Categories
Disability Labour Executive candidate 2018.

Helen Whitehead

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Helen Whitehead

I am a thirty six year old education professional and ex Deputy Head. I am a specialist additional needs teacher, and believe in inclusive education and healthcare. I am also autistic, and determined to make politics a more accessible place for those of us on the spectrum.

I have both Ehlers Danlos syndrome and ankylosing spondylitis. I am a member of DPAC, DEAL and Disability Labour and am fully committed to equal representation within politics. I believe strongly in the social model of disability, and know through my own experience and my teaching career that enabling individuals and removing external and social barriers can make a profound difference.

Currently, fewer than 1% of MP’s are disabled, as compared to a rate of roughly 20% in the general population. This is a huge disparity, and I am determined to help redress that balance. Working within DEAL and Disability Labour can help me to aid others to do this.

Disability forges resilience and determination. I want to be part of providing a safe and secure future where all of us are valued, appreciated and supported, regardless of background, income or needs. I know that I can accomplish this.
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Watch and listen to Helen reading her candidate statement below.
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Categories
Disability Labour Executive candidate 2018.

Sam Margrave

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Sam Margrave

My name is Sam Margrave. I am 35. I am currently co Vice Chair of Disability Labour. While I am not seeking re-election as Vice Chair, because I believe we need new fresh faces to fill officer roles and work together. I hope to be a strong voice for the West Midlands, and work as a member of the Executive to fight for all members across the Country, as I have tried hard to do over the last year or so.

I joined the party as a teenager and was elected as a Councillor at 21, the youngest in the Country at the time. This May I stood down, after experiencing discrimination and bullying due to my disabilities.

I want to make sure we as a Party support disabled members, and create that fair, tolerant and equal society we all joined for. In 2015, I was the only Councillor to come out in support of Jeremy Corbyn in my home CLP, that bell weather seat of Nuneaton. I spoke at his campaign event locally, and supported his re-election campaign. Whether you are a Corbynite or not, I am sure we have a lot in common.

I am currently a University lecturer and studying for a PhD in Entrepreneurship. I am also a Non-executive Director on one of the UK’s largest housing associations.

This is a critical time for our party and movement, I want to stand with others to build a party we can be proud of, that welcomes, encourages and supports disabled members. I hope I can count on your support.

I love cats, and I am autistic, have adhd, ME, EDS, dyslexia and dyspraxia. I am out and proud about disability.

Vote Sam Margrave, standing for change, offering experience.
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Listen to Sam read his candidate statement below.
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Categories
Disability Labour Executive candidate 2018.

Martyn Shrewsbury

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Martyn Shrewsbury

My name is Martyn Shrewsbury I am sixty years of age and live in Ystradgynlais in Wales. I joined Labour primarily because of Jeremy Corbyn and because of my knowledge of his work on animal rights and because of his Socialism. I have been an Ecosocialist all of my life.

My local party is Brecon and Radnor, I joined the Labour party in January of this year and with it Momentum. I work as a Psychotherapist, a teacher of Philosophy and regularly represent people at appeals over benefits and have a record of helping them win 95% of the last few cases . I am a passionate empowerer and supporter of disability rights.

I became partially sighted myself several years ago and have learnt much about myself and others during this time I realise how this world ignores disabled people and am a firm believer that the world must be changed.

I have long supported left wing causes. I am a former Leader of the Wales Green Party and have stood for election in the European parliament, Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and local government.

I am proud to be standing as part of the DEAL team for accountability and change.
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Categories
Disability Labour Executive candidate 2018.

Anne Pridmore

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Anne Pridmore

Having spent over 34 years as a campaigner in the disabilities rights movement, I have accrued a great deal of valuable experience and expertise in a diverse variety of issues that affect disabled people.

As a disabled woman myself, I have lived experience of disability and the obstacles we face In 1988 I chaired a Disabled Peoples User Led Organisation (DPULO). In 1991 I chaired the British Council of Disabled People which was a national DPULO from there I went on to Chair the UK Disability Forum for Europe this enabled me to travel all over Europe meeting disabled people and listening to their struggles.

In the 90’s I ran a peer support group for people receiving Direct Payments which led me to develop a web site to support disabled people to employ their own Personal Assistants, Carers or Support Workers we gained charity status in 2009.

I am passionate about independent living and the right to have support to fully access the community. I am appalled that disabled people are being hit by the austerity cuts and seeing their support being taken away.

I have been a member of the Labour Party for ten years and currently the Disability Officer on my CLP and I am on the Executive Committee.

I am proud to be part of the DEAL team of candidates, for an open and accountable DL.
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Categories
Disability Labour Executive candidate 2018.

Claire Harris

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Claire Harris

I have been a member of the Labour Party since 2016, after finding that the world was changing and with the sense of security I felt as a disabled person with Jeremy Corbyn as leader.

I have been involved in politics at some level for most of my adult life, first getting involved in my residents’ association as a foyer resident. The work I did there attracted the attention of my housing association and while there I held a variety of positions.

When I moved into party politics, I was elected to the women’s and fundraising officer at my previous CLP and after moving to Northampton, I was elected as the county chair of Momentum, and finally as Vice chair of members. I am involved in writing guidance for people with disabilities holding public office.

I have fibromyalgia with mobility issues, autism and an auditory procession disorder. In addition to being a disabled person, I am also mum to four children with varying disabilities including autism, EDS, myasthenia, cerebral palsy and Neurofibromatosis.

In addition to having lived experience of being disabled and involved in politics, I have the specialist knowledge of caring for children with special needs.

