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.
Geoff’s working life was spent in Local Government. He qualified as a public finance accountant in 1975 and was chief finance officer at Luton where he ended his career as a director. He has been involved with charities for many years having served on the Boards of the Bedfordshire John Howard Society and of Alcohol Services for the Community before it was merged with SMART. He is a life long Methodist and has been a local preacher for more than 40 years. He is married with two grown up children. He has been a Justice of the Peace in Bedfordshire since 2006. He is passionate about providing help and support to those suffering from the illness of addiction.
Rita is a writer and journalist, best known for her books about neuropsychology, which include: “Mapping the Mind”, “Exploring Consciousness” and “The Brain Book”. She has a longstanding interest in drugs, from psychological, physiological and social perspectives, and is keen to help SMART to mitigate the negative aspects of the story.
Dave became a trustee in April 2016 through his friendship with Rita and 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 – though he does enjoy playing quite a lot of tennis and bridge as well as developing apps for iPhones Dave has been the Church Warden of a church which dealt with homeless people and alcoholics. This makes him appreciate both how important and how challenging SMARTs work is. He looks forward to 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.