Our People

Our mission is to be there for older people living in Farnham, meeting them where they are and showing God’s love through our work.

FA Patron

Patron - The Rt Revd Dr Christopher Herbert.

I was ordained in Hereford in 1967, and was a curate, teacher, and youth leader. In 1971 I was appointed as an RE Advisor and in 1976 became Hereford Diocesan Director of Education. I became Vicar of The Bourne in 1981. In 1990, I became Archdeacon of Dorking, and in 1995, was appointed Bishop of St Albans, during which time I served in the House of Lords for ten years. I was also the national Chairman of the Council of Christians and Jews, and chair of the Hospital Chaplaincies Council. I retired back to Farnham in 2009 and since then I have served as a Non-Exec of the national Abbeyfield Society and as a Non-Exec of the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, Putney. In retirement I lectured on Art History to Arts Societies throughout the UK and northern Europe and on River Cruises. I am currently Visiting Professor of Christian Ethics at the University of Surrey and have written four books about the history of Farnham. I have a PhD from the University of Leicester, plus two honorary doctorates, and am an Honorary Citizen of Fano, Italy.

Manager - Rodney Bates

The Manager & Company Secretary for Farnham ASSIST is Rodney Bates who started in November 2020. Rodney has 17 years of experience working in the field of community development in several Guildford communities and elsewhere in Surrey. He is also a charity trustee of Frimley Fuel Allotments and takes a keen interest in most sports. Over the last few years, he has also had personal experience of services as a family carer.

Activities Officer - Angela Weston

Angela joined Farnham ASSIST in the summer of 2021 just as lockdown was coming to an end. Much of her career was spent as a hotel manager in both operations and sales in a number of different locations around England. More recently she was Front of House Manager at Farnham Maltings when she was introduced to ASSIST, firstly as a volunteer. She is a regular “parkrunner” both locally and further afield and enjoys quizzing with friends, walking and reading.

Lunch Coordinator - Fiona Brooks

Fiona joined the Staff Team in November 2021 after a career break. She grew up in Farnham and is married to Andy, whom she met during her nurse training in East London. After a few years as a District Nurse in the East End she returned to Farnham to raise her family. As well as Assist work, Fiona is actively involved at her Church, Bethel Baptist Church. There she enjoys helping the Music Team, Women’s Ministry and is also a Church Deacon. Fiona has enjoyed joining the Assist Team as Community Lunch Coordinator and has particularly enjoyed getting to know both the clients and the volunteers.

One to One Coordinator - Yvonne Bryant

Knit and Natter Coordinator - Maureen Grew

Pie & Pint Club Coordinator - Hugh Elliot


Dr Mary Riggs - Chair

I am a retired doctor having spent all my working life as a GP in Aldershot. We have lived in Farnham for 12 years and worship in St Andrews Parish Church where I am a Pastoral Assistant. I am impressed by ASSIST as it provides so much contact for older people who are on their own, and loneliness and isolation can be such a problem in old age. I was therefore pleased to be able to help as a trustee.

Alex Burn

I have lived in Farnham for over 30 years and worship at Farnham Baptist Church. It is a privilege to be part of a Christian charity which, by showing the love of God, can truly make a difference to older people's lives. I have previously worked in both the NHS in Surrey and Hampshire County Council, where amongst other things I was involved with providing older people’s services. Until recently, I coordinated the BRF (Bible Reading Fellowship) Anna Chaplaincy programme, which equips churches to reach out to older people in the community.

Meg Daniels

I am a lifelong Farnham resident and I volunteer at Farnham ASSIST with my husband, Brian. I am a member of St.Thomas-on-the-Bourne and as a former Churchwarden I have undertaken various positions within the Church. I have many interests in and around the town and firmly believe Farnham ASSIST has a major role to play in the community.

Brian Capper

I worked in aid and agricultural development in Africa, Asia and Central America before becoming an agricultural solicitor. I am Chair of Action on Poverty a charity which provides skills training and livelihood opportunities to about 50,000 poor, disadvantaged, marginalised and often disabled people in Africa. It combats violence towards women and child labour. I am a trustee of Waverley Hoppa Community Transport which runs the minibuses with frogs on them. I have lived in Farnham for over 20 years and I attend St Mary’s Church Frensham. Farnham Assist does excellent work reaching out to and serving people in the local community.

Brian Kurton

My wife and I are members of Farnham Baptist Church and have been volunteers with Farnham ASSIST since approximately 2003. I was privileged to be the Farnham ASSIST Manager between 2006 and 2014 and I believe that ASSIST can, and does, make a real difference to older people around the town, living on their own. Over the years, we have seen many people build new friendships which helps to alleviate loneliness. For most of my working life, I was employed in a variety of roles by Cornhill Insurance, which in later years became Allianz Insurance. Prior to joining ASSIST, I spent eight years as a Manager with the International Christian charity, Tearfund. I am one of the leaders of the monthly Friendship Lunch at Farnham Baptist, where we provide older people with a lovely lunch, followed by a short service. I am also a volunteer with the Christian charity, Tools With A Mission (TWAM).

Mark Huband

“I have lived in Farnham for 15 years after moving inland from the coast. I am married to Harriet and have a daughter, Imogen. I worship at St Thomas on the Bourne. I worked for 37 years as a professional civil engineer on the railway looking after bridges, tunnels and other structures assets. I now work part time as a consultant. I am aware how important a role organisations such as Farnham Assist play in tackling isolation and am delighted to be playing a role as a trustee.”

Jenny Burnett

Jenny Burnett

I originally qualified as a Speech Therapist and then had a portfolio career that ncluded counselling, mediation, training and welfare rights work with a variety of national charities, as well as being a school governor for 27 years. I lived in Farnham for 30 years and my last paid job was as coordinator of ASSIST from 2002-2006,, under the auspices of Farnham Christian Community Trust. I retired in 2006, remarried and moved away, but on the death of my husband, have recently returned to Farnham to be near my family, and now live in an independent living complex – I therefore have an affinity with many of ASSIST’s clients. I am delighted to become involved in ASSIST again and also renew my connection with Farnham Baptist Church.

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