Our vision is for a resilient voluntary sector in Berkshire led by confident leaders with clear strategic purpose
How Charity Mentors works
All our mentors have had experience of running and growing a business in the private or public sector. When charity leaders ask for our support in working through an issue relating to the long-term direction of their organisation, we match them with one of these mentors.
The mentor works with the charity leader for 4 to 5 months, helping them to clarify what their options are, explore the best way forward and plan for the future.
It is a free service.
Does it work?
After every project we collect feedback so that we can learn and improve. Our ex-mentees are our best advocates. In short, outcomes include: better clarity and focus; increased confidence; more effective working relationships with trustees, colleagues and volunteers; and, more generally, a chance for those in-charge of running the charity to bring their heads above water and think about the future. These benefits feed into better targeted and more effective fundraising, better management and delivery of services and more focused and confident management.
Who makes it work?
Our fantastic mentors give their time voluntarily to mentor charity leaders and you can find out more about them here. Our engaged Board of Trustees and Patron ensure that we are ready for the future and you can read more about them below. Our Co-ordinator matches mentors with mentees and provides the top quality service that Charity Mentors is becoming known for.
Vision and mission
Charity Mentor’s vision is for a resilient voluntary sector in Berkshire led by confident leaders with clear strategic purpose
To provide leaders of the voluntary sector in Berkshire with effective mentoring and support to facilitate strategic thinking and skilful leadership
- Strive for continuous improvement in service quality and impact.
- Gain enough understanding of market potential to make us confident that we are aware of all voluntary organizations in Berkshire who might benefit from a mentor.
- Position Charity Mentors Berkshire so that all organizations in Berkshire who might benefit from a mentor understand our offering.
- Continue to closely collaborate with the leaders of Berkshire’s voluntary organisations.
 This strategic aim includes the necessity for Charity Mentors Berkshire to pursue an agenda of inclusion and diversity within the mentor body and to open our networks to the many different community groups within Berkshire.
Our mentors are all volunteers and we work hard to keep expenses to a minimum.
Our Patron is James Puxley, HM Lord Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire.
Chris Barrett DL
Chair of Trustees
Chris has spent his entire professional career working in the Advertising and Marketing sector. His early career was spent in leading international advertising agencies latterly as a creative director. In 1977 he co-founded his own agency, Barrett Howe that became a leading UK Business-to-Business and Brand development Agency and the UK representative of Independent Marketing & Advertising Group Europe (IMAGE).
In 2013 he founded Rapport Marketing, a Brand and Marketing Consultancy that advises organisations on the development of Strategic marketing communications; Brand Creation and Development; and Public and Press relations.
In 2001 Chris was part of a small group of business people who came together to form ‘Slough Business Community Partnership’ and was its Vice Chairman from 2007 – 2012.
In 2007 he became a trustee of ‘Berkshire Community Foundation’ and was elected Chair of Trustees in 2010, a post he held for five years. He is currently Chair of trustees at Prior’s Court Foundation; Chair of trustees of the Rivertime Boat Trust and a trustee of Thames Valley Adventure Playground.
In January 2018 he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of The Royal County of Berkshire.
Lady Catherine Stevenson DL
From 1964 – 1970 Catherine worked as a research scientist at the Meteorological Office, Bracknell before resigning to raise her family.
At various times between 1985 and 2010 she was:
- first a Trustee and then Chair of Trustees of the Durning Library, Ascot
- member of the Fundraising Committee for St Hilda’s College, Oxford
- member of the Fundraising Committee for the East Wing Project of the National Gallery, London
- member of the Committee of the Friends of the Savill Garden, organising the guided tours of the garden and acting as a guide.
From 2005 she and her husband have opened their garden under the National Garden Scheme.
From 2010 – 2011 she was the High Sheriff of the Royal County of Berkshire
In 2011 she organised the inaugural Charity Symposium for the charities of Berkshire, since when she has chaired the Annual Symposium.
In 2011 she was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Berkshire.
Between 2012 – 2018 she was a trustee of the Berkshire Community Foundation and is now a Vice President.
Catherine is an active Patron of various Berkshire charities.
Paul Dick OBE, JP,DL
Educated in Northern Ireland Paul took a degree in Classics at Exeter University followed by a PGCE. He began teaching Classics and Mathematics in Wokingham (1977 – 1984). From 1984 to 1988, he was Deputy Head at Northwood School in Hillingdon and was appointed Head at Kennet School in January 1989. Kennet School has almost doubled in size over time and has enjoyed high Ofsted ratings. It is currently ‘Outstanding’ (May 2016).
Whilst at Kennet Paul led a number of other schools, that were in special measures and other difficulties, to strong position. These included four local primary schools and a local secondary school. He was on the board of the forerunner of QCA and has contributed to a range of local and national developments.
He was the Chief Executive of the Kennet School Academies Trust which runs Kennet School (Ofsted grade 1) and Whitelands Park Primary School, recently sponsored and taken from grade 4 to grade 2. He left in December 2018, and is currently chair of governors in a local academy.
Paul was appointed an NLE in 2009. He was awarded an OBE in 1999 for services to education and won the Leadership Teaching Award in 2000 for the best leader in the South of England. He was appointed a DL in 2010 and has been a serving magistrate since 1993.
Catherine Mcleod MBE
Catherine has spent her whole career working towards equity for people with disabilities, and is passionate about inclusion wherever it is possible. In 2005 she founded the charity ECSAT in Sri Lanka that supports children and young people with disabilities across the south west of the island, building inclusion and alternatives to institutionalisation. She was awarded an MBE in 2011 in recognition of her work with vulnerable children, and the Order of Malta Medal for tsunami response and recovery work.
During this period she also worked as a visiting lecturer at the University of Kelaniya on Disability Studies, worked for VSO as a social inclusion consultant, and ran a national volunteer programme for Challenges Worldwide, coordinating placements for business volunteers from Scotland.
On her return to the UK in 2011, she trained in project management and lead Basingstoke Mencap before securing her role as CEO of Dingley’s Promise where she has been since 2015. Catherine has driven the growth and development of the charity, doubling its income and moving it from a local charity to a national voice for children with SEND in the early years.
Catherine has a Level 7 in Leadership and Management, and has acted as a mentor for the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO). She is a Trustee of the British Sri Lankan Association, the Chair of the Reading SEND Strategy Board, and represents Dingley’s Promise on the All Party Parliamentary Group for Childcare and Early Education.
Ramesh Kukar is Chief Executive Officer of Slough CVS that delivers support to local charities, community groups and volunteers. He is engaged and involved in every aspect of the town, seeing at first hand the incredible contribution that the Slough community – both businesses and residents – make giving their time and money to improve the lives of others.
Starting life as an accountant, he has worked in economic development, social enterprises and as an advisor and business trainer in Business Link.
His passion and challenge is to create collaboration between public sector, third sector and private sector for social innovation.
Area of interest: Empowering Communities.