Our team

Senior management team


Amanda BattenAmanda Batten, Chief Executive

Amanda joined Contact as chief executive in May 2014.

Amanda was previously director of external affairs at the National Autistic Society (NAS). While there she led a multi-award winning campaign to secure the Autism Act, the first ever condition-specific legislation. She played a key role supporting the development of autism strategies in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Amanda studied economics and politics at Birmingham University and holds an MSc voluntary sector management (distinction) from Cass Business School. She is chair of the Disabled Children's Partnership campaign and the Council for Disabled Children.


Jane Burns, Jane new Director of Fundraising & Marketing

Jane joined Contact in November 2014 and has worked in the voluntary sector for 27 years.

Jane was previously director of fundraising & communications at YMCA England, where she led a brand review process and worked with YMCAs in the UK and Europe to develop their fundraising. Before that she was director of fundraising at the MND Association, where she led the fundraising department through a period of significant income growth.


Anne BrookeAnne Brook, Director of Family Support Services

Anne has been with Contact since 2011 and became director of family support services in 2015. Anne has 28 years' experience in the private, voluntary, local authority and further education sectors.

Anne's previous roles include working for Skill: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities as information and services manager, looking after and developing the information service and grant led projects.

She was previously projects and planning manager at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).


Gethyn WilliamsGethyn Williams, Director of Development and Engagement

Gethyn joined Contact in September 2015 having worked in policy, communications, project management and business development roles across the youth, volunteering and voluntary sector infrastructure sectors for the last 14 years.

Gethyn's previous role was head of partnerships at Join In - the charity delivering the volunteering legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games - where he managed and developed relationships with other charities and volunteering agencies, led public affairs activity and contributed expertise to the research and volunteering programmes underpinning the business case.

A serial trustee, Gethyn currently sits on the board of NCVYS (National Council for Voluntary Youth Services) and the youth arts agency Artswork.


JennieJenny Jones, Director of Resources

Jenny joined Contact in September 2017 as director of resources. Jenny manages the IT, Finance, HR and Facilities functions and is company secretary.

A qualified CIPFA accountant, Jenny has worked in the charity and local government sector for the last 13 years.

Before joining Contact, Jenny worked as Finance Director at Rift Valley Institute. Before that she had financial management roles at Macmillan Cancer Support, Ealing Council and ActionAid.

Trustees

Paul Streets OBE, Chair

Paul is chief executive at Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales.

Before his current post Paul was director of public and patient engagement and experience at the Department of Health. From 2005 to 2009 he was CEO of the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board, and between 2003-2005 he was CEO of the Health Development Agency, where he led its merger into NICE (the National Institute of Clinical Excellence).

Before that Paul had a long career in the voluntary sector, including CEO of Diabetes UK from 1998-2003, where he led its transformation from the British Diabetic Association.

In 2003 Paul was awarded an OBE for services to people with diabetes.


Andy Clapham, Vice Chair

Andy is currently on secondment from Lloyds Banking Group to the Lloyds Bank Foundation as its chief operating officer.

Andy has a background in audit and operations in the banking sector.

Whilst Andy has not had the experience of disability within his own family, he has been inspired by the work we do and hopes to bring his career experience to support us as we implement our new strategy.

 

David Duly

David has been chief officer of two housing associations for 38 years. The past 33 years, until 2016 as CE of Habinteg (Ulster), where he strongly promoted and delivered good quality inclusive housing and support for people with and without physical disabilities. David has been a board member of a large Northern Ireland charity working with people with a wide range of disabilities for 34 years.

David is founder and current board member of Habinteg (Ireland) and a longterm board member of the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations. He has had lengthy involvement with RICS including Chairing Northern Ireland Board, serving on a wide range of committees and awards panels along with a lengthy involvement with Corrymeela, a key Northern Ireland reconciliation centre.

Academically David holds a B Sc, DMS, and strategic leadership level 7. He is currently a fellow of the RICS, CIH and Institute of Leadership and Management and has been awarded an OBE. 

 

Kelly Evans, Treasurer

Kelly has been at the National Autistic Society (NAS) for over 10 years and is currently their director of finance, property and project management. Her work at the NAS has given her an insight into the difficulties faced by families with children with disabilities and the extra challenges this brings. She wants to utilise her knowledge and experience to support the work we do at Contact A Family.

