Sarah Newton MP

Minister for Disabled People, Health & Work

Sarah Newton was appointed Minister of State at the Department for Work and Pensions on 9 November 2017. She was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Home Office from 17 July 2016 to 9 November 2017. She was elected Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth in May 2010.

Sarah served as Assistant Government Whip from May 2015 until July 2016. Sarah was previously a councillor on Merton Council. During her time in Wimbledon, she served as the head of Friends of Cannizaro Park.

Sarah was a marketing officer for IBIS, Citibank and American Express. After working for American Express for 4 years she became Director of Age Concern England. Sarah is also Founder and Initial Director of the International Longevity Centre.

Richard Elliot

Human Resources Manager, Manpower

Richard is a senior human resources professional with the Manpower Group and has over 20 years’ experience of supporting large organisations with their HR strategy. He currently sits on the steering committee of Aspierations, a CIC set up to support individuals with Asperger’s in the workplace, and is also a member of the Disability Confident Business Leaders Group, a group comprising of leading figures in the business community who work with government on its aspiration to halve the disability employment gap.

A regular speaker on the topic of disability in the workplace, Richard’s drive and commitment to supporting individuals with disabilities stems from having an autistic son and wanting to create an environment whereby employers see the huge talent and potential that this largely untapped talent pool possesses. 

Sean Russell

Director of Implementation, West Midlands Mental Health Commission

Sean Russell is Superintendent within West Midlands Police and is the Force lead for Mental Health. He is seconded to the West Midlands Combined Authority as the Director of Implementation for the Mental Health Commission. Recently he has been appointed at the Director for implementation of the Mental Health Commission Action plan and is working across the West Midlands Combined Authority footprint to reduce the burden of mental ill health, improve people’s lives and encourage healthier more productive communities. This includes the Thrive IPS initiative.

Sean has a keen interest in policing mental health and the impact this has for both the service user and the police. He is the lead for the MH triage project where Nurses, Ambulance staff and Police attend together to persons in crisis providing a ‘one stop shop’ approach to mental ill health delivery. He is involved in the National Liaison and Diversion Pilot where mental health staff work more closely with the Criminal Justice System. 

Ben Willmott

Head of Public Policy, Chatered Institute of Personnel and Development

Ben leads the CIPD’s Public Policy team, which works to inform and shape debate, government policy and legislation in order to enable higher performance at work and better pathways into work for those seeking employment. His particular research and policy areas of interest include employment relations, employee engagement and well-being, absence and stress management, and leadership and management capability.

Ben joined the CIPD in 2003. He started his career in regional journalism and prior to joining the CIPD was news editor and employment law editor at Personnel Today magazine. He has an LLM in Employment law from Kingston University.

Adam Swersky

Director, Social Finance

Adam is a Director at Social Finance and leads the health and employment team. He designed and launched the world’s first Social Impact Bond to support people with mental illness into work. He is currently working with DWP, DH and NHS England on a number of their flagship health and employment programmes, including the West Midlands Combined Authority health-led trial of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) and IPS Grow.

Adam was previously a Project Leader at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), where he worked across the public, private, and social sectors. This work ranged from forecasting social investment demand in England to developing the tourism strategy for Iceland. He was previously seconded to the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), where he helped to secure funding for a malaria treatment programme in Niger. Adam has an MBA from INSEAD and a BA in Economics from Cambridge. He is currently also a Councillor in the London Borough of Harrow, where he is the cabinet member for Finance and Resources.