The Living Room’s Patrons:
Lady Verulam. Retired Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire
Mr Stuart Lewis DL
Trustees of The Living Room:
Patricia Garrard – Chair and Treasurer of the Trustees
Patricia was born in Berkhampstead and has lived in Hertfordshire all her life. Patricia was widowed in 2002 and has three adult daughters. She retired from full time employment in 2008 but remains interested and involved in local charities and community affairs and is a trustee of several charitable organisations including Keech Children Hospice, The Hertsmere Homeless Project and actively supporting MacMillan Nurses.
Patricia retired in 2008 as the East of England Regional Finance Director for Groundwork UK and the Hertfordshire Groundwork Trust. She was also the Finance Director for the National Urban Forestry Unit until 2005.
Patricia was elected District Councillor for St Albans in 2006 and has served as Governor and Chair of Governors of two local schools. Patricia joined The Living Room Hertfordshire on the board of trustees in March 2015.
Mary Corbett OBE
Mary’s working life has been in the voluntary sector, either as a practitioner or manager-in education, community development, alcohol addiction, marriage and relationship counselling, and social policy. She is a trustee of two other charities, both involved in education: one with emotionally traumatized teenagers in the UK and the other in Nepal. She is not into housework but loves cooking and having family and friends around a table. A hopeless linguist she is currently learning Arabic, does geriatric Qin-Gong, is a qualified spiritual accompanier. She is rarely without a book on the go and whenever possible indulges in her passion for modern ballet (watching) and walking in wild places.
Mary joined the board in February 2013, and has special responsibility for all client services policies.
Rev Jos Perris – Trustee
Jos originally had aspirations to be a Prison Psychologist or Psychotherapist specialising in addiction, but she fell instead into marketing and advertising where she remained until she married and started a family. She set up a marketing company in Kuala Lumpur and in London. She then felt called to the Priesthood and was ordained in July 2011 and is currently Curate at St Peters Church in St Albans. She is Vice-Chair of Urban Access which is a youth counselling service in Hemel Hempstead. She has always been interested in different cultures and has travelled around Asia. Jos has been a trustee since February 2013.
Dr Kevin Vaughan – Trustee
Kevin worked in a rural hospital in Uganda and as a GP in Birmingham till retiring from medical practice in 2004. He then worked for the Christian Medical Fellowship till 2011. Currently he is Vice-chair of the International Christian Medical & Dental Association, a trustee of the Christian Medical Fellowship UK and Lay Vice-chair of Christ Church PCC St Albans.
Kevin is married to Sheila and they have three married children and seven grandchildren. Kevin loves global travel, walking and talking. In July 2016, Kevin joined our trustee board.
Tracy Lacey-Smith – Trustee
Tracy is a solicitor and a Partner at SA Law (based in St Albans) heading up the Commercial Dispute Resolution Team. Tracy has also practiced employment law so has a lot of experience dealing with employment and HR related issues. She has previously been governor of a secondary school in Kings Langley and sat as a non-executive Director and Company Secretary of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce. Her commitment to our trustee board began in September 2016.
Eddie Mills – Trustee
Eddie is an ex-client at the Living Room having left in 2017 following a successful 9 months with us and continues his personal recovery from addiction in a 12-step fellowship. After graduating from University with a degree in Business Studies, he has worked in marketing all of his career to date and currently works for a local renewable energy firm. Sport is a huge passion and he captains the 1st XI at Hatfield Hyde Cricket Club, spending his winter weekends on the terraces at Spurs. Following the death of his younger brother from a brain tumour, he set up the Oli Mills Foundation, which has raised £195,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust to date. He joined the board as a trustee in July 2017.
Daniel Marshall – Trustee
Daniel grew up in Stevenage and studied law at University, whilst volunteering for the local Citizens Advice Bureau. Following his degree, he became Chief Executive of Stevenage CAB, becoming the youngest CEO in the Citizens Advice network of more than 300 Local Citizens Advice, and one of the youngest charity CEOs in the country. Daniel is also Chair of the Hertfordshire Citizens Advice county CEOs group, Chair of the Local Strategic Partnerships’ Social Inclusion Forum, Chair of a local task-force looking at Child Poverty in the town, and is Vice-Chair of the Local Strategic Partnership (Stevenage Together). Daniel is also a Director of an online marketing company, and believes that charities generally don’t use technology as well as they could, which he wants to play a part in improving. Daniel joined The Living Room as a trustee in July 2017.
Robert Henry – Trustee
Rob is a retired senior police officer (2016) having served in Hertfordshire police and the Metropolitan police in London. He is married to Helen and has 3 grown up sons. Rob volunteers at Herts Young Homeless on a weekly basis and is an active member of Vineyard Church in Stevenage. Rob also volunteers at the church’s food-bank and helps people to get out of debt. He enjoys global travel, walking his 2 dogs, going to the cinema and studying history. He took on the trustee role at The Living Room, for a second time, in June 2017.
John Palmer – Trustee
John joins us from a charity marketing background. He became a trustee in August 2017.
Dr. Barbara Gibson – Trustee
Barbara is the Hertfordshire County Councillor for the Haldens division of Welwyn Garden City. A member of the Shadow Cabinet, she serves as Opposition Spokesperson for Public Health and Community Safety, and is Whip for the Liberal Democrats group.
With more than 25 years’ experience as a business communication professional, she has worked with companies worldwide, and is a past international chair of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). She is immediate past-president of SIETAR UK (the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research) and a past International Group Chair of CIPR (the Chartered Institute of Public Relations). She completed her PhD in Intercultural Communication in 2014, and has lectured for a number of universities and business schools in the UK and around the world.
A native of Oklahoma, USA, Barbara has lived in the UK since 2002 and became a citizen in 2011. Barbara lives in Welwyn, Hertfordshire, with her husband Andrew, a teacher, and their two dogs. She joined The Living Room a trustee in November 2017.
Charles King – Trustee
Charles became a trustee in January 2018.
Founder of The Living Room:
Founder and Honorary Life President: Mrs Janis Feely MBE
In the late nineties Janis Feely, worked as an addiction worker at a residential rehab project. It was during this time that Janis had a vision for a unique new day recovery treatment centre.
In May 2000 after a year of fundraising and lobbying Janis achieved her vision and established the Living Room supporting many people to achieve recovery from their addictions. Janis retired in 2016 and since then, staff, trustees, volunteers, clients and people in the community have worked hard to ensure this vision remains a reality.