Chair of Trustees
Peter's last full time position was Chief Executive of Associated British Foods, one of the UK's largest quoted companies. On his retirement from there he took on the non executive role of Chairman of Kingfisher plc, the international DIY retailing group, parent company of B&Q and Screwfix in the UK. He also retained his role as Senior Independent Director of the Smiths Group plc.
Peter has had experience of seeing someone close to him struggle with a head injury and that experience reinforced his commitment to supporting the work of the Trust, not only in head injury but in all the circumstances where the Trust helps people with complex needs.
In Steve's last position he was global head of information Security and Business Continuity for a major US Bank, a role that placed him at the forefront of maintaining compliance with complex international regulation. He brings that experience to the Trust where he is Vice Chair of Trustees, Chair of the Audit Committee.
Steve took early retirement in 2013 but continues to maintain a keen interest in all matters financial - he is especially interested in financial performance at the Trust and investing for long-term success.
Initially trained as a teacher of History and English, Dr Dobrowolski left this job to study for a PhD. She then worked in schools, museums and with the OU in a teaching capacity and supporting students with difficulties. Paula started at the University of Leicester in 1994, working with disabled students, a role that has changed over the years and since 2000 has involved leading the AccessAbility Centre.
Dr Dobrowolski received Recruitment and Selection Training at the University and has acted as a mentor to staff within the AccessAbility Centre and in other areas of student services and Human Resources. Trained to appraise AccessAbility Centre staff, she helped to introduce the University's appraisal system into a school where she was a governor between 1998 - 2013. She has also been involved in appraising the school's headmaster with a fellow Governor and Trustee.
Mark's experience covers: legal, investment banking, pensions, financial advice, insurance (life and general), financial crime, policies and governance, training, (all quoted firms), regulator and small charities. His work related experience involves other countries including:- UK, North and South America, EEA, Africa, Singapore, Australia. He currently works for the specialist insurance and reinsurance underwriting group Amlin plc as Group Head of Compliance.
Michael is a Chartered Surveyor and Director of international property consultants Jones Lang LaSalle, specialising in urban regeneration and development in both the private and public sector. Born and educated in London with degrees from the Universities of Southampton and Newcastle. Michael has coordinated the development of several strategic retail, industrial and mixed-use developments across the country.
After a brief flirtation with merchant banking straight after graduation, Eileen became engaged in academic research which took her into a large comprehensive school in SE London. She stayed. A growing interest in youngsters on the fringe took her into working with young offenders. A Masters degree in Psychology further developed this interest and led to a considerable period of working for the HO Prison Dept, including being on the commissioning teams for two new prisons.
After a period of running her own consultancy in the 1990s, Eileen became inspired by Professor Susan Greenfield's lectures on the brain which eventually led her into Acquired Brain Injury Rehabilitation and into promoting independence for those living with congenital disabilities. As Principal of a National Specialist College, she focused on providing a therapeutic and stimulating environment for her young charges. Eileen is currently involved with public protection and prison monitoring, in addition to her trustee work with two charities. She very much hopes that her experience, and undiminished enthusiasm for the task, can be of use to and support for the Trust.
Caroline is a dentist who has worked in general practice and in district general and teaching hospitals. She undertook a Masters degree and PhD in oral cancer research and became a lecturer in oral medicine. In 2000, she trained in dental public health with the local NHS, she became a consultant in 2006 and then moved back to academia as a consultant senior lecturer at Bristol University. Caroline is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, the Faculty of Public Health and the Higher Education Academy. Caroline's working career was cut short after she suffered a haemorrhagic stroke in 2010.
A Law Graduate, Roger also graduated from Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Programme. He worked for over 30 years in the NHS, including NHS Trust CEO in Bristol and Department of Health's Local Director, for NHS Trusts in the SW. From 1995, he was CEO, Liverpool Health Authority. Following a stroke, he retired due to ill health in 2003. Roger has since undertaken Non Executive appointments, including, Audit Commissioner, Regional Chair, Learning and Skills Council NW, Non Executive Director Investors in People. He has a particular interest in the Non Executive's role in issues of strategy, scrutiny and transformation, together with expertise in the area of risk and assurance
Currently, Vice Chair CLS Group a substantial care provider based in Cheshire. He is also active in The Reserve Forces Association, Chairing its Finance Board in the NW and serving on the national Audit Committee. Roger served for c.40 years in the Territorial Army, retiring in 2010 as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Corps of Royal Engineers.
Self-employed –Christine Yorath Design Ltd– Christine is a property developer and interior designer. Christine's experience as a developer gives her an insight into many of the developments the Trust undertakes. She also owned 'Flats in Leeds' – a property management company. Through these two companies Christine is happy to introduce the Trust to her many professional contacts in the Yorkshire region. Having gained a useful knowledge of marketing techniques through her businesses she offers help to the Trust in this area, as well as in media and communication.
Her long service to the Trust (1992 – opening of Daniel Yorath House and a Trustee from 1993) has given Christine an in-depth understanding of the organisation and has allowed her to watch the Trust grow.
Read Christine's reflections on 25 years with The Disabilities Trust.
Chris is a partner at international communications consultancy, Kreab. He has participated on three management boards across the NGO, public and commercial sectors, and currently advises clients, including governments, corporates, and high net worth individuals, on a range of issues - from reputation management and crisis communications, to broader restructuring and corporate communications.
With direct experience of UK and international NGOs, Chris’s previous roles have included Head of European Corporate Affairs at BT, Director of Communications at Sellafield Ltd, Europe's largest nuclear site, and at A4e Ltd, now PeoplePlus. He was Director for Europe at the Salzburg Global Seminar and worked at The Law Society, Help the Aged and for a member of Parliament earlier in his career. Chris’s diverse experience includes working as a journalist in the UK and Latin America, writing for the FT and The Economist, and broadcasting for the BBC World Service.
Sara has had a long career dedicating herself to people who need social care. Starting as a volunteer supporting people with learning disabilities, she has worked as a service provider and as a commissioner for people of all ages with health and social care needs. Sara has a degree in Psychology and is a qualified Social Worker with an MBA who is passionate about delivering outstanding care that meets customer expectations.
After 20 years of working for Oxfordshire County Council, in May 2014, Sara started working as Strategy Director for the Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT), who provide care homes and extra care housing for older people. In that role, she had responsibility for the Care Home Development Programme (capital projects), Business Development, Marketing and Quality Auditing, as well as leading on relationships with local authorities. Sara now works as a Consultant for her own company, Social Care Works, providing advice to care operators on how to improve on their strategy and performance. Sara is active on social media and tweets as saralivadeas.