Matthew Knight
Matthew KnightChair
Matthew retired from his professional role as a long-standing Human Resources Director at Leeds University in 2014. Until recently he was Chair of York, Selby and Scarborough Community Furniture Stores. He is a Trustee with York Centre for Voluntary Service (CVS) and a listening volunteer with York Samaritans. Matthew said, “I am delighted to have the opportunity to support the very impressive volunteer-based work that OCAY carries out to help older people in York and to do what I can to help the Charity thrive and prosper”.
Gillian Caldicott
Gillian CaldicottDeputy Chair
Gillian is a Learning and Development Consultant with 30 years experience of developing leaders and managers in diverse market sectors. Now semi-retired she is looking to use her skills to support organisations who help vulnerable members of society find their voice. Gilliann says “OCAY is a great example of this and I am proud to have joined as a Trustee”.
Sylvia Doughty
Sylvia DoughtySecretary
Sylvia joined OCAY as a trustee and advocate when it was first constituted in 2001. Sylvia said “I have always been passionate about the way older people are treated in our society. Often they are portrayed as a burden but they make a valuable contribution to our world and should be treated with dignity and respect.” Sylvia has cared for older people in hospital and nursing homes. For the past 25 years she has worked with Age UK, helping older people with a variety of problems and providing a listening ear.
Laura Walker
Laura WalkerTreasurer
After training as a Chartered Accountant at Deloitte, Laura joined Asda, where she has worked for more than a decade – in a variety of roles across Commercial Finance, Accounting and Controls & Governance. Her most recent roles include Head of Internal Audit and Director of Finance Shared Services. she is currently leading a transformation project to replace all existing Asda systems for Finance.

Outside of work, she has a busy family life as well as being an avid runner and cyclist.

Ali Rogan
Ali RoganTrustee
Ali has over 30 years’ external affairs, marketing and strategy development experience and set up Hornsey Consulting in 2016. With a specialism in health, housing, care and digital tech, she is currently leading the marketing function and supporting business strategy for several organisations.

She is enthusiastic about supporting OCAY by sharing her philosophy of creating the right environment for organisations to flourish and believes in truly understanding customer needs to support the wider community and improve outcomes for all.

With a special interest in dementia and digital, Ali has been the Chair of the Prime Minister’s Dementia Champion’s Group (PMCG) Dementia Friendly Technology sub-group since April 2016 and is an active member of the Dementia and Housing Working Group.

Jean Reed
Jean ReedAssociate Trustee / Volunteer Advocate
Jean has been a Volunteer Advocate with OCAY since 2015 and has also become an Associate Trustee providing a link from the Advocates to the Board.
Tracey Dennison
Tracey DennisonTrustee
Tracey was attracted to OCAY because she believes everyone, regardless of age and background, should be treated with dignity and respect: “We all need help sometimes to navigate our way and make our views and our voice heard – OCAY provides that support to older citizens in a way that delivers results and builds confidence”.

Tracey was an HR Director in the public sector for over 20 years and brings in-depth experience of people leadership, organisational development and governance: “I hope I can use my knowledge to support OCAY and the incredibly valuable work they do”.

Interested in becoming a Trustee? 

We have a strong team of Trustees, many of them long-serving. We have vacancies for new Trustees and are keen to bring on board people with relevant skills, experience and commitment. If you are interested, please read about the role of Trustees below and get in touch at

Our Patron

Professor Dianne Willcocks
Professor Dianne Willcocks
Professor Dianne Willcocks is Emeritus Professor at York St John University and Honorary Doctor at Sheffield Hallam University and York St John Universities/Honorary Fellow at Rose Bruford College She is a leadership consultant, advocate and practitioner for socially inclusive citizenship. She is an Associate of Advance HE having revitalised and led their Governor Development Programme over three years. Her major contribution is promoting educational endeavour and opportunity that engages with the needs of modern communities. The former Vice Chancellor at York St John University, Professor Willcocks engages in contemporary debates around excellence, governance and accountability in public services and the arts.

A social scientist with a multidisciplinary practice, Professor Willcocks’ research and contribution is in the field of an ageing society – currently around citizenship, dementia and end-of-life care This important work began at the Polytechnic of North London in the 1980s. She encourages diverse audiences to recognise the significance of the creative/cultural economy. Importantly, she also engages public policy and practice debates to secure health & wellbeing through social inclusion.

In the City of York, Professor Willcocks is Chair of York Mediale; she was founder member of the city’s Lifelong Learning Network, Higher York; she has served on the HEFCE Board and the Higher Education Academy. She is Chair of the Wilf Ward Family Trust and Vice Chair for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation; she served 9 years as Vice Chair for the York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is a trustee For York Museums Trust. In higher education, she has served full terms as Governor on two HE Governing Bodies: London Metropolitan University and Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance.