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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'.

A photograph of Shaun McGarry. Shaun is a white man with reddish brown hair. He is wearing a blue t shirt and has his hands behind his back.
A photograph of Martin Symons. Martin is a white man with medium brown, short hair. He is smiling broadly and wearing rectangular metal rimmed, black spectacles.

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 well-being of others like me'.

Fraser Bowe

'I 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'.

A photograph of Fraser Bowe. Fraser has fair skin, short silver hair, with a slight smile, wearing half rimmed metallic spectacles and a navy blue t-shirt.
A photograph of Dave Shraga. Dave is a white man, with mousy brown hair and facial hair. He is smiling broadly and wearing a checked shirt.

Dave Shraga 

'I support Equal Lives and want to be a part of the charity, because like EL, I strongly believe in the Social Model of Disability. I also believe that, in order to achieve the changes we want in our environment, it is our responsibility to make those changes happen. This is the role that I see DPOs such as EL fulfilling.


Removing the barriers that disable any group of people is obviously beneficial for that group, but more than that, it has a synergistic benefit for the whole of our society.  By being a part of EL I hope my experience and skills will contribute to the goal of achieving equality in our society and making the vital changes that improve all our lives'.

Joy Croft

'I was born and grew up in the United States, taught at a Canadian university, came to England for a year to do some academic research and have stayed for half a century.  I needed a new career in this new country, and I found one as a minister in the Unitarian Church, an open-minded church with a strong sense of social responsibility.  


I was born with severely impaired eyesight and then lost all my remaining vision suddenly in an accident early last year.    Nevertheless, I’ve led an adventurous and rewarding life by anyone’s standards.  I don’t think I realized how lucky I was to keep finding the right people to help me deal with my disability so that I could go on to   use my abilities. 


But I don’t think anyone should have to rely on luck for this.  I think everyone has both strengths and weaknesses, both gifts and needs.  And if society helps everyone with their needs, we’ll all benefit from one another’s gifts.  That’s why I want to work with Equal Lives- to ensure that everyone has the chance to give what they have to give.  to help ensure that – regardless of our disabilities or other disadvantages - we all have equal lives'.

A photograph of Joy Croft walking arm in arm with Equal Lives' CEO Ben Reedin a garden. Joy is a petite white woman with medium brunette hair, wearing a blue dress.
A photograph of Omotola Bello. Omotola is a Black woman with medium brunette hair in a half up half down style. She is wearing chunky, black glasses, a silver pendant and black top.

Omotola Bello

'By being a part of Equal Lives, I hope to contribute to its mission to support people to live the life they choose by breaking down disabling barriers imposed by society. Using my experience in building relationships with stakeholders and my training and qualifications in management, I am optimistic that I can contribute to the work at Equal Lives whilst gaining valuable experience that would be beneficial to society'.

Katie Robinson

'Equal Lives is a compassionate and dedicated charity that aligns strongly with my own views. I am passionate about ensuring that the disabled community is seen and heard in the way it wishes to be, nothing about us without us. I am an advocate of the social model of disability and am ardent about expanding the view of disability, more needs to be done to showcase invisible disabilities in society, empathy and compassion should be the default not the exception.

As a trustee I bring to the table, almost a decade of experience in the legal profession, some experience of HR and local government, as well as social care and the National Health Service'.

Professional headshot of Katie Robinson. Katie is a white woman with long, light red hair in loose curls. She is smiling broadly, wearing half rimmed metal spectacles with a slight upswept catseye shape, an armless pale peach buttoned shirt, and had a black tattoo sleeve on her right arm.
Woman in Wheelchair_Striped Top_Neutral-


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