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Board of Trustees

Image: Gareth Savin

Gareth Savin

 Company Secretary    

About Me

I sustained a Spinal Injury in 1992, whilst playing rugby for Richmond u19s. After my rehabilitation at Stoke Mandeville Hospital I moved into my flat in Hampton, hoping to quietly get back on with my life. I have since then, lived independently with the aid of a team of Personal Assistants employed by myself through various means. I have been a Volunteer and Trustee of Ruils since 2005. I have found my involvement with Ruils over the past 10 years both challenging and very rewarding. I have always loved the fact that Ruils is a charity for disabled people, run by disabled people - that whole empowering ethos I love! I still enjoy watching rugby, a few beers with the boys, going to gigs, cinema, theatre, travelling and long walks down by the river and in Richmond Park with my 9 year old German shepherd dog called Max.

Image: Andrew Gairdner MBE

Andrew Gairdner MBE

 Treasurer & Acting Chair    

About Me

I am a chartered accountant with expansive experience of working in business and with charities throughout my career. Even at 75 years young, I continue to offer my expertise to charities and businesses and I am delighted to be on-board with Ruils. I served in the Royal Navy as an officer before embarking upon a career in accountancy. I served as an Honorary Steward at The All England Tennis Club for 35 years and as Chief Steward for 15 years until I finally retired in 2012. During this time, I worked closely with the Club to help improve facilities and access for disabled people. I have developed further empathy and insight through my close relationship with my nephew who suffered a spinal injury following a climbing accident 12 years ago. I was astounded but honoured to be appointed a MBE in the 2012 New Year’s Honours list. I was elected as a Trustee of Ruils in June 2013 and will be assuming the role of Treasurer later in the year. I am keen to bring my significant business experience and professional financial guidance to Ruils and help the Charity meet and overcome the challenges that inevitably lie ahead.

Image: Elizabeth Chambers

Elizabeth Chambers

 Trustee    

About Me

My nursing career spanned forty years, working first in the NHS and then for many years in Occupational Health (OH) with British Airways health services, finally as OH advisor to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. I served as a trustee of a charity run hotel in Norfolk (AHA), which provided holidays for disabled people and their families and I’m an associate member of Disabled Motoring UK (DMUK). I have life long experience of disability within my immediate family, so have observed at close range the many challenges faced by people living with a disability, from childhood through to older age. I have a wide range of interests including social history, the natural world, ballet and musical theatre and love gardening in my tiny patch. I’m a born and bred Londoner and appreciate all that our great city, and our local borough, have to offer. I enjoy membership of several local organisations which greatly enhance community life. I joined Ruils in March 2005, first as a volunteer and minutes secretary, later becoming a trustee. I serve on several sub-committees and enjoy the work, which I find stimulating and worthwhile. I really value being part of such a dedicated team of staff, volunteers and trustees. I am a strong supporter of direct payments as a means to independent living for people with disabilities.

Image: Jane Getley

Jane Getley

 Trustee    

About Me

I have been disabled most of my life with Polio and have always wanted to support people with disabilities and therefore feel privileged to be a trustee with Ruils. Working in the Telecoms industry for over 30 years, which has involved taking on roles within sales, service delivery, network support and project management has enabled me to develop many skill sets. My last main role was working for Surrey County Council implementing a project role out across the borough for Adult Social Care. Travel has been one of my passions and I have been really fortunate to travel to many parts of the world, with Africa being my most favourite. I also love sport and manage to play wheelchair tennis on a regular basis, ever the optimist that I will win a match one day! Home is with Max the pug - 2 crazy Burmese cats and my daughter Isabella who is adopted from Guatemala and a feisty teenager!

Image: Gareth Bubbins

Gareth Bubbins

 Trustee    

About Me

I worked at BT for nearly 40 years, mainly in Human Resources. After retiring in 2012, I wanted to become involved with charities supporting people with disabilities, and became chair of Taking Control, a local mental health charity which gave me my introduction to Ruils and an appreciation both of the great work that Ruils does and the talent and commitment of the people working for the charity. I also visit a residential home for people with learning disabilities , and drive people with mobility issues on an ad-hoc basis. I enjoy visiting the cinema and theatre, cycling, walking, cooking and supporting Brentford through thick but mainly thin.

Image: Alan Benson

Alan Benson

 Trustee    

About Me

In an unfair world where disabled people are disadvantaged and discriminated against every day I am driven to do all I can to level the playing field. Being a part of Ruils is important to me because together we can achieve more. I've been a wheelchair user for over 20 years, but only involved with the disability movement for the last five. Before that I worked in I.T. management leading large teams on large, complex projects. As well as holding a postgraduate degree in Innovation and Organisational Change I am also a qualified citizen advocate. In my spare time I try to enjoy all of the cultural and entertainment opportunities London has to offer.

Image: Robert Burgis

Robert Burgis

 Trustee    

About Me

I have been involved with Ruils for about 10 years, after being invited to their AGM in 2006. I have taken a full interest in all they have done. I serve on 2 of their sub-committees, the quality sub-committee which ensures that every document, all decisions and actions are completed correctly, both within the law and factually. The other sub-committees Personal is responsible for anything to do with Ruils staff and volunteers. I am also a trustee to VISOR [Visually Impaired Society of Richmond] and I am a member of several disabilities committees within the borough. I get a great deal of satisfaction from all time and energy I spend on the charity work I do, it has made a tremendous improvement to my life.

Image: Jamal Mohamad

Jamal Mohamad

 Trustee    

About Me

I am a wheelchair user since 1995. I posses Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and worked for more than 20 years in the quality control department of a local major firm in Iraqi Kurdistan. During the seventies of last century, I was a co-founder and an active member of a voluntary association dedicated to and specialized in supporting and providing affordable building lands to low income people who are working in the industry sector. In a recent visit to there, I felt so proud and satisfied to see the area where we distributed lands is now totally populated and all the people whom we supported have managed to build and move to their own homes; and the area which just few decades ago was a massive bare land is now a popular residential area where hardly you can find a vacant plot of land. I enjoy watching Football and Snooker.

Image: Debbie Bloud

Debbie Bloud

 Trustee    

About Me

As a state registered nurse and midwife, Debbie has 21 years experience of the NHS. Her charity works includes 9 years as a volunteer for the Heart Foundation and the Baby Trust and other work experience that of an Administrative Secretary to a Barrister.Debbie has been in receipt of Direct Payments since 2004 and is a vocal advocate of the personal freedom and independence that the scheme offers.

Image: Bryony Meteyard

Bryony Meteyard

 Trustee    

About Me

I have a background in working with people with learning disabilities, running projects that aim to use drama to solve problems in people’s lives as well as raise awareness of issues such as Disability Hate Crime. I have a disability myself, MS. My interests lie in using theatre as a tool for social change, to enable people to use their voice and as a platform for debate. It was through making a play that tells the real stories of disabled people and full-time carers, in partnership with Ruils, that I got to know the organisation. I believe in the values of Ruils and I care about the rights of people with disabilities. I hope I bring creativity and also political awareness to the role of trustee. I live in Teddington and I enjoy going to local parks and making use of leisure facilities.