North East Suffolk

Our Team

Disability Advice North East Suffolk ~ Team Member

MargaretChair

I have been involved with Disability Advice North East Suffolk (previously D.I.A.L. – Lowestoft and Waveney) since it was set up in 1986, when a group of people with disabilities got together to volunteer and run a telephone Helpline in Lowestoft. We wanted to be in control of our own lives.

I became Vice-Chair and then Chairman of the Management Committee in 1988, and when the Manager went on maternity leave in 1993, and then did not return, I applied for the post and was successful. I was Manager of D.I.A.L. for 17 years, until 2010, when I retired.

My voluntary employment has been long and varied, including Chairman of Great Yarmouth and Waveney Community Health Council, Chair of the East Anglian Regional Forum on Disability and Chair of the Suffolk Disability Information Group to name but a few. With D.I.A.L., we became guided by what people were asking for on our Helpline, so we set up the Waveney Area Community Transport charity, Lowestoft Shopmobility and the Waveney Centre for Independent Living, all of which I helped to manage.

My reward has been seeing so many people claiming their entitlements and often taking control of their lives. In 2004 I was given an award at the Houses of Parliament “in Recognition of the Outstanding Service to the Local Community”, and in addition, Queen Elizabeth 2nd awarded me an M.B.E. in her birthday honours list in 2011. More recently, in 2022, I was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Lowestoft and Waveney Chamber of Commerce.

Disability Advice North East Suffolk ~ Team Member

GwenTreasurer

I have been with the charity since my retirement as Principal of Lowestoft College in 2010. I have over 20 years’ experience as a school and college governor including terms as Vice-Chair and Chair of Governors as well as being a trustee of other local charities.

I am the Treasurer of DANES having previously held posts of Secretary and Vice Chairman of what was DIAL Lowestoft and Waveney. I also have the overview of Human Resources and work closely with the manager in writing funding bids to ensure there’s enough income to allow the charity to operate.

I have a rare genetic bone disease which has resulted in my being a wheelchair user until the age of 21 and again in retirement so I have first-hand experience of living with a disability and is why I’m so passionate about DANES.

Disability Advice North East Suffolk ~ Team Member

SamTrustee

When my children started school I believed myself unemployable, having a chronic health condition. DIAL accepted me as a volunteer in 2001.

I was a volunteer representative on the DIAL Management Committee until DIAL employed me part-time. With the necessary training I later became a Disability Benefits Advisor.

In 2011, I successfully secured a full-time job with the Local Authority.

Still recognising the need of the Charity now known as DANES, in 2014 became a Trustee.

Disability Advice North East Suffolk ~ Team Member

JohnTrustee

I have been a trustee for about 5 years having been a trustee in charities for nearly forty years. I was most recently the Chair for Norwich and Central Norfolk MIND having previously been the honorary treasurer for about 30 years. I am one of a group of people who organise the Moveable Feast in Norwich which has raised over £300,000 for Parkinson’s research.

I am a qualified accountant and worked in both the public and private sectors. I was City Treasurer for Norwich City Council before moving on to be Finance Director of the Enterprise Partnership and Chief Executive of the Norfolk and Waveney TEC. I was then the Norfolk Non Executive Director for the Learnings and Skills Council before being self employed as a director involved in education and training. I have been a school and college governor and been on a number of committees promoting various skills in different industries. I hope I can help the charity in achieving it’s objective of helping people with a disability to maximise their life opportunities.

Disability Advice North East Suffolk ~ Team Member

StevenTrustee

I’m Steven Warner, I’m 52 and have always lived in Oulton Broad and Lowestoft.

I am a father of 3 boys and am engaged to my lovely Lisa who is the mother to 2 of them.

I work for the NSFT Wellbeing service and have been in my current role as a Community Development Co-ordinator for almost 9 years. I have an allotment and I’m in a band, we’re called ‘The Fresh Twang’.

Disability Advice North East Suffolk ~ Team Member

HeidiTrustee

For more than 15 years I worked various jobs in Benefits’ for one local authority, and now work for another authority supporting disabled people manage their own personal budgets/direct payments in order to have care in their own homes on their terms.

I have Dyslexia, which has given me a great insight into the struggles people have accessing services. Following a car accident I now find myself using a wheelchair and crutches to keep mobile.

I mainly work from home, and often find myself attending meetings online with the “help” of my cat who does not care how important my meeting is.

Disability Advice North East Suffolk ~ Team Member

TrishManager

I have spent the majority of my career in management. I joined Disability Advice North East Suffolk (DANES) In September 2020 as a disability outreach advisor.

I then became the manager of Danes in March 2022. I really enjoy working with our superb dedicated team and meeting and supporting our amazing clients.

We strive to make a positive impact on people’s lives by advising, assisting and engaging with those in our community with a disability long term health condition and their carers.

Disability Advice North East Suffolk ~ Team Member

PaulDisability Adviser

I started working with Disability Advice North East Suffolk in February 2022 as a disability advisor. I have a background with benefits as well as experience working and supporting people in the community.

I have a good knowledge of housing issues that I feel can use in this role. I am based in our office in Lowestoft and I will be able to offer help and advice about benefits and housing

I look forward to meeting people either at our office, outreach locations or via a home visit to support people with disabilities long term health conditions and there carers

Disability Advice North East Suffolk ~ Team Member

DebbieDisability Adviser

I have worked as a Disability Adviser with DANES since September 2021. Previously I was an adviser on special educational needs for children and young people across Suffolk.

