Meet The Board

Our Board Of Trustees direct and steer our organisation. Find out more about them here.

Shaun McGarry

I am both blind and deaf; my condition is called Usher’s Syndrome (a combination of Retinitis Pigmentosa and congenital deafness).


I am currently the Vice Chair/Acting Chair and have been a trustee since 2013. And I am very keen to work with all parties; individuals, groups and local government to ensure that we are achieving the best for us all.


I bring my experiences of tackling problems and issues surrounding disabilities and also my 10 years in running my local organisation, the Great Yarmouth VIP User Group. I have been the Treasurer, Vice Chairman and Chairman too.


I have a simple outlook on life, and I like things to be kept simple and efficient. I am very keen to promote my local disabilities groups in Great Yarmouth and its surrounding area but for Norfolk too, to build a stronger relationship between all of the different disabilities and long-term illness that afflicts us all, great and small. “

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Martin Symons

“As someone who gets support from both health and social, I became a trustee as I wanted to share my experience with others with the aim of improving the wellbeing of others like me”

Fraser Bowe

Fraser John Bowe – acquired my disability as a result of service in the Royal Air Force, resulting in medical discharge and multiple battles with DWP, MoD & NHS over the subsequent 30 year period, with the latest being related to having to give up work last year. I’m a powered wheelchair user as a result of spinal injuries. I felt that I had only been as successful in continuing to work, complete a MBA in 2016 and progress my career because I’ve been fortunate to have had the help of really good people along the way. It’s a matter of sheer luck and I wanted to give back, to help Equal Lives help other disabled people to be as ‘lucky’ as me and the best way to do that was to use my years of management experience and qualifications and be a trustee.

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Jen Hayden

I have been blind since birth and have a feisty and very adorable guide dog called Barley! I have a busy family life with a full time job and lots of animals. My husband and I have 4 wonderful teenagers, one of whom has a learning disability, who I'm enjoying helping to flourish into independent young people. I love to get out and about and socialise with family and friends, sailing with the East Anglian Sailing Trust when I can, as well as being very involved with my local church.


I am passionate about disability rights and chose to be an Equal Lives trustee so I can play my part in breaking down the barriers that exist in pretty much every aspect of society. I was previously an employee of the charity and still work supporting people with disabilities.


From personal experience, I am acutely aware of how lonely some disabled people can feel due to the barriers they encounter and I am committed to Equal Lives working towards understanding and eradicating this.


I have a 1st class degree in human resource studies and business law and appreciate that staff and volunteers who have the right skills, opportunities to develop and feel that their wellbeing is paramount, will naturally reach their full potential, so I want to support this to become a reality within Equal lives.

Duncan Scott

I have been a board member of Saffron Housing Trust for 7 years, in this time I have gained good knowledge about the responsibilities that the role involves. When I worked as a housing support worker, I used the services of Equal lives to the benefit of the clients I was assisting so I have an understanding of some of the great help this organisation provides.

Personally, I have struggled with my own mental health around anxiety and depression and am currently receiving help from NSFT Mental Health team.

I hope to use my own experiences of services, the knowledge I have gained being a board member and working in the support services to enable Equal Lives to become stronger, have good governance embedded throughout and be strong financially enabling it to carry out its commitments and gain new contracts in an uncertain future for all.

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