Patient and Public Advisory Group

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Meet our Team!

Chris Cooper – Chair of Advisory Group


Following a heart attack in 2014, I decided to take early retirement after a long career in IT support. I have a strong interest in science generally and biology in particular. In connection with this I’ve undertaken a number of online courses with universities in the USA which covers genetics, virology, and other related subject areas. For one of these, Introduction to Genetics and Evolution (provided by Duke University), I was fortunate to be invited to participate in future iterations of the course as a volunteer teaching assistant. I have dabbled with a wide range of sports and other activities and my interests include cycling, water sports and sailing, although I’m not involved in any of them to the extent that I would like to be!

Jerry Benjamin


I am a retired NHS nurse and I have worked in several NHS settings in London. I love travelling – all around North Wales, picnicking in the landscape. I previously worked in St. Bart’s and Hackney Hospital NHS London in the psychiatry department as a healthcare nurse for dementia. For 5 years I have been a member of the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and regularly attend their seminars. As a Trust member I would like to be in a position to influence better understanding and responding to views of service users. Previously, I’ve gone to Romania following training with St. John’s ambulance as part of a humanitarian mission for 4 weeks. Since 2011, I have also been closely involved with Manchester’s Valuing Older People Forum.

Christine Barker


Hi I’m from Anchorage, Alaska in the U.S. I’ve lived in the UK for 17 ½ years now. I do miss fishing in Goose Lake and riding down snowy hills on big tires. I have 4 children and 3 grandchildren with another one on the way. I suffered 2 bouts of Myocarditis (Inflammation on the heart muscle/or viral infection) and lived with depression for several years. I am now running 3 Coffee Mornings in different areas of Salford for people who are lonely, live with social isolation, mental illnesses like depression. I am a Customer Scrutiny Inspectorate for Citywest Housing Association and Equality & Diversity Panel member for the ForViva Group. I also volunteer as a Digital Champion to help support people in how to get around the internet and write bids for community groups in the Salford Area. I graduated from Charis Bible College and I Lead one of our local house groups. I love working with and for the community, to help and support people get the best out of their lives.

Jim Collins

I have been involved with Salford heart care for 11 years, which is a support group based in Salford. In 2014 it won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services. I’m also a public governor at the hospital. I’m a member of the British heart foundation and local Council Community Committee member. I am an active member of De La Salle Sports and Social Club, where previously I held the roles of Chairman, coach, player, and committee member for the past 50 years.  I regularly visit the Cardiac Rehab Unit Team to give talks about the role of Salford heart care, which include management of stress and social isolation. I have previously suffered a heart attack and stroke. I enjoy watching rugby and boxing.

Marie Holmes


I am married with 3 children and 10 grandchildren. I worked for 26 years at Henshaw's Society for Blind People where I was the payroll manager. For 10 of those year I looked after my mother when she suffered with Dementia and so can understand the concerns of a carer. After retirement I joned Sale University of the Third Age where I studied literature, poetry and family history. i'm the Secretary of the local community centre. In January 2013 I had a triple heart bypass. I then became involved with the Ticker Club based at Wythenshawe Hospital. I am now a ward visitor as a representative of the Ticker Club. I've had some previous experience of research involvement. In my free time I enjoy reading and researching my family history.