Dr Saroj Patel, Chair

David Holden, Vice Chair Trustee David Holden

David joined the Board of Trustees in November 2013 bringing with him over 40 years of commercial expertise – mainly in Sales and Marketing, General Management and Business Consultancy, including working for ICL (now Fujitsu) for over 20 years. David now chairs two of the Aspire sub-committees – Fundraising and Marketing and Leisure Services. During his business career he was also a Trustee of other charities and chaired a number of non-departmental public initiatives in the Creative Industries and Education. He is also a Lords Taverner and a member of the Herts regional committee.

David was first introduced to Aspire through his membership of Porters Park Golf Club and chose Aspire as his nominated Charity during his year as Captain in 2012. Still a single figure handicapper, he was also Director of Cricket at Radlett Cricket Club. He sees an ongoing link between Aspire and Sport, is a passionate supporter of Aspire’s Instructability Programme, and he has already introduced a number of wheelchair users to the principles of golf as an inclusive sport.

Married to Fiona, an Executive Coach and Behavioural Management specialist, he has two adult daughters and is a proud grandfather.

Dr Hayder Agha 

Since March 2019 I have been a Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine at the Royal Dr Hayder AghaNational Orthopaedic Hospital.  I have also worked as a Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre Headley Court and at Salford Royal Hospital NHS Trust, managing patients with Musculoskeletal Back Pain, Spinal Cord Injury and patients involved in severe trauma.

My special interest is in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation (Adult), Musculoskeletal and Trauma Rehabilitation, Spasticity and Pain Management. I am a member of the Medical Educational Committee at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and I am involved in the training of future specialists in the specialty of Rehabilitation Medicine. I am also a member of the Spinal Cord Injury SIG committee - BSRM.

I became a trustee of Aspire in September 2020.

Andy Chaplin Trustee Andy Chaplin

I have been a trustee of Aspire since March 2016.  The aims of Aspire chime very well with my interest in helping to sustain independent living for the more vulnerable, regardless of age, disability or health.

I’m also a trustee of two other charities: Manor Gardens, a community health and wellbeing charity across Islington (Chairman from December 2016) and Electrical Safety First, a national campaigning charity.  Just like Aspire, both of these organisations continue to experience considerable positive change and growth opportunities in their respective areas of focus.

My early working life was spent with Barclays – well all 27 years! That equipped me well with a range of knowledge, skills and experiences that have enabled me to undertake leadership roles developing and delivering services for the vulnerable from with private and third sector organisations – something I have been doing with a number of organisations over the past 13-14 years. Latterly I was heading the national body for Home Improvement Agencies (about 180 mostly not-for-profit organisations, nationally) between 2010 and 2015.

My wife Liz heads up special needs at a local school in the Chalfonts and our youngest son is about to head off to University after completing A levels in 2017. Swimming and walking are the main past-times plus regular cultural top ups to Italy!

Reg Coote

In 1992 I sustained a spinal cord injury, becoming a permanent wheelchair user, and since then have endeavoured to live a full Aspire trustee Reg Cooteand active life. I have travelled extensively and encountered many challenges regarding accessibility and attitude.  Among many other things, I have achieved Advanced Diver status, flown a light aircraft, pushed 69 kilometres of the Camino de Santiago trail, camped in the Masai Mara and recently went paragliding.  I have also run my own business for many years.

I originally became a trustee in 2001.   After two and a half years, having been involved with the Aspire Leisure Centre and on the Aspire Grants Committee, I left to focus on my business.  In 2016 I decided to return as a trustee and am now involved in a number of committees.

Nick Flanagan

Nick joined the Board of Trustees in December 2019 bringing with him 35 years of commercial Trustee Nick Flanaganexperience – mainly in Finance, Strategy and Operations. Most recently Nick was Chief Financial Officer and a Director of Hayward Tyler Group PLC, an AIM-listed engineering group, where he jointly led the IPO of the company in January 2010, its subsequent equity placings, the acquisition of Peter Brotherhood and the sale of the group to Avingtrans PLC in 2017. In addition, he led the refinancing of the group’s debt in 2014 and loan note issues. He was shortlisted for FD of the Year at the 2014 UK Stock Market Awards.

Nick is a graduate engineer from Imperial College and a Chartered Accountant, having qualified with PwC in 1987. Before joining Hayward Tyler in 2008 he spent the previous 14 years in the engineering and manufacturing sectors where he held a number of senior financial roles, initially with Trafalgar House PLC followed by Kvaerner ASA and Jeyes Group Limited. Prior to that he spent six years in corporate treasury with Saatchi & Saatchi Company PLC.

Nick has extensive industry experience in engineering and manufacturing, strategic planning and development, financial planning and development, commercial and operational support, capital raising including equity and debt, debt restructuring, change management, reporting, M&A, working capital management, risk management, corporate governance and operating at board level.

Hamisha Mehta

Hamisha has been a Trustee with Aspire since July 2019. Trustee Hamisha Mehta

Hamisha is a graduate from the London School of Economics (LSE) and a Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS). She was awarded the title of One Young CA 2019 by ICAS and was also winner of the Talent category prize. Hamisha began her career within the audit practice of EY later moving into Consultancy, specializing in Finance Transformation and Change projects. She is currently Senior Commercial Finance Manager at pladis Global, the multinational snacking company behind well-loved brands such as McVitie’s, GODIVA and Ulker

Outside of pladis, Hamisha has held the position of Chair of the Resources Committee for a London primary school. She is also a full-time working mother, a financial advisor to the social enterprise Know You More coaching and member of the ICAS Technology Panel.

Jennifer Sacks

Jennifer is a senior account handler for a top London advertising agency, where she specialises in the delivery of brand updates, Trustee Jennifer Sackssuccessful pitches, and direct marketing campaigns. She started her career as part of the inhouse creative team at luxury retailer Harrods, before making the jump to agency life. Jennifer has worked extensively in financial and professional services marketing, delivering integrated campaigns for a diverse range of clients including Harrods, The AA and KPMG. She is currently working with a new client, a major city law firm, to deliver a re-brand and help them modernise their approach to marketing. 

Jennifer is a full-time working mum and is absolutely thrilled to have joined the board of trustees at Aspire. 

The team