Meryl Davies

Chief Executive Officer

Meryl Davies joined Re-engage as CEO in May 2018, having spent many years in leadership roles in international development organisations. Her passion is in leading teams to bring about real change by finding new ways to tackle longstanding social issues.

At Re-engage, she has led the rebrand of the charity and the change of name from Contact the Elderly to Re-engage which reflects a strategic shift in the organisation. Meryl and the team launched the REACH strategy 2020-21 to guide the charity to greater impact.

Kitty Blackwell

director of fundraising and communications

As a member of the strategic leadership team, Kitty is responsible for developing Re-engage’s fundraising, marketing and communications strategy. She also oversees delivery of those plans so that the charity can realise its ambition to grow and expand its work and reach new audiences in new ways. 

Sally Flowers

head of service delivery

Sally leads our three service delivery teams; service support, volunteer experience and service activity to deliver a first class experience to our older people and volunteers. Her teams focus on the onboarding and offboarding of our volunteers and older people, dealing with enquires, and ensuring the smooth running and development of tea party groups, call companions and community Christmas. She is also responsible for the training, development and support of all our volunteers.

Laura Shepherd

head of impact

Laura is responsible for overseeing the development and delivery of our monitoring, evaluation and learning activities in order to measure our impact and deliver our mission to end loneliness and social isolation for older people. Laura is also the regional contact for services in London and the South.

El Taylor-Jenkins

head of community engagement

El leads our team of engagement officers in promoting our services and increasing our reach to more older people, volunteers, and partner organisations. The team are based across the country and work at a local level within communities to support our mission of ending social isolation and loneliness in older people.

Our Trustees

Jonathan Upton


Jonathan joined the board of Trustees in May 2019 and was appointed chair of the board of trustees in February 2022. He began his career with Arthur Andersen as an auditor, followed by a two year stint in the city as a Financial Controller for Pradera AM-PLC living in London and Milan. Having left Pradera in 2005, he joined a university friend who had recently setup a business specialising in residential property data, which they sold together in 2014. More recently, he has setup and invested in other data businesses in property information and legal technology.

His Grandmother to whom he was very close, had Parkinson’s disease and Parkinsonian dementia and he hopes that through Re-engage, he can try to help more people enjoy the frequent social contact that she had.

Stewart Gilfillan

Vice chair

After working in the both the Home Office and the Scottish Office for 20 years, Stewart Gilfillan joined the new Scottish Parliament at its inception in 1999, first as a Director then as Assistant Chief Executive.  As well as knowledge of the political and administrative landscape in Scotland, Stewart has extensive experience of public sector finance, human resources, strategic planning, risk management, organisational performance and change management.

Now retired, Stewart is a volunteer driver for Re-engage in Edinburgh. He was motivated to join following the death of his mother who, despite being fiercely independent and having a good deal of support from nearby relatives, found weekends difficult and looked forward to the companionship of being taken out for a drive or lunch on a Sunday. Stewart was appointed vice chair in February 2022.

Stewart hopes to be able to bring his experience of government and parliament to help Re-engage develop and expand its unique role in alleviating isolation among older people.

Sue Scholes


Sue became the Treasurer and a trustee of Re-engage in May 2019.

She has been a trustee of MAC Birmingham (the Midlands’ most visited arts centre) since November 2014 and sits on its Finance & Governance and HR committees. She is an Examiner and past Chair of the UK’s Investor Relations Society (a not-for-profit professional body representing the voice of its 800+ members and promoting best practice in investor relations).

Sue spent seven years as Director of Communications and member of the Executive Team at AMEC plc, during a period of significant and successful transformation. AMEC was then a FTSE 100 engineering, project management and consultancy company, with some 26,000 employees working in 40 countries.

A CIMA-qualified accountant, she started her working life at Cadbury Schweppes plc. She has held a number of senior finance roles and started working in investor relations at GKN plc. Prior to joining AMEC, she was Head of Investor Relations at Brambles Industries plc, an Anglo-Australian dual-listed company.

