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 A learning disability is to do with the way someone's brain works. It makes it harder for someone to learn, understand or do things. .
Trustees have a range of skills and experience in areas including finance, international business, local authority A local authority is also called a council A council is also called a local authority. They are a group of people who make decisions about some of the things in the area where you live. These include: schools, social care Social care means the services that give care and support to people who need it. (support for people), parks and dustbin collection. . They are a group of people who make decisions about some of the things in the area where you live like schools, social care (support for people), parks and dustbin collection. sector, education Education is when you learn things. When you fill in a form to get a job, education means you write where you went to school, college or university. , 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 An organisation are a group of people who work together. , where she represented business on issues ranging from the UK’s trading relationship with the EU and sustainability to diversity Diversity means people from all different cultures and backgrounds. 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 A strategy is a plan to show what an organisation, or a person, wants to do and how they are going to do it. where she led the BBC’s digital strategy A strategy is a plan to show what an organisation, or a person, wants to do and how they are going to do it. . 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.
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 Autism is a disability. Autistic people find it difficult to understand what other people think and feel. They also find it difficult to tell people what they think and feel. Everyone with autism is different. . 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.
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 Human rights Rights are the things everyone should be allowed to do like have a say, or go to school. are the rights that everyone has. These include the right to go to school and the right to start a family. law Laws are the rules that everyone in the country has to follow. If you don't follow the rules you can get in trouble with the police. , community A community is the people and places in an area. care law and mental capacity Mental capacity means being able to make a decision when it needs to be made. law. He was a Trustee of the Independent Living Fund for over eight years.
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 The Government are the people who run the country. The Government decide how much tax people should pay and how things like the National Health Service (NHS) should work. 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.
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 A volunteer is someone who helps out by doing work for free. 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.
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.
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.
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 A customer is a person who buys something or uses a service. 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.
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.
Find out more
Would you like to become a trustee?
Find out more using these PDFs (produced by The Advocacy Advocacy is when you get support to have your say. Project in partnership with NCVO):
Contact Governance manager A manager is a boss at work. They tell you what you need to do and give you support if you need it. , Sarah Anstey Sarah.Anstey@mencap.org.uk for more information.
The Voices Council
The Voices Council The Mencap Voices Council are a group of 12 people with a learning disability. They share their views and experiences to help Mencap's Board of Trustees make decisions. 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.
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 Down's syndrome is a type of disability. People who have Down's syndrome may find it hard to learn new things and may need support. People with Down's syndrome may have more problems with their health too. .
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. You can read our full tribute to his life and work here.