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Meet the team




Danielle Neale

Danielle has over 15 years’ experience at Director level in the Public Sector, including working across the MoJ and NHS and has over 7 years’ experience of working in the Third Sector. 

Senior Management Team

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Mary Hailes

Mary joined the charity in 2007 and is now GDA’s Office Manager as well as over-seeing BSL interpreter and Community Centre bookings. Mary is hearing and a CODA.

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Gilson Sly

Gilson joined GDA in 2021 and is now our Support Services Manager. He ensures that all our services are well supported. He is Deaf and a BSL user.

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James Banks

James has been with GDA since 2014 and is a qualified BSL interpreter. He is our Communications & Media Manager. James is hearing.

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Ivanna Novikova

Ivanna started with the charity in 2023 as GDA's Finance Manager. She oversees all financial transactions. Ivanna is hearing.

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Sally Gillespie

Sally joined the charity in June 2023 and is the proud mother of a deaf child. Sally is our Fundraising Manager. Sally is hearing. 


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Jemima Buoy

Jemima joined the GDA staff in July 2020. She is the Training Manager and runs BSL College and providing Understanding Deafness courses. She is Deaf and a BSL user.


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Martha Avery

Martha joined GDA in 2019 as an Equipment Technician. Martha has quickly learned Levels 1,2 & 3 BSL. Martha is hearing

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Emily Kirby

Emily is our new Bookings Co-ordinator Assistant. She joined the GDA team in August 2022. She is hearing.

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Sarah Cook

Sarah joined GDA in 2018 and is our Bookings Coordinator. Sarah is hearing.

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Kim Mackriell

Kim is a BSL tutor having joined the GDA team in January 2022. She teaches BSL at Level 1 and teaches extra-curriculum activities for other deaf people. She is Deaf and BSL user.

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Kate Ather

Kate is our Wellbeing Officer.  Kate started with GDA in 2019 as GDA’s Employment Project Officer and is now a key member of our Wellbeing team

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Kat Taylor

Kat joined GDA in April 2022 as our Finance Assistant. She is Hard of Hearing (HOH) and is learning BSL. Kat also works one day a week for the Wellbeing Team.

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Jessica Shepherd

Jessica is our Equipment Technician and runs our hearing aid clinics. She joined GDA in July 2022. Jessica is deaf and BSL user.



Patrick Bryan

Patrick joined the GDA Board of Trustees in October 2017 and became Vice Chair in October 2019. Patrick works as a Support Worker at Q Care Ltd in Gloucestershire, supporting the local deaf community. Patrick is profoundly deaf and a British Sign Language (BSL) user.

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William Stavert


Nicole Hastie

Nicole joined the Board in October 2019. Nicole, from Active Impact, brings a wealth of relevant skills and experience including her participation in GDA's work for over 20 years as a sign language student, a volunteer youth leader, a general supporter and a member of the local signing community. Nicole was also employed as a Teacher of the Deaf for 10 years.


Vicky Sheen


Sam Stocken

Sam joined us in September 2021 as our new Trustee. She has twin boys, one who is Deaf since birth with bilateral hearing loss, and is enthusiastic about supporting the Deaf Community. She is hearing.

Friends of GDA


Lucy Lea

Lucy joined the Board in 2017 and became Co-Chair in October 2019, and retired in February 2022. Lucy is an independent consultant on research, engagement and inclusion. She has a particular interest in helping decision-makers hear the voice of people and communities whose needs are frequently misunderstood and overlooked. Lucy is hearing.


Chris Gardner

Chris joined the Board from December 2014 to November 2020 and was Chair from October 2015 to October 2019. He is also Trustee for Age UK Gloucestershire and a member of the Advisory Board of Forest Green Rovers FC. Following a sporting accident in 1989, Chris lost all hearing in his right ear and is now severely deaf in his left, for which he uses a hearing aid.


Graham Howell

Graham is a local man with many years of experience in business and particular expertise in site/building redevelopment projects. Graham joined the Board in January 2013, and retired from the Board in October 2019. Graham is hearing.


Ben Willis

Ben joined the GDA Board in October 2019. Ben, a lawyer, has personal experience of being profoundly deaf in addition to his business and legal background. He stood down from the Board on 2nd February 2022.


Peter Maynard

Peter became a Trustee of GDA in November 2015 and became Co-Chair in October 2019, and retired in February 2022. He has previous experience of working with the D/deaf community in South Wales. Peter is hearing.


Richard Busby

Richard joined the Board of Trustees in January 2013 and retired in 2019. He brought with him a wealth of experience both in business and working on other boards in the charity and public sector. Richard is hearing.


Matthew Pearse

Matthew joined the Board of Trustees in May 2018 and left in December 2022. He is a qualified accountant and has over 20 years experience working in the financial services industry. Matthew is hearing.

Living confidently with 
deafness and hearing loss

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