Our team

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

Tracey Lazard


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


Jon Rees

Jon ReesMaking it Work Project Manager

Jon joined the team in April 2018. As someone who has lived with a long-term mental health condition, he believes strongly in the Social Model of Disability and in user-led services. He has 9 years of experience of developing and delivering successful employment support services for young disabled Londoners. Coming from an arts background, having studied at Central St Martins School of Art, Jon began by working on art projects with young disabled people before moving into employment. He was instrumental in setting up and delivering some of the first supported internships in London with Action on Disability and went on to manage AoD’s employment service for several years.

Email: jon.rees@inclusionlondon.org.uk


Sian Williams

Sian WilliamsEmployer Engagement 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


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

Independent Living Campaigns 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


Shamima Akhtar

Policy and Campaigns Officer

Email shamima.akhtar@inclusionlondon.org.uk 


Jumoke Abdullahi

Communications and Media Officer

Email jumoke.abdullahi@inclusionlondon.org.uk


Priscilla Eyles

With Us Project Co-ordinator

Email priscilla.eyles@inclusionlondon.org.uk


Bridget Ibbs

Digital Communications Officer

Email bridget.ibbs@inclusionlondon.org.uk


Gelila Tekle-Mariam

Operations Manager

Gelila joined the team in May 2017.

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


Aisha Malik-Smith

Events and Administration Assistant

Email aisha.malik-smith@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:

  • Anne Novis MBE (Chair)
  • Paul Ntulila (Vice Chair)
  • Alan Murray MBE (Treasurer)
  • Faisal Yusuf
  • Tara Flood
  • Valerie Charbit
  • Paul Hawkins
  • Justine Godbeer
  • Thomas Lichy (Co-Optee)

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.

Anne Novis MBE (Chair)

Anne has have been involved as a trustee of several national and local Deaf and disabled peoples 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, and remains an Ambassador for, 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.

She is an Independent Advisor to the Metropolitan Police Service in London and British Transport Police across the South East of the UK

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


Paul Ntulila (Vice Chair)

Paul works as an Assistant Project Manager for the Global Disability Innovation Hub, after being the first Deaf person to be awarded a fully funded scholarship to study a Master of Science degree (MSc) in Diplomacy, Statecraft and Foreign Policy at London’s Loughborough University. His main focus at GDI Hub is communications and community engagement. His role includes stakeholder management, promotion and some elements of research.

His previous community engagement includes being the Chair of Newham Deaf Forum, an Honorary Member of the Council for the NSPCC and as Co-Chair of the Youth Panel at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.

Alan D Murray MBE

Hon Treasurer/Trustee

Alan was born deaf and is a native British Sign Language user.  He started his career in law, later became an accountant before embarking on a career in education as Head of Service for Additional Learning Support/Disability Support and Head of BSL Unit.  He was CEO of a local user-led disability organisation.  He is now a freelance consultant in education management and teaches British Sign Language.

Alan is also a qualified teacher in Further Education and a British Sign Language Teacher, Assessor, Internal and External Quality Assurer.

He has a strong passion for equality campaigning as we are people first and foremost, for years he has been associated with organisational governance.   He is currently a Governor of Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children and Castlebar School, and a lay member of Ealing Safer Neighbourhood Board.

He was a Board member of the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust, Healthwatch Ealing, Shape Arts, London Disability Arts Forum, Ealing Disability Access Forum, United Kingdom Council on Deafness, and Council for Hearing Impaired Visits and Exchange.

His favourite volunteering role was as a Games Maker for the London Olympics at Horse Guards Parade.

He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management and has qualifications in accountancy.  He has been involved in many charitable boards over the last 30 years including the British Deaf Association for 16 years including holding the post of Vice Chair for the last 3 years and was Chair of deafPLUS, Ealing Deaf Image and Institute of British Sign Language.  Alan is currently Chair of the Greater London Deaf Association.

Alan is also an Arts/Museum Guide and has given talks at British Museum, Foundling Museum, Museum of London, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Old Royal Naval College, Tate Britain and Wallace Collection.


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 Flood

Tara Flood is disability rights activist and has been the Director at the Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE) since April 2006. She has been involved with the disability rights movement at a grassroots level for many years, and 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. Among many other things, Tara was involved in the discussions at the United Nations in the development of the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Tara works with organisations led by disabled people, allied organisations, children’s 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.

Valerie Charbit

Valerie Charbit is a barrister practising in crime, fraud, mental health, health and safety and professional discipline. She prosecutes and defends and represents health authorities. 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 Pharmaceutical Council and the General Osteopathic Council and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Her involvement in healthcare regulation means she has a unique understanding of healthcare professionals.  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.


Paul Hawkins

Paul has 10 years experience working in the charity and community sectors, 4 of them for DDPOs. He is the Festivals and Volunteering Manager and the Disability Equality Training lead for Attitude is Everything, a charity who work to improve access Deaf and disabled people’s access to live music.  His work involves training, advice and consultancy services for festivals including Glastonbury, Latitude, Download, Reading and Leeds as well as managing the charity’s mystery shopping project, which enables Deaf and disabled customers to feedback and influence changes that improve their experience. As someone who was unable to go to music festivals as a teenager due to his access requirements not being met, Paul is delighted to be able to help make music festivals accessible for everyone.

Prior to working for Attitude is Everything, Paul’s previous roles include teaching English to Speaks 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.

I am passionate about making sure Deaf and disabled people are given the opportunity to speak up for themselves, as well as their rights, be involved in decision making and treated with; equality, dignity and respect. I feel The Social model of Disability has always been a corner stone throughout my career and has influenced the way I see myself and the environment we live in.

Justine Jones

I’ve worked for Bromley Experts by Experience as a Campaigns and Development Officer for 6 years – my experience includes campaigning on local and national Deaf and disabled people’s issues. My time working for a pan-impairment DDPO has given me an overview of the many barriers we ‘as disabled people’ face in all areas of life (inclusive education, accessible transport, support in the workplace, independent living, benefits and welfare and hospital / council services etc). This is why it is so important to give Deaf and disabled people a voice and to stand up for our rights.

I have previous experience from my 6 years spent as a Board member on the Experts by Experience Board of Directors. For the last 2 and a half years I have represented disabled adults as a Co-opted member on the London Borough of Bromley Council’s Policy Development and Scrutiny Board for Care and Education, as well as on the subcommittee for Policy Development and Scrutiny Board for Health.

I have personal knowledge and experience around Direct Payments and the importance of Independent Living. I have worked on various projects; providing training and skills needed for disabled employers in receipt of Direct Payments. As well as working with the local authority to improve the DP services in Bromley. I have also worked on projects with young disabled people, teaching them about campaigning skills.