Meet the Patrons

Patron since 2015
Josette is Leicester-born, acclaimed Shakespearian with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre.
She has won all the major Best Actress theatre awards and also several film awards. She was awarded an honorary MA from the University of Leicester and in 2000 she was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Both for Services to Drama.

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

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

Meet the Board

Board member since 2013
Karen had just 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 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.

Board member since 2014
Andy is 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 his own sign language days at primary schools in Cambridgeshire.
Andy is father of a deaf son. He divides his 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.

Board member since 2009
30 years ago very little help was available for deafened people and so losing his hearing and nearly all means of communication within a few hours overnight was a devastating experience for Roland. It was only through Roland’s determination that he was able to work his way through this experience and use it 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.

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 himself, he has always lived in the mainstream world and communicated verbally using a cochlear implant device, not joining any deaf organisations until nearly two years ago.
Ben’s experience of the Deaf community initially was a bit of a shock but he was determined to fit in and would like to give something back to the community.

Board member since 2015
Alison is currently Senior Equality & Diversity Officer for City of Lincoln Council and is also a founder proprietor of Lewis Training which provides equality, diversity & disability awareness training and consultancy to wide range of businesses & organisations across the UK.
Alison is profoundly Deaf and has significant experience in the areas of deafness, disability, discrimination & equality; she was also the first ‘Deaf’ person to be qualified as an Audiologist in NHS England & Wales! Alison is currently a Trustee of DeafLincs.

Meet the Senior Team

Joined Action Deafness in 2005 as Chief Executive. Currently chairs UK Council on Deafness’s Common Purpose and is past President of International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (Deaflympics).

Well versed within the deaf/disability sector field for many years, 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.

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.

Joined Action Deafness in 2010 and is now Head of Services overseeing several services in Cultural, Knowledge, Tech, Access, Books and ISO, (our quality standards).

Jaz previously worked for Action on Hearing Loss in various roles, his last being Cooperative Charity of the Year Co-ordinator, helping to raise over £500k for AoHL. He has recently been appointed Governor of the Royal School for Deaf Children in Derby.

Joined Action Deafness in 2013 and is Manager overseeing both AD Communications Interpreting and Red Dot Connect.

Qualified and registered interpreter and 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).

Joined Action Deafness in 2013 as Manager of Community.

Qualified BSL Tutor/trainer, Mhairi previously worked for Places for People as Housing Support Officer and is Committee Member and Camp Leader of Mablethorpe Deaf Childrens Project.

Joined Action Deafness in 2006 and is Senior Interpreter with AD Communications Interpreting and Red Dot Connect

Qualified with MA in Interpreting (Leeds) in 2009 and worked previously with Sense based in Birmingham.

Joined Action Deafness in 2013 and is fully qualified and experienced Senior Interpreter with AD Communications Interpreting covering Brighton & Sussex areas.
Joined Action Deafness in 2013 and is fully qualified and experienced Senior Interpreter with AD Communications Interpreting covering Brighton & Sussex areas.

“And of course please don’t forget the rest of our fantastic staff, without whom Action Deafness wouldn’t be able to function! They do an amazing job, and you can read more about each one of them as their profiles appear on our social media”