Staff and Trustees

Our staff and trustees have great experience and are dedicated to improving the lives of disabled people.

Staff

David Buxton

Chief Executive

David joined us as CEO in March 2017. He has over 25 years of senior management experience, coming to us from the British Deaf Assocation, where he was CEO for five years.

 

 

David was born Deaf and uses British Sign Language (BSL) as his first language.

 

David was the first-ever Deaf BSL-user to be elected Borough Councillor and stand for Parliament (twice!). 

 

He has an MBA from the Open University and co-founded the Liberal Democrat Disability Association

John MacNeely

Youth & Community Services Manager

John first started volunteering with us back in the 90s, when he was a student.  

 

After he graduated he came to work with us as a Youth Worker.  Over the years he has worked his way up and is now Youth and Community Services Manager, overseeing Youth, Advocacy and Welfare Benefits. 

John supports Queens Park Rangers, our local football team, and is currently learning Italian.

Muna Ali

Employment Service Manager

Muna Ali has been at AoD since April 2019 and manages the Employment Service.

She has previous experience of running an in-work support service and is particularly knowledgeable around Access to Work.

Muna was born in Norway and moved to London aged 9. She has two law degrees and speaks 5 languages – Norwegian, Somali, English, Swedish and Danish.

Employment Services

Abigail Damen

Employment Service Project Coordinator

Abigail is the Employment Service Project Coordinator, a project that supports clients with all aspects of employment, from applying to jobs to providing support in the workplace. Part of the project also includes running educational workshops around employment rights and facilitating Peer Support Groups.

Abigail graduated from the University of Bedfordshire in 2014 with a Bsc (Hons) in Psychology. Before joining the team at AoD, Abigail was working as a behavioural therapist, primarily working with children on the Autistic spectrum and supporting them in their educational, communication and emotional needs.

When not working Abigail enjoys drawing and creating her bullet journal. She also enjoys live music and loves going to concerts and the theatre.

Louisa Noel

Supported Employment Team Lead

Louisa previously worked at Hounslow Council, where she was a mentor for young disabled people on a supported internship for two years.

 

 She joined AoD in April 2018, becoming the Supported Employment Coordinator on the same internship at Hounslow. Later that year she transferred to our internship site at Hammersmith and Fulham Council, where she job coaches young people on a range of placements. She is also responsible for working with the young people to seek paid employment once they graduate.

Rashed Sheik-Adan

Supported Employment Coordinator

Rashed joined AoD in April 2020, he is the Supported Employment Coordinator for our L’Oreal and Hammersmith and Fulham council site. He provides job coaching, support and guidance to young people with disabilities. 

Rashed graduated from Birkbeck University with a MSc in International Business and Development. During his studies Rashed volunteered at Ealing centre for independent living (ECIL). He worked with groups of young people with disabilities transitioning out of education. He volunteered his time to help recruit young people from local colleges and helped run employment and independent living sessions. 

This experience encouraged Rashed to apply for a role with AoD in order to continue supporting and making a difference to young disabled people’s lives. Prior to this Rashed worked for the John Lewis Partnership.

In his spare time, Rashed plays and watches football. He is a big Liverpool supporter.

Kelly Ridge

Lead Supported Employment Coordinator

Kelly joined AoD in summer 2018 as Lead Supported Employment coordinator on the Kensington Supported Internship Project. She works with young people on their Supported Internship year, coaching them in work placements and supporting them into paid employment. 

Kelly previously worked in further education where she specialised in supporting and teaching young people with learning disabilities in a variety of subject areas from dance and gardening to English and ICT. 

When not at work Kelly can usually be found at a gig, in a theatre or getting stuck into art projects.

Krishan Chadha

Supported Employment Coordinator

Krishan facilitates job coaching, training and mentorship with disabled young people in the local borough as part of his role as a Supported Employment Coordinator on the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) Supported Internship programme.

Krishan began working at AoD since April 2020 and is a qualified trainer specialising in disability and inclusion. Krishan has been an individual advocate since 2017. Prior to joining AoD – Krishan led a council-based internship group in the Borough of Newham, supporting young disabled people in gaining meaningful employment. 

In his spare time Krishan is continuing his studies in education, developing resources for an inclusive learning platform, and is an avid Star Trek fan. 

Kevin Watson

Supported Employment Coordinator

Kevin works with the Employment Team as a Supported Employment Coordinator at Charing Cross Hospital. He is now in his second full year working with interns at Charing Cross. He previously worked on the Inclusive Employment project at AoD.

He has also been a support worker for senior managers and others with disabilities and has written on a vast range of subjects for the charitable sector. He is a former editor of the national magazine British Deaf News.

Before that Kevin was a sports journalist for national newspapers and agencies. His speciality was football and he reported from every Premier League and Championship ground. He also covered Rugby and Cricket.

In his spare time he enjoys music, reading and walking. He is currently researching a rock music biography.

