Meet our Bursary Holders

The EA/Civil Service Bursary Scheme supports disability network / resource group leaders who work in government departments and agencies. The scheme is funded by EA, co-ordinated by PurpleSpace and endorsed by Sir Philip Rutnam, Permanent Secretary at the Home Office and Civil Service Disability Champion. Meet the second tranche of bursary holders who will be benefiting from the leadership scheme from January 2019 to December 2020.

Tassja

Tassja

"I'm a wife, mother and dedicated Civil Servant. I've wanted to be in the Civil Service since I was 6 years old, so I'm truly happy in my work. In rare moments of spare time I do needle felting, decorate wedding cakes and create cosplay outfits. But I'm happiest when I'm sat under a tree reading a book or splashing in the sea.

I'm the Founder and Co-Chair of the Welsh Government Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Support Group and an Officer for the Welsh Government Disability Awareness and Support Group (DAAS).

Being part of the scheme, I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can to be a truly great leader who can inspire others and bring about the change that is needed. I hope to fully realise the potential of the ASD Support Group as well as the DAAS Network. I'm currently involved in talks with other staff diversity networks within Welsh Government to find a way that we can join together and present a more focused voice for positive change and establish a culture of inclusiveness within the organisation."

Ruth

Ruth

"I'm Ruth, one of the New Civil Service and PurpleSpace Bursary holders for 2019. I'm honoured and delighted to be taking part in this amazing development programme and can't wait to get started! By profession I am a journalist, and have worked across the UK and Asia, in radio and print media. More recently though I've been working within HM Revenue and Customs, as a tax technician. I'm a member of our HMRC Disability Network, and lead a user testing group working to ensure the IT Platforms in our contact centres are fully accessible to staff using assistive technology. Outside of work, I practise yoga and am training to teach it, with the aim of supporting fellow visually impaired students. I've had a unique career and look forward to using the breadth of it to support my fellow bursary holders, and Civil Service Disability networks more generally."

Lucy

Lucy

"I think the purple space bursary scheme will help me to take The Department for Education Neurodivergence network from strength to strength. Disability networks need to have very clear benefits for their members and empower them to get involved and take action. Each networks' ask of its members need to be carefully assessed as the membership are likely to have differences which directly affect their work. This is a delicate balance to strike, and I'm looking forward to working with others who are looking to solve similar questions and making links which can benefit all the people we serve."

Gordon

Gordon

"I'm Gordon Hodgson-Day, I've been a civil servant for 6 years, and have experienced a wide range roles in different areas of different departments starting as a customer adviser in a contact centre, and now as a senior policy adviser in The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Just over a year ago, I created the Cross Government Mental Health Network, which I continue to lead, and I'm looking forward to benefiting form the experience of other disability champions, collaborating with them, and, maybe, working to build something wider to better connect groups across the Diversity and Inclusion spectrum."

Lisa

Lisa

"My current day job is as a Cluster Manager working within Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals in the North East of England; the area I cover extends across Cleveland, Durham and Northumbria. I manage a team of approximately 500 staff. This is very much an operational role covering a number of Magistrates', Tribunal and Crown Courts.

Additionally, I have also worked within HMCTS and the wider Ministry of Justice (MoJ) developing and rolling out a programme called Mental Health Allies. This programme is a staff led initiative which offers support and sign posting to staff and managers alike within the MoJ. I am extremely proud of this piece of work which has been in existence since November 2016 and has consistently gained prominence within the MoJ and across the wider government.

I have within the last month agreed to take over the Chair of the Disability Network within the MoJ. My vision is to have a flourishing network, one which will support engagement with disabled staff but also a network which is clearly able to articulate the priorities it wishes to drive forward. I am very much looking forward to being able to align this new venture with the bursary and the opportunities it brings. Early actions are to refresh the network strategy and I would like to draw on tools and insight from the PurpleSpace community. I also want achieve a higher vision for the network and take this opportunity to go through an exercise of refresh and renewing of the current priorities."