We are currently seeking three new trustees to join our board. 

To find out more about these roles and how to apply, please read our advertisement.

The people who have the most responsibility for how Royal Mencap Society is run are our trustee board. 

The trustee board is made up of the chair of Royal Mencap Society and up to 13 trustees.

Trustees are appointed for a 4 year term and can serve 2 terms in total. 

The board of trustees holds a range of reserved matters and gives certain authority to our executive team in order to run Royal Mencap Society efficiently. 

At Mencap, at least half of our trustees have a lot of experience of learning disabilities because of personal, voluntary or professional experiences. At least one trustee must be a person with a learning disability .

Trustees have a range of skills and experience in areas including finance, international business, local authority sector, education , IT small and medium business support, strategic planning, risk management, HR, campaigning, strategic communications, fundraising and marketing.

Meet our trustees

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn – chair

Appointed as Chair in 2022, from 2015 to 2020, Dame Carolyn was Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the UK’s largest business organisation , where she represented business on issues ranging from the UK’s trading relationship with the EU and sustainability to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

She has also been a Trustee of Marie Curie Cancer; a member of the Executive Board at ITV; BBC Director of Strategy where she led the BBC’s digital strategy . Before that, she was at McKinsey, where she was a partner and leader of its UK media practice. Dame Carolyn has also worked in the Number 10 Policy unit, where she oversaw health and social services policy, and is currently a Non-Executive Director of HSBC.

Carolyn Fairbairn

David Wolverson

David was appointed as a trustee in July 2016. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing, He has worked in senior positions in the Social Care and Housing sectors for over 40 years, including over 10 years as Chief Executive of Dimensions, a major provider of services to people with learning disabilities and autism . In 2014 he was appointed chair of Connect Housing Association, which operates in West Yorkshire.

He is chair of the Delivery and Strategic Impact Committee.

Photograph of a man, David Wolverson, showing his head and shoulders standing outside a building

Yogi Amin

Yogi was appointed as a trustee in November 2018. He is a senior partner at Irwin Mitchell and a legal specialist in the areas of human rights law , community care law and mental capacity law. He was a Trustee of the Independent Living Fund for over eight years.

Photograph of a man, Yogi Amin, seated and smiling

Lucy Edge

Lucy was appointed as a trustee in November 2018. Her background is in satellite technology. She is Chief Operating Officer and Director of the Satellite Applications Catapult, one of a network of Catapults backed by the Government to remove barriers to innovation. She has held a number of board roles and is currently a non-Executive Director of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Project.

Photograph of a woman, Lucy Edge, seated and smiling

Jackie Pollock

Jackie was appointed as a trustee in November 2018. She is a technical lead for a software company which supports Hospital Trusts through digital transformation. She is Chair of Carrickfergus Gateway Club, where she has been a volunteer for over 20 years. She is also a trustee for a local charity, CAUSE NI, which supports the carers of people with mental health problems.

She is the chair of the People and Culture Committee.

Photograph of a woman, Jackie Pollock showing head and shoulders and smiling

Phil Hughes

Phil is an accountant by training having qualified with Grant Thornton in Oxford. He then moved into industry and undertook a variety of roles culminating in being the Global CFO for Castrol, the lubricants company.  Since leaving Castrol he has  undertaken various Executive and Non Executive roles in Not For Profit organisations; including acting as Interim Finance Director for the British Red Cross and has also completed six years as trustee for Young Epilepsy based in Surrey.

He is chair of the Audit, Finance and Risk Committee.

Photograph of a man, Phil Hughes, seated and smiling

Catherine McDermott 

Catherine is  a Board level business leader with an engineering mind-set and a track record of accelerating performance through transformation in a diverse range of businesses. She has worked in healthcare and technology for the last ten years and is currently CEO of Reframe which supports people who have been diagnosed with cancer. Prior to that she was on the board of McKesson UK and previously ran UK operations for Amazon. She spent the first part of her career in supply chain in retail and manufacturing businesses.

Photograph of a woman, Catherine McDermott, standing and smiling

Sohail Qadri

Sohail has undertaken a number of senior executive, advisory and board roles in major telecommunications and technology companies across the world. He has had leadership roles in key telecommunications companies undergoing major strategic change and has lead in creating customer oriented organisations and brands, development of corporate strategies, execution of commercial plans, M&A, performance and productivity management, execution of new digital services, and culture change initiatives. 

Photograph of a man, Sohail Qadri, standing and smiling

Kathryn Rees

Kathryn has experience of leadership in Local Government through several roles in Stockport and Wigan Council and is passionate about improving the lives of people and communities.

She joined Stockport Council as the Director for Strategy and Commissioning in 2020 where she has responsibility for policy, partnerships, community development and workforce. 

She previously worked for 8 years in Wigan Council, where she played an integral in the design and delivery of the Wigan Deal which transformed the way the council worked with communities. 

Photograph of a woman, Kathryn Rees, sitting on a sofa smiling

Neil Hoskin

Neil was appointed as a trustee in October 2023. He is the Deputy Liaison Officer for Hertsmere Mencap. He is also their Transport Organiser, helping to arrange volunteer drivers to drive members to their clubs and to their homes. He assists the drivers as minibus escort. Neil has been with Hertsmere Mencap since 1998.

He is an Expert by Experience in the Integrated Accommodation Commissioning Team within Hertfordshire County Council. His role is to make Easy Read information for people with learning disabilities. He has done this for over sixteen years. 

Neil Hoskin - Mencap Trustee

More information about being a trustee

The Advocacy Project in partnership with NCVO have produced downloadable resources about being a trustee:

For further information please contact Governance manager , Sarah Anstey by email to: Sarah.Anstey@mencap.org.uk.

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Three people sitting next to each other at a long desk in a meeting

The Voices Council

The Voices Council  advise and guide Mencap on their priorities and decisions by sharing their views with the board of trustees at every trustees meeting.

Find out more about who they are, what they do and what they're working on at the moment.

Learn about the Voices Council

Mencap's president: Lord Rix

Mencap's president was Lord Rix. Brian Rix entered the field of learning disability in December 1951 when his first child, Shelley, was born with Down's syndrome.

He first used his fame as one of the nation's best-loved comedy actors to raise money for Mencap, and was awarded a CBE in 1977 for his fundraising efforts. He continued to fundraise and campaign on behalf of people with a learning disability and their families. From 1980 to 1988 he was secretary general of Mencap, becoming chairman in 1988 and then president 10 years later.

Brian Rix was awarded a knighthood in 1986 and became a life peer in 1992. He was a tireless force in the House of Lords, using this position to influence critical legislation, ensuring the interests of people with a learning disability are represented.

Lord Rix sadly died on 20 August 2016. Read our full tribute to his life and work.

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