Ivy Mill Business Centre, Crown Street, Failsworth, Manchester. M35 9BG


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Qualifications: BA Social Science Hons degree, CQSW (Social Work qualification), Counselling and various Business & Management qualifications. Fifteen years working as a Local Government Social Worker, over thirty years and ongoing, working with a partner, setting up and running our own businesses (a small restaurant and property development and lettings) and seventeen years working as Manager and then CEO at Ordinary Lifestyles until retirement when I became a Trustee of the charity….. and a little life experience … and some of these overlap – I’m not yet 84!  

Following a period at Manchester University where I obtained my Social Science Degree, I began work as a Local Government Officer (Social Worker) for Manchester Social Services department. During my 15 years there I worked across a whole range of services but mainly s pecialising in Family Support, Child Protection and Learning Disabilities which undoubtedly I enjoyed the most. After some years I advanced to ‘level 4’ qualified to give advice and support to other colleagues.

Maggie Dickinson: Chair

My first professional qualification was as a Registered General Nurse, following that I became a Registered Midwife gaining a special interest in infant and child development which prompted me to train as a Health Visitor at Bradford University. Subsequently I was in the front line, where it is the Health Visitor’s role to assess the developmental and health care needs of all infants and children. The Health Visitor then makes appropriate referrals, devises plans, and implements care interventions and support structures for those with health and special needs, moving parents forward positively, thereby enabling individuals to promote and maintain the health of their families. As I became more skilled I undertook a Fieldwork Teacher course and taught those skills to student nurses and doctors. Working in Tameside, I became actively involved in Community and Child Health Education, developing programmes and delivering them into schools and the community. I wrote, illustrated and produced health education materials and booklets, some of which were eventually distributed nationally.

My name is Jane White

I live in Ramsbottom and am married with two adult daughters.

For most of my adult life, I worked as a teacher in specialist schools for children and young adults with learning disabilities. For the last 14 years of my teaching career, I was the Headteacher of a specialist school in Lancashire.

From 2009 – 2013, I worked for Manchester Mencap, as a Case/Crisis Advocate, supporting many adults with learning disabilities across the city.

Although have been retired from paid work since 2013, I am actively involved in working with two charities which focus on support for adults with learning disabilities.

Jane White: Trustee

I am married with 4 fantastic daughters and have worked for a multi-national IT company for more than 40 years in a variety of IT roles. Most of my life I have been involved with community organisations from running a simple badminton club to being Trustee, School Governor or on the Boards of number of charities.

I am passionate about making people’s lives better, equality for all and most importantly tolerance and respect for everyone. My values are as a result of being part of large family and friends with diverse range of beliefs and differences and by supporting each other we can all achieve more fulfilled lives.

Sukhbir Singh: Trustee

I am a Trustee of Ordinary Lifestyles, and also on the committee of Salford Disability Forum, of which I am vice-chair.

I used to be supported by Ordinary Lifestyles, which is how I got involved. Then Ordinary Lifestyles stopped working at the house where I lived and I moved to my own flat in Pendlebury. When I’m not doing committee work or training I like quizzes, Crown Green Bowling, mixing with other people and going on holiday.

Joyce Beard: Trustee

I am 54 years old and have lived in the North West since graduating from university in 1985. I moved to the North to start my career in accountancy and trained with one of the ‘Big 4’ firms.

I made the move from public practice to industry in 1992 and am now a Finance Director of a large firm in the food sector.

My formative years were spent living abroad in South America where I was exposed to contrasting economic conditions and have met people from many different walks of life.

During my time in South America I volunteered in a residential care home for the elderly and found the work very fulfilling.

These childhood experiences have been influential in my passion for equality and fairness for all.

Working with Ordinary Lifestyles (I currently hold the role of Treasurer) and it’s dedicated and professional team is thoroughly enjoyable and I am committed to the aims of the organisation.

Suzanne Harrison: Trustee

This was a very interesting time for learning disabilities services as we were beginning to enable many people to move away from institutional support to live more independently in their respective homes and communities. Some were even the first to gain their own tenancies! Despite the many political and economic twists and turns and with much hard work by everyone involved, I consider that we have successfully moved on huge strides from then.

My many years as a self-employed person, no longer sheltered (or constrained) by the local government organisation, gave me a whole new set of insights, survival skills and freedoms to do things in my own way.  

It was in 1998 when I was thinking of returning to some kind of employment with either social services or the RSPCA that my partner read a newspaper advert for the post of part-time Manager with Ordinary Lifestyles and packed me off to attend an interview. It was here that I met the people who wanted to set up their own business – a charitable organisation providing their own services for their adult sons and daughters with learning disabilities that would offer different, more independent lifestyles with more opportunities for choice and control than hitherto provided by the local authority. I’m so happy I met them. There followed another lifetime of amazing experiences during my employment here, meeting incredibly dedicated, innovative and happy people, colleagues and families who would not eschew difficulty to make good things happen for the people we support.

I had designated responsibilities to Special Needs Schools and it was in Tameside that I set up the first Special Needs Toy Library Centre.

With further post graduate training I went on to become a Lecturer and Specialist in Health Visiting Community and Child Health in Manchester supporting, monitoring and advising the delivery of services.

I spent time in Blackpool, where I managed and expanded the Doctors Deputising Service there, gaining valuable diplomatic managerial experience, organising a service for a large number of doctors.

Alongside my career, I have set up and ran two businesses of my own, employing staff and contracting to other businesses and tradespeople, diversifying my experiences.

Maintaining an interest within the care services I joined Ordinary Lifestyles as a volunteer where I enjoyed organising the weekly social group ‘Fun Factor’ where we invite people from across the city as well as those supported by Ordinary Lifestyles.

I have been a trustee with Ordinary Lifestyles since 2015.

I have a lot of relevant and recent experience and knowledge of learning disability issues which helps me to fulfil my role as trustee.

I share Ordinary Lifestyles values and believe passionately in equal opportunities. I have a strong personal commitment to supporting people with disabilities to live fulfilled, independent lives of their choosing.

I have loved working with the excellent team at Ordinary Lifestyles, and have really enjoyed meeting supported people and their families. I am committed to working hard and doing my very best to support Ordinary Lifestyles.

Elayne Rushton: Trustee

Meet Our Trustees




I graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Electronics and then went on to achieve M.Sc. in Digital Electronics from Manchester University. I’m also a MIET (Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology) as well as a C.Eng. (Chartered Engineer).

After my Masters degree, I joined multinational computer control systems company as a Design and Development Engineer, being quickly promoted to Senior Design Engineer. Within this role, I was responsible for the supervising design and development engineers, production of engineering drawings, liasing with Marketing and Sales departments, and training of project and service engineers.

Om Aggarwal: Trustee

After fourteen years in industry, I left to create my own business and in turn became Managing Director of a company and few years later I set up another company. On my retirement in 2013 I sold one of the company. Despite retirement, I still have an active, albeit part-time, role in the running of the second company.

We have cared for our daughter with Down’s syndrome and autistic spectrum for over 30 years and she is supported by Ordinary Lifestyles for past several years. I have come to appreciate and understand the needs of people with learning and physical disabilities. This invaluable life experience makes me certain that I can make positive and meaningful contribution as a Trustee to Ordinary Lifestyles.