Seán Cox MBE
Being a founding member of The Mixed Group, I am older than the other trustees! I was born and
grew up in Monaghan, Ireland. I came to Welwyn Garden City in October 1957 yes, I am an OAP!
and have lived here ever since then. Doing voluntary work as organiser and trustee gives me an opportunity to meet and chat to a lot
of people. I enjoy travelling, meeting people and having a bit of 'craic' over a glass of water
(I am teetotal), a cup of tea or a meal. In 2004 I retired from working in local government. It
is uplifting to be able to help keep our charity working well thanks to the many volunteers and
I have lived in Welwyn Garden City for most of my life and became involved in The Mixed Group
many years ago. The project initially attracted me because it is a local charity for the
community of Welwyn Hatfield. I have met a wide range of people in the course of my involvement
with the Group. My chief interest after the Group is football, and I am a Chelsea season
ticket holder. I am single and work in local government. I am happy to be a volunteer and
trustee of The Mixed Group.
Eóin Riggs ACA
My first contact with the Group was at the age of 12 when I met Seán and got involved in a
fundraising event. The rest is history! From that initial experience I was hooked on the work
of The Mixed Group and even involved my parents and brothers. As a 'computer kid' I easily
persuaded Seán to invest in a computer and printer to ease the manual workload. The programs I
developed all those years ago are still in use today with some 'fine tuning' and amendment as
needed. As a Chartered Accountant, I also look after the finances of the group and submit
audited accounts to the trustees, Charity Commission and Companies House. I live in Letchworth with my two sons Michael and Ronan who also help out with the work of
the Group. Some of my other interests include music, car racing, DIY and computer games.
Mrs Pat Castle, Hon. Secretary
I have lived in the Welwyn Hatfield area all my life, and am married with two children and six
grandchildren. I am a local government officer and support The Mixed Group by acting as
voluntary secretary. The post is a very busy one, as every letter sent to the Group is
personally answered and a newsletter produced twice a year. Along with the other trustees, I
attend quarterly meetings to discuss progress with the Christmas Day arrangements, fund raising
events and publicity issues. The work can be very rewarding, especially when letters are
received thanking everyone for making someone's Christmas Day special.
Grant Shapps MP, Patron
Born in Hertfordshire in 1968, I was educated at Watford Grammar School, before studying Business
& Finance at Manchester in the late 1980s. In 1990, I founded my own printing company,
PrintHouse Corporation, at the age of 21 and remain a chairman of this company. I married
Belinda in 1997. We have three children a boy named Hadley and twins, born April 2004, called
Tabytha and Noa. I hold a pilots licence and enjoy aviation as a pastime. As patron of The Mixed Group, I have always been an active supporter of the charity. As well as
assisting with various fundraising events, Belinda and I are also pleased to biannually host a
summer lunch at our home to raise money for the fund. I also participate in cycling the yearly
ten-mile cycle rally and my family are marshals on the route.
Belinda, the children and I also help on Christmas Day and enjoy meeting the other volunteers and
the guests. Serving people from all over Welwyn Hatfield is really special for our family.