Our trustees

The Howard De Walden Centre is run by a group of dedicated Trustees for the benefit of the Maidstone community.

The current Trustees are:

Mike FitzGerald MBE (Chair)

Mike FitzGerald MBE

Mike is the Chair of the Trustees.

Mike was a Craft Bookbinder and Teacher working at both the Maidstone College of Art and the Kent Adult Education Service. He has spent a ‘lifetime’ supporting local charities and working with the community to help all people young and old. He was the Mayor of Maidstone in 2006-07.

Mike is more famous for his 50+ years of organising The World Custard Pie Championship which continue to provide fun and a great day out for the family.


Ian Paterson (Vice Chairman)

Ian was Articled to Town Clerk of Darlington and qualified as a Solicitor in 1964. He was become the Deputy Town Clerk at Gillingham in 1967 and qualified as a Legal Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute in 1968.

He worked as the Chief Executive of Dover District Council from 1972 to 1977 before becoming a Regional Solicitor for the West Midlands Regional Health Authority in 1977.

Ian is now retired and became a Trustee of the Howard de Walden Centre in 2003.


Bill Cockcroft

Bill was a Senior Partner of a Quantity Surveying Practice and the former Chief Commissioner of England for the Scout Association, and Camp Chief for the 2007 Centenary World Scout Jamboree in the UK with 40,000 Scouts from 200 countries.

Bill is a Deputy Lieutenant in Kent. He is involved with several local charities in Maidstone and Kent. He loves sailing, boats and the sea. Bill is married with 3 children and 4 grandchildren.


Ian Chittenden

Ian has lived with his wife in Maidstone for 40 years. Both his children, now grown up and married, attended the Howard de Walden Play group and later went to local schools. He was involved for many years with the Parents Association at Eastborough School and later at Maidstone Grammar School.

Ian retired after 40 years in Senior Management in the Construction industry. He was a Borough Councillor for 10 years and has been our local County Councillor for the last 13 years.

Ian has been a Trustee with Howard de Walden for more than 10 years.

Ian is a County Councillor for Kent County Council’s Maidstone North East Division.


John Spinks

After graduating from London University, John joined Elliott Brothers at Rochester Airport engaged in the development of aerospace electronics. He rose to board level before moving to Essex as Managing Director of EEV and later as Chief Executive of a multinational defence contractor.

John retired in 2000 and became a trustee of a number of charities. He is married with two daughters and four granddaughters.


Martin Cox

Martin has lived in Maidstone all his life and has been self employed for the past 34 years. A Rotarian since 2007 and before that in Round Table, Martin currently runs a print, design and multimedia business from his shop just off the Sutton Road. He has 2 children, a daughter and a son.

Martin is the Leader of Maidstone Borough Council and a Borough Councillor for the East Ward.

On the Council Martin has sat on the Planning Committee and most of the other committees. Martin is proud of all the work he has done so far, as well as being the third generation of Councillors in his family – both his father Paul Cox and grandfather Percy Barden were councillors in the 1960’s.

Martin became a Trustee of the Howard de Walden Centre in 2011.


Are you interested in becoming a Trustee? If you are, please get in touch with our Chair.


Other important contacts

The Clerk to the Trustees and Booking Administrator

The Clerk to the Trustees is Jane Clarke. Jane is the person to contact for all booking and general enquiries.

Get in touch with Jane.


The Centre Manager

Dave Naghi
Dave Naghi, Centre Manager

The Centre Manager is Cllr David Naghi. David is available for emergencies during bookings.

David was raised in Maidstone and attended local schools.

He has been a Maidstone Borough Councillor for some 16 years and was the Mayor of Maidstone (2018 – 2019)

For many years he ran the Youth Club at Howard de Walden and runs his own business.

Get in touch with David.