Senior Management Team

Chris Head

Hello, I am Chris Head and I was delighted to take on the job of chief executive of Meningitis Research Foundation at the end of 2007, having previously done similar roles at two other national health-care charities, Penny Brohn CancerCare and CLIC UK (Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood).

I think the great thing about the Foundation is that, as well as funding the vital medical research which will finally lead to cures for meningitis and septicaemia, we also support people affected. We offer an opportunity, through our Membership scheme, for everyone to become directly involved in our work, particularly through media campaigns and fundraising, and I am constantly grateful for the energy and commitment of our thousands of supporters.

As a member of the Institute of Fundraising, a former board member of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, I believe strongly in championing professional standards in the charity sector. I am very fortunate that the dedication and expertise of my colleagues here is making a real difference people affected by and at risk from meningitis and septicaemia, both in the UK and abroad. 

Away from work I am an enthusiastic amateur musician and enjoy life with my family in Bath.

Jane Futrell
Head of Communications and Campaigns

My name is Jane Futrell and I head up of the Communications and Campaign team. I joined the charity because I enjoy working with people who are making a difference and thrive on delivering projects which will bring tangible benefits for a wide range of people.
I oversee everything from press campaigns and parliamentary lobbying to the online site and leaflets for members of the public and health professionals.

I was a newspaper reporter in the north and south of England before joining the BBC in 1985 as a publicist in Manchester and then London. I left the BBC in 2011 after nearly 10 years as first Head of International Marketing Communications for BBC World Service and then Head of Brand Identity for BBC Global News.

Shirley Gieron
Head of Helpline and Membership

Hi, I'm Shirley and I lead a team of dedicated staff and nurses working within the Helpline and Membership Department.

My work with Members and individuals who have personal experience of meningitis and septicaemia includes home visits, the Telephone Befriending Network, giving talks to health professionals and community groups, running Members' Days and linking with other agencies and charities dealing with neurological and physical disabilities.

I feel privileged to support people affected by these diseases through times of extreme crisis, sharing their experiences and working with them through life changing trauma.

Linda Glennie Linda Glennie
Head of Research and Medical Information

I'm Linda Glennie and I'm Head of Research and Medical Information at MRF where I've worked since 1997.

I work with scientists and health professionals across a range of disciplines to develop information materials for the public and for health professionals, and I've co-authored several educational resources for nurses and trainee doctors. I also organise  the scientific programme for the Foundation’s biennial international conferences.

I'm responsible for managing the administration, peer review and monitoring of the Foundation’s international research programme. In collaboration with the Department of Social Medicine at the University of Bristol I manage the Impact of Meningitis project.

I was a member of the Guideline Development Group for the NICE guideline on Bacterial Meningitis and Meningococcal Septicaemia, published June 2010.

I have a background in biological sciences.

Mike Taylor
Head of Fundraising

I’ve been running my own management training consultancy since 1995, and am excited to have joined MRF in February 2012.

I’m also Chair of Trustees for local arts organisation Circomedia, a custody visitor at our local inner city police station, and mentor for an organisation that supports new social entrepreneurs.

I host a website for local runners, I’m a keen cyclist (I love my 11 mile commute!), and I’ve led charity challenge expeditions in S America, Africa, China, Borneo, and Nepal.

If you wish to share any thoughts, ideas or feedback that can help us here at MRF, please feel free to contact me.


Mary Millar
Scotland Office Manager

I'm Mary Millar and I'm the Scotland Manager. I joined MRF in July 2009.

My background is in marketing and advertising within the private sector, skills which I have found useful in promoting the Foundation further in Scotland, and driving forward increased awareness, support and fundraising campaigns.

I really enjoy being involved with all our Scottish Members and Supporters, and helping to make a difference to our important cause.

Diane McConnell
Ireland Manager

I have been with the charity since 5 April 1995 and am the Ireland manager - which incorporates two offices, Belfast and Dublin.

I love my job and get great satisfaction from working with members and supporters of the charity who are as committed to the cause as I am.

I have four grown up children and one grandson. I like family Sundays and walk and read when I get the time.

Kirsty Lawson
Meningococcal disease
Meningococcal disease at 21

I soon realised that most of my symptoms were pointing to meningitis.

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