DIAL LEEDS is run for and by disabled people. Our present staff and volunteers have a wealth of both professional and direct lived experience.

Kath Harrison:
Kath is DIAL LEEDS appointed Company Secretary and the DIAL LEEDS Manager. Kath has been at DIAL LEEDS since 1993, starting as a Disability Rights Worker and has had many additional roles since then including Unite the Union Health and Safety Representative.

Kath has 30 years’ experience in the voluntary sector – 25 years of which have been at DIAL LEEDS. In 1998 she became a Citizens Advice volunteer adviser followed by a worker representative and management committee member. Her paid work began with Wakefield Libraries and Information Service and then as a CAB Welfare Rights Worker in her local community.
Kath also has previous management committee experience with a local community furniture service in Wakefield and the former Yorkshire Disability Network as well as being a Gas Consumer Council panel member.
Kath is from South Kirkby – an ex mining community in the Wakefield District and gained a BA (Hons) in Applied Social Science (social legal studies) and has recently done courses with the workers Educational Association (WEA) in meditation, mindfulness and exploring happiness. Kath is now trained as the DIAL LEEDS Mental Health First Aider.

Kath has a keen interest in helping disabled people to overcome the disproportionately adverse effects of food and fuel poverty linked to the various welfare reforms in recent years and has helped to set up advice and support services for users of the Leeds based Trussell Trust Foodbanks and established the Happiness Café at DIAL LEEDS.

 

Mike Johnston:
Mike is the Service Manager/Project Worker at DIAL LEEDS. He has been with DIAL LEEDS since December 1996 and was previously a Disability Rights Worker, a Welfare Rights Worker and later the Deputy Manager for DIAL LEEDS under the Disability Information and Advice Service contract. Mike is now responsible for developing the Social Enterprise Services side of DIAL LEEDS.

Prior to working at DIAL LEEDS Mike worked at Leeds Citizens Advice Bureau both as paid staff and a volunteer as well as a volunteer representative, Pontefract CAB as a generalist advice worker, and the Workers Education Association (WEA) as a part time tutor and has over 37 years’ experience in the voluntary advice sector.
Mike is a Workers Representative and has been for over 35 years, originally with the MSF union.
Mike is originally from Hull but has been in Leeds since 1987 and is one of the founding members of Rebel Cat Events a DIY/Not for Profit music promotion collective. He enjoys listening to music, reading and following Hull City AFC. Mike is passionate about social justice and supports many campaigns.

 

 

 

 

Paul Arrowsmith:
Paul is the Mental Health Peer Support Worker at DIAL LEEDS and has been in post for 18 months. Paul runs support sessions within the Bramley and Lower Wortley Foodbanks before using his unique skills and experiences for the role.

Paul started as a volunteer at DIAL LEEDS 4 years ago, and before coming to DIAL LEEDS he was on benefits due to ill health. Prior to becoming unwell he worked for Durham Social Services as a social worker on their Young People and Children’s Services Team, primarily in the secure unit facility in County Durham as well as a number of residential homes, in community support and one to one personal care.
Paul is from the North East and ran a Christian Theatre in Education Company that toured local schools and was supported by a number of churches in Durham and North Yorkshire.
He holds a BSC (Hons) in Social Science and a Post Graduate Diploma in screenwriting for TV and Film.  Screenwriting is a passion of paul’s and he has written 8 feature length films, half a dozen TV drama episodes and has been optioned 7 times by either TV or Film production companies.

He has been involved in numerous short film projects and script edited 3 feature films, which between them have bagged a number of awards at film festivals around the world. Paul is also a keen swimmer and enjoys walking in the countryside and traveling.

 

Don Fletcher:
Don is a volunteer at DIAL LEEDS and has been with us since 1997. Don’s role is to assist in the Happiness Cafe and involves offering peer support.

Don has over 20 years experience in the voluntary sector where running a disability network covering the Yorkshire district as well as volunteering with DIAL LEEDS. Before this he worked in medical equipment sales.

Don is originally from Leeds and enjoys watching his beloved Leeds United!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ian English:
Ian is a trustee and volunteer at DIAL LEEDS and has been with us for over 10 years. his current role is assisting in the Happiness Cafe.

Ian has over 18 years experience in the voluntary sector as a management committee member for Leeds Involving People (LIP) 2000 to 2008 and a former Leeds United Disability Organisation (LUDO) member.
He is from Leeds, gained an NVQ in Business Studies at Leeds College of Technology and enjoys following Leeds Utd and socialising with friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neil Plummer:
Neil is an Information Resources volunteer at DIAL LEEDS and has been with us since 2001. Neil’s role is to keep the information held in DIAL LEEDS database (DIALBase) up to date .

Neil came to us as a recently retired university librarian looking for a project worthy of his skills and knowledge. he has been with us ever since.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Becky Woledge:

Becky is a peer support volunteer at DIAL LEEDS. Becky started at DIAL LEEDS in 1995 as a Disability Rights Worker, becoming a Welfare Rights Coordinator as part of the Disability Information and Advice Service contract but was unfortunately made redundant with the rest of the paid staff on 31st March 2017, with the loss of funding from statutory sources.

Becky has previous experience in the voluntary and advice sector working for Holmewood Advice Centre in Bradford.

Becky achieved a 2.1 BA (Hons) in community studies from Bradford College.  Currently Becky is a Dementia Support Worker.

Becky is from East Yorkshire and moved to the Bradford area in 1989 as a student and enjoys dog walking, reading, being with family and socialising.