Governance Board

Speak Out’s Governance Board is made up of 8 trustees with a broad range of skills and experience, including people with learning disabilities who use Speak Out services.

Speak Out also has a user Committee with 6-8 members that work closely with the Governance Board, providing feedback about the experience of services users and helping the develop advocacy and community services that people with learning disabilities want and need. Find out more


Jo Carden – Chair of Trustees

Jo has been a Speak Out trustee since 2014 and brings with her over 20 years of experience of working in the charity sector. Jo has worked with, and on behalf of,  people with learning disabilities both here in the UK and in America and is passionate about the role that advocacy has to play in ensuring people with disabilities have a voice.  Jo is currently the Director of Relate counselling services in Brighton and East Sussex.


Rohan Lowe

Rohan has been a service user at Speak Out for 4 years and has been involved in a number of Speak Out projects. He was a steering group member for the Lottery funded Hub project and is a members of a BHIG group. He also is active in the Young People’s council and is an advisor to Possibility People a local disabled people’s organisation.


Kate McLachlan

Kate McLachlan has been a Trustee since Dec 2015.  Kate currently works at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust as their Head of Workforce Resourcing.  Kate has worked in Human Resources for over 25 years, mostly in NHS Trusts but also the Art Council, Sports Council and City University.  Kate was previously a Trustee for Peter Bedford Housing Association in London.


Nick Handley

After a career in the corporate world followed by running his own business, Nick has devoted his time to the charity sector. He is passionate about helping those who are most vulnerable in society and as a trustee is pleased to be able to support those with learning disabilities through Brighton & Hove Speak Out. Nick was until recently Chair of Trustees of Ensemble Reza – a Sussex music charity and on the Small Charities working group of The Association of Chairs, a national organisation.


Sarah Watson

Sarah became a member of Speak Out’s Link Group in 2007. Since then she has been involved in a variety of Speak Out’s projects and work including being a trainer, attending drop ins and more recently becoming a Board member. Sarah’s own experiences mean that she has a particular interest in making sure that people who have a mild learning disability have the right support. She feels that there is not enough support in place and they often slip through the net and do not get the services they need.  Since being a child, Sarah  has had a keen interest in art and particularly enjoys drawing portraits and abstract pictures.


Shelley Brown

Shelley has been a volunteer at Speak Out since 2014 and during this time she has been involved in many areas of the organisation. She is a Citizen Advocate volunteer, a Being Heard in Government group (BHIG) volunteer and every week she volunteers at the Tuesday Drop-In. Until 2006 Shelley worked for the local authority in the Learning Disability Sector in Residential and Day Care settings, where she worked her way up to management level. Due to an accident in 2006, Shelley had to retire from this role.

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