Our president and patrons

FPA benefits from the commitment and support of our presidents and patrons.

Drawn from a broad spectrum of backgrounds, spanning politics, academia, health and entertainment, our presidents and patrons are all renowned contributors to public life. They endorse our aims and support our work in a number of ways, including speaking out in support of sexual health issues and hosting fundraising activities.

All of our presidents and patrons share our belief in the importance of honest, straightforward dialogue on sex, relationships and sexual health.

Baroness Joyce Gould of Potternewton, FPA President

Joyce entered the House of Lords as a Labour Peer in 1993. Originally a pharmacist, she moved on to a career within the Labour Party, and was the Party’s Director of Organisation from 1985 to 1993. Joyce has a longstanding interest in sexual health and has been FPA President since 2000.

Joyce chaired the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health between 2003 and 2010. She became an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare in 2006 and of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV in 2007. She was Chair of the Women’s National Commission between May 2007 and December 2010.

Rt Hon Joan Ruddock MP, FPA Vice President

Joan Ruddock has been the Labour MP for Lewisham Deptford since 1987. She has held a number of frontbench positions, including as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women from 1997 to 1998 and as a Minister in the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and then the Department of Energy and Climate Change between 2007 and 2010. Before entering Parliament she worked for Shelter, Citizens Advice Bureau and as a special programmes officer for unemployed young people in Berkshire.

Jacqui Lait, FPA Vice President

Jacqui Lait was a Conservative MP from 1992 to 2010, first for Hastings and Rye and then for Beckenham. In Parliament she was a member of the Health Select Committee from 1992 to 1993, she later held positions including Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland and Shadow Minister for Charities and the Voluntary Sector. She was appointed to be a Government Whip in 1996 and was the first female Conservative Whip. Jacqui stood down from Parliament in 2010.

David AaronovitchDavid Aaronovitch

David is a British author, broadcaster and journalist. He is a regular columnist for The Times, and author of several books. He won the Orwell Prize for political journalism in 2001, and the What the Papers Say Columnist of the Year award for 2003. He was a trustee of FPA until 2009.

Lord Alli

Lord Alli was appointed to the House of Lords in 1998 as a Labour Peer. He is a former Director of Carlton Productions and formed the Planet 24 television production company in 1992. He is currently a Non-executive Director at production company ShineLimited and Chair of Chorion Plc. Lord Alli is also a patron of the Elton John Aids Foundation and Vice President of UNICEF UK.

Dr David Bull

Dr David BullDr David Bull qualified in 1993 from St Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London with Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery degree (MBBS) as well as a first class Bachelor of Science degree (BSc). He went on to become an award-winning television presenter, medical doctor and well-known public figure, presenting a raft of high-profile television shows. As well as supporting FPA, David supports The Cystic Fibrosis Trust and The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. He is also a celebrity ambassador for The British Red Cross.

Gaynor Churchward

A designer and former couture model, Gaynor is now Managing Director of English Home (decorative tapestry cushion company). The company was established in 1983 by Gaynor who heads the design team in London. As chief designer her passion for antique revival has ensured more than 20 years of international success for English Home. Gaynor is also the mother of actress Minnie Driver.

Dr June Crown CBE

Dr Crown was President of the United Kingdom Faculty of Public Health Medicine from 1995–1998. She has frequently acted as a special adviser to the World Health Organization and overseas governments. She was Chair of Age Concern England from 1998–2002. Until 2008 she was the Vice-Chair of the Governors of Brighton University Council. Dr Crown chaired the 1989 Department of Health review on nurse prescribing which led to the extension of prescribing rights to district nurses and health visitors, and a subsequent review which led to further extensions of prescribing rights to pharmacists and other health care professionals.

Janet Ellis

Janet EllisJanet Ellis is a television presenter and actress. She trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama and went on to act in a variety of television and theatre productions, including a role in Dr Who. She is well known for her work on children’s television in the 1980s, including four years as part of the Blue Peter team as well as presenting the award-winning programme Jigsaw.

She has since presented a huge range of programmes on topics including gardens, cars, holidays, cookery and childcare. She is the author, with Caron Keating, of How to get married without divorcing your family and has appeared as a regular guest on Channel Five’s The Wright Stuff.

Baroness Flather

Baroness Flather was appointed to the House of Lords in 1990 as a Crossbench peer. She was a councillor in the borough of Maidenhead and Windsor from 1976-1991 and was Mayor of the Borough from 1986-1987. She was the first Asian woman to receive a peerage. Lady Flather has been a Director of Marie Stopes International since 1996, is a supporter of the British Humanist Society and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society.

Lady Goodhart

Lady Goodhart is a previous Chair of FPA. She was previously Principal of Queen's College, Harley Street and a Governor of several schools. Her many voluntary activities have included being President of the London Marriage Guidance Council from 1990–1995, and President of the School Mistresses and Governesses Benevolent Institute, as well as being a member of the Women’s National Commission from 1986–1989 and of the Council of Goldsmiths. Lady Goodhart is involved in a number of charities, including Youth Clubs UK and Childline.

