Our Trustees

Paul Heward (Chair)

Paul took early retirement in June of 2020 and immediately started looking for a worthwhile cause to help give something back to the community. He joined our Board of Trustees as Chair in January 2021, bringing a wealth of relevant experience and knowledge to the role. Paul has volunteered in the charity sector for many years, including as the Commanding Officer of Hove & Adur Sea Cadet Unit and as the Chair of Manor Hall Middle School in Southwick. He has five children of which, two sons have special needs.

Lindsey Butterfield

Lindsey has been involved with the Forum since its early days, as she felt isolated after her son was diagnosed. The Forum gave her the opportunity to learn and develop her confidence as well as giving her the support she needed. Having worked for Autism Sussex, WSCC Short Breaks, and Amaze, she brings a huge wealth of practical knowledge to the table as well as being the founder of Worthing group ‘Parents For Autism’.

Her current role as Trustee for WSPCF enables Lindsey to focus on developing the way the charity moves forward,  she is proud of its history and how it has grown over the years. She is passionate about helping other parent carers and is pleased that she can use what she has learnt first-hand to help other parent carers in their own journey.

Helen Merrick

Helen joined the Board of Trustees in September 2019, having spent several years working with the Forum as a Parent Rep. She brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as trustee, and, being a parent carer herself, has empathy and compassion for those who are on a similar pathway to her own family.

Helen has a particular interest in mental health and is an experienced parent advocate at care and treatment reviews.

Caroline Martin

Caroline joined the Board of Trustees in January 2020. She has many years experience of multi-agency work in a number of different roles to help promote and encourage the inclusion of all children and families in their local community. This has included support at nurseries and schools, via local children and family centres and through commissioned services.  

Caroline is passionate about helping families of young people with SEND. She believes that, as a trustee, she will be able to contribute to improving the quality of, and access to information and services for these children and young people and their families. This in turn will help to build their resilience and confidence. She is very excited to have this opportunity.

Ben Burt 

Ben also joined the Board of Trustees in January 2020. He has a wealth of experience working in the charity sector and is currently the Chief Executive of the Springboard Project in Horsham. During the Covid-19 crisis, he has taken on the role of Vice Chair, to support Paul, and to provide strong, consistent leadership should any of the Board (or their vulnerable families) become ill.

Sam Taylor

Sam has worked in Education for over 20yrs in both secondary mainstream and special schools. She originally trained as a drama teacher and started her teaching career in London, moving to West Sussex in 2004. She is currently Assistant Headteacher at Oak Grove College in Worthing where she has worked for the past 11 yrs. In her role she ensures that the education offered responds to the diversity of our learners needs, irrespective of their individual level of disability. Sam also works closely with a wide range of professionals and agencies to ensure the best outcomes for our students and families. She sits on the PMLD working group for West Sussex. 


The day to day running of WSPCF is down to our CEO, Val Evans and her team. You can find out more about their roles on our Contact page.