Meet the Trustees

Tony Vardy chairs the Board of Trustees of CB Plus.

He has introduced our new monthly feature in the Newsletter, profiling each Trustee in turn. 

This month’s conversation is with Mav Ghalley.

Tony Vardy (TV):   Thanks for talking today, Mav.  Can you tell us a little about your work and family life outside CB Plus? 

Mav Ghalley (MG):   Just over a year ago I took on a new role as Director of Allied Health Professionals for Buckinghamshire, so I’m now responsible for over 700 registered practitioners and about 200 non-registered assistants and others. 

It’s a wide-ranging role covering teams such as Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Speech & Language Therapy, Radiology and Ophthalmology, as well as Operational Department Practitioners. 

My husband Jim and I have two “children”, now both of voting age! We live in Finchley and have a dog called George (as I am a huge fan of George Michael). When I have time, I like gardening and have an allotment, also I enjoy “Wall Pilates” and knitting. 

TV:   Tell me about how you first become a Trustee with CB Plus. 

MG:  I had been working in central London managing the delivery of Speech & Language Therapy across several inner London boroughs, but also acting as Designated Clinical Officer for Barnet in relation to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). In that role I had explored the local organisations that made a contribution to the work, and got to know Community Barnet (as it was then called).  

I came out of central London after Grenfell, feeling I wanted a change, and was keen to find another organisation where I could make a contribution. I looked at several options, but was excited to find there was an opportunity to join the Board of Community Barnet. I could see the scope of the vision and ambition which I admired greatly, and was delighted to be accepted as a Trustee.  

TV:  What is your current role as a Trustee? 

MG:   As well as being a Trustee on the Board, I am a member of the Finance and Operations Committee. I really like taking part in this committee because I see it as the engine room of the organisation, ensuring very stringent accountability and giving me an overview of all the projects.  

TV:   How would you describe your experience as a Trustee – are there any particularly memorable points? 

MG:   It’s been great to see CB Plus flourish during my time on the Board, and to watch the growth of our footprint across so many London boroughs. 

Thinking back to the time before Covid, I particularly remember two AGMs which I attended. One was in Barnet College, where I thought that Antony Jacobson [then the Honorary Life President of Community Barnet] gave a memorable closing speech highlighting some of the past and present challenges our communities faced.  

The other AGM was at Barnet House where we followed the AGM with a splendid tea for all attendees, which gave many people a chance to interact and learn more about the range of activities of CB Plus and its member organisations. 

After Covid when we switched to a virtual AGM, I had the honour of giving a vote of thanks at the end of one of the meetings and I talked about “What Matters to You?” which gave me a chance to raise some important questions. 

TV:   What do you see as the biggest challenge for CB Plus looking to the future? 

MG:  I think the most important challenge for us to address is around the next generation and succession planning – in the broadest sense. How do we get school and college students engaged and give them a voice in the major issues facing our society and communities, such as knife crime and county lines, or the many mental health problems affecting young people. 

My experience with SEND showed me that there are ways to create groups of younger people who can present and lead discussions on topics that they consider vital to their generation, and that taking part in these roles can become “apprenticeships” for bringing the participants into community-related activities later.   

I would love to see us finding a way to encourage this, perhaps in conjunction with the Duke of Edinburgh’s award programmes. I think that would make a great contribution going forward. 

TV:  Many thanks, Mav. 

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