Our Trustees oversee and govern Orchard Vale Trust.

With a dynamic and diverse range of backgrounds, skills and experience, Orchard Vale Trust is in safe hands.



Chris’ younger brother Jonathan, who has Downs Syndrome, was one of the first people to move into East Court, the home that was created  right at the beginning of Orchard Vale Trust in 1986, so Chris has a very personal understanding of learning disability, and its impact on a family.

Chris recently retired from General Practice, and had a special interest in palliative care and safeguarding, and his medical experience has been very helpful in his role as Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Chris lives in Bath with his wife Christine, enjoys being outdoors – particularly cycling, hill walking and scuba diving, and will start theological training in September for ordination into the Church of England.



Rosie was brought up in Plymouth, graduated from Churchill College, Cambridge with a degree in history and law, and qualified as a solicitor after training with the City law firm of Freshfields. She worked for over 20 years as a company/commercial lawyer and in general legal practice, and she has specialised in legal advice for the charity and community sector since 2002. She is a member of the Law Society, the Charity Law Association, the Almshouse Association and the Association of Independent Museums. As well as being a trustee of Orchard Vale Trust since 2016, Rosie is the vice-chair and a trustee of a national charity, Futures for Women, which supports disadvantaged women into employment, and is the honorary legal adviser and an ambassador for We Hear You, a Somerset-based cancer counselling charity.


Adrian Lumley-Smith qualified as a solicitor in October 1987 and then practiced company commercial law in the City of London at Allen & Overy. In January 1990 he joined the legal department of Rio Tinto plc where he stayed for just over 20 years in increasingly senior roles, providing senior management with advice on a vast range of issues (across many jurisdictions around the world) including mergers and acquisitions, governance, general commercial law, employment law and intellectual property law. For the last few years of his career he was Commercial Director and General Counsel for a private equity backed start up company focussed on developing Europe’s largest Carbon Capture and Storage Project. He retired in 2013.




Hannah’s older brother Matt was one of the first group of residents to move into Eastcourt after Orchard Vale Trust was founded by her Parents along with Mary and Mike Absolon. Consequently Hannah has been fully involved with Orchard Vale Trust from its conception and has been a Trustee for many years.

Hannah took over the fundraising role from her father 14 years ago and has had several successful campaigns, although now is very happy to hand the reins over to a full time fundraiser. She still organises a charity golf day every year.

Hannah lives near Chippenham with her husband Stevie and 2 Children who are about to embark upon University life. She loves travelling, watching major cycling events around Europe and has a part time job with Barnardo’s as a play worker.


Martha Venner is the newest Trustee. Her older brother, Matthew was one of the original residents at East Court, and so she has grown up with the understanding of learning disability and how important family and community is in their welfare.

Martha is a Chartered Physiotherapist and Pilates instructor. She works in private practice and also provides domiciliary Physiotherapy to elderly patients who are unable to attend the clinic.

She lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and three children.


My brother Jonathan was one of the very first residents at east court and ovt has always felt like an extension of the family. I live with my husband and adult children in North London and work as a GP in Hackney. I run a weekly community café through our church and love to see people from many and varied backgrounds and abilities getting together. I enjoy escaping to green spaces with bike or dog, going to the allotment and making jam and chutney, much of which finds its way to an annual London Christmas sale of beautiful OVT art work.


I have been a Trustee of Orchard Vale Trust since 2014. My friend Bronwen has lived at East Court since 1986. I have known her and her family since she was 5 years old and I visit her regularly at East Court.
I spent most of my working life in education, both as a teacher and in administration. Before retiring, I was a manager at the University of Bristol. I have experience of managing people and systems in a large department.


We have up to 14 Trustees at one time, all of which have either personal, voluntary or professional capacity when it comes to adults with learning disabilities.
If you believe you have skills and experience to add to our charity and are interested in becoming a Trustee for Orchard Vale Trust, please get in touch at:

You may also be interested in:

Orchard Vale Trust.
East Court, Doctors Hill, Wookey, Wells, Somerset. BA5 1AR.

Tel: 01749 671706


Registered Charity No. 326940

Company No. 1946592