Our Trustees & Team
Chair of Trustees
Jo is Co-Founder and Chair of the Living Tree. Having retired from her role as a GP in the spring of 2021, Jo is looking forward to devoting more time to helping the Living Tree recover from the impact of the Covid pandemic. When Jo is not busy with Living Tree activities, and our allied cancer exercise rehabilitation scheme (Stepping Out), Jo might be found helping on our new allotment, weeding her own garden, and walking the dog!
Jo co-founded the Living Tree in 2012.
Diane has lived in the Bridport area since moving with her husband to Dorset in 1993. Over the past 20 years Diane has worked as a GP and currently works at a practice in Beaminster. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2017 & again in 2020. Diane has enjoyed LT workshops and also helps with outreach events, booking speakers and attends integrative oncology & genomic study days. Her hobbies include jogging, playing tennis & family history.
Diane has been a Trustee since 2021.
Trustee, Allotment Team
Alison leads our Allotment Team. She is 24 years clear of cancer, with a few pre cancers since to keep her on her toes! She began her work by studying Occupational Psychology, going on to work as a Recruiter, Trainer & Management Development Consultant. Her favourite work, however, began by volunteering at a Sue Ryder Hospice and soon progressed into employment as a Diversional Therapist.
Alison has been a Trustee since 2020.
Vince is our Treasurer. He was married to co-founder Jo O'Farrell. Vince has two grown-up daughters, five grandchildren, and lives in Bridport. He is Secretary or Treasurer of a number of other community-based and volunteer-led organisations and charities in the town. He was previously a software developer, project manager and primary school teacher.
Vince has been a Trustee since 2018.
Chris is a Retired Managing Director who, with his business partner, owned an export-led company trading around the world. In his community roles he has been chair of governors at two junior/infant schools, is currently a Parish Councillor and has also been a trustee and treasurer of the Bridport Arts Centre. He was diagnosed with cancer late 2021 and treated early 2022. In the Autumn of that year Chris saw a Living Tree advertisement seeking Trustees and felt this was something he could connect with. He became a Trustee early in 2023.
After visiting Dorset for many years as a holiday destination, Tony moved to Bridport from Surrey late in 2021 and now lives in West Bay with his wife. For many years Tony worked around the world as a Business Strategy consultant and as an interim Managing Director. In 2016 Tony developed bowel cancer resulting in an anterior resection and fitting of a stoma. A reversal operation later enabled the stoma to be removed. Annual checks now show Tony to be in full remission. As well as supporting The Living Tree, he enjoys art and playing golf.
Rita has been a key member of the driving force in keeping the Living Tree running smoothly for several years, and then stepped down as Trustee in April 2021. Knowing how much she would miss the work Rita has opted to remain an active part of the team, and she continues to lead the Amblers walking group. Rita intends for the Amblers Group to grow and meet more regularly as we move out of lockdown.
Web & News Editor
Liz is a self-employed photographer specialising in weddings and portraits. She holds a fascination for design and typography, and has created websites for a number of small charities over the years. Liz is the daughter of co-founder Jo O'Farrell. As such the Living Tree is a project close to her heart.
The Living Tree began in 2012, as a seed of an idea shared by Jo Millar and the late Jo O’Farrell MBE. Both were going through cancer treatment, and a chance introduction led to a flurry of activity & planning.
They both also believed in the need for a holistic lifestyle approach to supporting anyone affected by cancer. Over the coming months they went on to secure premises for a weekly drop-in group, start-up funding from Macmillan, and generous offers of help from the local community.
Jo continued to Chair the Living Tree, and alongside Jo O’Farrell as Secretary (plus many other roles besides), we became a well-known local support group.
In 2020 the Living Tree became a Registered Charity. However, we continue to remain true to the original vision shared by our founders.
Jo O'Farrell MBE
Jo lived a full life with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma for almost 9 years, and passed away in 2018. She was a most beloved grandmother and a powerful networking force in her community.
The Living Tree was without doubt one of her highest priorities, and Living Tree meetings were her most cherished time every week.