Merton CIL Board of Trustees


You can find out more about becoming a trustee at Merton CIL here -

Find out more about our dedicated board of trustees below:


Roy Benjamin, Chair of Merton CIL  

Roy Benjamin - Chair of Merton CIL

Roy has worked in the social care field for most of his professional life. For the last 30 years, Roy has been an ardent campaigner for equality and was a city councillor in Birmingham. Roy is a founding member of Merton CIL and has been chair since we were incorporated in 2011.


Gina Vettese, Vice Chair of Merton CIL

Gina Vettese - vice chair

Gina has been Disabled since she was 13 years old and involved with Merton CIL since it was just a steering group. Gina is passionate about accessibility and does work to make Merton accessible. She was also involved with Go4M and is a talented seamstress creating wedding dresses and more in her spare time. 


Amanda Edwards, Secretary of Merton CIL

Amanda Edwards - secretary of Merton CIL

The values of inclusion and equality which are the basis of our work, drew Amanda to join Merton CIL as they are ones that she has shared throughout her working life. She has seen the difference that a strong voice and good support can make to people’s lives from her time as a manager and social worker in South London. Also during her time working on policy at the Department of Health and most recently at SCIE with people who use services as board members and on committees to produce good practice advice and guidance. Merton CIL has expanded quickly and now needs to sustain that growth and good reputation amd Amanda is keen to use her experience of how organisations work to give an independent view.


Slim Flegg MBE, Trustee of Merton CIL

Slim Flegg - Trustee of Merton CIL

Slim was born and raised in Merton and remains an extremely active resident. Slim was a local Councillor and was the Mayor of Merton twice. He is also a founding member of Merton CIL and was key to the organisations development. Slim is very passionate about access issues and ensuring that Deaf and Disabled people can live independent lives. He attends the Direct Payments forum at Merton Council on behalf of Merton CIL and its members. 



Estifanos Habtesellasie, Trustee of Merton CIL


Estifanos began volunteering and getting involved at Merton CIL in 2015. He began initially doing administrative tasks and has since grown to represent Merton CIL at community engagement meetings and a number of other forums. Estifanos is also a founding member of Merton CIL’s monitoring and evaluation steering group, which aims to improve the services delivered by Merton CIL. He is keen to contribute to Merton CIL’s future direction.



Claire Benjamin, Trustee of Merton CIL 

Claire Benjamin - Trustee of Merton CILs

Claire is a visually impaired mum of 2 Disabled children and has lived in Merton for over 15 years. For the last 20 years Claire has worked in the public sector promoting the involvement of Disabled people in decisions that affect their lives.


Raheema Olajide, Trustee of Merton CIL

 Raheema Olajide - Trustee of Merton CIL

Raheema is Disabled and lives in Merton. She joined Merton CIL to fight for the rights of Disabled people and help make things better. She worked as a Civil Servant for many years and was on the Disability Advisory Group in her department. Raheema is also a founding member of Merton CIL’s monitoring and evaluation steering group, which aims to improve the services delivered by Merton CIL. 


Sarah Henley, Trustee of Merton CIL 

Sarah Henley - Trustee at Merton CIL

Sarah is Disabled and lives in Merton. She brings her sense of fun and adventure to every board meeting. Sarah is very involved with our Craftivism and Chat project.