Fred Heddell CBE – Chair
Fred Heddell worked in special education in Essex and Suffolk before becoming Chief Executive of the Royal Society Mencap in the 1990s. During that time, he was a writer and advisor on Disability for the BBC and Treasurer of Inclusion International, the worldwide network of organisations like Mencap. Since his retirement he has been actively involved as a Trustee and Chair of several local charities and has wide experience of establishing and developing voluntary organisations.
In addition to Signpost he is currently involved with a young peoples organisation, a grant giving charity and has recently helped found the Mobile Stroke Unit Charity and the Essex Heart Fund.
He has held a number of posts in statutory regulatory organisations and was a Non-Executive Director of Southend University Hospital Trust for 8 years until early 2020.
He was awarded a CBE for his work with disabled people in 1999.
Richard Thomas – Treasurer
I studied for a degree in Industrial Design (Engineering) at Central School in London. After graduating in 1974 I worked in the composites industry with various appointments in design engineering and in technical management up to director level. Wanting to move into general management I completed a distance learning MBA at Warwick University.
I never graduated as circumstances within my employers in 1987 caused me to lead a management buyout and become MD of an SME manufacturing business employing 48 people. I sold that business in 1996 and launched a new boat building and restoration company, Medusa Marine. Now in semi-retirement I carry on a marine consultancy surveying vessels for private clients and also commercial vessels on behalf of the MCA.
My involvement with Signpost as a trustee began in 2006 and it has been a remarkable experience and education in an entirely new sector. I hope and believe that Signpost has also benefited from my past experiences and knowledge of business management, employment and human resources.
Jo Eldridge PMP
I joined Signpost as a trustee Summer 2022 having previously volunteered for Signpost Colchester writing CVs 2018 – 2020.
I am a hospitality IT professional and project manager (PMP certified) with more than 25 years in this field in both Europe and Asia Pacific. In this capacity I seek to use emotional intelligence and good communication skills to deliver success in cultural and geographically diverse environments. It is the same tools I hope to put to use at Signpost and help make a difference as a trustee.
In my role writing CVs for Signpost clients, it was a privilege to meet clients and help them understand all their qualities that they had to promote, and the work was incredibly rewarding.
Whilst I am still new to the trustee role, it is my intention to be an active participant and contribute to the wider team efforts and activities. I am a firm believer in encouraging individual’s personal strengths, culture and diversity to generate a wider team creativity and combined output whether they are counterparts, team members or clients.
I am relatively new to Essex and am stunned by what an amazing part of the UK this is, a well kept secret, and hope to help support the area in any way I can now and in the future!
I served for 23 years in the Royal Navy as a Steward & Petty Officer Steward before ‘retiring’ after time-done. I am a qualified FE teacher and manager. Since leaving the Navy in 2007 I have gained experience in ‘civvy street’ in procurement, property management, and education. I set up my own successful catering business and café, which I ran for 5 years, before moving onto more adventures, subsequently managing the centre at Signpost Tendring. I became a trustee of Signpost after leaving my management role in 2022 as I felt I still had a lot to offer the organisation and felt it aligned well with my personal ethos.
I enjoy travelling and spending time out on my motorcycle (weather permitting!).
Paul Feasey – CEO
Paul Feasey joined Signpost in 2003 and has been CEO since 2013. He came to us from a career working with various populations around disability, mental health and offending.
He has an MSc in Occupational and Organisational Psychology and is a strong advocate of empowerment as a mechanism of change. He sports a facilitative leadership style and works to develop Signpost’s culture accordingly.
Since entering his current role he has developed a range of systems and practices that ensure that Signpost can deliver multiple projects and report accurately and promptly on all aspects of Signpost’s work. The main ethos of this is in looking after all of Signpost’s Stakeholders. This ranges from funders and those who finance our work, through the staff and volunteers who deliver it and on to the people who benefit from our efforts.
“It is a rare privilege to work in a field that is so closely aligned with one’s personal values.”
Sara Kulikowski – Project Manager & Manager, Signpost Greenstead
I have worked for Signpost since 2014 – initially recruited as Centre Manager for Signpost Greenstead, with my role growing and developing over the last 8 years to include responsibility for Signpost wide projects and contracts, and processes such as quality assurance and policy development.
My background is in Community Support & Development, and my previous role was with Essex County Council’s Early Years & Childcare Service, implementing and developing the Children’s Centre initiative across Colchester and Chelmsford. Prior to that I had another voluntary sector role with Home-Start Colchester supporting families and volunteers, and facilitating several family support groups within the community.
One of my passions is animal rescue, and I have home-checked and fostered for several sighthound and lurcher rescues since 2009. I love being outdoors as much as possible, walking my dogs or working in my garden, including growing my own veg.
– Manager, Signpost Tendring
Jenny Ibarra – Manager, Signpost Basildon
Hi, my name is Jenny and I’m the centre manager at Signpost Basildon. I have supported many
participants who suffer with mental illness throughout the years. And although it can be difficult at times, they have been able to endure these struggles and flourish in all aspects of life with my assistance. Now I’m here to help you, alongside Signpost Basildon, where we provide a tailored program to each participant, along with resources and support to facilitate your journey and help you achieve your goals. You are not alone, we are here for you and cannot wait to meet you. Please come to meet our team.