About our Trustees
The Trustees of Novalis Trust are all volunteers from a variety of different backgrounds. As the charity is also a company limited by guarantee, the Trustees are also members of the company’s board of directors.
The Board of Trustees has ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of the charity. They are responsible for ensuring that the charity’s resources are managed responsibly, for acting in the charity’s best interests and for ensuring that the charity is managed in accordance with its governing documents and the relevant legal requirements. Day to day operational decisions are delegated to the Chief Executive who is supported by the Senior Management Team.
The Novalis Trust Board of Trustees are:-
Gordon Cole – Chairman
Gordon joined the Board in 2013 and has a professional background in regulation, social care and education. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge of the social care sector having previously been responsible for overseeing inspection services in Bristol as well as performing a number of key roles in the independent social care sector. During his time as a social care consultant Gordon was influential in advising the Welsh Assembly on social policy. He oversees safeguarding and compliance on behalf of the Board and meets regularly with the Chief Executive to discuss operational, strategic developmental and compliance matters.
Matthew Bennett – Vice Chairman
Matthew joined the Board in 2016. Matthew is a qualified accountant and financial advisor and has run his own successful financial services business for a number of years. Before becoming a Trustee Matthew provided payroll services to the Trust during which time he gained a detailed knowledge of the organisation and established a positive working relationship with the senior members of the finance team. Matthew continues to work closely with the Head of Finance and Chief Executive and provides ongoing support and guidance in relation to financial matters. He also supports the other members of the Board with regards to the annual accounts and financial matters.
Chris joined the Board in 2016. Chris has a background in social work and in particular fostering, adoption and advocacy. Chris has worked in both the public and private sectors working closely with children and their families with a special focus on advocacy and acting as an independent visitor for looked after young people. Chris took over from Gordon Cole in overseeing Paradise House as a Trustee. She visits Paradise House regularly where she supports the leadership team and provides supervision and guidance to the Registered Manager. Chris also works closely with the independent social care consultant who inspects Paradise House on behalf of the Chief Executive using the KLOES (Key Lines of Enquiry) in accordance with the framework stipulated by CQC (Care Quality Commission).
Ian joined the Board in 2014. Ian manages his own successful logistics business and is very active in his leisure time supporting various charities and philanthropic organisations. Ian is a member of a similar charity which provides education and care for young adults who have complex needs and learning difficulties.
Barbara joined the Board in 2012. Barbara has wealth of knowledge and experience in the specialist education sector and has a particular expertise in autism awareness. Barbara uses her expertise and knowledge to support Novalis Trust in the area of specialist education.
Graham joined the Board in 2019 after the merger with William Morris College where he was previously Chairman of their Board. Graham has a daughter currently living at Paradise House which gives him a valuable insight into the care provided. He is a local parish councillor and previously worked for a local agricultural college as the Director of Estates, Graham uses this knowledge to help support senior management in the area of property and estates at the Trust.