Dr Sally Fowler Davis

Sally began baking for and hosting tea-parties in 2015, with support from her family she was part of a new group who came together in Sheffield.  She became a trustee in 2020 and is looking forward to this further involvement with Re-engage.

Sally has a clinical background in the NHS and remains very involved in health and care services though her work as an Associate Professor at Sheffield Hallam University.  She has held senior programme lead roles at the Department of Health and enjoys contributing to Public Health Leadership education programmes across Europe.

She remains committed to the wellbeing of older adults and mainly undertakes research in care homes and investigations about new services and new ways of working in health and care systems.  With current interests and research activity associated with the recovery from Covid19 she is looking at health and rehabilitation outcomes for older people. 

Victoria Galvis

Victoria started her journey with Re-engage as a tea party host for her local group. She found the simplicity of the tea party model brought joy not only to the guests but also to the network of volunteers who make it all possible. Her successful career as a doctor has seen her dedicate herself to providing care and support for older people from all walks of life, with a special interest in people with disabilities, complex healthcare needs and cancer. Now as a trustee, she will use her knowledge and passion to support Re-engage in reaching more older people and give a stronger voice and improved access for minority groups such as ethnic minority groups, LGBTQ+, disabled and neurodiverse so that everyone can enjoy the later years of life and feel like they matter.

Christian Grobel

Christian Grobel first volunteered for Re-engage as a driver in Westminster in 2001. He joined the Board of Trustees in 2004 as Hon. Treasurer, becoming Deputy Chair in 2014.

Christian began his career at KPMG, after which he worked at EMI Music and subsequently FremantleMedia, the global TV production company, in various positions in the UK and US. He is currently a director of the social media company Social Chain responsible for its media and marketing divisions.

Christian was chair of the board of trustees from July 2015 to February 2022. He also sits on the finance committee of The Passage, the charity for the homeless, and is co-founder and Chair of the London Choral Sinfonia.

Philip Kelvin

Philip Kelvin first volunteered as a host and driver in 2013, having founded university Re-engage groups in Durham. He joined the Board of Trustees in 2014.

His experience of the charity as a driver and coordinator gives him an insight into inter-generational relationships as well as the importance of engagement with younger demographics.

Philip began his career at Rothschild in corporate finance, after which he worked at Bain & Co, a global management consultancy. He is currently the Head of Operations at Trussle, a London based fintech company.

Shamsah Lalji

Shamsah is the Director of the Radfield Home Care Richmond, Kingston & Hounslow branch. She launched this home care business to provide high-quality care to those in need, helping them live safer, happier and more fulfilling lives in their own home. Shamsah has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and an MBA in Marketing.

She has worked for a number of years in the pharmaceutical industry, specializing in conditions and diseases many elderly are living with, such as diabetes, nutrition disorders, cancer, and many more. Shamsah has always enjoyed being involved in the community, volunteering with multiple organizations and raising money for charities. She understands the importance of community support, which makes her a successful business owner.

Jonathan Waite QC

After Cambridge University, Jonathan was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1978, joining Chambers at One Paper Buildings (later Crown Office Chambers) in 1979. Throughout his legal career he has specialised in most aspects of medico-legal work and associated insurance disputes. In the last 25 years, he has concentrated mainly on cases in which he was instructed on behalf of the manufacturers of pharmaceutical products (usually multi-Claimant cases concerning the side-effects of vaccines and drugs) and on behalf of the manufacturers of medical devices. He was appointed a QC in 2002 and since then, whilst concentrating on pharmaceutical and medical device cases, he has also acted in cases involving major property damage, usually arising from fires or floods.  After 40 years practice at the Bar he retired in March 2019.

Since 2014 he has been a Trustee of the Marshall Hall Trust which provides financial assistance to needy members of the Inner Temple, and in particular students. He has been Chair of the Board of Trustees of that charity since 2016.

Contact us

We have teams across the UK.


7 Bell Yard


0800 716543

Office phone:

020 7240 0630