Our team

Meet our team and find out how we support Deaf and Disabled Organisations in London and campaign for equality nationally

Tracey Lazard

CEO

Tracey is a Disabled person with 23 years of experience working in a variety of Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations (DDPOs), where she has promoted disability equality, user involvement and the Social Model of Disability and the Cultural Model of Deafness. She has been in CEO positions for the last 16 years and joined the Inclusion London team as Chief Executive in 2011. Tracey is passionate about the value and contribution DDPOs make to both equality and inclusion but also to delivering effective, accessible and holistic services that make a real difference to Deaf and Disabled people’s lives.

Email tracey.lazard@inclusionlondon.org.uk

 

Louise Holden

London Disability Hate Crime Project Manager 

Louise joined the team in September 2018 and has over 20 years of experience in the public sector, in the last 11 years working for a DDPO. She has a BSc Honours Degree in Business and Social Science, and is currently studying Development Management with the Open University.
After a serious car accident in her teens resulted in long-term health conditions, Louise started working with a local Mental Health User Group then onto a Mental Health NHS trust before working for a local London DDPO.
Louise has specialist experience in designing and developing participation-led projects and is committed to working to the social model, and is passionate about inclusion, social justice, being courageous and compassionate.

Louise is a member of the Fawcett Society, SGI-UK and Disabled People Against Cuts.

Email louise.holden@inclusionlondon.org.uk

Lara Conner

Lara Conner

Hate Crime Data and Insight Officer

Lara joined Inclusion London in 2021 after working in the community for the previous four years supporting disabled young people to travel confidently on public transport. During her time doing this she developed a passion for making data and research accessible and useful, and began researching disability hate crime specifically so as to integrate teaching about hate crime as part of the travel support programme she worked on. Too often information about and which will benefit disabled people is inaccessible to disabled people Lara is keen to play a role in seeing this change.

Email lara.conner@inclusionlondon.org.uk

 

Sian Williams

Sian WilliamsMaking It Work Project Manager

Sian worked for many years in the Disability Arts sector before joining Arts Council England as a diversity officer. She has also worked in local government. She recently completed an MSc in Voluntary Sector Management at Cass Business School and, in a previous role, wrote the resource called ‘Confident Commissioning: Building relationships between local authorities and Disabled People’s User-Led Organisations’ on behalf of SENDPO (the South East Network of Disabled People’s Organisations). Sian is fully committed to promoting the added value of user-led organisations and supporting their development in whatever way she can.

Email sian.williams@inclusionlondon.org.uk

Priscilla EylesPriscilla Eyles

With Us Project Co-ordinator

Priscilla joined the team in August 2020 and has over 15 years’ experience in the charity, arts and journalism sectors.
Before this Priscilla studied counselling and psychotherapy and then worked as a Disability Job Coach on Inclusion London’s Making It Work programme with Disability Advice Services Lambeth.
Priscilla became an intersectional Neurodivergent advocate after self-diagnosing with ADHD (and later Autism) as an adult, writing for and talking on various media platforms and events. As well as founding and co-hosting the ADHD podcast ADHD &….
Priscilla is passionate about raising awareness of the many barriers Neurodivergent and Disabled people with marginalised identities face. Priscilla is a neurodivergence trainer, a trustee of Camden Disability Action and a member of Disabled People Against Cuts and The Intersectional Disability Reading Group.

Email priscilla.eyles@inclusionlondon.org.uk

 

Svetlana Kotova

Director of Campaigns and Justice

Svetlana joined our team in August 2016. She is a Disabled lawyer who has spent many years fighting for the rights of Disabled people. Svetlana managed our Disability Justice Project, and is now responsible for the work of our Policy, Campaigns and Justice team. Over the last 12 years she has worked in various advice and policy roles, enabling Disabled people to fight for their rights at local and international level.  Svetlana is passionate about ensuring Disabled people have equal rights and can use the law effectively to tackle discrimination and social injustice.

Email svetlana.kotova@inclusionlondon.org.uk

 

Jon Abrams

Campaigns and Justice Officer

Jon joined the team in July 2019. He has over 15 years of experience working in Disabled People’s Organisations including plenty of campaigning work on a range of issues including benefit cuts, social care charging, accessible transport, and meaningful involvement of Disabled people in decision making.  Jon is passionate and committed to strengthening and protecting Deaf and Disabled people’s rights and promoting equality and inclusion.

Email jon.abrams@inclusionlondon.org.uk

 

Rachel O’Brien

Policy and Public Affairs Officer

Rachel joined the team in June 2019, after working at the National Union of Students as the Disabled Students’ Officer where she did work on movement building and political education, and campaigns around stopping the privatisation of the NHS and stopping and scrapping Universal Credit.

Outside of Inclusion London, Rachel is a steering group member for Sisters of Frida, a disabled women’s collective.

Email rachel.OBrien@inclusionlondon.org.uk

 

Jumoke AbdullahiJumoke Abdullahi

Communications and Media Officer

Jumoke joined the team in August 2020. She has a background in media and communications and is passionate about social justice in her professional and personal life. As the Media and Comms Officer, she looks after Inclusion London’s social media channels and much more. Through her work with The Triple Cripples, Jumoke gives special consideration to those that are multiply marginalised.

