Meet the Team

The Lymphoedema Support Network is run by a group of 10 trustees; they are supported by three staff members and have access to a Multi-disciplinary Team of Advisors.

Our Trustees

Anita Wallace, MBE

Anita joined the LSN in 1996 and quickly rose up the ranks to become Chair in 2000. She is fully committed to the organisation and since the start of the COVID pandemic has worked full-time for the LSN from home. She has overseen some amazing times at the LSN and in 2015 was named Guardian Charity Trustee of the year and in 2018 awarded MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list. Anita lives with lymphoedema.

Linda Patel
Honorary Secretary

Having been a regular office volunteer for many years, Linda was persuaded to join the Trustee board and does a great job as our Honorary Secretary, as well as still coming into the office as a volunteer! Linda lives with lymphoedema.

Denise Hardy, Nurse Advisor
Denise Hardy
Nurse Advisor

Denise is a Nurse Consultant in lymphoedema and is recognised as one of the innovators and leaders in the field. She has a particular interest in lipoedema, children with lymphoedema and has a passion to ensure lymphoedema management is accessible to all – no matter what the underlying cause.

Ruth Yeeles

Ruth looks after all aspects of our IT and since the start of the COVID pandemic has been providing support from home. She is also assistant editor for all LSN information. She has been involved in the organisation since 1999 and lives with lymphoedema.

Brenda Thomas

Brenda joined the team in 2016 and has so far been focussing on updating the LSN Service Directory to reflect the new NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups. Brenda lives with lymphoedema.

Jill Babington

Jill stood down as LSN Treasurer in November 2022 after serving two long terms as Treasurer having been enticed back to us in 2006. We are delighted that Jill is staying on as a Trustee and will also help out by volunteering in the office. Jill became involved in the lymphoedema world when a friend developed the condition and has not managed to escape it yet!

Philippa Laughton

Several members of Philippa’s family live with lymphoedema and as well as bringing insight to the Board about the particular challenges of that, she also facilitates our Trustee Away Days and provides some occasional HR expertise. Philippa lives with lymphoedema.

Liz Cooley

After working in the office as a volunteer, Liz became a Trustee in 2020. With a background in publishing, she brings a wealth of communications experience to the Board, and is now studying a postgraduate qualification in nursing. She also has a personal understanding of primary lymphoedema, having been diagnosed as a teenager.

Maxine Skepple

I have secondary lymphoedema in my right leg which was cancer related. My background is that I am a social worker with over 25 years’ experience of working with families who have children with disabilities.
A major part of my work is with families who have autistic children. I joined the LSN so I could get more information about my condition and have decided to take the next step and become a Trustee. I am looking forward to being part of the Board.

Kate Wallis

I joined the LSN in 2022 after being diagnosed with primary lymphoedema. I was driven to apply as a Trustee, in part, to pay back for all the help the charity offered me when coming to terms with my diagnosis. I have a background in the public sector and recently completed a master’s in politics and contemporary history.

Our Staff Team

Karen Friett
Chief Executive

Karen joined the LSN in 2006 after working as a nurse and manager in the NHS and Hospice settings. She is passionate about helping people to live well with lymphoedema and particularly enjoys meeting the membership, challenging service commissioners and educating Health Care Professionals about the condition.


Jenny Richardson

Jenny is our longest serving staff member having been with the organisation since 2000. Jenny spends her time managing our volunteer team, managing LSN merchandise and answering the Information and Support Line.

Sam Oswald

Sam joined the team in 2009 and has responsibility for our accounts and managing our membership database, as well as assisting Jenny with the information and Support Line.