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Interested in becoming a Trustee?

Our constitution dictates entitlement to becoming a Trustee of HDU. The AGM in March each year allows new members to be elected if interested, and also permits co-opted trustees too.

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Sylvia Nicholls, Chair
I, along with my late husband Roy co-founded HDU in January 2011. From the onset of hisRoy’s condition, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) in 1985 I became his long term carer eventually 24/7 by 2010, before he passed away suddenly from liver cancer in late 2012.
My history within the realm of disability began at the age of one when I contracted poliomyelitis. Completely paralysed initially aged 14 months, I overcame all obstacles to live a fully active life.
My career in 'special needs education' covered pupils from 3-19 years of age, and eventually from 2004- 2010 I was the Examination Officer for a technology college in Kent, before retiring early to look after my husband full time.
During 2000/01 I became part-time carer for my father who had lung cancer, and then from 2003-2006 for my sister who had facial cancer, both of whom have passed away.
During 2007-2010 Roy and I were the backbone of a small disability group in East Kent, and from this experience HDU was born when we moved to this county in 2010.
I firmly believe in championing the underdog, and that information and equality are keys to establishing self-esteem. I am energetic and focused on bringing success and understanding to the world of disability. HDU network effectively, by working with national and local support organisations, commissioners, public services including Hereford Council and the Wye Valley Trust, and of course individuals with disabilities and their family carers, to ensure the value of service users is acknowledged and listened to, for the benefit of all.

Barbara Millman, Vice-chair
I am 70 years of age, used wheelchair for 22 years due to neurological problems and am a breast cancer survivor and a diabetic. I am married with 3 daughters and 4 grandsons.
I have first-hand knowledge of being the parent of a deaf child, and one who has made a good recovery from ME, also mother of a daughter with cancer.
I have caring responsibilities for my mother who has dementia but my father enjoyed robust health and died at 101. I have lived in Herefordshire since I was a teenager; with my husband have owned a hotel and Care home for people with dementia.
I have been on the committee of several local charities and am at present a director of Herefordshire Riding for the Disabled as well as being involved with HDU.
I have thought about retiring from all commitments now I am 70 but really can't imagine not being involved in things I care passionately about. Still much to be done before disabled/disadvantaged people can live in a fair and equitable society.

Penny Walshe, Treasurer
I am a retired Headteacher having been Head at two London schools, both in areas of social deprivation and, with a high proportion of pupils on the `Special Needs` register, including in one case a unit for pupils on the Aspergers/Autism spectrum.
I have had experience of managing budgets in excess of million pound and of writing successful grant applications including for both the National and the Heritage Lottery Funds.
My experiences outside of employment are as being both a child and an adult carer for my immediate family and for a number of disabled relatives living locally with whom I am actively involved.

Sara Siloko, Secretary
My working career started as a journalist (in various roles including editor, sub-editor and reporter for various publications ranging from Packaging Today to The British Refugee Council News to BBC Radio Times).
I then moved to become an international development country programme manager for both Save the Children and VSO.
When I returned to the UK after 20 years overseas, I became a fundraising manager on a two year contract for the Rural Media Company in Hereford, and my last job was as a health scrutiny support officer and public involvement worker for Herefordshire Council (most of which involved facilitating the voices of people with learning disabilities to influence public services).
I have an MSc in environmental decision making which I took to assist my work helping to conserve the largest uninhabited island in the South Pacific, Tetepare ( I am now retired except for some fundraising consultancy, and voluntary work for a number of local organisations including HDU.

Becky Bettington
My name is Becky Bettington and I am a fully qualified patisserie and confectionery chef.
I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (a degenerative eye disease) at a Bristol hospital in 2003. After giving up work through gradual sight loss, I moved back to Herefordshire with my husband in 2009.
Following an examination at Hereford Hospital in March of that year, I was deemed to be legally blind.
After suffering mild depression, I decided to apply for a Guide Dog. He has now been with me for nearly 3 years and has changed my life wonderfully.

Colin Boughen
Age 66, a retired Building Control Officer with some knowledge of building design and adaptation for the less abled
Father of Helen, 27, who has Aspergers Syndrome. This was not diagnosed until she was 15 years old. Prior to that she was judged to be a problem both at school and socially, but a private assessment was necessary to explain her behaviour as the NHS deemed it unnecessary.
Helen also had cancer when 17 which resulted in the loss of an eye and half her top jaw. Reconstructive surgery is still ongoing 10 years later.
Luckily Helen is able to live independently and is a car driver. She has not been lucky in getting paid employment despite having an honours degree in Physics. Her Aspergers and appearance work against her.

Sheila Cole

Sheila was in March 2016 welcomed as a co-opted committee member of our committee. She has expertise as a carer and issues surrounding mental health. Sheila has also volunteered as an abled bodied person to assist at our quarterly meetings and seminars, for which we are very grateful.