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Mary Guppy
 – Chairman of the Trustees

Mary has been involved with QMCG for 25 years, served on the Executive Committee and was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2020. She has been a volunteer for the RDA for 40 years – 30 of those years as Chair of the local branch. She has also served 10 years on the local NSPCC committee and 8 years as Governor of the local Grammar School. Mary is currently Chair of the local PCC and is heading a campaign to save The Feilding Palmer Cottage Hospital in Lutterworth.

Ruth Briant – Executive Chair

Following an Education and Fine Arts degree from Homerton and teaching in Primary Schools, Ruth moved into museums, gaining a Museums Diploma whilst working at the V&A. For over 25 years she has worked as a Museum Educator with schools, special needs students and families to bring the past alive through the study of objects, delivering sessions in various museums and historic sites in London.

She was introduced to the Guild about 25 years ago by her mother-in-law Felicity Briant. Ruth is a Trustee of the Museum of the Broads in Norfolk and a Liveryman  in the Educators’ Livery Company.




Sharon Stewart – Hon Treasurer

Sharon Stewart joined the Board of Trustees on 1st January 2015 when she was appointed Hon. Treasurer.  She has been involved with the Guild since 2005 and was elected onto the  Executive Committee in 2011. Sharon worked as an Associate Director for a Lloyd’s reinsurance broker for 14 years.  She was involved in the International Group of Protection and Indemnity Reinsurance which provided cover for 90% of the world’s ocean going tonnage.

Diana Dix

Diana was introduced to QMCG via her sister, Jennifer Looker, 19 years ago and has served as a President since 2017. Diana trained and worked as a nurse at Guy’s Hospital, after which she moved and worked for the Red Cross in Nigeria. Upon moving back to the UK, Diana continued working as a nurse in various roles, including onset support nurse working at Shepperton Studios.

Diana has been actively involved and held roles at multiple charities. Most recently, Trustee for Elmhurst Farm Trust, Fundraiser for Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal on Hayling Island and supporting the local community Dementia Friends group, part of the Alzheimer’s Society Charity.

Sallie Hawkins

A qualified solicitor,  Sallie worked in law and legal recruitment before a career break to raise her family. She has been involved with the Guild for a number of years and served on the Executive Committee from 2018 to 2021.  She was fascinated to discover more about the history of the Guild whilst helping to develop the new website. She particularly enjoys visiting the charities we support, hearing about the wonderful work they do and finding out how we can support them.

Julia Knight

Julia Knight was introduced to the QMCG by her aunt, Mary Newman, herself a lifelong friend and neighbour to fellow supporter, Jane Fitzgerald. Starting as a volunteer on their linen stand in 2011, she then became stallholder and subsequently served on the Executive Committee from 2017 to 2021. Julia joined the Board of Trustees in 2022. Outside of her QMCG involvement, she runs her own business as European Fashion Agent.

Helen Whitbread

Helen was introduced to the Queen Mother’s Clothing Guild by former Chairman Blanche Lonsdale, in the 1980s, following on from her mother-in-law, Joscelyn, who was a member in the 1930s. Helen joined the Board of Trustees in 2021. She had a peripatetic, army childhood – and worked as a civil servant in what were formerly Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. She was a founder member and Chairman of Gloucestershire Fine Arts Society, a founder member of Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust and also of the Rare Breeds Society. She was a Churchwarden for 38 years. In 2000, she was the oldest participant in a 350 mile charity bicycle ride in Malawi. Now widowed, she lives in Gloucestershire, where her interests include her home and garden and her family.

Matilda Woodford MVO

Matilda’s family have been involved with the Guild for several generations beginning with her great great Grandmother, Mrs Spencer Chapman.  Matilda has helped to run the ‘Various’ stall at Packing Week with her sister, Vicky Spendlove, who has been a President for many years.

Matilda worked in book retail for fifteen years as Personal Assistant to James Heneage, Founder and Managing Director of the Ottakar’s bookshop group.  In 2008 she joined the Royal Household as PA to the Directors of The Princes Rainforest Project and later, the Prince’s International Sustainability Unit. For the past nine years Matilda has been Personal Secretary to His Majesty The King. She was awarded the MVO in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2022.

The Team

QMCG is a nationwide charity run by volunteers, the Executive Committee of which is overseen by a Board of Trustees. We have one member of staff – a part-time, self-employed secretary.

The Board of Trustees

Mary Guppy – Chairman
Ruth Briant – Executive Chair
Sharon Stewart – Hon Treasurer
Diana Dix
Sallie Hawkins
Julia Knight
Helen Whitbread
Matilda Woodford

The Executive Committee

Ruth Briant – Executive Chair
Vicky Spendlove – Vice Executive Chair
Sharon Stewart – Hon. Treasurer
Julia Buckmaster
Susan Hammond
Vicki Meakin
Natalie Meehan
Abigail Safarty
Sherry Watson

Heather Mears – Secretary

Guild Ambassadors

We have recently introduced a new role for Friends of QMCG who wish to become more involved – our Guild Ambassadors. They are expected to hold an active role within the charity, for example, by serving on the Executive Committee, helping with fundraising, encouraging and liaising with new Friends and knitters, and assisting with the annual sorting and distribution of clothing and bedding at our Packing Week.