Leah has a wide employment background and has worked with children, mental health service users, adults with learning disabilities and adults with dementia. In July 2010 Leah became involved with Suffolk Coalition by sitting on the steering group. From then, she has been actively involved with Suffolk Coalition and is the Chair of Trustees.
Shaun was at the first Independent Living Group in Lowestoft in 2009 and has been involved ever since. Shaun joined Equal Lives (formerly Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People) as it followed on from the Lowestoft Independent Living Group, and he later became a trustee. As Shaun lives in Lowestoft, he has also been involved since 2009 with the formation of Suffolk Coalition.
Kathy Bole joined the board of Trustees in September 2014. Although she has been with SCODP a short time, Kathy has been very active in campaigning on issues which have a direct impact on disabled people. Kathy has Fibromyalgia and Hypermobility Syndrome which was diagnosed in her late twenties but she remained relatively unaffected until 9 years ago.
Kathy has worked in the telecommunications, stock trading as well as the local government in housing and planning. Through her varied background she has developed wide ranging skills such as public speaking, advocacy of people facing difficulties at work, and casework. For fun she enjoys crafts such as leather working, loom knitting and reading.
Jon Rowe joined the trustees in January 2013. He has a broad range of experience in the work setting and as a member of various boards and committees. He has worked for many years in local government, mainly in the areas of social work, safeguarding and latterly workforce and organisational development. He has been a member of Skills for Care East Regional and sub regional committees and spent a long period as chair of governors at a primary school in Ipswich. He is presently a consultant in leadership and management development, a qualified coach and training manager. In his spare time he is secretary of the Mid Suffolk Herpetological and Invertebrate Club and a volunteer at Colchester Zoo, both of which enable him to pursue his active interest in wildlife and conservation.
Unfortunately Jane Chambers died in 2019. Jane joined the board of trustees in November 2013. As Mayor of Ipswich between 2010 to 2011, Jane fulfilled the role of bringing communities together. She was part of a scrutiny team that looked at Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust to ensure that services are delivered the best way possible. Jane also sat on the board of trustees for ICENI, a charity that believes ‘family orientated’ prevention and intervention strategies are the best way to treat addiction. She felt strongly that having a united voice for disabled people is essential worked tirelessly promoting the aims of the Suffolk Coalition.
Jane will be much missed and our sympathy goes out to her family.
Disability Development Officer
Brenda joined us in February 2015 as a part-time Disability Development Officer.
Brenda has been a disabled person since being a year old and is now a full-time powered wheelchair user. Before joining the Coalition she has had many years working in both the voluntary and statutory sector always within disability issues. She has worked as a Development Officer for local and national disability charities and has been involved for many years in direct payments, personal budgets and independent living.
She is a passionate believer in the right of every disabled person to have the services and support they need to live the lifestyle of their own choosing.
Disability Development Officer
Geof worked within Local Government for a period of 12 years, within this time he was the Supervisor for the Disabled adaptations department.
Geof is very passionate regarding the service and support he offers and continues to try and make a difference to how disabled people manage and live their day to day lives.
Disability Development Officer
John has been volunteering at the SCODP since April 2013 focussing on the development of our membership database. In June 2015, John was employed as a part-time Disability Development Officer. John graduated from University in 2012 and created his own investment advice company. John was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in winter 2011. This causes difficulty within his legs and also causes him fatigue. He has since learned how to handle his disability more effectively so that he can achieve what he wants to achieve in his life. John enjoys working with the Suffolk Coalition as it gives him the chance to meet people like him who have a disability so that we can unite and make changes. He also enjoys working towards making a difference to how people with an impairment are viewed in society.
Communications and Administration Assistant
Sophie joined us in January 2014 fulfilling the role of Communications and Administration Assistant. Prior to joining the Coalition, Sophie had worked in various administration/legal secretarial roles and was previously a Paralegal for a Criminal Defence Firm in Essex.
Sophie was born with Left Hemiplegia, which is a form of Cerebral Palsy affecting her left arm and leg. She wasn’t actually diagnosed until she was around 8-9 months old but this didn’t stop her and she was walking by 10 months old! She still has same determination now and will not let her disability define who she is as a person. Sophie has had several operations and corrective procedures since then and unfortunately her mobility is now the worst it has ever been following her most recent operation so she has to rely on a crutch or wheelchair to get around. This has been hard to come to terms with for Sophie, but she is pushing to recover and it’s those little achievements that make it worth the while for her.
Unfortunately Sophie was never aware of the help and advice out there for disabled people such as herself, until she found the Suffolk Coalition of Disabled People. Sophie is keen to help make that difference in order to ensure that disabled people in Suffolk know what help and advice they are entitled to and to help eradicate the “fear” of disability.