Trustee Shirley


After retiring as a Family Law Solicitor, Shirley joined the Dacon Trust as a Trustee.

“As a Trustee, I love having a unique insight into how the Dacon Trust is run.  It’s very different from the other provisions here in the Colchester area.”

Shirley was eager to become a Trustee after her son Jamie, started attending regular sessions here at Level Best.  She has loved seeing the development of the new cafe and what a huge difference that it has made to the facilities available to our young people to develop their skills.

Her favourite part of being a Trustee is getting to see how much everyone at the community hub benefits from being together, and she always looks forward to the Christmas party and other events where everyone can meet and celebrate.

If Shirley were a trainee at Level Best, she’d definitely be most excited about horticulture, although only on sunny days!


Dan has many years of experience in the finance industry. After working as a Finance Director for Billington Bioenergy back in 2016, Dan has since worked in a variety of roles at Drax Group, most recently Head of Business Finance.

“It’s so rewarding watching everyone at the community hub have such a good time. Oh, and the cake is absolutely fabulous!”

Dan helps manage the Trust’s finances and supports Level Best in budgeting for exciting new projects. He was keen to get involved with the opening of the new centre on St John’s Street and help his wife Vicky (another Trustee!). If Dan was a trainee at Level Best, he would love to get stuck in with the seasonal sessions, as he already makes home-brewed beer in his own time!

Trustee Shirley
Trustee Shirley


Katie currently works in the Private Client sector and is a solicitor at Birketts. Her day job involves advising clients on wills, LPAs, trusts and tax planning.

“I enjoy hearing about what the trainees have been doing, and just how much they enjoy and benefit from the services offered by the Trust”

After initially getting involved with the Dacon Trust in 2014 by taking the minutes of the trustee meetings, Katie jumped at the chance to join the committee herself. If Katie was a trainee at Level Best, she would jump straight into the kitchen as she absolutely loves eating cake!


After working as a Director for Community 4rce from 2011 to 2015, Darryn started a new role as Managing Director at Waller Transport Services Limited, a family run business which specialises in the economical and intelligent transportation of goods from all UK ports.

“The work carried out by the Dacon Trust is really beneficial. I love that Level Best encourages public interaction, which is something I hadn’t seen before”

Darryn first joined the Trust after hearing how much his brother-in-law, Simon, was enjoying coming to Level Best. His favourite part of being a Trustee is chatting to the trainees and staff members and hearing all about their achievements. If Darryn was a trainee at Level Best, he would love to be involved with the cooking sessions – he never seems to have enough time to cook at home!

Trustee Shirley
Trustee Darryn


Gareth has many years’ experience working in local government in Colchester and now spends his time making a difference in the local community through his voluntary roles. He is a trustee of a young persons’ charity and volunteers at Colchester Foodbank.

“Level Best is a joyful place where everyone is included and where creativity and learning flourish.  I love that I am able to play a small part in this remarkable community as a trustee!”

Having been a happy customer at the previous Level Best café, Gareth was delighted when he was asked to become a trustee of the Dacon Trust.

If Gareth was a trainee at Level Best, he would fit right in with the seasonal project as he loves being outdoors and eating jams and chutneys in equal measure!