Home Who we are Trustees

We could not achieve what we do without the help and support of our fantastic Trustees.

The Challengers Trustee Board is responsible for the overall governance of the charity. The Board delegates key areas of work to 2 sub committees: Finance & Risk and Operations & Quality. In addition the Board runs quarterly focus groups for Fundraising and Communications as well as the Annual Strategic Away Day and the Annual Risk Register Review.

Our Trustees have a wide range of skills, backgrounds, and experience to support us on everything from accountancy to communications. It’s very important to us that our Trustees include parents whose children use our services to help us make sure that we stay focused on what really matters for the children, young people, and families we work with. The Board also includes a Young Trustee who has experience as a Challengers Play/Youth Worker.

  • David Clinton
    David Clinton: Chairman

    I have been in business for more than 33 years, globetrotting as a senior partner in Accenture and more recently as a founder of a financial services company specialising in pensions. I wanted to give back and could think of no worthier a cause than Challengers.

    As Chairman, my role is to ensure good governance and to do all I can to support the Chief Executive and the Senior Management Team in making Challengers even stronger and more exciting than it is today.

  • Rachel Bartholomeusz
    Rachel Bartholomeusz: Young Trustee

    I came into contact with Challengers over 12 years ago when my brother attended the Oxted Playscheme; a few years later I became a Play/Youth Worker.

    Inspired to pursue a career in the non-profit sector, I took part in ‘Charityworks’, the UK non-profit sector’s graduate scheme. I spent one year working at The Whiteley Homes Trust and I am now a Marketing Executive at Cancer Research UK.

    I think it is really exciting that Challengers decided to appoint a Young Trustee to the Board and love to make my contribution as the sibling of a young disabled person and as a Play/Youth Worker.

  • Gail Bedding
    Gail Bedding: Trustee

    Parent of teenage twins, 2 step children and a very cute young man with complex needs. CEO of Hampshire Parent Carer Network and National Rep for National Network of Parent Carer Forum.

    Challengers is a lifeline for ALL the family: the smile on my son’s face when he arrives; the freedom for me to watch the twins play sports at the weekend; allowing me to work; and for us all to have some normality. I don’t know how we would cope without it!

  • Sam Bossi
    Sam Bossi: Trustee

    As the parent of a disabled child who has been accessing Challengers for over 10 years, I am delighted to be a Trustee for this fabulous organisation. Challengers has provided a valuable lifeline to the whole family in this time. They have enabled my son to play and thrive as well as provide the rest of the family with a break from caring.

    I am looking forward to bringing my experience as a parent of a disabled child and as a professional in the charity sector to Challengers and giving back to this very important organisation.

  • Sally Dewar
    Sally Dewar: Trustee

    I began my role in International Regulatory Risk at JPMorgan in June 2011 after almost 10 years at the Financial Services Authority. I became a Trustee at Challengers as I am in awe of, and have enormous respect for, everyone involved in it. 

    Over the last few years I have seen it grow in stature and coverage whilst remaining true to its mission – it’s all about the children – which I just love.

  • Anele Griessel
    Anele Griessel: Trustee

    I am a children’s occupational therapist. I run an independent occupational therapy practice in 2007 and have been working as a paediatric occupational therapist for the past twenty years.

    I first came across Challengers when we moved to Farnham a few years ago. I was blown away by the commitment, quality and inclusive services provided as well as the fun and laughter experienced by the children and young people. It is therefore a privilege to now be part of Team Challengers as a Trustee.

    Enabling children to play is something that I am passionate about in my daily work and I hope that my clinical experience will support the growth of service delivery through governance as a Trustee.

  • Phil Heasman
    Phil Heasman: Safeguarding Trustee

    I am delighted to join the Board of Trustees bringing a particular focus on safeguarding matters and an interest in training and development informed by work as a social worker, university lecturer and, currently, in a variety of independent roles with organisations who work with children and young people and their parents, carers and families.

    Though living in the lovely Peak District in Derbyshire, I welcome the opportunity to frequently head back down the M1 to my southern roots in order to play an active part in supporting the organisation’s work, the staff and volunteers and, of course most importantly, the children, young people and families who together are Challengers!

  • Liz Jorden
    Liz Jorden: Trustee

    I first came across Challengers when The Head of Fundraising and Head of Communications spoke at a fundraising conference. Their passion for Challengers was so infectious that I had to find out more about the charity. I was thrilled when I saw that Challengers wanted a Fundraising Trustee, and delighted when I was invited to join the board.

    My professional fundraising career started at the NSPCC; since then I have worked as an independent fundraising consultant specialising in major gifts.

  • Robert Pickles
    Robert Pickles: Trustee/Chair of Communications & Fundraising Committee

    I am proud to be a trustee for Challengers, a charity that I have known since my own children were small. I love it because it makes a real difference to the lives of real people, every day.

    Away from Challengers, I have worked for Canon (UK) Ltd for over 20 years, holding management and senior positions within Sales and Marketing. I am currently Director of Public Affairs.

    I am happily married with 3 grown children. I like walking in the Surrey Hills and spending time with family and friends.

  • Graham Seddon
    Graham Seddon: Treasurer

    I joined the Trustees at Challengers in September 2012.

    Having taken over as Treasurer I have worked closely with the team as we look to move the organisation forward.

    The future holds many exciting opportunities and challenges, and as Chair of the Finance and Risk Sub-committee my role is to support the Senior Management Team whilst safeguarding the charity’s financial position to ensure the fantastic work can continue for years to come.

  • Deborah Smith
    Deborah Smith: Trustee

    We came across Challengers whilst visiting Legoland with our autistic son Thomas in 2002 and Thomas has been with Challengers ever since. I work in education. My role is to support and understand pupils who for whatever reason are unable to stay within the classroom setting. I feedback everything I learn to either senior leadership, safeguarding, Senco, counsellors. I have my own classroom, where our pupils and others know they are able to be themselves, without the risk of exclusion, My passion is “every child matters regardless of their ability.” I believe that this has come from understanding my own son. Challengers have in my eyes extended this ethos, so when we met in Legoland I knew instantly that this was going to be the team for my family and of course my son.

  • Mike Walker
    Mike Walker: Medical Trustee

    I am delighted and very honoured to have been asked to take up the role of Medical Trustee for Challengers, a charity that I have known and admired for some years.

    I am a full time GP with over 20 years experience and have a particular interest in child healthcare.

    Away from work I love music and all sports (particularly rugby) and I am a keen golfer and cyclist.

    I am married with 2 children. I look forward to supporting the wonderful Challengers team in the future.

  • Could this be you?
  • Legal Trustee Appointment | Voluntary Position

    Disability Challengers (Challengers) wish to appoint a Legal Trustee to join a dedicated Board of Trustees for a much loved local children’s charity.

    Challengers is a charity who believe in challenging the barriers to play for disabled children and young people – anything is possible! We do this by showing how it is possible to provide essential play and leisure opportunities for disabled children and young people aged 2-25.

    We are looking for a practising legal professional who could add real value to our board. This is an exciting and stimulating place to support as the team are always driving for high standards with a passion for helping disabled young people.

    The Board is populated by a range of very talented individuals, all who fulfil a specific duty representing a key body of knowledge. Sadly our much loved Legal Trustee Richard Rose is retiring and so we are looking for someone to fill his very capable boots!

    If you would like to know more please e mail Laura Sercombe, CEO for an application pack:

    The successful applicant is required to complete an Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau disclosure.