Leicestershire Equalities Challenge Group Members

Please find below the current list of our Members.

If you would be interested in joining the Leicestershire Equalities Challenge Group, please email carine.cardoza@leics.gov.uk

  • LECG Members 2021 to 2022 (PDF, 30 Kb)

  • Liz Blackshaw, Independent Chair of LECG

    I combine my passion for science with a refusal to accept social inequality and injustice. I have campaigned for legal changes in the issuing of birth certificates as I was determined to seek the right for both parents to be included on birth certificates, regardless of gender. I have trained to be a Breastfeeding peer supporter and advocate and was instrumental in developing the first 'Returning to work or study' workshop for breastfeeding parents. I also created an effective network of breastfeeding advocates, health professionals and services users, which convinced the NHS to reconsider their proposals. I have advocated against the closure of the Children’s Centres and have set up ‘Sorrel Stones’ a local arts project with the intention of sharing happiness and promoting outdoor exercise for adults and children of all ages.

  • Mathew Hulbert, Independent Vice Chair of LECG

    I was a Trustee of the Leicester LGBT Centre from 2014 to 2020 and its Chair from 2017 to 2020. I was a Borough Councillor in Hinckley and Bosworth from 2011 to 2015. My main roles on the Council were as the Children and Young people's Champion and the Fairtrade Champion. A local LGBT+ historian says, at the time I was the only Out principle authority Councillor in the County. Since May 2019 I've been an elected member of Barwell Parish Council, on which I Chair its Planning/Highways and Events Committees. I'm the Independent Chair the Leicestershire Fire Service and Police Service LGBT+ Independent Advisory Group (IAG), which I also represent on the Leicestershire Fire and Police Advisory Group on Equalities (FPAGE.) I Chair the Heathlane Surgery (Earl Shilton) Patient Participation Group (PPG), which I also represent on the Locality PPG (Hinckley and Bosworth) and the Network PPG (in connection with the West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group; CCG). I also represent the Locality PPG on the Hinckley and Bosworth Health and Wellbeing Partnership. I'm also on the organising committee of the 'True Colours' partnership, led by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, which organises events in the borough celebrating and commemorating key LGBT+ events throughout the year. I also Chair the Hinckley and Bosworth Fairtrade Forum and Barwell Carnival Association.

  • Peter Lewis, Equality Action, Charnwood

    I was Chair of Human Rights & Equalities Charnwood and am now a Trustee of Equalities Action Charnwood. I retired from Loughborough University in 2007, having taught English & Drama. I initiated many international links, training seminars and exchanges over human rights provision, in different communities both in Europe and beyond. Charnwood Borough Councillor 1999 to 2011 - Cabinet member for Culture, Leisure, Community Cohesion and Equalities; Leicestershire County Council from 2005 to 2017, Chairman of County (2012-13) and on retirement was appointed an Honorary Alderman. My County work especially centred on Children and Families, school governance, SEN, interfaith religious education, supporting physical and mental disabilities, and I served on County Adoption and Fostering Panels. I was with involved health provision through Better Care Together and still through West Leicestershire CCG, with particular interests in care for the elderly, the provision of disability support, home care, mental health, and the co- ordinated provision between the various parts of health services. I served as elected Chair of LECG between 2018 -2021. I am frequently engaged in public debate around sexualities, interfaith issues, the challenge of growing hate crime. I am especially active in seeking to foster communal development through direct involvement in consultation and decision making at every level, both local and national. Despite all this, hopefully, I still retain my essential sense of humour.

  • Lucy Smith, Older People

    Since my retirement as a tutor, I have done voluntary work on a variety of projects, forums and programmes in health and social care in Leicestershire, the East Midlands and nationally. My predominant interest is in the health and well being of older people and I am also passionate in believing that bringing the young and older generations together to share interests, learn from each other and have fun together will help to break down barriers of negative attitudes. I was the Chair of the former Leicestershire Older People's Engagement Network "OPEN" which had a personal contact reach throughout Leicestershire of over 3000. In partnership with Leicestershire Police, AgeUK Leicestershire & Rutland and Voluntary Action South Leicestershire, OPEN hostedseveral intergenerational events called 'Bridging the Years' in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018 which were attended by over 100 young and older people at each event. I served as an executive member on the East Midlands Later Life Forum. I have been a member of the national AgeUK Services Sounding Board for the last 10 years. I am the treasurer of the Blaby Art group and served as the Vice Chair of LECG.

