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:

Gary Bourlet

Gary has been a self-advocate for over 30 years and is 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. He is a Membership and Engagement lead with extra focus as self advocate spokesperson
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.
Samantha 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.
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. She has just finished her master’s degree in Disability Studies at 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.
Anna Balding Anna is personal assistant to Gary Bourlet. 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.
Virag Csoli
Virag is the Administrative Assistant working in the office support team. She is working 16 hours a week. She has worked in the charity sector all her life: in various admin roles as well as in social care, supporting people with learning disabilities and autism. She feels strongly about human rights, particularly the rights and equal opportunities of people with learning disabilities.
Lisa Watchorn

Lisa is our Communications Lead. She works three days a week, usually Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. 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. She cares passionately about the right of everyone to feel confident about speaking up so they can control their own support and make the choices about their life that matter most to them.
Elizabeth Murray Elizabeth is currently on maternity leave. She normally works as the Administrative Assistant working in the office support team. She is working 16 hours a week . She is passionate about putting people with learning disabilities first and transforming their lives. She is also a mother