About us Meet the team Our trustees POhWER is governed by a board of trustees who are elected by our members. Read more about each person. Robert Wainwright - Chairman Robert Wainwright accepted our offer of becoming a POhWER Trustee in July 2018 and is now Chair of the Board of Trustees since April 2019. This gave him a period to familiarise himself with POhWER and participate in our strategic planning. Rob has a strong personal commitment to POhWER’s work and brings significant high level business acumen and experience of leading growth and turnarounds of a number of companies. He also brings strong strategic and networking skills and has board experience in social enterprise and as a governor of a school focused on empowering dyspraxic and dyslexic children. He has achieved significant fundraising for a national charity. The members approved Rob’s appointment as a trustee at the 2018 AGM. Geoff Gibbs - Deputy Chair Geoff was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2013 at the AGM. Since his appointment he has been POhWER’s Company Secretary and he was the lead trustee who, along with senior staff, co-ordinated POhWER’s Governance review in 2015. He was an Interim Chair of the Board of Trustees for a while and is now Deputy Chair. He is currently also Chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee. He is a qualified accountant and has worked for more than 40 years in the public, charity and not for profit sector. He is currently working four days a week as the Interim Chief Executive Officer for Moorfields Eye Charity having successfully project managed a merger between two Moorfields charities from 31st December 2015 that has resulted in a new, independent charity. Previously he was a Non-Executive Director and Deputy Chair of Quantum Care, an industrial and provident society organisation providing residential and dementia care across almost thirty homes in Hertfordshire, Essex and Bedfordshire. Before that he was a Board Member of the National Council of Voluntary Organisations representing the education. Richard Carter - Trustee Richard is a civil servant who has worked in the Department of Health, with two spells in the NHS, since 1986. He was also a carer and understands only too well the help that POhWER can give. His late mother had dementia and the experience of this impressed upon Richard how important it is that there is help for those who cannot navigate the health and care systems on their own. Waqas Chauhdry - Trustee Waqas was elected on to the board of trustees in 2015. Waqas is a Management Consultant with many years experience of working with equality, diversity and inclusion in Britain and internationally. He shares his practical know how and expertise in supporting business in the private and public sector to mainstream diversity with business strategy and to manage it as a key business objective. He has undertaken research, drafted guidance on diversity and inclusion and delivered training and consultancy projects to more than one hundred local, national and global organisations such as UNESCO, EHRC, BBC, CQC, GMC, NHS Trusts and various local and regional authorities. He comes with a wealth of board and committee level experience gained from various public and third sector roles in the last ten years. Waqas is blind and enjoys sports, politics and commenting on current affairs. Bridget Flint - Trustee Bridget lives in Hertfordshire and had polio as a child. For many years she ran her own business her clients consisting of blue chip companies who engaged her company to provide counselling and support to their employees who were experiencing personal problems which impacted on their performance at work. She has been the Vice Chair of the charity Opportunities for People with Disabilities as well as the Vice Chair of the British Polio Fellowship. She is currently a volunteer with Parkinson’s UK and trains staff in care home how to care for their residents with Parkinson’s as well as being appointed a member of their Nominations Committee, a subcommittee of the Board She was elected a Trustee of POhWER in November 2015 and is passionate about making a positive difference to people’s lives. Sundera Kumara-Moorthy - Trustee Kumar is passionate about fair and equal access to Health and Social Care for all who need it. Disabled himself, affected by polio when an infant, Kumar has first hand experience of inequality, discrimination and difficulties encountered daily by those living with disabilities. He is passionate about advocacy, giving voice to all service users ensuring they are heard and listened to by service providers and professionals. Graduate (BSc, Msc and MBA) of Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine London, Kumar’s working career spanned computing and communication industries where he held senior management and board positions in high technology business enterprises. He has applied his commercial nuance to volunteer and charitable sector. In particular Kumar has actively contributed to the review of POhWER's governance to assist the charity to develop flexible but robust management structures to enable it to remain competitive when responding to the challenges of austere economic climate. Kumar is a resident of Hertsmere. He has been a Trustee of POhWER since 2013 and other directorships he holds include Healthwatch Hertfordshire and Disability Watford. Sandra Harding - Trustee Sandra is a qualified and registered physiotherapist with more than thirty years’ experience in the public and private healthcare sector. Her experience of healthcare scenarios where an advocate could have had so much impact led her to apply to become a trustee. She has managed several clinical services, an independent hospital and more latterly the national physiotherapy service for BMI Healthcare which covered 58 sites and more than 750 staff. In this role she was recognised by board