Board of Trustees / Directors

PROSPER is governed by a Board of Trustees and supported by an Advisory group comprising of experts in Mental Health, Research and Practice. Applications for funding and support are reviewed by the Application Review Panel, a sub committee of the board.

The members of the Board of Trustees come from different backgrounds bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience in law, business, management, education, IT, mental health services and cultures.

The Board meets four times a year to review the implementation of the strategic plan, the fundraising strategy, the organisation’s finances and the work of the Application Review Panel.

Board of Trustees

  • Countess Ilona Esterházy (Chairman)
  • Mr Adrian Longley OBE
  • Mr Rodney Bailey
  • Mr Eamonn Townsend
  • Mr Alan Felt

Ilona Esterhazy - Founder   Adrian Longley OBE

Having a long standing interest in the peoples of the world and their cultures, has led to much travel and interest in the ancient world. With a background training in Law and Economics, then trained in Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.

Worked for Home Office, educational establishments including research for World Health and various European establishments. This led to the development of practical projects such as housing, centres, training and support for vulnerable young people and others with special Mental Health needs. Over the years Ilona has sought to address her research and professional practice with reference to other disciplines, at times is consulted on various cases where there has been irregularities and injustices.

Ilona is married to Mark Bicknell (widower) acquiring three young children, they have a son. All the children are now married.


After 15 years private practice as a solicitor, Adrian Longley spent the next 18 years of his professional life as Legal Adviser to The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), where he sat on a number of working parties, including ‘Malpractice in Fundraising for Charity’ and 'Effectiveness and the Voluntary Sector'. In the 1970s he was a member of the Goodman Committee on Charity Law and Voluntary Organisations.

An Honorary Fellow of the Instute of Fundraising.

Adrian is currently consultant to Arlingtons Sharmas Solicitors and advises many charities both large and small.

Rodney Bailey J.P.   Eamonn Townsend

Educated at Lancaster and Oxford Universities, he spent his working life in Education and Sports Tourism. He was Head of Department and Housemaster, and founder-member of The Sir Garfield Sobers International Schools' Cricket Tournament in Barbados in 1987.

Rod was a serving Magistrate for twenty-five years and chaired both the Licensing and Betting & Gambling Committees. He was church warden for fifteen years and for the past seven years has been a volunteer for the National Trust.


Eamonn Townsend has been working in the Information Technology sector for over 45 years, having worked with large retail organisations such as Asda Stores, NEC computers and Wyevale Garden Centres. Eamonn started work using large mainframe computers and has adapted to new technologies - more recently forming his own company designing and building websites. Eamonn can advise on how best to make use of the internet and all its facilities to improve the visibility and contacts of PROSPER.

Alan Felt  

Alan has 25 years of experience in working for people with disability and mental health issues in many Hertfordshire Job Centres.

Since leaving the Job Centres in 2006, Alan has been involved with advocacy work first with ethnic minorities, and then became an advocate working with NHS Complaints, and helping those that are in care homes, with Deprivation of Liberty (DOLS), and mental health and learning difficulty clients, so hopes to bring much to this charity.

Alan was involved as a trustee in a previous charity chaired by Countess Ilona, Ashram Int., which involved him, amongst many others, supporting the charity with fundraising in the UK to support poverty alleviation projects in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Pakistan.

Alan enjoys going to the theatre, swimming and travelling.