Staff team


Andrew White, Chief Executive

Andrew joined Involve North East in 2018 and has responsibility for the management of the organisation. He has many years’ experience of charity leadership and brings with him skills from the education, enterprise and skills sharing sectors, having worked in teaching and publishing before moving to the charitable sector. As well as developing and leading cross-sector partnerships, Andrew co-chaired the Newcastle Voluntary Sector Liaison Group for over two years giving him a great insight into the work of charities across the city and the communities they serve.


Dan Duhrin, Project Coordinator

Dan’s primary role is to create strong relationships with communities and health professionals across the north east, enabling patients, carers and the public to be fully involved in every aspect of our work. He also leads on our contribution to the public health rotation for medical students at Newcastle University, where we open students’ eyes to the communities most adversely affected by social and economic determinants of health.

Dan joined the organisation in 2007, after working on a range of projects aimed at improving health, fitness and quality of life across the community.


Leah Lamb, Research and Communications Coordinator

Leah is Involve North East’s research lead, using her extensive experience of research methodologies to coordinate the design and delivery of all our research projects. She is also responsible for keeping up to date with national, regional and local health and social care policy developments.

Leah joined the organisation in 2007, having worked for the Northern Housing Consortium as project lead for the Rural Housing Needs service and producing a number of publications examining housing policy and its implications.

Leah has a Master’s degree in Information and Library Management.


Julie Marshall, Project Coordinator

Julie is the Project Coordinator for Involve North East. She identifies potential new partnerships and funding opportunities and manages any research projects that this work generates. Julie also works with Dan to develop and strengthen Involve North East's networks with groups and individuals in the community.

Julie joined the organisation in 2007. She has a degree in physiotherapy.



Frances Blackburn portrait

Frances Blackburn, Chair

Frances joined the Board of Involve North East in 2013.

She is a registered adult nurse who has worked in the  NHS (predominantly in the Newcastle Hospitals) for the last 33 years, having come to Newcastle as a Student Nurse in 1980.

Having worked for many years within Cardiac teams Frances’s current post is as Head of Nursing for Freeman Hospital. In this post Frances provides professional leadership for Nursing at the Freeman Hospital and also leads work related to Public Health, Patient Involvement and enhancing the patient experience in support to the Nursing and Patient Services Director.

Pauline Bishop

Pauline Bishop

Pauline joined the Board of Involve North East in 2014.

Pauline has nearly 20 years' experience in senior management positions within the voluntary and social care sector, both in London and the North East. Pauline has managed housing and care services for carers of disabled adults and children, youth services and families with young children. She is currently employed by Sherburn House Charity in her role as Chief Executive.

Pauline has a BA (Hons) Social Science, a Professional  Certificate in  Management (Not for Profit) and a NEBOSH General Certificate.


Lynda Cox

Lynda joined the Board of Involve North East in 2019.

She has 30 years' public sector experience, first in local government and then in regional and national strategic NHS management roles. Her background is as a programme lead, working across the North East and nationally in large scale change, service improvement, knowledge and information management.

Lynda has a BA and MSc in information management and knowledge management.

Lynda now concentrates on voluntary work – as well as a Trustee for INE, she is also a Healthwatch Committee member and a Trustee for Tyneside and Northumberland Mind.

Ruth Rogan

Ruth Rogan

Ruth joined the Board of Involve North East in 2016.

Ruth is a registered social worker who has a long career of working in the voluntary and statutory children's services at a senior management level in London, Yorkshire and the North East.

Most recently she worked for Newcastle City Council and since 2014 has undertaken the role of Safeguarding Adviser for the Diocese of Newcastle.

In addition to her social work qualification she has a Diploma in Management Studies from the University of York and a Coaching certificate from Northumbria University.

Neina Sheldon 

Neina Sheldon

Neina joined the Board of Involve North East in 2019.

She has over 13 years’ experience in marketing and communications in brand and agency roles across a variety of sectors. Her work has naturally developed with her interests, taking in offline and digital marketing, communications and customer insights. She currently is a freelance marketing consultant and copywriter, and director of Lightopia CIC. 

Neina holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership and Management Development, a Diploma in Digital Marketing and a BA (Hons) in Business Management.


Niamh Storey

Niamh joined the Board of Involve North East in 2019.

Niamh is a PhD student studying Social Policy. Her research focuses on the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on children and families in the North East. She is particularly interested in methods which promote young children’s rights to participate in the research process.

Alongside this, Niamh volunteers with Citizens Advice as a researcher and campaigner to investigate local, regional and national policy issues.

Niamh holds a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Health Psychology.


Stephen Telford

Stephen joined the Board of Involve North East in 2019.

He has over 15 years’ experience of working for local and national charities in the North East with roles focussing on relationship development, programme implementation and employer engagement. Having previously worked primarily on programmes supporting young people, Stephen currently works for The Alnwick Garden managing their Enterprise programmes and supporting the growth of the charity.

Stephen holds a MA Politics from the University of Glasgow and a Diploma in Leadership and Management.