Merton CIL Board of Trustees

 

You can find out more about becoming a trustee at Merton CIL here - https://mertoncil.org.uk/about-us/vacancies/

Find out more about our dedicated board of trustees below:

 Roy Benjamin, Chair of Merton CIL - I have been chair of Merton CIL since we were incorporated in 2011. I am blind and I live Merton with my guide dog and wife. I have a background in social care and I was a city councillor in Birmingham. I have always been an ardent campaigner for equality. I enjoy being chair at Merton CIL because it gives me a buzz to see Disabled people get a voice and make a difference. Through my working life I have enjoyed challening injustice and like to think that through my experience I have something to contribute to Merton CIL. Our Vice Chair Gina - Gina has been Disabled since she was 13 years old and involved with Merton CIL since it was just a steering group. Gina is passionate about accessibility and does work to make Merton accessible. She was also involved with Go4M and is a talented seamstress creating wedding dresses and more in her spare time. Amanda - The values of inclusion and equality which are the basis of our work, drew Amanda to join Merton CIL as they are ones that she has shared throughout her working life. She has seen the difference that a strong voice and good support can make to people’s lives from her time as a manager and social worker in South London. Also during her time working on policy at the Department of Health and most recently at SCIE with people who use services as board members and on committees to produce good practice advice and guidance. Merton CIL has expanded quickly and now needs to sustain that growth and good reputation amd Amanda is keen to use her experience of how organisations work to give an independent view.Raheema - Raheema is Disabled and lives in Merton. She joined Merton CIL to fight for the rights of Disabled people and help make things better. She worked as a Civil Servant for many years and was on the Disability Advisory Group in her department. Raheema is also a founding member of Merton CIL’s monitoring and evaluation steering group, which aims to improve the services delivered by Merton CIL.

Slim - Slim was born and raised in Merton and remains an extremely active resident. Slim was a local Councillor and was the Mayor of Merton twice. He is also a founding member of Merton CIL and was key to the organisations development. Slim is very passionate about access issues and ensuring that Deaf and Disabled people can live independent lives. He attends the Direct Payments forum at Merton Council on behalf of Merton CIL and its members. Estifanos - Estifanos began volunteering and getting involved at Merton CIL in 2015. He began initially doing administrative tasks and has since grown to represent Merton CIL at community engagement meetings and a number of other forums. Estifanos is also a founding member of Merton CIL’s monitoring and evaluation steering group, which aims to improve the services delivered by Merton CIL. He is keen to contribute to Merton CIL’s future direction.

Meet Claire - Claire is a visually impaired mum of 2 Disabled children and has lived in Merton for over 15 years. For the last 20 years Claire has worked in the public sector promoting the involvement of Disabled people in decisions that affect their lives.Sarah - Sarah is Disabled and lives in Merton. She brings her sense of fun and adventure to every board meeting. Sarah is very involved with our Craftivism and Chat project.

Roy Benjamin, Chair of Merton CIL - I have been chair of Merton CIL since we were incorporated in 2011. I am blind and I live Merton with my guide dog and wife. I have a background in social care and I was a city councillor in Birmingham. I have always been an ardent campaigner for equality. I enjoy being chair at Merton CIL because it gives me a buzz to see Disabled people get a voice and make a difference. Through my working life I have enjoyed challenging injustice and like to think that through my experience I have something to contribute to Merton CIL. 

Gina Vetesse, Vice Chair of Merton CIL - I am vice chair of Merton CIL and have been involved in the organisation since it was a steering group. I have been Disabled since I was 13 years old. I use a mobility scooter and I live in Merton. I am very passionate about speaking up about accessibility in Merton and on transport. I am also a talented seamstress and I enjoy creating wedding dresses in my spare time. I enjoy being vice chair at Merton CIL because it gives me a voice and I feel like I am being of service to Disabled people. 

Amanda Edwards, Secretary of Merton CIL - Merton CIL has expanded quickly and now needs to sustain that growth and good reputation. I am keen to use my experience of how organisations work gained from my time at SCIE & department of Health to give an independent view. I enjoy being on the board of Merton CIL because I share the values of inclusion and equality. 

Raheema Olajide, Trustee of Merton CIL - I am a Disabled Merton resident. I joined Merton CIL to fight for the rights of Disabled people and help make things better. I worked as a Civil Servant for many years and was on the Disability Advisory Group in my department. I am also a founding member of Merton CIL’s monitoring and evaluation steering group, which improves our services. I enjoy being on the board at Merton CIL because I want to help make things better for Disabled people. 

Slim Flegg MBE, Trustee of Merton CIL - I am a founding member of Merton CIL. I played a huge part in the organisation’s development. I am Disabled and use an electric wheelchair. I have lived in Merton for over 60 years. I was a local councillor and served twice as Mayor of Merton. I have always been a very active resident of Merton. I am passionate about ensuring that all Disabled people can live independently. I enjoy being on the board at Merton CIL as I can help speak up for Disabled people. In the past able bodied people used to represent us. We needed a voice and now we have it - Merton CIL is our voice. 

Estifanos Habtesellasie, Trustee of Merton CIL - I joined the board at Merton CIL in 2017. I began volunteering and getting involved at Merton CIL in 2015. I am Disabled and I live in Merton. I have grown to represent Merton CIL at a number of community engagement meeting and forums. I am also a founding member of our monitoring and evaluation group which improves our services. I am keen to contribute to Merton CILs future direction. I like being able to contribute more to Merton CIL's work and feed into Merton CIL's strategic direction. 

Claire Benjamin, Trustee of Merton CIL - I am a visually impaired mum of 2 Disabled children. I have lived in Merton for over 15 years. I have worked passionately for the past 20 years in the public sector promoting the involvement of Disabled people in decisions that affect their lives. I like being a trustee at Merton CIL because it gives me a sense of empowerment and achievement to work with other Disabled peopel in order to promote equality and independence. 

Sarah Henley, Trustee of Merton CIL - I am Disabled living in Merton. I try to bring my sense of fun and adventure to every board meeting. I have been very involved with developing our Craftivism & Chat project as I love to paint and speak up about issues that affect Disabled people. I enjoy being on the board at Merton CIL because I can use my own lived experience to help others and feel my learning impairment brings a unique perspective.