Youth Services

Tamara Stuiver

Youth Service Team Leader

Tamara has worked with us since 2012, when she was a student at the University of Greenwich, studying Youth and Community Work. For her dissertation she did research with AoD’s young people on how they viewed themselves as disabled people. Tamara gained a 1st BA (Hons) degree, and her work helped us shape our Youth Service. 

After completing her masters in Anthropology of Childhood – Youth and Education – Tamara started working with us full-time. She coordinates our term-time and holiday projects, plus the Duke of Edinburgh award. She is involved in progression pathways and oversees our youth board.

Brittany Granda

Youth Service Project Coordinator

Welfare Benefit Services

Doreen Hilton

Welfare Benefits Team Leader

Doreen first worked with us as a volunteer in the welfare benefits department in her spare time in 2005 whilst working as a PA for a barrister. In 2007 she was employed by AoD, HAFAD as we were then known, to set up and develop a welfare benefits advice service specifically for parents and carers of ill and disabled children up to the age of 18 in H&F. She continues to deliver this service after 13 years and leads the welfare benefit team. When not working Doreen enjoys going to the gym and spending time with her family.

Direct Payment Support Services

Charlotte Du Toit

Direct Payments Project Lead

Charlotte leads the Direct Payment Support Service, a project delivered in partnership with Ruils Independent Living in Richmond. Charlotte has been working with Ruils since 2020 and partnered with AoD in 2021.

Charlotte recently graduated from University of Derby with an MSc in Health Psychology and has used the skills learned on this course in her position as an Independent Living Advisor at Ruils since. Whilst studying, Charlotte worked in a GP surgery giving a good insight into the inner workings of the NHS and has used this knowledge to further advise clients.

In her spare time Charlotte enjoys walking in Richmond Park and doting on her dog Zola. She is a big fan of a Sunday Roast and likes to spend her weekends tracking down the perfect one with friends. 

David Deacon

Independent Living Advisor

My name is David and I am an Independent Living Advisor, working with the Direct Payment Support Service. I started working with AoD in the summer of 2020 and have learnt how to adapt, remotely or in the office!

In 2014, I graduated from Norwich University of the Arts with a BA (Hons) in Film Production and I also currently work as an outreach support worker for deaf people. As a deaf person myself, I feel disability rights are vitally important. I enjoy supporting others so that people with a disability can lead a comfortable lifestyle. 

I love going to the cinema, theatre and spending time with family and friends.

Isabella Bezer

Independent Living Advisor

Isabella joined AoD in August 2021 as an Independent Living Advisor. Her role helps to support people through the Direct Payment Service and the recruitment of personal assistants to promote independent living.  

Isabella graduated from the University of York in 2019 with a BA (Hons) in Politics and in 2021 with a MA in Women’s Studies. Prior to working for AoD, Isabella worked in the rollout of the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme as a Patient Advocate. As someone with a specific learning disability, Isabella is passionate about advocating for disability rights and supporting a greater understanding of disabilities.  

In her spare time, Isabella enjoys baking, gardening, spending time with friends and walking the family dogs.  

Office Services

Feroz Khan

Finance Assistant

Feroz became our Finance Assistant in July 2018, coming from customer service-based roles within the retail sector. At AoD, he looks after financial functions of the organisation, working closely with senior management.

 

In his spare time Feroz enjoys trying new foods.

Ellen Barnes

Office Administrator

Ellen joined AoD in November 2020 as Office Administrator. Her role supports the Senior management team as well as assisting with AoD’s communications delivery. 

Prior to joining AoD, Ellen studied Fashion Design at Northumbria University and after graduating worked in womenswear designer roles in New York and London. More recently she has worked in recruitment and administration. 

When not in work, Ellen volunteers for Young Women’s Trust providing CV, job application and cover letter feedback for young women. She also enjoys running, pilates and baking. 

Stella Anaman-Gillan

Volunteer & Peer Support Project Coordinator

Stella Anaman-Gillan is contracted to coordinate the Digital Inclusivity Project and to support the existing peer support groups.  The Digital Inclusivity Project’s aim is to combat social isolation within the disabled community through digital inclusion. The project provides 1:1 sessions with a tutor where members can learn online platforms such as Zoom.  COVID-19  has severely affected disabled people disproportionally and this project’s scope will go some way to address the imbalance.

Stella was previously a member and volunteer of HAFAD (former name of AoD) 30 years ago and a paid member of staff during her university years. She has a severe speech impairment, Dyspraxia and Left Hemiplegia and communicates with a speech synthesizer. Her career background is in administration and working in the Care and Education sectors. During her Masters, she became a mother to a now very strong teenager with a nice outlook on life.

Trustees

Victoria Brignell

Chair

Victoria is a BBC radio producer and has been a trustee of Action on Disability since 2013.

Victoria studied at Cambridge University, is also a trustee of Magpie Dance, and the Chair of our local Amnesty International Group. She is a tetraplegic wheelchair user and lives in Hammersmith and Fulham.

In 2013 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Anglia Ruskin University for being a “disability champion” and in 2019 she was made an Honorary Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge. 

David Isaac

Vice Chair

David has been a trustee since 2018, becoming Vice Chair in 2019.

