Primrose Foundation

The Primrose Foundation Team

Find out about the people who give their time as key members of The Primrose Foundation Trustees and its Co-ordinator.

Sue Hobbs RGN MSc- Chair

Sue has over thirty years experience in health care. Having trained initially as a nurse in Edinburgh, she accumulated a wealth of experience in clinical, educational and managerial positions in this country and the USA. Since retiring from her last full time NHS Director post Sue held a Non-Executive director in London for six years.

Sue now works as a management consultant and as an Associate with the education committee of the General Medical Council on their Quality Assurance programmes. Sue is also an experienced Trustee in the voluntary sector, having gained over ten years experience working with three separate charities in England and Wales. Sue has lived in Plymouth for almost thirty years and enjoys sailing.


Colin Teasdale BSc, MS, FRCS - Deputy Chair

Graduated in Medicine & Surgery at London University in 1969, Surgical Registrar Southampton Univ Hospitals 1973-75, CRC Research Fellow and then Lecturer in Surgery, Cardiff.Univ Hospital 1975-78, Senior Surgical Registrar, Bristol 1978-84 then Consultant General Surgeon, Plymouth in 1984.

Throughout training maintained a special interest in Surgical Oncology & Breast Disease. Together with colleagues set up the Primrose Appeal & the charitable Primrose Foundation in 1997 to raise funds for a specialised dedicated Breast Centre at Derriford Hospital .

Enforced retirement in 1999 on medical grounds owing to the onset of Multiple Sclerosis.

2001 Special Award for Outstanding Achievements from All-Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer, House of Commons

Dame Margaret Fry DBE, OBE - Trustee

Doctor of Health.

Dame Margaret was a founding member of the Primrose Appeal in 1997. The Appeal raised over £500,000 to build the Primrose Centre and continues to support the work of the Centre. From the start she has been Chairman of Trustees of the Primrose Foundation, a role which continued for fifteen years till February 2012 when she retired. She continues to serve as a Trustee.

Dame Margaret has a special connection with many campaigning and charity groups across the South West. She is a former member of the South West Regional Health Authority, former Chairman of the South West College of Nursing and Chairman of the Torridge and South West Devon College of Health. She also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry Fundraising Foundation.

She has also had a distinguished political career, serving as Chairman of the National Union of Conservative Associations in 1990 and as President of the Torridge & West Devon Conservative Association of which she is now Patron.

Dame Margaret was appointed an OBE in 1982 and a DBE in 1989. In November 2011 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Plymouth .  She is a farmer’s wife, has three sons and three grandchildren. She lives in Broadwoodwidger, Devon

Richard Franklin - Treasurer

I have been involved with the Primrose Foundation since it’s inception in 1997.  Initially during the first fundraising campaign, I was the treasurer covering the busy period when the enormous amount of well over £500,000 was raised.  On my retirement as treasurer in 2012 I was delighted to be invited to become a trustee and continue the association with this important charity.

I qualified as a Chartered Accountant in London in 1978 and moved to the South West in 1980 starting an accountancy practice in Plymouth specialising in small to medium sized family businesses.  I have been involved in a number of not for profit and local community organisations and hope to bring this experience to the Primrose Foundation.

I take great pleasure in my family of 4 children and now 2 grandchildren and list my main pastime as sailing an ancient green ketch around these beautiful waters.

Peter Franklin - Treasurer

I studied economics at Leeds University and then spent a year travelling around the world before settling in London where I started working in finance at Independent Age - a charity helping the elderly live independently.

In 2007 I secured a training contract with a 10 partner practice in North London, and studied for my Institue of Chartered Accountants ACA qualification.

I relocated to Plymouth midway through this training contract and started working for my father’s accountancy practice.

I now live in the South Hams and I am a keen sailor racing a traditional yawl during the summer and cruising the south coast on a friend’s Contessa 26.

