TrusteesEquality Together is an organisation for disabled people, managed by disabled people.
The strategic development and overall responsibility for the organisation lies with the Management Committee/Trustee Board.
Currently a body of eight dedicated and skilled trustees which meets on a monthly basis, setting both policy and direction. These individuals bring to the organisation direct experience of disability, a wealth of knowledge and skills from all sectors combined with diversity. Equality Together is an organisation for disabled people, managed by disabled people.
Gill Bowskill (Chair)
Gill was appointed Chair of Equality Together in 2015 following the merger of Bradford Disability Services, Contact Peer Support and Bradford Alliance on Community Care (BACC), having served 15 years as Chair of BACC. Her voluntary work began over 30 years ago with Ilkley Good Neighbours where she delivered Christmas day lunches to vulnerable and disabled people, and continued as a volunteer with various groups within Bradford Council.
She then started a community group for people with arthritis, along with other volunteers. Following this, Gill worked for Arthritis Care, firstly as the Regional Policy and Campaigns Manager then as the Interim Director for the North of England. Her work resulted in improvements to services for disabled people.
Gill has a long term health condition, finds volunteering really helpful and recommends it to others, especially if they are feeling isolated and fed up.
Peter Kay (Vice Chair)
Peter has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Equality Together (ET) and one of its predecessor organisations (Bradford Disability Services Limited) for the past 6 years. He served as Chair for 3 years and is currently Vice Chair. He has 13 years’ experience as a Trustee with ET and two other local charities (Age UK B&D and Bradford Curry Project). Prior to retirement in 2009 he had over 40 years’ Local Government experience, mainly in Social Care. He has a social work qualification and a management degree. Peter was Head of Service/Assistant Director for Adult Social Care for the last 8 years of his local government career and had specific responsibility for Disability Services within the Directorate between 1992 and 2000. He spent two years working as a freelance Health and Social Care Consultant before retiring completely from paid employment in 2011.
Peter is passionate about empowerment and to working with and alongside those who face disabling barriers in order to best ensure that everyone has power and control over their own lives and futures.
Kathryn Smith (Trustee)
Kathryn became a trustee of Disability Advice Bradford (now Equality Together) in 2010 She has worked in social care since 1989, including work within the private sector, a Health trust, four different local authorities, and the Commission for Social Care Inspection (predecessor to the CQC). She has also taught various social work courses for Leeds University and the Open University.
Kathryn worked for Scope where she was the Director of Services, including the role of Responsible Individual for all of Scope’s children’s services registered with OFSTED, the services in Wales registered with CCISW, and the nominated individual for all of the adult services registered with CQC.
She joined the Alzheimer’s Society in September 2012 as Director of Operations. Kathryn’s management and leadership responsibilities cover all of the society’s operational services through the Operational Leadership Team, which incorporates the local services in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, the External training and Consultancy Services and the Universal services through the Knowledge team.
Kathryn also chairs the Guidance Development Group for Health and Social Care Transitions and is a school governor for a primary school in Leeds.
Nick Farrar (Trustee)
Nick has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Equality Together (ET) and one of its predecessor organisations (Bradford Disability Services Limited) for the past 4 years.
He has 4 years’ experience as a Trustee with ET and another local charity (RELATE Bradford). Prior to retirement in 2012 he had over 40 year’s Local Government experience with Bradford Council, all of which were in Social Care. He has a social work qualification and a Masters management degree. Nick is a qualified dry stone waller, and has studied the skill widely, gaining a Doctorate of Education Degree in the subject in 2007.
Nick is passionate about empowerment and to working with and alongside those who face disabling barriers in order to best ensure that everyone has power and control over their own lives and futures.
Nick is a volunteer with a local hospice, and from time to time supports ‘personal growth’ group activities at Penninghame House, New Galloway, Scotland.
Linda Hanson (Trustee)
Linda was the Chair of CONTACT Peer Support from 2008 until the merger into Equality Together in 2015. She has been part of CONTACT since 1997, after losing her sight in 1995. As a very shy person, Linda took part in the Opening Doors course, and began to gain confidence. She took the Peer Support Skills course, and the story begins…
Linda has become an active member of the voluntary and community sector, and currently also sits on the board of the Strategic Disability Partnership, Bradford Association of Visually Impaired People, the Disabled People’s Forum and Bradford Talking Media. She has been heavily involved in campaigns to make services more accessible to disabled people, particularly the NHS.
In 2007 Linda was chosen to make a TV documentary about how blind people can enjoy the art and beauty of Florence.
She is the lead Peer Support worker for our service, and uses her experiences to support the training and mentoring of the support workers of the future.
