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.
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.
After taking early retirement from his position as a senior IT Manager with a large insurance company, Dave has a strong desire to continue making a contribution to the community. He has been the Church Warden of a church that support people who are homeless and those suffering with drug and alcohol addictions, which has given him appreciation of both how important and how challenging SMARTs work is. Dave brings extensive experience in IT and people management and is committed to helping SMART achieve its goals. In his spare time he enjoys playing tennis and bridge, as well as developing apps for iPhones
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 Alcohol Services to the Community (asc). 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 and guidance for those dealing with addiction.
Richard became a trustee in December 2016, having previously been a Service User at SMART. He is a Chartered Secretary and Chartered Management Accountant and offers experience and support in Finance. He has worked within community based Charity organisations for many years and served in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force for 17 years.
Following a successful career as a Building Engineer, Fergus joined Bedfordshire County Council. Whilst working in waste regulation he was subsumed into the Environment Agency when it was formed in 1996. He has continued to work in waste regulation roles and is currently mainly involved in waste data and its interpretation. Fergus has been supporting the homeless in Bedford for many years, first as a volunteer with the Hebron Soup Run, which he now co-ordinates with the help of his family. Shortly after it opened he became a weekend volunteer at The Prebend Day Centre, helping the homeless in Bedford. Fergus was soon invited to become a Trustee for BeChar, the charity who established the Centre in 1993. When SMART and Bechar merged 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.
In his role as Regional Agricultural Manager for Barclays Bank Richard manages a team of Agricultural Managers and Directors serving the rural community across the North of Wales and the North of the Midlands. Richard holds over a decade of experience in Barclays Business and Corporate banking and is passionate about helping people to survive and thrive, believing that the bank has a great responsibility to help the communities in which we serve. He holds several banking qualifications in addition to a higher diploma in computing and is an enthusiastic advocate of people both in and outside of work in terms of development and support. Richard is married to Jennifer and has two children -Henry and Alice. He enjoys socialising, films and cycling in his spare time.