About Us

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.

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 (2)

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

Care Connex (1)

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

Youth Connex (1)

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 (1)

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.

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

Marie-Louise Nolan

Chair of the Board

Marie-Louise has been on our Board since 2006. She taught for 17 years in primary, secondary and further education, specialising in special educational needs. She has worked in the community for over 30 years and was a local councillor for 8 years. During that time she chaired the Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee and was Portfolio Holder for Communication, HR and Partnership. She has also worked in local government, Parliament and trade unions. Marie-Louise is currently a National Leader of Governance supporting schools across North West London and a director of two multi-academy trusts.

As a local councillor, she became aware of our work and in particular, its campaign work. Marie-Louise is passionate about making sure that people with learning disabilities’ voices are heard and their rights and aspirations are fully met.

In her ‘spare’ time Marie-Louise enjoys spending time with family and friends, especially her little grandson, gardening, walking, yoga, cinema, theatre, watching rugby and is a keen Bruce Springsteen fan.

Ash Verma

Vice Chair

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.

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

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

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.

Hazel Paterson

Trustee

Hazel works in education and is the Headteacher at Kingsley High School, which is one of the local authority’s special schools for young people aged 11-19. She is passionate about working with children who did not always find learning easy and during her time there, became aware of and interested in our work.

Hazel became a trustee 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, enjoying outdoor pursuits (running, gardening, walking, water sports).

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”.

Executive Team

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

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.

Henry Anaele

Director of Finance

A personable accounting professional with a wide range of experience spanning over fifteen years. Henry first joined us as our Finance Manager in March 2007. Prior to that, Henry worked with the payment department, children services, of London Borough of Newham.

Over the years, he has gained valuable experience working in various capacities at Courtauld Institute of art (University of London), Akarams & Co (accounting practice), Nexco Engineering Services (Oil field Servicing). Presently, he also works as an independent examiner for small charities accounts. He is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

Senior Leadership Group

Teresa Neal

Business Manager, Together ConneX, Youth ConneX and Care ConneX

Teresa entered the Health and Social Care sector as a learning disability nurse working in various learning disability and mental health services. Thereafter she became the manager of a number of supported living and residential services across the four boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Harrow and Hillingdon. Teresa first joined us in June 2018 and plays an active role in the development of our face-to-face support offers and has been at the forefront of many positive and ground-breaking changes. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, cooking and spending time with her family.

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

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

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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