Linda’s lived experience allows her to ensure the views of disabled people are at the forefront of everything Equality Together does.
Alice Brown (Trustee)
Alice is a volunteer peer support worker and was a board member of CONTACT Peer Support since 2004, becoming a Trustee of Equality Together in 2015.
Alice had cancer in 2002, and, while in remission a year later, got involved with CONTACT. She took part in both the Opening Doors course and the Peer Support Skills course. This gave her the confidence to go on a course to learn how to teach Extend, a seated exercise programme. Which she then taught for 10 years as a volunteer for Cancer Support, to cancer patients and their carers.
Through a routine check-up Alice was diagnosed with cataracts, which later turned out to be macular degeneration, leading to low vision. Through her links with CONTACT, she was able to access help from her peers, and Morley Street Resource Centre, to learn how to manage her condition.
Alice has ensured that the voice of disabled people is heard within services in Bradford. She has been an expert patient, and is involved with her local Patient Participation Group, Bradford University School of Health, Disabled People’s Forum, Bradford Association of Visually Impaired People and Bradford Strategic Disability Partnership.
Alice uses her lived experience to ensure Equality Together works in the best interest of disabled people.
Emmerson Walgrove (Trustee)
Emmerson was a volunteer with Bradford Alliance on Community Care (BACC) and a member of the board of Bradford Disability Services for many years.
Emmerson is an active member of the local community with a particular interest in disability, long term illness, homelessness and supported housing. Emmerson’s involvement with the voluntary sector began through his experience of homelessness, the realisation that it can affect anyone and the importance of supported housing in making vulnerable individuals safe and secure.
Despite suffering from a long term illness he strives to play a positive role in the local community. In 2003 he was appointed Chair of Bradford District Patient and Public Involvement Forum, and in subsequent years sat on the boards of LINKs and Healthwatch.
Emmerson is currently Deputy Chair of Bradford & District Disabled People’s Forum, which is supported by Equality Together. For the past 3 years he has been the Lay Chaplain at Iqra Academy, offering pastoral support to all pupils, staff and parents.
Mathew Ward (Trustee)
After becoming the youngest member of the Shadow Board for the run up to Equality Together’s merger, Mathew, age 22, is now on the Board of Trustees. Mathew was introduced to CONTACT Peer Support through the Disabled People’s Forum Facebook page. Mathew has Asperger’s Syndrome and, before passing the ‘Opening doors’ course, he did not have the confidence to go out socially. Mathew is now a qualified Peer Support worker and co-ordinates Equality Together’s Youth Group. Mathew is now full of confidence and is eager to campaign for disability rights. He is extremely passionate about rugby, especially Bradford Bulls, and is a player for Bradford Bulls Wheelchair Rugby League Team! He is also the representative for any media coverage/advertisements of the wheelchair rugby league team.
Kath Wooller (Trustee)
Kath has been a member of the Board of Trustees since the merger of Equality Together in 2015. She is also Vice Chair for both The Monday Leisure Club (based at Richard Dunn’s) and Clothing Solutions. Following complications after having a hip replacement, Kath began her voluntary work in 1992 at Whetley Hill Resource Centre where she was a ‘buddy’ supporting other members. She was also involved in the fundraising team for Whetley Hill. Kath volunteers for a number of organisations including Beckfield Care Home; she is also a qualified Peer Support worker for Equality Together. Kath joined the Stakeholders Committee for Whetley Hill Resource Centre and campaigned to keep the current services running. She has completed a number of arts and crafts training courses and uses these skills in her voluntary work, to teach others and help with bonding. She also has a great passion for the Gospel Church she is involved with, Olive Branch, which she attends every week. She was introduced to the Olive Branch by friends (who she now calls family) she met at Whetley Hill.
Lynn Asquith (Trustee)
Lynn is a member of the Board of Trustees of Equality Together (ET) and one of its predecessor organisations (BACC) for 7 years. She was a member of Bradford Community Health Council for 4 years and was also Vice Chair. She was Chair of Airedale PCT’s Patient & Public Forum for 3 years, then Vice Chair of Bradford & Airedale PCT Forum. Over the years, Lynn has served on several health-related boards and panels. Previously, Lynn worked for over 30 years at Bradford Hospitals – firstly as a medical secretary, later in charge of all medical secretaries, and subsequently organised medical personnel. She retired from the NHS in 1992.
Lynn is a member of Soroptimist International which is a worldwide organisation affiliated to the United Nations. She has been committed to their Yorkshire campaign to Fight Human Trafficking, also championed by Mark Burns-Williamson (Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire). She is also involved in a campaign called Women Together which helps women prisoners before and after being discharged from prison.