Hilary Sutherland – Co-ChairHello, my name is Hilary Sutherland. I am Deaf and also a parent and grandparent of Deaf children. I am currently the acting chair for the Board of Trustees and have been an active member since 2013. I have seen the Centre though many challenging changes. Many Deaf clubs are facing an uncertain future. It is important that this Board and its members have a clear vision in which we can all work together to ensure the centre thrives for many generations to come.
Claire Wickham – Co-ChairI have worked with Deaf and Hard of Hearing people for over 35 years. I started as a teacher in a residential school and then moved into adult education. I have also supported Deaf students at the University of the West of England and worked with Deaf and Hard of Hearing people on employment and research projects. I believe that society must change so that all Deaf and Disabled people have equal access to education, health services, employment and everything else that non-disabled people have and use. Deaf and hearing people need to work together to achieve this.
Honesty Willoughby – TreasurerHey, my name is Honesty Willoughby and I am a proud Deaf Bristolian. I joined the board last year and became a treasurer this year. Currently, I’m an accountancy student and working at a housing association. I’m looking forward to overcoming the many challenges that will come with the board and our wonderful members. It’s important for us all to work together to keep our legacy alive for many generations to come especially now with many changes going on around us. Feel free to come up and let me know how we could help each other out!
James Barnes – TrusteeI am a native British Sign Language user and have been Deaf since birth. I have a strong sense of belonging to the Deaf community as I went through the classic Deaf life route - Diagnosed, Deaf School, Deaf Sports, Deaf Socialising and Deaf Club. This empowered me to take pride in my Deaf identity. I've been educated and employed in both the hearing and Deaf environments so I have personally experienced the barriers that Deaf and Hard of Hearing people face everyday, which lead me to passionately believe in equal access for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people in education, employment, health services and other services.
Gill Behenna – TrusteeI have worked in Deaf Communities as a Chaplain in Salisbury, Exeter and Bristol for just under 35 years (in Bristol since 2005). I am also a Registered BSL/English Interpreter and occasionally work as a freelance interpreter. For the last three years I have also been the National Adviser for Deaf Ministry in the Church of England. This enables me to keep in touch with the wider Deaf community. As a Christian Minister I have the privilege of leading the Bristol Deaf Church that meets regularly for worship. I also support people at some of the most difficult times of their lives as they experience illness or bereavement, and some of the best times as they prepare for marriage or celebrate the birth of a child. Access for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people to everything the Church can offer is very important to me. I am a Trustee of three small national Deaf-led charities and the voluntary administrator of a national charity. I have served as a Director of the Association of Sign Language Interpreters (ASLI) and was Chair of Governors at Elmfield School for Deaf children for five years.
Alasdair Grant – TrusteeI am profoundly Deaf and I'm bilingual in English and British Sign Language. I worked as a Civil Servant in the Department for the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs for nearly 14 years prior to being made redundant in January 2016 as a result of the Government cuts. I was involved in the creation of two new National Parks for the New Forest and South Downs and the establishment of National Park Authorities to manage those new parks. I was a participant in Defra's four year Into Leadership Development Programme. These experiences have given me a thorough understanding of Government and Local Government processes and procedures and I have business skills in finance, HR, programme and project management, recruitment, town planning and conservation ecology.