Who are we?

DERiC is made up of people with a predominantly public sector background:

Board Members

Adi Cooper OBE
Chair DERIC



Jeffrey Phillips
Treasurer DERIC


Dennis Holmes



Jackie Redpath MBE
Chief Executive, Greater Shankill Area Partnership Board, Belfast
Since the early seventies Jackie, has been involved at the cutting edge of community development work in the Shankill area of Belfast and in peace and reconciliation across Belfast, N Ireland and in cross border initiatives with the Republic of Ireland.
He is currently Chief Executive of the Greater Shankill Partnership and been a founder member of a range of housing, economic, voluntary and reconciliation agencies including the NI Federation of Housing Associations and the NI Voluntary Trust (now Community Foundation for N Ireland), where he served as a trustee for five years.


Michael Hennessey
Service Director for Care and Support, Adults, Bristol City Council
A Registered Nurse and Registered Nurse Learning Difficulties, Mike has has 25 years of local authority management experience. He has a reputation for working across the boundaries of NHS and social care and delivering transformation in partnership with stakeholders. He is the statutory Director of Adult Social Services for Bristol and leads for the Council on Asylum Seekers and Refugees

Advisers to the Board

David Brindle
Public Services Editor, The Guardian
David Brindle is public services editor of the Guardian. He has been with the paper since 1988, specialising throughout in social policy, and has won awards for his coverage of health and social care and the voluntary sector. He is a board member of Richmond Fellowship, a leading charitable provider of mental health services, and vice-chair of NDTi, a not-for-profit organisation working with people at risk of exclusion. He is a member of various advisory committees, including that of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, and is a visiting fellow at the Centre for Citizen Participation, Brunel University.


Phil Woods
The Stamford Forum, previously local authority commissioning manager in the London Boroughs of Lewisham and Sutton.
Phil Woods is member of the Stamford Forum with 25 years experience of working in health and social care, both as a commissioner of services and managing their delivery. He now works as a freelance consultant specialising in deriving effective but unorthodox solutions to difficult problems. His particular interest is in finding new and more interesting ways in which existing policies and strategies can be combined to ensure the delivery of better and more appropriate services to vulnerable groups of people. As something of a career iconoclast, he is often asked to cut across established boundaries and bureaucratic impediment to find ways forward which are grounded in common sense.
Key experience
  • 25 years experience in the commissioning and delivery of health care and social support
  • Specialist in developing innovative and unexpected responses to apparently intractable problems
  • Assisting vulnerable people to assert their rights; former chair of the London Learning Disability Commissioners’ Group



Ritchard Brazil
Richard Brazil has been at the leading edge of change management for the last 35 years. Following work as an academic in the field of social work, policy analysis and implementation, he led an innovative housing association in the eighties. Eleven years at the King Edward’s Hospital Fund for London, included ground breaking work on care management, whole systems development and collaboration and partnership development between local authorities, their communities and the NHS. He has also worked extensively abroad in Europe (particularly Eastern Europe leading major World Bank investment programmes), the USA and Australia.

Richard founded Nebula Ben in 1999 and has been instrumental in the progress of initiatives focusing on mediation, collaborative advantage, co-production and integration in public services. He acts/has acted as long term strategic change management advisor to a wide range of public agencies in the UK and abroad. He co-leads the ‘Combining Personalisation and Community Empowerment’ (CPCE) initiative, which incorporates highly innovative work with Leeds City Council, a consortium of statutory agencies in Belfast and Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council on new community based approaches to services for older and vulnerable people.

Ritchard was a co-founder of the Stamford Forum in 2006. The Forum is a think/do tank dedicated to discovering and taking forward new ideas right across the public sector and beyond.