About

Local Business supporting Local Communities

Northants Community Aid is a Northamptonshire based charity set up and run by a group of impassioned local people. It is supported by local small businesses keen to give back to the communities they work with.

Small charities often support our most vulnerable people, but don’t attract the funding which larger charities can access. In these cases, even a modest amount of money can make a huge difference. This is why we’ve set up Northampton Community Aid and we need your help.
For the wellbeing of Northamptonshire

Our Trustees

Northants Community Aid is managed by a Board of Trustees who are responsible for our governance and strategic direction. The Trustees ensure funds are granted to responsible charities, and drive engagement activities such as events and outreach to raise funds.

Sam Sayer 

Chair

Founder and Creative Director at DeType Ltd since 2012, with over 16 years previous experience in the design industry, working for some of the leading design agencies in the Midlands on brand, motion, UX, and web projects. Active in local community events and keen networker, Sam has been a member of NCA since 2020 and elected to the board of trustees in 2022.

Steve Adams 

Treasurer, Policies and Procedures

Steve Adams has been involved in the Cards and Payments industry since joining the Joining Credit Card Company in 1973. Directly involved in the early Eft-Pos initiatives and then joined NatWest in 1988 and was instrumental in the formation of Streamline, which completed successfully in 1994, latterly becoming Worldpay.

Leaving NatWest as IT and Operations Director he took up a role in Barclaycard heading up IT and Operations - in the course of the eight years he spent at Barclaycard he acquired full IT and Operations responsibility as Global COO which by 2005 covered Cards and Lending businesses operating on 4 continents.

Leaving Barclays in 2008 he set up Go Beyond, initially as sports events company to support fundraising for the charity he set up in 2005, Teach Africa. This operated under trading name of Go Beyond Sport as a not for profit.

In 2012 the consultancy operation was phased out in order to focus on philanthropic activities associated with Teach Africa and other local UK based charities and expanding the activities of Go Beyond Sport to include events such as the Northampton Half Marathon. In 2018 Go Beyond was sold as a going concern and his charity activity was extended to include Chairmanships of Northamptonshire Sport and Northants Community AID as well as a Trustee with Northampton Leisure Trust.

Steve was a multiple national champion in Yachting and represented Great Britain on 14 occasions at World and European Championships finishing on the podium at 4. For the past 11 years Steve has competed in Triathlon at all distances including IronMan and has represented GBR in the Age Group World and European Championships and in September 2017 competed in the half Iron Man World Championships in Chattanooga as well as Age Category National Championship wins over two distances.

Val Bridges

Founder

Val Bridges has been a trustee of NCA since 2021 and was previously on the committee of its earlier identity (Walk for a Cause) for several years. Now happily retired from life as a Business Solutions Architect at Barclaycard, Val still enjoys dusting off her project management skills when assessing grant applications and delving into her endless supply of useless trivia to create fundraising quizzes.

At other times, Val can be found coaching swimming at the local triathlon club and sometimes even doing a spot of triathlon herself. She has completed 2 iron distance triathlons and a number of cycling challenges, including Lands End to John O'Groats and the French equivalent - Normandy to Nice. She spends vast amounts of time fundraising for her local village Church as well as being Treasurer for both the triathlon club and the Church.

Val is the proud mother of 2 daughters and 1 son and is rather surprised to find herself grandmother to 2 girls and a boy.

Paul Green

Marketing and Engagement

Paul is an independent business advisor/coach and founder of The Business Community - a membership organisation helping businesses grow. He adopts a collaborative and supportive approach when working with small businesses helping them to capitalise on opportunities and overcome any hurdles.

Born and bred in Northamptonshire, he wants to help build the bridge between the wider business community and charities within the county looking at ways that collaboration and support can contribute to a stronger local community; hence his involvement with NCA.

Tracy Whittaker-Smith MBE

Secretary

Tracy has a love for sport, helping people develop and has represented Team GB at 5 Olympic Games (coach). She is currently a performance leader and head national coach in the sport of trampoline gymnastics, a board member of Breaking GB and works with UK Sport on their Female Coach Leadership Programme. Previously, Tracy worked at Barclaycard and was managing director at Northamptonshire Trampoline Gymnastics Academy, a local community club with a 1000+ members. Having experienced an unsettled childhood to developing success in herself and others Tracy is passionate about giving back to the local community and is very proud to be involved with NCA and the opportunity to support those in need. 

