Our Senior Leadership Team

Our Senior Leadership Team is employed by the Charity and oversees the day-to-day running of activity.

Jill Tolfrey CEODr Jill Tolfrey,
Chief Executive

Dr Tolfrey started work with The Fire Fighters Charity in 2010 as Director of Operations, to lead the development of our services. Initially qualified in physiotherapy, she has a broad range of experience in trauma management, intensive care, rehabilitation, acute and chronic cardiorespiratory care, education and research. She was appointed our Chief Executive in June 2014 and has overseen the recent £1.8m redevelopment of Harcombe House in Devon.

Sharon Bailey,
Director of Beneficiary Services 

Sharon joined the Charity as a Registered Nurse in 1995 and was part of the original team who implemented the Charity’s first rehabilitation and nursing services. Before joining the Charity, Sharon worked for the NHS within the field of orthopedic nursing. She has held a number of roles within the organisation, overseeing service development and change, and is responsible for the leadership and management of the our beneficiary services

Martin Smith,
Finance Director

Martin has been The Fire Fighters Charity’s Finance Director since joining the Charity in 2007, having previously worked in accountancy practice and then commercial and charitable organisations. As well as navigating the Charity through a turbulent period of global financial crisis, he has also managed a number of other departments including a successful three-year spell managing income generation and engagement. Recently he has led on digital transformation and strategic planning.

Chris Goonan,
Director of Organisational Development and Corporate Services

Chris has worked in the voluntary sector for several years and joined The Fire Fighters Charity in 2011. With a broad range of experience in human resource and organisational development, she has also worked in a leadership capacity and has been responsible for a variety of both support and development functions. Chris leads the Charity’s organisation development and corporate governance and oversees our estates and facilities.


Our Board of Trustees

Our Trustees are a body of volunteers who bring a wide range of knowledge, experience and expertise to the Charity. The Trustees approve our strategic and business plans and annual budget. They must ensure that everything done we do genuinely and solely in pursuit of our objectives. We have 15 Trustees who are appointed by our Company Members.

andrew_lynchAndrew Lynch, Chair

Andrew has had close links with The Fire Fighters Charity since 1998 and was appointed Chair in November 2016, having previously been Deputy Chair and having first joined the Board in 2011. He has been involved in the fire sector since 1998 when he joined the Fire Group of publications and events at DMG World Media. Andrew has been Editor of FIRE magazine since 2000 and is the Managing Editor of the Fire Group at Pavilion Publishing. He is also Editor of International Fire Professional and is the founder and organiser of events such as the Fire Congresses and the Excellence in Fire & Emergency Awards. He is also Vice Chair of the Fire Sector Federation and Parliamentary Liaison Officer for the All Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group.

peter_daviesPeter Davies, Deputy Chair

Peter joined Kent Fire & Rescue Service in 1979 and became a leading member of its Health & Safety Accident Investigation Board. As an operational officer he was part of the Service’s specialist Marine Firefighting and Rope Rescue teams. He retired after 31 years of service. Peter has been a continuous volunteer for the Charity since 1980, holding positions of Station Representative, Brigade and Group Secretary, Group Secretary and Regional Coordinator for the South-East and London. He was appointed Deputy Chair in November 2016,  As well as being in his second term of office as a Trustee he is a Director of the Fire Fighters Trading Company and Chair of the Finance & Audit Sub-committee.

paul_fullerPaul Fuller, Member of the Board of Trustees

Paul has been the Chief Fire Officer for Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service since 2002. He joined the Fire Service in 1978 and worked for West Midlands, West Sussex, Staffordshire and Wiltshire in Operations, Staff, Fire Prevention, Training and Command functions. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Fire Engineers, has a MsC in Human Resources Management and a BsC in Fire Safety Technology and Management. Paul is the Chair of CFOA Services Limited, deputy of Fire Sector Federation and a trustee for the Children’s Burns Trust. He is a regular fundraiser for the Charity.

andrew_bestAndrew Best, Member of the Board of Trustees

Andrew is a former Chief Fire Officer and long-time Charity supporter. He has been a Company Member of the Charity for more than 15 years and has served as a Regional Coordinator for the North West since 2008, as well as our interim Volunteer Manager in 2011-12. He is also a Life Patron of the Charity – an award given at the 2008 Spirit of Fire Awards.

jane_nicklinJane Nicklin MSc, MCSP, Member of the Board of Trustees

Jane is a qualified physiotherapist who has worked extensively in healthcare, specialising in neurological conditions such as acquired brain injury and multiple sclerosis. She has managed a range of rehabilitation services, developed education courses and written for clinical textbooks.

Andy Hickmott, Member of the Board of Trustees

Andy Hickmott retired as Chief Fire Officer of Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2019. He is a member of the Institution of Fire Engineers and CFOA, sitting on the latter’s Members Sounding Board. He began his career in London Fire Brigade, rising to Group Commander and later becoming Assistant Chief Fire Officer at Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service. He later worked as an Assistant Commissioner within London Fire Brigade, responsible for operational service delivery across South London.

Neil Gibbins, Member of the Board of Trustees

Neil’s 37-year operational fire service career includes 20 spent in senior management. He became Deputy Chief Fire Officer for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service after co-directing the merger of the two services. He was lead officer for fire protection within the UK Chief Fire Officers Association from 2007 to 2013, and before this chaired the working group that managed the implementation of the Fire Safety Order by English and Welsh fire services. As well as being the Managing Director of GIB Fire Risk Services Ltd, Neil chairs a national working group established to improve product safety recalls. Neil is a Fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers, where he used to be President as well as its CEO from 2015 to 2018. He has been awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal and has been an active member of the Charity for his whole career, from early involvement with Harcombe House in the 1980s to being a company member for the last six years.

John Baines, Member of the Board of Trustees

John has served with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service since joining as a fire fighter in 1990 and is currently responsible for leading the Organisational Development Group. Previously as Assistant Chief, John led the Community Safety Group, delivering emergency response together with operations and resilience planning, legislative fire safety, prevention, education and community engagement. He has also contributed to national fire service strategic groups, including co-leading the production of national operational guidance for Incident Command for the UK Fire Service. John is also Vice Chair of the National Fire Chief’s Council’s National Operational Effectiveness working group, a member of the Common Purpose Advisory Board. In the past he also been Chair of the British American Project, Chair of Northumbria Local Resilience Forum and Chair of Governors at Fellside Community Primary School.

Simon Routh-Jones, Member of the Board of Trustees

Simon served as a fire officer for over 37 years and retired from his post of Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive of Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service in April 2016. He was instrumental in Wiltshire’s merger to become Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service. He implemented a Juvenile Firesetters programme, intervening and educating young people in partnership with Youth Offending teams and Police, Education and Social Services. Having started in the South West, this developed to form part of the national approach to youth education in fire prevention. He joined HM Fire Service Inspectorate for Scotland in September 2016 as an Assistant Inspector. In June 2018, he was appointed HM Chief Inspector for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. Simon is a Fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers and a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management. In 2016 he was awarded for Queen’s Fire Service Medal for services to the Fire and Rescue Service.

George Wood, Member of the Board of Trustees

George is a Chartered Accountant and a graduate of Heriot-Watt University. Although new to the fire sector, he has considerable experience of the not-for-profit sector, having worked in a variety of senior FD/CFO roles over the course of the last twenty years. This includes working for charities, professional membership bodies and benevolent funds. He also has extensive experience of working with Trustee Boards and Finance/Audit sub-committees. The earlier part of his career was spent in the private sector, starting in the profession, then moving through management consultancy and internal audit into financial services.