Board of Trustees Chair

Sue Henchley

I have lived in the Forest of Dean since 1987, having moved from St Albans in Hertfordshire. I trained as a physiotherapist including the treatment of children, and people with all types of disabilities.

I also took a degree in Ergonomics when I realised that treating people when things go worng is only half the battle. I also needed to correct postures and practices which can increase the chance of injuries.

I am interested in politics and have been a local councillor on the Forest of Dean Council. At present I am Chair of Governors at the Heart of the Forest Special School at Speech House, a job I enjoy very much. I am also a Trustee at Forest Sensory Services, a facility and resource centre for people with sight and hearing problems, Another of my interests is as a board member and volunteer of the Co-Operative which governs Mitcheldean Community Library.

I love working on the board of The Orchard Trust. It performs very important functions, and there are so many interest interesting things going on there. I have been involved with the Trust since 2008.
I have been involved with the Trust since 2008.


Cathy Andrews

Anthony Jeffers
Head of Operations & Support

Anthony Jeffers

Anthony has worked with people with Autism and Learning Disabilities since 1994, he holds an NVQ4 RMA. He has worked at all levels from Support Worker, to Registered Manager and now on to his current position that of Head of support and Operations, supervising our Residential Managers and supporting them to deliver an excellent quality of care, He is also responsible Health and Safety, transport and our properties. He has worked at the Orchard Trust since 2013. Prior to this, he has worked with various local and national providers including the National Autistic Society.

Anthony is a Board member of The Gloucestershire Care Providers Association where he represents the interests of Disability service providers. He sits on various steering groups and partnership boards, working with other stakeholders to improve the range of services in the county.

He is also a LeDeR reviewer. Gathering evidence, preparing and presenting review reports, regarding mortality in people with a Learning Disability. This is a national programme being led through Bristol University and working with Local Authorities, NHS and volunteers.

Anthony has also been a Team coordinator for the National Autistic Society’s Accreditation Service, where periodically he would visit settings, specialising in providing services for people with an ASC, to review their service provisions against that of the N.A.S. Accreditation Standards.

Jill Malsom
Home Manager - Hilltop & Supported Living

Jill Malsom

Jill has worked in care for approximately 24 years, working with the elderly, dementia care and learning disabilities. She has worked for the Orchard trust in various roles since 1994 and has been in her current role as manager of Hilltop and Supported Living since 1997.

Jill is qualified Level 4 NVQ and IOSH

Tony Lafford
Home Manager - Offa's Dyke

Tony Lafford

Tony Lafford started working for The Orchard Trust in October 2012 as the Registered Manager of Offa’s Dyke and The Orchards. He previously worked for Salter’s Hill Charity where he was the registered manager of a residential Home and manager of the Home Care and Support Service in Herefordshire. Tony worked for Salter’s Hill Charity for 15 years, prior to that working as a support worker for The Orchard End Group. Tony qualified as a Social Worker and holds the Registered Managers Award along with a Diploma in Health and Social Welfare and NVQ levels 3 and 4. Tony is also an NVQ assessor and Social work practice teacher.

Originally from the Forest of Dean Tony now lives locally. He is a local Scout Leader and School Governor. Tony enjoys the outdoors and takes advantage of living in a beautiful area, he likes walking, canoeing, rock climbing and camping.

Manager - Administration

Val Howard

Val Howard has worked at the Trust since 1997. Val began working for George Gordon-Smith (founder of the Orchard Trust) in a caravan as an Accounts Assistant, moving to her current role as Administration Manager.

Val's background is mostly in admin with experience in marketing, sales, purchase ledger and general accounts. Val also contributes to staff training at the Trust by sharing my experience and knowledge of autism from a parent’s perspective.

When Val's daughter moved into an adult provision she identified a need for a support group at the Trust for family members and carers who might appreciate someone to talk to and share experiences with. Hence “Carers and Sharers” began in 2013. All new and existing family members will always be made most welcome.

Phill Hucks
Day Service Manager - Stowfield Site

Phill Hucks

Phill has worked in a variety of disability support services since 1990, including work as a Disability Employment Adviser in the civil service, managing a day service for Leonard Cheshire, managing an adult special needs recreation service for Norwood-Ravenswood and being a tutor at the National Star College.

He has a level 5 Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector (DTLLS) and previously worked as a session tutor for the Orchard Trust before becoming Project Manager at the Stowfield site in January 2016.
He has previously run his own smallholding in Lincolnshire and worked as a stock-person with rare breed cattle, sheep and pigs. In his spare time he is a chef (specialising in vegetarian dishes) and sings with the Forest of Dean Singing Club.

Finance Manager

Kelly Ryder

I joined the Orchard Trust Finance Department in November 2015 and was promoted to the role of Finance Manager in Spring 2017. I'm AAT qualified after home studying alongside my previous role working for a multinational manufacturing company.

I chose to work for the Orchard Trust as I wanted to work for an organisation where what I did made a difference. Working for a charity that makes a difference to people's lives gives great job satisfaction. I love having the opportunity to visit our homes, its great to see the bonds that are formed between our support workers and their service users.

Outside of work my time is mostly taken up with caring for my two young children, I like to get out and about with them over the weekends, we enjoy walks out in the Forest of Dean and visiting Gloucester Dock to look at the boats. If I get any free time I enjoy baking and am attempting to learn how to create projects with my new sewing machine.

Rob Wilcox
Manager - Sevenoaks

Rob Wilcox

Learning & Development Manager

Wendy Bolton

Wendy has a varied background in a number of different training and managerial roles, holds a B.Ed Honours teaching degree, a Level 4 diploma in Learning and Development, and has enjoyed working in the travel industry and public sector, as well as having run her own pet care business for several years. In charge of training for the Trust, Wendy has a busy role ensuring nearly 200 staff meet the stringent expectations of the Care sector, and also have an opportunity for further personal development through additional courses such as Management and Leadership, and Levels 2 and 3 diplomas. In her free time Wendy keeps busy and enjoys painting, singing in a local choir, skiing and walking, and particularly loves travelling – destinations visited include Australia, America, Canada, South Africa, Malaysia, The Far East, and many countries in Europe.

Our ethos

We look after ourselves, each other, our places and the environment.  Through listening to each other and paying attention when someone has something they want to say we support the development of self respect and feelings of worth and appreciation. We recognise one another for the people we are, understanding and accepting preferences and beliefs to ensure a personalised care and support.

We also believe the best results are gained through working as a team, valuing suggestions and encouraging new ideas as we strive to continuously improve the care we provide.  We appreciate that knowledge, skill and understanding develop over time and through the sharing of experience. Seeking best practice and innovation we work closely with others to achieve the best result. We value the contribution of clients, families, staff, volunteers and our partners to support us to be the best we can.