About Us: Trustees

Sophie Kayani, Chair and Fundraising Panel Chair

Sophie joined the Board of Trustees in September 2015 and became Vice-Chair in June 2016. Sophie was part of Dyspraxia Foundation’s Ball Committee in 2014 which successfully raised £23,000 and 2016 which raised £18,000 for the Foundation. Sophie’s son Zak was diagnosed with DCD/Dyspraxia in 2009 and has supported the Foundation and helped “bang the drum” for the past five years.

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Matt Devonshire, Vice Chair with responsibility for Social Media and Website

Matt has been involved with the Dyspraxia Foundation since 2014 when his girlfriend Rosie, who is dyspraxic, introduced him to the foundation at the Bristol conference. He was made a trustee with responsibility for the charities websites and social media in 2016 and helped create the foundation's youth website. Matt works as a network technician in primary education and can often be seen taking part in running events for the charity.

Matt was appointed Vice Chair in June 2018.

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Sally Payne, Trustee and Editorial and Research Panel Chair

Sally is an occupational therapist and works with children and young people in the West Midlands. A former Chair of the Dyspraxia Foundation, she continues to support the Medical Panel and the Professional Journal editing team. Sally has a particular interest in teenagers with dyspraxia who were the focus of her PhD research. She is also a consultant to CBeebies for the programme Tree Fu Tom.

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Richard Todd, Trustee with responsibility for Adult Issues and Employment

Richard is a semi-retired consultant, workplace assessor, trainer and coach in the field of Neurodiversity in employment. He is passionate about avoidance of the waste of potential that occurs for many people who think differently.

He joined the Board of Trustees in 2015, having been a member of the adult panel since 2011. He focuses on adult and employment issues. Richard worked with Dyspraxia Foundation on the Dyspraxia Dynamo and Dyspraxia Diffusion projects. He is the editor of the Foundation’s Employers Guide.

Richard is enveloped by a family of Neurodiverse people spanning three generations.

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Jonathan Levy, Trustee with responsibility for Income Generation

Jonathan lives in Warrington and serves as a trustee of the Dyspraxia Foundation, with responsibility for income generation.

Jonathan has dyspraxia and takes every opportunity to raise awareness of the condition through public speaking, press releases and previously appearing in an award-winning episode of Channel 4 series 'Embarrassing Bodies - Live from the Clinic'.

Professionally, Jonathan works as a fundraiser and small business owner.

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Elliot Harris, Trustee with responsibility for Governance

Elliot is a semi-retired former partner with a top ten firm of chartered accountants who has worked with the charity sector for over 25 years and now runs his own consultancy working with both charities and owner managed business on long-term strategy matters and governance issues.

He became a member of the charity in 2016 having decided that having both a wife and son with dyspraxia, he was fed up being a “Muggle” in a world of wizards and wanted to find out more. He is passionate about making the workplace more accessible to those with dyspraxia.

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Steven Duckworth, Trustee with responsibility for Strategy and Policy

Steven Duckworth is a healthcare professional with a background in neurology and very interested in Developmental Coordination Disorder, not least because his son has just received that diagnosis. He is the national lead for vascular services in England, which is a large program of work and has a background in charity governance and a school governor. He also sits on the editorial board of the BMJ’s Journal of Evidence Based Medicine.  Steven will take on the role of Trustee with responsibility for Strategy and Policy.

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Lesley French, Treasurer

Lesley French joins us to take on the role of Treasurer.

Lesley is a retired charity Finance Director, with a Master’s degree in Voluntary Sector Management from Cass Business School, and over thirty years’ experience working in both commercial and charitable sectors.

She has a daughter with dyspraxia, and is delighted to have the opportunity to support the work of the Dyspraxia Foundation as its Treasurer.

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Alice Hewson, Adult Representative

Alice grew up in Gateshead in the North East and was diagnosed with dyspraxia as a child, at the age of 7.
She currently works as a youth worker, after graduating from Durham University with an MA in Youth and Community work six years ago. Alice has since gone on to complete another masters in Magazine Journalism. She is interested in youth engagement and ensuring that young people and their stories have a platform so their voices are heard. Recently she was Regional Coordinator at Time to Change, a national mental health campaign challenging the stigma and discrimination of mental illness.
Alice worked with 16 – 25 year olds to deliver workshops and training in schools and workplaces. Four years ago she set up the Tyne and Wear Dyspraxia Foundation support group, where Alice aimed to provide a safe space, for at the time predominantly young people. As a youth worker by training she wanted to give young people with dyspraxia opportunities she didn’t have growing up, and to meet other people who can empathise with experiences. This group has now become an intergenerational group welcoming young people, adults, children and their parents. The attendees often emphasise the value of being able to learn and share experiences from others at different life stages and transitions to their own. The group now predominantly working with young adults and slightly older adults, discusses issues of driving, university, the workplace and their achievements too.
Alice was also a founding member of the Dyspraxia Foundation youth group. She brings with her as Adult Representative her values of fairness, justice, equality, cooperation and participation. She was elected onto a Youth Assembly as a young person, and this embedded in her an understanding of the importance of giving people a voice and appropriate representation, so that they can influence, empower and feel valued.

When not working Alice can often be found playing fiddle, dancing at ceilidhs, traveling the country by train and chasing her two cats around the house.

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