Meet the Patrons

Josette Simon, OBE
Josette Simon, OBE Patron

Patron since 2015
Josette is a Leicester-born, acclaimed Shakespearian actress. She has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre. She has won many Best Actress theatre awards and several film awards. For her services to drama she was awarded an honorary MA from the University of Leicester and in 2000 she was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Andrew Bridgen, MP
Andrew Bridgen, MP Patron

Patron since 2011
Andrew is a Conservative Party politician and businessman. Since May 2010 he has been the Member of Parliament for the constituency of North West Leicestershire.
Staffordshire-born, Andrew trained as a Royal Marines Officer. He later set up a family market business in Measham which continues to this day. He was previously Chair of the Institute of Directors for the East Midlands Region.

Leon Lloyd
Leon Lloyd Patron

Patron
Leon is Coventry-born and was an accomplished English rugby union footballer, playing for Leicester Tigers, Gloucester and England before retiring. Leon has since been involved in business and networking, both in rugby and real estate. He is also the author of the acclaimed self-development book, ‘Life After Sport – from Boot Room to Boardroom’.

Meet the Board

Karen Read - Hearing
Karen Read - HearingJoint-Chair

Board member since 2013
Karen has recently relinquished her role as Director of Operations at CVQQ, an education charity that enables young people and adult volunteers from youth organisations to gain recognition for their work in the community. She was previously Head of Defence & International at the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), where she was responsible for teams in the UK and worldwide to provide the highest quality standard qualifications.
Karen is currently an Advisory Panel member and Rutland County Co-ordinator at Help for Heroes, and was until recently, a member of the Cranfield University Advisory Board at the Defence Academy.
Karen is passionate about leadership and management opportunities and is keen to see Action Deafness increase its profile of high-quality and accessible services available to D/deaf and hard of hearing people.

Andy Palmer - Hearing
Andy Palmer - HearingJoint-Chair

Board member since 2014
Andy is the Managing Director of Cambridgeshire Deaf Association and Chair of Peterborough and District Deaf Children’s Society. He previously worked for Action on Hearing Loss in the role of Customer Service & Information Line Manager. He has also worked in the sales industry as Team Leader for the BGL Group based in Peterborough. He runs sign language days at primary schools in Cambridgeshire.
Andy is father of a deaf son. He divides his spare time between Deaf football coaching and his role as Deputy Editor of The Limping Chicken, in which his editorial views reflect his passion for equality of opportunity for D/deaf and hard of hearing people.

Roland Hilton - Deaf
Roland Hilton - DeafVice-Chair

Board member since 2009
30 years ago very little help was available for deafened people. At this time Roland had a devastating experience when he lost his hearing, and nearly all means of communication, overnight. It was only through Roland’s determination that he was able to work his way through this difficult time. For many years he has used his experience of sudden hearing loss to support others.
Roland recently retired, having spent the last 20 years as an engineering consultant for Interfleet in Derby.
Roland is a former trustee of the National Association of Deafened People (NADP). He frequently meets and supports other people with recent substantial hearing loss as a volunteer for Hearing Link. This experience drives his ambition and aspirations to build Action Deafness into a sustainable and modern organisation to support local and regional people with acquired deafness or hearing loss.

Ben Stephens - Deaf
Ben Stephens - DeafTrustee

Board member since 2013
Ben is a qualified architect with his own architecture business based in Rutland.
As well as being a single-figure golfer, he was recently secretary of England Deaf Golf. Ben says that despite being profoundly deaf, he has always lived in the mainstream world and communicated verbally using a cochlear implant device. Two years ago Ben started participating in the deaf community and initially found the experience daunting, but he is determined to fit in and would like to give something back to the community.

Alison Lewis - Deaf
Alison Lewis - DeafTrustee

Board member since 2015
Alison is a former Senior Equality & Diversity Officer for the City of Lincoln Council and a founding proprietor of Lewis Training.
She now runs her own Interior design business in addition to property development in Lincolnshire.
Alison has significant experience in the areas of deafness, disability, discrimination & equality. She was also the first ‘Deaf’ person to qualify as an Audiologist in the NHS. Alison is currently a Trustee of DeafLincs.

Emma Allen - Hearing
Emma Allen - HearingTrustee

Board member since 2017
Emma is a parent of two Deaf children. She is a seasoned professional with more than 10 years’ of senior management experience in B2B and B2C technology sectors at an international level. Emma is an accomplished Commercial Marketing Director credited with increasing revenue and driving profit growth year on year. She has experience of collaborating with all members of her organisation to achieve business and financial objectives.

