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Our Team.

Building for the Future was set up in 2007 by a group of parents of disabled children, aiming to launch a community centre for disabled children and their families in Wokingham and surrounding areas. We would not be where we are today without the hard work and dedication of our wonderful board of trustees


Jane Holmes

CEO & Founder

Jane has a 16 year old daughter with cerebral palsy who, along with several other mothers of disabled children, set up the charity in 2007. Before her daughter was born, Jane was a Human Resources Manager and has many years’ experience working in the hotel and restaurant industry.


Nimi Shepherd-Patel

Fundraising Manager

Nimi has experience in both corporate account management and small charity fundraising management. She has a learning disability herself and has always advocated for the improvement of education for those with differing skills and abilities. Despite her 'classroom' difficulties, she has recently completed her PhD in education, and is now utilising her knowledge and skills to full heartedly grow and develop a more sustainable income for BFTF and BFTF+.


Karen Woolford


Karen joined Building for The Future as a Trustee back in 2009 and was an integral part of finding and project managing the renovation of a deserted office into the inspirational space we have for our children today. She remains on the board now as a representative parent of a disabled child. 

She is married with 3 children, one of whom has cerebral palsy, and she has a background in project management in the IT industry.


Andy Slay

Chairman of Board of Trustees

Andy has been actively involved in community and fund raising events in Wokingham over the past 15 years through the Lions, Charity Balls, May Fayre, Winter Carnival and Cantley Fireworks. Having retired in 2015, he decided to devote more time to the community and became a trustee with BftF in 2016.


Valerie Lynch


Val is a governance specialist with considerable charitable and private sector experience. She qualified as a Company Secretary in 1995 and was appointed a fellow of the ICSA in 2007. She specialises in governance, compliance, regulation, health and safety, risk and audit.


Mark Ashwell

Patron & Advisor

Successful local businessman Mark Ashwell joined Building for the Future in 2009 first as a Trustee, then as Chairman and today as Patron. Mark has been instrumental in our success, offering us an untold amount of support and advice and continues to be a cornerstone of the charity today.


Geoff Hammond


Geoff retired in 2013 from a career managing a small, Reading based company operating in the electro-optics field. Apart from taking the role as treasurer for BFTF he is also treasurer and volunteer engineer for REMAP Berkshire who design and make bespoke aids for disabled people. He lives in Wokingham with his wife and enjoys growing vegetables and all things technical.


Gerry Mortimore


Formerly a local businessman who now works in the City, Gerry has lived in Wokingham for 37 years. He has served as president of the Rotary club of Wokingham and the Windsor Forest Unicorn club. In 2012, he received the Borough Mayor’s Award for service to the community.


Annette Drake


Former Borough Mayor Annette Drake was instrumental in supporting Building for the Future in its early days. We were delighted that Annette agreed to become one of our Patrons in 2013 and continues to be a great support.


Andy Goffin


After a career in sales and marketing, mainly within the promotional merchandise industry, Andy retired at the start of 2017. Having the free time to become involved in the local community, he is now an active member of Wokingham Lions Club, treasurer of a local Residents Association, and a volunteer with a couple of local charities. Andy became a Trustee of BftF in 2020.


Jacky Mackenzie

Committee Member

Retired accountant with young son who has Downs Syndrome.



After performing at Building for the Future’s launch in 2008, well-known comedian and activist, Francesca Martinez agreed to become our first Patron. Since then she has supported the charity at many of our events and continues to be a great ambassador for the charity. 

Francesca is a wobbly* comedian, writer, and speaker who has toured internationally with sell-out runs at The Melbourne Comedy Festival, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and the Just For Laughs Festival, Montreal. 

*Oh yeah, she has mild cerebral palsy but she much prefers the word ‘wobbly’.

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