Representative body

The Representative Body is a group of Learning Disability England members who are elected to steer Learning Disability England.

They represent Learning Disability England members and act on their behalf, making important decisions about Learning Disability England says and does.

The Representative Body is an even split between self-advocates, families and friends, and organisations.

An illustration of the three groups that make up Learning Disability England

The members of the Representative Body make sure that Learning Disability England stays true to its values and is always working towards its goals. Any member can put themselves forward to be on the Representative Body, and all members can vote.

The Representative Body is made up of 12 elected representatives:

Our Representative Body
People with Learning Disabilities Representatives

Jordan Smith
Jordan is a man with Cerebral Palsy who since being supported by Dimensions feels like his life has been transformed by the opportunities available to him – which he has embraced with enthusiasm. He is our lead spokesperson for #MyGPandMe

An advocate for others through his passion in local and national politics – a spokesperson against the barriers to voting because of his own past experiences and expertise – a true champion for LOVE YOUR VOTE

An ambassador for others supported by Dimensions as Co-Chair of the Dimensions Council, Jordan brings others together to unite to find solutions, share stories and influence how Dimensions provides support to others.

A professional in the role of Quality Consultant, a champion for ‘GREAT’ support and a fierce challenger in his quality checking role, a tough critic and able interviewer when supporting business support interviews and a wonderful story teller when training new staff around their and Dimensions values.


Lorna Ely

Lynn Jackson
Rep Body Co-Chair


Vicky Buckingham
Vicky is 1 of 2 Leads for Self Advocacy in Wirral with a particular wanting to bring it to people with disabilities locally. Vicky is particularly keen that people with disabilities have a voice like everyone else.

Vicky is also a licensed Zumba Gold Instructor. This is low impact exercise dance class done to music and she is keen to bring this into the work she does to give people with disabilities the chance to enjoy who may not be able to otherwise.
Families & Friends Representatives

Claire Crossley
Claire has 4 children, 2 who have diagnoses of Autism. She has a special interest in social care especially personal budgets. Claire is currently studying Law part time at Manchester metropolitan university and hopes to be a solicitor to represent people with disabilities denied access to justice.
Claire has been involved in the charity, local authority and inspectorate processes for over 15 years. She was part of a campaigning group of parents locally seeking class action against indiscriminate council cuts to disabled children’s Social care. She is a strong supporter of unions and seeks to do all she can to ensure learning disabled people have a full Meaningful life.

She was part of the solve the sleep in’s campaign alongside other LDE members who lobbied parliament and attended meetings in the Houses of Parliament with her adult son Joseph who has Autism and LD. They also attended the Durham miners gala where they were able to raise this issue to the leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn. This was a big ambition for her son who is a big fan of the labour leader and wants to get involved in politics.

This is another area of interest for Claire, supporting people with LD to take part in politics, register to vote and be an active part in democracy. So many of these votes go wasted and she believes we can effect real change here by making these voices heard.



Lucy Burke
Lucy is the mother of two children. Lucy's son Danny has a learning disability and a diagnosis of autism. Lucy is an academic by profession and works in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her academic research explores the role of the arts and humanities in supporting social justice and inclusion for people with learning disabilities and dementia. Lucy is also involved in disability activism as a trade union branch officer and in supporting families and carers in my community. She has been on the representative body of LDE since its inception.

Sheila Moorcroft
Sheila is the parent of two young people, one a young man with autism and learning difficulties, who lives in a supported living service. Sheila has been active in her local community campaigning on behalf of and supporting people with autism, learning disabilities and their families ever since her son’s diagnosis.

Sheila's career was spent in strategic research helping organisations think about the implications of long term changes in the world around them, and what they could do in response to those changes to meet the needs of people who worked for them or who were their customers.

Her research also included looking at the post-16 education services provision needed for people with physical and/or learning disabilities and /or autism and sensory impairments needed in different regions of the country.
Sheila also often assessed the effectiveness of projects supporting people with disabilities as well as older people.
Her activity in the community included:
• 7 years as chair of a local parent support group where Sheila spent a lot of time campaigning, representing the needs of families and children on local and national committees and consultations to improve services.
• 4 years as Chair of Governors at her son’s special school while it changed from being a general MLD school to focus on supporting children with ASD.
• A great deal of public speaking, such as frequent appearances on the radio and TV, talking at conferences about living with a child with autism and a learning disability and providing autism awareness training for schools and health professionals.


