Who’s Who at the Centre: Members of the Board of Trustees

Nicholas Buxton

Nicholas set up the Meditation Centre with Ollie Batchelor in 2016 and Chairs the Board. He is the Director of St Antony’s Priory in Durham, and an experienced meditation teacher and retreat leader, having studied and practised extensively within both Buddhist and Christian traditions. Publications include The Wilderness Within (Canterbury Press, 2014), and Tantalus and the Pelican (Continuum, 2009). His latest book, appropriately entitled Just Meditation, should be ready for publication next year.

Ollie Batchelor

Ollie helped set up the Meditation Centre with Nicholas in 2016, and is the Treasurer. Until recently he held a senior position with a national charity providing specialist support services to vulnerable people and their families in order to help them make positive, lasting changes in their lives. He began work as a social worker in the late 1970’s, before training as a probation officer at the London School of Economics. He is a specialist on the subject of substance misuse and has worked throughout England and Scotland in the statutory, voluntary and private sectors.

Susan O'Donnell

Susan joined the Board in 2018 and is the Company Secretary. Originally from Glasgow, she has lived in the North East for over 25 years, working as a Risk Manager with a range of public and private organisations and volunteering with a range of community groups and voluntary organisations over that time. Susan is a trained Prayer Guide, has worked as an industrial chaplain and is experienced in using a range of meditation techniques, particularly in Ignatian spirituality, which aims to find ‘God in all things’.

Ruth Rogan

Ruth joined the Board in 2018 and has a background in social work and safeguarding. As a student in the late 70s, Ruth practised Transcendental Meditation, and in 2013 completed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course. After leaving a senior management later that year, and keen to live a more mindful and less stressful life, Ruth became involved with the Meditation Centre soon after it opened and is now and integral part of the team of volunteers who run things.

Donna George

Donna joined the Board in 2019. She is a qualified accountant, with 25 years experience in Finance and currently holds a senior position as Head of Finance within a private organisation in the North East. Although still fairly new to her meditation and mindfulness journey, she is keen to build on her own practice and learn more about all aspects of the subject matter.

Chris Penlington

Chris joined the board in 2019. She is a clinical psychologist and specialises in pain management, working in NHS and university roles. Chris completed an MSc in Mindfulness Studies from Aberdeen University in 2017. She trained as a mindfulness teacher with the Mindfulness Association and is experienced in leading mindfulness sessions and courses.