Rt Hon Baroness Jay of Paddington

Baroness Jay of Paddington was appointed to the House of Lords in 1992 as a Labour Peer. She was a Minister of State in the Department of Health from 1997–1998 and was also Leader of the House of Lords, Lord Privy Seal and Minister for Women from 1998–2001. She is a former reporter for BBC current affairs programmes and was a founder and director of the National AIDS Trust from 1988–1992. Lady Jay is also a patron for Help the Aged.

Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws QC

Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws was appointed to the House of Lords in 1997 as a Labour Peer. She is a leading human rights lawyer and a former presenter for the BBC. She is the Chair of the British Council, President of the National Children’s Bureau and a Patron of Liberty. She is also President of the Helena Kennedy Foundation, a charity that provides financial bursaries, mentoring and support to disadvantaged students.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC

Lord Lester of Herne Hill was appointed to the House of Lords in 1993 as a Liberal Democrat Peer. He is a widely acclaimed human rights lawyer and represented FPA in the judicial review against the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety into medical practices relating to abortion and abortion provision in Northern Ireland. In his political life he was an adviser to Roy Jenkins at the Home Office and a special adviser on Constitutional Affairs. He was also co-founder of the race equality think tank, the Runnymede Trust, and its Chair from 1991–1993.

Baroness Massey of Darwen

Baroness MasseyBaroness Massey has been a Labour peer since 1999. Before entering the House of Lords, she was a French teacher and also had roles as a teacher with responsibility for health education, and was a personal, social and health education adviser to the Inner London Education Authority. She was Director of FPA from 1989–1994, having previously been the FPA Director of Training.

She is currently Honorary President of Brook and Chair of the National Treatment Agency. She has co-authored several books and journal articles on sex education. Her interests include education, health, children and young people, and sport. Within Parliament, she is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on children, and a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health in the UK.

Countess Mountbatten of Burma CBE CD JP DL

Countess Mountbatten of Burma sat in the House of Lords from 1979–1999 as a Hereditary Peer. She is also an Honorary President of the Child Bereavement Charity, a patron of SOS Children’s Villages UK, the Legion of Frontiersmen of the Commonwealth and the Burma Star Association and a Dame of the Order of St John.

Jenni Murray OBE

Jenni studied French and Drama at the University of Hull and began her broadcasting career in local radio in Bristol. She presented South Today on television for a number of years before presenting Newsnight on BBC2 and Today on Radio 4. She inherited the Woman's hour Chair from Sue MacGregor in 1987. In 1999 she was made an OBE for radio broadcasting. She presents The Message from Manchester. Jenni is the author of several books. She was a weekly columnist for the Daily Express from 1998–2000 and now writes for various newspapers and magazines, including the Daily Mail.

Dr Miriam Stoppard

Dr Miriam StoppardDr Stoppard has been at the forefront of the revolution in health information since she began her writing and broadcasting career in the early 1970s. Since that time she has become well known as a leading authority on parenting, child care, women’s health, and many other health issues.

Miriam has published over 50 books and sold in excess of 20 million copies. She has a daily advice column in the Daily Mirror and regularly appears on television. She is also a resident health expert on Channel Five’s The Wright Stuff. Miriam is a medical doctor and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.

Polly ToynbeePolly Toynbee

Polly is a journalist and writer, and has been a columnist for The Guardian newspaper since 1998. She was appointed President of the British Humanist Association in July 2007. She has won the George Orwell prize, two British Press awards and the What the Papers Say Columnist of the Year.

Beverley Turner

Beverley TurnerBeverley was a competitive swimmer and model before becoming a presenter on UK television and radio, originally for sports shows. She has presented coverage of ITV's Formula One, the Tour de France and the US National Basketball Association games in the UK. In 2002, she began presenting entertainment sections for Granada’s This morning and, in 2003, travel reporting for the Travel Channel.

From 2004, she spent two years co-presenting a Saturday morning radio programme on BBC Radio Five Live and also presented Taste, a daily food programme on Sky3. Her other jobs include modelling and journalism. Beverly is sister of Olympic swimmer Adrian Turner and wife of Olympian James Cracknell.

Baroness Walmsley

Baroness Walmsley was appointed to the House of Lords in 2000 as a Liberal Democrat Peer. She has held a number of front bench positions, including as the Liberal Democrat spokesperson on education and skills, home affairs and most recently Children, Schools and Families. She is a former secondary school teacher and is a patron of the Helena Kennedy Foundation, the Infant Trust and the Children’s Rights Alliance for England as well as being an ambassador for NSPCC and on the Board of Unicef UK.

Caroline Woodroffe

Caroline is an epidemiologist, public health specialist and contraception campaigner. She has formerly been a commissioner at the Equal Opportunities Commission, a Chair of the Birth Control Trust and Maternity Alliance and Director of Brook, the Child Health Monitoring Unit and the Institute of Child Health (London). She is currently a trustee of GW Cadbury Charitable Trust.