Meet our Trustees

Val Palmer -  Chair


I was born in Hull in 1950. I married young and had a daughter before getting divorced and becoming a single parent, in the days when it was not fashionable! I was a Police Officer for 15 years. leaving on medical retirement after sustaining a back injury on duty. I met my second husband in 1988 and we married in 1991, moving to Street in 1997. My husband was diagnosed with Huntingtons Disease in 2000 and, as his condition deteriorated, I became his full-time carer. I struggled to find information about both his condition and what support was available and gradually became involved with various organisations, one of which was Compass Disability.

I was on the first Voice and Influence project and later joined the Hub.  I am also involved with the new Somerset Neurological Alliance and am Co-Chair of Carers UK East Somerset Branch. Since I became a carer I have met many others who care for loved ones with various disabilities, I know how difficult the situation can be, my husband is now in full-time care but I am still very involved. When Richard suggested I apply to become a Trustee I was pleased to accept as I think I can help give a voice to all disabled people and their carers.

Mark Oldershaw - Treasurer

I was born in 1966 and I am married with 2 children and I am into anything, I like fishing, DIY, football and gardening. I have driven lorries since the age of 17, I am originally from Birmingham but now live in Bridgwater.

I met Richard the CEO many years ago and he has dragged me into many things since. I have gained an interest in disability issues as I was not born disabled, which has opened new doors for me by volunteering for the police. I wrote a programme for taking disability into schools, explaining what disability is and have starred in my own short film demonstrating disabled peoples right to independence, choice and control.

I took on the role of Trustee for Compass Disability Services in January 2011, I wanted to make a difference and give something back as I have been so well supported by  Compass Disability Services in the past.

I am a friendly and approachable person and I am happy to talk about my disability and experiences.


Pauline Tilley - Trustee

Due to a bad road traffic accident in December 2000 in the far east where I was hit by car, sent higher than double decker bus and about 100 feet across the road, came down on my head and broke just about every bone in my body. Nearly £1, 000,000 in medical fees later, I was flown back to Britain in early 2001.

Two of my sisters worked in the hospital I was transferred to and choose to ingnore the medical advice sent back with me; which suggested I should have countless insertions including a permanent colostomy bag. I remained in various hospitals until September 11th (yes I finally got out of hospital the day Bin Laden crashed his planes!). A little while in a wheelchair,  sufficient time to realise the equality act though its intentions are good isn't going to bring equality,  that will not come until more people understand/experience what is is to be unable to function completely on your own due to disabilities or due to man-made barriers . Anyway, my mother got fed up with me taking the wall paper off and so I now walk, well hobble around with the aid of a stick. I married the man I have known for nearly twenty years in 2006 and moved to England to live in Somerset, one of the most wonderful parts of the world I have lived in, and as a teacher of English as a foreign language that has been quite a few.

I become involved with Compass in 2009 taking part in their many course and participating of their generous lunches from Doorsteps. I look forward to helping this wonderful organisation to reach out to more people, individuals and organisations to help bring equality and indeed a little joy & happiness into the lives of others.

Denise Hole - Trustee


Hello, I am Denise and I've always had Cerebral Palsy.  From the age of 8 I attended a boarding school and mixed with others who had a variety of disablities. I was extremely lucky as I managed to  find office work for 29 years. I was married to Terry in 1990 and we were together for 18 years until his death.

In spite of difficult times, I still enjoy a joke and hope that I can be a help to the board in light of my past experiences.

Tracey Oldershaw - Trustee

I was born in Great Barr - Birmingham and lived and worked there until I moved to Somerset with my husband Mark (who is also a Trustee) and my 3 children. Before becoming my husband's carer I worked in a shoe warehouse, shoe shop and as a very successful party planner.
I have suffered with Ashthma and Eczema all of my life, I love gardening, knitting, baking, DIY and walking my 2 dogs. I took on the role of Trustee in April 2013 and i am thoroughly enjoying learning all about Compass Disability Services and the worthwhile work they do.

Frank Hulbert - Trustee

My name is Frank , I was born in 1943, I am married and I have several daughters and 3 grand-daughters. Most of my working life was spent in the aircraft industry and unfortunately I was forced to retire at the age of 58 through ill health. Voluntary work has been a very important part of my life, I have acted in various roles in education, both within schools and for the county council. My experience in community work has also included support of local mental health groups and the Mendip Disability Forum. My hobby is growing and cultivating orchids.

 

Ceri-Ann Taylor - Trustee

I have firmly established roots in Somerset, having lived here all my life, apart from 4 years when I disappeared to Cardiff to study law. I am now a Solicitor at Foot Anstey in Taunton, specialising in Clinical Negligence. In this role, I work with a lot of disabled clients and am familiar with the day to day difficulties they can face without support. Prior to finding myself in law, I worked as a Carer in a nursing home caring for the elderly and people with physical and psychiatric health problems. I have also worked in the community providing care to the young and old with varying disabilities. Outside of work, I spend most of my time ferrying my young children around to their various activities. When time allows, I enjoy a long run, a game of squash or a session of circuit training! I met Richard Pitman on the side line of a rugby pitch. Shortly afterwards I found myself in a role of Trustee. It is a privilege to be involved in such a magnificent local charity.

Alison Hart Trustee