Our Board of Trustees

Cheryl Gavin
Interim Co-Chair

Cheryl is a local resident in North Tyneside, a Mam of 2 energetic boys and a proud dog owner to Elvis. She has a passion for participant centred programmes and has experienced first hand the impact it has on the most vulnerable and excluded communities. Joining LDNE as a trustee in May 2019, she brings over 15 years experience of working with the community and voluntary sector in a wide range of partnerships. As Director of participatory arts charity Helix Arts she is keen to ensure everyone has an equal right to creativity and culture on their terms, so they can creatively express their stories and change perceptions of marginalised people. 

Alex Blake
Interim Co-Chair

Alex has over 10 years experience of fundraising in the charity sector, having worked with a wide range of organisations. Health, social care and disability have been particular areas of focus in his career, having worked for the National Autistic Society for several years and now working with several charities in these sectors as a consultant. In November 2013 Alex established KEDA Consulting to help charitable organisations increase their income and increase their social impact. Alex lives with his wife and 2 sons in Forest Hall and became a trustee at LDNE in February 2016. 

Brenda Boyd
Vice Chair

Brenda has been involved with LDNE as a volunteer and trustee for several years. She has 2 sons on the Autistic spectrum and lives with them and their father in Benton. Her older son receives personalised support from LDNE. She has been a founder member, trustee and secretary of the Parent teachers Association at Woodlawn and Glebe specialist schools. Before family commitments she worked in public relations, advertising and marketing. 

Jeff Dinning
Treasurer

Jeff was employed in the local government finance sector as a qualified accountant for well over 40 years, working for local North East councils and regional representative bodies. He was appointed as a trustee after joining LDNE as a volunteer earlier in 2016. Jeff is from the North East and currently lives in Tynemouth. He is a keyboard player and vocalist for local harmony rock band Black 'n' Blue.

Amanda Hillerby
Trustee

Amanda became a trustee at LDNE in November 2013 following a move from Leeds to Tynemouth. Amanda has a passion for supporting people who have a learning disability and brings to the board a mix of social care and marketing expertise. She currently works for a leading care agency.

Rachel Mewes
Trustee

Rachel became a trustee in June 2020 but she first got involved with LDNE through the Early Years project, which she attends with her daughter Betsy who has Down's Syndrome. She has over 15 years experience of teaching, supporting and caring for people with learning disabilities. Rachel is passionate about upholding the human rights of people with learning disabilities, challenging misconceptions and ensuring that everyone's voice is heard. She is an editor for Making Chromosomes Count - the DS Community Magazine and a writer for The Mighty.