Young children running

About us

Our main aim is to protect and enhance the lives of the children of Reading. We help families find long-term solutions to ensure children lead happy, healthy and successful lives.

How we are governed

BFfC is a company limited by guarantee, wholly owned by Reading Borough Council, but run by an independent Board of Directors. The Chair of the Board and its Non-Executive Directors were recruited to bring senior-level skills and experience from different sectors. A representative of RBC sits on the Board along with Executive Directors responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Company. The Board is responsible for setting the strategy of the Company, ensuring that the contract objectives are met, and safeguarding the children and young people of Reading.

Deborah Jenkins


Deborah Jenkins, MBE DL, joined Brighter Futures for Children as Chair in March 2018. Deborah is particularly interested in the development of partnerships to address complex problems. Over the last thirty years she has held leadership positions in organisations ranging from small-scale third sector projects to major healthcare providers and consulted for many companies in the UK and abroad. She was a founder of Common Purpose and a Non-Executive Director and Chair in the NHS for 24 years.

In addition to running her own consultancy, Kindling Ltd, she is currently CEO of TDI, a national charity working to reduce the risk of sexual offending, and chairs Together for Children, a new company delivering children’s services in Sunderland; NCFE, the UK’s third biggest qualifications awarding body; and the Northern Neonatal Clinical Network.

Antony Kildare

Managing Director

Antony Kildare is an experienced chief executive and senior leader. He has worked extensively in economic development, business investment, enterprise innovation, complex infrastructure and regeneration programmes and community development projects across the UK. He has a strong commercial background and over twenty five years’ experience in building relationships, partnerships and joint ventures with public, private and not for profit clients and stakeholders to deliver performance improvement, organisational change, restructuring and business transformation.

Antony’s previous appointments include CEO, board and senior executive roles in regional development, healthcare, leisure, professional services, education and a period at the DTI. He has also held a number of non-executive, trustee and chair roles during his career.

Deborah Glassbrook

Director of Children’s Services

Deborah, who was appointed as DCS in November 2019, describes herself as ‘a social worker through and through’ and has a deep and thorough  understanding of the issues we face.

She joins BFfC from Achieving for Children, where she was Director of Improvement. Deborah’s wealth of experience in children’s social care and specifically in improving quality and performance, will be instrumental in the journey ahead.

Deborah is looking forward to building on the company’s recently improved Ofsted rating and helping to drive up standards by embedding new ways of working, improving practice and keeping up the positive momentum as we work towards ‘outstanding’.

Antony Byrne

Non-Executive Director

Tony is currently a Director of his own business providing management consultancy, business coaching and interim management to both the public and private sectors.

Tony has previously worked with Interserve plc where he held senior management positions responsible for Technical Services, First Security, Total Facilities Management, Fire, Water, Energy and Catering divisions. He was Executive Director for Compass UK & Ireland responsible for Education, Healthcare and Defence supplying both catering and soft services working both in the UK and internationally. In his early career he held management positions with M & S, Allied Breweries, Kingfisher and Whitbread as well as working for his father’s company GWP Associates.

His non Executive positions have been for the School Food Trust (Department of Education), Springboard, The Inspire and Achieve Foundation and finally as a Governor for Salesian College (Farnborough) Ltd where he was Chair of Governors for four years and served on the Board for a total of nine years. He has been a Governor for a primary school as well.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Member of the British Institute of Facilities Management.

Nicola Gilham

Non-Executive Director

Nicola is currently NED for Turning Point; a social enterprise, providing specialist and integrated services which focus on improving lives and communities across mental health, learning disability, substance misuse, primary care, the criminal justice system and employment. She is also a member of their Finance Committee. She is a Board Trustee of Child Bereavement UK and LMA Recruitment.

As a qualified chartered accountant, she has experience of sitting on both operating and executive boards within the UK and Australia. In addition to executive roles at Arthur Anderson and Michael Page, she was also until recently Chief Executive at Oakleaf Partnership, (HR recruitment consultancy). She has extensive experience as a non-executive, particularly in the health and social care sector including Health Watch Buckinghamshire and British Association of Sports and Exercise Science.

Paul Snell

Non-Executive Director

Paul is currently a Co-Opted Member on the Service Delivery Committee for the NSPCC, a position he has held since December and since 2010 he has been Chair of WDI – a small niche consulting and coaching company focused on organisation, team and individual development. He has also been a Board Member since 2012 with Care Visions, a children’s and adult’s social care provider, delivering high quality residential care and fostering in Scotland and care at home in England.

Formerly, Paul was a Board Member with Ofsted from 2011 until January this year, with a specific lead role in relation to Ofsted’s social care responsibilities and safeguarding. Until recently he was also National Trustee, Council Member and Chair of Audit for Action for Children. In 2012 Paul spent a year as a Development Consultant for the Health Information and Quality Authority – the health and social care regulator for the Republic of Ireland. He led the development and implementation of a new methodology to undertake the first ever inspection programme of child protection in Ireland.

Paul currently works as an Independent Executive Coach and Mentor. Before this he had a 33-year career in Social Care. Starting as a qualified Social Worker, he worked for Coventry City Council and then moved on to be Assistant Director of Social Services for Birmingham City Council, Chief Social Services Officer for the London Borough of Bexley and Corporate Director of Social Services and Acting Chief Executive for Nottingham City Council. In 2004 he joined the Commission for Social Care Inspection as Director of Inspection Regulation & Review, then becoming Chief Inspector and Chief Executive in 2006 for 3 years. Paul spent 6 months in 2009 as Interim Chief Executive of the General Social Care Council. He has strong social care and regulatory understanding with extensive board experience.