We are a small staff team because we want to work alongside our members and bring people together, rather than trying to do everything ourselves.

Meet our team:


Bridget Pike


Bridget is a mum of 3 and works as our Office Manager 4 half days a week.


Bridget leads on our administrative and finance support and tries to organise us.

Chloe O’Reilly

Chloe is Gary’s Personal Assistant, helping Gary with all aspects of his role. She is covering Anna Balding’s maternity leave.


Chloe is a mum of two young boys, and becoming a mum has lead Chloe on different career paths.


Chloe is keen to learn and understand more to become a part of helping those that need help having their voices heard.

Gary Bourlet

Gary has been a self-advocate for over 30 years and is a Co-Founder of Learning Disability England. Before this, he founded People First England.


Gary has a vast amount of experience in working with the media and has appeared on Channel 4 and in the Guardian. He is a civil rights campaigner and brought the People First movement to England.


Gary is a Membership and Engagement lead with extra focus as self advocate spokesperson.

Jenny Stringer

Jenny is the Administrative Assistant working in the office support team. She works 20 hours a week.


Jenny has previously worked in the charity sector in adult learning disabilities, adult education and grant management organisations.  She feels strongly about human rights, particularly the rights of disabled people.


Jenny also volunteers at the weekend for a charity which is a sanctuary for Big Cats.



Lisa Watchorn

Lisa is our Communications Lead. She works part time, every morning.


Lisa has worked in the social care sector for over 25 years in operations, business development and change management jobs.


She is the mum of two adult sons with labels of learning disability and autism and has been involved with lots of groups and individuals to make sure everyone’s voice is heard.

Rachael Hall

Rachael is one of the Membership and Engagement leads at Learning Disability England, and has a joint role with JMS Trust as a Carers engagement worker with them.


Rachael has a master’s degree in Disability Studies from the University of Leeds. She has previously worked as a Personal Assistant and with disabled children within afterschool and holiday club settings.


Rachael is a family carer and is passionate about disabled people being included, accessing their rights and living independently.

Sam Clark

Sam is the Chief Executive of Learning Disability England.


Sam has worked in several places supporting people to live independently. Sam learnt a lot about communities and how to get involved in making communities and people’s lives better.


Sam is passionate about the contribution we all can make being valued & recognised & is always looking for opportunities to collaborate with & learn from other people.

Anna Balding (currently on maternity leave)

Anna is personal assistant to Gary Bourlet, but is currently on maternity leave.


She is a sociology graduate and passionate about supporting societal groups who are the most vulnerable to discrimination and may struggle to get their voices heard, particularly those with learning disabilities.


She also expresses this in her other work as a healthcare assistant for elderly people with dementia.