2014 Conference Speakers

2014 Conference Speakers

Carrie Dunn

Senior Human Resources Business Partner, National Grid

Carrie is currently the Senior Human Resources Business Partner for the Gas UK Distribution business in National Grid plc. The National Gas UK distribution business is responsible for looking after 82,000 miles of pipeline, and delivers gas to around 11 million domestic, industrial and commercial customers. Carrie sits on the leadership team of the Gas Distribution business, as well as the UK HR leadership team.

As part of her role, Carrie is accountable for managing the overall inclusion and diversity agenda for the Gas UK Distribution business; as a key enabler in the talent strategy. Given the current age and diversity of the workforce in the energy sector as whole, this is a high priority item for National Grid globally.
She has previous worked for the Engineering Employers Federation; Brambles plc; Toyota Motor Manufacturing; and British Steel.
Carrie is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.


Kate Green MP

Shadow Minister for Disabled People

Kate Green was elected MP for Stretford and Urmston in May 2010. She is currently Shadow Spokesperson for Disabled People.

Prior to her election Kate was Chief Executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, and before that Director of the National Council for One Parent Families (now Gingerbread). She is a long standing campaigner against poverty and inequality, chairs the all-party parliamentary group on poverty, and serves as a member of the Greater Manchester Poverty Commission. In 2013 Kate was appointed an ambassador for the Albert Kennedy Trust, a charity which supports LGBT homeless young people in crisis.

Kate was previously a member of the National Employment Panel which advised Ministers on labour market policies, and Chair of the London Child Poverty Commission, reporting to the Mayor of London and local councillors.

Kate also served as a magistrate for 16 years, and takes a particular interest in the experience of women in the penal system, and how best to rehabilitate them to prevent reoffending.


Jo Harry

UK Inclusion and Diversity Manager, GlaxoSmithKline

Jo commenced in her role as Inclusion and Diversity Manager UK with GSK over 6 years ago having enjoyed a managerial career in Community Nursing and Occupational Health Nursing in both the public and private sectors. Her registered general nurse qualification came from St Thomas’ Hospital and her degree from Brunel University.

Adding a qualification in HR from Kingston and chartered membership of the CIPD, her interest in HR generalist work grew (particularly in disability in the workplace) leading to her specialising in Diversity. For the past 16 years she has worked at GSK, whilst formerly working for BUPA and the Royal Marsden.

Four years ago, she developed within her role ‘The Project Search Programme’ at GSK for learning disabled young people, organising a collaboration with West Thames College and Action on Disability to recruit a specialist teacher and job coach.

September sees the third wave of 12 students coming onto this programme of extended work experience over three terms moving around different work placements at their West London offices. The placements organised for them are with Sodexo (housekeeping, catering, front of house, fitness centre, mailroom), G4S (secrurity), Evans (cycle workshop), the Londis supermarket and much general GSK office experience work.

Their transition to the world of work is proving highly successful with this year-long programme and an achievement of 60% employment for the young people is being sustained.


Richard Hawkes

Chief Executive, Scope

Richard Hawkes has been Chief Executive of Scope, the disability organisation, since 2010. Richard is also Chair of the Care and Support Alliance which represents more than 75 of Britain’s leading charities working together to influence for better social care. In previous roles Richard has been Chief Executive of an international disability charity, International Programmes Director for VSO and worked for the United Nations in Vienna. He is Chair of iPartner India, an organisation that enables effective and sustainable giving from the Asian community in the UK, and is a Trustee of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group. He has held a range of other non-executive roles in the past, including the BBC Appeals Advisory Committee.


Sherann Hillman

Co-Chair, National Network of Parent Carer Forums

Sherann is a devoted mum of 3 children aged 18, 15 and 14 with special educational needs. She is the founder/co-chair of PIPS, Stockport’s parent carer forum which was started with Department for Education grant funding in 2009. Two years ago Sherann became the North West representative of the National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF) and then in September last year also became the Co-Chair.

Sherann is committed to ensuring that children, young people, families are at the heart of what we do and are fully engaged in working in co-production to shape services that fit best around them. She is passionate about bringing change through person-centred practices including advocating for young people to have a pathway to employment, independent living and enjoying life to the full.


David Percival

Education Consultant

David was a career Further Education professional from 1972 – 2009, as a Lecturer, Manager and Head of Institution, in the West Midlands, London, South East, East Anglia, East Midlands and South West. He was Principal/Chief Executive of four FE colleges over the period 1990 -2009, the last being Northbrook College, Worthing.

He was employed by Bath and NE Somerset Council 2010 – 2012 as 16-19 Manager and then as 14-19 Consultant, dealing with education provision authority-wide, funding, quality and the raising of the participation age. David became involved in resolving funding problems associated with two local Project Search supported internship pathways, and with sub-regional planning strategy for people with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities.

He was educated at Cambridge and Hull universities. Having decided not to work for the family business, he trained as an English teacher for Further Education; subsequently trained at the (then) Birmingham Polytechnic to teach English as a second language. Most of his professional life has been concerned with provision for those who do not have particular advantages.

He was a one-time Member of Devon and Cornwall Police Authority and Non-Executive Director of an Enterprise Agency, Regeneration Company and two Community Partnerships. David now works freelance with education consortia, Local Authorities and the Police.