Cliff spent almost 35 years in banking, whilst also volunteering as a local councillor, school governor, parent representative and European staff representative.
His first role was as Non Executive Director for Essex Cares Ltd, the adult social care provider for Essex County Council, where he served on the Audit and remuneration committees. After three years he left Essex for Cambridgeshire, and the opportunity to serve as Treasurer for VoiceAbility arose. Since then, he has also joined BPHA (a Bedfordshire Housing Association) as an Independent Member of their Finance and Treasury Committee.
Cliff is active in his local church, being responsible for their Social Media output and running a Marriage Enhancement Course. His experience in working with the community, financial skills and above all his passion about everyone's right to representation make him an asset to the VoiceAbility team.
Sue is currently a 2016 Clore Social Fellow, spending the year on a leadership development programme aimed at people involved in social change. She is also vice chair of the Care and Support Alliance.
Until January 2016 Sue was Head of Public Policy at Sense, a role she held for 13 years. In this role she was involved in influencing the Mental Capacity Act and chaired the Care and Support Alliance Bill Group which worked to influence the Care Act.
Before Sense Sue worked for five years at Mind as Parliamentary Officer and then Campaigns Manager. Before that Sue worked for the London Cycling Campaign in a role which included support to the Disabled Cyclists Group.
Her passion is for creating change and for enabling people to speak out for themselves about the change they wish to see. At both Mind and Sense she has been instrumental in supporting people to develop skills in campaigning and to have opportunities to raise their issues directly with those making decisions that will affect their lives.
Kate managed the venture philanthropy fund which supported the merger of Advocacy Experience and Speaking Up. When the two organisations became VoiceAbility, Kate was inspired to join our Board having been struck by our mission and by Jonathan’s drive to develop our services in what can be a complex environment.
Kate became the CEO of London Community Foundation in May 2018. Prior to this, she was the Divisional Director of Employment Services of The Forward Trust, a social business supporting people in the criminal justice system to make transformational change in their lives. Its Employment Services includes Blue Sky Agency which only recruits ex-offenders and places them into work with its growing portfolio of commercial clients. It holds one the highest scores recorded by the Ministry of Justice Data Lab for reducing re-offending, and generates over 200 jobs a year for ex-offenders.
Kate is also a board member of ERSA, the trade association for the employability sector and member of the Investment Committee for Big Issue Invest. Earlier in her career Kate was a journalist, including eight years as Editor of The Big Issue, Trinity Mirror Plc and Thomson Reuters.
Kate is consistently resourceful in finding ways to develop our social impact, bringing insight into social investment, outcomes, strategy and commercial thinking.
Matt is a Journalism graduate and is trustee of Citizen Advocacy Lincolnshire Link. In 2011 he joined Total Voice Lincolnshire as Peer Champion, collaborating with others to help get their voices heard. Having undertaken a HNC/D Business Study course he became more closely involved in marketing for the organisation, as well as organising fundraising events and producing annual reports. He currently runs and manages Carers Wanted UK, a social media group which helps private employers of carers and support workers to advertise their vacancies.
Matt has first-hand experience of physical disability, and was Disability Officer at university, negotiating and advocating on behalf of students as well as representing the university at conferences. He is currently setting up an online information directory for people with disabilities; and he also competes in powerchair football.
He brings to the Board a wealth of experience in non-instructed advocacy, fundraising and marketing experience; as well as invaluable lived experience of the opportunities available to people with disabilities who wish to take more control of their own lives.
Previously a trustee user representative at Papworth Trust, Phil has brought invaluable experience in user involvement to the Board. Over the years he has seen the organisation go from strength to strength. He originally joined Speaking Up, and, under his management as a Co-Chair of the Board from 2008 to 2010, saw Speaking Up go through a merger with Advocacy Experience to form VoiceAbility.
Phil was born in the Cambridgeshire Fens in 1957, and was under the care of Great Ormond Street for his cerebral palsy until he was 16. Phil’s parents pushed for him to have the best possible treatment and opportunities at a time when this was extremely challenging.
In 1976 Phil moved to a sheltered workshop in Papworth which aimed to provide people with disabilities the skills for living and working independently. He married Trish in 1984, and together they offered regular fostering and respite care for disabled children for many years. They looked after Ashley, who has Down’s syndrome, until he was old enough to live on his own. They still keep in touch now.
Phil continues to take a special interest in empowering the people we support via user involvement in areas including Lincolnshire, Camden and Cambridge; and is keen for VoiceAbility to continue developing in this area.
Louisa is a national senior programme manager for NHS England, currently working on the Learning Disability Mortality Review programme. She works with a wide range of people and organisations to address the premature mortality of people with a learning disability, and the health inequalities people face.
She has also worked for Mencap, initially developing local and regional advocacy services before supporting the strategic and operational delivery of services for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) as well as engaging with groups deemed to be “hard to reach”, including those from Black and Minority Ethnic communities.
Louisa strongly believes in a collaborative approach which involves the people we support in shaping our organisation and what we do: employing people with learning disabilities and working alongside families and circles of support to uphold the rights of people whose views are not being heard.
Andrew works in the innovations and insight directorate at the British Red Cross. His background in research and consultation enables him to understand the impact charities make, and recommend ways of enhancing their social good. Andrew has worked in research across a range of areas within the charity sector, with a particular focus on health, housing and ways to empower people with lived experience to act as champions of their own experiences.
Andrew has dyspraxia, and has lived experience of disability activism, including his tenure as the co-chair of the British Red Cross’ diversity network. He also has a passionate interest in the autism sector, and was previously a trustee of the Burgess Autistic Trust. His experience of disability and health needs, coupled with his expertise in philanthropic strategy and development, place him in a strong position to put our service users at the heart of our decision making process.