members, colleagues and peers as an “inspiring individual who is emotionally intelligent, listens and is able to relate to all.” In 2017 she resigned from her national physiotherapy role to start a physiotherapy advisory service supporting other clinicians. Together with her business partner she started on a mission to illustrate clinical service excellence in process delivery; the robustness of which can be evidenced against Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Health and Care Professions Council and Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulatory and professional standards. In 2018 the business was extended to support Care Homes evidencing compliance for CQC inspections. She is also a long serving primary school governor, a Winston Churchill Fellow, a foodie and has a menagerie at home thanks to her daughters! Jackie Kinsey - Trustee Jackie Kinsey has had over 30 years experience in Human Resources across a number of different organisations, industries and countries. The most recent organisation’s mission was to ‘advocate passionately for social and economic justice‘. This was key to her motivation to work there and Jackie feels POhWER's aims align well to her personal values. She has just formed her own business focusing on strategic HR consultancy and leadership development and coaching. In addition to running her own business Jackie is also co-Chair of a local Secondary School Parent Teachers Association. Jackie is passionate about all aspects of diversity and inclusivity and feels that being a trustee at POhWER would enable her to share these experiences and contribute to POhWER's future growth. She hopes to bring all her varied commercial experiences, strategic perspectives and enthusiasm, to help POhWER continue to evolve and provide such an important and increasingly in demand service to people. Lauren McGurk - Trustee Lauren McGurk was appointed to the Board of Trustees in November 2019. Lauren is an Associate Solicitor. She specialises in advising older and vulnerable people or families of older and vulnerable people. Lauren has a vast amount of experience in dealing with Court of Protection applications; assessing mental capacity; making wills and powers of attorney; local authority care funding and continuing healthcare funding and appeals. The main focus of Lauren’s work is to manage the affairs of individuals who have lost capacity to make decisions for themselves, for example due to dementia, injury or mental illness. In this scenario Lauren acts as decision maker for the client on both day to day decisions such as settling bills and arranging their shopping, and also more significant decision making such as selling their home and long term financial planning. Lauren is an accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly and an affiliate member of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners. Lauren is passionate about protecting the vulnerable, and is looking forward to starting her role on the Board. Genna Harwood-Armitage - Trustee Genna joins POhWER with over 16 years’ human resource experience, working across a multitude of industry sectors. She is a highly motivated and driven HR professional with a proven track record of delivering results. Commercially focused, Genna specialises in the creation and delivery of strategic Organisational Development programmes and Engagement, Reward and Recognition initiatives to drive highly motivated and performing teams. As Head of Reward and Recognition for the UKs largest Private Healthcare Organisation she brings with her a breath of knowledge, in particular how to develop a strong employer value proposition through building a business which has a strong sense of shared purpose and values with a culture of recognition and empowerment. Genna believes passionately about advocacy, empowerment and the important work POhWER undertakes within the community. Having experienced how dementia and disabilities impact daily life she was motivated to join POhWER to work within an organisation that provides much needed support in times of need and enables individual voices to be heard. Genna feels her skills, experience and passion for inclusion will enable her to positively contribute to the successful growth of POhWER, their employees and clients. Toby Cotton - Trustee Toby has a degree in History and Politics and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. In his professional career, Toby worked as Board member for finance and resources in a number of private businesses. Toby has a daughter with learning difficulties who gained NVQ’s in both Catering and Hospitality and also learned essential life skills at a specialised training academy. Since qualifying, she has moved into her own flat and now leads an independent and active life with the support of personal assistants funded by her local authority through direct payments. Toby understands the role self-esteem plays in supporting both physical and mental good health. Mitch Miller - Trustee Mitch has considerable business experience in the retail and social care sector. Over the past two years, Mitch has been the managing director of a care provider in Hertfordshire, delivering care to the elderly and adults living with a wide array of disabilities. With this diverse experience, Mitch is passionate about ensuring that individuals have the right to exercise choice and independence in all aspects their lives. Mitch joined POhWER as a Board Trustee with the desire to be able to use his experience to add value to the charity and be able to give something back to such an amazing purpose. Focused on expanding his knowledge and education, Mitch has recently undertaken a Master’s degree in Business Administration at Alliance Manchester Business School. An avid runner, Mitch often trains multiple times weekly at his running club and often participates in competitive running events.