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Our Trustees

Our trustees help us achieve our mission and ensure our charity is effectively managed. 78% of our trustees have lived experience of disability. They have a strategic vision, independent judgement, and an ability to think creatively and voice their opinion.

Three Trustees of Living Options Devon at an outdoor event

Our Trustees and Senior Management Team

Andrew Barge Chair of Trustees at Living Options Devon
Andrew Barge – Chair of Trustees

Andrew Barge – Chair of Trustees

Andrew is a former Chairman of Vranch House, Exeter (a school and clinical centre for children with physical disabilities). He was a Marketing Manager at Vranch House from 2013-2020.

Andrew has now re-joined the NHS, working locally as an Information Governance Consultant. Andrew has a degree in Financial Services from Bournemouth University. His working life to date has included working for Natwest, Barclays Investment, and GE Capital Finance. From 2001-2013 he worked for the NHS where he undertook different roles including managing projects, clinical audits, and being the organisation lead for information governance and equality and diversity. In his spare time, Andrew is a football reporter for BBC Radio Devon and other local BBC stations.

Jean Thorpe – Trustee

Jean Thorpe – Trustee

Jean has run a playgroup for disabled children, and worked as a Disability Development Officer for East Devon. She worked with services and users in five towns to create opportunities for the disabled.

Jean has been on several committee boards since the 1970’s and feels that she brings a broad view as a trustee and envisages that the difficulties people face can be resolved.

She has previously held a Pathways Exhibition for disabled people, was the Chair of the National Association of Lip Reading. This followed fourteen years of running Coping with Deafness Classes.

Derek Smithers – Trustee and Living Options Devon Ambassador

Derek Smithers – Trustee

Derek has worked as a volunteer with various tiers of Local Authority. These included Eastleigh Borough, Winchester City and Hampshire County Council. He worked extensively with service users, running Eastleigh Hard of Hearing Club and contributing to Winchester Area Access for All.

In 2012 he joined Living Options Devon as an area co-ordinator for the Devon Disability Network. This role entailed working with East Devon District Council’s equality group.

More recently Derek has become a member of Devon County Council’s commissioning involvement and co production working groups.

Derek, who is hard of hearing, became a trustee for Living Options Devon in 2016, and is an amabassador of the charity.

Susan Fallon Secretary at Living Options Devon board of trustee
Susan Fallon – Trustee

Susan Fallon – Trustee

Susan has worked at the University of Exeter since 2016 and previously worked in International Development and Housing. Susan has worked for numerous charities including Bloodwise, VSO, and Christian Aid. She was previously Treasurer on the Board of Housing Justice.

Brian Imeson – Trustee

Brian Imeson – Trustee

Brian worked in television and sound engineering with the BBC European Radio Service in London, then went on to join Granada Television working in both sound and vision. Brian was involved in youth organisations and church councils where he was a treasurer for three years.

After running a hotel for 15 years, Brian retired in Exmoor where he lives today. He sits on the Board of Trustees and has been a member of the See Hear Centre Advisory Committee for nineteen years.

He feels that his roles in the community enable him to bring people with sensory and physical disabilities together with the public. He is visually impaired and, as a pensioner, feels he can help people in some aspects of life from his own experience.

Richard Manley – Trustee

Richard Manley – Trustee

Following a successful military career, Richard became an arborist until a spinal injury forced a change in circumstances. Richard moved into tech development and worked in digital accessibility for some years before transitioning his skills in machine readable content across to software, although family members kept accessibility front of mind, both digital and physical.

Richard currently inspires e-commerce teams while delivering deep knowledge and intuitively sensing weakness in marketing campaigns and digital ideas. Richard has helped the world’s largest e-commerce companies to enhance their customer experiences and he is a real expert in the field of Al-driven e-commerce.

Richard joined the Living Options Devon Board of Trustees in 2019

Tina Naldrett – Trustee

Tina lives and works in Devon, a Registered Nurse, in mental health and general care, she is currently clinical director at the local charity Hospiscare. Prior to this post Tina worked in the NHS for most of her career. She also worked as a senior fellow for the Royal College of Nursing and as a senior lecturer at Plymouth University.  

She enjoys supporting organisations and teams to maximise their potential. It’s a great believer in the kindness economy and how it can help communities and organisations thrive together. A people person Tina is also an independent celebrant and a lover of words and reading. The child of a parent with hearing impairment, with a long term condition herself she believes in inclusion and hearing everyone’s voices, especially the quiet ones. 