Wendy Burt
Rep Body Co-Chair

Organisations & Professionals Representatives

Alicia Wood
Alicia is Head of Public Affairs for Dimensions, a national not for profit organisation that supports people with learning disabilities. She is co-founder of Learning Disability England and sits on the representative body. Alicia is also a Fellow of the RSA & Centre for Welfare Reform & sits on the boards of Lets for Life & Books Beyond Words.

Alicia has worked for more than 20 years with people with mental ill health and learning disabilities who have labels of ‘challenging behaviour’. Through this work, it became apparent that peoples ‘problems’ were less about them and more about the systems and structures around them that do not recognise people as individuals- this ignited a passion for enabling people to get ordinary lives through person centred approaches to housing and support and a shift away from ' one size' service orientated responses to housing and support.

Alicia has worked in the statutory and voluntary sectors and has led strategies to create more housing for people with learning disabilities and managed a pilot project to test home ownership options and natural supports for people with learning disabilities. More recently, Alicia led on the national housing delivery plan for people with learning disabilities, working with the Department of Health, the Cabinet Office and the Department for Communities and Local Government. She has also led national development programmes for In Control, Paradigm and the NDTi working on housing, community development and personalisation. Alicia has written many publications including Life Begins at Home, Reach Standards in Supported Living, Reach Out- personalising community and day services, Gadgets, Gizmos & Gaining Independence - the use of Assistive Technology by People with a Learning Disability and Choice Based Lettings and People with a Learning Disability.


David Abbey
David Abbey has worked in the financial services sector since 1984 and is a fully qualified Financial Adviser.

Back in 1997, he was invited to join a ‘steering group’ to develop a process to enable people with a disability (who also rely on benefits for their income) to buy a home of their own. The result was a unique Government approved shared ownership model, known as HOLD (Home Ownership for people with Long-term Disabilities).

David then established MySafeHome Limited to provide everyone involved in helping people with disabilities realise their dream of home ownership with the support they need and to date almost 1,300 individuals have used HOLD to buy their own home.

Passionate about the personalisation agenda David is the UK’s subject matter expert in homeownership for people with disabilities and in July 2017 was honoured to be elected to the LDE Representative Body.


Rob GreigRob’s career has had a continuing focus on supporting people with disabilities to live full and equal lives in their communities. Having worked in and managed both mental health and learning disability services in South London, he was appointed by the Government as the ‘expert external advisor’ on the development of the 2001 White Paper “Valuing People’.

From 2001 to 2008, he then led the delivery of that White Paper, and the original Valuing People Support Team, as England’s first National Director for Learning Disabilities. During this time he also contributed to various other Government initiatives, including as Vice Chair of the Independent Living Reference Group that support the development of the ‘Life Chance of Disabled People’ policy.

From 2008-2018, he was then the Chief Executive at the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) leading that organisations work on a range of ground breaking initiatives including research into employment supports for people with learning disabilities, the development of best practice materials around commissioning supports for people who challenge and the Preparing for Adulthood initiative as part of the SEND reforms.

From 2015 - 2017 he was a member of the Disability Committee of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. He has now retired from paid employment but maintains an active interest in rights and equality. Rob was awarded a CBE for his work with people with learning disabilities and their families in the 2010 New Year’s Honours list.



Scott Watkin
Rep Body Co-Chair
Scott was the Co-Chair of the Learning Disability Partnership Board on the Isle of Wight and he chaired the Partnership Board for six years.

Scott took on a national role with in the Department of Health in May 2009 as the Co-national Director for Learning Disabilities until June 2011.

In July 2011 he joined Mencap as a National Learning Disability Consultant. He started his role as SeeAbility eye2eye Ambassador in the summer of 2011 and he has taken on a permanent role with SeeAbility as an Eye Care and Vision Development Officer from July 2013.

Scott is a visiting Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire working with the learning disability nurses, as of August 2013.

Scott has now taken on the role as Co Chair of Transforming Care Assurance Board to help reduce the number of people with learning disabilities staying in hospital and to go back in the community. Scott started this role in October 2015.

Scott won the making a difference award at the national learning disabilities awards in July 2017.

Scott Is also represents organisations and professionals on the representative body for Learning Disability England September 2017.

Scott was awarded the British Empire Medal and Name on the New Years Honours List 30th December 2017.