Our Board of Trustees is responsible for ensuring the charity is doing what it was set up to do and making decisions about how it is run and future developments. The Trustees meet regularly during the year to consider, determine and review Carers in Hertfordshire’s strategies, policies and performance. Our Trustees bring a depth and breadth of expertise to the charity as they have extensive backgrounds in finance, management, health and social care, and other professional roles. All Trustees support Carers in Hertfordshire in an unpaid voluntary capacity. We currently have 11 Trustees and you can find out about them below.

Mike Ormerod (Chair)

Mike Ormerod website

Mike was a secondary school teacher for 36 years at the same school prior to retiring. He is married to an English teacher and has two sons. His eldest son has Aspergers and currently lives with his wife in the family home. Mike still supports, guides and monitors him on a constant basis.

At work, he was a Head of Department for 28 years in History then Humanities and then PSCHEE (Personal, Social, Citizenship, Health and Enterprise Education).

He served on the Senior Leadership Team creating and developing policy and practice in Recruitment and Appointments, Performance Management, Equal Opportunities and Healthy Schools programmes. He passed the course for aspiring Assistant Heads at Middlesex University.

He was a Trade Union Representative for the last four years. He was elected as Teacher Governor four times (16 years). He was also on his sons’ school’s Governing Body as Chair of Curriculum and then Chair of Governors, in which time he was involved in appointing a Deputy Head and then a Head Teacher during his Chairmanship.

He worked as a Teacher Mentor with Middlesex University to train and guide new teachers to the profession and as a mentor to Newly Qualified Teachers at school.

In 2001, Mike’s mother began to show signs of dementia and he began to develop a more caring role in her life. This became a progressively bigger and more important part of his life as she declined. From distance support, she ended up living with Mike and his family and the skills and patience he had as a teacher and mentor became more and more valuable in the support for her and the dealings with the myriad of services she needed. When it became apparent that she would be better served in a care home, a search began and a suitable place was found. He then became involved in the support and development of care in the home, creating a Relatives Support Group and mentoring some of the Care Home Staff in their NVQs.

Five years ago, he began to attend Forums run by Carers in Hertfordshire and soon volunteered for Stronger Voice, Carer Trainer and Carer Mentor roles. As a carer representative he attends the National Strategy for Dementia Implementation Steering Group and the Carers Planning and Performance Group for Hertfordshire County Council, as well as the Carer Forums for Dementia and C4A and support groups (e.g. Carers Reference Group). As a Carer Trainer he is kept busy delivering talks and is now supporting his ninth mentee.

Mike has been a full member of the Board of Directors since September 2013. He became Vice Chair in September 2014 and has been Chair of the Board since September 2015. Mike is a member of the General Purposes, Finance and Strategy and Services Sub-Committees of the Board and helps out on the Quality Assurance Working Group and ICT Leadership Group for Carers in Hertfordshire.

Mike says: “All my life I have tried my best to help others become the best they could be. My time as a carer was the most challenging I have had to deal with. I needed to learn new skills and different applications of old ones. Now, I want to make that process as comfortable and painless as I can for all the others stepping into this new stage in their lives, so they do not have to go through what I and many others had to. Carers in Hertfordshire has given me the opportunities to speak and support others, as well as allowing me to continue to grow and develop my experiences, skills and knowledge.”

Andrew Mills

250510 004Over a 25-year period Andrew held various positions within (and as a service provider to) the pharmaceutical industry. His main working experience included marketing research, product management and business development in Europe. In 1995, he took voluntary separation from a major corporation in order to start and develop several businesses, including a consultancy practice in marketing and survey research.

During 2005, Andrew became the principal and often full-time carer to his wife, following her experiencing profound physical, sensory and cognitive disability, resulting from brain pathology and a series of surgical interventions. His caring role has continued at varying levels of intensity since that time. Andrew’s contact with Carers in Hertfordshire dates from June 2005, when he was invited by the organisation to assist in the design and implementation of a survey of carers in a part of the county. Subsequently, Andrew played a part in the planning and design of a questionnaire survey within a major consultation of parent-carers throughout Hertfordshire. His caring role continued at varying levels of intensity over an eleven year period until Spring 2016 when, sadly, Mrs Mills passed away. Andrew has been a full member of the Board since September 2008. He was Vice Chair of the Board between 2009 and 2011 and Chair between 2011 and 2015. Andrew is a member of the Finance and General Purposes Sub-Committees of the Board.

