The Disability Unit has set up a Regional Stakeholder Network to help build a picture of the lived experience of disabled people in England.
Each region in the network is tasked with:
- amplifying the voices of disabled people and disability organisations in their regions
- reporting back to the government on a range of issues including transport, housing and employment
- helping to develop the new National Strategy for Disabled People
The selected regions will be led by a chair who is independent of government and was selected based on their understanding of disability issues specific to their regions, their expertise in disability policy and its effects at grassroots level.
The DHSC news release explained how many of the chairs are disabled people, while others work in disabled people’s organisations or organisations that support disabled people. Several hold voluntary roles which will help them tap into the issues and concerns of their local networks and reach more disabled people.
The chairs work with the Disability Unit to provide engagement opportunities for network members to share their views and experiences to help inform and drive future policy.
The chairs are:
East of England: Naomi Tomkys OBE, CEO, Sky Badger
Greater London: Ruth Owen OBE, CEO, Whizz-Kidz
North East: Michael Potts, Board Member, Veterans Advisory and Pension Committee
North West: Lynne Turnbull, CEO, Cheshire Centre for Independent Living
South East: Barry Ginley, Director, Tamstone Consulting Ltd
South West: Samantha Everard, CEO, Support and Mentoring Enabling Entrepreneurship (SAMEE)
West and East Midlands: Louise Mckiernan, CEO, Birmingham Disability Resource Centre
Yorkshire and the Humber: Liz Leach Murphy, Founder/Managing Director, Imagineer CIC