About Enhance the UK

We’re Enhance The UK, it’s nice to meet you!

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Enhance the UK is a charity run by disabled people.

Our aim is to change the way people view disability and for us to be active and equal members of society. We do this by supporting businesses to be more inclusive by providing disability awareness training.

We also offer a number of other services and resources.

Disability Awareness Training in schools is hugely important to help challenge stereotypes. It’s important to encourage positive views of disability from a young age. Enquire today about how we can help your organisation. 

Undressing Disability’ is a global campaign which aims to raise standards in sexual health and sexual awareness for disabled people. As part of this we run the Love Lounge providing free advice on all things sex, love and disability. We have free downloadable resources for disabled young people.

We give disabled people a voice through Liability magazine, encouraging disabled people to openly talk about their experiences and speak up about issues that are important to them.

About Disability

Education is key

When people talk about disability access, they’re usually thinking about building work, such as putting in a ramp or an accessible toilet. But its more than this. Things ranging from the importance of Deaf and disability awareness in the workplace, to the right to an active and healthy sex life are as important, if not more.

Approaching Disability

It all starts with attitude

When people see someone struggling with a disability, they are often scared or frightened of offending them which means they will say or do nothing. We would like to take away the fear factor, so that able-bodied people are not afraid to communicate with disabled people.

Meet Our Team

Jennie williams laughing with a blurry grafitti background

Jennie Williams

CEO

Jennie has worked with a wide range of deaf and disabled people over the last 20 years. This includes people with learning difficulties and mental health issues. She has a level three qualification in British Sign Language and a great understanding for the deaf community as she herself has a hereditary degenerative hearing loss and is a hearing aid user.

Jennie has worked for a number of charities including MSSA Nurse World Wide in Sydney and Perth Australia, Turning Point, Graeae Theatre Company and Leonard Cheshire Disability.

Jennie@enhancetheuk.org

Claire walking towards the camera on a cobbled road

Claire Holland

Project Manager & Trainer

Claire has worked within the Deaf community for a number of years. She has experience of working with Deaf children, both in an education setting and also as a Children and Families Support worker for the National Deaf Children’s Society. She has also worked in colleges with Deaf young people and worked with Deaf adults as a Community Support Worker.

Claire has volunteered over the years with Bedfordshire Deaf Children’s Society and also with Luton Deaf football club acting as their club secretary. She has provided Deaf awareness training to various organisations. Claire has her level 3 British Sign Language Certificate although she has been signing from a young age as she is Deaf herself.

Initially Claire was a hearing aid user but after losing her residual hearing several years ago she has had a Cochlear Implant. Claire is often accompanied to work by her hearing dog Ivy.
She is chairperson of Bedfordshire Deaf Children’s Society and secretary for Luton Deaf Football Club. She has also provided Deaf Awareness training to various organisations. Claire has her level 2 British Sign Language Certificate although she has been signing from a young age as she is deaf herself.

Initially Claire was a hearing aid user but after losing her residual hearing several years ago she has had a Cochlear Implant. Claire is often accompanied to work by her hearing dog Ivy.

Claire@enhancethuk.org

Gary mazin sitting at a bar, wearing a blue top and laughing

Gary Mazin

Trainer

Gary is a guide dog owner who has dual sensory loss. He started his career working in the magazine publishing sector where he spent many years working when people still read magazines in print. He then moved into recruitment and over his 8 years he helped hundreds of people into jobs in media.
As someone who has witnessed discrimination first hand in the workplace, Gary is passionate about ensuring that disability is not a taboo word that should be buried under the carpet and he now spends his time travelling up and down the UK working with Enhance the UK as a trainer, giving people the confidence to talk openly about the subject of disability. Gary does get fed up that his guide dog Herbie gets all the attention but he’s very used to playing 2nd fiddle by now.
You can usually find Gary on his down time binge watching the latest shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime. He also loves moaning about everything and everyone and thanks to Liability Magazine he now has a platform to air his general annoyances. .
Emily yates smiling with bright pink lipstick and a colourful dress

Emily Yates

Trainer

Emily is one of Enhance the UKs trainers and also heads up our physical audits. She co-runs the Love Lounge with Mik, and together they aim to answer all your questions around love, sex and relationships and to get rid of the disability and dating taboo.

Emily is also an accessibility consultant, travel writer and presenter and now lives in sunny Glasgow, after consulting on inclusion for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Oh, and she loves a good hair dye!

Emily@enhancetheuk.org

gemma laughing amongst a group of friends

Gemma Turner

Trainer

Gem is a trainer for Enhance the UK. She also creates and edits some of our fabulous Youtube videos `{`Possible link?`}`. She's born and based in Yorkshire and never too far away from a brew! She works in Communications part time as well as blogging on the side and won Blogger of the Year for the Diversity in Media Awards 2017.
Katherine Nickoll smiling for the camera in a black dress

Katherine Nickoll

Fundraiser & Admin Assistant

Katherine Nickoll is training to be a counsellor. She has worked in the voluntary sector since 2000 setting up, running and evaluating projects in homelessness, mental health, community education, welfare to work and with older people. Since having ME/ CFS life has been calmer and she continues to love words and pictures, politics, heritage, exploring, camping, pottery, geography quizzes, good food and laughing.
Dan Batten smiling for the camera

Dan Batton

Trainer

Dan has enjoyed a variety of challenges over the past two decades, including working with people with a range of disabilities, addiction issues and homeless people. He is a former feature writer for the now sadly defunct newspaper Disability Now and also has a level three qualification in training and education.

