Nigel Farrow


Nigel was a Social Worker, Social Work Manager and Children’s Services Manager, working in a number of different Local Authorities; his last role was at Assistant Director level. He has managed social care services for disabled children and commissioned children’s services with extensive experience of project planning, service improvement and quality assurance.

As well as being Chair of the Trustees, Nigel volunteers for Umbrella providing management support, in particular, helping to respond to Tenders and writing bids for funding.

Ruth Pownall

Vice Chair

Ruth worked as the first Activity Schemes Development Worker at Umbrella from 1991 to 1994. She is the Mum of a complex adult with autism and severe learning disabilities and has worked professionally with disabled  children, young people and their families for over 30 years. Ruth set up Fairplay  in North Derbyshire after leaving Umbrella and then the Inclusion Service for Derbyshire County Councils Children’s Services until December 31st 2016.

She is now Registered Manager of her family owned and run Home Care Support Company for vulnerable adults.

Ruth says that being a Trustee of Umbrella is wonderful.

John Russell


John joined Rolls-Royce in 1968 as an engineering graduate, but spent most of his working life in Financial/commercial management. Following early retirement in 2002, John spent several years as a part-time business consultant before joining Umbrella as Finance Manager in August 2006. He retired from Umbrella in April 2012, and joined the Board of Umbrella as Treasurer.

John was a Chartered Mechanical Engineer, and is a Chartered Management Accountant. FCMA . CGMA.

Sharon Insull


Sharon has been a Trustee for six years and continues to support Umbrella through regular volunteering with Children’s Services and Play and Leisure.

Sharon brings experience from her role in healthcare within the community as well as years of experience as a Brownie Leader with Girlguiding.

Richard Vasey


Dick has worked in education as a Teacher, Headteacher and Chief Executive of the largest academy Trust in England and Wales. He has been part of Governing Bodies and Boards of Directors which have brought about considerable changes where necessary to improve the provision of education within several settings. Dick is passionate about the support children receive from services and the support within the community.

Wayne Cook


Information coming soon

Beth McDonald


Information coming soon

Zowie Hunt


Staff Team

Ann Rowlands

Chief Executive Officer

Ann joined Umbrella as a Play and Leisure Development Worker in 1996 and became Chief Executive in 2000. She is now Chief Executive with responsibility for the overall Management of Umbrella. Ann’s duties are very varied and she is very passionate about improving services for disabled children and their families.

Hannah Horsewell

Operations Manager

Hannah started as the Operations Manager in December 2022. She has previously worked within the Family Support and Information Team at Umbrella. She will work to ensure that we continue to develop and deliver the services needed for all our users.

Laura Beresford

General Manager

Laura joined Umbrella in January 2022, prior to this Laura lived in Australia for 11 years where she gained invaluable experience in human resources, recruitment and people and relationship management.  Laura oversees the day to day aspects of Umbrella, varying from recruitment and payroll to Health & Safety, marketing and fundraising.