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Meet our Founder, Patron and Ambassadors

Andrew Douglass

Founder of Parallel
As well as being the founder of Parallel, Andrew, alongside his wife Claudia, founded the award-winning events agency, innovision. Andrew is a passionate advocate of celebrating diversity and encouraging greater inclusion in work, home and play.

Nick Ashley-Cooper

12th Earl of Shaftesbury
Nick Ashley-Cooper is the patron of Parallel. In 2009, while horse riding, he fell and cracked his L1 vertebrae. It was unclear if he’d ever be able to walk again. He regained his mobility, and went on to run ultra-marathons whilst supporting spinal research charity, Wings for Life.

Mik Scarlet

Broadcaster, journalist & access expert
Mik has had a colourful and eclectic career as a singer/songwriter, a DJ, an Emmy award-winning TV presenter, a prolific writer and columnist, and was the first disabled actor to appear in a UK soap. He also advises organisations on best practices regarding accessibility and inclusion in the workplace.

Matt Hampson

Founder of the Matt Hampson Foundation
Matt is a former England U21s rugby player who was injured in 2005 during a practice scrum session and is a C4 tetraplegic. In 2011, he established the Matt Hampson Foundation, a charity dedicated to supporting young people who have been seriously injured through sport.

Samantha Renke

Actress & Non-Executive Director at Born This Way Media
A former teacher and trustee for the Brittle Bone Society, Samantha moved to London five years ago to peruse a career in acting. Making her debut in indie film Little Devil, she won best actress at the LA diversity film festival. Since the success of Little Devil, Samantha has featured in many projects including last year’s ground breaking Maltesers advert featuring disabled actors.

Emily White

Young ambassador
Emily was born with Spina Bifida. Despite her limited leg use, Emily is a ball playing, martial arts practiser, canvas painter, cartoonist and head of a new comic that's hoping to inspire a generation.

Dan White

Found of the 'Department of Ability' Comic Book
Founder of the 'Department of Ability' comic book which is due to be published this year worldwide.

Chevy Rough

The Mindful Mover
Speaker, Community Captain at ChasingLights Collective, Human Performance & Mindfulness Coach.

Monique Lock

Young ambassador
She is passionate about inclusivity and wants to make a positive impact on the world.

Jonathan Bryan

Founder of Eye Can Talk.
Blogger and author, Jonathan Bryan campaigns for all children to be taught literacy.

Robyn Sneddon

The Hat Hippie – Young ambassador
Robyn is a Scottish blogger, radio presenter and an advocate for disability rights and chronic pain awareness.

Baroness Jane Campbell

Equality Campaigner
Baroness Jane Campbell is a leading campaigner for equality and a respected advocate for the rights of disabled people. The Baroness, amongst her many achievements, has served as Commissioner of the Equality and Human Rights Commission from 2006-2008.

Jo Grace

An inclusion & sensory engagement consultant
Founder of The Sensory Projects. All of the projects that make up The Sensory Projects run on the principle that with the right knowledge and a little creativity, inexpensive items can become effective sensory tools for inclusion.

Liz Atkin

Visual Artist
Liz is a visual artist and has Compulsive Skin Picking, a complex physical and mental disorder. She reimagines the body-focused repetitive behaviour and anxiety into drawings, photographs, and performances. Liz is a mental health advocate and speaker, raising awareness for the disorder around the world.

Kathleen Humberstone

Kathleen is 19 years old, born in Saudi Arabia and her special skills are public speaking, languages and dance.

Shani Dhandi

Disability role model and campaigner
Shani is a role model for the UK’s national disability charity Scope and an ambassador for the national disability charity for Black, Asian & Ethnic Minorities, 'Include Me Too'. With a huge passion for adventure, Shani has travelled to 28 countries and recently returned from solo travelling around India. You can keep up to date with her adventures at #ShaniTravels

Mark Bullock

Advisor in international inclusive sport development
Mark has more than 25 years’ experience in Paralympic/disability sport, sport development and the broader social impact of sport. He is passionate about diversity and inclusion, wellbeing, healthy lifestyles and nutrition. He is an experienced leader, manager, coach and a consultant working with a variety of organisations to promote and develop inclusive sport.

Samanta Bullock

Fashion designer
With a background in fashion, I am passionate about inclusive fashion and leading a healthy and active lifestyle. I live in London and am sharing my knowledge and life experiences to raise awareness of inclusion, fashion, and healthy lifestyles. I have been in a wheelchair since 1992 and played wheelchair tennis from 2003 until 2009 representing Brazil and winning a doubles silver medal at the 2007 Para Pan Am Games.

Sally Phillips

Actress, television presenter & comedian
An English actress, television presenter & comedian, Sally Phillips is well known from her work in I'm Alan Partridge, Parents & Set the Thames on Fire. Phillips also co-starred in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and the role of Sharon in all three films of the Bridget Jones franchise.

Martyn Sibley

Named third most influential person in Britain with a disability
Blogger, author, podcaster, CEO, adviser and adventurer, Martyn believes in social justice for all, and living life to the max. He achieves this through projects with technology, media and networks of amazing people. “I live life and work identically - smiling, enjoying, with ambition for new experiences, and all alongside great people.”
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