Andrew says: “It continues to be a real privilege to served Carers in Hertfordshire as a Director/Trustee."

 

Albert Binns

Albert Binns WebsiteAlbert retired from his management consultancy business in 2012 to become the full time carer for his wife, who was becoming increasingly ill with Alzheimer’s and latterly Vascular Dementia as well as other complex medical conditions.

Albert commenced his career in the photographic industry as a technologist with Kodak. During this time he was responsible for aspects of the quality control and release testing of sensitized goods manufactured products.

He joined Photo Trade Processing as a member of the new management team. This was a start-up company in the photographic industry, based in Stevenage. He held successive roles as Chief Chemist, Quality Assurance Manager, Technical Director and Personnel Director. This was followed by six years as Group HR Director of Dixons plc where he was responsible for six divisions located in UK, Europe and the Far East.

Albert moved into management consultancy with a major practice before setting up his own company, BeeAgile Ltd, with six other colleagues. He worked in UK, Europe, Near East and USA. Clients included blue chip companies in the private sector, government departments/agencies and local authorities in the public sector as well as major charities in the not for profit sector.

In 2007 he was the Individual winner of The Mayor of Stevenage Business in the Community Awards for his involvement in community activities over a 20 year period. This included establishing and acting as Chairman of Stevenage Business Initiative, a new enterprise agency, which contributed to the formation of over 3,000 new businesses.

Albert became involved with Carers in Hertfordshire in late 2012 and has since been involved with others in promoting a Dementia Nursing Service across the whole of Hertfordshire.

Albert has been a full member of the Board at thsince September 2015. He serves on the Finance, Strategy and Services and Remuneration Sub-Committees of the Board.

 

Albert says:

“It has been a privilege to be on the Board of Directors following my involvement in assisting Carers in Hertfordshire to negotiate a pilot Dementia Carers Support Service project across Hertfordshire. This pilot service has now been established and commenced operations with carers in North & East Herts in late July 2015 and more recently in West Herts. We are now confident that the service will shortly be put on a permanent basis. I look forward to continuing to work with the Trustees and staff in supporting and improving the lives of carers throughout the county”. 

Santo Mann

Santo Mann

Santo cares for his 42 year old son who has severe learning disabilities (LD) following an attack of meningitis in 1974. Santo was a Board member on the Board of Governors for Homefield (Greenside) School (ESN(S) and Longfield School (ESN), Stevenage (1976-1979).

Santo educated to postgraduate level degrees in engineering and management. He is a Chartered Engineer (1973) and was a professional trainer registered as a Supervising Engineer on the Roll of Index of Institution of Civil Engineers. He worked as a Chartered Municipal Engineer in local government UK for 30 years. He took early retirement in 1993 from Islington Council, London as their District Engineer. For the next four years he was Managing Director of Wolf Mann Consultants Limited and became a management consultant in 1997.

His voluntary involvement has included Lions Club (since 1972) - Internationally and locally (Stevenage) and was awarded the Lions highest award “Melvin Jones Fellowship” in 1997; St Johns Ambulance Stevenage - President (1984-2005); Board and Executive member, SoStevenage Partnership Board, Stevenage Borough Council (2008-2009); Carer Representative on the Herts LD Partnership Board; LD Carers Forum; Eastern Region Family Carers Network and National Valuing Family Forum; Expert by Experience Group for SHA, EoE. He was a Board and Executive member of Herts LINks (Healthwatch Steering Board) representing them at local hospitals, PCT boards, and regional Chairs' meetings, Network and Social Forum.

Santo has been a Trustee of Carers in Hertfordshire since 1998; Director since 2000 and is currently a member of the General Purposes and Finance Sub-Committees of the Board.

In 2014, Santo was nominated by Carers in Hertfordshire for the Comet Community Awards – he had an impressive accolade by winning both Valiant Volunteer and Lifetime Achievement.

Santo says:

“My involvement with Carers in Hertfordshire gave a boost to my confidence and enhanced the quality of my caring role and dealing with providers of health and social care and making an impact on their decision-making process. This enabled me to thrive on the motto ‘We Serve’ and particularly ‘Help those less fortunate than us’, here and globally.”  

