Life Patron: Philip Evans

Philip Evans joined DEBRA following his daughter Francesca's EB diagnosis in 1978. Francesca sadly died in 1985 aged six. He was one of the key individuals at the outset who transformed DEBRA from a small charity to the large national medical research charity and patient support organisation that it is today.

Described as an ‘inspirational leader’ by his fellow Trustees, Philip founded the annual DEBRA International Charity meeting which enabled DEBRA UK’s ground-breaking nursing and medical care to be shared world-wide, which led directly to DEBRA International in the form it exists today. 

During his time at DEBRA, Philip oversaw an increase in the charity’s annual income from £100,000 to £10 million in 2010. At the beginning of his tenure he managed to arrange a rare opportunity for DEBRA on BBC Television Lifeline Appeal, raising £200,000. By far the biggest ever amount that Appeal had previously raised. 

As a direct consequence of his leadership, energy and commitment, DEBRA now exists in 60 countries worldwide and through his vision, he attracted Royal patronage, created an independent medical and scientific panel to vet international research funding and facilitated the employment and funding of specialist nurses, before the need was recognised by the NHS. Philip was made a Life Patron following his retirement in 2012.

Alongside his busy schedule as DEBRA trustee, Philip served 34 years from 1977 – 2011 for the Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation, which was founded by his Father, developing innovative services to support almost 10,000 disabled people a year to increase their independence and achieve their goals in life. Throughout his time at the Foundation, he worked in various roles, including Treasurer, Chairman of Management Committee and Vice Chairman of trustee board.

In 2000, Philip conceived and promoted Heart of the City, a charity working with companies across London, encouraging them to ‘do business responsibly’, to have a genuine positive impact on their community, workforce and environment. He successfully enlisted the support of Eddie George, then Governor of the Bank of England. Philip served as member of the Executive Committee, responsible for recruiting corporate patrons of the charity until 2005.

From 2003 until 2007 Philip was a trustee of Ronald McDonald House Charities, which provides families a warm and comfortable place to rest, eat and relax, should their child be staying in a hospital ward away from home.

Philip lives in near Cirencester with his wife Ana, a talented artist, and they have a son Nickleby. He is a keen golfer and helped create the DEBRA Golf Society.