Staff and Trustees

Our Dedicated Team

At Action on Disability (AoD), our strength lies in our people. Our dedicated staff and trustees are the driving force behind our mission to empower disabled individuals and advocate for an inclusive society.

Meet Our Staff

Our staff team is a diverse group of professionals, many of whom have lived experience of disability. This unique perspective enriches our approach and enhances our ability to empathise and connect with the people we support. Our team includes:

  • Social Workers: Skilled in providing personalised support and advice.
  • Employment Advisors: Experts in assisting disabled individuals in finding and retaining meaningful employment.
  • Youth Workers: Passionate about nurturing the potential of young disabled people through various activities and programs.
  • Benefits Advisors: Knowledgeable in navigating the complexities of welfare benefits.
  • Project Coordinators: Focused on developing and managing our range of projects, including the Our Place Project and Peer Support Groups.

David Buxton

Chief Executive

David joined us as CEO in March 2017. He has over 25 years of senior management experience, coming to us from the British Deaf Assocation, where he was CEO for five years.

David was born Deaf and uses British Sign Language (BSL) as his first language.

David was the first-ever Deaf BSL-user to be elected Borough Councillor and stand for Parliament (twice!). 

He has an MBA from the Open University and co-founded the Liberal Democrat Disability Association

John MacNeely

Youth & Community Services Manager

John first started volunteering with us back in the 90s, when he was a student.

After he graduated he came to work with us as a Youth Worker. Over the years he has worked his way up and is now Youth and Community Services Manager, overseeing Youth, Advocacy and Welfare Benefits.

John supports Queens Park Rangers, our local football team, and is currently learning Italian.

Employment Services

Louisa Noel

Employment Development & Access Support Project Lead

Louisa previously worked at Hounslow Council, where she was a mentor for young disabled people on a supported internship for two years.

She joined AoD in April 2018, becoming the Supported Employment Coordinator on the same internship at Hounslow. Later that year she transferred to our internship site at Hammersmith and Fulham Council, where she job coaches young people on a range of placements. She is also responsible for working with the young people to seek paid employment once they graduate.

Kevin Watson

Supported Employment Coordinator

Kevin works with the Employment Team as a Supported Employment Coordinator at Charing Cross Hospital. He is now in his second full year working with interns at Charing Cross. He previously worked on the Inclusive Employment project at AoD.

He has also been a support worker for senior managers and others with disabilities and has written on a vast range of subjects for the charitable sector. He is a former editor of the national magazine British Deaf News.

Before that Kevin was a sports journalist for national newspapers and agencies. His speciality was football and he reported from every Premier League and Championship ground. He also covered Rugby and Cricket.

In his spare time he enjoys music, reading and walking. He is currently researching a rock music biography.

Wendy Nicholson

Supported Employment Coordinator

Wendy works as a Supported Employment Coordinator

Rabiatu Kuyateh

Employment Service Team Leader

Rabiatu works as a Supported Employment Coordinator.

Chigozie Ubanagu

Employment Follow on Support

Chigozie works as Follow on support for the Supported Internship graduates

Terry King

Our Place Project Lead

Terry works as a Project Lead for the Our Place Project

Youth Services

Tamara Stuiver

Youth Service Team Leader

Tamara has worked with us since 2012, when she was a student at the University of Greenwich, studying Youth and Community Work. For her dissertation she did research with AoD’s young people on how they viewed themselves as disabled people. Tamara gained a 1st BA (Hons) degree, and her work helped us shape our Youth Service. 

After completing her masters in Anthropology of Childhood – Youth and Education – Tamara started working with us full-time. She coordinates our term-time and holiday projects, plus the Duke of Edinburgh award. She is involved in progression pathways and oversees our youth board.

Brittany Granda

Youth Service Project Coordinator

My name is Brittany and I started with AoD on the 17th of August 2021 as the Youth Service Project Coordinator. Originally, I am from Pennsylvania in the USA.

In 2012, I received my Associates degree in Psychology from Northampton Community College and my BA is Psychology from Temple University in 2014. After university, I worked as a Behavioural Therapist working with children and young people with disabilities.

In 2017, I moved to the UK to pursue a MA in Criminology with Forensic Psychology from Kingston University. Shortly after graduation I started a job as a Youth Project Manager and Behavioural Intervention Specialist, for a non-profit charity in North London working with at-risk youth.

In my free time I like to paint and play Dungeons and Dragons.

Sam Thompson

Youth Service Project Coordinator

Sam works for the Youth Service and joined in 2023. 

Welfare Benefit Services

Doreen Hilton

Welfare Benefits Team Leader

Doreen first worked with us as a volunteer in the welfare benefits department in her spare time in 2005 whilst working as a PA for a barrister. In 2007 she was employed by AoD, HAFAD as we were then known, to set up and develop a welfare benefits advice service specifically for parents and carers of ill and disabled children up to the age of 18 in H&F. She continues to deliver this service after 13 years and leads the welfare benefit team. When not working Doreen enjoys going to the gym and spending time with her family.

Sami Basha

Welfare Benefits Advisor - Adults

Sami works as a Welfare Benefits Advisor for Adults

Direct Payment Support Services

David Deacon

Direct Payment Support Service Project Lead

My name is David and I am an Independent Living Advisor, working with the Direct Payment Support Service. I started working with AoD in the summer of 2020 and have learnt how to adapt, remotely or in the office!

