Board of Trustees

Our Trustees are representatives of the industries and organisations in the County and include the Chairman of the County Council and the Lord Mayor of Nottingham. Many of our Trustees are former Scholars who continue to support the work of the Trust. Our Trustees are key in the selection of our Scholars and it is likely that at some point all applicants will be interviewed by them.

Dr Nigel Chapman


Dr Nigel Chapman

Nigel spent over 20 years in General Practice where he developed an interest in medico legal law. From 1993 to 2011, Nigel was Coroner for Nottinghamshire the busiest Coroner’s jurisdiction in the country. Nigel presided on over 10,000 inquests and a quarter of a million deaths. He has lectured in Sweden, Japan, Spain, Northern Ireland, and Ireland on Tissue Viability and Pressure Sore prevention. Nigel has also set up ‘Mock Inquests’ to demonstrate to the public and professionals how a Coroners’ Court works, helping both families and professionals understand the expectations of a court.  Nigel was appointed by the Queen to be a Deputy Lieutenant for Nottinghamshire in 2013. He has many roles working in the charity sector.

Russ Blenkinsop Treasurer


Russ Blenkinsop (1983 Scholar)

Russ has worked as Finance Director for over three decades in the private, public and third sector. Starting out as a student apprentice with Courtaulds plc he started work in Nottingham, remained in the Textile industry and was seconded to Liberty Fabrics Inc for six years in the beautiful Charlottesville, Virginia. He then worked for Bell Fruit Games in Lenton, Nottingham before working for two local Housing Associations (Acis Group based in Lincolnshire and Spirita based in Nottingham).
A keen sportsman, Russ was cofounder and chairman of Lowdham Colts Football Club, a thriving local junior football club. He is also a regular team player at Magdala Lawn Tennis Club and was until recently a part time sailor at Notts County Sailing Club. Russ lives in Lowdham with his wife Liz who he met through the scholarship in 1983. His children, Alex and Rhian, now both live in Boston. 

Sheridan Chilvers

Fundraising Officer

Sheridan Chilvers (2011 Scholar)

Sheridan Chilvers is currently the Big Bang Executive Officer at Learn By Design and Founder of Creative-Dimensions, a 3D printing and Scanning company.

Sheridan is a 2011 Scholar and travelled to the USA to research the social entrepreneurship ecosystem. Upon his return to Nottingham he was appointed a new post of Entrepreneur-In-Residence at New College Nottingham.

John Town

Application/Interview Officer

John Town

John’s contribution to the Trust has been mainly in the consideration of applications and chairing the initial interview panels, a task for which his career as a senior manager in universities has prepared him well. After leaving his final post as Registrar of Loughborough University, he has travelled widely and served for a time as Honorary Secretary of the Alpine Club in London.

Both of his children attended the West Bridgford School and his wife continues to work for Experian. His daughter Katy visited America as a Roosevelt Scholar in 2010, studying contrasting approaches to sex education and teenage sexual health across a range of US States.

He continues to be impressed by the variety and imagination of scholarship applications and sees it as a key part of the Trustees role to recognize those projects which have the potential to transform the development of the individual and bring wider benefits to their field of endeavour.

Gareth Bartsch

Website Manager

Gareth Bartsch (2012 Scholar)

Gareth was working in the family business Bartsch Inns when he became one of the 2012 scholars studying the training and development of hospitality students in the USA. He is now a Senior Facilities Manager Consultant at Gleeds in Nottingham. Gareth is a keen rugby player and lives in Bingham. Gareth’s intention is to help the scholarship grow and reach a new audience to ensure that it continues to offer the great opportunities that he received.

Our Trustees

Ed Attenborough
Ed Attenborough

Ed is MD of Attenborough Dental a family owned lab formed 100 years ago, he is a board member of the ADDE (Association of Dental Dealers Europe), represents the dental sector for UK Trade and Investment, is on the Life Sciences Sector steering committee of Innovate UK, is past president of the BDTA, and has served on the GDC Education Committee. Ed holds a BEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Leeds and has over 20 years industry experience in major ICT projects. He has been responsible for the development and management of a variety of large projects in organisations throughout Europe including NATO, the European Space Agency and financial institutions. Ed pioneered CAD-CAM with the UKs first in-house scanning and manufacturing facility. He led a team which undertook R+D in the application of additive manufacturing techniques to dental technology. In 2006 Attenborough won the prestigious EMDA Medilink New Technology Award for the results of the revolutionary Daedalus Project. Ed has numerous articles published on Digital Dentistry and is a regular speaker at all the major UK dental conferences and exhibitions.

