Our People


Chief Executive Officer

Mandi Smith has been our CEO since June 2011 and was previously one of our Family Advisers. She therefore has a wealth of knowledge about Reading Mencap and learning disability. She is a qualified social worker and has worked as such in both the local authority and voluntary sectors. She is a mother of two and has experience of learning disability in her family.

Family Support Team

Kate Stonehouse is the Team Leader for our Family Support Service. She joined Reading Mencap in September 2011. She has worked in the police in safeguarding and training and is also our training specialist in learning disability. She is a mother of three and has experience of learning disability in her family.

Alison Carroll is a Senior Family Adviser and has worked with families, adults and children for Reading Mencap for many years. She is a qualified psychiatric nurse and has a masters degree in child protection. She has vast experience in health and social care, housing and education. She is also a qualified Drama Coach, a Safeguarding Trainer and a Care Act Advocate. Ali is also now the leader of our Friday ME day service.

Sally Utting joined the team in 2015 and is a Family Adviser. She is an experienced social-care professional, having worked in both the statutory and voluntary sectors.

Sean O'Reilly joined the team in 2018 as a Family Support Worker. He has a degree in Leisure Management combined with Psychology.

Nousheen Mehrban Joined us with lived experience of caring for someone with a learning disability, she brings her own unique set of strengths to the team to also help us to meet the needs of our ethnic minority service families.


 Administration Team

Amanda Limm is our Office Manager and Administration Team Leader. She has many years experience in the voluntary and statutory sectors in administration and management.

Paul Johnson MBE is our bookkeeper. He is a retired accountant with a long career working abroad with several high profile accountancy companies.

Jacqui McGachie is our Communications Officer looking after our website, newsletter and social media.  She will be one of the people who you would speak to if you ring our office. Jacqui has many years experience working in communications in both the statuory and voluntary sector.

Elaine Ryan is our Administration Officer. She has many years experience working in the private and voluntary sectors.


Clubs and Respite

Abbi Chambers is our Clubs Manager, running all our clubs and social activities for children, adults and their parents/carers. She has experience in supporting vulnerable adults, housing and in coordinating day service activities; she has a degree in visual studies.

Charlie Macdonald leads our Gateway Club and Disco/Karaoke and is a Senior Care Support Worker in our ME Day Service.

Andy Pipistrelli, is the deputy leader in our Gateway Club and longstanding volunteer driver. 

Sarah Newton, is now leading our Saturday Youth Club and has a long history working with children and families for Reading Mencap.



Marie-Claire Dillon is our Fundraising Manager, responsible for the fundraising work of the charity. She has a degree in languages and a background in publishing and bid-writing for the voluntary sector.


ME Day Activity Service

Our Senior Care Support Workers who run the 9 days at Alexandra Road and St Pauls Church Hall site are Ali Carroll, Charlie Macdonald, Hannah Pritchard, Chelsea Evans, Claire Kitching and Rosie Rodgers, they are ably assisted by our Care Support Workers; Dianne, James, Halima, Jackie, Lydia and Trish.



Chair: Leslie Macdonald has over 25 years of experience in the voluntary sector as a founder member of the Berkshire Autistic Society and working with Reading and Wokingham Mencaps. She has a qualification in autism from Birmingham University and has also worked in mainstream secondary schools teaching social skills to adolescents with Asperger Syndrome. She joined Reading Mencap again in February 2011 as Chair and has experience of learning disability in her family.

Treasurer: Nelson Walters is our Treasurer and is a retired Chartered Accountant with many years experience in finance and accounts.

Peter Miller MCIPS has 35 years commercial and management experience in both private and public sectors. He contributes to the management and good governance of the charity and has played a leading role in efforts to implement RVA’s Safe and Sound Quality Standard and the recent review of policies and procedures covering all aspects of the charity’s activities.

Kimberley Norris is a qualified accountant working locally in Reading and is leading on our strategic fundraising.

Zoe Ridout is a Business Development Director in a large, multi national support services company who joined our Board in August 2016.  She has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of business development and strategy and has been supporting the charity to develop a sustainable long-term outlook.

Max Saban joined us as a new Trustee in 2020 and brings welcome expertise in IT as a professional in the  IT business world.