Membership and Governance
The Pod started as a community group in 2013 and became a CIO – Registered Charity in March 2015.
An annual parent forum is held for families (members) to find out about the work we do, members are able to provide feedback, review policy and consider the future direction of the charity at this event, but also through other opportunities during the year.
Trustees meet quarterly. Depending on their area of responsibility additional meetings take place between trustees and the Charity Manager at regular intervals.
We have amazing trustees who are all passionate about The Pod and ensuring its success. The trustees all bring to the table a different set of skills and experience that ensures the Pod is as strong as it can possibly be.
We are fortunate to still have a founding parent trustee in addition to Professional Trustees with expertise in Charity Governance, Finance and HR. All our Trustees are local and understand the area and its characteristics well.
Andrew Liggatt – Chair of Trustees
I have been a practicing Charted Accountant for over 40 years and have been involved in many committees over the year’s aswell as being president of the 41 club. I was invited to become a trustee of The Pod in 2015 and it has been a pleasure to be able to help a charity that supports Young People with additional needs. I was happy to take on the role of Chair in September 2017 at an important time of growth for the Pod.
Sarah Drake – Treasurer
I am a self-employed bookkeeper who has always loved numbers! I have been treasurer of The Pod since 2014. I have 2 sons, the youngest has Autism and associated learning difficulties, he is in his final year at a special school. I run the Frome Autistic Support Team (FAST) a local support group which has been running for more than 15 years and alongside being treasurer I organise day trips for families that belong to the group during the school holidays. I was on a steering group to enable a new free school for children with autism and social and communication difficulties to be built in the Mendip area. I am proud of my role with The Pod and am excited for what the future holds for this wonderful charity.
I have been a POD trustee since before the beginning! The Pod officially opened in 2013 but as a parent founder I am proud to have been involved in setting up an important service for our Young people. I am amazed at how quickly the charity has grown and the amount of interest there is in our groups. My experience working with early years and teenagers has given me an insight which I bring to the table, I love being part of a team that is becoming a vital part of the community. The charity has grown from strength to strength and the number of projects we run has grown to reflect the demand. As a parent carer of a disabled child and a disabled person myself I have seen first-hand the benefits of our services.
My professional background is in Human Resources and personal coaching using Applied NLP and with the specialism of coaching those on the Autistic Spectrum. I have three great nephews who are Autistic which supported my eligibility to be a Trustee. I was honoured to be approached and have held this position for nearly two years. I am very committed to being of as much help and support as I can be to The Pod and very much enjoy the hands on involvement supporting all the activities as well as the formal running of the Charity.
Emma has a business background, having worked for a large retailer for over twelve years. She is an experienced regional manager and brings with her a wealth of experience from human resources, project management, health and safety, and of course, financial management. Over the years she has worked with many charities, fundraising, volunteering and campaigning and after moving to Frome in 2006, she started on a completely different career path. She joined Openstorytellers, a charity supporting adults and children with learning disabilities as an administrator in 2010 and eight years later she is now Charity Manager. Emma is delighted to support The Pod as a Trustee after seeing how the charity has developed and grown since it started and how the services it provides are so desperately needed.
I live within the local community and helping to ensure that young people with disabilities within my community, have better opportunities to thrive, is something I feel strongly about. I have had the pleasure of being involved with The Pod Youth Group for the last 3 years as a Volunteer Youth Worker. The young people are nurtured in a safe environment by committed staff, whilst at the same time having fun and socializing with their peers. I was keen to carry on with my connection to the charity by becoming a trustee. I am a parent to two teenage boys and I run a small business.
After many years of living outside the UK I moved to Frome with my son in 2020. I had the good fortune to find out about Pod Plus very soon after arriving here. Attending Pod Plus allowed my son to feel engaged, involved, and accepted. All the Pod services offer crucial, life enhancing, contact for young people. It is an honour to be supporting its important work. Professionally, I now work as a trainer and certified coach. My background is in health, firstly as a clinician then in senior hospital management.
Profile to follow soon!