Kelly is a chartered management accountant (ACMA) with a background in the private sector, having worked for the AXA group for many years before joining the NAS. 


Colin Harper

Colin is currently an honorary lecturer in social policy at Queen's University Belfast and an independent policy and research consultant working in the areas of disability and health and social care.

He was previously assistant director (Health and Social Care Policy) in the Law Centre (NI) and manager of Disability Action's Centre on Human Rights for People with Disabilities, a Northern Ireland-wide pan-disability charity. Colin worked as a lecturer in political philosophy and ethics at the University of Ulster before becoming a research fellow in the Division of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Queen's University Belfast.

As well as bringing experience of working directly with families with disabled children in Northern Ireland, Colin has good relationships with senior figures within the disability, voluntary and statutory sectors in Northern Ireland.


Sue Hurrell

Sue has been a civil servant since 2000 and her area of expertise is procurement policy.

She worked initially for the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury before moving to Cardiff in 2006 and taking up a policy and project management role within the Welsh government.

Sue lives with her husband and two young children. Her eldest daughter, Imogen, has cerebral palsy and primarily gets around in a wheelchair.

Sue is a governor at her children's school and organises a group there for pupils with special educational needs. She has first-hand experience of the isolation, relentless workload and powerlessness that can at times affect families with disabled children.


Kevin Hutchens

Kevin Hutchens is a qualified social worker who specialised in community work at the University of Wales. He has been a member of the Scottish national council of Contact since its creation.

Kevin's voluntary work commitments include being a board member of Langstane Housing Association and the Inclusive Cairngorms working group of the Cairngorms National Park Authority. He is an active member of Aberdeen Trade Union Council and recently successfully moved a resolution on child poverty at the STUC Congress. He is also a member of the Scotland and Northern Ireland Values and Principles Committee of the Cooperative Group.


Gary Lapthorn

Gary ishead of charity, community and responsible business, commercial banking, at Lloyds Banking Group. He has worked at Lloyds for over 30 years, with almost 10 years at senior leadership level. He has covered a wide range of roles including proposition development, marketing and client insight. He qualified as an associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers earlier in his career, and as a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing in 2001.  He subsequently completed a masters' degree in marketing at the University of Glamorgan.

Gary lives in North Somerset with his wife and two children and has personal experience of working with disabled children through his son, who has autism and complex learning difficulties.


Liz North

Liz is currently communications consultant at Liz North Consulting. She has worked in the not-for-profit sector for almost 20 years, most recently as director of communications and campaigning at children and young people's cancer charity CLIC Sargent. 

Before moving into the voluntary sector Liz worked in marketing and communications in the film and entertainment business, including senior roles both in-house and at agencies. First joining the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) as communications manager, Liz has since held senior communications roles at ChildLine and Macmillan Cancer Support and executive director roles as communications and marketing director at online youth charity YouthNet prior to CLIC Sargent. 

Liz is an alumnus of Windsor Leadership, having participated on the Emerging Leaders Programme (2009). She has facilitated on a number of Windsor Leadership programmes. 


Brian O'Hagan

Brian is founder and project manager of Reaching Families, which specialises in providing information, training and support to parents and families of children with additional needs in West Sussex. He is also a freelance fundraising consultant and has over 20 years experience of working with small to medium sized charities in London and the South East. Brian is a lone parent to James, aged nine, who has Cerebral Palsy.


Nakita Singh

Nakita is a qualified teacher and has worked in the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) charity sector supporting families and young people. She currently works at Bristol City Council developing the SEND local offer. Nakita is passionate about improving the lives of disabled children and young people and their families and is the parent of a beautiful disabled boy.

President

Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green

Patrons

Nick Crean
Georgina David
Henry Hoare
Baroness Linklater of Butterstone
Francesca Martinez
Ruth, Lady Morris of Kenwood CBE
Nigel Nicholls
Roy Noble MBE
Vivienne Parry
Philippa Russell OBE
Dr Richard Smith CBE
Paul Soames
Claire Tomalin
Elinor and Dafydd Wigley AM
Professor Lord Winston