Who we are
A team of nearly 70 people work at The Lodge Trust to provide a safe living environment and to support our Service Users in their home, work, recreational and spiritual life. All staff members are highly trained and well supported by managers in staff supervisions, performance reviews and annual appraisals.
The Lodge Trust has been recognised as an ‘Investor in People’ organisation and has also been awarded the Employment Service ‘Positive about Disabled People’ symbol. The Lodge Trust and many of our staff have signed the Social Care Commitment.
Meet our Management Team
Our Chief Executive, David Whitmarsh, whose office is on-site, is responsible for all aspects of The Lodge Trust. This includes Residential Services, Work and Education Services and the Lodge Country Park. The Management Committee, on which he sits, meets ten times each year.
David joined The Lodge Trust in 2010 and has overseen the growth in the number of Service Users supported each day. The Christian ethos is at the heart of the ministry of The Lodge Trust and David is passionate that should continue and be extended to benefit many more people with learning disabilities across the UK.
Prior to 2010, David was Managing Director of Damaris Trust and Company Secretary for Grace Baptist Charities Ltd. His background is financial with a Masters in Information Systems and this has been useful in developing efficient systems in the delivery of care and support as well as managing the growth of the organisation.
Previously, David served as pastor in two Baptist Churches in Portsmouth, Hampshire, and Cheddar, Somerset. He grew up in Richhill, County Armagh, and still speaks with a clear Northern Irish accent.
Our Registered Manager is responsible for managing Residential Services. Kathryn ensures that individuals at The Lodge Trust are supported in a Person-Centred way, giving all the opportunity to realise their potential and achieve goals. Kathryn sees our Christian ethos as central to our delivery of care and developing individuals' relationship with God as an essential role for all our Care staff.
Kathryn has worked in the Learning Disability field for over 13 years. She has had various roles in The Lodge Trust in the past, including being the Training Manager for 7 years, so sees the importance of training for all the staff and the difference this can make in people’s lives.
Previously to working at The Lodge Trust, Kathryn was a primary school teacher in Liverpool.
Kathryn enjoys talking to groups about making church accessible to people with learning disabilities.
She enjoys spending time with her family and friends as well baking the odd cake.
Our Work and Education Services Manager, Kevin Armstrong, ensures the smooth running of our work teams and is always exploring new opportunities for development. Kevin has a customer-focused attitude, where he focuses on the individual and their unique needs. Understanding that each person’s needs require a different response, whether that is their past and upbringing, their personal tastes or current situations they face.
He has untaken different roles where he looks at serving people. He has been involved in catering for the last 25 years, with varying roles from management, cooking, running functions and events.
He trained in theology and pastoral studies and on completion worked in a local church. From there Kevin worked as a Community Chaplain supporting ex-offenders as they transition from prison to the community. During this role he was involved with, and chaired, the national community chaplaincy association, supporting chaplaincy throughout the country.
Our Administration Services Manager, Hetty Simpson, oversees both administration and finance, accounting for the money we receive in fees, donations and sales and ensuring our bills and staff are paid on time. She also helps our Service Users to manage their money, supporting them with their benefits and banking.
Hetty came to The Lodge Trust as a volunteer in her ‘gap year’ after university, while she worked out what she wanted to do next in life. Eleven years later and she still loves the place too much to leave! Hetty has spent the majority of her time here working in residential care and so knows and understands most of our Service Users very well. After developing her financial skills outside of work as a church treasurer, she then switched to working in the office full-time.
Having grown up in London, Hetty is now fully converted to village life and loves walking with her two dogs and relaxing with her husband and friends.
Our Learning and Development Manager, Janet Bolton, is responsible for organising (and delivering some of) our free training for all staff, including diplomas in Health and Social Care; Safeguarding; Confidentiality; Moving and Handling; Managing Challenging Behaviour (NAPPI); and Privacy and Dignity. Janet was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. As a Yorkshire woman she is very proud of her roots.
She has lived in London for 7 years and in Oakham since 1994. She started working in care while she lived in London and carried out a variety of jobs, from Occupational Therapy and working with the Deaf and using her BSL skills.
She started work at The Lodge in 2005 as a Senior of Garden House. She worked there until she left for another job, but eventually came back. She has worked here, this time, since March 2012. She has worked her way up to her present role.
She has two children, Philip and Helen, and between them they have given her four grandchildren, whom she loves dearly. She enjoys spending time with them and spoiling them, as is her right as a nannan!
She is a keen knitter; she also likes to read and visit her family.
Our Health and Safety Manager, Steve Burgess, carries out regular risk assessments and system checks to keep us safe as we live, work and relax at The Lodge Trust.
Steve has worked for The Lodge Trust since 2014; he started as a volunteer and is now the Facilities/Health and Safety Manager.
He trained in Agricultural Studies, Farm Business Management and completed a City and Guilds course in Agricultural Engineering. He has spent most of his working life managing his own business, growing and supplying lawn turf throughout the southeast of England. Prior to joining The Lodge Trust Steve was the general manager of a turf company. Steve has also assisted a friend to set up a business in Mongolia.