Equal Choices  Equal Opportunities  Ordinary Lives

Our ambition is for a future full of equal choices and opportunities for disabled children, young people and their families, empowering them to live as ordinary lives as possible and aspiring for the extraordinary

Individuals  •  Safeguarding    Teamwork   Confidential  •  Partnership

•  Individuals
•  Safeguarding 
•  Partnership

Mission Statement

Our mission is to deliver a quality service that values the views and enables the voice of disabled children, young people and their families in Leicestershire and Leicester. We aim to provide a range of holistic, impartial and empowering specialist services through our own resources and in partnership with the statutory authorities and other voluntary sector groups. 

Within the framework of everything we do, we aim to identify unmet need and offer effective support, which is in step with current legislation and concepts of good practice.

We value diversity and believe that every child or young person, whatever their needs, has the equal right to take part fully in their community and to have the same choices, opportunities and experiences as other children.

Menphys is a local charity that provides a range of specialist services to support children and young adults with additional needs and disabilities and their families.

It has been supporting families across Leicester and Leicestershire for 50 years, striving to give young people equal choices, equal opportunities to allow them to live ordinary lives.

Menphys Ltd is a Registered Charity (no. 270700) and a Company Limited by Guarantee and is governed by an executive board consisting of 10 trustees, led by Mr Martin Traynor O.B.E, as the Chairman.

We work in partnership with:

  • Children, young people and young adults

  • Parents and carers

  • Contact A Family

  • Council for Disabled Children

  • Leicestershire and Leicester Parent Carer Participation Forums

  • Voluntary Action Leicestershire

  • Fundraising Regulator

Menphys Timeline

Playgroup for 12 children 

Registered as a private limited company

Registered as a charity

Purpose-built nursery opened in Wigston

Sketchley Hill Primary School opened in Burbage

Saturday Morning Activity Clubs

HelpLine Launched

Employed and independence and inclusion team leader

Relocated to Basset Street Community Hub

Menphys 50th anniversary, celebrating 50 years of Menphys

We have been providing care and support to Leicestershire families for nearly 50 years

Menphys started providing services in February 1970 when founder Audrey Smith opened a playgroup for 12 children with a range of mental and physical disabilities. By the time it was registered as a charity in March 1976, Menphys had become a limited company running two nurseries. In the spring of 1978, its first purpose-built nursery opened in Wigston. The second, adjacent to Sketchley Hill Primary School in Burbage, was opened in 1992.

Two years later and with both nurseries at capacity and under local education authority control, Menphys set up a Special Outreach Service; this was our major area of operations.

Through the Menphys Special Outreach Service, we support more than 500 families every year, delivering early support, family support, welfare benefits advice, and inclusion opportunities through our “I Can do it too” taster activities (play, sport, leisure and cultural activities).

In 2008, the original playgroup transformed into two Saturday morning activity clubs, which currently cater for 23 disabled children, young people and adults.

A short-term project (3yrs) externally funded in which we employed a Talent Match Key Worker to support young adults aged 18-24 into education, employment or training.

As part of a service restructure in 2015 a Help-Line was launched in November 2015 for parents-carers and professionals in Leicestershire and Leicester.

In 2016, Menphys employed an Independence and Inclusion Team Leader. The purpose of the post is to be responsible for transforming, growing and coordinating the following development areas of Menphys Inclusion and Independence Services, the Menphys Saturday Clubs, the “I Can Do It Too” taster activity scheme and develop a Support and Befriending Scheme.

In 2017 Leicestershire County Council informed us that our contract, which substantially funded the Menphys Special Outreach Service would end on the 31st December 2017. Since July 1995 the service has supported 5,400 disabled children, young people and their families. The services included the Menphys SOS Help-Line, Early Support, Family Support, “I Can Do it Too” taster activity scheme, Family Activity Days, Inclusion, Benefits and Grants Advice, Together for Families Support Groups, Specialist Summer Scheme Coordination, and more. It was with sadness that this part of our service provision has had to come to an end.

In 2018 we will be embarking on an exciting period of change, which will give us an ideal opportunity to ensure that our future services meet the needs of disabled children and young people now and in the future. 

Despite being a small charity, Menphys aims to be at the forefront of change and our future direction and development is underpinned by our vision and mission statement.

Our team members are dedicated to providing equal opportunities for families across the region

Menphys is governed by an executive board consisting of 11 trustees:

Chairman: Mr Martin Traynor O.B.E
Vice Chairman: Mr Nev Hammonds
Hon Treasurer: Mrs. Sandra Abraham
Company Secretary: Mr Nev Hammonds
Trustees: Mr Ian Knight, Ms. Margaret McGrath, Professor Wyn Rees, Ms. Amanda Daly, Mrs Emma Spradbury, Mrs Louise Marsden and Mrs Lisa Franklin

The following offices are also held:

Chief Executive Officer: Ian Caldwell
President: Jennifer, Lady Gretton, D.C.V.O., J.P.
Vice President: (Currently vacant following the death of Mrs Audrey Smith in February 2016)
Patron: Frances, the Duchess of Rutland

Jennifer, Lady Gretton,

Jennifer, Lady Gretton, DCVO JP LLD (Hon) D Univ (Hon) Hon DLitt


Lady Gretton has received honorary degrees from all three Leicestershire Universities. She loves her sport, especially tennis when she has the time, music and singing with the Oakham School Choral Society. She is interested in all aspects of steam, helping to restore the Stapleford Miniature Railway and instigating the Stapleford Steam Rally in 1995.

