About Us

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Community ConneX Ltd is an established and leading West London-based health and social care organisation serving the whole community.

We help people to live healthier, happier, and more independent lives. We do this by supporting individuals and families in their daily lives, providing them with opportunities to engage with others, make their voices heard, develop new skills, and grow.

Our clientele includes but is not limited to people who experience social isolation, older people, people with learning disabilities, autistic people, individuals with mental health problems and others.

Our core services offer clients a range of support from childhood to advanced age.

Our Vision, Mission & Values

Our Vision – What we want to achieve

A world where disabled people and those with other disadvantages are treated as equal citizens.

Our Mission – How we see our role in achieving our vision

To work with disabled people, those experiencing other disadvantages and their families to live healthier, happier and inclusive lives by ensuring their needs, rights and aspirations are met.

Our Values – These are the things we believe and influence the way we work

  1. Inclusive – Everyone should be valued equally, listened to and included.

  2. Listen and involve people to make choices about how they live their lives.

  3. Creative – We try new and innovative ways to work with and support people to have fulfilled lives.

  4. Person centred – Peoples’ experiences should be at the heart of all we do.

  5. Actively engage with clients, families, other citizens and communities to create more opportunities.

  6. Challenge and inspire each other every day and not be afraid to support people to achieve their dreams.

  7. Learn and grow – We support and develop our staff and volunteers to make a real difference to people’s lives.

  8. Tackle inequalities – by campaigning to ensure rights are upheld and services are of the highest quality – locally and nationally.

We offer 6 main services for individuals and their families, these are:

People ConneX

Community activities, events and volunteering opportunities open to all (regardless of ability), to prevent social isolation.

Together Connex

Support in person, out in the community, and online, as well as short overnight breaks away.

Care Connex

24-hour individual care agency and supported living services for those aged 8 and above with higher needs.

Youth Connex

After school, Saturday, and holiday clubs for children and young people aged 5-18.

Advocacy Information & Advice

Answers to frequently asked questions and signposting.

Advocacy 1st

Statutory Advocacy, including all Health Complaints Advocacy, and Children and Young People's Advocacy in Harrow.

We also run a community engagement programme which works with groups and individuals as well as the public, private and voluntary sectors to drive positive change more widely.

Our story

1946

Our story begins.

We have been supporting individuals, families, and communities in West London for many years. Our roots go all the way back to 1946 when a group of parents of children with learning disabilities came together in a small wood hut in Rayners Lane to provide mutual support for one another, and campaign for their children’s rights.

Hilda Drew, the Simcox family, and Jim and Lillian Snell, joined up with relatives, neighbours and friends to found the Harrow Society for Mentally Handicapped Children. Thereafter, they began organising vital support for their families and each other, such as children’s activities and group holidays.

About Us
About Us

Forty years later the charity became a company limited by guarantee and changed its name to Harrow Mencap.

Thereafter, as a group, the organisation grew to support more and more people, including families and individuals from Brent and Hillingdon, as well as disadvantaged people without learning disabilities, tackling problems such as loneliness, isolation, and poor mental health.

In the meantime, we also incorporated Enterprise Wellness Ltd into our group as a subsidiary company. Enterprise Wellness’ main role is to engage with and capture intelligence from the community around health and social care in West London, in order to make ours and other services more responsive to public need.

For these reasons, in 2021 our leadership decided to change the charity’s name to Community ConneX Ltd in order to make our support available to a wider range of people and families across West London and beyond.

We now run all our support services through Community ConneX, but Harrow Mencap and its values are still an important part of the work we do.

Harrow Mencap is now focused on being the leading voice and campaigning organisation for people with a learning disability in and around Harrow.

We have come a long way since 1946, but our principles and dedication to serving and supporting our community are still the same today after more than 70 years.

Our Trustees

Ash Verma

Ash Verma

Chair of the Board

Ash has been involved with Harrow Mencap for several years, becoming the Vice Chair in 2018. He is a “social entrepreneur”, businessman and former senior British civil servant, with over forty-five years experience in leading and delivering various British Government policy and funding initiatives and programmes, especially economic development, infrastructure and community cohesion. Ash has also pioneered international trade and investment support initiatives for small and medium sized enterprises in the UK and overseas.

Ash is passionate about bringing business and communities together for good causes and broadening his knowledge and experience of the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged people in society.

Ash is keen to contribute to the business development of the Harrow Mencap Group, by sharing his extensive personal, consultancy and business experience.

Hazel Paterson

Hazel Paterson

Vice Chair

Hazel, now retired, has a background of working in education. She is passionate about working with children who do not always find learning easy. Hazel became aware of and interested in our organisation when she moved to a position in one of the local authority special schools, completing her career as headteacher at Kingsley High School. She describes working at the school as a great privilege and pleasure, despite the expected pressures.

Hazel became a Vice Chair because she believes in our practice, goals, vision and values and our attitude toward people with learning disabilities. She lives in Harrow, is an Arsenal supporter, and enjoys outdoor pursuits (running, gardening, walking, water sports).

Barry Pritchard

Barry Pritchard

Treasurer

Barry joined us as a trustee in 2018 and became treasurer in 2019. He is a Business and Corporate Bank Manager for the Royal Bank of Scotland, with 30 years experience. Specialising in supporting businesses and helping them overcome the numerous hurdles that a modern business faces to achieve their aspirations.

A keen golfer and cyclist he can be found most weekends on his bike in the Chiltern Hills. He has cycled from Land’s End to John o’ Groats more than once!

Avis Robinson

Avis Robinson

Trustee

Avis is an experienced PR Consultant with over 30 years in the PR Industry working primarily for large corporate entities. She has volunteered with us since 2016 helping to publicise our work and services.

Avis became a trustee because she was impressed with the way the charity operates in the community, with its clients as well as the wider community. Using her commercial knowledge, communications skills, contacts and experience to raise awareness of the services that we provide.

David House

David House

Trustee

David has been engaged with us for over 20 years both as a volunteer and as an employee. He is a former carer, an ambassador, self-advocate and an expert by experience in ensuring the voice of others is heard. He initially worked as a Person Centred Planning Support Worker, supporting people with a learning disability to help them develop their personal plans. He then went on to work with groups of people to develop their skills and support them into getting paid work.

He is a passionate campaigner and has a key part to play in bringing people together to ensure that their voice is heard and that people have choices in how they live their lives.

David is a keen Star Trek and Dr Who fan and also enjoys walking, keeping fit and cooking.

Siddharth Mukne - Trustee

Siddharth Mukne

Trustee

Siddharth works promoting bilateral trade between the UK and India. He has a strong background in business development, international trade management, project management, account management & operations; having worked with multinational engineering, advance manufacturing & life science companies across Europe & India. He is originally from India and studied Engineering and International Trade Management there before coming to Britain. He also holds an Executive MBA and master’s degree in international marketing from UK universities. 

Siddharth is passionate about supporting the community and is a trustee at a number of charities including Our NHS Our Concern, Culture and Arts (CAA), Hemalkasa Health Foundation UK and joined as a trustee at Community ConneX in October 2021.

Rikesh Tailor

Rikesh Tailor

Trustee

Rikesh joined as a trustee in 2015 and served as Treasurer from 2016-2019. He has worked as a manager for Barclays Bank for 10 years. Rikesh is married with two children. He is very passionate about his work and the development of my colleagues. His biggest achievement is walking from London to Brighton, he says “it took me 30 hours and was well worth the experience”.

Allison Dawson - Co-opted Trustee

Allison "Ally" Dawson

Trustee

Allison AKA Ally Dawson, has been volunteering with Community ConneX several years and has a real passion for fighting for the rights of people with learning disabilities and for equal opportunities for all people. She has played a leading role in numerous campaign activities on issues such as healthcare, housing and inclusive social opportunities.

Rebecca Amin

Trustee

Rebecca joined as a Trustee in January 2022. She is a PA in the private sector to a consultant psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist.

Rebecca is a carer to her brother, who has attended Community ConneX for many years. This motivated Rebecca to become a trustee and lend her support to this forward thinking charity that helped her brother in so many ways. She now wants to give some of her time back.

Executive Team

Deven Pillay

Deven Pillay

Chief Executive & Company Secretary

Deven has a varied and extensive senior management and executive experiences in Health and Social Care; encompassing Health and Local Authorities, Housing, Voluntary and Community sectors. Deven also currently holds a number of voluntary roles as Trustee/Director in a wide range of organisations. He sits on many Boards and Committees in Harrow and beyond including: Management Board of North West Mencap Consortium, Local Safeguarding Adults Board, Local Healthwatch Delivery Board, Enterprise Wellness. Deven is passionate about individual and human rights, working to ensure that individuals have the same opportunities as other citizens. He strives to embed our values in every facet of our structures and services.

Alison Davies

Alison Davies

Deputy Chief Executive

With more than 20 years experience working and managing social care services for people with learning disabilities. In her last position she was in a senior management role responsible for strategic and operational management of local authority and health funded day and residential services for adults with learning disability and was the Responsible Individual for Shared Lives, a CQC registered service. Throughout her career she has led on many projects and change management initiatives, including Employment Strategy, PFI to re-provide residential services, modernising Day Opportunities, and developing new models of service delivery. Alison joined us in 2014 and initially headed up our business transformation programme and is now our Deputy Chief Executive.

Senior Leadership Group

Rachel Stubbs

Rachel Stubbs

Business Manager, Advocacy 1st

Rachel has worked in the Health and Social Care sector since 2003 and has worked in the field of Advocacy since 2009 in services throughout the Midlands and South West. Rachel joined Harrow Mencap in October 2020 and is responsible for Care Act and Advocacy services which includes statutory advocacy and preventative services in Brent. In her spare time she enjoys arts and crafts, running and playing the piano.

James Ejekwu

James Ejekwu

Business Manager, Human Resources and Group Services

James oversees and is responsible for all HR and people strategy, communication and ancillary services to ensure efficient business operations. He has demonstrable career experience from across industrial sectors. Hobbies include football, cycling and watching documentaries.

Marie Pate

Marie Pate

Business Manager, Corporate Services

Marie has been an integral part of our team for several years, and currently leads our Engagement Department and Healthwatch Harrow. Before joining us, she worked at National Mencap, where she developed a strong connection with learning disability, which led to her passion for ensuring that all people are treated equally and have the right to live their lives as they choose. She pursues her passion for equality outside of work and is a trustee at a charity in her local area that also supports people with a learning disability. In her spare time she loves walking her dog, skiing and attempting to play tennis.

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