Ilkley Community Enterprises Trustees


Our group of volunteer trustees are all local people who bring a wide range of experience to the Outside the Box projects.


Chair Graham Smith
Graham has over 30 years experience in the health and social care sectors. He founded Goldsborough Healthcare plc in 1981and the business was acquired by BUPA in 1997 after being floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1994. From 1997 to 2001 Graham was Managing Director of BUPA Care Services which at the time was the largest provider of care homes in the UK. Since 2001 Graham has been Chairman and a non-executive director of 10 businesses in the health and social care sectors in the UK, Spain, France and Sweden.
Graham is currently Chairman of MHA Care, the UK's largest charitable provider of care for the elderly, Solingen Private Equity Fund and an Honorary Entrepreneurial Fellow of Durham University Business School.

Graham lives in Ilkley and well as being Chairman of Ilkley Community Enterprises he is also Chairman of Ilkley Playhouse.




Louise Hale

Louise is one of the founders of Outside the Box. Qualified in adult education, business and management she has wide experience as a charity trustee at national and local level. She has a career background in education, training and employment working in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, including as Director of a training and enterprise council. In 2000 she set up her own business which she continues to run, helping organisations including many charities and social enterprises to develop their business, win new contracts and secure funding.


Niccola Swan 

Niccola has recently retired as the director at Leeds Mind but continues to have a number of voluntary mental health roles, as well as being a governor of an NHS trust and a board member of Healthwatch Leeds. She has wide experience as a charity trustee and works with a number of charities and campaigns as well as being a Parish Councillor in Burley. She was deputy chief executive of the Employers' Forum on Disability for two and a half years. Previously, she worked for Barclays PLC for 25 years, ending her career there in 2005 as Regional Director for the North East.

Ruth Bottomley

Ruth currently works as a Business Operations Director for Bradford Council in one of their inner city primary schools. After graduating from The University of Northumbria Business School, Ruth travelled to Australia where she spent 10 years working in private business in various operational management roles. Returning to the UK, she now lives in Ilkley where she is also co-owner of a Property Renovation & Building Company. Ruth is passionate about ensuring that every young person has the support and self-belief they need to fulfil their potential and dare to dream.


Michael Walker

Michael retired in December 2013, having worked in insurance, mainly involved in the handling of claims. Upon retirement he became a volunteer at Outside the Box, a role that he continues to enjoy. He has been a member of both Ilkley and Burley-in-Wharfedale Parish Councils and remains involved in a number of community projects, including being a trustee of The Burley Tereli Friendship Trust, a group devoted to improving health and education in the Dogon region of Mali, West Africa, and acting as treasurer of Burley Summer Festival.