Find out more about Jan Tregelles, chief executive of Mencap, and her senior team.
Jan Tregelles - chief executive
My association with Mencap began during my time with New Era Housing Association, developing community based housing for people with a learning disability - many of whom are still supported by Mencap today. It wasn't until 1996 that I actually began working for Mencap, setting up Golden Lane Housing to create secure improved housing options and solutions. Golden Lane Housing is successful because it's based on identifying and securing the right housing and support package to enable people to live in their own home.
After the success of this project, moving into the role of director of Personal support was a very natural and welcome progression for me. For 12 years I was truly privileged to lead, work alongside and learn from talented and committed teams who are transforming people’s lives often under the most difficult circumstances.
My exposure to the range of families and carers has helped me to gain a practical insight into both the joys and challenges that families live with everyday, so I am especially proud now to be leading Mencap as the CEO in placing families at the centre of our work.
Oonagh Smyth, director of governance and strategy
Oonagh joined Mencap in 2012 as head of governance and planning, but her interest in learning disability issues started when she was 17 and volunteering at one of Mencap’s Gateway Clubs in Belfast while sitting her A Levels. She joined Mencap from the National Council for Voluntary Action, where she was a senior consultant in governance and leadership. She has also held positions at the Equality Commission and Westminster Equality Partnership.
Eileen Downey – director of quality
Eileen began her career in local authority services as a support worker in residential care for vulnerable children and young people – a position she describes as the hardest job she has had. Prior to joining Mencap in 1995, Eileen worked as an operational manager at Macintyre Care. She says her time at Mencap has allowed her to work alongside and be involved in the lives of great people.
Angela Buxton – director of human resources
After graduating from the University of East Anglia, where she studied American and English literature, Angela went on to lead a varied career which has included managing a Havana cigar store and teaching English to Italian students. Her managerial skills led her to becoming an Ofsted personnel advisor, before she joined Mencap in 2007. Angela describes her life at Mencap as very busy and that she’s very proud of the work the charity does.
Phil Barrow - director of services
Phil began his career in social care in the 1970s as a volunteer working with homeless people and later became a social worker in London. He has previously worked for Birmingham City Council supporting people with complex behaviour, before joining Mencap in 1987. Phil began his career at Mencap as an area development manager, and held the position of national quality assurance manager before becoming director of services in 2013. He says he is extremely proud of Mencap’s work improving the lives of people with a learning disability.
Kate McLeod - director of finance
Kate joined Mencap in 2009 after spending many years working for a range of American investment management houses and banks as a financial controller and chief Financial officer. She started her career at Mencap in 2013 as the finance director for personal support, and was made chief financial officer later that year. Kate enjoys running to relax, and will be competing in the 2014 London Marathon to raise money for Mencap.
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