Chairperson- Kay Shilton                                                             


I became an expert in the Firm of Solicitors that I worked for in the area of law that covers Mental Capacity.

Throughout my employment there, I encountered many clients that had recently been diagnosed with Dementia,

or family members of those diagnosed with Dementia. 

I began to see what an impact Dementia has on those diagnosed with Dementia and their families. I studied a course

about understanding Dementia and I became a Dementia Champion for Alzheimer’s Society. 

I encounter through my work with Jordan’s Solicitors many families affected by Dementia on a regular basis. 

BUDS help the local residents of Sandwell and I am equally keen to support the brilliant work that they do. 




Rachel Silber                                                           

 I have been a trustee of BUDS  since it was set up.I was then, and still am, a trustee of

Harborne Parish Lands Charity.

 For many years I ran a lunch club in Harborne for lonely and housebound elderly people.

 While doing that I encountered many people with early stage dementia and began to

 understand the challenges for their families.   Before that I was an adult education tutor

and many years ago I was a Primary School Teacher.   





Vic Silvester                                                               

One of the original Trustees at Buds in 2009.

My background is that I am a married man with one grown up daughter. 

On leaving school I was an Apprentice Toolmaker at GKN in Smethwick,

a company he worked for 28 years. Wanting a change in career I went to

work for my Trade Union In London as a Researcher and later as a Personal

Assistant to a National Officer. After ten years I returned to the Midlands

working as a Maintenance Engineer in a factory making glass components

or the television industry. After twelve months the General Secretary of his

Union asked me if I would work in Birmingham as a Regional Administrator

which I did until I took early retirement.

I was a Councillor on Sandwell Council for 11 years till 2014.

A Trustee on Harborne Parish Lands Charity for over 15 years.

I have been a Director of Brandhall Labour Club for over 35 years and I am

currently the Chairman of the Club. 

One of my hobbies is learning to play a electronic keyboard. 








Board of Trustees 


Bob Piper 

I have been a councillor in Sandwell since 2000, and a Chair of the Black Country Partnership Mental Health NHS Trust from 2004 to 2014, and before that a non-executive director of the Trust.

I have worked in local government for most of my working life, predominantly in housing services.

My commitment to mental health in general, and Alzheimer’s in particular stems from my father’s death in 2000 after suffering with the condition for a decade.

Rita Dulay


I am a Sikh business woman working in the retail sector for the past 34 years. Got introduced to Buds by Helen Wright in 2014 and was appointed a Trustee in 2015. I aim to raise awareness about Dementia in the Asian community and the services that are available through Buds. I feel Dementia is not understood very well by Asian communities and the effect it has on the extended family of the patient, we are personally experiencing this illness with my father in law who was diagnosed some eight years ago.

Peter Gaunt


74 years of age and a Funeral Director by profession with Funeral Homes in Blackheath and Smethwick.

I lived in Rood End Oldbury until 1975 and I moved to Halesowen with my wife Ann and Daughters Heidi and Sally.

My main sporting activity was swimming, being very involved with Oldbury Swimming Club.  I was an active member of Oldbury Round Table and have been a member of Oldbury Rotary Club for over 30 years.

I served as chairman of the Oldbury Branch RNLI for over 25 years.  In 2001 my Wife suffered a severe Cerebral haemorrhage and after 12 months in Hospitals became a resident in a nursing home for 7 years until she passed away in 2008.

Her condition was very similar to Dementia which aroused my interest in BUDS.  I have since remarried Carolyn who has to sons and together we have 9 grandchildren so our life is quite hectic.