Who We Are

The UK Bala Charity has always sent, and will continue to send, a monthly amount towards the Centre’s regular expenditure, such as food, staff salaries, and all that is necessary to it.  Unfortunately, the monthly amount that we send is considerably short of what they need. We have though been able to provide the money to buy the 3 sites, and build all the classrooms and associated buildings.


Paul Hargreaves

Paul is the Founder and Chief Exec of Cotswold Fayre Ltd, a speciality & fine food wholesaler supplying 2,000 retailers throughout the UK. 

Paul is a well-known figure within the speciality food world both for his insightful views on the sector, independent retailers, and business in general. Paul’s blog “Speciality Bites” is widely read by retailers and producers alike and he is often asked to contribute to debates and articles within the industry.

His background includes a degree in Zoology and 10 years in the charitable sector. He became involved in the Bala Children’s Centre five years ago, when his company started to make a profit and he wanted to “give something back”.  Since then he has been the key driver in starting businesses associated with the children’s centre (so far a farm and a water project) with the end goal of making the centre completely sustainable for day-to-day running costs from the profits of the businesses.

Dorian Ferdinando

Dorian grew up on a lovely farm in Dorset. After school he became a Chartered Surveyor & Land Agent, for 13 years, with a national firm.

He then spent a few years buying, improving, & selling houses, before taking over a family trust with all its assets in commercial property, which, after 35 years he still does.

Just after the fall of the iron curtain in 1990 he took aid to an orphanage in Romania & then visited every year with teams of 10 to 15 mostly young people, for 15 years, the last 10 years being to the Ukraine.

Working with & supporting local Churches, he organised aid lorries to them & set up a dental surgery in a local hospital. He then became involved with the Bala Children’s Centre & has been the lead trustee for 14 years.

Maura Ferdinando

My childhood was spent with my parents and younger sister in the country.  I boarded at Downe House from the age of 11 and then, aged 18, went to work in London. 

My first job was in MI5; I held a variety of jobs including working for various Estate Agents and ending up selling flats in Chelsea.  I met Dorian Ferdinando on holiday in Davos and we married in 1971 and have three children (and now eight grandchildren!)  We worked together on property renovations in Oxford; 

I then worked as an interior designer before starting my own stencilling company running courses and selling stencils and stencilling equipment by mail order.

I have taught English and go into the local primary school listening to children read.  I’m a trustee of Bala Children’s Centre and enjoy spending time with the grandchildren, swimming and kayaking and holidays in Greece.

Committee Members

Warren & Nicky Shute

Warren is a Chartered & Certified Financial Planner with twenty-five years of experience.  He owns and operates Lexington Wealth alongside his wife Nicky who is also involved with the Bala committee.  Warren and Nicky joined the Bala Children’s Centre charity in 2010 and enjoy supporting the foundation.