Board of Trustees

Michael Oliver, Chairman

Trust Chairman, Michael Oliver, is the father of Edward, a Linkage client. A former army officer and a solicitor since 1979, Michael spent many years at a very senior level within Boots, serving as principal legal advisor from 1987 to 2000 and company secretary from 2000 to 2006. Michael also Chairs the Finance Committee.

Tony Bake

Tony has worked within human resource, finance, infrastructure, facilities management and equipment procurement, with responsibility for strategic planning, change management and continuous improvement. He has also had the opportunity to work outside the UK. He joined the Board in January 2011 and sits on the Care, Employment and Adult Skills Committee and the Pensions Committee.

Mike Bell

Mike Bell joined Linkage as a Trustee in January 2017 and sits on the Finance Committee. He brings a vast knowledge of IT to Linkage having worked in the IT field after completing his post graduate Master’s degree. Forty years later he is still actively engaged in the innovative use of predictive analytics and IOT working with elite sports teams and well-being organisations. Mike has held many key executive positions: Boots Healthcare, Somerfield PLC and Kingfisher PLC and more recently Systems, Applications and Products (SAP).

Professor Stephen Brown

Stephen Brown joined Linkage as a Trustee in January 2017 and sits on the Education Committee as Interim Chair. He has been Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Nottingham since his retirement in 2005 after 42 years’ service to the University. Prior to his retirement he was Director of the Nottingham Centre for Pavement Engineering and during University career served a four year term as the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor responsible for Research, Industry and Commerce, Dean of Engineering and Head of Civil Engineering.

Roger Harfoot

Father of a former student of Linkage College and current resident, Roger Harfoot is delighted to help Linkage as a Trustee in recognition of, and in gratitude for, the excellent quality of life that Linkage and its staff have given, and continue to give, to his son. He established an IT consultancy following early retirement from British Gas over ten years ago and was a active member of Linkage’s Employment Advisory Group for some time and a Trustee since October 2005. Roger served as Vice-Chairman from September 2006 to September 2007 and in October 2008 he was re-appointed joint Vice-Chairman of the Board until April 2018. He also served as Chairman of the Core Services sub-committee until July 2018 and currently sits on the Care, Employment and Adult Skills Committee.

Clare Jervis

Full-time mum Clare is the parent of a child with Down’s Syndrome and also serves on the Board of a family support group for the condition in North East Lincolnshire. Clare sits on the Education Committee.

Azad Najmaldin

Azad is a Consultant Paediatric and Neonatal Surgeon at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals. His daughter Lydia is one of Linkage’s clients. Azad sits on the Care, Employment and Adult Skills Committee.

Stephanie Simpson

Steph is a Chartered Engineer with over 20 years of military experience leading diverse teams in complex and challenging environments in the UK and overseas. She is the mother of a young child with Williams Syndrome and joined Linkage as a Trustee in March 2017.  In April 2018 she was appointed as Vice-Chair of the Board, a role that she combines with chairing the Care Services committee.

Samantha Stewart

Sam joined Linkage as a trustee in November 2017 and sits on the Education Committee. Sam has worked in the education sector all her life, she has been a head teacher and senior leader in the primary sector and a school’s inspector for Ofsted. Sam has also worked as a teacher in a school for children and young adults with a variety of additional needs and disabilities. She is currently a school effectiveness adviser for schools in the Diocese of Lincoln.

Linkage Community Trust Committee Membership


Michael Oliver (Chair)

Mike Bell

Stephanie Simpson

Valerie Waby

Alison Highet



Stephen Brown (Interim Chair)

Sam Stewart

Clare Jervis

Martin Shelton

Karen Warsap


Care, Employment & Adult Skills

Stephanie Simpson (Interim Chair)

Roger Harfoot

Azad Najmaldin

Tony Bake

Rex Richardson

Bridget Rowe

Richard Locke-Wheaton

Chris Teesdale

Stephen Potter


Pensions Committee

Tony Bake

Frank Proctor

Valerie Waby


Chair, Vice Chair and CEO ex-officio members of all board committees

Staff are not members of the committee (italics)

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