Our Mentors

Our Mentors

The strength of Charity Mentors Berkshire is in our mentors

Our mentors are interesting and experienced people who we think you would like to meet!

We go to great lengths to select individuals who have run organisations and who have been responsible for growing them: someone who understands the voluntary sector and has a business head and the ability to let you dig deep into your own resources so that you can come up with the best decisions for your organisation.

Their primary motivation is to support you in your decision making. We have regular meetings with all our mentors so that we can be confident that we are providing a service that is relevant and tailored to the needs of our mentees.

Meet our mentors

Chris Barrett DL

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.

Chris Dodson OBE, DL, AFIChemE, FloD

Chris Dodson is a mechanical engineer with some 40 years’ experience in industry, particularly in heavy energy consuming and renewable energy related industries.

Today, hundreds of industrial plants employ his many inventions and techniques to carry out a wide variety of commercial processes. He has particular expertise in the construction, negotiation and management of licence and technology agreements internationally.

Through executive and non-executive positions in a range of SMEs from games software to robotics, Chris has also provided his real ‘hands on’ international business experience to those establishing and growing new businesses and technologies. He has worked extensively in Europe, North America, India, Australasia and South Africa.

Chris was the Chair of Trustees of the Berkshire Community Foundation that distributes more than £3m each year to local Berkshire good causes and organisations.

Tom Conlin

Following a successful 30 year career as a domestic and international banker, Tom spent two years as a Business Advisor/Company Doctor to large and small businesses in the Thames Valley region before moving into the voluntary sector, where he has spent most of the last 20 years working in a variety of voluntary and paid roles.

These roles included interim Chief Executive periods with Age Concern, a year as an Assistant Inspector with The Care Quality Commission, a year as Operations Manager of the Slough Foyer project, two years as Head of Operation in South East England for The Prince’s Trust and more recently as Chief Executive of Berkshire County Blind Society (Berkshire Vision) from 2008 to 2018. Between 2018 and 2020 Tom worked part-time with Slough Council for Voluntary Service, managing the charity’s Wellbeing Prescribing and Carers Support programmes

Tom also spent 18 years organising and participating in humanitarian aid convoys to Eastern Europe (Belarus/Romania) and The Balkans (Bosnia/Kosovo), working in close liaison with UNHCR and NATO/KFOR military forces. . Tom has been an active member of Rotary International since 1987 and in 2000 he was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship, the highest award in Rotary International, for services to the local community and to international humanitarian causes. He is currently President of the Rotary Club of Slough”

Paul Dick JP, OBE, 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.

Paul is an active Senior Berks & Bucks County Football referee.

Dr Charlotte Wilson

An experienced and dedicated senior leader in education with experience in both the Primary and Secondary sectors.  Charlotte has an interest in Humanities Education, SEND Education and student resilience and believes passionately in providing equality of opportunity for all students supporting them to be the very best they can be.

She is also a Member of Ofsted Inspector Reference Group – South East inspecting in both the primary and secondary sectors.

Since 2008 Charlotte has been the Executive Headteacher and CEO of Newbury Academy Trust

She has led Trinity School through two consecutively ‘Good’ Ofsted Inspections following the school being in the National Challenge Programme; securing results at GCSE and A Level that are in the top 20% of schools for progress.

Prior to this she held the position of Head of Humanities at Bradon Forest Community School (2001 – 2004}; Head of Geography at Henry Beaufort School, Winchester (1999 – 2001) and Teacher of Geography at Brighton Hill Community School, Basingstoke (1996 – 1998).

Charlotte holds an Doctorate in Education and a Master’s degree in Geographical Education,

in addition to a Professional Qualification for School inspectors.

She is the Headteacher Representative of the West Berkshire Schools Forum and

Headteachers Funding Group.

Charlotte is a trustee of Prior’s Court Foundation, Chair of Newbury District PSFA and a Trustee for Berkshire Maestros.

Gregory Wilkinson

Greg was born and raised in East Yorkshire where he stayed until 1971 before moving to London to complete his Psychology Degree and he then joined the Metropolitan Police. He transferred to West Yorkshire Police in 1987 where he was Assistant Chief Constable from 1993 until his retirement in 2004. During his policing career he enjoyed various secondments to Police Training and was National Director of Professional Development from 1999 to 2001. His command roles included leading the partnership development between the police and various local authorities and other agencies. West Yorkshire Police was an organisation of 6,500 people with a budget exceeding £400 million.

On retirement from the police in 2004 he moved to Reading, remarried, and joined his wife, Sue, in their Executive Coaching Business, High Five Ltd. A qualified Executive Coach he travelled the country for 5 years helping the development of senior managers both individually and as team members. Greg closed the business in 2009 following Sue’s death. From 2005 to 2007 Greg was a member of the Independent Transparency Panel for Nirex (National Nuclear Waste Disposal) and from 2008 to 2012 was a Selection Panel Chair with the Judicial Appointments Commission. Since 2001 he had been involved with the Institute of Directors having been the first public sector ‘director’ to qualify as a Chartered Director.

From 2004 to 2015 he undertook Peer Assessments for those seeking Chartered Director status and was an examiner for the Diploma in Company Direction. In 2009 he became a ‘Befriender Volunteer’ at The Duchess of Kent Hospice and in 2011 became a trustee of Reading Crossroads. In this latter capacity he played a lead role in the programme of change that lead to the merger of Reading Crossroads with other companies.

In 2016 he became a trustee of Berkshire Vision (previously Berkshire County Blind Society) and took over a Chair of the Trustees in November 2016. He has been a key player in the transformation of Berkshire Vision over recent years. In 2018 he became a trustee of The Rivertime Boat Trust and took the lead in forming a Charitable Incorporated Organisation for Accessible Boating Thames and became Chair of the Trustees of this new charity which seeks to provide access to various forms of boating for people with a range of disabilities.

Greg’s other passion, since 2008, has been Rotary International (Rotary Club of Reading Matins) which he has served as District Secretary for the Thames Valley District from 2009 to 2014 and as the Assistant Governor for the Reading Area from 2014 to the 2019. He was the District Training Officer within the Thames Valley from 2013 to 2016 and has helped with National Rotary training in a variety of ways. He is now club treasurer.