People: HealthTrust Europe; Project Better Energy; Anthony Collins

Gary Welch

HealthTrust Europe has announced the appointment of Gary Welch as its incoming chief executive officer.

Welch, with nearly two decades of experience in health and social care, will officially assume his role in February 2024.

Coming from his position as director of procurement and supply chain at Oxford University Foundation Trust, his career spans various roles, beginning in engineering and production management.

He entered the NHS in 2005 as part of the Supply Chain Excellence Programme, contributing to one of the NHS’s inaugural collaborative procurement hubs.

His journey includes holding senior procurement positions across the health service and leading the procurement program at The Shelford Group, a consortium of ten major teaching and research NHS hospital trusts in England.

Based in Birmingham and As a Trusted Procurement Partner for over 1,000 organisations, the company collaborates with more than 2,500 suppliers, enabling providers to achieve operational efficiencies, realise cost savings, access innovative technologies, and enhance the overall performance of their services.

Welch said: “I am thrilled to be joining the HealthTrust Europe team at a time when healthcare is at the forefront of the challenges across the public and private sectors. The opportunity for procurement to deliver innovation and value to our customers has never been greater.

“I am excited to get started and maximise our potential in the procurement sector, ensuring that HealthTrust Europe continues to offer invaluable support to our customers, helping them to deliver excellent patient care while driving efficiency and innovation in both healthcare and non-healthcare sectors. HealthTrust Europe boasts an exceptional team of committed and talented colleagues and I look forward to leading the business from strength to strength.”


Volker Beckers

Project Better Energy, a provider of clean technology and heating solutions, has appointed Volker Beckers as the non-executive chairman of the board with immediate effect.

Mr Beckers, with a background in economics and business administration and a career spanning three decades in the international energy industry, including roles such as Group CEO of RWE Npower plc, brings extensive experience to the company.

Founded in 2011 by CEO Simon Peat and based in Burton-upon-Trent, Project Better Energy started in the residential solar market and has since expanded its offerings to include off-peak power storage, electric vehicle chargers, air-sourced hot water cylinders, and infrared heaters.

The company has installed nearly 40,000 solar energy systems and its Project EV division has also installed over 80,000 electric vehicle chargers across various sectors.

The Group, now employing around 300 people and generating approximately £100m in annual sales, recently saw Freshstream acquire a stake. This move follows the closure of Freshstream’s first independent fund, totalling €762m, earlier this year, making Project Better Energy its sixth investment.

Beckers said: “Project Better Energy has quickly grown into the UK’s largest solar panel retailer and is fast becoming a leading provider of EV systems and energy efficiency solutions as demand for these technologies has expanded significantly.

“Demand for these services will only grow further as businesses and organisations begin to ramp up initiatives aimed at meeting regulatory requirements to integrate clean energy solutions, offer electric vehicle charging infrastructure and enhance energy efficiency in both new and existing developments.

“Simon has built a talented and motivated team over the past twelve years, as well as a strong industry network and customer base, which will provide the foundation for the company’s next phase of growth and is underpinned by recent investment in the business. I look forward to working with the Board to provide the governance oversight and market insights to guide Project Better Energy as they realise the future vision for the business.”


Anthony Collins, a B Corp accredited law firm, welcomes Julia Robertson as the new head of charging and partner in the property team.

With over 13 years of experience, Robertson brings a wealth of expertise in real estate finance, having worked with various clients, including prominent national housing associations and banks.

Previously with Trowers & Hamlins and with in-house experience at Metropolitan HT, her addition reinforces Anthony Collins’ commitment to its social purpose.

Julia Robertson

Robertson said: “Anthony Collins has earned recognition for its market-leading status for social housing and property work for housing associations and I am delighted to be joining such an active team. I am thrilled to be joining a group of dedicated individuals who share a commitment to improving lives for the better.

“Being able to utilise my previous experience in a new role and with new clients while building on those skills is an exciting challenge for me. Helping clients achieve their commercial and social goals by raising finance for new affordable housing and improving their existing affordable housing while upholding the social purpose values of Anthony Collins is something I’m keen to engage with.”

Jonathan Cox, housing sector lead at Anthony Collins, said: “We are delighted to have recruited such an experienced head of charging as Julia who is one of the best-charging lawyers in the country. Julia will materially strengthen our multi-disciplinary and market-leading offering to housing associations.”

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