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.

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.

Kirstie Monda


Kirstie is acting as Personal Assistant to Gary Bourlet whilst Anna is on leave.

Kirstie has a BSc degree in sociology, a Post Graduate Certificate of Education and a master’s degree in HR Management. She has previously enjoyed careers in both teaching and HR.

Kirstie is currently studying for a master’s degree in Autism Studies and tries to live by her core values of kindness, respect and fairness. She lives with her husband and their 4 teenagers, 1 dog, 3 cats and an ever-changing variety of goldfish.

Anna Balding

Anna is currently on leave and is due to return in Autumn 2024.

Lesley Day

Lesley is the Admin Assistant. She is the first point of contact for information and queries.

Lesley has two grown up children. She is a qualified teacher and as well as working for Learning Disability England, she works as a musician and piano teacher.

Tara Watkin

Tara is the Communications Officer. She leads on anything to do with communications and social media.

Tara has a background in running social media accounts for charities and organisations. She is also a trainee counsellor.

Tara has three children with learning disabilities. She is passionate about inclusion, diversity, and empowering people with learning disabilities to tell their stories, in their words.

Jess Hawker-Meadley

Jess is the Operations Manager.

Jess joins us having worked within advice services since 2007 having worked in both local Citizens Advice services and national services as well as Leeds University Union advice centre.
She is passionate about working for people living better lives.

She lives in Bristol with her husband and two daughters

David Mahon

Dave is the Valuing People Alliance Co-ordinator for the Health and Wellbeing Alliance.

Dave has a background in project and programme management covering areas including learning disabilities, complex needs, and speech, language and communication.

Dave believes that we should all have access to the opportunities in life that can help us to be our best selves.

When the day’s work is done Dave likes to do his ‘daft’ illustrations.

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. She supports the members Representative Body and Trustees to lead Learning Disability England

Sam believes everyone has a contribution to make and is always looking for opportunities to collaborate and learn from other people. On her best days she goes swimming