Centre 81 has a strong and highly experienced management team that puts the charity’s members at the heart of everything it does.
Diana Staines MBE – Chief Executive
Previously a registered social worker and counsellor working for private and local authority establishments, Diana has extensive experience in front line and strategic positions. On joining Centre 81 in 2008 she dramatically changed its offer from traditional day care to a progressive model that helped members to become more engaged in the wider community, in addition to all the activities on offer at the centre. Her pioneering work was recognised with an MBE in 2022.
Julie Charles – Skills and Activities Centre Manager
Julie is our longest serving member of staff, having joined Centre 81 in 1993 as an assistant facilitator/driver. She brings a wealth of person-centred support experience to the management team and is the heart and soul of the activity centre. Julie has NVQ 4 qualifications in adult health and social care, leadership and management and in the management of volunteers. She is the HR and safeguarding lead for the charity.
Derek Rogers – Community Transport and Facilities Manager
Derek is the newest member of the executive team, joining in late 2022. Having worked predominantly in the medium-sized business sector, he brings more than 30 years of senior management experience in supply chain, logistics, operations and business management. He spent time as a consultant for a global professional service organisation, has a degree in business and finance and brings a wealth of commercial acumen to the organisation.
Mark Abel – Finance Officer
Mark has considerable experience in the franchise fast food sector, as a business owner and in financial roles with small businesses. He is responsible for reconciling our financial transactions, developing management accounts and working with executive colleagues to develop and monitor budgets.
All executive team members have been involved in providing direct care to family members of different ages and care requirements for many years.
The operation of Centre 81 is overseen by a board of trustees that includes members of the Skills and Activities Centre , carers and professional supporters with experience in business, finance, health, social services and marketing.
Steve Scott, Chair
An experienced journalist and businessman, Steve has been a trustee of Centre 81 since 2012, and its Chairman since January 2020. He was born in Great Yarmouth and spent 14 years working on the Eastern Daily Press throughout Norfolk before going freelance and then setting up TMS Media with colleague Nick Marshall in 1989.
John first got involved with Centre 81 in 2010 and started as a volunteer. Before that he had a career in the Civil Service in a position that would now be called a communications officer, attached to the Metropolitan Police. He left the Civil Service to become self-employed, which included everything from teaching music to people with disabilities to running market stalls and busking in and around London. John was self-employed for about 27 years but had to give up working when he was diagnosed with type two diabetes. He has been disabled all his life and brings to Centre 81 – both as a member and a trustee – empathy and an understanding of some of the difficulties that people with disabilities have.
Karl became involved with Centre 81 in 2008, using his experience as a chartered accountant to help us develop our financial expertise. In September 2012 Karl was elected chair of the board of trustees and three months later formed the focus and delivery group tasked with creating a new Centre 81 with the space and specialist facilities required to meet the needs of our members for the future. Karl remained as Chair until January 2020 and remains an active member of the trustee board keeping a watchful eye over our finances.
Jonny is Norfolk Men’s Shed Network Facilitator. He has a BA degree in European Studies from the University of Wolverhampton and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education in Modern Languages and Business Studies from Sheffield Hallam University.
A businessman, entrepreneur and experienced property developer, John is a self-confessed petrolhead who races vintage Jaguars at circuits in the UK and overseas. He brings a wealth of business experience to the Centre 81 board and is a valued mentor to the executive team.
Centre 81 is fortunate to have five highly distinguished and committed patrons, whose support is invaluable.
Christopher Dicker DL
Christopher Dicker, a qualified chartered accountant, is a former member of the Broads Authority and has considerable experience as a trustee with a wide variety of charitable organisations. He is passionate about the role of good governance.
Christopher trained at Lovewell Blake Chartered Accountants in Norwich before moving to Cooper Bros in 1973. He returned to Lovewell Blake two years later, became a partner in 1977 and was senior partner for 10 years until he retired in September 2010. He specialised in larger audits and family-run companies and towards the end of his career built up a portfolio of more than 100 charity clients. He holds a Diploma in Charity Accounting (ICEAW). Christopher is a Deputy Lieutentant of Norfolk.
After retiring from Lovewell Blake Christopher set up a small consultancy company, mainly providing training and advisory services to charity trustees.
“The atmosphere you create at Centre 81 is heart-warming and congratulations to you and all your team for making it such a caring and happy place. I admire your devotion and energy and the way in which you make everyone feel loved and special. Keep up the good work and I have no doubt that Centre 81 will go from strength to strength.”
Lady Dannatt MBE
Lady Dannatt, who is Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, trained as a counsellor and worked with the charity Relate in GPs’ surgeries, where she came across many people battling with mental health problems.
She and her husband, retired British Army officer and former Chief of the General Staff, Lord Dannatt, have raised large sums for military charities. Lady Dannatt was made an MBE for her part in raising £5m in just nine months to provide places for the families of military casualties to stay while their loved ones were treated in hospital.
She was born into the Gurney family which founded Barclays Bank at the end of the 19th Century. She was educated at Tudor Hall boarding school in Banbury, Oxfordshire, and met her husband at Durham University, where they were both undergraduates.
“What do I love best about Centre 81? It has to be the people of, course, the feeling that every single person who comes through the door is welcomed and valued as the precious individuals they are. Everything flows from that … the fun, the laughter, the achievements, often huge achievements, the friendships … it all comes from that singular acceptance from the moment you come through the door. Diana and her remarkable team make certain that is the case, and for them and all they achieve we can only be profoundly grateful.”
Henry Cator OBE FRICS DL
Henry Cator is a Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk and High Steward of Great Yarmouth. He has lived in Norfolk all his life and worked as a land agent for over 30 years. A former managing partner at the Norwich office of Francis Hornor & Son, he was subsequently chairman of a development consultancy firm until launching his own company in spring 2007.
He is chairman of the Association of Drainage Authorities and Broads Internal Drainage Board and a trustee of the Royal Agricultural Society of England. He was chairman of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association for 10 years and was its president for 2009. Henry was awarded an OBE in the 2008 Birthday Honours List for his services to the community in Norfolk.
“The work that Centre 81 carries out in the local community is invaluable to so many in need. This work is only possible as a result of the time, work and commitment given by so many volunteers and our own dedicated staff. I pay tribute to them all and thank them sincerely for all that they do. It is amazing what a team can achieve – together we can!”
Mark Pendlington DL
Mark has worked across the public and private sectors, including in industry, national and regional voluntary organisations, further and higher education, economic development bodies and academia, many with UK, EU and international dimensions.
From 2008-2019 he was Group Director for Anglian Water Group responsible for leading the engagement of the business in the important debates around environmental sustainability, regional growth and development, and mitigating the impacts of climate change. Mark is chair of the University of Suffolk and the Royal Hospital School, patron of the Green Light Trust and a Deputy Lieutenant of Suffolk.
Lady Clare Agnew DL
Lady Agnew lives near Great Yarmouth. She was born in Cley windmill and raised in East Norfolk before moving to London for several years. Clare is an advisor to the Citizens Advice Bureau in Norwich, Stalham and Mitcham and is on their development board. She is on the Advisory Council of the Norfolk Churches Trust, managing three Stately Car Boot sales and many other fundraising events for them. In addition to Centre 81, Clare is patron of Norfolk Home-Start and Winterton Marine Cadets, and a trustee of Community Chaplaincy Norfolk. She was High Sheriff in 2019-20 and a Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk.