Q&A: Charities, trustees and the law

What is a charity trustee?
Do I need special qualifications to become a charity trustee?
What do I actually have to do? …

Duties of Charity Trustees
This guide is designed as a simple introduction to trusteeship. We aim to demystify the duties and responsibilities involved in being a charity trustee and to point trustees in the direction of more detailed guidance where they need it.

Our Team

We can only achieve our aims with the support of our professional and committed Trustees and team. Our staff vision is that our people are passionate about what they do, deliver a professional service and are proud of their work.

Full constitution (PDF format)

Board of Waltham Forest Dyslexia Association Trustees

Chris Dee – Chair of Trustees

 Lois Hood – Vice Chair of Trustees

Chair of Trustees – Lois Hood

Lois Hood is a parent of two children who both have dyslexia and she joined WFDA as a member in 1999 when she first discovered her daughter was dyslexic (who is on track to gain a MSc in Computer Science). In 2015 Lois became a Trustee and was Chair during 2016, after several years working at WFDA as a sessional, secondary school level literacy support tutor at our classes and lead tutor for our Summer Transition Club for pupils in Year 6 moving up into secondary school.  Lois was instrumental in producing the Dyslexia Handbook and works in local schools providing support for students with dyslexia but also runs workshops for teachers and support staff.

Lois privately provides dyslexia assessments for students and advises families on how best to work in partnership with their schools.  Lois has a deep understanding of the experiences faced by parents as her own children have dyslexia.

Interview with Lois

How long have you been involved with WFDA?
For about 12 years. I joined as a parent when I found out my daughter is dyslexic. I began working for W.F.D.A as a teacher on Monday evening classes in January ‘08.

What do you love about your job? There are a lot of things but I suppose the most important thing is making a difference to someone. This difference could be building confidence or helping someone do something they haven’t been able to do before.

What has been the best moment in your career? Probably that was gaining my Diploma in Dyslexia and Literacy so that I could become a specialist teacher.

How do you like to relax? I’m not very good at relaxing but I suppose the nearest I get to it is when I’m gardening.

Do you have a hidden talent? Perhaps my hidden talent is associated with that – I’ve just grown a beautiful pumpkin that I’m very proud of.

What’s your worst habit? Hmm – probably ignoring the dust on things rather than dusting them.

Describe yourself in one sentence. A person who is a bit driven and is also a bit of a perfectionist but devoted to my children and my cats.


Margaret Heath  – Trustee Secretary

Trustee - Margaret Heath
Vice Chair of Trustees – Margaret Heath

Margaret is the Principal Senior Lecturer at the University of East London (UEL) and has been teaching in the Business School since the early 1990’s. Margaret in 2014 is studying for Level 5 Diploma in Teaching Dyslexia. At the 2016 AGM Margaret took on the role as Trustee Secretary.


David Pearce – Treasurer

Treasurer - David Pearce
Treasurer – David Pearce

David Pearce is the WFDA Treasurer and is amply qualified for this role as he is a Chartered Accountant who has worked in the Charity and Voluntary Sector for over thirty years. He has a personal interest in dyslexia as his youngest daughter; his sister and one of her daughters have all been diagnosed as dyslexic. Initially his involvement with WFDA started when he assisted his wife, Elly during her time as Treasurer of the association. In November 2012 he became a trustee, and has subsequently taken over Elly’s role as Treasurer.



 Katherine Hewlett

Katherine Hewlett
Trustee – Katherine Hewlett

Katherine holds the TESOL Trinity Certificate for teaching and is trained in adult education delivery.

Carol Newnham

Trustee - Carol Newnham
Trustee and Child Protection Officer, Carol Newnman

In 2012 Carol completed the Specialist Dyslexia Training for Teachers Programme and has a background in multisensory teaching programmes targeted at individuals specified needs which are ideal for students with dyslexia.  Alongside this, Carol has 17 years work experience in primary teaching and as a private tutor teaches students ranging from Year 1 to Year 11 GCSE Foundation stage and adult literacy on a 1-1 basis or in a small group for Literacy, Maths and 11+ exam preparations.   Since becoming one of our trustees Carol was an ideal candidate to join our team of sessional tutors at our Monday classes.

Katherine Marshall

Trustee - Katherine Marshall
Trustee – Katherine Marshall

Katherine is a retired secondary school teacher, working part-time as a freelance education consultant. She joined the Waltham Forest Dyslexia Association when it was formed in 1989 and was chair from 1999 to 2009.

Eleanor Pearce

Trustee - Eleanor Pearce
Trustee – Eleanor Pearce

Eleanor has been a Trustee since 2001 and was Treasurer from 2001 to 2012. She is also a Dyslexia Specialist teacher and currently works at Sheila Ferrari Dyslexia Centre (private sector) and at home working with children mostly primary but up to 16.

Patrice Gueroult

Patrice Gueroult
Trustee – Patrice Gueroult

Patrice was born in France and now lives in Hackney, London. He was diagnosed with dyslexia in 2015 and attends the Adult Meet Up. As a graphic designer, he is able to offer practical help with the visual aspects of anything the association produces. Also he believes that he has an ability to come up with innovative ideas in order to find new perspectives for problem-solving and he is strong on numeracy.


Marcia Brissett-Baily

rsz_marcia_brissett-baileyMarcia has dyslexia herself and was motivated to become a trustee in order join the working community that tries to empower those who are living with dyslexia. She has a real passion and desire to support and work with children and young people who have learning difficulties as well as children in the care system. She is interested in personal development, to maximize academic and professional success alongside addressing health and wellbeing through mindfulness and positive thinking.

Marcia feels that being a WFDA trustee is a way of using the skills and experience that she has gathered over the years in order to make a contribution to a cause she believes in.   Previously she has volunteered a in range of settings, from parent governor and children charity groups. She lives in Newnham and has worked within the inner London youth and community service and education sector. Her work includes assisting and exploring student’s options, making informed decisions, with a person centred approach in a non-judgemental manner.

Therefore she has a background in dealing with young people in a confidential and professional manner (such as mental health issues, learning disabilities etc). She is also able to provide career guidance, coaching and mentoring, as well as advocacy, effective listening and Counselling skills.

Martin Kadasamy

image1[1]Martin has dyslexia himself which was only diagnosed when he was an adult.   He has regularly attended the Adult Meetings since its launch in March 2015 and has attended the Next Step programme. His background is in the IT sector.   Martin lives in Tottenham and can speak Tamil. Following the 2015 AGM Martin has joined our Board of Trustees. Martin wanted to get involved with WFDA as he is explained that ‘I am a friendly person and having dyslexia myself I’d like to help other dyslexics. I have a deep understanding of the challenges they face particularly in the workplace.  Coming to my first adult meeting was like coming home to me. I felt so comfortable there, it was a Eureka moment for me. ‘

Alice Speller

Alice joined the Board in 2015 after attending our monthly Adult Meet up Group. Alice has dyslexia and dyspraxia and works with students with special learning difficulties. Her work background includes:

Specialist Study Skills Tutor, Equality Focus, London.
Specialist Study Skills Tutor, Randstad, London
Assistive Technology Trainer, Diversity and Ability, London.

Alice has a PG Dip Teaching Adult Dyslexic Learners In FE/HE for which she received a distinction. She has run many trainings including as the director of an NGO. Previously she has provided non violent direct action training for students. Currently she is a caseworker and community campaigner for Stella Creasy MP which involves a lot of workshops and events. Finally while practising law she also attended court to represent clients.