charity. I am also wife to Neil, celebrating our 47th anniversary this year. Very proud Mum of two adult children and grandmother to my amazing granddaughters and one very active great granddaughter. I felt humbled to be invited to join DFER and in particular to become a Trustee. During my varied working life I have always found time to be a volunteer in some form for issues close to heart.  Dementia continues to be a factor in all our lives even as we speak. I always consider that an important aspect of a carers life is that they have  a unique insight into the difficulties faced by not only the person being cared for, those providing the care but for the whole family. I am particularly interested in this aspect of the carer’s role. I feel strongly that a carer of any age should have the necessary resources and indeed support they will themselves need during and after this period in their lives. Society needs to recognise the ongoing valuable efforts by this army of  growing volunteer carers.




Tracey Wright 
I have been married to Mike for 32 years we have 2 grown up children. Daniel is a policeman and Sophia owns a café in Bridlington. I have 3 dogs and 2 cats. 
I retired as a nurse 18 months ago. I enjoyed many roles including ward sister and matron. My last 
role was as a Senior Patient Flow Manager, ensuring patients were seen in A&E in a timely way and 
then placed in the most appropriate wards for their needs. 
I have worked all my life in the local hospitals and love Yorkshire.  
I have recently returned to nursing to help during the Covid 19 outbreak and have been humbled by 
the support of the NHS by the population. 
My interest in dementia started as a young nurse working on the elderly wards, trying to ensure that 
patients were well cared for as they were unable to care for themselves. There are very few people 
who have not been ‘touched’ by dementia. My mother sadly developed the condition and having 
nursed her through those days I saw at first-hand how difficult everyday tasks, such as washing, 
dressing and feeding could be.  
I am currently helping to develop a new nursing home in Bridlington in which there is a floor dedicated to those living with dementia to ensure, despite their illness, they receive the best care available.
Rowena Smith
I was married to my husband Dave for 21 years before his death in 2019. I have a stepson Michael and am a step grandmother to India.  
I retired from Nursing in 2013. My nursing career included working in the NHS, the Private Sector and HM Armed Forces.  I also spent many years working for the St John Ambulance Brigade and Association in many roles.
My varied working and voluntary roles brought me into contact with all age ranges of patients, and I enjoyed working with staff from many different backgrounds, with a variety of skills competencies and levels of experience. I worked with staff from within the local area, and collaboratively with those with more regional, strategic and national roles. I have always believed that everyone should be treated as an individual, with their own needs and issues being respected within the community throughout their life whilst complying with relevant legislation.
My grandmother had Parkinson’s dementia, my mother in law had dementia for the last 6 years of her life and my late husband had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease 18 months prior to his death.
I believe that I can assist Dementia Friendly East Riding in the role of Trustee to achieve their mission of raising awareness and understanding of dementia, to encourage people affected by dementia to live as positively as they can, because of the wide variety of skills which I developed whilst working in many roles within healthcare environments.
Mandy Aitken

I am very pleased to be joining DFER as a Trustee, and helping to further the work of this fantastic charity.  As the owner of a local home care provider covering the East Riding, I have seen the way Dementia affects not only those living with it, but also their families.  There is so much more that can be done within communities to support and improve their lives, and DFER is leading the way. 

My background is in Project Management and HR in the Financial Services industry, so I have a wide variety of experience to offer.  I am originally from the U.S. but have considered the UK home for the past 15 years.