Lynda Bowen, Paul Fairhurst, Oli Foster and Emma Legg went through a stringent selection process back in February and attended their first Board meeting on Monday 22 June.
Here is a short introduction to each of them, which will give you a flavour of the vast range of skills and experience that they will be bringing to Designability:
Lynda had a long career in social care, starting as a medical social worker, and worked in a variety of commissioning, management and social worker roles, including three years as National Contracts Manager for Guide Dogs. Whilst working for this charity, Lynda co-authored Progress in Sight (the National Standards for health and social care for people with a visual impairment), and Steps to Independence—research into a curriculum for children with visual impairment.
Before starting her own consultancy business, her final role was Chief Officer for Support and Enablement at Leeds City Council.
Throughout her career, Lynda worked with occupational therapists, social workers and health staff to set up reablement and support services for both children and adults. In 2004 she won a Nuffield award for memory services work for people with dementia.
Lynda has an MBA in Health and Social Care from the University of Leeds.
In 2016 Lynda retired from social care to develop a holiday accommodation business in Lincolnshire, and to run the family farm.
In addition to her career in social work, for over 20 years Lynda served as a board member for Wolds, Havelok and Longhurst Housing Associations, Lynda chaired Boston Mayflower Housing Association during the period when the organisation expanded through merger to become Lincolnshire Housing Partnership.
Lynda retired from chairing this organisation in September 2019 to move to Portishead, where she now lives with her husband and two dogs.
Paul’s career spans the commercial, professional services and non-profit sectors. Most recently, he was Operations Director, then Strategy, Planning & Policy Director, at the UK charity Jubilee Sailing Trust.
For 18 years, Paul held senior business development and legal roles at global giants Diageo and InterContinental Hotels Group, with most of that time spent living and working in Asia.
Before that, Paul was a corporate lawyer with London-based international law firm, Simmons & Simmons, specialising in mergers, acquisitions and disposals.
Having sustained a life-changing injury in 2011, Paul is passionate about disability-related causes. He is Ambassador and supporter of spinal injury charities Back Up Trust, Spinal Research and Wings for Life.
Oli is Group Financial Controller of Future plc and, in his current role, he has responsibility for all tax, treasury, financial control and external financial reporting matters.
He is a Chartered Accountant (ICAS), and qualified with PwC, where he reached the position of Senior Manager and undertook secondments overseas in both New Zealand and the Philippines.
Oli also has a BA in Management Studies from the University of Nottingham.
Oli has previous charitable experience as a member of the Byte Night South West Board and as an Independent Examiner of local church accounts.
Emma is Director of Adult Care Operations; Access and Reablement at Wiltshire Council.
She qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2006 and also has a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and Philosophy from the University of Hertfordshire. She currently supports the delivery of a wide range of adult care services which focus on maximising independence and choice and control for the most vulnerable people in our society.