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.
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.
Sally Ward, 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.
She has been working with us at PurpleSpace for nearly 18 months now and has spent the time adding new resources to our library, creating the Purple Confidence Toolkit, reaching out to potential new members and supporting us in our consultancy work in "Starting Out" and "Impact Reviews". Sally is happiest when she's working with our members to help them improve their disability confidence and supporting their networks to be best in class.
At PurpleSpace you are most likely to find Sally working with members to create new innovations in disability Networkology.
Vanessa Hardy, Marketing and Communications Consultant
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 Marketing and Communications Consultant 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.
Sarah Simcoe, Director of Consultancy & #PurpleLightUp
Sarah leads consultancy services and is one of the Founding Ambassadors here at PurpleSpace. She currently leads the #PurpleLightUp movement.
Sarah has worked in the finance sector and IT industry for 25 years, with almost 20 years enjoying a successful career at Fujitsu. Sarah left the corporate world at the beginning of 2018 to offer coaching, diversity and inclusion consultancy, 'Networkology' and access auditing services to other organisations. Sarah works across sectors and industries helping organisations to create a fully inclusive, outcome focused work environment and culture where all employees can flourish as their authentic selves.
Sarah led and transformed Fujitsu's Disabled Employee Network, SEED, and was a key stakeholder in the transformation and implementation of their UK disability agenda as well as their responsible business strategy for the applications division across EMEIA.
At PurpleSpace Sarah is helping to develop our consultancy offerings and services, bringing fresh thought-leadership to age-old challenges alongside leading our global and transformative movement #PurpleLightUp in celebration and recognition of the contribution made by disabled people around the world.
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
David is a Founding Ambassador appointed in 2015.
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.
Andy is a Founding Ambassador appointed in 2015.
Andy 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.
Andy was appointed a PurpleSpace Ambassador in 2018.
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.
Greg was appointed a PurpleSpace Ambassador in 2018.
Jamie joined the police from college in 2004 and has worked in a variety of policing areas including; front-line policing, delivery of improvement programs for stop and search and work on national digital policing policy on secondment to the Home Office.
Since 2013, following bowel surgery, Jamie has performed voluntary roles as Essex Police Federation branch board Equality lead and now leads the Essex police Disability network. Jamie also holds an Executive committee level position with the National Disabled Police Association, where he was formally the General Secretary until January 2018.
Through his positions within staff support networks, Jamie has consulted and advised at Chief Officer and Executive level and has acted in an advisory capacity at the Police Advisory Board for England and Wales,consulting on Police Regulations affecting disabled officers and staff.
Alongside his policing role, Jamie now also performs the role of the Chairperson of the Essex police Disability and Carers network, a staff support network of over 200 members.
As well as being appointed a PurpleSpace Ambassador in 2018, Jamie is particularly proud of reaching the rank off Inspector in Essex police in the same year, overcoming a number of disability related workplace and personal challenges.
Jamie was appointed a PurpleSpace Ambassador in 2018.
Tulsi joined Nationwide Building Society in 2014 after graduating from University College London. She spent 3 years delivering technical change programmes - working her way up to project manager before moving into the company's Culture and Inclusion team in September 2018. Alongside focusing on her career progression, Tulsi has also led Nationwide's disability network (Enable) since 2016. Her passion comes from caring for relatives with disabilities and long-term illnesses, as well as her own experience of mental health challenges.
A network reborn, she's grown the network from 50 members to over 450 by changing how we talk about, and approach, disability and mental health in the workplace. She's gained the support of the Executive Board and hundreds across her organisation who support her vision in creating an inclusive, engaging and powerful disability network.
Tulsi was appointed a PurpleSpace Ambassador in 2018.
Paul Willgoss MBE
Paul has helped lead, develop and support Disabled Staff Networks for the last 20 years. His belief in people's innate willingness to want to do the right thing, combined with an analytical approach to identifying which of the right things to do first has led his networks, and himself, to be nominated for and win national awards.
Understanding the business imperative; be that in the private, public or third sector and how removing barriers to disabled employees can support organisations to deliver these is critical to Paul's thinking on how networks should engage with their organisations.
He is a career civil servant, working in both scientific and corporate roles, and has enjoyed the active support of the Health and Safety Executive in his disability roles. These have included setting up and being the first Chair of the Civil Service Disability Network, sitting on a number of working groups trying to tackle specific issues and closer to home the continual development of Equal HSE's network.
Outside of work, Paul and his partner are committed Cosplayers, AFOLs (adult fans of Lego) and recreational endurance athletes. Paul also support the development of NHS services for himself and others with his impairment.
Paul was appointed a PurpleSpace Ambassador in 2019.
Ally joined GCHQ over 10 years ago and has been involved with the Disabled Employee Network (DEN) for over 5 years, first of all as a Hearing Impaired rep delivering awareness events to help educate the workforce on adjustments and changes to help hearing impaired colleagues. Ally has also worked as an innovation lead on a variety of technical/cultural workplace adjustments and change programmes to make GCHQ a more Disability Confident department. Ally's latest project within the DEN is helping pull together a Purple Alliance uniting disability networks from within the intelligence community.
Work that Ally has led on has included: leading GCHQ’s purple light up in December 2017 and using this to spur on the establishment of an internal Purple Allies network. Ally was instrumental in establishing an internal disability awareness offering for managers which uses storytelling and personal experiences to drive home the importance of inclusion and representation of the disabled community. Ally also took a leading role in driving to fruition a disability development programme for staff across the intelligence agencies.
Ally was appointed a PurpleSpace Ambassador in 2019.