Board of Trustees

Robert Heyfron - Acting Chair

Robert joined BDDF as a Trustee in late 2013, steering BDDF through to charitable status in 2014.  


Robert’s early career was in local industry in Basingstoke.  Thereafter, he spent many years managing large change programmes for international companies followed by ten years working in the NHS on service redesign, organisational and technology change in the London, Eastern, Southern and South West regions.


Previously with first-hand experience of family-caring duties for disabilities, Robert is also a member of the Basingstoke Access for All Group, already working with its members and support organisations. 


Robert was BDDF Treasurer from 2014 to February 2017.

Paula Searle - Vice Chair

Paula Searle

Paula is responsible for creating and maintaining BDDF's current website, and producing our e-newsletter and leaflets. 


She has worked in the NHS since 1993 in a variety of information roles, including at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in west London. 


Paula has lived in Basingstoke since 2010 and is Hampshire Hospitals' lead for patient information. This includes ensuring that all patient publications comply with the new Accessible Information Standard. She also manages the Health Information Point at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital. 


Paula was elected to BDDF's trustee board in May 2016 and has been vice chair since May 2017. 

Jane Brydges - Treasurer

Jane's background is in accounts and office administration. She has volunteered with BDDF since August 2015 and has been a trustee since May 2016. 


Jane officially took over from Robert Heyfron as BDDF's treasurer in February 2017.

Pamela Heyfron - Trustee

Pamela has lived in Oakley since 1974 and became a Trustee of BDDF in 2013. Pamela initiated and runs the BDDF Signpost Service; appearing on a monthly basis at the Basingstoke Discovery Centre.


Starting her working life as a nurse, Pamela subsequently gained further experience in the commercial field, encompassing banking, HR, finance and facilities management.  


Before retiring, Pamela was part of the palliative care team that supported the foundation of St Michael’s Hospice and was instrumental in obtaining Health Commission funding for local Macmillan and Marie Curie Nursing initiatives.


Currently Pamela is involved with the Access for All Working Group and was part of the team responsible for setting up the Memory Club – a day care service for people with dementia.

George Hooper - Trustee

George Hooper

George has a teaching background. For the last five years, he has supported and advocated for people with learning disabilities.


He also co-organised a signposting service called Step One for people with learning disabilities in the Basingstoke area. 


George currently works with the Cafe Project Basingstoke, where he supports students in obtaining voluntary work experience.

John Jessup - Trustee

John moved to Basingstoke in 1967. His working background was in engineering. 


He is secretary of Dis-sport Beavers (a club for people with disabilities). John is also treasurer for the Access for All working group, formally The Access Committee for Basingstoke and Deane.

Paula Southby-Ryland - Trustee

Paula's working life has been spent predominantly in HR and recruitment. She is also a qualified holistic therapist. Paula has lived in Basingstoke all her life and has first hand experience of dealing with disability, both physical and mental. 


Paula has carried out voluntary work at the Health Information Point at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, as well as for Citizen's Advice. She currently helps run an online forum dedicated to giving help and peer to peer support for anyone affected by depression, including friends and family. 

Jules Thomas - Trustee

Jules has lived in Basingstoke for 48 years, and is registered blind. 


In addition to his trustee role with BDDF, he is a member of the Access for All working group, and Chair of the Basingstoke Disabled sports club Dis-Sport Beavers. Jules is also a trustee of Helping Hands for the Blind and the Basingstoke disabled games. 


Jules actively organizes the annual Basingstoke Disabled Games where 80 to 100 people with disabilities from all over the south of England come to compete.