Roberta joined the Board in 2016 and brings substantial experience to Para Dance UK gained through 15 years working within the charity sector.
Roberta started her career working with a grass roots charity in North East England to support learning disabled people to access and enjoy a range of leisure activities. Since moving back to South East England she has spent last 12 years working for a major UK charity, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), where she has honed her skills in strategic planning, monitoring and risk management. She also sits on the management committee for the charity special interest group for the Institute of Risk Management.
Since joining the charity sector she has dedicated her career to creating equal access to opportunities for disabled people (whether that be learning disabled or physically disabled) and brings a passion to grow disabled people’s access to and enjoyment of dancing.
I am a 68 year old Chartered Accountant who has lived in the Watford area most of my life. I am married with one daughter.
I qualified in 1974 and after 3 years post qualifying experience that was largely auditing based I joined one of my clients Fiat Motor Sales as Assistant to the Chief Accountant. I then had roles at British Aerospace Hatfield, Deinhard & Company (Wine Shippers), Jones Cable Group (in the early days of Cable Television), Food Brands Group (Wine and Beer Distributors), HOK International (Architects), Citipost (Mail and Distribution) and finished my career at HF Holidays Limited, a 100 year old Holiday company that is a mutual society with an elected voluntary board.
My career has always been in roles as a hands on Accountant and I enjoy preparing accounts. The only exception being at British Aerospace where I worked on the European Airbus project for most of my time before being appointed Financial Accountant at Hatfield.
My interests are river fishing, particularly the local River Colne where I also enjoy playing a conservation role. I enjoy listening to music, watching sport and dog walking.
Helen Jackson is currently Managing Director at Bush & Company, part of NAHL Group Plc, having spent four years at the Group as Group HR Director, sitting on the Operating Board.
Helen is responsible for overall strategy and leadership within the division as well as business development, quality and clinical independence.
Previously, Helen held HR leadership roles at Everest, BUPA and Tesco. Helen holds a BSc (Hons) and an MBA.
Patrick McGeough (CEO)
Patrick is Chief Executive Officer for Para Dance UK; Patrick became disabled following a series of strokes in 1997. Patrick has spent most of his working career supporting charities to either be open or be more accessible to see the business opportunity of the disability market. He has also spent some years helping disabled people set up their own charities or businesses across the East of England and London Area. Patrick has worked with and for many public organisations, that was until 2009 when he had a second stroke that debilitated him further; this leads to Patrick being able to do minimal activity. One area that supported Patricks rehabilitation was wheelchair dancing, Patrick and his wife were looking for the first dance for their wedding and the WDSA (UK) supported them to be able to do his first dance. In 2012, Patrick trained to become a Level 2 Instructor of wheelchair dance, which he and his wife set up a local group in Watford. Patrick is a strong believer that dance and dance sport can be an effective tool to help keep your mind and body active not matter what the ability of the individual.
Independent Non-Voting Members
Gary Lyness – National Representative
I’ve been involved in Wheelchair Dance since 2010 as a standing dancer with my dance partner – Paula Moulton. We started out as beginners and competed through the ranks including 3 years as undefeated Amateur combi Latin champions internationally to now represent Team GB in IPC competition.
We have been the “faces” of UK Para Dance Sport on the international circuit since 2011 and currently run a club in Manchester.
My day job is an HR and Office Manager – I’ve worked primarily in the Finance sector and more recently the Digital/Online Marketing sector. My role includes everything from recruitment, employment law, staff retention and engagement to Health & Safety and responsibility for the day to day finances of the company, so I know how to juggle many roles and stay organised.
I champion equality and have a strong interest in disability issues from simple access to travel and highlight problems to service providers and suppliers and highlight good practice.
My passion, however, is dance, and I want to work towards reuniting all the UK’s wheelchair dancers and clubs. We can only make the sport successful in this country and to be able to grow and get the recognition we strive to get by coming together. Feel free to get in touch with me to talk about any matters dance related.