Lisa O’Brien, Chairperson
Mother of Jon, has been involved with the Society since Jon joined what was then called ‘Junior Gateway’ in 1990. She joined the trustees in 2005 and held the post of Chair until work commitments forced her to step down in 2008. She rejoined the trustees in 2013 and has been Chair since 2014.
“ I believe that our Society is like an extended family. We benefit from each other’s company and need us all to pull together to develop even more facilities and opportunities for our members both now and in the future”
“As we grow and take on new challenges, my business background will, I hope, help. I spent 20 years in the sphere of retailing and operations management. I then moved to teaching and management at UWE. In between, I raised Jon and his sister Susie, living in Keynsham for what is now 30 years.”
Kath Dawson, Deputy Chairperson
“I’m a mum to my now very grown up son and step mum to two almost grown up boys. I’ve lived in Keynsham and Brislington and I’ve been a volunteer with Mencap since the end of 2015. Early in 2018 I became a Trustee because I could see that my professional skills as a Digital Marketer could be leveraged to help support this charity that I have come to love with all my heart.
I had no experience of learning disabilities before I became involved. I was looking for an opportunity to do something useful after the kids grew up and I’d seen a friend posting photos of Mencap holidays on Facebook. It looked like great fun so I got in touch and was asked to help with Club25. I’ve never looked back.
Being a Trustee, and now Deputy Chair, is a responsibility and commitment that I relish because I can see the fantastic work that everyone involved does. From 16 year old volunteers running cake bakes to trustees with decades under their belt. It’s a real community and I feel privileged to be involved and able to put smiles on the faces of members, help build their confidence and facilitate opportunities.”
Paul Roberts, Trustee
“My son has been a member of Keynsham Mencap for over twenty five years, around this time I became a committee member, later becoming a Trustee. I still find it so rewarding to see its members having great fun enjoying its many activities and clubs.”
Russ Pocock, Treasurer
“I brought up my family in Keynsham, and I retired from business as a director/senior manager in 2012, and in 2013 was talked into taking on the role of Treasurer at Keynsham Mencap. This was a step I have never regretted; working with great staff and fellow trustees.”
Sue Jeffery, Trustee
“I have been involved with the Keynsham Mencap society for more years than I care to remember. The society has always been a part of my family and I draw strength from knowing I always have a listening ear and knowledgeable information if I need it.”
Kit Kettel, Trustee
“Currently CEO and owner of Toplink Envelopes Ltd and JM & MEC Property Partnership. Following 30 years of being MD of Keynsham Mencap Family Home I became a trustee of The Keynsham Mencap Society in 2016. I look forward to working with the team to achieve the goal of attaining their own premises.”
Niall Tomlins, Trustee
“I have been involved with local Mencap groups since 2005 and the majority of that time I have been volunteering at the 18+ group at Keynsham and District Mencap Society. With previous experience of serving on the Management Committee I was appointed a trustee in February 2018 and my role on the committee combined with my practical volunteering experience provides me with a holistic view of the organisation which is so important for providing the excellent services and support that our members deserve. In addition to my work with Keynsham Mencap I am a full time Civil Servant with 27 years of experience in public service. I am committed to doing the best for our members, providing them with encouragement, opportunities and an inclusive setting in which they can confidently express themselves while participating in a range of enjoyable activities, develop their social and independent living skills and most importantly have fun!”
Charley Davis, Trustee
I became a trustee as I believe it’s important for the younger members to be represented. My son has been a member since he was 5 and he’s now 10 and club is a highlight of his week. However my son isn’t my only experience of disabilities, I have 3 siblings who are also members and have been for many years and I know what Keynsham Mencap means to them.
I hope that my experience of different disabilities ranging from very medically complex to challenging behaviour from both a parental and sibling point of view will be a helpful insight to the rest of the trustees and that I can gain knowledge and learn from those that have been in the role for years.