Our Trustees

Trustees provide strategic leadership, oversight and direction in line with agreed objectives. The Board represent the interests of all stakeholders acting as Ambassadors for the charity.

Trustees are responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of the charity. They support the CEO to develop our aims, objectives and goals.

Being a Trustee for the Muscle Help Foundation provides a unique opportunity to not only use the skills and experience that someone may have but also an individual’s passion and commitment in helping to improve the lives of vulnerable people. Our vision and values sit at the heart of the charity which from March 2023 will be celebrating its 20th Anniversary, a key milestone. Trustee Board members contribute to making an important difference in a voluntary role that offers enormous fulfillment.

2023/24 is a pivotal time in the charity’s continued development and drive towards fulfilling its 657 mission – a new Trustee recruitment round has just been launched and we have a number of exciting opportunities to bring your skills, talents, energy and experience in making a vital difference to the lives of vulnerable children and young people (8-28yrs) with Muscular Dystrophy.

Click HERE for more information about trusteeship with the Muscle Help Foundation charity. For an informal conversation, please contact Hugh O’Keeffe, MHF’s Chair.



Hugh O’Keeffe (he/him), Chair of Trustee Board


Hugh joined as a Trustee in April of 2021 bringing a depth of knowledge of charitable organisations. He is a Diversity and Inclusion Lead for the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (enei). Having previously supported LGBT+ community groups, he joined the Muscle Help Foundation with extensive experience in risk management and operational delivery.

Hugh has a passion for the empowerment of all people. He brings knowledge and skills around digital engagement and safeguarding practice.

Hugh moved to London in late 2018 from Perth, Australia. Both Hugh and his eldest brother have Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD).


Matthew Adams, Charity Treasurer & Vice Chair


Matthew joined the charity’s Board as Charity Treasurer in January 2020. Since then he has devoted his financial skills and time to help the charity thrive and continue in achieving its vision of delivering 657 Muscle Dreams.

Matthew is a Finance Manager at Hollister Incorporated, a medical devices company, where he uses his analytical skills to help the management with budget setting, strategic planning and performance management. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Keele University and has ACCA certification. 

Matthew has had links to the charity since its inception. Whilst his work experience is in the commercial world, he brings with him strategic, analytical and communication skills, an inquisitive mind and a positive attitude.


Claire Leach, Trustee


Claire is a Technologist and Senior Leader with 30 years’ experience of transforming organisations using technology to delight customers. She combines the ability to strategically look across an organisation with the ability to deliver and connect the dots, maximising cross functional working relationships. Currently, Claire heads up strategic and technology delivery, stage management and insider programmes for disguise, bringing spectacular visual experiences to global audiences.

Claire is delighted to be a Trustee for the Muscle Help Foundation (MHF) fully supporting our family-focussed approach. She is an advocate of recognising our humanity, the common thread that brings us all together, and leveraging this to deliver spectacular results for our beneficiaries.

As a Trustee with responsibility for digital, Claire brings a wealth of experience in creating value through technology. She will strengthen MHF’s focus on corporate support and fundraising, leveraging digital channels to boost the charity’s presence and drive income generation.

Having lost family members to similar conditions and with disabled family members, she is no stranger to life with challenges. As a result, she believes in making the most of every day, especially the richness of shared experiences and memories. Bringing her passion and warmth to the role, Claire is looking forward to helping MHF fulfil its 657 Muscle Dream mission for beneficiaries and families.


Michael Rudman, Trustee


Michael has extensive experience in sales, marketing and commercial development specifically within the banking, insurance and health sectors. He currently works for Simplyhealth as their Strategic Partnerships Director. Both Michael and his daughter have Bethlem Myopathy, classified as a rare type of muscular dystrophy.

Michael learned about the work of The Muscle Help Foundation through the Trustee Leadership Programme he attended sponsored by Close Brothers Group and delivered by Cause4, a social enterprise and B-Corporation that champions disruptive philanthropy and new ways of scaling up charities and social enterprises. Cause 4’s Trustee Leadership Programme Alumni Newsletter (Feb ’19) featured his appointment here in which he shares his insights about becoming a Trustee.

Michael is looking forward to making an impact by bringing his diverse talents, skills and commercial business experience to the charity’s Trustee Board.


Shalon Spencer, Trustee

Shalon is an experienced international finance and commercial lawyer, specialising in the renewable and green market. She is currently Head of Legal at fund manager Octopus Renewables, managing more than £3 billion of assets globally, including large swathes of onshore wind and solar capacity across Europe and Australia. Previous to this, she spent twelve years at Linklaters LLP, a multinational law firm headquartered in London and a member of the Magic Circle of elite British law firms.

Shalon has both UK and international expertise in the legal and financial sectors. She has a particular interest in the renewable and green energy market. She regularly advises on and manages large scale and innovative projects, both leading and collaborating with diverse teams and developing strong client relationships.

By joining the charity’s Trustee Board, Shalon is not only excited about expanding her own personal development in being able to broaden her existing skill set in a very different environment whilst acquiring new skills but also adding value to a small charity. Shalon’s strengths include strong analytical skills and legal knowledge. As well as being a team player, her commitment to equality and diversity, disability awareness and human resources are valuable assets.

Shalon lost her then older brother to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). As a result, her insights are drawn from personal family experiences combined with her passion and energy to support a cause that’s close to her heart.


Annette Woolman, Trustee


Annette has worked in the charity sector for over 16 years, including roles with the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and as a previous Trustee of a local Council for Voluntary Service (CVS). Currently, Annette heads up the Membership, Services and Volunteering teams at Coeliac UK, supporting a 65,000 member strong community to live well gluten free.

In helping the Muscle Help Foundation (MHF) charity’s mission, Annette brings wide-ranging strategic expertise around the supporter experience, stakeholder engagement, award winning service innovation and income generation.

As an ambassador for inclusivity and empowerment, Annette is looking forward to being a part of the charity, specifically it’s community of Muscle Warrior beneficiaries and their families across the UK.


Sue McGrath, Charity Secretary & Advisor

A trustee for 10yrs (resigning April 2023), Sue continues to be the charity’s official secretary since 2003. She remains an invaluable advisor to the Board. A dedicated, tireless and passionate supporter of the charity’s work.


Providing a crucial role working alongside the CEO across a multitude of projects and initiatives linked to the charity’s Muscle Dream activities, Sue also works with the charity’s Treasurer in overseeing the day-to-day financials, in addition to working with the Chair ensuring governance and any resourcing requirements are met.


Married to MHF’s founder and CEO Michael McGrath, Sue has a unique and invaluable perspective in deeply understanding the adversities faced by families living with muscular dystrophy.


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