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Our Trustees

Our First Trustees

Our launch event on Tuesday 6 October 2015 held at the Middlesbrough Hotel and our First Trustees, Jan Rock, Ann Dale and Dr Maeve O'Sullivan.

Jan Rock - Founder & CEO

Jan worked in local government for 22 years, mainly in European and domestic funding programmes aimed at physical, social and economic regeneration, Her skills include: Strategic Planning, Public Sector Administration, Problem Solving, Project Management, Business Case Authoring, Fundraising and Bid Writing.

In 2010 her son had a terrible accident, which opened her eyes to a world of inequality she didn't know existed. Post discharge her family experienced first-hand the lack of knowledge, help and support that is available to child brain injury families; so Jan and her husband undertook lots of research and developed an innovative approach to neuro-rehabilitation therapy that delivered significant positive outcomes for their son. This later drove her to found MATRIX Neurological as a registered charity.

She said: "In founding this charity my passion now is to share our experiences to help improve the provision of services for children and young people who have sustained an acquired brain injury (ABI) and support their families to ensure they are able to access the help and support they are entitled to."

Since founding MATRIX Neurological, Jan has spoken at many conferences about childhood acquired brain injury. She delivers brain injury awareness training from the 'lived-experience' perspective to a range of professionals and agencies. She also regularly undertakes Continuous Professional Development Training with professionals to keep abreast of new developments and current practice in paediatric neuro-rehabilitation, that is then shared with the families the charity helps.

Finally Jan currently oversees the production of the charity's financial records that are reported to the Board of Trustees at each meeting.

Danny Kay - Chair

Danny Kay became a Trustee for us in May 2018.

Danny is an experienced IT Professional who has managed and delivered large scale software development projects for some major national and international companies. He is also the Managing Director of an IT and Software Development Consultancy. As such he brings a wealth of project management, business management and high level IT skills to the charity.

In his work-life, Danny is also a part-time Lecturer at Teesside University where he teaches 2nd and 3rd Year Degree students.

In his spare time, he is also studying an MSC in Computer Networks and Security and a degree in Counselling.

Danny said about joining MATRIX Neurological:
"I believe strongly in the charities aims and objectives and the quest for fair treatment both for young people living with acquired brain injuries and their families. I find the lack of support and knowledgeable help for these children and their families to be a huge concern and wish to help by contributing my skills as a Trustee."

Danny previously volunteered a few hours a week for us, during which time he learned more about our work and the plight of the families we help. We are delighted he has decided to join us as a Trustee.




Paul Wright

Paul is a Financial Planning Manager with a National Insurance Company and manages a team of financial advisers across the North East and North West of England. He has almost 30 years professional experience in helping businesses develop and prosper, exit strategy planning and helping people with succession planning.

Paul joined us in January 2019 as a Parent Trustee.

We asked Paul why he wanted to volunteer his time for us, and he said:
"My first interaction with MATRIX Neurological came as a result of a family member having an ABI. This was triggered by the lack of support, guidance and assistance provided to us by the NHS after the brain injury. The relief we experienced after contacting MATRIX was priceless! Before then we had been left in the Wilderness, looking for answers and trying to understand our son's complex condition.

As a consequence of the fantastic help we received, I was determined to help others who find themselves in similar unfortunate situations, so I approached MATRIX to offer my services and became a Parent Trustee."

Paul not only brings a range of valuable professional skills to the Board, but his 'lived experience' of ABI also provides even more insight into the needs of brain injured children and young people and their families, that will guide and influence the development of new services.

Reece Farrell

Reece joined us in March 2019 after doing some professional volunteering for us. He has been aware of the charity and what we do for some time. He has a degree in Psychology and a professional background both in community and education rehabilitation support and has worked in the public, private and voluntary sectors. His skills include: service planning and delivery, critical analysis, operations management and strategic planning.

Reece is a qualified teacher and is currently Curriculum Team Leader for a Health and Social Care Department in an FE college, and lectures within further and higher education establishments. He has also worked as a paid Research Assistant in a university.

Reece said about joining our Trustee Board:
"I have a strong interest in education, mental health and learning disability. I believe in 'enablement' and finding creative solutions to complex problems that overcome barriers. I am also acutely aware of the lack of rehabilitative support services for brain injured people in the UK. This has been the driving force behind me joining MATRIX as a Trustee."

In his spare time Reece enjoys regular trips exploring the UK and Canoeing. We think he will be a huge asset to MATRIX in supporting the expansion and development of some exciting new services.


"Strength-based family intervention after pediatric ABI is essential. Parents need to be equipped with the skills to cope and advocate for the child."
Caron Gan; Canada
"More play increases brain plasticity and makes for better recovery post brain injury"
Professor Bryan Kolb; Canada
"NHS clinicians struggle with what intervention to priorities in pediatric neuro-rehabilitation due to limited clinical time and the complexity of needs. Children, clinicians, parents and schools all have different neuro-rehabilitation priorities"
Recolo; United Kingdom
"Taking brain injured children home causes high stress for families. Disjointed services exacerbate family stress levels."
Deborah Andrews; New Zealand
"Poor parenting styles affects children's behavior; increased their learning disability; and had a negative impact on emotions; anxiety; anger management post brain injury"
Andrea Palacio-Navarro; Spain
"Often families don't have the financial capability to access services. We need to rethink how we delivery neuro-rehab services to children and young people"
Vicki Anderson; Australia
"Children and young people have poor social competence post brain injury due to reduced cognition, executive functions, and emotional control. As a result they are twice as likely to have mental health issues in the future"
James Tonks; University of London
"There are problems with getting people into neuro-rehab centres. Those most in need are often those most excluded due to a lack of socio-economic resources."
Vicki Anderson; Australia
"We need to harness the power of brain plasticity for treating children and young people with brain injury. Stressful experiences alter brain development of a child, especially at the key ages of 0-3 and at ages 10-16"
Professor Bryan Kolb; Canada
"Too often children and young people with ABI are discharged from hospital without specialist brain support that they and their families need to overcome lifelong challenges"
Andrew Ross; former Chief Executive of the Children's Trust

OUR MISSION: To work to remove (health) inequalities for children & young people affected by acquired brain injury; and provide effective support to their families that makes a real difference.

Council for Disabled Children Lottery Funded