About Us

Our Story

The Vision of Mission EmployAble

At Mission EmployAble, we strongly believe that young adults with learning disabilities have the right to work, to lead fulfilled and purposeful lives, to have their individual gifts and talents recognised and to feel included as valued members of society.

There are 1.5 million people with learning disabilities in the UK and almost 94% are unemployed. Far too many are missing out on the basic right to aspire to a career, along with the wider social networks, better

emotional and physical health, and increased independence that comes from having a job. They share the same aspirations as everyone else and they want nothing more than the opportunity to demonstrate their full potential.

Mission EmployAble aims to train people with learning difficulties, to employ some and help others find work so that they can lead fulfilled lives working and contributing to their local community.

Based in a new purpose built pavilion on the existing site of the Chorleywood Cricket Club, Mission EmployAble aims to run a new training café / tea room for cricketers and the community.

Through this provision we will provide employment programmes to young adults with a wide range of abilities. We want people with learning disabilities to reach their career potential by finding suitable employment, to be valued in the workplace and to play an active role in their local community.

Our Shared Opportunity

  • The Chorleywood Cricket Club is already committed to a major refurbishment and extension of its existing cricket pavilion on Chorleywood Common
  • On its own the clubhouse lies dormant for 90% of the year
  • Mission EmployAble requires a venue for a 30 cover cafe / tea Room with a gift shop to provide training opportunities for over 20 trainees per week
  • Mission EmployAble and the Chorleywood Cricket Club are now working together to build a brand new pavilion with combined facilities (cricket pavilion / cafe / tea room / training facility)
  • Public facilities on Chorleywood Common are limited and the local community will benefit from a new cafe / tea room within a newly built pavilion

Our Team


Katharine Weston (Chair)

Katharine is a doctor by training and spent over 20 years in the NHS. She was a consultant dermatologist with a special interest in melanoma and dermatological surgery. She helped set up and was clinical lead for the melanoma service at GSTT and has published over 50 papers in peer reviewed journals. She no longer practices clinical medicine but is a Trustee of Melanoma Focus and leads the National Melanoma Database project which she set up. She has 4 children, one of whom has learning difficulties especially in speech, language and communication. She is a trustee of ICAN (children’s communication charity) and chair of Governors of one of their two special schools. Other interests include flying, gardening and life drawing.

Mark Peter Douglas

Having gained a first degree in law and a post graduate Diploma in Management Studies, Mark worked in retail and operations management within the hospitality and entertainment sectors for a number of years before being appointed as Director of Visitor Experience at Warner Bros Studio Tour. Based in Hertfordshire, he brings experience of both the private and charity sectors, team development and more importantly the desire to exceed customer expectations. With a passion for football, he has coached a youth football team for the past seven years.

Philip Garner

Philip taught in mainstream and specialist schools for nearly 20 years. He has subsequently worked as a Lecturer and Professor of Special and Inclusive Education at the universities of Brunel, Nottingham Trent and Northampton. Philip has engaged in school-focussed research projects both in the UK and internationally and has directed funded research for governments in diverse nations including China, Australia, Malaysia, Bhutan, Sierra Leone and Oman. He has published widely in the field of Special Education and Disability and frequently presents keynote lectures at major international conferences. Philip is currently the Editor of Support for Learning, a professional journal with a special educational needs focus as well as Series Editor for the Routledge book series concerning specialist educational provision for children and young people. Philip is a keen rock climber and lives in Loudwater, near Chorleywood.

Donald James Reid

Donald has worked and volunteered in the charity sector for the past 9 years, including 7 years as a project manager for The Cranfield Trust where he worked with over 150 different charities, helping deliver strategic, organisational and operational advice. He previously worked for 34 years for the Royal Dutch Shell group in a number of strategic, sales and marketing roles. Donald is a founding trustee of Mission EmployAble and has a particular interest in ensuring that the charity meets all regulatory and legal requirements.

Richard Walton

Richard is a former senior police leader who now works in the private and charity sectors. He is a founding trustee and Chair of The Educational Frontier Trust (TEFT), a UK registered charity that provides funding for the educational needs of marginalised and vulnerable children in Kenya. He has lived with his family in Chorleywood for 25 years.

Will Hobhouse

Will Hobhouse is an experienced Chair and Director with a successful track record of building profitable businesses and sustainable charities. He has a reputation for developing consumer brands such as Heals, Jack Wills, Tie Rack, Whittard of Chelsea, King and Mcgaw and Rapanui. Formerly High Sheriff of Hertfordshire in 2017/18, he sits on the board of several charities and lives locally in Sarrratt.

Our Partnerships

Mission EmployAble aims to provide a range of employment programmes with progression to supported internships and wherever possible paid employment.

Working in partnership with the local community, colleges, employers, activity providers and charities, we will deliver an essential education, training and support service for people with learning disabilities within the Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire local area.

We are currently seeking to develop partnerships across a wide spectrum of community and social organisations.

Our Donors

We would like to thank all our donors, charitable trusts and foundations, who share our vision and who help in various ways.

Without your support the essential work that we do would simply not be possible.

We also thank all those who contribute through our 'Virgin Money Giving' platform. From £3 donations to £5,000, every single pound helps us in our aim to get young adults with learning disabilities into employment.