Helen Foulkes - Deaf
Helen Foulkes - DeafTrustee

Board member since 2017
Helen is a freelance consultant. A qualified teacher and NRCPD-registered Sign Language Translator, she was previously Programme Manager in Family Sign Language for the National Deaf Children’s Society, where she worked for 10 years. Helen is a passionate advocate for all Deaf people including children, young people, adults, families with Deaf/Disabled members, people with mental health needs and Deaf people with learning disabilities.

Meet the Management Team

Craig Crowley - Deaf
Craig Crowley - DeafChief Executive
Joined Action Deafness in 2005 as Chief Executive. Currently chairs UK Council on Deafness and was previously President of International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (Deaflympics).

Highly experienced within the deaf/disability sector, Craig was previously Deputy Director of AoHL Care Services, Executive Director of Enham & European Union of the Deaf (EUD). He was awarded an MBE in 2006.

Jim Robertson - Hearing
Jim Robertson - HearingFinance Manager
Joined Action Deafness in 2011 after 2 years as Finance Director of Rich Mix in East London. Spent 25 years in various finance and management roles within the private sector from auditing to financial services.

The following 20 years saw a change in taking up roles in arts and charity organisations including the Arts Council of England (Head of Resources), Nottingham Playhouse (Administration Director) and the old Leicester Haymarket Theatre.

Stuart Harrison - Deaf
Stuart Harrison - DeafHead of Community
Re-joined Action Deafness in 2017. Fully Qualified Teacher of the Deaf, Stuart helped to establish Community Service in 2010. In the last seven years Stuart has been undertaking freelance sole trader and consultancy work and has written two books.
Nigel Cleaver - Hearing
Nigel Cleaver - HearingHead of Interpreting
Joined Action Deafness in 2013 and is Manager overseeing AD Communications Interpreting.
Qualified and registered interpreter and an experienced lecturer/trainer, Nigel is a Fellow of ASLI (Association of Sign Language Interpreters) and was previously Board member of WASLI (World Association of Sign Language Interpreters).
Mhairi Simpson - Deaf
Mhairi Simpson - DeafCommunity Manager ( On maternity leave till 2018)
Joined Action Deafness in 2013.
Registered CQC Manager since 2016 and Qualified BSL Tutor, Mhairi previously worked for Places for People as Tenancy Support Officer and is a Committee member for Communications Unlimited (CU). Mhairi is the Treasurer for Derby Deaf Football club and also a Camp Leader for Mablethorpe Deaf Children’s Camp.
Emma Philips - Hearing
Emma Philips - HearingSenior Interpreter
Joined Action Deafness in 2006 and is Senior Interpreter with AD Communications Interpreting.
Qualified with MA in Interpreting (Leeds) in 2009 and worked previously with Sense in Birmingham.
Sharon Cox - Hearing
Sharon Cox - HearingSenior Interpreter
Joined Action Deafness in 2013 and is a fully qualified and experienced Senior Interpreter with AD Communications Interpreting, covering Brighton & Sussex areas.
Albert Thomson - Deaf
Albert Thomson - DeafBusiness Development Executive
Joined Action Deafness in 2017. Qualified Social Worker and experienced Team Manager in Health & Social Care setting, Albert is currently a sole trader and freelance consultant.

Meet the Operations Team

Hanisha Sandhu (Deaf)
Hanisha Sandhu (Deaf)Operations Administrator
Joined Action Deafness in 2015.

Hanisha coordinates administration, Knowledge, Books and Technology. PTTLs Qualified Tutor and has a BA Hons in Business Administration.

Sophie Smith (Hearing)
Sophie Smith (Hearing)ISO & Quality Coordinator
Joined Action Deafness in 2016.

Sophie coordinates ISO 9001 Quality Management & ISO 27001 (information & security) standards and policies across the organisation. She also works part-time with Leicestershire Fire & Rescue Service.

Mandy Crump (Deaf)
Mandy Crump (Deaf)Training Coordinator
Joined Action Deafness in 2016.

Mandy coordinates ‘bespoke’ BSL and Deaf Awareness training courses. Associate CIPD Trainer, was previously Training Manager for an organisation working specifically with Young Deaf People.

Katie Hulbert (Hearing)
Katie Hulbert (Hearing)Office Manager
Katie joined in 2016 and has been our Office Manager since 2017, having been promoted from Communications Interpreting Bookings Coordinator. She comes from a childcare/education background and then later moved into the training industry, working with apprentices as an assessor in childcare and an Enrolment coordinator.