Paul Balen
Paul Balen (1977 Scholar and past Chairman)

Nottingham man who, after education at Nottingham High School and Peterhouse, Cambridge, returned to his home town to become articled to solicitors who are now known as Freeths LLP. He qualified as a solicitor in 1977, and in the same year was awarded a Roosevelt Scholarship. He became a partner three years later. He is now a Consultant at the same firm . He has written and contributed to several law books and appeared frequently on radio and television. He is legal adviser at Trent Bridge which enables him to combine law with his love of cricket. He plays golf erratically and served as Chairman of the Governors of Nottingham High School for 7 years until December 2015. He is a Past Chairman of Trustees of the Scholarship. He is married with three children, and lives in Melbourne, Derbyshire.

Councillor Merlita Bryan
Councillor Merlita Bryan

Merlita Bryan became a Trustee when she was the Lord Mayor of Nottingham in 2013. Since then she has continued in her role as Trustee while remaining a councillor for the Arboretum Ward. Merlita went to the Ellis Guilford school in Basford, now lives in Canning Circus. Merlita founded and is organising this year’s Black Achievers Awards at NTU .

Councillor Yvonne Woodhead
Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council – Councillor Yvonne Woodhead

Born and raised in Blidworth, Yvonne was first elected to Nottinghamshire County Council in June 2000 and represents the Blidworth division including Rainworth and Haywood Oaks.
Yvonne is a Blidworth Parish Councillor and has been a Newark and Sherwood District Councillor since 1995, representing the Blidworth ward.
Her public service experience includes roles as Vice-Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Adult Social Care Committee. She is a current Member of the Adult Social Care and Health, Personnel and Planning and Licensing Committees. Yvonne is also a member of the Economic Development and Planning Committees at Newark and Sherwood District Council.
Yvonne is a great advocate for young people and supports local sports clubs. Yvonne has supported a number of voluntary organisations for many years.

Sarah Eitzen
Sarah Wright (2015 Scholar)

Sarah was one of the 2015 scholars. After spending her childhood years surrounded by poverty in her home country of Morocco, Sarah Eitzen decided to turn her hand to helping others. Sarah graduated from the University of Nottingham with a degree in children’s nursing last summer now works as a paediatric staff nurse on the oncology ward at Nottingham Children’s Hospital in the Queens Medical Centre.

Jenny Leggott
Jenny Leggott

Jenny became a Trustee in November 2014 when she retired as Chief Nurse at Nottingham University Hospitals after 39 years. During her time at NUH Jenny forged a special link with the Roosevelt Scholarship and the League of Friends resulting in many NUH personnel becoming scholars.

Lord Mayor Saghir
Lord Mayor of Nottingham – Councillor Mohammed Saghir

Mohammed Saghir was born in January 1957 in Chak Haryam in Kashmir.
Saghir attended an English school in Kashmir and, at the age of 10, moved to Britain to join family and went on to attend Fairfax Grammar School in Bradford. On leaving school Saghir wanted to pursue a career in Engineering and went to a local engineering company as an apprentice. He later went into manufacturing which included spending six years working in Denmark.
In 1990 Saghir moved to Nottingham to marry his wife, Zahid, who he describes as a wonderful and supportive wife and mother to their three children. Zahid now works as a Secretary in a GP practice.
After years of tireless work for the Labour Party, Saghir stood for election in 2011 and went on to become Councillor for Leen Valley. He was re-elected in 2015.

Gabriel Strauss

Gabriel is a director of Capatex Ltd a Nottingham based company specialising in industrial and technical textiles and medical products. Gabriel was educated at Nottingham High School followed by Nottingham University where he studied Industrial Economics.

Gabriel has spent much time in the USA both for business and leisure, and extended visits in his late teens and early 20s were formative. Whilst not having been a scholar, his experiences & fondness for the USA have given him a great affinity to the scholarship and its objective of personal development and building bridges between Nottingham and the US.


Keith Taylor
Keith Taylor (1959 Scholar)

Keith Taylor is our US based representative on the Board. He has lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts for the past 3 years and is the first Scholar to represent NRMTS on the ground in America. Keith was a divisional manager at Raleigh Industries and lived first, in the City (The Park) and then the County of Nottingham (Kinoulton). He spent 20 years at Board level in UK manufacturing industry, particularly global automotive components, followed by 20 years as a management consultant working primarily for Central Government Departments and Executive Agencies. For his National Service, he was commissioned into the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers and served in Korea (1951) and then the Parachute Regiment (TA). He has numerous military connections and is currently Chairman of the British Army Benevolent Fund America (BABFA). His third book was published in 2009 ( and is the illustrated diary of his 1959 Scholarship trip, the first by car (17300 miles in 4 months!), including photographs of Mrs Roosevelt taken at Valkill Cottage, Hyde Park. Father of three adult children and grandfather of six, he met his partner, Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle, on his Scholarship in San Francisco in 1959. They will be glad to welcome and assist future Scholars to the United States.