Paul Barrett

Paul Venables

Paul Barrett

Background History
My career has been spent in the Pharmaceutical Industry with senior appointments at Smith Kline Beecham, Medreich Ltd, and now Noumed Life Sciences based at Maidenhead. I was Chairman of The Tropical Africa Advisory Group at the Department of Trade and Industry and made many trade missions to Africa. I was honoured with an OBE and CMG for this work.

I am married with two children and five grandchildren and have lived in Henley since 2000.

Why you chose the Chiltern Centre
My involvement with Mencap ensured that I joined the campaign in 2002/3 to save the Chiltern Resource Centre from closure by the County Council. When the closure occurred despite a 20,000 signature petition and a Public Enquiry, I was part of the Chilterns Action Group which was set up to relaunch the Centre as a Company Limited By Guarantee and a registered charity. I became the first Chair of Trustees of the newly formed Chiltern Centre for Disabled Children in 2003 and the new Centre opened its doors in February 2004.

Your biggest Achievement
My biggest achievement has been in leading a team that went from managing a new start-up with an uncertain future to establishing the financial viability of the Centre and its place as a leading local charity supported by the community as a whole. This includes purchasing the freehold in 2005, avoiding bankruptcy in 2010, building the new wing in 2011,and transitioning from Ofsted to CQC regulation in 2019.

But the point of all this was to ensure that parents and carers of children and young adults with learning difficulties and complex medical needs continued to have the choice of local short-break care provision in a Centre which offered a safe and caring environment with well-trained staff who put the needs of their charges at a premium.

Describe yourself using just 3 words
Fortunate, optimistic, charitable