Board of Trustees

Robert Heyfron - Interim 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, and has been Interim Chair since May 2017.

Paula Searle - Vice Chair

Paula Searle

Paula is responsible for creating and maintaining BDDF's current website, producing our monthly newsletter, publicity and Signpost Service leaflets, and co-ordinating members' events.


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


Paula has lived in Basingstoke since 2010 and is patient information lead for Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. This includes ensuring that all patient information 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 started volunteering with BDDF in August 2015 and was elected to the board of trustees in May 2016. 


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

Brian Catchpoole - Trustee

Brian Catchpoole

Brian is a polio survivor and spent the first part of his working life as an engineer in the electronics industry.


In 1988 he started Tadder Associates, a consultancy providing IT services for small businesses. The consultancy later embraced disability-related training for voluntary, public and commercial organisations.


Brian formally sat as a member of Disability Appeal Tribunals until moving to Basingstoke in 2012. He has taught IT in the further education sector. For five years he was Operations Manager at Aerobility, a flying charity for disabled people, and retired earlier this year.


He holds a Private Pilot’s Licence, and in his leisure time flies out of Blackbushe airport. When flying, he utilises an aircraft adapted with hand controls. Brian is a hot air ballooning enthusiast, a member of Basingstoke Makerspace and also volunteers with the Farnborough Aviation & Scientific Trust.


Brian was elected to BDDF's board of trustees in April 2018.

Pauline Hedges MBE - Trustee

Pauline Hedges MBE

Pauline joined BDDF as a trustee in April 2018. She moved to Basingstoke in 2017 to be nearer her family, leaving her job as administrator with the Runnymede Access Liaison Group.


Her main business background is in banking and PR, with a year at ChildLine when it first started and then three years with the British Lung Foundation fundraising for the whole of the south east. 


In January 2017, Prince Charles invested Pauline with an MBE for her services to charity, young people and the community in Surrey. 


Pauline currently runs a company taking tours in the City of London and co-ordinates business events in Basingstoke and Woking. In her spare time, she enjoys working with Young Enterprise North Hants. Pauline is also vice chair on the board of trustees for BRASACC (Basingstoke Rape and Sexual Abuse Crisis Centre).


Pamela Heyfron - Trustee

Pamela has lived in Oakley since 1974 and became a BDDF trustee 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 which supported the foundation of St Michael’s Hospice and was instrumental in obtaining Health Commission funding for local Macmillan and Marie Curie nursing initiatives.


Pamela was part of the team responsible for setting up Memory Clubs (day care services for people with dementia) in both Viables and Oakley.

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. 


He joined BDDF as a trustee in May 2017. 

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. 


She has carried out voluntary work at the Health Information Point at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, as well as for Citizen's Advice. She was elected to BDDF's board of trustees in December 2017.


Paula 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.