Our Trustees dedicate their time and expertise to the charity and it is their inspiration, and drive that enables us to make a difference to so many people.

The Trustees experience, skills, and beliefs help shape the Guideposts of today as well as define the Guideposts of tomorrow so that our Charity can continue to make a real and lasting difference to the lives of those affected by caring, ageing, learning disabilities and mental health. 

Lydia Hirst - Chair

Lydia joined the Guideposts board of Trustees in 2009 after working alongside the charity for over 10 years. She is currently setting up a technology development tool for care staff working with people who have Dementia. She strongly supports the ethos of the charity in working with the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in society. Recognising the changes in funding, she is working with fellow Trustees and senior managers to help ensure the on-going financial stability of the organisation and its transformation to a social enterprise continuing to deliver highly valued services both face to face and on line. 

Diana Billingham

Diana joined the Board last year and has taken on the role of Vice-Chair. She has spent most of her 35 year career working in the IT Services industry, more specifically for large international companies, working with clients in Europe, USA and Asia partnering with telecommunication and software companies, providing consulting advice and designing enterprise IT systems. She loves technology and how enabling it can bring real benefits and positive change to organisations in the digital age. She has been personally affected by dementia within her own family, seeing the devastating impact it can have on individuals and recognising how much support is needed to support people and their families at this difficult time. Diana believes that, going forward, technology should play a more important role in helping deliver innovative services for people in need and wants to support Guideposts with this.

Dr Catherine Oppenheimer  

Dr Catherine Oppenheimer joined Guideposts in 1990 and is our longest serving Trustee. She is a Consultant Psychogeriatrician in the Oxfordshire Mental Healthcare NHS Trusts Department of Psychiatry of Old Age in Oxford. She is also a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University Department of Psychiatry, a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and of the Royal College of Physicians, and Regional Advisor in Psychiatry for Oxford.  She was formerly Psychiatric Tutor for Oxford and co-ordinating Tutor for the Oxford Regional Training Scheme in Psychiatry. She is co-editor (with Dr Robin Jacob) of the textbook Psychiatry in the Elderly, published by Oxford University Press, and writes on ethical issues in old age and sexuality in old age. Her knowledge and experience have been invaluable in helping us shape and develop support and services for older people, people with dementia and their carers.

Ingrid Blades

Ingrid has been on our board of Trustees since 2015. Ingrid founded a Social Enterprise in 2015. She brings a wealth of skills and experience from the NFP and commercial environment and is the HR and OD Lead on the board.

Peter Smith 

Peter is a retired solicitor and a commissioned and ordained Salvation Army officer.  He has extensive experience of the running of charities and also financial institutions both as International Legal Advisor to the Salvation Army for over 20 years and as a director and chairman of a friendly society.  He also served as a member of the board of the Salvation Army Housing Association.  Currently he also serves on the boards of another charitable company namely Bethany Kids UK and International and is also a trustee of the Environment Agency Pension Fund.

Alexander Curtis

Alexander became a trustee of Guideposts in August 2018. As a local Councillor in Hertfordshire, he is very passionate about combatting social exclusion at the grassroots level within communities. Through being Europe’s youngest mayor (serving the town of Ware, Hertfordshire), Alex first came into contact with Guideposts. He was inspired by the breadth of the charity’s work, and the potential of its diverse and novel strategies for meeting the emotional and physical needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Through serving on the board of Guideposts, Alex hopes to contribute to the development of the charity’s services, helping people to improve their quality of life and gain a greater sense of social wellbeing.

If you are interested in joining our board of Trustees then please contact Matthew Jones, our CEO, on 01993 893560