Meet the team

Executive Team

Ellie Orton OBE

Chief Executive

Ellie has worked in the specialist social care, education and faith sector for over 25 years regionally, nationally and internationally. Before moving to NHS Charities Together in July 2018, Ellie was contracted as CEO at a Coventry based charity working with the most vulnerable and sexually exploited women in the city. Previous to this Ellie spent nearly 4 years as Head of Youth Programmes and Interim CEO at the Jon Egging Trust, the national charity set up following the death of the Red Arrows pilot Flt Lt Jon Egging in 2011, supporting young people with significant barriers in their lives to achieve their full potential.  Ellie is passionate about social change and the African philosophy of Ubuntu, which literal translation is ‘humanity’. She loves beaches, running and her family including the dog. Ellie writes a fortnightly blog which is posted on this website.

Email contact:
Twitter: @e_orton


Louise McCathie

Director of Fundraising

Louise joined NHS Charities Together from Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust where she had been Director of Fundraising since 2009. She started her career at the National Institute of Conductive Education, then ChildLine, followed by leading the British Heart Foundation’s Central England events team, before moving to Mencap. Louise was also a former Chair of the NHS Charities Together Fundraising Mutual Interest Group.

In 2015, Louise was presented The Gill Astarita Fundraiser of the Year Award at the Institute of Fundraising’s National Fundraising Awards and Fundraising Team of the Year at The Charity Times Awards

Richard Scarth

Director of Membership & Impact

Prior to joining NHS Charities Together, Richard was Director of Operations at Royal Free Charity for five years before being promoted to Deputy Chief Executive.

During Richard’s time at Royal Free Charity, he was responsible for significant growth in the range of services it offers and was at the forefront of cultivating productive relationships with stakeholders. Richard began his career in finance and has previously held senior positions within several large healthcare organisations.

Sarah Campion

Director of External Affairs & Communications

Sarah has a strong track record in not-for-profit and public sector leadership, with over twenty years’ experience of delivering successful marketing and communications strategies for the likes of the NHS, Macmillan Cancer Support and Lambeth Council. She was Director of Engagement at national research charity Fight for Sight before joining NHS Charities Together.

Sarah leads the external communications strategy, shaping the NHS Charities Together brand and engagement with charity members, supporters and other key stakeholders.


Ian Lush OBE


Ian Lush has been Chief Executive of Imperial Health Charity since December 2014, having previously been the Chief Executive of the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) for 11 years. Following an MA in music at the University of York, he started his career as a viola-player with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, subsequently moving into arts management, including as Marketing Director of the Barbican Centre, and Managing Director of the London Mozart Players for eight years before joining the AHF.

Ian was Lead Governor of Great Ormond Street Hospital Foundation Trust from 2012-15 and served on its strategy and redevelopment boards.  He founded and directed ‘Discovering Places’, one of the major projects of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and was Deputy Chair of the Heritage Alliance from 2005-13.   Apart from work and his family, Ian’s main recreations revolve around sport, playing Middlesex League tennis and going to watch football, cricket, tennis and athletics, and he is also a keen cook. Ian was awarded an OBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours list for charitable services to the NHS

Keith Brooks


Keith has been the Charity Director and a member of the Senior Finance team at Northampton General Hospital for the past ten years after a career in the Rail industry in which he was actively involved in supporting the changes leading up to the industry’s privatisation.

Keith’s early third sector involvement was with Christian based charities, primarily in Methodist Church related roles, which currently includes being the Northampton Methodist Circuit Treasurer.

From the first week of joining the hospital the effective promotion and operation of the NGH charity became a key part of his role. The charity responsibilities subsequently have expanded to include the overseeing of the local Community and Mental health funds. He has recently guided the charity through adoption of independent status.

Keith has been the representative for Northampton General Hospital for a number of years at Association meetings, and has been a member of the working group looking at the DoH proposals for changes in Charity governance arrangements. Keith believes the Association has an important role in relation to enabling its members to effectively implement the anticipated changes, along with the wider challenge of supporting growth in the contribution the charitable sector makes to enhancing health provision.

Keith was elected to be a Council member of the Association in 2013 and was appointed Treasurer in 2016.

Tim Diggle

Joint Deputy Chair

Tim has worked in the voluntary sector for over 30 years for organisations involved in young people, the arts, social inclusion, health and medicine. At YHA he was instrumental in securing £17 million in funding to develop Do it 4 Real summer camps for 10-16 year olds, which had a real impact on the thousands of young people who took part. Tim joined Derby and Burton Hospitals Charity in December 2018. Prior to this he worked as Charity Director at Leicester Hospitals Charity, where he established a strong track record of successful appeals for all areas of the hospital’s work.

