Our Trustees

The Trustees hold overall responsibility for our organisation. They play a vital role, they volunteer their time and working together to make important decisions about our charity’s work.

Tim Bruton (Chair), Peter Arnold, Tom Walkling, Liz Hensel, Peter Townley and Felly Nkweto Simmonds.

At our latest AGM (October 2021), we welcomed our new Trustee – Felly Nkweto Simmonds. Glenys Thomas has stood down after 20 years of incredible service to Martineau Gardens.

Tim Bruton, Chair

I have lived in Birmingham all my life and currently live less than one mile from Martineau Gardens. I have been a Chartered Accountant since 2003 and currently work in industry (Jaguar Land Rover) as a finance manager. I am married with a teenage son. I joined Martineau as an opportunity to share my finance expertise with a group of people who make life better in a myriad different ways. I feel I have gained more from the Gardens than I have contributed and know that the Gardens prove everyone has something to offer.

Peter Arnold, Trustee

Living nearby and working in the city centre as a barrister, I have been involved with the Gardens for many years, presently as a Trustee and previously as Chair of Trustees. It has been a privilege to give time to such an inspirational place – an oasis of green calm at the heart of our second city.

The Gardens provide  a safe and wonderful space to local people and their children whilst giving training and direction to our volunteers many of whom have difficult lives.  All this is done on a small budget funded entirely by donation and  fund raising events.

Elizabeth Hensel, Trustee

I live in Moseley and am a clinical psychologist. I have worked for the NHS for many years, at one time being clinical Director for the services to people with a learning disability in South Birmingham. I have also served on several boards, and am experienced in governance.  I am now retired from full time work, but am a governor at UHB and continue with my research interests. My main area of research has been into quality of life, particularly with people with learning disability.

I have always been involved with my local community through voluntary work, arts activities charitable work and so on.  Martineau Gardens are a delightful oasis in the middle of the city and I hope my skills and experiences will contribute to its continuation and development.

Tom Walkling, Trustee

I am a barrister, practicing from chambers in the city centre, and in courts all around the Midlands. I have lived in Birmingham nearly all my life, and it is places like Martineau Gardens that make the city such a special place. I feel extremely honoured to be able to work for the Gardens. It is a precious space; a haven in the city for the benefit of the whole community.

Peter Townley MBE, Trustee

I am a retired management consultant with a long record of holding senior board positions in business and international trade organisations during a career in industry. I served as a Trustee and Director of a number of charities across the West Midlands for almost 40 consecutive years, supporting and managing charities actively  providing services to individuals living with mental health, learning and physical disabilities.

Felly Nkweto Simmonds, Trustee

I am a former Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Northumbria, Newcastle and have worked in development as Behavior Change Advisor for HIV/AIDS prevention programmes in Zambia and as a humanitarian in post war Democratic Republic of Congo as Programme Coordinator on Gender Based Violence (GBV) mitigation programmes.  I am a trained Person-Centered Counsellor which has informed both my development and humanitarian work, and my counselling style which reflect the person-centered principles of providing a nonjudgmental, trusting, and supportive space that enables an individual to explore thoughts and feelings and express what is important to them.

My interest in the work of Martineau Gardens is based on the purpose of the garden, to provide a therapeutic and healing space for volunteers and visitors. It is an oasis of peace in the middle of the city. For a number of years, each time I was in Birmingham, I have visited. Now that I have come back to live in Birmingham, I’m formally joining the Martineau community and I’m looking forward to working with this committed and diverse group of Trustees, staff, and volunteers.