Martin Traynor O.B.E

Martin Traynor O.B.E


Martin has extensive experience in the leisure and hospitality sector, following a successful career in hotel management. After being elected to President of the Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce in 1999, Martin decided to change career and take up the role of Group Chief Executive of the Leicestershire Chamber (including CEO of Business Link, Leicestershire).

After leaving the Chamber in 2014 to set up his own consultancy business, Martin also took on a number of non-executive roles including Chairman of Menphys, Chairman of the King Richard lll Visitor Centre Trust, Chairman of The Forest Experience Ltd, and Deputy Chairman of University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Ian Caldwell

Ian Caldwell

Chief Executive Officer

Ian has lived in Leicestershire for over 20 years and is married with two sons. A keen sports fan, he is a season ticket holder at Leicester Tigers with one of his sons and an avid supporter of his local rugby club in Syston. A Chartered Engineer, he has held various senior management positions in both large corporate organisations and SMEs prior to taking up the role of CEO with Menphys in November 2018. He is passionate about the local community and has been involved in a number of significant fundraising initiatives over the past 10 years.

Liam Deacy

Liam Deacy

Head of Fundraising and Marketing 

Liam has worked in Fundraising and Marketing since 2012. Having spent nearly a decade in corporate environments Liam’s passion for fundraising grew out of personal tragedy in 2012. He spent four years at Dorothy Goodman School, where he was responsible for raising awareness of the aims and aspirations of children and young people with SEND whilst raising funds to enrich their lives and education.

Jessica Buckley

Emma Sharpe

Head of Services

Emma has a First Class honours degree in Childhood, Youth and Education from Liverpool Hope University and experience supporting children and young people both in and out of education. Before joining Menphys, Emma spent many years working in the private education sector, supporting children of all ages and abilities, specifically with SEND,  with their educational journey. Emma has a personal commitment to making a difference and having an impact on the lives of the families we support and is looking forward to developing a wide range of offers and opportunities that can support young people throughout their journey to adulthood. Along with her team of Service Co-ordinators, Emma is looking forward to launching new initiatives and hosting activities and clubs for the whole family and developing the range of services Menphys has on offer.

Suzy Bown

Suzy Bown

Head of Operations

Suzy has a successful background in Cafe ownership and her business management skills are a key part in overseeing the operational and retail departments across our sites.
Suzy joined Menphys in 2019 and manages operational activities, including Health & Safety, compliance, retail strategies and room hire.
Suzy project managed the refurb of the Hub and Latimer Street and has located and developed a new premises, which is now our main Donation Centre, including another Charity Shop and Coffee Shop.

Nicola Turpin

Nicola Turpin

Head of Finance 

Nicola plays an important role in the running of the Menphys office. With a background in finance, Nicola ensures the accounts are in order, deals with fundraising donations and office admin. Nicola is the first point of call for all our HR processes and procedures. Nicola is a keen runner and is taking part in the Virgin Money London Marathon 2020 in aid of Menphys. 

Toni Holland

Toni Holland

Fundraising and Events Coordinator

After working in the Travel Industry for 18 years, Toni wanted a new challenge and the opportunity to join Menphys was too good to turn down. Toni has found it a truly rewarding experience and been amazed by the work which Menphys does, she is looking to make a difference and help provide equal opportunities for children and young people with disabilities.

Ellie Grudgings

Ellie Grudgings

Fundraising and Marketing Assistant 

Ellie is Menphys young ambassador and works alongside the marketing team as Marketing Assistant, helping with the preparation of events and running of social media accounts. Ellie is a recognised role model to her peers being awarded DimensionsUK, Autism and Leaders List 2019 for her valuable work within the community and delivering disability awareness talks to school assemblies. Ellie is proud to work for Menphys an employer that embraces her abilities.

Amy Pullin

Amy Pullin

Service Delivery Coordinator 

Amy is passionate about inclusivity and community and prides herself on helping people reach their goals.  Amy is looking forward to working alongside all our volunteers to help them develop and be empowered. Amy has years of experience within project management and will utilise these skills for volunteer recruitment, support and training. 

Janice Billington

Janice Billington

Service Delivery Coordinator 

Janice has fond memories of Menphys day trips in it early years and so is pleased to be now working as part of the team delivering vital services to SEND families. Janice is passionate about ensuring families with children and young people with additional needs feel supported within the community of Leicester and Leicestershire. Janice particularly enjoys coordinating youth clubs and accessible events for the families. 

Toni Holland

Claire Henfrey

Service Delivery Coordinator

Claire joined our team in October 2021, ready for a new challenge after spending a number of years supporting the medical needs of children and young people with SEND in a local special school. Claire has supported children, young people and their families with SEND in many different roles, from organising and delivering play schemes, working as a Personal Assistant and supporting the development of independence skills through extended education. Claire promotes inclusion and is hoping to use her training and skills to develop provisions for lots of children and young people with SEND. Claire is looking forward to getting involved in the development of new projects including after school clubs, summer activity clubs, family events, volunteer development and family support. 

Ellie Grudgings

Megan Humby

Finance and Admin Assistant

Megan started as a volunteer for Menphys in early 2020, where she helped with general activities within the Hub. Megan was then employed as an Apprentice Receptionist to ensure a friendly and regular face at the front desk for our customers and visitors. Megan completed her level 3 apprenticeship in Business Admin within 18 months, and after helping out in the Finance Department, she realised that working in finance was her niche. She loves the importance of the role and the responsibility she has been given. Due to finding her passion, Megan is now completing a level 7 degree in accounting, whilst working for our Head of Finance.