Skip to accessibility page
Close window
Display options

Set the appearance of this website so you can read it more easily

Text size



The Board of Trustees

Karen Whitaker Joint Interim Chair

Karen Whitaker became a trustee in 2008 and was appointed as Chairman in 2011. Karen has worked in social care all her life and has now retired but continues to be involved with a range of charities.


A former senior manager with Age Concern South Staffs Karen chairs the Health and Wellbeing Working Group.



Penny Butler Joint Interim Chair

Penny Butler was appointed as a trustee in 2013. Penny has an MPhil in Medicine and worked for more than 20 years in St Bartholomew's Hospital and medical school carrying out research and development within the pathology department. She moved into NHS corporate management, becoming Assistant Director of Planning (Community Services).


Penny took up the role of Assistant Director of Adult Social Care in a London borough and then moved into management consultancy. She has held a number of voluntary sector roles including as a trustee of a local hospice and an area forum representative for Alzheimer’s Society and providing management support to a local adult disability charity.


Penny is currently also a trustee of a Hertfordshire sexual health charity and a Charter Member of Independent Age - a national older people’s charity, and a very recent volunteer for the Age UK Hertfordshire’s Hospital Discharge Scheme. Penny is Chair of the Scrutiny and Audit Committee.


Derek Skingle Vice Chair

Appointed as a trustee in 2012, Derek also volunteers for Age UK Hertfordshire’s Visiting Scheme, and is also a member of Age UK Hertfordshire’s Volunteer Steering Group.


Heavily involved with his local community, Derek’s other volunteering work includes volunteering at the Isabel Hospice In Patient Unit. He is also the Deputy Community Coordinator for Neighbourhood Watch (Welwyn/Hatfield), Transport Lead Coordinator with the Digswell Residents Association and he is also a Police Community Volunteer.


Derek is retired from the transportation industry, both in the UK and overseas, where he has worked with many diverse cultures and held senior operational and safety management positions. He lives locally in the Welwyn area.



Steve Thornton

Appointed as a trustee in 2002, Steve is a Senior IT Manager with a major Hertfordshire based IT services and solutions provider. He is also a volunteer for Lea Valley Talking Newspaper.

Lucy Nylander

Appointed in 2013, Lucy is an architect from St Albans.



Michael Freeman

Michael spent the greater part of his career in the insurance and IT professions in the UK and overseas. He then spent ten years as a communications operator with Hertfordshire Police, based in Welwyn Garden City.


During the same ten years Michael was also a Trustee, and then Chairman, of Isabel Hospice and continues to undertake fund raising and other events for them.


At the May 2015 local government elections Michael was elected to serve his ward of Watton at Stone on East Hertfordshire District Council.


His main interests are gardening, travel, classical music and books – and spending as much time as possible with his wife Debra to whom he has been married for more years than he can remember.


Michael has believed for a very long time that the way we care for our sick and our older people marks us out and defines us as a society, and he is committed to doing all he can to reflect this belief in his role as a Trustee of Age UK Hertfordshire.

Updated: 06.08.15