Branch Committee

It’s always best to put a face to the name, so here we all are – your Branch Committee.

Dr Steve Dyer FRCP

Branch President
Having been a Palliative Care Consultant since 1997, Steve brings a wealth of medical knowledge and expertise to the Branch. During his career he cared for many patients with MND and has close experience of the challenges this brings, the need for open and timely communication and skilled personal support. Joining in 2011, Steve aims to harness his medical expertise to ensure members are given the best care and the Branch connects appropriately with local medical services. Now recently retired Steve continues to teach Palliative Care overseas.

When not helping the Branch, Steve can be found either watching or playing cricket, or making music on his classical guitar.

Julie Unsted

She first became aware of MND when her sister-in-law was sadly diagnosed and passed away from the disease. Recognising the real need to raise awareness and to help families living with and having experienced MND, Julie reached out to help those in her local community.

For 12 years Julie lived in Bahrain before coming back to the UK. Working from the age of 21 as cabin crew for Gulf Air, before becoming Cabin Manager. These days, Julie currently works part time for a media company ‘Ticketmedia’ who produce transport tickets and sell the advertising space on the reverse.

In her spare time, Julie very much enjoys her garden, walking her miniature labradoodle, Bonny, cooking, baking cakes and travelling.

Chris Sheridan

Vice-Chair & Branch Contact
Initially an Association Visitor (AV), Chris believed it was important that an AV was on the Committee to best represent the needs of those living with MND and their carers, in addition to providing an important channel for feedback between the Branch and those it was supporting. So in 2006 Chris joined the Committee. Chris was a nurse for over 40 years covering general nursing, psychiatric to school nursing.

She is always available to talk about the latest theatre performance she has seen or what her Grandchildren have been up to – good topics to have over a cup of tea and cake.

Liz Carter

Persuaded to join by her mum about eight years ago (when her mum Carol was Chair of the Branch), Liz hasn’t been able to leave the Committee since after seeing the impact and importance of the Branch’s activities. Liz keeps everything ticking along and everyone in order, from taking minutes at meetings, maintaining the membership list and organising the AGM. She is responsible for the Mid Sussex Wellbeing Service and works closely with the local Clinical Commissioning Group, which gives her an insight in to local health services.

Liz is running mad, training for the Brighton Marathon and Beachy Head Marathon to being a volunteer running coach for Burgess Hill Runners. So if you fancy an invigorating run, Liz is your person.

Liz Carter

Mike Abbott

With a career in financial services, he was the obvious choice to manage the Branch’s funds and finances. He is responsible for overseeing all income and expenditure, maintaining financial records and reporting to National office as well as to members. Mike was looking for an opportunity in 2011 to do something to help the community, when he was approached by the Branch – perfect timing!

In between his book-keeping commitments, Mike is either on the golf course or off on some travel adventure. Every Committee meeting he makes us jealous of his last and next travel plans.

Mike Abbott

Christine Colbourne


Christine joined the Committee in 2013. Having nursed her own husband through a terminal illness, she knew the benefit of the support provided by both professionals and voluntary organisations at first hand and thought that MND brought with it many acute needs both for the people living with MND and their carers.

With a persuasive friend on hand, already involved in the Branch, and having had a career in nursing where she was exposed to acute and chronic illnesses, Christine found a natural fit with us where her talents and passion to help can make a real difference. She has taken on responsibility for supporting carers in arranging breaks for them through outings and excursions. Christine has also been instrumental in fundraising for the Branch.

It isn’t just us she helps either, she is also involved on local community projects and groups including the local branch of ‘Save the Children’.

Joanne Rogers

The most recent member of the Committee, Joanne joined in 2015. Initially Joanne started volunteering for the Branch by taking on the role of Newsletter Editor but this has since expanded to helping with the website and then actually joining the Committee itself. She started volunteering just after her Father passed away from MND, to give something back to the Branch who had helped her parents after the diagnosis of MND for her Father. She felt it would be useful for the Committee to have someone who had been personally affected by MND, and supported by the Branch, represented. Additionally, with her working in marketing, she brings useful expertise to the table.

In her spare time she goes to lots of art exhibitions and museums, like she used to with her Father.

Joan Moon

Joan joined our committee in July 2016 and was officially appointed at our AGM in April 2017.  Joan sadly lost her husband to MND so she is fully aware of the effects of the disease.  After her husband’s death Joan decided she  needed to help in any way possible to raise funds to assist her local MNDA Branch care for families who are currently coping with this relentless disease, and raise funds for research into finding a cure or positive treatment.  As a carer herself she had derived comfort and assistance from the MNDA and her Association Visitor.  Joan is now retired and enjoys walking and helps organise the Annual Charity walk for St Catherine’s Hospice.  Joan lives in a wonderful retirement village and enjoys the social life there, particularly the outside events.