Dr. Pamela Kirk - Trustee

I trained at the Royal Free Hospital, London and qualified in 1966.  In 1971 I became a Member of the Royal College of Physicians and in 1975, a Fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists.  I worked for a few years in Bath in general radiology but also developed in interest in mammography there when I collaborated in a research project involving thermography and mammography for the DHSS.  I later moved to Plymouth with my young family and in 1989 was appointed as Consultant Radiologist to the West Devon Breast Screening Service, based at Derriford Hospital. 

In those days when patients were  referred  with breast problems, they had to move around the hospital seeing specialists in different departments at the initial visit.  It was wonderful  when the Primrose Breast Care Centre  opened in 2001 ( partly financed by the Primrose Foundation) enabling patients to be cared for in one dedicated clinic where all the facilities were available, in a pleasant environment.  I later worked full-time in the screening and symptomatic services. 
I retired in 2008, having thoroughly enjoyed my work in the unit.  I was pleased to be asked to be a trustee, having been very impressed by the help given to the breast care centre by the Primrose Foundation.
My hobbies are  keep-fit, theatre, travel and gardening. 

Jonathan Coote - Trustee 

Jonathan is married with two children and is an Economic Graduate from Nottingham University.

Jonathan is a Qualified Chartered Accountant and has held directorships for 24 years and Managing Director roles for 18 years.  

He has been a Trustee member for five years, and has witnessed the impact breast cancer has on family members.

Lynne Smith - Trustee

Lynne has a BA (Hons) degree in History and Literary studies, and a Diploma in Healthcare Management. She has been working within health care for 40 years in a variety of roles, including operational management, project management, HR, service improvement, commissioning and contract management.

Most notably, alongside co-Trustees Colin and Pam, Lynne set up West Devon Breast Screening Service in West Devon and has continued to take an interest in the breast care service. She has knowledge of funding flows within the NHS and how the local healthcare system works. 

Lynne has recently rediscovered a passion for singing, and is a member of the University of Plymouth ’s Choral Society and she is also a member of the Plymouth Historical Association. She has also been a devotee of yoga for most of her adult life, as it gives her balance and calm in the midst of an often hectic life.

Susan Benjamin - Trustee

Susan has a BA (Hons) degree in Psychology with a focus on Occupational Psychology, and also a Diploma in Personal Management. Following her degree, Susan obtained an MBA in Health and Social Care Management from Keele University in 1990. Susan is extremely experienced having worked in the NHS for more than 20 years.

Her main interest has always been to work in community services at the boundaries of the health, social and voluntary sectors. One of her more recent posts was working for the charity, Macmillan, to improve the psychological support offered to cancer patients.

Her drive is to help with the research undertaken to improve breast cancer care; providing equipment that enables professionals to undertake their role better in earlier detection of cancer, thereby enabling the success of treatment to be more likely.

Jim Steel - Lead Clinician

Dr Jim Steel trained in Guy's Hospital Medical School where he also gained a first class honours BSc in Radiological Sciences. Qualifying in 1990 he went on train in General and Chest Medicine and gained MRCP in 1995. He developed an interest in imaging of all sorts whilst a medical SHO and decided undergo further specialist training in Radiology, becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists in 1999. This was under the Peninsula Radiology Training Rotation and he stayed on to become a Consultant Breast and General Radiologist in Derriford Hospital , Plymouth in 2000. In 2004 he became Director of Breast Screening and chose to work full-time in Breast Radiology alone. In 2009 he became the Quality Assurance Radiologist for the South West Region and now works on some of the National Committees for Breast Screening as part of this role, including the committee for the computerised audit system of the UK programme.

He is keen on improving uptake bringing innovations into the Plymouth unit and regularly collaborates with his colleagues on several research projects at a time. He is the clinical liaison between the Unit itself and the Charity Committee. His skills extend to playing Bach on his cello and has fun in an amateur string quartet. His fudge-making skills are often in demand.

Philip Stephenson - Co-ordinator

Philip is from Lincolnshire and moved to Launceston after marrying Cora, who is from Cornwall .  Philip has previously worked in the dairy industry, local government and politics and has been a Trustee member for six years.