Kathryn Ozlati

Relations and Engagement

Having been associated with St Gyles Jewellers since 1982, Kathryn became sole owner in 2012. Situated in the heart of Northampton on St Giles Street, St Gyles are qualified, experienced jewellers that consider personal service and quality to be vital and have been awarded the title 'Best Jewellers in Northamptonshire'. Kathryn is a very dedicated, hard working individual and has been involved in the local business community for many years at board level.

Bob Walder

Founder

Starting as an apprentice with The Express Lift Co, Bob worked there for 28 years where he eventually became Engineering Manager of the Service Department. He then ran the Lift Department of The Greater London Council for seven years until the GLC was closed down.

In his spare time he spent some ten years with the charity “Tools for Self Reliance-Northampton” assisting in the workshop and also as a Trustee. Some years ago Bob became a Trustee of “Walk for a Cause” – the charity that is now NCA and continues to serve in that capacity.

Paul Bone

Relations, Events and Engagement

Owner and founder of Kingsley Roofing and Solar Services, Paul has been active in the Northamptonshire community for many years supporting charities and local causes.

Cathy Armstrong

Diligence and Engagement

Cathy has been active across various Northamptonshire committees and boards, currently managing the Business Exchange in Kettering.

Our History

The genesis of Northants Community Aid dates back to 2006 when Firoz Makhani, a Northampton GP, initiated a fundraising event to raise funds for a breast screen unit at Northampton General hospital.

He approached fellow medical staff, patients and local business to help in this effort and the centrepiece of this effort was a sponsored walk around Pitsford reservoir; from this Walk for a Cause was born, taking the perimeter map of the reservoir as their logo.

Firoz continued to develop the initiative registering Walk for a Cause as a charity and securing the support of local business, principally those from his own African/Indian community. For the next few years the charity prospered, more fundraising events were organised and it was in 2014 that Steve Adams was introduced to the charity as a potential source of funds for his charity Teach Africa.

Our application was successful, and in fact we also secured a second tranche of funding. Around 2016 Steve got involved in some of the fundraising for Walk for a Cause using the facilities of his events company, Go Beyond. This then led to Steve being invited to become a trustee and subsequently chair of the charity.

Unfortunately, at this time for one reason or another, ironically ill health, many of the original trustees and benefactors were longer being able to support the charity resulting in an almost complete breakdown in the original funding model.

Together with Kathryn Ozlati, Steve did his best to “keep the show on the road” but it soon became clear to both of us that unless we made some fundamental changes the charity would not survive beyond the reserve funds we held.

Enter Paul Bone, who Steve met while Paul’s company was re-roofing his house; and in conversation, Paul expressed an enthusiasm for doing some fundraising for local social enterprise groups who he felt were adding significant value to the communities he grew up in.

The conversation developed to include other small businesses and the possibility of using a renamed and restructured version of Walk for a Cause as the platform for the initiative. Paul was also involved in a local networking group, as was Kathryn where we could engage with other small businesses and for the three of us it felt very much like the basis of a plan.

And so in 2020 and in the heart of a global pandemic, Northants Community Aid came into being with Paul joining the committee as a Trustee joining Bob Walder, Val Bridges, Kathryn Ozlati and Steve. We refocused our funding support to local small charities, particularly those focused on the health and well being of the communities they served, while Paul and Kathryn recruited other local businesses to the cause into our membership model.

To date we have provided support to more than a dozen charities, have a growing membership of small businesses and have a new set of fundraising events such as a Golf Day, Quiz Night and a Gala Ball. We have also been joined by three new trustees: Paul Green, Tracy Whittaker Smith MBE and Sam Sayer who from January 2023 will take over as chair.

At the heart of our ambition is to extend the membership we currently enjoy and in so doing extent the extent of the support we can provide to local small charities and social enterprise groups which in the post pandemic, global financial crisis environment, has never been more desperately needed.

For the wellbeing of Northamptonshire

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Calendar of Events

See the events we’re involved with for charitable causes in Northamptonshire.

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