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Our Trustees

The Board of Trustees is responsible for overseeing the management of the charity to ensure it is effective in doing the job that it was set up to do. It is also their job to make sure that the AT Society has the money necessary to carry out its work and that it is doing so in accordance with all the laws and regulations. So no small job…

Our trustees bring a wide range of skills and experience and there is a good balance of people who live with AT and people who don’t. Each trustee plays a key role in the running of the charity and they passionately believe in the support services we provide to families, professionals and researchers and the investments we make into research projects.

Michael Detsiny


Mike Detsiny -Chairman

Mike’s background is business specialising particularly in Marketing and Communications. He worked at a senior level for Smiths Food Group where he reintroduced the little blue bag of salt into Smiths Crisps, for Cadbury where he was responsible for the launch of Wispa and for Allied Breweries where he negotiated the introduction of Castlemaine XXXX into the UK. Midway through his career he decided to leave corporate life and started his own very successful advertising company, The Creative Business. In the last few years he has devoted much of his efforts to the charity sector and is Chairman of his local MS Society and has also been CEO of a charity working with adults with learning difficulties. Much of his time is now spent as Chairman of his local parish council. Mike has three children and lives in a tiny village in the Chilterns. He enjoys walking his two dogs and has been a season ticket holder of the football club he supports for over sixty years!

David MacDonald


David is Managing Director of a European insulation manufacturing business with operations in the Netherlands, Spain and Ireland.  David has a background in finance and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.  David appreciates first hand the importance of the wonderful support provided by the AT Society given the help provided to his family since his son was diagnosed with AT in 2018.  David wants to help all those affected by AT maximise their quality of life and to support the development of treatments and ultimately a cure in any way possible.

Penny Jeggo


Penny is a senior scientist at the Genome Damage and Stability Centre, part of the University of Sussex. She has worked on the DNA damage response following exposure to ionising radiation for many years. The protein defective in AT, ATM, lies at the core of this response and so her research, although not focused specifically on ATM, has centred on the cellular processes that involve ATM. Penny is now winding down towards retirement but continues to run a smaller research laboratory. Penny said “I have been amazed by the strength of character and spirit of AT patients and their families and would like to contribute to the AT society at this later stage of my career and as I hope to gain more free time, I hope that my scientific expertise and experience can be of value to the society.”

Lian Yarlett


After her youngest daughter was diagnosed Lian became aware of the AT Society and contacted them for support and guidance.  Lian then started fundraising and assisting where she could in supporting the work of the Society.  She was invited to join the Board of Trustees in 2006 and undertook the role of Chairman from 2011-2015.  She is passionate about the evolvement of the AT Society and is keen to ensure that the charity is there for every AT family that needs them, provides support and invests in research.

Jilly Shah


Jilly is a qualified pharmacist turned baker. She worked as a pharmacist for 6 years before “retiring” and starting her baking venture, Jilly’s Cupcake House. These days, she spends her time taking cake and cupcake orders for occasions and events, with the sole purpose of raising money for the AT Society. When Jilly was invited to join the board she took it as an opportunity to show people that having AT doesn’t stop you from doing the things you love. Raising money through Jilly’s Cupcake House not only means donations to the Society, but it also means raising awareness about AT, across the U.K. one cupcake at a time.

Jayesh Bhatt


Dr Jayesh Mahendra Bhatt is a Consultant in Respiratory Paediatrics at Nottingham Children’s hospital. He has been privileged to look after children and young people with Ataxia Telangiectasia for over 15 years.

Rachel Poupard


Rachel is a Civil Servant who has worked in HM Treasury, the Cabinet Office, and the Financial Stability Board in Switzerland. She is passionate about the work of the AT Society, which is a charity that has been very close to her family for many years. She spent numerous school holidays stuffing envelopes for the AT Society newsletter, and is excited to now join as a Trustee to help support the Society going forward.

Joe Pemberton Powell


Joe’s son Winston was diagnosed with AT in 2016 where he and Winston began to benefit from the advice, support and expertise within the AT Society. Joe and his family are active fundraisers for the AT Society and are proud supporters of its mission to improve the lives of those with AT and their families. Joe is a senior manager within local government with a background in managing housing, homelessness and support services as well as a range of other council departments.

Nick Gull


Nick worked in the city for over 30 years and is now retired. he received the Freedom of the City in 2006 and is still very much involved in City activities being a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths. When introduced to the Society by a dinner invitation, Nick was so taken by what he learnt about the charity that he offered his services. Nick said “Given the right help and direction, the AT Society can achieve much to support people living with AT, make their lives easier and more comfortable, and help them achieve whatever ambitions they have. It is also very important that families have the help, and support they need, and that the Society has funds to promote research.”