Meet the Board

Connection Support is overseen by a Board of Trustees.  Our trustees have a diverse range of skills and experience to help shape our direction. Find out about their background and why they choose to give their time and share their expertise with Connection Support.

Jenny Berrill

Jenny Berrill – Chair

Jenny has been our Chair of the Board since November 2020 and a Member of the Trustees since November 2011.

Her background is in housing both in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. She worked for Local Government for over 20 years within the Housing teams dealing with gypsy site management, sheltered housing management, housing advice, homelessness, allocations, Choice Based Lettings, Money Management and was the Supporting People lead. This work brought Jenny into regular contact with Connection Support. She says “I was always impressed with the support they provided to clients and was very pleased to join the Board when my work with Local Government ended in 2011.”

Jenny currently works as a self-employed part-time gardener which gives her the flexibility to commit some time to her duties as Chair.

Richard Allman

Richard Allman

Richard joined the Board of Trustees in September 2018 and also volunteers, befriending for vulnerable people in the Aylesbury Vale.

Originally from Shropshire, he now lives in Wendover with his cat, two vintage Lambretta Scooters and the occasional hearing dog for the deaf he trains. He has three daughters and three grandchildren.

Richard worked in Retail Banking in the UK and Europe for nearly 30 years and then set up his own company in 2001 specialising in project and change management. In 2006 he was appointed Programme Director for the Care Services Efficiency Programme for the Department of Health working with all 150 major councils with Adult Social Care responsibility to secure more than £1billion of efficiencies.

His interests include mountaineering, collecting art deco ceramics, rugby union and northern soul dancing. He is currently studying for a Masters degree in Antiques at the University for Central Lancashire.

Anne Cooney

Anne Cooney

Anne had a twenty-year career in IT, focussed on project and relationship management, before moving to Adult Social Care ten years ago. She has been a member of the Board of Trustees since March 2019.

She was the Commissioner for older adults and prevention, responsible for specifying, tendering and delivering services. Anne has worked with Connection Support in this capacity for several years. More recently I’ve taken a post-graduate certificate in Coaching and Mentoring at Oxford Brookes University and I’m now embarking on a new career as a Coach, specialising in over 50’s transitions.

David Bayes

David Bayes

David joined the Board of Trustees in June 2018 as part of the merger with Padstones where he was a trustee for five years, Acting Chair in the last nine months.

David enjoyed over 30 years with Marks & Spencer, mainly in their Head Office, working in the Food Division. He managed large buying groups and brings a wealth of experience covering budgeting, sales, promotion, product development, supplier relationships, negotiation and managing a large team.


James Arnold

A commercial management professional for 40 years in the oil and gas, mail, rail, engineering, nuclear, justice and health sectors.

Jim has been a volunteer since 1978 in various charitable organisations and more latterly served as Chair of two SME charities in cancer and homeless sectors before joining Connection Support in late 2018. He specialises in procurement and IT as well as focusing on the strategic development of organisations.

Leisure interests include tending three allotments, cycling, walking, railways, watching and occasionally playing cricket, travel and collecting various ephemera.


Dipen Parekh

Dipen joined the Board of Trustees in June 2020 and also volunteers, supporting vulnerable people across the Bucks region.

He brings nearly 30 years of commercial and business transformation experience, running large IT programmes in Global 500 companies. He has successfully delivered programmes in Energy and Power Generation, Utilities, Brewing, Telecoms and Manufacturing – and comes with a wealth of experience in managing challenging projects.

Dipen is also an active volunteer across a number of different charities and not-for-profit organisations. He is currently a shift leader at a homeless shelter, supports the warehouse at the local foodbank, and has been supporting lonely older people at Silverline (part of Age UK) for over 4 years. He has a particular passion in supporting the homeless.

Outside of work, Dipen is a keen runner – running almost every day. Aside from this he enjoys travelling and hiking, playing the drums and following Formula 1.


Emily Dobell

Emily joined the Board of Trustees in January 2020. She is a public health registrar and has worked as a medical doctor in Oxford and Slough. Emily trained in Public Health Medicine in the Thames Valley which included posts with Oxfordshire County Council, Public Health England and Oxford University Hospitals where she led a clinical service evaluation of homeless patient care. It was during this time that Emily became connected with the work of Connection Support, via their Embedded Housing Workers.

More recently, Emily has worked with Public Health England’s national Migrant health team which included developing recommendations for safely restarting refugee resettlement during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emily has always been motivated by opportunities to tackle the wider determinants of health and wellbeing and is hugely honoured to be part of Connection Support.

In her free time she enjoys all things outdoors, river swimming, cycling and playing the saxophone.

Mike Wortley

Mike Wortley

Mike was appointed a Trustee in March 2019 and is a member of the Finance Sub-Committee. He is a retired Chartered Accountant with over 30 years as a sole practitioner specialising in small business support involving many part-time FD roles with experience in private company acquisitions and disposals.  He has a long association with charities and has held positions as interim CEO and FD as well as being a trustee and volunteer.