Meet our Board
SMART’s Board of Trustees are a group of volunteers responsible for making sure the charity is running well and is doing what it was set up to do. They meet regularly with the CEO and other members of staff.
Dr. Patricia (Paddy) Barrett, MBE
Paddy came to Bedfordshire in 1978 as Chief Probation Officer for the County. She joined a committee already sitting which planned the creation of the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Regional Council for Alcoholism, the predecessor body to asc. Paddy has maintained contact with asc since it was founded in 1979.
Since retiring in 1994, Paddy has been involved with many charities, especially Bedford College the University of Bedfordshire and charities dealing with families and community issues. Paddy brings knowledge of management, county and national networks and a passionate belief in the need for education in the safe use of alcohol, plus guidance for those dealing with addiction.
Shahin Bekhradnia (Chair)
A graduate in Modern Languages, and post graduate in Anthropology (both from Oxford University), Shahin founded a well reputed school in Oxford in 1981. She has also been an interpreter for the Immigration Appellate, a legal advisor to a travel company, and is currently a teacher of Ancient History, Latin, Russian and French. As a magistrate on the Oxfordshire bench and the Thames Valley Family Panel, this work directly reflects her interest in the aims of SMART, which offers a pivotal support system within the community.
Dave became a trustee in April 2016 through his friendship with Shahin. Dave took early retirement from his position as a senior IT manager with a large insurance company, and wishes to continue making a contribution to the community. In his spare time he enjoys playing tennis and bridge, as well as developing apps for iPhones. Dave has been the Church Warden of a church that supports people who are homeless and those suffering with drug and alcohol addictions. This makes him appreciate both how important and how challenging SMARTs work is. He is passionate about helping SMART achieve its goals.
Richard became a trustee in December 2016, having previously been a Service User at SMART. He is a Chartered Secretary and Chartered Management Accountant. He has worked within community based Charity organisations for many years and served in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force for 17 years.
Fergus came to Bedford for employment in 1985. Initially only expecting to stay for 2 years, events unfolded that have kept him firmly rooted in Bedford to the current day. Following a successful career as a Building Engineer, Fergus changed track in 1992 and joined Bedfordshire County Council. Whilst working in waste regulation he was subsumed into the Environment Agency when it was formed in 1996. Fergus has continued to work in waste regulation rolls and is currently mainly involved in waste data and its interpretation.
Fergus has long been involved with the homeless and rootless in Bedford, first as a volunteer with the Hebron Soup Run, for which he is now the co-ordinator working alongside his family. Shortly after it opened Fergus became a weekend volunteer at The Prebend Day Centre, supporting the homeless in Bedford. He was soon invited to become a Trustee for BeChar, the charity who established the Centre in 1993. At the time of the merger between SMART and Bechar he was Deputy Chairman of the BeChar Board of Trustees. Fergus was delighted to be invited to join the SMART Board as a Trustee and brings a wealth of understanding and experience in supporting vulnerable people.