Nial Thackray (Treasurer)

Nial Thackray websiteIn 1974, shortly after qualifying as a Chartered Management Accountant, Nial joined The Welcome Foundation Ltd (now part of GlaxoSmithKline plc) as Financial Controller for Latin America. This started what would become a 30 year career in international financial management and corporate development within the Pharmaceutical/Healthcare industry during which time he held a number of senior management and Board positions. His work took him to many countries and he was based in Sao Paulo, Brazil in the late 1970s and Princeton, NJ, USA during 1999 to 2001.

Since retiring from full-time employment in 2003, Nial undertook several business development projects for Pharmaceutical companies on a free-lance basis. As his work commitments reduced he volunteered his services to local charities (Harpenden Helping Hand and Harpenden Seniors Club) and was co-opted as a Trustee and Treasurer of Carers in Hertfordshire in mid 2009.

Nial has been a full member of the Board of Directors since September 2010, is Chair of the Finance Sub-Committee and a member of the Remuneration Sub-Committee of the Board.

Nial says:

“Becoming a Trustee of Carers in Hertfordshire reflected my post-retirement ambition of using the skills and experience acquired through business life in a way which would benefit others who are in need of support. Now, after several years of experience in the charity ‘business’, I’m pleased to say that it has proved to be a stimulating and rewarding experience for me.” 

 

Mina West

Mina West web

Mina was born in Connecticut, USA; moved to the UK in 1985 and has been living in Hertfordshire since 1995. She worked in nursing for 40 years before retiring. Mina was educated in the USA. She began to specialise in palliative and cancer care at her last position at the Connecticut Hospice, which was the first, purpose built Hospice in the States. Mina’s last job before retiring was as a Macmillan Breast Care nurse at St Margaret’s Hospital in Epping.

Since moving to the UK she has had the privilege and challenges of starting up new projects in her nursing career. They range from inpatient hospice units, a hospital palliative care team and setting up an information and resource centre for patients and their carers. Many of these roles involved working with volunteers. At Cherry Lodge Cancer Care she recruited, trained and provided ongoing support with the volunteers who supported the Centre’s members and their carers. Mina’s special interest has been in the field of emotional support and complementary therapies.

Since retirement she has been a founder volunteer of the Carers in Hertfordshire Bereavement Service, including representing the group at the Mount Vernon Cancer Network Bereavement Group. For the last seven years she has also volunteered in a variety of roles at the British Red Cross in Hertford and Hertfordshire Art Fund. With the wide range of charities with which she has been involved Mina is very aware of the needs of charitable organisations and fundraising issues. She also brings many years of experience of supporting carers during difficult and lonely times.

Mina has been a full member of the Board of Directors since September 2014. She is Chair of the General Purposes and serves on the Strategy and Services Sub-Committees of the Board.

 

Mina says:

“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to utilise the skills I have developed over the years and everything I have learnt from the patients and carers I have had the privilege of supporting.” 

Alan Weston

Alan Weston

Alan’s father was disabled and Alan grew up sharing care for him, and in later teen age, his grandparents who lived in the same house. Alan moved to East Hertfordshire in 1981. He qualified as a Probation Officer in 1982 obtaining the Certificate in Social Work (CQSW) and worked in Hertfordshire from 1981-89. He spent seven years working in East and Mid Herts and established the Hertfordshire Care Trust (a one year secondment, 88-89, from Hertfordshire Probation), before taking over the management of a 40 bed Core and Cluster Probation and Bail hostel in East London.

As Partnership Manager for North East London Probation Service, he commissioned a wide range of community provisions, managed teams and trained staff. He is trained in Equal Opportunities interviewing and has extensive knowledge of training social work and community staff. Alan has chaired major SRB (Single Regeneration Budget) and European Union Funded Projects, selected and trained new staff, as well as worked as part of assessment teams in Assessment Centres and at Middlesex University.

As Equality, Diversity and European Project Manager for London Probation (Trust), Alan travelled and represented the service extensively in Europe bidding for, designing and implementing a range of Trans-National EU funded projects. He has been media trained and represented his agencies with the press, radio and on TV, in this and other countries.

As a Visiting Lecturer at Middlesex University, he lectured from 1999-2013 at Degree and MA level. Alan is a former interim Board of Trustees member of the Greenwich Intervention Project (GRIP) and a former director of EquaEd, a Social Enterprise Limited Company specialising in capacity building in the Voluntary Sector. In the past, Alan has also been a Lay Member of an Ethics Committee and continues to be active in his local community. Team building, project management and bid writing/delivery are among the skills he has developed.

Alan is a Stroke survivor.

