Staff and Trustees

Staff Team

Chief Executive Officer – Alex Iles

Alex is a qualified Manager with over 19 years’ professional experience of working in the learning disability field and in successfully winning and managing service contracts in excess of £250,000 per annum. Her job is to manage a diverse range of services available for people of all ages with learning disabilities and their parents, families or carers.
Grants Officer – Roma Andrews

Roma has returned to the voluntary sector after 23 years administering local authority grants. She works 18 hours a week and is responsible for fundraising, some specific contracts and projects and generally supporting the work of the Manager.
Office Manager – Gail Baker

Gail is responsible for running the office and buildings, liaising with the C.E.O. and all departments. Gail has worked within the charity sector for the last 13 years; as the finance manager of an independent charity for adults with PMLD, and in a residential setting. Prior to this she worked mainly within finance.
Activities Manager – Elly Iles

Elly is our Activities Manager with responsibilities for managing all leisure activities of the organisation. She has over 10 years’ experience of supporting children with additional needs and is also a qualified English teacher who worked for five years in diverse mainstream secondary school settings.
Information, Advice and Support Officer – Rob Hendry

Rob has worked for the IAS Service (formerly Parent Partnership)  for many years. Prior to this he had a 32 year teaching career (Adv Dip, Cambridge) culminating in the headship of 2 special schools over 16 years and the position of Chair of Hampshire Special Schools Conference. He has also undertaken extensive work as an appropriate adult with vulnerable adults in police custody.
Information, Advice and Support Officer – Katherine Vowles

Katherine has worked with parents of children & young people with disabilities in Southampton for the past 6 years. She previously coordinated the Buzz Network (Aiming High for Disabled Children) and has a good local knowledge of other agencies. She has experience of working within the Education, Health & Social Care Sector and most recently worked for a Cochlear Implant Centre.

Independent Supporter – Ilona Kuzak

Ilona has experience of working within Education (schools/university), European Voluntary Sector, Training, Playwork and Social Care organisations in the UK. She has also worked as a Support Worker in London for young people with disabilities up to 25 years old. She gained her Master’s degree in Intercultural Communication (Diversity Management and Migration Studies) in Germany. She speaks English, Polish and German.

Southampton Mencap Project Worker – Cath Wigham

Cath is a qualified teacher with over 25 years’ experience of working in Special Schools as a teacher, Senco and Deputy Head. She has an especially strong knowledge and understanding of pupils with learning difficulties and those within the Autistic spectrum. She has a good personal knowledge of local special schools. She also has experience of working alongside Health and Social Care agencies to support children/young people and their parents/carers.

Independent Supporter – Anna Gunn
Anna joined the team in September 2015 as an Independent Supporter initially covering maternity leave. Her experience of the Special Educational Needs system and working from a first-hand perspective as a parent, Anna has brought a level of understanding to the role that is often needed. Her previous roles within the Police for 15 years as a Crime Scene Investigator and as a Radio Officer in the Merchant Navy have provided her with transferable skills necessary to the role.


We also employ Support Workers and Volunteers for our various schemes and activities.

Trustees and Committee Members

Chairman – Jennifer Strevens
Treasurer – Brian Strevens
Trustee – Edwin Leech
Trustee – Heidi Oldrey
Trustee – Zulfiqar Sheikh
Trustee – Diane Bernstein
Trustee – Daniel Mar-Molinero

Become a Trustee

Southampton Mencap is seeking people to contribute and shape the work of Southampton Mencap.

If you have an understanding of the issues facing people with learning disabilities and those who provide their care, and can commit to approximately eight meetings a year at the Mencap Centre, then call the Manager, Alex Iles or the Chairman, Jennifer Strevens, on 023 80 584088 for further details of what is involved.

Trustee Application Form