South Essex Branch


Meet the team


Philippe Udrzal

Chair: Philippe Udrzal


I’ve just recently lost my wife of 30 years to MND and have decided volunteering to try to help other people who might find themselves in the same situation I was in. I know how soul crushing it is.


The MND South Essex branch has been a fantastic support and I just want to give back.




Pat Ahlquist

Vice Chair: Pat Ahlquist


The first person I knew with MND was a friend’s Mum when we were teenagers. As a palliative care consultant I went on to support many people with MND and, now I am retired, I am volunteering as an Association Visitor


My husband and I moved to Leigh in 1995 with 3 small children and, years later, I’m now learning how to be a grandmother.


As for hobbies, I sing with a local choir, play the piano, love walking, reading and baking and I’m in the worship group at West Leigh Baptist Church where I also lead a small groupand (normally) teach Sunday School. I do hope to get to know many more of you when Covid restrictions are lifted.

Rowan Harvey

Treasurer: Rowan Harvey


I am Rowan Harvey, Treasurer for the South Essex Branch for the last 5 years.


My father-in-law got this ghastly condition, and my wife and her sister volunteered me for the role.


I have found it hard to spend the funds, as in my previous life I had to reduce costs and save money.

Debbie Darke

Secretary: Debbie Darke


Hi, my name is Debbie Darke, I am the Branch’s Secretary and have been on the committee for 4 years.


I became involved with MND when my Dad became ill with this devastating illness, so I know what it is like to see a loved one living with MND.


In that time, I have particularly enjoyed organising fundraising events, both for Branch activities and with my family AKA ‘Team Charlie’. I feel proud to have helped my family raise £23,400 for MND in memory of my Dad.


I feel privileged to have met the wonderful and brave people that I have met over the last few years.

Sandy Lambert

Branch Contact: Sandy Lambert


I started working for MND as a volunteer twenty years ago, first as Branch Secretary and then as Branch Vice Chair. I trained as an Association Visitor to better support those living with MND. I have organised the annual Walk to d’Feet MND since 2005.


I am also the Branch Contact. 07742 943472 01702 305759



Kevin Watts

Publicity: Kevin Watts


My name is Kevin Watts and I have been involved with the Motor Neurone Disease Association ever since my dad died from the horrendous disease.


Our local branch was very helpful to our family so I decided to help out at my local branch and I have been involved ever since.


When I am not involved with the MND Association I am a Headteacher of a large Primary School in Essex. In my spare time, I manage a District football team and do a bit of amateur dramatics.

Lisa Gallagher

Social Media: Lisa Gallagher


I am Lisa Gallagher. I joined the South Essex Branch committee in April 2018.


I look after our Facebook page, manage our website, and for the last 2 years, have created our regular newsletter.


I have now stepped down from the newsletter and the latest edition has been created by Philippe Udrzal.

Marianne Morgan

Marianne Morgan


I have only recently joined the MND committee.


My husband suffers with motor neurone and I want to do all I can to help fundraise to find a cure for this disease.





Stevan Wing

President: Stevan Wing


We are deeply honoured that Dr Stevan Wing, Consultant Neurologist at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust has accepted being the President of our MND South Essex branch where his knowledge and experience of the disease will be extremely useful.


Dr Wing has also worked as Clinical Research Associate at the University of Cambridge and is familiar with all aspects of Motor Neurone Disease.


No doubt his in-depth knowledge of MND will help us better serve the community of patients we aim to help and support.


Carmen Brown

Carmen Brown


My name is Carmen Brown and I am the Area Support Coordinator for the MND Association (Essex and Herts). I joined the Association in April 2020 and feel privileged to be part of such a worthwhile and much needed charity.


I work closely with our amazing volunteer lead branches and groups in supporting people with and affected by MND locally, including our fantastic South Essex Branch.


The passion our volunteers have in making a difference when it matters the most to the lives of people affected by MND is inspiring and I want to say thank you to each and every one of you. I feel humbled to be working with our volunteers and in supporting people where I can, especially at these particularly challenging times. / 01604 800659