Faces behind the Foundation: Julie Gill

SYCF trustee, Julie Gill

SYCF trustee, Julie Gill

Julie Gill joined SYCF as a trustee in March 2024. She has more than 25 years’ strategic and operational management experience working at board level and in senior executive roles and her last being executive director of operations at Westfield Health.

During her career, Julie has managed multi-million-pound business transformation and investment projects and has expertise in delivering corporate strategic vision to fully exploit growth opportunities.

Julie is also a Trustee of Rotherham Hospice.

She lives in Stannington, Sheffield, is married to Andrew and has one grown up daughter, Aimee.

After getting married in 1991, I relocated from Newcastle to Sheffield to start a new chapter in my life. I secured a job at Westfield Health in its administrative team and took every opportunity available in terms of training and development.

As a newcomer to Sheffield, I also took advantage of joining lots of professional networking associations. This not only helped me to settle into a new life here, but it was also key in helping me to grow in confidence and as an individual. It also played an important role in helping me to progress up through the corporate ranks. I went on to secure a board position in 1995 as company secretary at the tender age of 29 and was appointed Westfield’s executive director for operations in 2004.

Leading a team of more than 90 customer service professionals, it was my job to ensure Westfield met its many challenges. This included ensuring the company returns value for money to its customers in a not-for-profit operating environment, keeping costs to a minimum within the ever-increasing pressures of regulations and ensuring Westfield delivers customer service improvements year-on-year to an ever-demanding customer base

My experience spanned across many operational areas including the customer service processing teams and call centre, as well as facilities management, finance, IT, HR and training and development. 

I was an active member of the Health Insurance Counter Fraud Group (HICFG) and established the fraud team at Westfield. This work was recognised by my peers in 2010 when I was voted the Best Newcomer Investigator at the annual HICFG Awards ceremony.


I first became involved with SYCF more than 30 years ago when I used to support with the Daisy Chain Ball – an annual fundraising event organised by the Community Foundation to raise money for local good causes. So, it was wonderful when I had the opportunity to join the board as a trustee many years later and have the chance to be part of the amazing work the Foundation is doing across South Yorkshire. It’s fantastic to play a part in an organisation which is making a real difference to local communities.

My role as a trustee involves using my skills and experience to ensure SYCF carries out its purposes in line with our governing document. I’m also part of SYCF’s Investment Committee. Through regular meetings, trustees ensure compliance with all relevant legislation and the responsible oversight of SYCF’s resources. I’m passionate about supporting the organisation so it can continue its vital role in the heart of the community and will always act in SYCF’s best interests.

It’s an incredibly rewarding role and it’s wonderful to be able to continue using my skills and knowledge to help grow and develop the organisation as its progresses along its journey


South Yorkshire is such a unique place to live and work. I love the greenness of Sheffield and its surrounding areas and, of course, the region’s friendly people

In my spare time, I enjoy giving back to the local community and have served at least six years as a director/trustee for a local homeless charity, as a member of the Joint Independent Audit Committee for the Office of the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, as a governor at a local school and currently as a trustee at Rotherham Hospice.  Outside of this, I enjoy travelling and holidays in the sun, spending time with the family both in Sheffield and further up north, walking and socialising with friends.