David has a degree in engineering, which has taken him around the globe for work. He retrained as a graphic designer in the nineties, enjoying many years within the industry, until he lost his sight in 2012.

David has great involvement in the work Hammersmith and Fulham Council do to improve life for the borough’s disabled residents.

Since receiving his guide dog, Scooby, he has actively supported Guide Dogs for the Blind, as a Speaker and Fundraising Coordinator for the Hammersmith and Fulham area.

Peter Harden

Treasurer

Peter first made contact with AoD via his son Tim, who is Autistic and has attended AoD’s youth service for many years. 

 

 

Peter studied Natural Sciences and Law at Cambridge, before setting out in banking. In 1991 Peter founded Harden’s, the UK’s most authoritative restaurant review guide. 

 

He brings 30 years of hands-on business, financial and marketing experience to the team of trustees. 

Gabriella Zepf

Trustee

Gabriella is Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for Big Yellow and has been a trustee since 2014. She has lived in Hammersmith and Fulham for 30 years.

Gabriella first learnt about AoD through the Youth Service, as her son is Autistic and has profound learning difficulties.

She became a trustee because she decided she wanted to give something back to this organisation which supports so many disabled people and their families.

Kate Betteridge

Trustee

Kate lives and works in Hammersmith and Fulham, and became a trustee in 2017.

Her professional background is in the development of information to support people with long-term conditions to make informed decisions about their lives.

She has lived with rheumatoid arthritis since she was 13 years old. It severely limits her mobility and causes constant pain. 

Kate is an advisory group member of the Patient Information Forum and is a member of Hammersmith and Fulham’s Disabled Residents’ Team. 

Michael Gannon

Trustee

Michael was born in Hammersmith & Fulham and has lived in the borough for most of his life.

 

Before retiring in 2016 he worked as a trade journalist, specialising in the built environment and transport issues.

Michael was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at 11 years old, a condition that has spread from his feet to knees, hands and shoulders. 

 

Since retiring Michael has had a selection of short stories published on Kindle/Amazon, and is currently finishing a novel.

Mustafa Karim

Trustee

Mustafa lives locally in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. Mustafa has a degree in Agriculture engineering which he completed in Iraq in 1980. In 2001, he also completed a postgraduate diploma in Computing from the University of Middlesex and more recently a Diploma In Public Service Interpreting.

 Mustafa has worked as an IT teacher at Hammersmith College and as a volunteer at the Kurdish Community Centre helping disabled refugees.

 In 1989, Mustafa was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and Syncope. Since 1996, he has been a member of Crohn’s & Colitis. Mustafa is an interpreter and translator and in his spare time enjoys yoga and photography.

Sharon Holder

Trustee

Sharon was born in Hammersmith & Fulham and has lived her whole life in the borough and is married with two children.

She became a trustee of AoD in 2019 after becoming disabled herself in 2017 with Multiple Sclerosis. 

Sharon has a BA (Hons) degree from Birkbeck University in Politics and Government. Subject matters she both continues to enjoy and is motivated by, in particularly as her role as a trustee of AoD.

Prior to her diagnosis with MS, Sharon worked for nearly thirty years as a senior trade union official defending terms and conditions at work in the public, private and commercial sectors. Along with campaigning for workers rights and social justice, Sharon was elected as a Labour councillor in H&F in May 2014, a position she continues to hold now. 

Patricia Quigley

Trustee

Patricia has lived in Hammersmith most of her life.  She is a former commissioner for Hammersmith and Fulham Independent Disabled People’s commission and has been a Labour councillor since May 2018.

Patrick McVeigh

Co-opted Advisor

Patrick became a trustee in 2012 after his  daughter, who has Down’s Syndrome and is Autistic, accessed our Youth Service.

Patrick became Vice Chair in 2016 and is also a trustee of Healthwatch. 

He spent 35 years in the financial technology industry and lives in Hammersmith and Fulham.

ACTION ON DISABILITY REMAINS OPEN

As COVID-19 continues to affect all our lives, we want to let you know that during this lockdown, Action on Disability will remain fully operational.

The health and safety of our service users, employees, volunteers and suppliers remains our highest priority while we continue to provide you with the support you need from us: Welfare Benefits, Direct Payments, Youth and/or Employment.

It continues to be business as usual, although much of the team will be carrying out their roles from home where they can, in line with the Government guidelines.

You’ll still be able to contact us on the phone and online, we’ve also introduced virtual support so that we can organise online meetings and/or technical support via Zoom or other video chat platforms. Our phone system enables us to redirect your calls straight to our staff working from home. Please find all of the numbers listed below:

 

General Enquires: 020 7385 2098 

Welfare Benefits Adults : 0203 080 0382

Welfare Benefits Children: 0203 080 0381

Direct Payments Support: 078 2499 0072

Youth: 07557 273657

Employment: 07825 925969

 

Please continue to check our website and social media as we’ll keep you updated with our latest news. In the meantime, from our team to yours, please stay safe and we’re always here to help.

All the best,

 

AoD Senior Management Team