Emeritus Professor at York St John University, Dianne is a Non-Executive Director of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Vice Chair of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Professor Willcocks recently served 8 years as trustee of London Metropolitan University; and 9 years as Vice Chair of Governors for Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance. In the city of York, she is a champion for the arts and the creative-digital sector. She is a trustee at York Museums Trust and Chair of York Mediale Festival – the visible expression of York’s status as the first UK UNESCO-designated City of Media Arts. Dianne also served on the board of the Great Exhibition of the North 2018.
Dianne's early research work as a social gerontologist focused on age appropriate living arrangements and citizenship in old age – an interest she pursues actively within the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and at York Teaching Hospital where she supports work on loneliness and dementia; end-of-life care and frailty. The York Older People’s Assembly has designated Dianne “Older People’s Health Champion.” She is patron of Older Citizens Advocacy York.
Dianne was a founder member of Yorkshire's first and continuing Lifelong Learning Network, Higher York, and a member of the HEFCE Board for three years, together with chairing its Widening Access and Participation Strategic Advisory Committee.
Professor Willcocks was a founder member of Yorkshire’s first and continuing Lifelong Learning Network, Higher York.