We were very pleased to announce the results of the Trustees Elections 2018 at our latest Biennial General Meeting (BGM).
There were seven candidates standing for five vacancies at this election. Many members voted, which is very positive news for the democratic health of our organisation.
The newly elected Trustees are:
- Karl Farrell
- Anahita Harding
- Victoria Nurse
- Claire Lindsey
- Gwynneth L. Pedler
- Alan Benson, Chair
- Mohammed Mohsan Ali, Vice Chair
- Luisa Ferreira, Treasurer
- Patrick Roberts
- Stephen Aselford
- Jeff Harvey
Read the new Trustees’ election statements:
“I wish to stand as a candidate for election to the Transport for All (TfA) Board of Trustees. I have been a campaigner since 1980 and I believe I have useful skills and experience to contribute to the work of the Trustees.
In 1980 I set up and led for nine years an organisation of blind and partially sighted office workers. In 2005 I became a transport representative for the London Branch of the National Federation of the Blind of the UK and in due course I came into contact with TfA. I also joined Hackney Disability BackUp and began attending TfA’s Pan-London mobility forum events as a representative for Hackney, where I live.
I have been a member of TfA for several years and, together with my experience with Hackney Disability BackUp, I have come to appreciate the benefits of a pan-disability organisation. With such organisations, we can identify the components of a more complete approach to accessibility. To me, accessible transport is not only our right, it actually makes economic sense to society.
I have also been a trustee of a grant-making charity funding specialised computer equipment for blind and partially sighted people and a charity running a children’s centre in Hackney. While we depend so much on national and local government to fund the services we rely on, we must look to our charities and self-help groups to campaign and show the way for better facilities and more inclusion in the community.
My involvement in TfA’s current Disability Equality Training work with London Underground is a reminder to me of what we in TfA can contribute. Our members showing London Underground managers how we negotiate their network reveals the bottlenecks and disconnects in their service. When LU sorts these shortcomings out, they will get much closer to a super-efficient transport system in London.
Transport for All needs first to survive in order to thrive. It’s not just about winning the moral argument: TfA has to be adequately funded for the work it wants to do. We must have the visible commitment from our members to inspire others to support us and we need imagination and innovation in seeking different streams of income. Success for TfA also means that our members can achieve on the back of this success! I hope to be part of this.“
“Dear Transport for All members,
My name is Anahita Harding and I am running to become a trustee with Transport for All. I would like to be selected for this position because as a wheelchair user who uses public transport, TfA means a lot to me on a personal level. I want to assist in developing campaigns and helping TfA to reach more members across a wider age range.
Since joining Transport for All a few years ago I have been involved in various campaigns including “Turn Up and Go”, “Rail Access Now”, and a successful campaign to make Crossrail step free. I have shown my support by attending AGMs, making placards, phoning and emailing members to attend protests and events, and sharing my experiences on 7 different local BBC radio stations, Channel 5, and ITV. I have supported Doug Paulley’s case against FirstGroup by being present at the Supreme Court and sharing with the media how frequently wheelchair spaces are occupied on buses by buggies and luggage, and how this affects me and many other wheelchair users in our daily lives. For the Rail Access Now campaign I held a placard making workshop for TfA members, spoke at local meetings in Lewisham to raise awareness about the campaign, and led the Rail Access Now protest at Hither Green station alongside Heidi Alexander, Raphael Harfaux and Lewisham Disability Coalition.
In addition to Transport for All, I am an active member of Youth for Change, DPAC and Sisters of Frida. As a member of Sisters of Frida, I have been a part of a unique feminist group created to be completely intersectional. Additionally Youth for Change has enabled me to share experiences from a young disabled woman’s perspective, whilst simultaneously increasing my understanding of issues young people face worldwide and the potential solutions that can be provided.
I want to help Transport for All increase its reach to young people across London and the UK. There are many young disabled people who would benefit from becoming active members, and this would help to strengthen campaigns and increase awareness. With my arts background, and as someone who works in the Cultural and Heritage sector, I feel I could bring a fresh and creative approach to campaigns and outreach.
Thank you for your time and consideration. “
“As an advocate for people with hidden impairments, I want to be involved in the making of a transport system that is accessible to everyone. I am passionate about building awareness and understanding of hidden impairments in society, and the impact they have on people’s lives.
I have been involved in local and national schemes concerning autism rights and accessibility, and increasingly to do with various other hidden impairments which are often overlooked when considering such things.
My experience so far has been to take part in various trips arranged by TfA, in order to show management and staff the difficulties experienced when travelling with different impairments. I participated in the “Please offer me a seat” badge, card trial and rollout. I have also written and spoken about my experiences when using transport.
The main skills I can offer are around project management, creative thinking, a passion for transport and the ability to experience and communicate a different perspective on travel.
