About us Meet the team Our Patrons POhWER has six Patrons who have a wide range of backgrounds and experience but all take a real interest in the work we do. They are our first Patron Lord Michael Cashman CBE, Professor Deirdre Kelly CBE, Peter Duncan, Lorraine Kelly OBE, Nitu Shah and Samantha Lee Howe. Lord Michael Cashman Michael Cashman had a highly successful career as an actor, singer, writer and director. He was a Member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands (Labour) from 1999 to 2014 and has played a key role in promoting equality and human rights and opposing discrimination. He was joint founder of Stonewall and in 2007 Michael was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Staffordshire for his human rights work. On 23 of September 2014 Michael was elevated to the House of Lords where he sits as an independent member. We were delighted that Michael referred to POhWER’s concerns about proposed legislation changes in the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill Committee meeting in the House of Lords. Lorraine Kelly OBE Lorraine Kelly CBE is a Scottish television presenter and journalist. She is best known for her various ITV morning shows – GMTV, This morning, Daybreak, Good Morning Britain and Lorraine. On 20th June 2008 she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Dundee for her services to charity. On 28th June 2018 She was awarded the Honorary degree of Doctor of Arts from Edinburgh Napier University (where she trained as a journalist). Lorraine Kelly was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to charity and the armed forces and was promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2020 Birthday Honours for services to broadcasting, journalism and charity. Lorraine is a regular columnist for the Sun and The Sunday Post. She has published several books mainly on the topic of nutrition. About being a patron of POhWER, Kelly commented: 'I am proud to be a Patron of POhWER, a charity which helps people to find their voice, make their case, get the care and support they need and see wrongs put right'. Nitu Shah Nitu is a professional Indian singer and is well known and well liked for her tremendous voice and her charitable work. Nitu was born in Nairobi in Kenya. She has always been very passionate about singing and has been performing for nearly 30 years. She has performed in parts of Europe, Africa, America and all over the United Kingdom. She has released 5 Albums of devotional songs and Bhajans. She is a passionate fundraiser for many great causes and has collected funds for water wells in Kenya, food for life, Children's homes, Children with disabilities and children with Cerebral Palsy. Nitu hopes her work with POhWER will help to ensure that Gujarati people living with dementia, disability and mental ill health can get the care and support they need. "Many in our community are living in silence, ignored or not knowing how to get the right care or to access other essential services." says Nitu. "I am honoured to be a patron for POhWER. As a team we can help people with disabilities who are living in silence." Peter Duncan Actor, presenter and documentary maker, Peter Duncan has long had a ‘daredevil’ image which he first fashioned while he was a presenter on Blue Peter. Today he continues to excite, whether it is competing in Celebrity Total Wipeout in Argentina or walking across a tightrope in his one man show. His film, television and stage career spans four decades. Peter was the former Chief Scout and has a real concern for young people. In 2012’s London Marathon he ran for POhWER, having taken part in the first ever London Marathon, running for Blue Peter and being cheered by thousands along the route. Professor Deirdre Kelly Professor Deirdre Kelly is Professor of Paediatric Hepatology at the University of Birmingham and Consultant Paediatric Hepatologist at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. (Hepatology is the study of diseases that affect the liver, gallbladder, biliary tree and pancreas.) She is a Council Member of the General Medical Council and a Non-Executive Director of the Health Research Authority. She was a Commissioner on the Care Quality Commission since its inception in 2009. Professor Kelly was the Care Quality Commission’s champion of older people’s services and children’s services - two causes close to POhWER’s heart. Samantha Lee Howe Samantha Lee Howe was born in Manchester and began her professional writing career in 2007. She has written over 20 novels, 40 short stories and two screenplays. Her breakaway debut psychological thriller, The Stranger In Our Bed, was released in 2020 by Harper Collins imprint, One More Chapter. The book rapidly became a USA TODAY bestseller. Rights for the film were subsequently bought by production company, Buffalo Dragon, which is due to be released in Summer 2021. Samantha has since gone on to sign a further three book deal with One More Chapter for her explosive spy thriller series, The House of Killers. A former high school English and Drama teacher, Samantha has a BA (Hons) in English and Writing for Performance, an MA in Creative Writing and a PGCE in English. Samantha has been a supporter of various charities throughout her life and she feels very strongly about upholding the rights of people in our communities who do not have the means, or are unable, to defend themselves. "I’m absolutely thrilled to be a patron of POhWER and look forward to helping to spread the word about the great services they provide for our communities in order to help empower those in need."