I’m proud to be standing with the Disability Equality Act Labour candidates.
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Watch and listen to Claire reading her candidate statement below.
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Categories
Disability Labour Executive candidate 2018. Panel Debate 30 August Panel Debate 5 September

Mick O’Neill-Duff

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Mick O’Neill-Duff

I am a dedicated campaigner for all disabled people both inside and outside the Labour Party. Before ill-health forced me to retire (with minor disability) I worked in the care industry for 14 years, working with adults who had mental health, Downs Syndrome, Autism, Asperger, Cerebral Palsy, Moebius and other disabilities.

My record:

  • Co-founder of DPAC-SW,
  • Member and campaigner with many disabled groups on Facebook and in my local community.
  • First Disability Officer for my CLP.
  • Was Disability Officer for Bristol LCF.
  • Branch Secretary.

Member of UNITE, Co-operative Union, Momentum, Disability Labour.

Being retired, I have time to fight for our rights and needs as disabled people, I am not afraid to speak up for us and raise issues we are facing within our communities. I am standing in solidarity with other colleagues from Disability Equality Act Labour

If elected, I will continue the fight for all disabled people and not just the few. For FREE membership of Disability Labour. For your voice to be heard. I will ensure you are not forgotten within our society. I will work with the new Executive Committee ensuring we all work hard for you our Disability Labour Comrades.

I am proud to be part of the DEAL team of candidates and ask that you support the DEAL team for an open and accountable Disability Labour – campaigning for all disabled people.

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Watch and listen to Mick read his candidates statement below.

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Disability Labour Executive candidate 2018. Panel Debate 30 August Panel Debate 5 September

Wayne Blackburn

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Wayne Blackburn

I’m Wayne Blackburn, a Borough Councillor in Pendle and the Disability and Mental Health Champion for Pendle Borough Council.

I am the Vice Chair (Membership) for Pendle CLP, Secretary for Lancashire’s Local Campaign Forum and Chair of Pendle Labour Group. I am also a Unite Community member. I have stood for Borough and County Council elections, as well as being the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate in Pendle in June 2017. I have been a member of the Executive Committee of Disability Labour since September 2014.

I have a number of conditions, both visible and hidden, which affect my daily life.

I am standing to be Co-Chair because I want to see change in Disability Labour. It’s time we change the way Disability Labour works for our members and for the wider Party. We have a duty to be open and transparent and ensure engagement and representation. Disability Labour needs new leadership and an Executive fully committed to its members.

I am proud to be part of the DEAL team of candidates and ask that you support the DEAL team for an open and accountable Disability Labour – campaigning for all disabled people.

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Watch and listen to Wayne reading his candidate statement below:
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Disability Labour Executive candidate 2018. Panel Debate 30 August Panel Debate 5 September

Kathy Bole

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Kathy Bole

Hi, I’m Kathy Bole, I am a Labour Councillor for Suffolk County Council.

I have about 30 years in the Trade Union movement. I have been co-chair of UNISON’s Eastern Region Disabled Members Committee, a member of UNISON’s National Disabled Members Committee and I also run a charity that provides a voice for disabled people in Suffolk.

I contributed to the DEAL Handbook, belong to Momentum and DPAC. I am passionate about campaigning for the rights of Disabled People and I believe disabled people are uniquely qualified to help design the services that we use.   I also believe we need to challenge antiquated ideas of what it is to live a full and independent life.

We need to change the way disabled people can participate. We need to make use of technology to enable equal access to conferences and meetings. No one should be excluded on the basis of their disability or by economic inequality.

This is an exciting time to ensure the Labour Party becomes more inclusive and better represent the reality of disabled people living in Britain.

Please support the DEAL Team of candidates, for an open and accountable DL – campaigning for all disabled people
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Kathy reads her candidate statement below.

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Disability Labour Executive candidate 2018.

Simon Lydiard

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Simon Lydiard

I joined the Labour Party 36 years ago. I have held various offices, including Constituency Secretary and Vice Chair, Political Education Officer, and Branch Secretary and Chair. I have also been a councillor, and led the opposition Labour Group on Bath City Council in the early 90s.

I joined the civil service aged 16 at the most junior grade, and retired two years ago as a senior civil servant. I retired partially on health grounds, having been seriously injured some years previously whilst on duty – necessitating a series of operations, and impacting on my mobility and general health. I am dyslexic and dyspraxic – and was passionate about ensuring fair treatment of people with disabilities in the civil service, serving on my Department’s disability committee, and mentoring others with disabilities. I was also a trade union representative.

Both before and after retirement I have undertaken a number of voluntary activities to advance the cause of people with disabilities, including acting as an ambassador for a national charity and helping to create Disability Rights UK’s Leadership Academy, and mentoring participants.

I am standing in solidarity with other colleagues from Disability Equality Act Labour.
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Categories
Disability Labour Executive candidate 2018. Panel Debate 30 August

Lorraine Harding

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Lorraine Harding

I am a single parent who lives with a number of hidden disabilities.

I am currently unemployed and am on ESA. Before being unable to work I have worked in catering, retail, a library assistant, the civil service, call centres and as a community care worker. Through out my working life I have always been an active union member and have been involved in many different roles, from being a shop steward, to branch secretary, to an equalities officer.

I have a wide range of skills which include, but not limited to: arranging conferences, working in and managing a diverse team, production of written reports, minute secretary and campaigns organiser. I can work collaboratively and independently. I can and do consult and listen to others but will make a hard decision if needed.

I joined the Labour Party two years ago and since then I have been active within my branch and CLP. I was re-elected (unopposed) as the equalities officer this year. I have been elected as a delegate to 2018 conference.

I am a member of Unite.

I seek your support for this election and for the other candidates on the DEAL platform.
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Lorraine reads her candidate statement below:
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