I enjoy being part of a friendly team offering impartial, confidential advice and information on benefits, housing, grants, local groups and opportunities for anyone living with a disability or long-term health condition.

I am based at our Lowestoft Office but work across North East Suffolk, including regular outreach appointments each month at Beccles Job Centre and Bungay Medical Centre.

I very much enjoy meeting our clients, their family and carers.

Disability Advice North East Suffolk ~ Team Member

GemmaDisability Adviser

I joined Disability Advice North East Suffolk in July 2021 as an Outreach Advisor. My previous roles have been working within the NHS and the Care sector.

My role within our Charity is to provide free, impartial and confidential advice on things like benefits, housing, grants and local groups to name a few. This is for anyone living with a Disability or long term health condition, along with supporting their family and carers.

I am based in our office at Rotterdam Road, but I am also out in the community, covering all of the Waveney area with home visits and drop in services at various locations.

I enjoy working within a friendly team, all who have a wealth of knowledge. We strive to help and advise all of our clients with their needs.

Disability Advice North East Suffolk ~ Team Member

JoDisability & Appeals Adviser

I joined Disability Advice North East Suffolk in 2018 as I felt this was the right time for me to progress into the Charity sector.

I have a strong Customer Service background, and together with my passionate beliefs about Disabilities, this has been the ideal role for me. I have first-hand experience of the difficulties encountered by people with disabilities, both visible and invisible. I find it extremely rewarding being able to offer assistance to people that need it.

I work with a fantastic bunch of people and between us all, we are able to offer our clients the highest standard of Customer Care, advice and assistance.

Disability Advice North East Suffolk ~ Team Member

IanDisability & Appeals Adviser

I started with Disability Advice North East Suffolk in January 2019 as a Disability Advisor. I combined this with my added role of Appeals Advisor in 2020.

My background has been within the community care sector, and my work has always involved supporting people to overcome difficulties in regard to aspects of daily living.

Disability Advice North East Suffolk ~ Team Member

Megan ThompsonReceptionist/Administrator

I joined Disability Advice North East Suffolk in 2024, with the aim of aiding and assisting those with both visible and invisible disabilities. Combined with my background of delivering excellent customer service and my own personal experience of dealing with disabilities, this opportunity is a perfect way of me being able to help others in need.

The team here at DANES are incredible, they have all welcomed me and nothing is ever too much trouble for them, they are a truly amazing group of people.

Disability Advice North East Suffolk ~ Team Member

Charlie GarwoodEmployment & Community Engagement Advisor

I joined Disability Advice North East Suffolk in January 2024 as the Employment and Community Engagement Advisor. My previous roles have been around Customer Service and Employment.

I really enjoy working with a great bunch of people, who have a wealth of knowledge which is used to support our clients as they need. This role is ideal for me as I am passionate about Disabilities. I have first-hand experience of the difficulties encountered by people with disabilities, both visible and invisible and find it extremely rewarding being able to offer assistance and guidance to the people that reach out for our support.

Disability Advice North East Suffolk ~ Team Member

PamVolunteer

Pam works as a coach at the Waveney Gymnastics Club in Lowestoft. She enjoys horse riding and playing pool.

Pam has supported DANES at a number of events, helping us to set up stalls at events and sharing what we do with members of the public.

Join Our Team


TRUSTEES

If you would like to support DANES by becoming a Trustee, then please contact Trish on 01502 581833


STAFF

We will announce any future staff vacancies on our website.

We have seven professional members of staff with a broad range of knowledge and experience of living with a disability. We work as a team and have regular meetings to keep up with the rapidly-changing situations we are all facing. That way we can offer the best service to our clients with disabilities, long term ill health and their carers or family. We also support employers and professionals who require our help and advice.


VOLUNTEERS

We are always looking for volunteers who can help us with events, fundraising and developing our service user group. Volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. How much you do is up to you.

PLEASE NOTE

DANES does not require any person within our charity to have an ID photo on any of our sites.

Suffolk Disability Advice - Sunflower Photo

Notices

See below for latest news, announcements, events, vacancies & more...

What‘s On ~ 2024

Download the PDF below for a full list of our various activities running throughout 2024...
NOTICE

Back On Your Feet

A 12 week OTAGO strength and balance programme for people who are at risk of falling
Download full details below...
NOTICE

Carers Support Group

Come along to our Carers Support Group.
Held every other week, on the second Wednesday of the month...
NOTICE

Digital Inclusion- Easy IT

IT course covering: Word documents, Internet usage and safety. Creating and using email, and much more!
The course will be running every Thursday (starting 20.06.24). Download PDF for details...
NOTICE

Crafty Creations

Let your creative side shine! Come along and try different crafts or bring your own project.
Third Monday of every month. Download PDF for details...
NOTICE

Catch-Up & Colour

Would you like a safe space to colour and chat with other people with learning disabilities?
Every Wednesday. Download PDF for details...
NOTICE

Workability in Waveney

We believe many workplaces are missing out on a great source of talented and committed employees. Workability in Waveney offers 1:1 sessions focusing on wellbeing for volunteers, trainees or employees.
NOTICE

Outreach Times & Places

Contact us for information and appointments for our outreach times at:

Lowestoft Job Centre
Beccles Job Centre
Bungay surgery
Marram Green in Kessingland
NOTICE