Email jumoke.abdullahi@inclusionlondon.org.uk

 

Gelila Tekle-Mariam

Operations Manager

Gelila joined the Inclusion London team in 2017. She has experience of working in Disabled People’s Organisations for a number of years. Gelila is passionate about supporting the development of user-led organisations, strengthening the rights of Disabled people and creating social justice for other marginalised groups.

Email gelila.tekle-mariam@inclusionlondon.org.uk

 

Christine Hathway

Senior Administrator

Christine joined Inclusion London in March 2021. She has many years’ experience working in the arts and voluntary sectors as a project and events manager and administrator.

Email christine.hathway@inclusionlondon.org.uk

 

Ailsa McWilliamAilsa McWilliam

Interim Director of Programmes and Business Support

Ailsa joined the team in May 2021. She has over 17 years experience working and volunteering in the voluntary and arts sectors. Her roles have ranged from Director of Operations to national programme management, operations management and strategic development and Chair of Trustees for a charity.

Ailsa is passionate about organisations being user-led and building capacity within the DDPO sector. She is committed to working to the social model of disability and the cultural model of Deafness.

Email ailsa.McWilliam@inclusionlondon.org.uk

 

Alex Hendra

Associate Business Consultant

Alex has worked in the voluntary sector for 25 years, almost exclusively within local organisations supporting Disabled people. She has 12 years’ experience as a CEO, leading organisations within a strong Social Model ethos. She has a degree in Economics and various postgraduate qualifications, including Voluntary Sector Management. Alex has a particular passion for building the capacity of individuals and organisations to achieve rights and aspirations, and to actively challenge discrimination.

Email consultancy1@inclusionlondon.org.uk

 

Liz Mercer

Associate Business Consultant

Liz is a Disabled women with 32 years’ experience working in the advice, health and DDPO sectors as both an adviser and a manager including: working for the CAB; working for a Primary Care Trust improving access to primary care for Disabled and BAME residents; setting up and managing an advice service at Disability Action Islington (a DDPO) as well as leading on a range of projects with Local Authority, Health and Housing providers to improve access to their services, she also managed the DAII volunteer provision and ran a monthly support group for Deaf residents; transforming an advice service for a Carers UK Carers’ Centre. She has also supported Inclusion London in their work with London DDPOs on various projects since 2017. Liz is currently Vice Chair of her local Citizens Advice Service and leads on Equality and Diversity issues.

Email consultancy2@inclusionlondon.org.uk

 

Our Board of Trustees

 

Our board members are all leading figures in London’s Deaf and Disabled people’s movement. The board members are as follows:

  • Justine Jones – Co-Chair
  • Paul Hawkins – Co-Chair
  • Anne Novis MBE
  • Faisal Yusuf
  • Tara Flood
  • Thomas Lichy
  • Valerie Charbit
  • TBC – Treasurer

Co-opted Trustees

  • Adam Gabsi
  • Aisling Gallagher

The board ensures that Inclusion London continues to support the development of London’s Deaf and Disabled people’s organisations to make sure that the views of Deaf and Disabled Londoners and their organisations are heard at the highest levels.

Justine Jones – Co-Chair

Justine’s current role as Inclusion Champion Development Worker at Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE) focuses on capacity building DDPO’s, Disabled young people and their families.

Justine gained skills around business development and strategic thinking through the leadership programme, which will assist her in her role as Co-chair of Inclusion London. She is a passionate about the work Inclusion London does for DDPO’s, supporting them to continue the great work they do strengthening the voices of Deaf and disabled people. She is keen to create a positive change that supports the next generation of young disabled campaigners and, Deaf and disabled leaders.

She has over 10 years experience campaigning for Deaf and disabled people’s rights working for Bromely Experts by Experience a DDPOs as a Campaigns and Policy Officer, total of 9 years experience as a trustee for DDPOs, 6 years experience as the representative of Disabled adults on the London Borough of Bromley Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee for Education, Health and social care, giving Deaf and disabled people a voice at decision maker level.

Justine has lived and professional experience around Direct Payments and the importance of Independent Living. She was actively involved in the ‘Save the Independence Living Fund’ campaign.

Paul Hawkins – Co-Chair

Paul has 12 years experience working in the community sectors, 6 of them for DDPOs. He is the Head of Volunteering and Skills Development for Attitude is Everything, who work to improve Deaf and disabled people’s access to music and live events. He leads on improving the accessibility of employment and volunteering opportunities in the industry for Deaf and disabled people. He has produced an Accessible Employment Guide and oversees Attitude is Everything’s Deaf and disabled professionals network and training programme.

Prior to working for Attitude is Everything, Paul’s previous roles included teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages for Islington Council and working as the Advice and Advocacy Manager for Barnet Centre for Independent Living. In his spare time, he is a musician and he has performed at Latitude, Kendal Calling and on Radio 1 and has also written a book about the history of Father Christmas and his links to central European folktales.

