Our People

Staff

Chief Executive Officer

Mandi Smith has been our CEO since June 2011 and was previously one of our Family Advisers. She therefore has a wealth of knowledge about Reading Mencap and learning disability. She is a qualified social worker and has worked as such in both the local authority and voluntary sectors. She is a mother of two and has experience of learning disability in her family.

 

Family Support Team

Kate Stonehouse is the Team Leader for our Family Support Service. She joined Reading Mencap in September 2011. She has worked in the police in safeguarding and training and is also our training specialist in learning disability. She is a mother of three and has experience of learning disability in her family.

Alison Carroll is a Senior Family Adviser and has worked with families, adults and children for Reading Mencap for many years. She is a qualified psychiatric nurse and has a masters degree in child protection. She has vast experience in health and social care, housing and education. She is also a qualified Drama Coach, a Safeguarding Trainer and a Care Act Advocate. Ali is also now the leader of our Friday ME day service.

Cheryl Fox joined the Reading Mencap Day Activity Service in 2014 and is a qualified Occupational Therapist. She is now working as a Family Adviser.

Sally Utting joined the team in 2015 and is a Family Adviser. She is an experienced social-care professional, having worked in both the statutory and voluntary sectors.

Carl Borges is currently with the team as the LD Health Family Adviser for Getting it Right in Reading LD Health Project.  He has a background in the police in a senior position, where he also has expertise in safeguarding. Carl is also a Care Act Advocate.

Naima Ahmed is our new Family Support Worker who brings previous experience of working in the voluntary sector and who is passionate about helping families of disabled children.

Pauline Foy is a fully qualified Care Act Advocate.  She is a qualified nurse and has a background in the police. She also currently works for Home Start Reading.

 

Administration Team

Amanda Limm is our Office Manager and Administration Team Leader. She has many years experience in the voluntary and statutory sectors in administration and management.

Paul Johnson MBE is our bookkeeper. He is a retired accountant with a long career working abroad with several high profile accountancy companies.

Ana de la Barreda is one of our Administration Officers looking after our website and database, she will be one of the voices you hear when you phone us. She joined us in July 2016. She has a degree in economics and has previous experience working in the voluntary sector in Reading.

Jacqui McGachie is one of our two Administration Officers looking after our website and DataBase.  She will be one of the people who you would speak to if you ring our office.  Jacqui has experience of working in the local voluntary sector maintaining websites and information systems.

Clubs and Respite

Abbi Chambers is our Respite and Social Inclusion Manager, running all our clubs and social activities for children, adults and their parents/carers. She has experience in supporting vulnerable adults, housing and in coordinating day service activities; she has a degree in visual studies.

Mary Williams is our Assistant Clubs Manager. She is a recent Reading University graduate who has also volunteered in our ME Day service and also sings in our choir where she brings that little something extra to the sound. 

Julie Haycock is our Gateway Club Leader with the help of her Deputy, Andy Pipistrelli, and Mandy Anderson, who is a long-serving volunteer with the Tuesday Club. Julie is also deputy leader of one of our ME Day Service days.

Hayley Garstang is our Saturday Club Leader and also deputy for our Youth Club.

Louise Garstang is our Youth Club leader and also the deputy for Saturday Club.

Sarah Newton is Club assistant for our Youth Club and is a long-serving member of Reading Mencap, having performed many different roles working with children over the years.

  

Fundraising

Marie-Claire Dillon is our Fundraising Manager responsible for the fundraising work of the charity, She has a degree in languages and a background in publishing and bid-writing for the voluntary sector.

Shelley Hawkins is our community fundraiser and has previously worked as our Information Officer. She has a degree in sociology and she is also an important part of our publicity programme.

 

ME Day Activity Service

Margaret Harper is our Service Coordinator for our Day Activity Service for adults with learning disability. She has many years of experience with Reading Borough Council in their day services. Margaret is supported by her deputy Nora Drinan, and also by Charlie Macdonald, Hannah Pritchard and Chelsea Evans our Care Support Workers.

 

Trustees

Chair: Leslie Macdonald has over 25years of experience in the voluntary sector as a founder member of the Berkshire Autistic Society and working with Reading and Wokingham Mencaps. She has a qualification in autism from Birmingham University and has also worked in mainstream secondary schools teaching social skills to adolescents with Asperger Syndrome. She joined Reading Mencap again in February 2011 as Chair and has experience of learning disability in her family.

Treasurer: Nelson Walters is our Treasurer and is a retired Chartered Accountant with many years experience in finance and accounts.

Peter Miller MCIPS has 35 years commercial and management experience in both private and public sectors. He contributes to the management and good governance of the charity and has played a leading role in efforts to implement RVA’s Safe and Sound Quality Standard and the recent review of policies and procedures covering all aspects of the charity’s activities.

Kimberley Norris is a trainee accountant working locally in Reading and is leading on our strategic fundraising.

Zoe Ridout is a Business Development Director in a large, multi national support services company who joined our Board in August 2016.  She has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of business development and strategy and has been supporting the charity to develop a sustainable long-term outlook.