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Our Founder – Peter Swain OBE 1945 – 2021

Peter Swain OBE 1945 - 2021 Photo credit to Guy Newman/ COR Communications
Photography at Living Options, Exeter. to Guy Newman/ COR Communications

Peter was injured in a gymnastics accident in 1965. He had a BA(hons) and Law Society Part I qualification.

After establishing the Exeter City Council for Independent Living in 1982 and being appointed to the Exeter Health Authority, Peter founded Living Options Devon in 1990 and became our first director. Peter chaired the first National User and Carer Group between 1993-1997 which reported directly to the Department of Health. He was an Associate Hospital Manager with the Devon Partnership Trust and received an OBE in 1996 for services to the development of health, social care, and voluntary sector.

Peter passed away in the summer of 2021, we miss him greatly but continue to fulfill his legacy. Find out more at the About Us section of our website.

“Barriers to independent living still exist, peoples horizons are limited still, and expectations are still relatively low and levels of understanding amongst the wider community are limited as to what disabled people have the capability of achieving. If we could improve that further, I think it would be a major achievement and we’d be making a major breakthrough”

Peter Swain OBE 1945 – 2021

Our Senior Management Team

Diana Crump – CEO

Diana Crump – Chief Executive Officer

Diana was appointed as Chief Executive Officer fourteen years ago following twenty-five years’ experience in Organisational development and large-scale transformational change. Under her leadership, Living Options has grown and developed, securing contracts and grants enabling the work of our charity to expand in accordance with the organisation’s strategic plan.

Heather Brown – Deputy CEO

Heather Brown – Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Heather joined Living Options in 2014 to manage the Devon Advocacy Consortium. Having graduated from University of Plymouth with a MSc in Psychology, Heather then went on to work in mental health for the next 5 years. Here, she managed a national advocacy service and worked closely with private hospital groups and local authority commissioners.

She is a qualified Independent Advocate with previous experience in mental health secure and forensic settings.

Heather oversees many of the operational teams within LOD and is the Safeguarding Lead for the organisation.

Diane King – Finance Manager and secretary

Diane King – Finance Manager and Secretary

Diane trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant after receiving a BSc Hons in Biological Science at Sussex University. Diane is a member of the Senior Management Team at Living Options Devon and holds the role of Finance Manager, she has 20 years’ experience in a range of commercial businesses.

She has applied her knowledge from commerce and acquired wide experience of funding applications during her time at Living Options Devon, which keeps her inspired to make a difference to the beneficiaries of the charity.

Meet the team Work With Us Volunteering About Us

Your Support Services

Deaf Job Club

Giving Deaf people the skills and confidence to access employment / training opportunities.

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Living Options Devon Keep Active

Our team supports anybody with a disability, or long term health condition to get active and keep active both body and mind.

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Time To Talk

Our free, confidential listening support and advice helpline, for those with a disability, long term health condition or Deaf people who use BSL.

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The Hub

Your first point of contact with Living Options Devon, our friendly Hub team connects you to the support services, advice, and information that you need.

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Deaf Led Services

As British Sign Language users and members of the Deaf Community, the Deaf Led team know first-hand the issues faced by Deaf people and the best advice and support to give to overcome these.

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Devon Disability Network (DDN)

Enabling disabled and Deaf people to campaign and be involved in developing the support services they need.

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Countryside Mobility

Providing easy access to the countryside for anyone who has difficulty walking, through an off road mobility scooter hire scheme
Explore the South West with freedom and ease.

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Deaf Get Active and Volunteer

We aim to increase participation in sport / activity in the local Deaf community through volunteer-based peer support and online resources.

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Counselling Service

6 free sessions of accessible counselling to people with a disability and members of the Deaf community (British Sign Language Users) across Devon.

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Living Options Northern Devon (Formerly the See Hear Centre)

Living Options Northern Devon, supporting you with information, advice and equipment for sight and hearing loss. The team also signpost to additional support services locally for disabled people and members of the Deaf Community.

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Heritage Ability

Our team works with heritage sites across the south west supporting them in improving the customer experience for disabled people and Deaf people who use British Sigh Language

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Victim Care and Support

Free confidential support for victims of crime

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