The Directors of the company are also Charity Trustees for the purposes of Charity Law and, under the company’s articles, are known as members of the Board of Trustees.
Paul has been a Trustee since 2016. He is a qualified engineer and his background in the private sector brings diverse business skills and perspectives to the work of the Board and the Finance and Audit Committee. Following a successful career in sales and marketing, Paul developed a keen interest in the commercial use of computer systems and specialised as a consultant in Business Management and Information Technology. Since retiring Paul has been an enthusiastic contributor to the work of Independent Advocacy and development of the Charity’s use of Information Technology. He is passionate about the role the charitable sector has in enriching communities and working in partnership with other sectors. In addition to his voluntary work as a Trustee, he is also a business mentor with the Princes Trust, a Parish Councillor and a volunteer helping older people in his local community to attend medical appointments.
I am a Chartered Civil Engineer and Chartered Arbitrator. I have my own business providing advice to businesses in the construction industry, specialising in dispute avoidance and resolution. My work often reminds me that people can feel overwhelmed when facing difficulty, and that it is sometimes not enough to merely provide advice and assistance, one must also recognise the way in which that difficulty may impact the individual. This is even more important outside of business, and is one of the reasons why I was delighted to be asked to be a Trustee for Independent Advocacy in 2016. The work undertaken by the charity is priceless and essential, and the people who deliver the support, assistance, and guidance needed by its users are very special individuals. I am proud to be associated with them, and to be able to contribute to the fine work that they do.
Having graduated with a degree in Economics, but with a desire to use the skills and experience gained while working for a number of voluntary organisations, I spent many years as a social care manager in London working in both the public and private sectors predominantly managing provider services for adults with physical and learning disabilities. These included day and employment opportunities, together with domiciliary and residential services. Having moved to Warwickshire whilst studying for a master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Birmingham, I continued to work in senior management roles with particular emphasis on business development, tendering and effective service delivery. I have always been committed to developing resources that both maximise people’s independence and ensure that each individual has a full and meaningful say in the delivery of services. Throughout the course of my career I endeavoured to facilitate this through the use of independent advocates, who were able to support people to be an active part of service development. I am now, in retirement, pleased to be able to support the invaluable work carried out by IA staff in empowering people to take, and maintain, control over their lives.
David works as a volunteer group coordinator for Solihull First Independent Advocacy . As well as facilitating the Advocacy Group, he is a volunteer group coordinator and chairman, for a community mental health support group called Pop-In Drop-In. David is currently volunteering his time to help with delivering our latest community project in Bedworth. David’s background is through lived experience. He has suffered with mental health issues since the age of 13, making a total of 38 years of experience. He has Bipolar Affective Disorder and this is exacerbated by Acute Anxiety Disorders. This experience has shaped him from a service user to a service provider. In the past, he has been a volunteer youth worker and a community Information, Communication and Technology support worker. This has led him to believe that communities are built by people, not bricks and mortar.