Our Trustees

Andrew Ferguson, Chairman

Andrew Ferguson is the current chairman of the Sydney Driscoll Neuroscience Foundation (SDNF).

He is a commercial lawyer based in Preston and joined with Professor Gurusinghe and Dr Sarosh Vakil to found the SDNF as a neuroscience related charity when a legacy was received from the widow of Sidney Driscoll back in 1989.

He lives locally and has been an active trustee of the charity since its formation and continues to divide his time between his work as a consultant lawyer and as a trustee of SDNF.

Professor Nihal Gurusinghe MBE

Nihal started the SDNF along with Andrew Ferguson in 1989 after receiving a donation of £1000 from Lucille, the widow of Sydney Driscoll. They set up the Board of Trustees and Nihal was the Chair for well over a decade. He continues to serve as an active Trustee on the SDNF Board.

Nihal was born in Sri Lanka and came to the UK to further a career in Neurosurgery. After a period of training in London he was appointed as a Consultant Neurosurgeon at the Lancashire Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, Preston in 1985. He was the Honorary Secretary of the Society of British Neurological Surgeons (SBNS) from 2000-2005 and has been on the Executive Council of the SBNS since and currently as the coordinator to develop clinical guidelines for neurosurgery with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

He served on the Specialty Advisory Board (Neurosurgery) of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh from 2004 -2022 being Chair from 2008-2012. He is an examiner for the FRCS in Neurosurgery (UK and International) on behalf of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons and has been an examiner and Assessor for the Conjoint FRCS (Neurosurgery) between the Edinburgh College and the Royal College of Surgeons, Hong Kong, and the University of Singapore.

He was appointed as Honorary Professor in Neurosurgery by the University of Central Lancashire in 2016. He is the Chair of the Oversight Group which is the governance body for the research collaboration on Brain cancer between the SDNF and the University of Central Lancashire.

He was awarded an MBE for Charitable Services in King Charles III New Year’s Honours list, 2023.

Janet Winnard, MA(Ed Research), BA Hons (Eng), PGCE 

Janet Winnard has been a Trustee of the SDNF for nearly 20 years.

She is currently Vice President of her local Inner Wheel Club and is standing for Chairman of District 19 Inner Wheel Club of GB & I.

She is a retired Lecturer and Teacher and has been a volunteer for the Rosemere Cancer Charity for many years, as well as a volunteer researcher for Global Link, an international charity.

After a family member suffered a brain haemorrhage, and survived thanks to the skills and expertise of the Neuro Department, she felt she must give something back and further the efforts of the clinicians.

Hence, she became a trustee of SDNF whose responsibility is for the SDNF’s independent library facility which supports the professional work of the staff working in the neuro department at Preston. Janet is also working with other Trustees to develop a new website which will promote SDNF’s aims and achievements.

Nick Park

Nick Park has been a trustee of the SDNF for 5 years.

He is a Consultant Neurosurgeon at the Royal Preston Hospital with a sub-speciality interest in Functional and Vascular Neurosurgery.

He has a keen interest in promoting the research aspects of the department and has been instrumental in the acquisition of cutting-edge technology (such as virtual reality neuro-navigation systems) for both direct patient care and also as teaching tools for the junior medical staff.

Joanne Eccles MBE

Joanne Eccles MBE is a Nurse Practitioner on the Neurosurgical unit at Royal Preston hospital and she has been in this role for the past 10 years.

Joanne has also been a member of Lancashire Army Cadet Force for the past 25 years and is currently the Deputy Commandant for 1,000 cadets and 200 volunteers, and holds the rank of Lt Col.

She has taken her cadets all over the world with the aim of providing exciting opportunities and development for the young people within her community.

In her free time Joanne enjoys reading and walking with her Yorkshire terrier.

Joanne is the newest trustee to the foundation and is looking forward to continuing to develop the important research the foundation is involved in and support the ongoing development of the foundation.