In 2014, I graduated from Norwich University of the Arts with a BA (Hons) in Film Production and I also currently work as an outreach support worker for deaf people. As a deaf person myself, I feel disability rights are vitally important. I enjoy supporting others so that people with a disability can lead a comfortable lifestyle. 

I love going to the cinema, theatre and spending time with family and friends.

Franklen Choi

Independent Living Advisor

Franklen works as an Independent Living Advisor, working with the Direct Payment Support Service.

Before bringing his children to the UK in 2021, he was a lecturer of Social Sciences in Hong Kong. Initially he was trained in social work in his country of origin, then became interested in the subject of social policy. He had been a policy researcher at a local think-tank before completing his doctoral degree in Sociology (University of Sheffield, 2012) and joining the teaching career.

Franklen loves cycling around London, and cooking for his family.

Hope Adams

Independent Living Advisor

Hope works as an Independent Living Advisor

Office Services

Ellen Burney

Centre Coordinator

Ellen joined AoD in November 2020. Her role supports the Senior management team as well as assisting with AoD’s communications delivery and coordination for AoD’s new centre for Independent Living.

Prior to joining AoD, Ellen studied Fashion Design at Northumbria University and after graduating worked in womenswear designer roles in New York and London. More recently she has worked in recruitment and administration. 

When not in work, Ellen works as a Youth Worker for AoD’s Youth Service and volunteers for Young Women’s Trust providing CV, job application and cover letter feedback for young women.

Coming Soon

Finance and Administration Officer

Our Trustees

Our Board of Trustees is composed of individuals who bring a wealth of experience and expertise to AoD. They play a crucial role in guiding our strategic direction and ensuring we stay true to our mission and values. Our trustees include professionals from various sectors, including finance, law, healthcare, and the non-profit sector. Importantly, we ensure that disabled people are well-represented on our board, reflecting our commitment to being led by those we serve.

Sharon Holder


Sharon was born in Hammersmith & Fulham and has lived her whole life in the borough and is married with two children.

She became a trustee of AoD in 2019 after becoming disabled herself in 2017 with Multiple Sclerosis. 

Sharon has a BA (Hons) degree from Birkbeck University in Politics and Government. Subject matters she both continues to enjoy and is motivated by, in particularly as her role as a trustee of AoD.

Prior to her diagnosis with MS, Sharon worked for nearly thirty years as a senior trade union official defending terms and conditions at work in the public, private and commercial sectors. Along with campaigning for workers rights and social justice, Sharon was elected as a Labour councillor in H&F in May 2014, a position she continues to hold now. 

Victoria Brignell


Victoria is a BBC radio producer and has been a trustee of Action on Disability since 2013.

Victoria studied at Cambridge University, is also a trustee of Magpie Dance, and the Chair of our local Amnesty International Group. She is a tetraplegic wheelchair user and lives in Hammersmith and Fulham.

In 2013 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Anglia Ruskin University for being a “disability champion” and in 2019 she was made an Honorary Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge. 

Peter Harden


Peter first made contact with AoD via his son Tim, who is Autistic and has attended AoD’s youth service for many years. 

Peter studied Natural Sciences and Law at Cambridge, before setting out in banking. In 1991 Peter founded Harden’s, the UK’s most authoritative restaurant review guide. 

He brings 30 years of hands-on business, financial and marketing experience to the team of trustees. 

Gabriella Zepf


Gabriella is Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for Big Yellow and has been a trustee since 2014. She has lived in Hammersmith and Fulham for 30 years.

Gabriella first learnt about AoD through the Youth Service, as her son is Autistic and has profound learning difficulties.

She became a trustee because she decided she wanted to give something back to this organisation which supports so many disabled people and their families.

Kate Betteridge


Kate lives and works in Hammersmith and Fulham, and became a trustee in 2017.

Her professional background is in the development of information to support people with long-term conditions to make informed decisions about their lives.

She has lived with rheumatoid arthritis since she was 13 years old. It severely limits her mobility and causes constant pain.

Kate is an advisory group member of the Patient Information Forum and is a member of Hammersmith and Fulham’s Disabled Residents’ Team.

Patrick McVeigh

Co-opted Advisor

Patrick became a trustee in 2012 after his daughter, who has Down’s Syndrome and is Autistic, accessed our Youth Service.

Patrick became Vice Chair in 2016 and is also a trustee of Healthwatch.

He spent 35 years in the financial technology industry and lives in Hammersmith and Fulham.

Mustafa Karim


Mustafa lives locally in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. Mustafa has a degree in Agriculture engineering which he completed in Iraq in 1980. In 2001, he also completed a postgraduate diploma in Computing from the University of Middlesex and more recently a Diploma In Public Service Interpreting.

 Mustafa has worked as an IT teacher at Hammersmith College and as a volunteer at the Kurdish Community Centre helping disabled refugees.

 In 1989, Mustafa was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and Syncope. Since 1996, he has been a member of Crohn’s & Colitis. Mustafa is an interpreter and translator and in his spare time enjoys yoga and photography.

Michael Gannon


Michael was born in Hammersmith & Fulham and has lived in the borough for most of his life.

Before retiring in 2016 he worked as a trade journalist, specialising in the built environment and transport issues.

Donna Fenner


Donna is an AoD Trustee

Juliana Lee Dubuisson


Juliana is an AoD Trustee

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