He is passionate about tackling barriers in perception and representation and making structural changes to improve accessibility. He is currently extremely interested in exploring what it means to take a social model approach to mental health.

Anne Novis MBE

Anne Novis MBE has been involved as a trustee of several national and local Deaf and Disabled people organisations for over twenty years. Leading on hate crime, independent living, developing many projects and responding issues that affect us as well as setting up organisations.

She received an MBE for services to disabled people in the Queens News Years Honours list in 2012 for raising awareness and initiating constant campaigning on Disability Hate Crime for over two decades.

Anne is a former Chair of Inclusion London and Greenwich Association of Disabled people, and has been an articulate campaigner on equality and human rights issues in policing, government groups, the voluntary sector as well as statutory organisations.

Anne is also a qualified Counsellor and Youth and Community worker who has produced reports and been published on hate crime and equality issues.

Faisal Yusuf

I am 33 years old and come from the borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. I have lived there my entire life.

I am heavily involved with Hammersmith & Fulham Mencap. Although Mencap is the UK’s leading learning disability charity, each branch is its own independent local charity that work to support children and adults with learning disabilities, as well as their carers and families.

For 2 years I was chairman of “Safety Net: People First”. This is a part of the charity which is a self advocacy group, supporting people to have their voices heard. We do a lot of campaigning in the borough for equal rights, for example: housing, healthcare and hate crime.

I am now a representative on the partnership board where we meet commissioners and and councillors to try and improve services for people in the borough with learning disabilities.

I am also training to be a “travel buddy” for “Safety Net: Youth” in which I will be helping to teach young adults how to travel independently.

For the last 8 years, I have worked 1 day a week for Yarrow in west London. Yarrow focus on helping people with learning disabilities achieve all they are capable of and help individuals become more independent.

I also work 5 days a week in Wembley at the sandwich chain Eat.

In my spare time, my hobbies are art and drama and I am a big fan of comedy, music and films.

Tara FloodTara Flood

Tara Flood is a disability rights activist and, until March 2019, was the Director at the Alliance for Inclusive Education, a campaigning organisation run and controlled by Disabled people.

Tara is now the Strategic Lead for Co-production at the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham where she has the responsibility of creating frameworks for change that will embed a new culture of working together with residents on policy development as well as service re-design and delivery.

Tara has been involved with the UK disability rights movement at a grassroots level, for many years, and she is committed to creating social and political change, that will deliver equality for all Disabled people at a local, regional, national, European and international level.

Tara was involved in the discussions at the United Nations in the development of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and is now working to get the Convention fully implemented.

Tara has worked with organisations led by Disabled people, allied organisations, human rights organisations, statutory agencies and Government departments, both in a personal and professional capacity, and is committed to the voices and experiences of ALL disabled people being at the heart of discussions and decision making about our lives.

Tara is also a trustee of Trust for London

Valerie Charbit

Valerie Charbit is a barrister practising in crime, fraud, mental health, health and safety and professional discipline. She prosecutes and defends in criminal cases and represents health authorities in mental health cases. She was a trustee for Ataxia UK for many years and is committed to achieving equality of opportunity for disabled people.

Her practice as a barrister for over 20 years means she has worked with many defendants who require extensive support to access the justice system including people with mental health issues. She strives to ensure that those with mental health issues are treated fairly by the justice system.

She is a part-time Judge for the first tier Tribunal (Mental Health) and acts as a legal advisor for the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the General Osteopathic Council, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales. She defends in professional disciplinary cases for solicitors, dentists, teachers and pharmacists. Her involvement in healthcare regulation means she has a unique understanding of healthcare professionals.

She has been engaged in Wellbeing for barristers for the last seven years serving on various committees to ensure that barristers working lives are improved. She has had a disabling knee injury for most of her life which affects her mobility and which she has struggled to come to terms with.

Adam GabsiAdam Gabsi

Adam Gabsi is passionate about Disabled people receiving the justice they deserve and, as a trustee, will endeavour to achieve this through his capabilities.

He is currently Chair of Harrow Association of Disabled people and wants to use his position to the benefit of all Disabled people, London-wide and beyond. Adam adds, “I feel like I have had two lives, one standing and one sitting (as I am now a wheelchair user), so can relate to extreme lifestyle changes and the difficulties Disabled people face during this change.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere and I will do my best to confront unfairness and inequality wherever it may occur, whilst promoting Inclusion London.”

Aisling Gallagher

Aisling Gallagher currently works as the Agent for Change at Theatre Royal Stratford East, working with Ramps on the Moon on the inclusion of Deaf and disabled artists in mainstream theatre.

Aisling runs an autistic-led theatre and arts company, Good Behaviour, and has their own practice as a freelance director and theatre-maker. In 2018 Aisling was elected as a Labour Party councillor in Lewisham, and also serves as a trustee for Southwark Law Centre.

One of the main things Aisling is currently passionate about is inclusive transport strategies, and equitable access to cycling. This is something Aisling hopes to influence in the trustee role.