  • Dr Iris Lightfoote, The Race Equality Centre (TREC)

    TREC delivers services to individuals, communities and organisations. Services to individuals include Discrimination Casework (for those complaining about racial harassment or discrimination); Integration Service (for new arrivals to Leicester with refugee status); ESOL in employment and, Employment and Enterprise - supporting clients into jobs and training. Our health and well-being provision further extends our ability to deliver a one-stop service. Services for communities and organisations focus on influencing policy development, public education and supporting community development, including facilitating the Racial Minority Voluntary Sector Assembly. Our research and development arm links us into the city’s universities through partnership arrangements and, TREC also delivers some specialised training and consultancy on a fee basis.

  • Alison Adams, Diocese of Leicester

    I am the Sub-Dean,Canon Pastor and the Diocesan Social Responsibility Enabler. I chair the strategic Fair Finance Committee and am involved in partnership work around issues e.g.homelessness, poverty, dementia and modern-day slavery.

  • Dr Jill Vincent, Charnwood Arts

    My career has combined my interest in the arts with work teaching, as a researcher in social policy, political engagement and activity in the voluntary and community sector. I have a PhD at University of Nottingham and worked for many years at the Open University. My main paid employment was at the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University. I was a Borough Councillor for sixteen years, spending the final year as Mayor of Charnwood, and a Trustee of John Storer Charnwood and Equality Action (where I am still actively involved). I was a Governor at Loughborough College for eight years and am now a co-opted member of the governing body. My interest in the arts is a thread through my life. I worked in Arts in Prisons research and provision; I am a past chair and active director of Charnwood Arts, a community and participatory arts organisation that works closely with Arts Council England, Love Loughborough BID and local authorities, among many partnerships. I was awarded an Honorary Degree by Loughborough University in 2012.

  • Mina Rodgers, Older People

    I have worked in the NHS for 40 years. Since retiring from my caring role, I have been engaged in many projects such as Healthwatch, a voice for the people of Leicestershire. Currently, I am the Vice Chair of OPEN (Older People's Engagement Network), I am a member on the Leicestershire Adult Social Care Advisory Panel on Leicestershire County Council, I am a Unison Retired Members Officer for the Leicestershire Health Branch representing over 360+ members, I am a member of the LPT Alliance (Community Health) and a PPPG Committee member representing patients and public. I am also on the National Pensioners Convention, a member on the East Midlands Regional Committee, a national representative for the Ethnic Minority Elders and a member of a Patient Participation Group in Glenfield Surgery in Leicestershire. I am also a member of the Women's Guild and a member of my local Church group in Groby, Leicestershire.

  • Anthony Marvin, Leicestershire & Rutland Youth and Family Service

    I have been in the youth, family and community sector for over 20 years. I have been in and out of the foster care system and lived in some of the most deprived estates across Leicestershire. I have worked at Leicestershire County Council as a youth worker, a youth offending impact worker, inclusion worker, group leader, Supporting Leicestershire Families intervention worker and a detached youth worker. This led me to youth work in the private sector where I managed 3 centres in Melton Mowbray. I have also worked in education providing behaviour management and supporting students with SEN/SEBD. I then became an independent freelance youth officer and I set up LGBT Melton and Leicestershire and Rutland Youth and Family Support Services allowing me to provide an all-round support service to the young people and families of Leicestershire and Rutland. I am now proud to say that I am an awarding winning youth worker with recognitions from the former High Sheriff of Leicestershire, Leicester Pride and Victim First.

  • Pamela Sly & Anne Lawrence, Leicester Deaf Forum

    Leicester Deaf Forum is a voluntary organisation lead by Deaf representatives of local Deaf Community groups. L.D.F meet monthly to share information, discuss issues and access support for the Deaf Community where possible. L.D.F are always working hard to find solutions and also to encourage other organisations to make their information accessible and break down barriers. We also work closely with the regional representative of t he British Deaf Association (BDA).

  • Tadeusz Stenzel, Polish Community in Melton Mowbray

    I am the President of the Polish Union, which promotes Polish culture and represents the voice of Polish groups, entities and organisations in Great Britain. I am also a member of the Leicester & Rutland Minority Ethnic Forum.

  • Anne Collier, Shepshed Foodbank

    I am a volunteer at Shepshed Volunteer Centre, part of John Storer Charnwood, a Trustee of Shepshed Foodbank, Secretary of Leicestershire Life Education Centres Trust, Secretary of Iveshead Swimming Pool committee and Secretary of Shepshed Special Community Bus Management committee. Now volunteering in retirement, I have worked with schools and community groups in the City and County as a teacher, adult educator and community development worker.