Alan has been a full member of the Board since September 2015 after being a co-opted member since August 2015. He is Chair of the Strategy and Services Sub-Committee and serves on the General Purposes Sub-Committee of the Board.

Alan says:

“Caring is not an automatic role and many of us only recognise the impact of it later when looking back. Carers need a voice and deserve support from others who understand what they face. I did not find a support network or expert advice when I could have benefited from it most and now want to do what I can to improve the situation for carers of all ages in Hertfordshire.”

 Slava Budin-Jones

Trustee Slava web

After over 37 years in the pharmaceutical industry, initially as a Microbiologist and then in IT, Slava has recently semi-retired. Whilst working in IT she held many roles starting as a programmer, moving into support and then IT management as a Director working closely with the scientists and senior managers to define strategic direction and to manage large change programmes.

Slava has been involved in the voluntary sector since she was 17-years-old and was a school Governor for around 15 years, initially in a primary school and finally as Chair of Governors at a secondary school. She is currently a Lay Advisor for Hertfordshire MAPPA (Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements).

Whilst Slava is not a carer herself she has some knowledge of caring through her daughter who was a care worker and is now doing a degree to become a paediatric nurse.

Slava likes to keep herself busy with her many hobbies and enjoys learning new things. In addition to her qualifications in Applied Biology and IT and Management, she graduated from the Open University in 2013 with a BSc in Psychology and she continues to have a great interest in people and anything to do with psychology.

The theatre has been a part of Slava’s life since she was five when she attended dance classes. She belongs to a local theatre group and performs regularly on stage, dancing, singing and acting. When not on stage she will be behind the scenes either choreographing, directing or producing. As well as performing on stage, Slava is a presenter on SG1 Radio. You can hear her Pick and Mix show on a Thursday evening. She is also a keen photographer and enjoys walking.

Slava was elected as a full member of the Board at the 2016 AGM having been a co-opted member since April 2016. She serves on the General Purposes Sub-Committee of the Board and helps out on the ICT Leadership Group for Carers in Hertfordshire.

Slava says: “As I have recently semi-retired I wanted to be able to use my business (and other) skills and experience for a good cause and also to keep my brain active. I feel very privileged to be a trustee and look forward to working with the excellent team of staff, volunteers and trustees. In my short time of involvement with Carers in Hertfordshire, it has become apparent to me how passionate everyone is in supporting the unpaid Carers who have a very challenging role but do so out of love for someone in their life.” 

 

Mark Montgomery

Mark MontgomeryMark’s career began as a trader on the floor of the London Stock Exchange in 1986 and he has been involved in stockbroking and the evolution of share trading ever since. His work in The City has ranged from running sales and trading teams with a seat at management committee and board tables. His role has involved developing and maintaining working relationships with a number of large international, institutional investing clients. Much of his working life has seen Mark based in London but he has travelled extensively during his career, including time spent working in New York and Hong Kong during the 1990s.

His involvement in charity work to date has been through fundraising efforts for various charities in the form of running one New York and two London marathons. He also has completed two, Three Peaks Challenges: the first was Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike & Snowden within 24 hours; the other being the three Yorkshire peaks in an equally testing 12 hours.

Mark comes from a medical family with a father and brother having been GPs and his wife is a physiotherapist both as a practitioner and university lecturer specialising in care of musculo-skeletal conditions. This proximity to medical professionals has made Mark aware of some of the daily demands in medical care and the longer term challenges faced by chronic patients and the support they often require.

Mark was elected as a full member of the Board at the 2016 AGM having been a co-opted member since June 2016

Mark says: “I was introduced to Carers in Hertfordshire during the last year and was immediately impressed with the work that has been done to benefit so many in the county. I feel that the experience I have gained in my career and personal life will help me to contribute as a trustee as the organisation develops in the future.”

 

Chris Watts

Chris Watts website

Chris was born in Edgware and moved to Elstree in 1949 and has lived in that area ever since. He met his wife Anne in 1952, married in 1958 and has two daughters and three grandchildren.

Chris joined a small accounting firm in Bond Street in 1950 where he was articled for training as a chartered accountant and qualified in 1956. He gained a lot of experience in all aspects as the firm had a wide selection of clients. In September 1958 he joined Hunting Surveys, a local Borehamwood company, which was part of a larger group. Huntings provided a service in map making through aerial survey mostly overseas in developing countries. Their services expanded into airborne geophysical surveys for oil and land use consultancy.

