We are incredibly grateful for all of the support we receive from our trustees.

Dai Hill

Founder and Chairman

Tonia BallHaving graduated from Southampton University with a PhD in Chemistry back in 1990, I have undertaken a variety of roles within the Health and Safety Executive in Buxton ever since. My current role is in the field of risk assessment and computer programming, but I have also had experience of project management.

Lynda and I got married in 1990, moving to Northwich and settling here, we brought up our three children, now young adults. Josh’s diagnosis in 1999 was a huge shock for us all. His illness changed the direction of our lives. As a consequence of our experiences as a family, we put all our efforts into developing The Joshua Tree, and it has been wonderful to see it grow and flourish. We have had the privilege of helping many families through their own cancer journey over the years and we will strive to enable this work to continue.

I have varied interests and love to try new hobbies. Over the years I have dabbled with photography, close up card magic, and spray paint art (but not really mastered any of them!!). I really enjoy playing board games and solving puzzles. I would love to develop and run an ‘escape room’ or ‘board game’ café.

Andy Seferta

Vice Chair of Trustees and Business Development 

Tonia BallI joined as a non-exec trustee in 2013, then as full trustee from 2014 and am now very proud to be the Vice Chair of Trustees at The Joshua Tree.  I feel privileged to be able help the charity achieve even more, as we grow and evolve.

Since graduating with BSc and MSc degrees from Leeds University in the 1990s, I have held a variety of senior business roles in the IT sector with Fujitsu.

I am married with 3 children, love watching and playing snooker, and am an avid Aston Villa fan.

Elena Tyer


Tonia BallI joined the trustees as a Non-Executive Trustee in 2018. Having graduated from the University of Sheffield, I began a career in Human Resources and have worked predominantly within the Utilities and IT Sectors.

With almost 20 years experience in people strategy and operational experience, I am working closely with the dedicated team at The Joshua Tree to help ensure that the charity is a place where highly motivated people focus on supporting families affected by childhood cancer, helping them to return to ‘normal’ family life during and post-treatment.

Judith Malley

Tonia BallI joined the trustees as a Non-Executive Trustee in April 2018. Having graduated from Liverpool University with a degree in Economics I have worked in accountancy and taxation with several large practices. I currently work with the Finance Manager to help ensure the financial policies and procedures are practical and robust and to ensure that the Charity continues to operate from a sound financial footing.

Kate Dobb

Marketing, Communications and Research

Tonia BallI was delighted to join The Joshua Tree as a Non-Executive Trustee in 2018.

From my first meeting with Lyn and Dai I was impressed with their drive to support families in the region affected by childhood cancer. As a long-term childhood cancer survivor myself, I understand how the diagnosis of this disease affects not just the child themselves, but their parents and siblings too.

I currently work in external communications, so I hope to use my knowledge and experience of the media to help spread the word about the wonderful work of The Joshua Tree. It is a privilege to be working with the team at such a critical time.

My career started in medical research and I hold a PhD in Molecular Biology. Using this background, I plan to assist with research projects at The Joshua Tree to benefit the childhood cancer community.

Mel Plant


Tonia BallI originally trained as a teacher of Modern Languages, then branched into the realms of special needs and psychotherapy within my school setting. A significant focus for me now is the mental health of young people and adolescents. I am also a member of the leadership team at Bethel Church, Northwich.

It has been a privilege and a pleasure to be involved with The Joshua Tree and amazing to see just how many people have been inspired to help us.

Seeing a rainbow over the land on the day we chose to go for that particular site has been a special symbol of hope for me; hope for the charity and all it seeks to achieve and hope for all those children and families we seek to serve.

I also love gardening and green spaces and am so excited to get digging and planting!

Mike Bedford

Family Support and Finance

Tonia BallI have been involved as a trustee of The Joshua Tree from the very beginning, having known Dai and Lynda for close to thirty years and seen what the impact of cancer in children and the effect on the family at first hand.

I'm a recently retired Mathematics teacher having taught the subject at secondary level for almost 40 years. The subject continues to fascinate me and I am still engaged in some private tutoring.

I am married to Lynda and we have three grown-up children and a growing number of grandchildren.

I am involved in the leadership of a local church and for many years have been responsible for the leading of the children’s and youth work.

In my leisure time, my wife and I enjoy walking and are keen members of the National Trust. I also enjoy sport although predominantly now as a spectator.

I am very excited by the progress The Joshua Tree has made in recent years and am really looking forward to the opening of the new support centre in 2019.

Piers McLeish

IT and Business Development

Tonia BallAfter graduating with a degree in International Business and Modern Languages in 1993, I started my career at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), followed by various management positions at MBNA International Bank in Chester.

In 2004, I joined the board of directors of a small software consulting firm which has since become the Access Group, one of the largest privately owned software companies in the UK. I held a number of different leadership positions over that period including Regional Managing Director and Director of Professional Services.

In 2018, I took advantage of an opportunity to exit the business in order to change gear and pursue a number of different projects and passions.
Joining the board of trustees of The Joshua Tree is one of these. I hope to bring my experience of business leadership, project and programme management and IT to support the charity as it continues to grow and develop its scope.

Sarah Simcoe


Sarah SimcoeI had the great pleasure of meeting Lynda and Dai in 2016 as part of an Emerging Executives Programme within the IT industry, an industry where I spent almost 20 years focusing on transformation, strategy, governance and responsible business.

Initially joining the charity as a Non-Executive Trustee, I was thrilled to become a fully-fledged trustee in 2018 following a 12-month engagement with the charity.

I’m now self-employed, delivering diversity and inclusion services across sectors and industries and I’m thrilled to remain part of this growing charity. I am humbled by their passion and commitment to offering valuable support services to families across the North West.

Tonia Ball


Tonia BallI was introduced to Lynda and Dai in 2012 when my eldest son was recovering from a bone marrow transplant to treat a rare blood disorder.

I could see immediately that The Joshua Tree’s support service for families affected by childhood cancer was invaluable. From my own experience, I know what it is like to receive a diagnosis and have your world turned upside down, to feel isolated from “normal” life, to watch your child endure chemotherapy and all its side effects, to see years of what should be their carefree childhood taken from them by the disease and to see the effect, not just on them, but also on their siblings and other family members. Whilst the medical profession do an amazing job taking care of the patient, The Joshua Tree take care of the whole family, both during and after treatment.

Before having children, I worked as a corporate lawyer and now I’m delighted to be able to use that legal background in my role as one of the trustees of The Joshua Tree.

Tracey Harrison

Oncology Lead

Tonia BallI qualified as a Registered General Nurse in 1991 and on completion of my training I worked on a general medical ward with children.

In 1993 I qualified as a registered children’s nurse and continued to work in general medicine.

In 1995 I began to work on the children’s home care team and in 1991 took a Children’s Community Specialist Practitioner BSc degree. During this time I worked extensively with families who have children with oncological conditions, this has included children both during and at end of life care.

In 2017 I became the lead nurse for the local hospital for children who have an oncology diagnosis which involves working in conjunction with the Primary Treatment Centres to deliver continuity in care for these families.

My involvement with The Joshua Tree began when I was fortunate enough to be one of the team of nurses who cared for Josh and his family at home. I hope that my experience and knowledge enable me to be able to support the staff working at The Joshua Tree.

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