Meet the core team

Kate Nash OBE

Kate Nash OBE, CEO and Creator of PurpleSpace

Kate is the world’s leading authority in ‘Networkology’ – the science behind the growth of workplace networks and resource groups. Most known for her work with disability networks, she set up an independent hub of best practice in the establishment of Disabled Employee Networks publishing the first best practice guide in 2009, with a Ministerial launch.

In April 2014 her book ‘Secrets & Big News’ was published tackling the issue of ‘disclosure’ of disability and what employers can do to help people be themselves at work. 2,511 disabled employees from 55 employers took part in the research, sponsored by BT, Fujitsu, Metropolitan Police Service, Post Office and PWC.

Kate launched PurpleSpace in October 2015 as the world’s first professional development hub for disabled employee networks bringing together the 850,000 disabled employees from across employee networks.

In 2007 she was awarded an OBE for services to disabled people. In 2013 she was appointed Ambassador to Disability Rights UK.

At PurpleSpace you are most likely to find Kate inspiring Disability Employee Networks and Resource Groups and connecting and firing up a growing community of purple change agents across all sectors and industries.

  Email Kate at kate@purplespace.org        Connect with Kate on LinkedIn

Jo Hussey, Membership Engagement & Events Manager

Jo Hussey, Membership Engagement & Events Manager

Jo is new to the world of disability and brings experience from different sectors to the PurpleSpace team.

In a 10 year career in investment banking, she managed a team that were responsible for global settlement transactions. She then had a career break and after completing a degree re trained as a secondary school teacher giving her a wealth of experience in communication, presentations, creating resources and mentoring.

At PurpleSpace you are most likely to find Jo welcoming and keeping in touch with our members and organising and planning our growing events schedule.

  Email Jo at jo@purplespace.org        Connect with Jo on LinkedIn

Sally Ward, Development Consultant

Sally Ward, Development Consultant

Sally is a Diversity and Inclusion Consultant who built her expertise at BT Group plc.

In a 15 year career as an Inclusion Specialist at BT Sally led some ground-breaking projects which had a significant impact for disabled employees. For example Sally invented the Disability Passport that many disability networks and organisations are now familiar with. Sally’s proudest achievement was being the lead for all seven of BT’s People Networks.

Her first job at PurpleSpace will be a review of resources for members and the development of a new programme of member content.

At PurpleSpace you are most likely to find Sally working with members to create new innovations in disability Networkology.

  Email Sally at sally@purplespace.org        Connect with Sally on LinkedIn

Vanessa Hardy, Digital Communications Manager

Vanessa Hardy, Digital Communications Manager

Vanessa has worked in the disability and inclusion field for over 25 years

In a 15 year career with BT, she managed the company’s inclusion websites, alternative media service and relationships with BT’s product and marketing teams and disabled customers. She also had regular involvement with BT's disabled staff network Able2.

Using her corporate experience she moved to Business Disability Forum in 2007 to focus on accessibility and into a freelance role in 2010 where she now works as a digital project manager with expertise in the inclusion of disabled employees and customers.

Vanessa is proud to have written 'Virtually Purple', a resource designed to help disabled employees and networks to share their stories and join the big digital conversations about building disability confidence at work.

Vanessa has an MSc in Disability Management in Work and Rehabilitation.

At PurpleSpace you are most likely to find Vanessa asking members to share their stories of inner disability confidence and growing our community across social media.

  Email Vanessa at vanessa@purplespace.org        Connect with Vanessa on LinkedIn

Our ambassadors

David Caldwell

David Caldwell

David is a Digital Accessibility Manager at Barclays and previously the COO for the Reach Network, Barclays diversity network for the disability and mental health agendas. Whilst in this role David led on the delivery of the ‘This is me’ campaign - an award winning campaign focused on breaking the culture silence and stigma of mental health in the workplace which has now been rolled out across other organisations through the Lord Mayor of London’s ‘This is me in the City’ campaign

  Connect with David on LinkedIn

Andy Garrett

Andy Garrett

Andy is currently working at GSK leading a global project developing a one stop shop service helping employees to secure the workplace adjustments they need to be successful in their roles/careers.

In 2015 Andy retired from a career spanning 30 years in the Met Police, latterly specialising in training & development, diversity & inclusion, disability networks (founder/leader) and workplace adjustments. Andy is an ambassador for PurpleSpace and is leading a working group on vision impairment confidence at work. Andy is a passionate advocate of disability networks and building the disability confidence of individuals, networks and leaders.

  Connect with Andy on LinkedIn

Sarah Simcoe

Sarah Simcoe

Sarah is Head of Business Planning EMEIA at Fujitsu Limited, Chair of SEED, Fujitsu UK and Ireland’s Disabled Employee Network and a PurpleSpace Ambassador. Sarah believes an environment of trust, respect and inclusion is essential to stimulating innovation, increasing retention and attracting talent. One of Sarah’s biggest successes as Chair of SEED has been the #BeCompletelyYou campaign designed to help all employees to find confidence and comfort in being their authentic self at work.

  Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn

Andy Kneen

Andy Kneen

Andy Kneen is an HR Manager Shell`s Trading and Supply business and in 2005 he joined Shell’s UK enABLE Network where he lead the ground breaking Be Yourself campaign. Andy sees himself an agent for change and an influencer and used his own experience of disability plus the fact he work for HR to lobby and influence and to get support and leader commitment on the disability agenda.

Greg Swaysland

Greg Swaysland

Greg has spent the last 3 years working as a Project Manager within Bouygues Energies and Services following 16 years of service with the Royal Navy. He joined the Bouygues Disability Network in 2016 and has worked to promote disability confidence both within and external to the company. He is now a Co-Chair of the Network.

Greg advocates the sharing of personal experiences and stories where self-reflection and learning lessons reveal themes that others can relate and resonate with. Greg sees himself promoting academic research in the areas of disability, employment and careers, drawing upon real-life experiences and providing support for the UK government’s pledge of having 1 million more disabled people in employment by 2027.

  Connect with Greg on LinkedIn

Our technical team

Robert Wemyss

Robert Wemyss

Is a leading expert on accessibility and consultant and developer for the PurpleSpace platform.

  Connect with Rob on LinkedIn

David Hallett

David Hallett

Is a business process expert, CEO of Xperedon, and chief architect of the PurpleSpace platform.

  Connect with David on LinkedIn