  • Resham Sandhu, Interfaith Forum/Sikh Welfare

    Former High Sheriff of Leicestershire, Local Government Head of Service (retired), University of Leicester Court Member, Chair- Sikh Welfare & Cultural Society Leicester, UK Advisor to British Sikh Association, Loomba Foundation Trust Advisor, Leicestershire & Rutland ABF Soldiers Charity Committee, Leicestershire & Rutland Reserve Forces & Cadets County Association Committee, Leicestershire Faith Forum, Governor - Community College Leicester, Governor of Royal Humane Society UK, Ambassador for Peace, Fellow Royal Society of Arts, Police Independent Advisor Group & Police Gold Community Engagement Forum, Bishop’s Faith Leadership Forum, Faith Minister’s Covid19 opening of Worship Places Sikh Leaders Advisory Task Group. Force Faith Forum, Chair of Punjab Link Council, Chair International Punjabi Society Midlands, St Philip Centre Community Advisory Forum.
    The following list is of former membership & Home Secretary, Secretary of Justice, Secretary of Health appointments, Leicestershire & Rutland Probation Board, Health Care Commission (Independent Complaints Panel), Trent NHS Health Authority Chair of Complaints Panels, Leicestershire & Rutland Courts Management Board, Leicestershire & Rutland Magistrates Courts Committee, Inter-Faith Network UK Executive Committee, Trustee of VAL, Chair & Trustee Leicester Council of Faiths (now Life Member), De Montfort Housing Society Non-Executive Director.
    Our networks work with faith communities, inter faith organisations, educators and others to increase understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths & to widen public awareness of the distinctive religious traditions in the UK. We achieve this through supporting & encouraging inter faith initiatives & sharing good practice between these; helping create opportunities for mutual learning & tackling prejudice; offering opportunity for engagement between faith communities & Government a other public agencies on relevant issues.

  • Harvinder Poonian

    I work for Equality Action who promote equality and diversity, dignity, and respect through inclusion. We aim to “eliminate discrimination, campaign for equality of opportunity and promote good relations between all persons in the Borough of Charnwood, Leicestershire.” We offer advice and support, work to understand and tackle inequalities and bring people together through communities’ events. Currently, we have Health projects who work with the BAME communities to address issues of awareness, knowledge support and access. I have an interest in understanding the barriers that face different groups and how to overcome these and tackle inequalities, especially around health.

  • Ajay Aggarwal, Leicester City of Sanctuary

    I am a solicitor, practicing in Leicester. My specialization is UK Immigration and Family Law.I am also a member of Leicestershire Aging Together, Voluntary Action Leicestershire, Leicestershire Law Society, Leicester City of Sanctuary, Madani School, Leicester University and the Leicestershire Interfaith Forum.

  • Jackie Duffy, Leicestershire GATE

    My name is Jackie Duffy, I manage a project called Leicestershire GATE (Gypsy and Traveller Equalities). We are the only not for profit organisations that work with the GRT communities across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. We are, primarily, an advocacy, support and training project. Our main purpose is to capture GRT voices when working with statutory and voluntary sector organisations, to ensure that the GRT receive the same support and services afforded to the settled communities and that the injustices faced by Travellers and Gypsies is challenged.

    I come from Belfast and have a background in peace and reconciliation work in Northern Ireland, I have had some wonderful experiences of mediation with both serving paramilitaries and victims/survivors of the troubles - these experiences and training still serve me well in my role today.

  • Troy Young, AgeUK Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland (LLR)

    AgeUK LLR is a voluntary organisation that exists to promote the well-being of all older people by helping to make life fulfilling and enjoyable. We are committed to the welfare of older people to maintain their dignity and recognise their value as individuals. We believe that dignity, privacy and independence can be preserved by providing opportunities for older people to develop new skills and knowledge, form and continue friendships and to have their views listened to, accepted and be made known. Our main aim is to develop sufficient and relevant services that reflect the needs and wishes of older people living in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

  • Leon Charikar, LCC Policy Manager

    I’m a Policy Manager for Leicestershire County Council (LCC). I manager the small team within the Chief Executive's Department which provides leadership for the Council on strategic equalities and community engagement issues.

    I have worked for Leicester City Council, Leicestershire Partnership Trust and the Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups. I am an active member of the Jewish Community and am a board member of the Leicester Council of Faiths. I am the main contact point at the County Council for the Leicestershire Equality Challenge Group and will help to support and develop the work programme.