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Kay Shilton - Chairperson

I became an expert in the firm of Solicitors that I worked for in 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 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.

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.

Vic Silvester

One of the original Trustees at Buds since 2009. On leaving school I was an Apprentice Toolmaker at GKN in Smethwick. 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. I then worked 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.

Peter Gaunt

A Funeral Director by profession with Funeral Homes in Blackheath and Smethwick. 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.

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