Our Board of Trustees bring a wealth of personal and professional experience to their role in supporting our Executive Management Team to run our charity effectively. They use their expertise to help us shape our strategic direction and to seek assurance about the quality and impact of everything we do.
This unique mix of skills which includes experience of: disability, fundraising, marketing, legal, financial and audit, help us to deliver a highly diverse range of life-changing services and support.
In order to ensure that decisions taken at a strategic level reflect the views and preferences of the people who use our services, a key role of our trustees is talking with people we support and finding out what they think about their services and what they want for the future.
Bonnie Dean, our chair of trustees, talks about why she was drawn towards volunteering her time with Brandon.
"The sector is going through a challenging period right now and I really wanted to make a contribution and I thought if I brought my business background into the mix of the Board of Trustees that I could do just that.
"As I did my research on Brandon Trust and the sector, I realised how just how outstanding Brandon Trust was".
And her experience of being part of the Trust:
"One of the things that really strikes me every time that I go either into the headquarters or one of our services is how caring we are as an organisation and particularly in our homes… it's just palpable… and that's something that really fills me with pride."
We're currently looking for dynamic individuals to join our Board of Trustees to help us meet the current challenges facing the sector, and ensure that we remain a strong, vibrant organisation chosen by people with learning disabilities and autism for the innovative services we offer.
If you feel that you have the skills and personal attributes to really make a difference, we'd love to hear from you. For more details and how you can apply, please visit the page Become a trustee.
Bonnie was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2010 and became chair the following year. Bonnie is passionate about ensuring that Brandon Trust is able to positively influence decision-making at a policy/national level and shape learning disability service and funding models for the future.
She also cares deeply about the quality of our services and being part of an organisation that recognises and rewards the exceptional work of our staff. Having a background in the engineering sector, Bonnie is also really excited by the potential of technology to help people with learning disabilities overcome some of the challenges that they face in their daily lives.
John Adams OBE, Chair of Audit Committee
John joined the Board of Trustees in 2014, and was appointed chair of the Audit Committee in August 2016.
John has worked extensively in the field of adult social care, charity, and community services throughout his career, and in 2011 was awarded an OBE for his outstanding contribution. He's motivated by a strong desire to challenge inequality and improve support for people with disabilities, their families and carers, and to make a positive contribution to community life. Not content to rest on his laurels in retirement, John joined Brandon Trust to continue championing the causes close to his heart.
Bringing extensive leadership experience to the Board, John firmly believes that the Board and Executive have a shared responsibility to listen and respond to the views of the people we support, ensure sustainability, and assure quality.
Sam Whatley – Chair of Governance & Nominations Committee, Member of the Fundraising, Communications & Marketing Committee
Sam was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2009. Having played a key role in the Audit Committee for many years, Sam is a member of the Fundraising, Communications & Marketing Committee and has recently been appointed Chair of Governance & Nominations Committee. Sam has close personal experience of how profoundly people with disabilities are excluded from opportunities that we all take for granted. He increasingly believes that the key to addressing this imbalance and ensuring equality of opportunity lies in our communities.
Coming from a background in financial consultancy in the private sector, Sam loves to grapple with difficult issues. He strongly believes that the Board has a responsibility to lead by example, finding creative ways to overcome challenges facing the social care sector thereby enabling people to live enriching lives.
Gerald Davies - Member of Audit Committee
Gerald has served on the Brandon Trust Board since 2012 and has been both an active member and chair of the Audit Committee. Gerald has a longstanding interest in economic and social equality which culminated in gaining a masters degree in finance and development at SOAS, University of London. Gerald was drawn to Brandon Trust because of the innovative ways that we are supporting people, and was keen to put his newly acquired knowledge into practice. Through his involvement with Brandon Trust, Gerald’s interest has deepened as he has gained greater awareness of the day-to-day challenges faced by people with learning disabilities.
With a career background in financial services including 10 years as a managing director at Deutsche Bank, Gerald brings a wealth of experience to support the effective management of our resources, and to scrutinise the quality of our systems and services.
Heather Sandilands – Chair of the HR & Remuneration Committee, Fundraising, Communications & Marketing Committee and Members' Board
Heather joined the Board of Trustees in December 2015, and has fully embraced her first role as a trustee by chairing the HR & Remuneration Committee, and actively participating in the Fundraising, Communications & Marketing Committee, and Members' Board. Heather cares very deeply about people realising their potential, helping people to develop skills and confidence through volunteering as a mentor for young people and as a sports coach for adults with learning disabilities and autism.
With a background in sales in the pharmaceutical industry, Heather understands the importance of robust governance control and accountability, which are equally pertinent to our sector. Having extensive experience of people management, she recognises the relationship between staff motivation and service quality, and is committed to ensuring a positive experience for those working for or receiving services from Brandon Trust.
Chris Mahood – Member of the Audit Committee, HR & Remuneration Committee, Members' Board
Chris was elected to the Board of Trustees in December 2015 and has recently joined the Audit Committee and is a member of the Remuneration Committee, and Members' Board. Chris was drawn to Brandon Trust by our empowering and respectful Live Free ethos and the tangible difference that we make in the lives of people we support.
Since joining us, Chris has been inspired by the innovative ways that we are responding to current pressures in the social care sector and the skills and passion of our staff and volunteers.
With a background in public sector law, Chris hopes that he can bring his experience and analytical approach to help Brandon Trust effectively identify and manage the risks we face in our sector.
Martin Mohan – Member of the Fundraising, Communications & Marketing Committee, Governance & Nominations Committee, Members' Board
Martin joined the Board of Trustees in early 2016 and is a member of the newly formed Governance & Nominations Committee and is a member of the Fundraising, Communications & Marketing Committee, and Members' Board.
Having a son with learning disabilities, Martin is extremely passionate about supporting people to overcome the barriers they face and access the same opportunities as everyone else. Martin is a fervent champion of the unique and valuable contribution that people with learning disabilities can make to their communities and to the organisation. Martin also takes part in regular meetings between trustees and people supported by Brandon Trust to ensure that their voice is heard at a strategic level.
With a career in business and technology and his personal experience of learning disability, Martin brings a unique blend of skills and passion to support the implementation of our new strategy, which has technology and meaningful community connections at its heart.