Dan has also written and acted in a short film focused on the day in the life of an inept carer and a disabled person. Dan has cerebral palsy and trains for Enhance alongside his wife, Becky.

becky batten smiling for the camera

Becky Batten

Trainer

Becky has a career spanning over two decades in both mental health and learning disability behind her. This has included stints with MIND and Haringey Council. She has worked in both London and Manchester as a mental health support worker, advocate and, most recently, a volunteer co-ordinator matching volunteers with people with mental health issues and learning disabilities.

Becky has restricted growth and trains in tandem with her husband Dan. We refer to then as 'Decky', it's far less time consuming.

Sarah Alexander in black and white wearing glasses

Sarah Alexander

Trustee

Sarah is a blogger, writer, and disability rights campaigner from Liverpool but currently based in Northamptonshire. She has an undergraduate degree and a Masters in English, were she focused on the disabled body in Victorian literature.

Sarah has a long list of conditions but ultimately she lives with chronic pain; she uses a powerchair outdoors and crutches at home. Sarah got involved with Enhance the UK in 2015 during their Undressing Disability campaign and is currently the editor for Liability Magazine. She mostly writes about beauty, but you can find a wide array of topics on her blog

www.sarahinwonderland.co.uk

Mik looking directly into the camera, with red spikey hair and a coloured grid pattern behind him

Mik Scarlet

Advisor to Love Lounge

Mik is a big personality in the media world, representing disability in his own unique way. He has presented shows on BBC2, Channel 4, ITV, Total Rock Radio and BBC 3 Counties Radio, performed in the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony and currently works as a journalist.

Karen smiling and wearing a black top with cream love hearts on it

Karen Landles FRSA

Trustee

Karen works in behavioural change across the charitable sector. She is an experienced trainer, mentor, speaker and coach in the sector. She is also on the board of Camden Climate Change Alliance, is an active fundraiser, particularly with Homeless Rugby, and on various policy development bodies.
@karenlandles
Kelly Perks-Bevington smiling downwards wearing a beanie hat and purple hydrangeas blurred in the background

Kelly Perks-Bevington

Trustee

I’m Kelly Perks-Bevington, I’m on the wrong side of 25 and I am a business owner. I joined the Enhance team initially as a writer for Liability Magazine as i’d always wanted to be a writer and to contribute something to society, but I don’t have the patience and I’m way too flakey! I will be writing each month about Film & TV but please expect my “columns” to go off on complete tangents, as I cannot control my train of thought, sorry! If you have any cool show/documentary/film recommendations or just want to talk – please drop me a line on Twitter.

I’m now a trustee for Enhance The UK, getting involved in all areas aiming to promote a more positive image of disability.

Andy Trollope on his skis, tree lined snow in the background and bright blue sky

Andy Trollope

Trustee

Life was good for Andy Trollope, running his own business Brunel Motors and enjoying a successful career as as professional Moto X racer. On the 27th of July 2008 that all changed while competing at a British championship race meeting. Andy had a very slow speed crash and broke his back, damaging his spinal cord leaving Andy a T5 paraplegic, this basically means that he was left paralysed from the chest down with no feeling or movement below the chest. Andy is now a fully qualified water ski instructor and regularly teaches people with many different disabilities from spinal cord injuries, visual impairment and learning difficulties. Andy is now back at work full time working as both a mechanic and continuing with the day to day running of Brunel Motors.

Andy became involved with Enhance the UK after a chance meeting with the founder of Enhance Jennie Williams at the mobility road show in 2011 when she asked him to fill out a questionnaire about the difficulties of forming relationships and dating from a wheelchair users perspective. In 2012 Andy was made a trustee of enhance and is very passionate about the need to spread the word about the great work that Enhance are doing. In his own words Andy said, ``I believe that the need for education and advice that Enhance The UK can offer people with or with out a disability is invaluable and as a full time wheel chair user I think that I can offer another perspective to help get this message out there``.

Frank Rodgers in a white shirt and black tie

Frank Rodgers

Trustee

As the odd one out in Enhance the UK, I don’t have a disability – as long as you don’t count my Yorkshire accent, flower. I have spent over 30 years (I know, tell me I don’t look that old!) working in the commercial field for three companies in the construction, automotive and engineering sectors and in 2010 I joined Remploy to manage the factory in Haringey, North London. And in the distant past I was lucky enough to work for and granted a PhD in the chemistry of cement!

During my career I have lived in Melbourne Australia and Düsseldorf Germany as well as in the UK. My career in the automotive industry took him to Japan, Korea, India, Malaysia and other countries where ever cars were built. I have gained a thorough understanding of cultures and how to behave differently with different type of people in order to get the best out of them and what is required to keep a workforce efficient.

I am passionate about working in a ‘no blame’ environment and used this premise during his time at Remploy; a job in many ways was the most demanding of all the roles I have held and a job which was full of reward. After leaving Remploy, we started SpokeGuards which we market under the tag line, ‘Fashion for Wheelchairs’. Besides networking my interests are enjoying life with friends, not taking life too seriously and watching, whenever possible, Huddersfield Town!

Sarah Louise Jeffers smiling for the camera!

Sarah Louise Jeffers

Trainer

Hello,
I’m Sarah, I have an 8 year background in social care and education. I joined Enhance the UK because I believe that the key to achieving disability inclusion lies in changing attitudes.
My sense of humour and unshockable persona are definitely assets when it comes to answering all manner of questions without passing judgement. I always enjoy meeting new people and helping them to challenge any preconceptions of disability that they may have.

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