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We are very proud of the team we have at Changing Our Lives.

We have shaped a group of talented and experienced practitioners from an extensive range of fields. This allows us to tailor our style, carefully considering who should lead each piece of work to ensure we stay innovative in our approaches, allowing us to achieve real change.

Core team

Each team member prides themselves on being committed to human rights, coproduction, and finding creative solutions that put people in control of their own lives. Our value base is non-negotiable and this has culminated in a team that is united, maverick, driven and prepared to go places that others won’t.

Jayne Leeson, MBE

Chief Executive Officer

Jayne is a born leader with a strong sense of justice and a commitment to challenging inequality. She founded the organisation with a group of people with learning disabilities back in 2002.

She provides strategic direction, innovation, and courage, which has driven Changing Our Lives to national significance. She was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2014 for Services to People with Learning Disabilities.

Lucy Dunstan

Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Lucy is highly driven and never loses focus of the bigger picture. She provides strategic leadership and has been instrumental in shaping and developing the organisational brand and vision.

She has a wealth of experience leading on rights based, community development and advocacy work that include grass roots, leadership and consultancy roles.

Anne-Marie Glasby

Senior Development Officer

Anne-Marie is incredibly skilled at communication. Her background in lecturing at universities means that she is a real asset to our training and development programmes.

These attributes, along with her perceptive nature and meticulous attention to detail, allow her to scrutinise, appraise and develop projects. Having worked as a nurse, Anne-Marie brings valuable health expertise to the organisation.

Jackie Taylor

Senior Development Officer

Jackie’s professional experience is vast. Her versatile approach and free-thinking nature make her well-suited to both community and strategic level working.

Jackie has a fire in her belly, which ignites her appetite to tackle social injustice. She is non-conformist in her practice, which has spanned the fields of education, health, social care and community development.

Siraaj Nadat, BEM

Senior Quality of Life Facilitator

Siraaj is an experienced and inspirational speaker and works locally, regionally and nationally in the field of disability. He has worked with the Department of Health, Healthwatch England and is heavily involved in the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) Programme.

Siraaj was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in 2017 for Services to People with Disabilities in the West Midlands.

Associates

Acting as satellites to our main team, we regularly draw upon the skills and expertise of our team of associates, who work with us on a range of different projects and in different capacities. The majority of our associates have relevant lived experience, some have professional experience, and some have a combination of both. However, we don’t simply choose our associates because they have lived experience of disability or mental health difficulties; they are chosen because they are skilled and knowledgeable in a variety of different fields and most importantly because we have a shared vision of human rights and an ordinary life. Associates deliver work to the high standard that we expect. For this reason, we headhunt our associates.

Trustees

Our trustees support and challenge the senior leadership team, ensuring robust governance. They make sure the organisation is run in the interests of the people we are here to support. All of our trustees are committed to disabled people and people with lived experience of mental health difficulties leading ordinary lives.

John Baker, Chair Person

John is a Legal Training Manager working for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). John has over 30 years’ experience working as a criminal advocate in the Magistrates’ Courts. He is passionate about individuals’ human rights and ensuring that everyone, whatever their circumstances, has opportunities to live an ordinary life.


Professor Rosie Harding

Rosie is Professor of Law and Society at the University of Birmingham. Her academic work focuses on human rights, disability, capacity, and intimate and caring relationships. She is a passionate advocate of the difference that a human rights approach can make to disabled people’s everyday lives.

A particular focus of Rosie’s research is exploring how law shapes and changes people’s everyday lives, and what this means for social justice, especially where people experience discrimination and equality in their lives. She is committed to helping to realise the transformative potential of the human rights set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As a legal academic, Rosie has published widely on issues relating to disability human rights, and her research has been supported by grant funding from the AHRC, ESRC, British Academy and Leverhulme Trust. You can find out more about Rosie’s academic work on her university web profile.


Tony Middleton

Tony has many years of experience as a senior leader in the HR field in several settings, running busy HR functions nationally and regionally, across several sectors. 

In recent years, he has taken a change in direction, supporting disabled people and people returning to work after ill health to find meaningful employment. Tony is now a Vocational Specialist in the NHS.  

Being a trustee since 2007, Tony is committed to employment for disabled people and people with mental health difficulties. He strives to be part of making lives better for people, believing that everyone deserves a fulfilling and rewarding life. To quote Tony, ‘If you were to snap me in half like a stick of rock, it would say Changing Our Lives in the middle!’