Members of our Board of Trustees (from left to right: Simon Talbot, Jim Irvine, Carly Fields, Jo Merchant, Mick Thomas, Dan Mundy & David Bendor Samuels).

Our board is composed of up to 15 trustees with no less than 50% either having EB, or have a close family member of partner with EB.

The Trustees come from a variety of backgrounds to bring different perspectives to discussions and enhance the Board’s decision-making process. This ensures a good mix of skills, talents and experience to serve the DEBRA community.

There are four board meetings per year, which the CEO attends and Senior Leadership Team members attend as required. Learn more about how to become a trustee or to join one of our committees.

Members of the Board (names noted with an asterisk* have a direct experience of EB):

Life patron:



Chair of Trustees

Jim Irvine

Jim has been involved with DEBRA in various capacities for over 25 years. He has been a trustee since 2011; served as Treasurer and Chair of the Finance, Risk & Audit Committee from 2014 to 2019, and became Chair in October 2019. He brings financial and business expertise from a 35-year career in the financial services industry to the Board.

I’m very fortunate to be able to say that I’m one of the trustees who is not living with EB. On learning about EB, I was so touched by its impact that I knew in my heart I had to find a way to get involved.


Co-Vice Chair of Trustees and Chair of Charitable Purposes Committee

Carly Fields

Portrait of trustee Carly Fields

Carly has been involved with DEBRA since her daughter’s EB diagnosis in 2014. She became a Trustee in 2019, Vice Chair of the Board in 2020 and Chair of the Care & Research Committee in 2021. She is also the Board champion for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Carly has a passion for innovation and collaboration and brings media and commercial leadership skills to the Board.

DEBRA helped our family enormously when we were told of our daughter’s EB diagnosis. Serving as a Trustee, I want to ensure that we can continue to offer that lifeline to people with EB, and that we keep forging ahead in our support life-changing research and respite.


Co-Vice Chair of Trustees and Chair of Nominations & Governance Committee

David Bendor-Samuel

Portrait of trustee David Bendor-Samuel

David has been involved in DEBRA for over 20 years as an employee, committee member, trustee and now joint Vice-Chair. He is also a founding trustee of a small charity that supports education initiatives in Sierra Leone.

I know that over the years being part of DEBRA has brought a huge sense of fulfilment in being part of the battle against EB in all its forms. I’m looking forward to being of greater service in that battle again. While we have come a very long way I am aware there is still a long way to travel but I’m profoundly optimistic about the future of DEBRA and of people with EB.


Treasurer and Chair of Finance, Risk & Audit Committee

Jo Merchant

Portrait of trustee Jo Merchant

Jo brings a variety of skills to the Board, as well as her personal experience of EB Simplex. She is a Chartered Accountant and formerly worked in the NHS as a Business Manager, whilst now doing some part-time financial consultancy to a Federation of GP Practices.

She is Chair of the Finance, Risk & Audit Committee.

As a trustee, I would like to ensure that other people with EB are better supported and informed.


Members of the Board 

Simone Bunting- Chair of Remuneration Committee

Portrait of trustee Simone Bunting

Simone has been actively involved with DEBRA for 18 years since the birth of her first son who has EB. She became a trustee in 2010, Chair of Fundraising and Marketing in 2017 and, after a break of a year, Simone returned to Chair Retail and E-commerce in 2022. She also serves on the Nominations and Governance Committee.

Simone brings a broad range of skills to the board, as well as her own personal experience of Dystrophic EB. She is co-founder and creative director of an ethical and sustainable lifestyle business, Grace Sisters, and Founder of a creative agency, Studio SB. She is an E-Commerce specialist and has over 30 years experience across retail, design, marketing and publishing.

It is a privilege to be a trustee for DEBRA and be part of an amazing team who work passionately to serve the EB community. Raising awareness, and funding vital, life-changing research are my priorities. Finding a cure in my life-time is the ultimate goal.


Christo Kapourani

Christo joined the DEBRA Trustee board for a second time in 2019 after taking a break due to illness. Christo has EB and, like many individuals with EB has developed an extensive knowledge of the condition and how it affects patients and their families. His experience of EB healthcare extends globally having lived in a number of different countries.

He is looking forward to working with the board again and is particularly keen to use the opportunity to understand what is happening in the world of research and contribute his understanding of EB and his experience of EB healthcare from an international perspective.


Simon Talbot

Simon has a degree in Business and 19 years of experience working with financial software companies. Simon became a Trustee after his firstborn Dylan was diagnosed with Junctional Generalised Severe EB, and sadly passed away in 2017.

Going through that experience made me want to do everything within my power to support DEBRA and fight this condition.

I get a sense of pride knowing that I’m giving something back to a charity that was there for my family when we needed it.


Mick Thomas

Portrait of trustee Mick Thomas

Mick is a freelance TV Director who first got involved with DEBRA in 1989 after the birth of his son, Oliver, who had RDEB. Oliver sadly passed away in December 2021. 

Mick has served on the Committee for over 20 years and is now a Trustee. He runs a weekly Pub Quiz for DEBRA as well as an annual Golf Day.


Dan Mundy


Dan joined DEBRA as a Trustee in November 2022 and brings to the organisation significant knowledge, experience, and relationships across the financial services sector. Dan currently holds several advisory roles within a small number of financial services and technology businesses having previously enjoyed a senior executive career at Nationwide, Santander, Nottingham Building Society, and Bank of England. 

I am very proud to be part of the DEBRA team and able to share my experience and knowledge, particularly of finance, risk, technology, change and treasury, to support the board in decision-making as we collectively strive to achieve DEBRA’s vision of a world without EB.

Life Patron

Philip Evans

Philip Evans joined DEBRA following his daughter Francesca's EB diagnosis in 1978, who died in 1985 at age seven. He was one of the key individuals at the outset who transformed DEBRA from a tiny charity to the multi-million charity it is today.

His tireless work for DEBRA, alongside his career working in the financial sector in the City of London, brought him to the role of Chairman of the Trustees for DEBRA from 1988 – 2011. Throughout his time at the Foundation, Philip worked in various roles, including Treasurer, Chairman of Management Committee and Vice-Chairman of the trustee board.

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

Click here to learn more about Philip's life and involvement with DEBRA.