Victoria Butler-Cole April_DSC3980 (3)resizedVictoria Butler-Cole – Chair

Victoria Butler-Cole is a barrister at 39 Essex Street Chambers. Her background is in philosophy, law and medical ethics and before becoming a barrister, she lectured in medical ethics, worked for various health charities, and was Assistant Director of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. She now works in the areas of healthcare and human rights law, with a focus on the Court of Protection and the Mental Capacity Act 2005.


Niccola SwanNiccola Swan – Treasurer

Niccola has recently retired as the director at Leeds Mind but continues to have a number of voluntary mental health roles, as well as being a governor of an NHS trust and a director of Healthwatch Leeds. She has wide experience as a charity trustee. She was deputy chief executive of the Employers’ Forum on Disability for two and a half years.

Previously she worked for Barclays PLC for 25 years, ending her career there in 2005 as Regional Director for the North East and also having been Diversity Director for the Barclays Group globally. She was a board member of Dignity in Dying from 2008 to 2011.


Richard SchefferDr Richard Scheffer

Richard read social science, qualified as a social worker and taught at a university in South Africa before reading medicine at the University of Cape Town. He was a consultant in palliative medicine and medical director of a hospice in the UK for 20 years until his retirement in 2007. He served as chairman of a regional Palliative Care Network and represented his area on the National Council of Palliative Care for a number of years. He was a member of the working group for the development of the Department of Health End-of-Life-Care strategy.

He has always had an interest in the promotion of palliative care in developing countries, especially in Africa, and has served on the UK Forum for Hospice and Palliative Care Worldwide, set up by Help the Hospices, and chaired the Advocacy Committee. He would like to see high quality palliative care available for all at the end of life as well as assisted dying being legally available for those who choose it.


Royal Institution of Great BritainDr Helen Jamison

Dr Helen Jamison is Head of Media at the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. She was previously Deputy Director and is now a trustee of the Science Media Centre, an independent press office ensuring the public have access to accurate information when science and health issues hit the headlines. She has also worked at the science journal Nature, and has a PhD in neuroscience and degree in biomedical science. Helen has a particular interest in the evidence-based communication of information about end of life and dying to patients and the public.



Karen SumpterKaren Sumpter

Karen Sumpter is Head of Clinical Services and Clinical Lead at Prostate Cancer UK – a post held since autumn 2013. She was previously, Deputy Director of Patient Services at St Luke’s Hospice in NW London for 10 years. A Registered Nurse for over 28 years, with a masters degree in Management & Leadership, Karen’s particular interests are patient choice in end of life care. She also enjoys team development and facilitating learning. She is delighted to be joining Compassion in Dying at a Trustee.