Trustees & Staff
Across is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland and is a recognised charity No SC030126 governed by the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator, which has equivalent powers in Scotland as the Charity Commission have in England and Wales. The charity is managed by a board of Trustees, who oversee all activities and set the direction for ACROSS' staff team.
The Board of Trustees
The Trustees are entirely voluntary, unpaid and comprise:
Marianne Wanstall, Chairman
Marianne first travelled to Lourdes with the old Across Trust in 1988, and has been a devotee of Lourdes and the Jumbulance ever since. She has led National groups since 1992 and was delighted to join the ACROSS board in 2008, giving her the opportunity to give something back to an organisation that she felt had made a huge difference in her life.
Marianne’s career has been focussed on the travel and tourism industry, with 20 years of running self-catering holiday businesses in both the UK and Europe; more recently she led the National Trust Holidays business including managing working holidays for over 3000 volunteers each year. Her areas of expertise cover marketing, IT development including website and booking systems development. Half-French and bilingual, Marianne is well-placed to be a key point of contact with our hotel and transport providers in Lourdes. As Chair of the ACROSS board of Trustees Marianne has oversight on all areas, with particular focus on marketing, promotion and supporter development.
Michael Veal, Secretary/Treasurer
The brother of Margaret Parke, Dundee group leader, Michael first came across our predecessor, The Across Trust, in the 1980s, and has travelled to Lourdes for many years, nearly 20 of these with the Dundee group. A retired chartered accountant, Michael has a strong business and financial background, and spent many years providing financial management for a range of telecommunications and other businesses. The past twelve years have seen him working in the charity sector where he led the implementation of a strategic development plan and the establishment of a board of trustees. Now retired and living in St Albans, Hertfordshire, Michael is keen to put his time to good use! He is our Secretary and Treasurer, and oversees the charity’s financial management.
Alf McKendrick, Safeguarding Coordinator
Alf joined the board of ACROSS in 2008, having followed a career in commerce until 1984. At that time, he decided to move into social work, ending as Senior Social Worker in adult and justice services in Clydesdale, before his recent retirement. Alf is a long-standing Lourdes pilgrim, and travels every year with ACROSS, and also with HCPT and some diocesan groups. Married with three sons, Alf lives in Hamilton and enjoys time spent with his various grandchildren. Alf is ACROSS’ Safe-guarding Coordinator, overseeing all aspects of the charity’s safe-guarding obligations, as well as leading the team responsible for risk and compliance.
Helen Young, Clinical Lead
Helen has been connected to Lourdes for many years travelling with family, her Parish, the UCM, Across and HCPT. Helen works with a number of Catholic charities and organisations and is deeply committed to her faith, family and the work she does as a nurse. Having trained as a nurse at Westminster Hospital in London, she held Sisters posts in Surgery and Critical Care and Medicine before setting up a Nurse Led Development Unit with Leeds University. Being passionate about developing nursing practice, education and leadership, she completed her Master’s in Education and went on to hold posts as Head of Practice Development and Education in Guys and St Thomas and Chelsea and Westminster and progressing to Chief Nurse positions in a number of large acute teaching Trusts.
Helen has worked in a number of national roles including Clinical Director and Chief Nurse for NHS Direct for six years.
Having been Chief Nurse and Chief Operating Officer at Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, she now holds a joint Trust role for Birmingham Women’s and Birmingham Children’s FT’s, as Executive Director responsible for of Maternity & New-born Transformation and supports the national NHS England programme for transforming maternity, women’s and children’s care.
Helen is a Visiting Professor of Nursing and Leadership at Birmingham City University, a Florence Nightingale Leadership Scholar and Harvard University Graduate.
She is a also a Trustee of a Hospice, Regional Nurse for the national charity HCPT and executive member and President of her local club of Soroptimist International, an organisation that works to empower, educate and enable women and girls in the UK and worldwide.
Helen chairs the Medical Committee for Across, and through this and the sub committees of the Medical Committee, she is responsible for professional standards, clinical practice and safety within our organisation.
The staff team are:
Debbie Hourihan, General Manager
Debbie joined the staff team in August 2016 as General Manager, she has been travelling to Lourdes for over 20 years and travelling as a helper with Across since 1996. In 2000 she formed the Chingford Across group which she has led ever since. She worked for 26 years with Marks and Spencer and has extensive expertise in human resource management, including learning and development, admin, policy as well as project management. Debbie’s management style is one of meticulous planning and organisation, undoubtedly an asset in Across where planning and structure is of the essence. After leaving Marks and Spencers, Debbie worked in education for a year supporting the development of Acadamies. She lives in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, with her husband and young daughter.
Libby Frank, Lourdes Representative
Roisin Gallagher, Pilgrimage Coordinator
Lisa O'Connor, Safeguarding Administrator
Stef Frank, Transport Supervisor
Martin Conn, Driver
Martin joined ACROSS in 2003 after a long career in retail. Having decided he wanted a role where he could be out and about more, he obtained his PCV licence and then drove buses in Glasgow before coming to ACROSS. He feels that this has been the best job he has ever had, and loves being a small but valuable cog in a larger wheel. He also loves working alongside a great team and the many friends who travel with ACROSS. He says that he wouldn’t change the job for anything!
Andy Barrowman, Driver
Andy didn’t set out to be a Jumbulance driver, but life has a habit of changing things! His early working background included gardening, before working in sales and customer services, including work for the likes of Sky and Curry’s. Andy’s first experience of Jumbulance travel was in 2001 when he spent a season working for the old Across Trust as a mini Jumbulance driver in Lourdes. After this he was hooked on ACROSS and the work we do!
The following two years Andy worked as a standard Jumbulance driver for ACROSS, driving to and from the UK. At the end of 2003 he decided to try his hand at something else, and became a car sales executive. This was to become his life for the next few years, but during that time he always felt something was missing. So when ACROSS came calling in early 2007, he didn’t take too much convincing to resume his driving duties with us.
James McEleny, Driver
I was first introduced to Across through my younger sister who has previously travelled onboard the Jumbulance. I have been driving coaches since 1989, working all over the UK, I was based in Cambridge for 4 years before returning home. since 2006, I have been involved in all aspects of driver training. I was a self-employed coach driving instructor until taking up my post with Across in early 2013.
I have only one hobby...Motorsport!!...since 2006, I have been working on a part-time basis at Knockhill Racing Circuit as a race driving instructor, and skid control instructor. I own and manage my own small race team and have been competing in the Scottish Motor Racing Championship (S.M.R.C.) since 2008....winning the Class B Championship in 2009.
Jo Casserley, Learning and Support
Margaret Chung, Finance Administrator
Geraldine Mansbridge, HR Administrator
The office is usually staffed Monday-Friday 0900-1700 and often at other times also. Outside open hours an answering machine is in operation. For office details click here.