About Enhance the UK
We’re Enhance the UK, it’s nice to meet you!
Enhance the UK is a charity run by disabled people. Our aim is to change the way people view disability, which often involves removing the ‘fear factor’ that so often surrounds the subject. We support businesses to be more inclusive by providing disability awareness training, British Sign Language workshops and accessibility audits, amongst other things
Education is key
When people talk about disability access, they’re usually thinking about building work, such as putting in a ramp or an accessible toilet. But its more than this. Things ranging from the importance of Deaf and disability awareness in the workplace, to inclusive employment practices are as important, if not more.
It all starts with attitude
When people see someone struggling with a disability, they are often scared or frightened of offending them which means they will say or do nothing. We would like to take away the fear factor, so that non disabled people are not afraid to communicate with disabled people.
Meet our Team
Jennie Williams - CEO
Jennie has worked with a wide range of Deaf and disabled people over the last 20 years. This includes people with learning difficulties and mental health issues. She has a level three qualification in British Sign Language and a great understanding for the deaf community as she herself has a hereditary degenerative hearing loss and is a hearing aid user.
Jennie has worked for a number of charities including MSSA Nurse World Wide in Sydney and Perth Australia, Turning Point, Graeae Theatre Company and Leonard Cheshire Disability.
Claire Holland - Deputy CEO
Claire has worked within the Deaf community for a number of years. She has experience of working with Deaf children, both in an education setting and also as a Children and Families Support worker for the National Deaf Children’s Society. She has also worked in colleges with Deaf young people and worked with Deaf adults as a Community Support Worker.
Claire has volunteered over the years with Bedfordshire Deaf Children’s Society and also with Luton Deaf football club acting as their club secretary. She has provided Deaf awareness training to various organisations. Claire has her level 3 British Sign Language Certificate although she has been signing from a young age as she is Deaf herself.
Initially Claire was a hearing aid user but after losing her residual hearing several years ago she has had a Cochlear Implant. Claire is often accompanied to work by her hearing dog Ivy.
Emily Yates - Trainer
Emily is one of Enhance the UKs trainers and also heads up our physical audits. She co-runs the Love Lounge with Mik, and together they aim to answer all your questions around love, sex and relationships and to get rid of the disability and dating taboo.
Emily is also an accessibility consultant, travel writer and presenter and now lives in sunny Glasgow, after consulting on inclusion for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Oh, and she loves a good hair dye!
Dan Batten - Trainer
Dan has enjoyed a variety of challenges over the past two decades, including working with people with a range of disabilities, addiction issues and homeless people. He is a former feature writer for the now sadly defunct newspaper Disability Now and also has a level three qualification in training and education.
Dan has also written and acted in a short film focused on the day in the life of an inept carer and a disabled person. Dan has cerebral palsy and trains for Enhance alongside his wife, Becky.
Kelly Perks-Bevington - Trainer
I’m Kelly Perks-Bevington, I’m on the wrong side of 25 and I am a business owner. I joined the Enhance team initially as a writer for Liability Magazine as i’d always wanted to be a writer and to contribute something to society, but I don’t have the patience and I’m way too flakey! I will be writing each month about Film & TV but please expect my “columns” to go off on complete tangents, as I cannot control my train of thought, sorry! If you have any cool show/documentary/film recommendations or just want to talk – please drop me a line on Twitter.
I’m now a trustee for Enhance The UK, getting involved in all areas aiming to promote a more positive image of disability.
Frank Rodgers - Trustee
Frank has spent over 30 years working in the commercial field for three companies in the
construction, automotive and engineering sectors and in 2010 joined Remploy to manage the factory in Haringey, North London. During his career he has lived in Melbourne Australia and Düsseldorf Germany as well as in the UK. His career in the automotive industry took him to Japan, Korea, India, Malaysia and other countries wherever cars were built. He gained a thorough understanding of cultures and how to behave differently with different type of people in order to get the best out of them and what is required to keep a workforce efficient.
Frank is passionate about working in a ‘no blame’ environment and used this premise during his time at Remploy; a job in many ways was the most demanding of all the roles he has held and a job which was full of reward. After leaving Remploy, he started SpokeGuards which we is marketed under the tag line, ‘Fashion for Wheelchairs’.
Besides networking his interests are enjoying life with friends, not taking life too seriously and watching, whenever possible, Huddersfield Town!