Chris started as Assistant Chief Accountant moving on to Chief Accountant and then Company Secretary. He had to change the accounting from largely hand written to a mechanised version and later to a full computer based system. As the company mostly worked overseas, Chris was soon to visit Portugal to organise the accounting of a company Huntings had taken over. Similar “local” companies were opened in other countries and it was his job to organise their legal and accounting structures and monitor their progress. One of his most interesting overseas jobs was in Pakistan which he frequently visited between 1962 and 1980.

In local affairs Chris became a local councillor in 1963 and progressed to be the first chair of finance on the formation of Hertsmere. Later he was council leader for 10 years until he retired from local politics in 1990. Chris partially retired in 1992 and this started his work with local charities using both his accounting and administration capabilities. At one time he had about 8 such interesting jobs, plus a number of others where he checked their year-end accounts. One of the charities was Crossroads which he joined in 1999 which rapidly became his favourite because of its work in the community. Chris retains his involvement with three charities.

In the late 1980s and up to mid-1990s Chris and Anne travelled a lot to Europe and further afield including two 6-week round the world trips.

In 2011 his wife, Anne, began to show signs of a form of dementia needing a lot more of Chris’s help in everyday activities. In October 2014 it was decided she needed home care and thus became a client of Crossroads. Life goes on and is very much helped by the amazing staff at Crossroads.

Chris was elected as a full member of the Board at the 2016 AGM having been a co-opted member since August 2016.

Chris says: “Until I wrote this I did not realise that my volunteering really started in 1963 when I became a local councillor where I was serving the local community, in those days we certainly were not paid. When I started part-time retirement my volunteer work increased and I have thoroughly enjoyed it and it has kept the brain active. Life is full of challenges, but my biggest one occurred in the earlier stages of my wife’s dementia. I was gradually not only taking over household tasks she had previously carried out, but also increasingly looking after her and reached a climax in August 2014 when it became obvious she needed professional care. That is when Crossroads stepped in and I was relieved from many duties. I have found it difficult to access all the “benefits” that one is entitled to and that is where Carers in Hertfordshire can provide a tremendous help. We have to make sure that those that need such help know where to turn to.”

Janice Guerra

Janice

Janice has four grown up children and nine grandchildren, keeping her busy since her retirement in 2013. She completed 34 years’ service in the NHS after beginning a career in Biomedical Science as a mature student in 1979.

Six years of work and study led to state registration with the Council for Professions Supplementary to Medicine, Fellowship of the Institute of Biomedical Science and in later years, Chartered Scientist status.

For 24 years, Janice managed the Cytology Service for East and North Herts NHS Trust, based at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Welwyn Garden City. [Cytology is the study of cells, a branch of Pathology.] The principle function of the service was the diagnosis of cancer and other diseases. A large proportion of the work involved the management of the NHS Cervical Screening Programme, a very demanding but greatly rewarding job.

Janice was a carer for her mother, who suffered from COPD, for several years and is now a carer for her partner, who has Parkinson's Disease.

Janice became a volunteer on the management team of, what was then, Crossroads Care Attendant Scheme in Hertsmere in 1993, taking on the role of secretary. Crossroads grew and evolved over subsequent years and became one of the main providers of care for carers, including providing domiciliary care for those with care needs.

Janice became Chair of the Board of Trustees of Crossroads Care Hertfordshire South (CCHS) and worked with other Board members in tailoring the provision of high quality care for carers in response to the needs of the local area and to changes in government policy.

An exciting and forward-looking development for CCHS is the partnership with Carers in Hertfordshire, leading to a merger of the two charities creating one large organisation, with a bigger voice for carers and a greater ability to reach out, support and help more people with caring responsibilities.

Janice's hobbies include reading, learning to paint with watercolour, Watford Football Club and an interest in antiques, particularly of the Georgian period.

Janice was elected as a full member of the Board at the 2016 AGM having been a co-opted member since August 2016.

Janice says: “Caring for a loved one is very demanding, it is hard work and can take its toll on the health and wellbeing of the carer. It is important for carers to have time for themselves, to do whatever helps them to relax, to relieve stress and to feel good about themselves. My role with CCHS has been extremely rewarding, not only in the knowledge gained but in knowing that, as an organisation, we have enabled carers to take time for themselves, and supported them in the selfless role of caring. I am really excited about becoming a Trustee and working to extend my knowledge and experience and to help improve the lives of carers throughout our county.”