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DDF Suffolk: Meet our Members

The lady Tollemache


Xa Tollemache learnt to garden at her home, Helmingham Hall, which she has extensively redesigned over the past 25 years. She started designing in 1996 and was asked to do a Chelsea Garden in 1997 where she won a gold medal. This was followed by two further Chelsea Gardens, winning two silver gilt medals. As well as designing gardens worldwide, Xa has completed several successful lecture tours and is a Garden Advisor to the RHS as well as serving on the Herbaceous Committee.

Xa is a passionate advocate of many local charities including The Digestive Disorder Foundation. In addition to being the President of Ormiston Children and Families Trust, East Anglia’s largest children’s charity, she recently completed a 160km trek along the Great Wall of China in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Car

Marjorie Thompson


I am a retired Specialist Speech and Language Therapist. I worked full-time for the NHS at Ipswich Hospital until 2010 and also privately until 2015.  My job involved assessing and treating adults with Acquired Speech and Swallowing disorders due to Stroke and other Neurological conditions. 

My role involved being part of several multi-disciplinary teams, Stroke, Neurology and the Nutrition Team, which was led by Gastroenterologist Dr Yin Miao. It was through this last connection that I became involved with the DDF. I was keen to be active in charity work and have been DDF Secretary since 2015.

My interests are attending keep fit classes such as Pilates and Chasamba and the grandchildren keep me busy!

Judith Steward


Judith's been treasurer for DDF for more than 12 years.

She was until recently treasurer, membership secretary etc. for the local group of Crohn's and Colitis UK which she did for a number of years.

She likes to cook and is always making cakes and scones and taking them to various meetings etc. She is also a keen swimmer and avid fundraiser for DDF Suffolk.



Dr Laxaman


I completed my undergraduate training at Imperial College London in 2010 before undertaking specialty training in Gastroenterology in the East of England deanery including an Advanced Training programme in Norwich. Having worked at Ipswich hospital during my speciality training, I was delighted to join the Gastroenterology team as a full time consultant in 2019.
I am the current lead for Endoscopy and Hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) cancer at Ipswich Hospital and I have a specialist interest in advanced endoscopy. I have a passion for teaching and am also the regional training lead for Gastroenterology in East of England.

Outside of medicine, I enjoy playing sports. I have previously represented my University and Medical School at both Football and Cricket and I currently enjoy playing a round of golf whenever the opportunity arises.

I have the honour to be appointed as a chairman for DDF in November 2022 and will take this opportunity to help facilitate ongoing excellent initiatives the DDF support to enhance patient experiences in East Suffolk.


The DDF, Suffolk is a registered Charity

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