Registered address: Bury Lodge, 1 Queensway, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP1 1HT

DENS Ltd – Registered in England and Wales.

Charity number: 1097185

Company number: 4610820

You can contact us by calling 01442 262274 or filling in our online contact form.


DENS is governed by a Board of Trustees, headed by a Chairman:

Martin Warner (Chair)

Martin is co-founder and Chairman of Michelmersh Brick Holdings plc, the fourth largest brick manufacturer in the UK. The business is quoted on the AIM market. Martin is Chairman of the Brick Development Association, the industry trade body and a non-executive director of Aberforth Smaller Companies Trust plc.
He is an active member of Northchurch Baptist Church and also Chair of the Jericho Foundation which runs programmes and social enterprises to give skills to those with barriers to finding employment, and Cinnamon Network UK which seeks to encourage local churches to use established franchise models to better engage with their local community.

Samantha Allen (Treasurer)

Samantha has a Geography degree and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1994. Sam has worked in practice for over 25 years. She was an Audit Partner at RSM UK, advising clients in the non-profit sector and owner-managed businesses. Latterly she stepped down as Audit Partner while juggling the demands of family life raising three boys, and turned her hand to work in personal and corporate tax at RSM UK. In 2015 Sam left practice and became a Bikeability instructor with children. Sam now spends her time involved in several local charities utilising her financial skills, when she is not running, cycling or swimming.

Eric Pillinger

Eric is an Economics graduate and a Chartered Accountant. After a variety of management jobs in industry he joined TACK International Ltd, a global corporate training consultancy, and worked with clients and business partners all over the world. His many years as company director have given him a full appreciation of finance, people management, board operation and corporate governance. He is now part retired and works as a trustee for DENS, two other charities and a local school. He has three adult children and seven grandchildren.

Ian Tottman

Ian was a Solicitor and Senior Partner of Pickworths Solicitors until it merged with SA Law LLP, who are now solicitors for DENS. Ian continued to practice until October 2016 before retiring. In 2011, Ian had qualified as a Work Place and Employment Mediator and then in 2012 as a Commercial Mediation Practitioner. He mediates on a regular basis with Mediation Hertfordshire and has been a Trustee with that charity for a number of years. His main role with DENS is to attend Trustee meetings and to advise on the various matters that are considered at them.

Ian Laidlaw Dickson

Ian Laidlaw Dickson, OBE, is a former BT Manager, local Borough and County Councillor for many years and member of Herts Police Authority, including five years as Chair. As well as DENS, he is a Trustee for Community Action Dacorum, Dacortium and the Boxmoor and Warners End Neighbourhood Association. He is currently a member of the Herts Police and Crime Panel. Ian spends lots of time with his partner, travelling and going to the theatre and art galleries.

Eugene McLaughlin

Eugene is a Management Consultant by profession. Latterly, Eugene has specialised in procurement and commercial activity. He began his career as a community worker working with unemployed teenagers. He has worked across a wide range of activities at senior executive level including local government, the community sector, education, housing, social care, economic development and finance. Eugene has introduced organisational change and has achieved buy-in across complex customer facing services. Eugene’s professional and life experiences have led him to understand the importance of decent life chances for vulnerable people. Eugene is interested in sport and local history and is a Trustee for other voluntary organisations operating in the Herts/north London area. Eugene has a degree in Economics, an MBA, and an MA in Irish History.

Michael Morgan

Michael is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner and has worked in the health and safety industry for the past 30 plus years.
After working as the UK Health and Safety Manager for Ernst and Young (Chartered Accountants) he started his own health and safety consultancy. As well as running and producing his own training courses, he is a licensed trainer with the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).
Michael is a Trustee for the London Health and Safety Group, which has been in existence since 1941 and whose aim is to promote the very best professional standards of health and safety for people at work, thereby, minimising the possibility of injury or ill-health.

Melanie Eckert

Mel worked for KPMG, one of the big four accounting firms, for 26 years. In later years her roles included Treasurer for the UK firm and working on projects involving diversity and inclusion. Her years at KPMG gave her experience of strategic financial decision making. In addition, her role as one of the Senior Managers of the large finance team, gave her insight into people management, and development of individuals within the team. Now semi-retired, she is a Trustee on the board of DENS, a culmination of many years of support to the charity, which started by serving hot drinks to the service users in the night shelter in Apsley. In addition to her work in DENS, she is also an active member of Northchurch Baptist Church. Mel is married and has a son currently studying at university.


Joe Dempsie

Best known for playing Gendry in the award-winning series, Game of Thrones, DENS are delighted to have Joe Dempsie on board as our first official ambassador.

Joe has really got stuck into his new role since starting in late 2019. He has spent time at our hostel, The Elms, taken part in the 2019 Sleepout, attended our Gala Dinner and fundraised with the 2.6 Challenge!

To find out more about Joe’s role as ambassador, click here.

Annual report

Click here to view our Impact Report for 2019/20

Click here to view our Annual Report and Accounts for 2019/20

Equality Statement

DENS is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community. We firmly believe that all individuals should be treated on the basis of merit and without prejudice; promoting equality of opportunity so that no job applicant is subject to unfair or unlawful discrimination on the grounds of gender, age, ethnicity, cultural background, faith, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, part-time working, union activity or political beliefs.

Standing Orders

To make a Standing Order mandate, please click here.


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