Wycombe Heritage and Arts Trust

WHAT aims to engage the local and wider communities in an exciting and creative range of story telling and displays promoting a love of heritage, culture and the arts to enthuseenlighten and inspire.     

Wycombe Heritage and Arts Trust (WHAT) manage Wycombe Museum, and have been registered with the Charity Commission since January 2014. WHAT is managed by a Board of Trustees from local organisations and backgrounds. WHAT was asked by Wycombe District Council to produce a comprehensive heritage and arts programme to enhance the cultural life and learning of the local community in the Wycombe District serving the three historic market towns and surrounding areas of High Wycombe, Princes Risborough and Marlow.

The Trust works closely with Wycombe District Council and other local partners in delivering a comprehensive programme of events and maintaining a collection with many items of national significance.

Meet the Trustees

The Board establishes the overall vision and governance framework for WHAT. Each Trustee is selected for their expertise and influence.

Simon Kearey
Chair of Trustees

A qualified accountant, with over 30 years senior leadership experience across all sectors, Simon was appointed Chair of Trustees in April 2013. He is a trustee and chairman of a number of local and national organisations, specialising in business transformation and turnaround. Simon is keen to ensure that the Trust opens up the exciting world of Heritage and Arts to the wider community, working collaboratively with many local organisations. Simon is also very much involved in the world of education and childrens’ services, seeking to provide children and young people with the best start in life and believes the Trust has a very large part to play in this locally.

Auriol Pettit

Auriol is a commercial consultant with 20 years experience in the catering/hospitality and building management industries. She has worked previously within the Museum and Leisure sectors. Auriol is passionate about food and service and the role that these facilities play in supporting the visitor experience. She has been on the board of trustees for 2 years plus – helping with the transition of the Museum to management directly by the trust. Current focus is developing the commercial activities of the Museum to help develop a sustainable future for this wonderful local resource. As a mother of young twin boys, Auriol is also keen to develop the Museum as a family attraction with year-round appeal.

Mark Bilsborough

Mark has a strong education and charity background. He worked in Malawi for the water charity Pump Aid and Chairs the TESS education charity, supporting secondary education in Uganda. He previously sat on the Board of Museums, Libraries and Archives South East (MLA South East). As a Senior Civil Servant, he developed policy and advised UK Ministers on education, training and development issues. He is also a qualified English teacher, working in schools and colleges and for a UK examining board.

Steve Mills

Steve is director of an insight business specialising in research within the tourism and culture sectors. He works to generate insight on behalf of a wide range of public, third sector and commercial clients within the museums and heritage arenas.  Certified member of the Market Research Society and member of the Tourism Society.

Karl Newton

An experienced fundraising operations professional with a history of working in the higher education and not for profit sector for over 20 years. Karl is Head of Development Operations at the University of London, a Trustee of South Bucks Hospice and volunteer at Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. 

Matthew van Duyvenbode

Matthew is a charity executive with 16 years experience in the sector, specialising in strategy development, impact measurement, programme management and research. Currently working as Director of Strategy and Impact with the UK’s largest food poverty charity, The Trussell Trust, he previously oversaw the exponential growth of a grassroots educational initiative to attract 15,000 volunteers to deliver regular interventions to around 400,000 primary school children annually.





Jenny Baker

After a life-long career in the voluntary sector, Jenny retired recently after six years as Chief Executive of the national charity, Brain Tumour UK. Previously working for over thirty years for the National Trust, ultimately as its national lead on volunteering, community involvement and diversity, in 2005, Jenny was awarded the OBE in recognition of her services to voluntary action in the heritage and environmental sectors. Jenny is a national Committee member of Healthwatch England and Chair of Healthwatch Bucks. She is also a Trustee of Community Impact Bucks and her past Board experience for two national charities was with The Churches Conservation Trust and Volunteering England. 

Keith Ray

Although educated as an engineer, Keith has spent his entire career as a management consultant, firstly with local government, then in a general ‘retail’ consultancy, and finally 26 years running the internal consultancy within a major international food company. Since retiring ten years ago, he has continued to keep his hand in as a freelance consultant, but has also developed his life long interest in industrial and technological history, writing a monthly history article for Marine Engineers Review, and writing a number of books on the history of land and air transport. He is self confessed ‘petrol head’ and ‘Cornwall-phile’, and a Trustee of Mid-Thames & Buckinghamshire Relate.

Tony Green

Tony has been a councillor for over 30 years, being with Wycombe District Council since 1999. In 2013-14 he was Mayor of High Wycombe. He is the Council’s representative on WHAT and a member of the management board of Wycombe Community Arts Centre. He is chairman of the High Wycombe Town Twinning Association and vice chairman of the High Wycombe Royal British Legion branch. Tony is a governor at Highworth Combined School and Nursery and Holmer Green Senior School.

Ed Gemmell

Ed is a sales and marketing expert who was originally trained as lawyer. Director of Style Media UK which is the pre-eminent real life Word of Mouth marketing agency generating millions of conversations for top companies such as Unilever and Nestle. Ed lives in Hazlemere, plays for Wycombe hockey club and frequently visits the Museum with his family.

Jennifer Milton

Jennifer is a qualified Accountant, employed by Bletchley Park Trust, an independent museum, for over 14 years. As Director of Support Services at Bletchley Park, she is responsible for Finance, HR, IT and Site Works and is a member of the Directors Executive managing operational activities, delivering future strategy and working closely with the BPT Board and Board Committees. Jennifer is passionate about the positive impact heritage and culture can have on local communities.

Eva Neupauer-Jones

Eva has 20 years’ experience working in hospitality and in not-for-profit organisations. Her passion is to create organisations that are creative and innovative in their approach to the business sustainability and put people at the heart of it. She is a General Manager at Missenden Abbey with responsibilities of overall management of the multifunctional historical venue, including delivering financial targets for all income areas in corporate meeting facilities, weddings and events management. Her life- long obsessions are protecting historical venues and preserving their stories for the future generations.