Becky Batten - Trainer
Becky Batten worked for 20 years as a support worker for people with mental health problems in a variety settings including Haringey Council and Stockport Mind.
She is also a qualified Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) and Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA). She has advocated for people both in hospital and in the community.
She spends most of her spare time looking after her husband and two cats Clara and Sweetie. She also enjoys helping out at a local charity shop. She loves films, reading and buying new clothes.
Jon Prashar - Trainer
Jon has over 30 years of experience of working in the Public, Private and Voluntary sectors focusing on designing and delivering best practice in promoting equality and diversity. He currently holds a key position as the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at a large property development and management company as well as being a trainer for Enhance the UK.
He fully supports the business case for diversity and the benefits that different perspectives bring to deliver creativity and quality outcomes.
Jon is a Non-Executive Board member of Bradford Teaching Hospital NHS Trust. He is also a Board member of the Housing Diversity Network, a member of Homes England Equality and Diversity Board and a Board member of Leeds and Yorkshire Housing Association.
Jon has a visual impairment and considers himself to be the very lucky owner of a working guide dog.
Zoe Lloyd - Trustee
Zoe has been involved with Enhance the UK for many years now after Jennie’s persistence paid off and she agreed to be featured in an underwear photoshoot for the Undressing Disability campaign. What a bold introduction to working for the charity!
Zoe has provided Disability Awareness training in schools, where the curiosity, insight and openness of the children always warms her heart. She has also written several articles and blogs about new challenges she’s faced or fun things she’s done. It’s her ambition to write a book one day about her story but readily admits someone will have to chain her to a desk to get her to knuckle down!!
Zoe became a wheelchair user 21 years ago when she became very ill with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Despite being a very positive, happy go lucky person she had crises of confidence and identity issues about not being the fit active sporty person she once was. This led her into therapy and after seeing the positive transition in herself, she decided to become a counsellor herself.
Zoe has now been appointed a Trustee for the charity. She hopes to contribute by bringing some of her counselling skills to aid answering people’s questions in the Love Lounge.
Jignesh Vaidya - Trustee
As a result of polio, Jig has been in a wheelchair since he was very young. Coming to the UK from Mumbai in 1989, he spoke no English. To learn the language he attended evening classes, then a couple of years later started at Leicester College where he did a BETC in Leisure Study. As he was not getting any paid work, Jig offered himself as a volunteer and was given the voluntary role of Sports Development Officer for his local council.
Currently Jig is working over spilt roles, as a Project Assistant his role is to do access audits for which he works closely with HR Teams, making sure everything is updated, from new starter to health and safety.
Jig has spoken at a number of events with employers, talking about living with disability and overcoming challenges that might be faced with Remploy. One day a week he works for BBC Radio Leicester. At the weekend he enjoys playing/coaching wheelchair basketball. He attends the gym every day, Hot Yoga once a week, and also enjoys socialising with family and friends.
Karen Landles FRSA - Trustee
Karen works in behavioural change across the charitable sector. She is an experienced trainer, mentor, speaker and coach in the sector. She is also on the board of Camden Climate Change Alliance, is an active fundraiser, particularly with Homeless Rugby, and on various policy development bodies.
Andy Trollope - Trustee
Life was good for Andy Trollope, running his own business Brunel Motors and enjoying a successful career as as professional Moto X racer. On the 27th of July 2008 that all changed while competing at a British championship race meeting. Andy had a very slow speed crash and broke his back, damaging his spinal cord leaving Andy a T5 paraplegic, this basically means that he was left paralysed from the chest down with no feeling or movement below the chest. Andy is now a fully qualified water ski instructor and regularly teaches people with many different disabilities from spinal cord injuries, visual impairment and learning difficulties. Andy is now back at work full time working as both a mechanic and continuing with the day to day running of Brunel Motors.
Andy became involved with Enhance the UK after a chance meeting with the founder of Enhance Jennie Williams at the mobility road show in 2011 when she asked him to fill out a questionnaire about the difficulties of forming relationships and dating from a wheelchair users perspective. In 2012 Andy was made a trustee of enhance and is very passionate about the need to spread the word about the great work that Enhance are doing. In his own words Andy said, “I believe that the need for education and advice that Enhance The UK can offer people with or with out a disability is invaluable and as a full time wheel chair user I think that I can offer another perspective to help get this message out there”.