Rev. Les Gill
Rev Les Gill our Chairman is married with two grown up sons and served as police officer in Leicestershire for 30 years. He is an ordained minister with the United Reformed Church and free-church Chaplain at HMP Glen Parva Young Offenders Institute. Les is also a trustee with the Futures Unlocked Community Chaplaincy. Les has been with Helping Hands since 1996 and has team, personnel, corporate development and management skills.
I have been pleased to live in Oadby for 28 years.
I was a Borough Councillor in 1996 when Helping Hands was first set up. I watched its progress with interest as it developed its services to meet the needs of local people. When I became Mayor of the Borough in 1998 I made Helping Hands my ‘Charity of the Year’. I am inspired by the dedication of everyone involved, and by the gratitude of our service users, so I have been helping out ever since.
After leaving the Council 6 years ago I have been active in delivering our services. I have helped to raise money and undertaken secretarial duties.
I am a retired electrical engineer, having technically supported a sales team for many years in industry. My hobbies and interests are reading, cycling, touring caravan holidays, watching sport, theatre and music.
I have lived in Wigston Magna for the last 41 years and have been a member and Elder at Wigston Magna United Reformed Church for the last 34 years. I am a Lay Preacher and have been preaching for 15 years in churches in Leicestershire.
I am a widower and have no children but regularly visit and stay with my nieces and nephews in the UK and Canada.
I live in Oadby and attend Oadby Baptist Church. I’ve been a Deacon and Secretary there during our time there. My wife (Chris) and I have lived in Oadby for 20 years and have two sons, Pete is teaching English in Kobe, Japan, Andy is a teacher in Christchurch New Zealand, and is married and has a son, Finlay. I’m a Business Director for DHL (logistics company) which means that I am often travelling up and down the country which limits my day to day work with the Trust but I’m enjoying using some of the skills I have picked up in my career to help the Trust. I have been a trustee since 2012 and I’m really enjoying helping the Trust develop and secure its future.
Jessica Karia joined us as a trustee in February 2015. Jess relocated to Leicestershire from Hertfordshire in 2002. Jess currently works for the national organisation, Victim Support, in West Midlands. Her areas of expertise include mental health, supporting victims of domestic abuse and social media. Jess tweets daily from our new Twitter account, @HelpingHandsAdv. She recently provided training on supporting victims of domestic and sexual abuse to a newly set up project in Egypt. Jess hiked up the highest mountain in the Balkans in Bulgaria as a fundraising event in September 2014.
I have lived in South Wigston for most of my life and have used Helping Hands for personal issues for the past eight years. I started as a cleaner and slowly worked my way up to being a Trustee. I am so grateful to Helping Hands for all the help that I have received and I show my appreciation by volunteering to support others who come in for help.