My aim is that, through my own experiences when travelling, learning about and understanding the difficulties that others face, I may help to increase accessibility and awareness for everyone.“
“Dear TFA Members,
I would like to be voted in as a trustee, as I am an active campaigner and advocate of D/deaf and disabled rights. I am disabled myself and a few years ago, I truly felt I didn’t have a voice. I felt no one cared about my needs socially and physically and therefore in everything I do now, the intention in mind is to prevent that from happening to others and to change attitudes.
I’m a campaigner with DPAC, I have previously done advocacy and now am a befriender for RUILS based in Teddington. I’m also an independent advocate in helping with PIP/ESA applications and tribunals to simple paperwork.
Most recently, I joined Transport for All’s DET team to train London Underground managers in accessibility issues. I have multiple disabilities including Meniere’s Disease (deaf), Epilepsy and Complex Neurological Disease and as a result of volunteering, it means that I frequently travel mainly around London and therefore have first-hand experience of the problems that occur. I have previously attended GETT (taxi app) forum to raise concerns that affect deaf individuals in using taxi services. I also travel round the UK and Europe with a deaf travel group.
Outside of travelling, I have also attended “Your Say” meetings with RUILS, the first National Disabled People’s Summit, spoken at conferences in universities specialising in disability matters within politics and have met MP’s to raise many different topics concerning access, care and housing for disabled people. I teach children sign language in a local primary school and am involved in a Schools Awareness Project which raises disability awareness to children from 5+ years.
However, as a result of doing a lot of travelling, transport issues have become a huge concern to me.
I recently became deaf a few years ago and have learnt BSL as a result to keep my world and options open. However, transport is still a nightmare as a deaf person. There is a lot of pressure for companies to ensure ramps are available and better physical access but D/deaf awareness is clearly lacking from major public services due to being under-represented and I feel that having me on the board, would give another unique perspective into navigating travel services with hearing loss.
A few years ago I was housebound and unable to go out due to bad equipment and lack of access in my home! However, once the access issues were sorted, I found the world at my feet but certainly not many ramps and T-loop systems to help and a lack of positive attitude towards me! I want to help change this to not only make it easier for myself but also for many of my friends and fellow campaigners, advocates and volunteers.“
Gwynneth L. Pedler
“I can bring many skills to the Trustees Board of TFA.
Before retiring I was Head of a large Primary School in Oxford which required management and organisational skills which I still have and on a number of occasions have used these skills at TFA. At the BGM in 2016 TFA awarded me a Lifetime Achievement award for the campaigning that I do on behalf of TFA and all disabled people. I have wide experience of chairing meetings and addressing Council meetings. On a number of occasions TFA has asked me to speak on their behalf. I represent TFA on two committees; The Joint Committee for mobility impaired people and Age Action Alliance (transport). I am used to reading bundles of papers in preparation for meetings and am able to assess quickly the main points. I contributed to the work of The House of Lords Select Committee on “The Equality Act 2010 and Disability” and gave a written submission. Later I was asked by TFA to represent them by giving oral evidence on their behalf.
My biggest strength though is in campaigning and I have had 15 years of experience in this field.
I worked closely with Lianna Etkind and Catherine Smith when they were Campaigns and Outreach Officers, attending every demonstration. I spent a number of hours in the office phoning members encouraging them to join us in these demonstrations. I supported Doug Paulley throughout his Court Cases calling for the wheelchair space to have priority for wheelchairs. I was asked by the press at his Supreme Court hearing to give my opinion about the final decision.
I was part of a discussion group about the TFL Mobility Card which some bus drivers were refusing to honour. These cards now have personal photos and also of the scooter.
I have formed close links with the bus company that is responsible for the bus services in my area and work with Depots in delivering Disability Equality Training.
I took my MP on a walk to see the barriers that wheelchairs and those with a vision Impairment have accessing both the environment and public transport. We used all systems of transport as well as examining the built environment noting in particular the hazards encountered by Advertising boards scattered all over the pavement. We also discussed the problems that shared space give to disabled people.
Campaigned for mobility scooters to be allowed on trains, handed a petition into DfT about providing trains with guards.
But what of the future? With the recent Accessibility Action Plan there are many opportunities for challenge. While it sounds promising there are too many loopholes in it to ensure that the Transport providers will deliver the goods. Plenty of campaigning for TFA and you can be sure I will be there.“
IMPORTANT INFORMATION – Trustee election process:
- Only current members were able to vote.
- Members could only vote once.
- The voting process was anonymous. We only asked for names to avoid duplication and to make sure that we only count votes from current members.
- As there are 5 vacancies, members could only select up to 5 names.
- DEADLINE TO VOTE: 24th January 2018, 6pm.
- RESULTS: The results of the election were announced at our BGM on the 27th January 2018.