Meet the Communications Interpreting Team

Alison Blount (Hearing)
Alison Blount (Hearing)Coordinator/Interpreter
Joined in 2015 and is Bookings Coordinator / Trainee Interpreter. Based in Leicester.
Alison worked with college students as a Communication Support Worker in the Leicester area. She is attending the Post Graduate Diploma in Interpreting with the aim of becoming a member of our Qualified Interpreting team soon!
Jennifer Coy (Hearing)
Jennifer Coy (Hearing)In-House BSL Interpreter
Joined in 2015 and is a Qualified and Registered Interpreter. Based in Nottingham
Jennifer qualified with a Postgraduate Diploma in Interpreting from UCLan. She has been working as a freelance interpreter since 2013.
Coming soonBookings/Finance Assistant

Meet the Community Team

Martin Anderson (Deaf)
Martin Anderson (Deaf)Deputy Manager
Joined in 2017. Martin has worked in Care for many years. Achieved qualifications in Health and Social Care (NVQ Level 2&3) and Leadership and Management (Level 5 Diploma). Previously led a team of 10 people to provide support for 32 residents in a purpose built Dementia facility based in Yorkshire. Is the secretary of, and plays for, England Deaf Golf.
Jess Young (Deaf)
Jess Young (Deaf)Senior PA
Joined in 2017 as Personal Assistant.
Jessy was promoted to a Senior PA role in 2017. Qualified and skilled in sports coaching, tutoring and delivering ‘deaf-friendly’ training courses. She has significant experience working in mental health settings.

Mark Chapman (Deaf)
Mark Chapman (Deaf)Senior PA
Joined Action Deafness in 2013.
Stepped up to Senior PA role in 2014. Previously worked in the motor trade and news media services delivery. Current vice-chair of Communications Unlimited, Derby and was previously Chair for Derby Deaf Club.

Meet the Personal Assistants (AD Community)

Melanie Tivey - Deaf
Melanie Tivey - Deaf
Michaela Ellington - Hearing
Michaela Ellington - Hearing
John Tivey - Deaf
John Tivey - Deaf
Nehal Bhogaita - Deaf
Nehal Bhogaita - Deaf
Maggie Smith - Deaf
Maggie Smith - Deaf
Leigh Blake - Deaf
Leigh Blake - Deaf
Leanne Dale - Hearing
Leanne Dale - Hearing
Kayleigh Wright - Hearing
Kayleigh Wright - Hearing
Karen Smith - Hearing
Karen Smith - Hearing
Karen Hutton - Hearing
Karen Hutton - Hearing
Jordan Slater - Deaf
Jordan Slater - Deaf
Harriet Amos - Deaf
Harriet Amos - Deaf
Evica Popovic - Hearing
Evica Popovic - Hearing
Debbie Hibbett - Deaf
Debbie Hibbett - Deaf
David Branaghan - Deaf
David Branaghan - Deaf
Billy Alton-Wood - Deaf
Billy Alton-Wood - Deaf
Jama Doobeh - Hearing
Jama Doobeh - Hearing
Ashley Holdsworth - Deaf
Ashley Holdsworth - Deaf
Andrew Petch - Deaf
Andrew Petch - Deaf
Adam Miller - Deaf
Adam Miller - Deaf
Sally Petch - Deaf
Sally Petch - Deaf
Rowan Warnock - Deaf
Rowan Warnock - Deaf
Rasa Baltramaityte - Deaf
Rasa Baltramaityte - Deaf
Rajeev Bagga - Deaf
Rajeev Bagga - Deaf
Rachael Cullen - Deaf
Rachael Cullen - Deaf
Paul Kelly - Deaf
Paul Kelly - Deaf
Nichola Kelly - Deaf
Nichola Kelly - Deaf
Neil Presland - Hearing
Neil Presland - Hearing
Vicky Matthews - Deaf
Vicky Matthews - Deaf
Tony Haywood - Deaf
Tony Haywood - Deaf
Teri Ann Walker - Deaf
Teri Ann Walker - Deaf
Simon Richardson - Deaf
Simon Richardson - Deaf
Kerry Miller - Deaf
Kerry Miller - Deaf
Gill Lawford - Deaf
Gill Lawford - Deaf
Malcolm Wheeler - Deaf
Malcolm Wheeler - Deaf
Kim Wyer - Hearing
Kim Wyer - Hearing
Pamela Morgan - Deaf
Pamela Morgan - Deaf
John Morgan - Deaf
John Morgan - Deaf
Darren Jenson - Deaf
Darren Jenson - Deaf

“And of course we work with many other dedicated professionals throughout the UK to deliver specialist services in BSL interpreting, video relay interpreting, community support and personal care. The team do an amazing job to make a real difference to the lives of our customers and service users. You can get updates about how we are growing and continuing to meet the needs in our community through our social media output. Why not join the conversation?”