Tim had an earlier career in television, media and theatre as an actor, writer and theatre producer, working with actors such as Sylvester McCoy, Barbara Windsor and Ian Lavender. Having left the theatre he realised the theatre never quite left him, so in his spare time he writes and directs pantomimes for the South Darley Players, and occasionally directs other amateur theatre groups.  He plays guitar and writes music and likes to go fell-walking or cycling in the Peak District whenever he can.

He is a Member of the Institute of Fundraising, and was Chair of the Association of NHS Charities Fundraising Mutual Interest Group for five years.

Kirsty Thomson

Joint Deputy Chair

Kirsty is the Head of Fundraising, Awyr Las Blue Sky – The North Wales NHS Charity. Kirsty taught English in Taiwan, Colombia and Spain and held a voluntary position with a charity supporting street children in Colombia before returning to the UK to take on an internship and then a permanent role with the Charities Advisory Trust. Kirsty went on to become the Fundraiser for Wales for the Alzheimers Society and then the Major Gifts Manager for Bangor University before joining the Health Board in North Wales as the Head of Fundraising for the North Wales NHS Charity, Awyr Las. A former trustee of Students Supporting Street Kids, Kirsty recently became Director of Macsen and Partners Ltd, which provides consultancy services for voluntary sector organisations. Kirsty is a mother of three and enjoys walking in Snowdonia with her family in her spare time.

Chris Burghes


Chris is currently  the CEO of the national animal charity Blue Cross Charity. Prior to this, Chris joined the Royal Free Charity in the autumn of 2010 as its first Chief Executive. As the Chief Executive of the Royal Free Charity, Chris oversaw the strategic change of the organisation from a grant making body to direct service provider, merging other organisations into the Charity and growing the income by 300% to over £40m. Together they were the primary reasons why he was identified as one of the five rising stars of the third sector by Charity Times in 2014.

Previously he was the Director of Business Development at the Fire Fighters Charity where he grew the charity from £3m turnover to over £9m. He was also responsible for the rebranding of the organisation, the restructuring of its 2000 strong volunteer network and a major expansion of its beneficiary base. The work he and his team undertook resulted in them being voted the “UK’s Fundraising Team of the Year” in 2008/09 by the Third Sector, as well as being nominated as the best charity brand development. Chris was also voted one of the top two fundraisers in the UK in 2005/06 by the Charity Times magazine.

Chris has also worked for the National Farmers’ Union as both their Marketing Manager and Business Development Manager. He was educated in both the UK and the USA and completed his MBA in 2001.

Amerjit Chohan


Amerjit Chohan is currently the Chief Executive of St George’s Hospital Charity, having previously been the Director of Development & Communications at Imperial Health Charity. Amerjit is a highly experienced and highly motivated CEO and Board Member with over 25 years experience in the not for profit sector. He is extremely adaptable and accomplished in setting strategy, managing £m budgets. He’s able to communicate at a senior level whilst presenting in a focused and persuasive manner.

Amerjit has proven success of exceeding targets whilst also adding to the overall strengths associated with a thriving organisation. He brings key talents including strategic thinking, audience and major donor development. Amerjit is a strong leader with excellent organisational skills who is entrepreneurial and is able to provide leadership across all areas.

Whilst at  Imperial Health Charity Amerjit led on the NHS Big 7Tea campaign (from concept to delivery within less than a year). Amerjit also secured NHS Charities Together to be the beneficiary charity for the Daily Mail Health Hero Awards.

Amerjit is also Deputy Chair for the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, a charity that transform the lives of young people through the power of world class athlete mentors delivering personal, social and emotional development programmes.


Jane Ferguson


Jane joined NHS Lothian in 2011 as the first Director of the health board’s endowment fund, known as the Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation, after serving for eight years as the Director of Fundraising at King’s College Hospital in London.

At ELHF she has overseen an overhaul in governance standards and succeeded in creating a Scottish NHS endowment now considered best in class, has led the organisation through strategic review to become a grantmaking body, to lead nationally on the development of arts in health and wellbeing, volunteering and green health strategies, and most recently has set about implementing a fundraising strategy across Lothian.   In 2018 her experience of leading a large endowment led to her involvement in the published OSCR guidance on trustee investment, and she is currently involved in a Scottish Government review of NHS Charity governance.

Whilst at King’s College Hospital Charity, she successfully led several fundraising appeals, and through early involvement in the Association of NHS Charities from the mid 2000s supported the first round of membership development and growth, including establishing the Fundraising Mutual Interest Group.

Jane serves as vice chair of Scottish Association of Mental Health, and in her spare time likes to go hill walking and enjoy time in her vegetable garden.  She has two teenage children


NHS Charities Together is the trading name of the Association of NHS Charities. Registered Charity No 1186569   Company No  12325259