Roger Hewitt – Chairman

Roger became profoundly deaf as a result of meningitis at the age of 6. However this has never held him back or stopped him working, assisting and supporting others. Roger regards himself as a positive role model with many years experience of working in industry, so can empathise with Deaf people in the workplace.

Following a career in PR and marketing at an international chemical company (ICI/AstraZeneca) Roger set up as a freelance consultant and trainer specialising in Deaf issues and has travelled extensively in both the UK and abroad (Gambia, South Africa and India) supporting Deaf people in employment, project management and accessibility.

In addition to being General Secretary of The British Society for Mental Health and Deafness (BSMHD) Roger is currently a Board member of Inclusion London CIC, and an advisor on Deaf and Disabled accessibility issues in the transport, health and leisure fields.

Roger was the recipient of the National Sound Barrier Star Award 2010 recognising achievement and inspiration in hard of hearing and deaf people.

Mark Clark- Hon Treasurer

Mark Clark is an experienced MBA Project Manager with extensive experience of commercialising intellectual property. His skills include business development, business planning and financial management. Over the last 10 years Mark has held board level directorships in the corporate sector and senior management positions in the public sector.

Mark is a local councilllor and treasurer of two local charities;

Ditchling FairTrade Group and Vale of Sussex.

Mark is a keen cyclist, practices yoga and pilates and enjoys travelling.

Elizabeth Francis

Elizabeth Francis has been a volunteer for Action for Deafness since November 2012. It is a role that she has enjoyed and found fulfilling. Being a hearing aid user herself for four years, Elizabeth understand the problems that our patients face and appreciates the vital services that Action for Deafness provides.

Elizabeth's main role has been to help out with hearing aid maintenance clinics posted all around West Sussex. 

In January 2013 Elizabeth was invited to join the Action for Deafness Patient Participation Group, a role which Elizabeth has found particularly interesting and rewarding. The Forum has been instrumental in developing the Patient Satisfaction Survey Form which will provide the organisation with valuable and useful feedback.

Elizabeth worked for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) for 12 years as the Regional Organiser for West Sussex, having been involved with lobbying on a local level on a variety of issues including the ‘Keep Trade Local Campaign’.  Elizabeth carried out a number of surveys on such subjects as Job Centre Plus, Parking and Broadband and produced reports with statistical information.

Simon Hesselberg

Simon was the Head of Community Development Team at the Royal Association for Deaf people, his area covered London and the Southeast of England working with the Deaf communities, Deaf Centres and Deaf clubs.
Now he has left RAD and set up his own consultancy services under and is still a member of the Deaf community in Sussex, nationwide and internationally.
Simon was born in Sussex and then moved to Birmingham where he grew up and attended Braidwood School for the Deaf which was an oral school and signing was not allowed.
After leaving school he worked for Birmingham City Council for 17 years, and then moved to London where he was the Community Officer for Brent Deaf Peoples Group until 2004. Whilst at Brent, he was the chair of the Physically Disabled and Sensory Impairment Group under Brent and Harrow Health Authority for 7 years. From 2004 to 2011 he worked for RAD.
Simon started teaching BSL in 1971 with Breakthrough Trust (DeafPLUS) and taught at all levels from Stage 1 to interpreter level.
He also taught at degree level at the University of Wolverhampton 1991 to 1994 and the NVQ system at University of Sussex 1999 to 2007. Also he has taught over 100 interpreters with their training.
He was a Chair of the Deaf Interpreters Network within the Association of Sign Language Interpreters (ASLI) . Since 2007 Simon has retired from teaching all together.
Simon has been in the Deaf world since 1971 and attended many conferences, congresses, and seminars. He has considerable working experiences in Deaf world exhibitions such as Deaf Day at the City Lit for the past 10 years.
Simon has presented papers at the World Federation for Deaf people at their congresses at Vienna (1995), Brisbane (1999), Montreal (2003) and Madrid (2007).
Currently, Simon is a Disability Qualified Member of the Appeal Tribunal based in Brighton to listen to Disability Living Allowance appeals. He has done this job for the past 8 years and was a representative for Deaf people with BSL for 10 years and had successful appeals.
His interests are travelling, reading, television, socialising, genealogy, deaf studies and computing.

 John Taylor 

Employment for me started at the tender age of 16 when I joined the Royal Army Medical Corps as an apprentice tradesman. In 1972 having completed my term of engagement I began a succession of posts in NHS management moving from Reading to Oxford to North Norfolk.

In 1978 I joined a subsidiary of Grand Metropolitan Ltd called GrandMet Services for Hospitals. The company provided ancillary services to nursing homes and private hospitals in the UK and overseas. In 1981 the company acquired its first private hospital. Seabrook Independent Hospital in Worthing and so began my career running at first a single private hospital and then a number of hospitals as a Regional Director. There followed five years managing a hospital owned by a Friendly Society in North London finally ending up as Head of Private Patients at Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

In 2003 I was diagnosed with tinnitus and in 2005 was fitted with my first hearing aid. As a client of Action for Deafness in Worthing I was quickly impressed with the professionalism of the organisation and when reading that Action for Deafness was looking for new trustees I expressed an interest and was delighted to be accepted as a trustee.

I am looking forward to supporting Jane and her management team as they face the challenges that NHS financial constraints will inevitably bring as well as the immediate challenge of increased competition from other providers of NHS services.

I am married to Sue a retired nurse. I have two daughters and four grandchildren.

Eamonn Skyrme
Eamonn Skyrme was brought up in and continues to live in Sussex. He is a compliance and risk specialist.
One of Eamonn’s earliest memories is “playing submarines” with the clicker in the acoustic booth at hospital – in fact he was having his hearing tested for the first of many times.
His early career was spent in credit risk and branch banking before moving to a card processor in 1996 undertaking a variety of underwriting and management roles. He attained his Banking exams whilst working in credit underwriting covering SME businesses. This led to him working on complex high profile company restructurings with a specialty in the travel sector, where he worked with the leading industry regulators.
Over the last decade, Eamonn has acted as an industry compliance specialist and, more recently, undertaken compliance roles including leading on data security and wider payments regulatory compliance.
Eamonn loves to use various pieces of technology to mitigate his hearing loss.
Eamonn’s volunteering over the years has included working with a dog re-homing charity, as a school governor and teaching mathematics to adult learners who are returning to education.


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