Ruth Hopkins, NRAC Auditor - General Manager & Head of Access and Development
Ruth joined Level Playing Field in April 2013 as our Access and Development Manager. She is an NRAC Access Auditor with a wide knowledge across a range of sectors and has experience as a first point of contact and lead on pan disability issues within large project teams.
Ruth has worked closely with stakeholders, designers, construction teams, disability groups and HR and Equality managers on Health projects, the Prison Service, Sports and Leisure clubs, churches and pubs and restaurants.
Ruth spent 16 years working in International Banking before taking a career break to raise her daughter. Her father was an architect who spent the last few years of his life as a wheelchair user and his experiences determined her choice of career when she returned to work.
Trained by the Centre for Accessible Environments and gaining her experience and portfolio working with architects and design teams Ruth received accreditation from the National Register of Access Consultants (NRAC) in 2006.
Sport plays a big part in Ruth’s life. She is married to an ex professional cricketer with contacts at the ECB and the whole family involved with their local cricket club. They are keen rugby supporters – following Worcester Warriors and Wales - and Ruth has been an Aston Villa fan for years.
“I am thrilled to be working with Level Playing Field. Everyone has the right to support their favourite sports team. Regardless of their disability, spectators have a right to be included and treated as equals. The “Working Together” project in football helps deliver these values and engages disabled supporters with their clubs. Hopefully this is a model that can be rolled out across other sports in the future”
Ruth was promoted to the position of General Manager in February 2016.
Nicky Baker, NRAC Auditor - Access and Development Officer
Nicky joined Level Playing Field in August 2015 as an Access & Development Officer. Nicky initially trained as an access auditor on a trainee scheme at a local disability charity, where she also worked for many years as an Information Officer. She became a registered Access Auditor with the National Register of Access Consultants (NRAC) in 2003. Nicky has previously worked on a range of accessibility projects including schools and large parks.
Nicky has also been delivering Disability Equality Training for a number of years for a range of staff and type of organisations such as Local Authorities. Nicky completed the Disability Rights Commission 'Train the Trainer' course and became one of their accredited trainers.
Nicky plays Powerchair football and is the goalkeeper for Villa Rockets. She has previously coached and holds many coaching badges.
Nicky supports Liverpool FC and Wigan Warriors RFL and is passionate about using her professional career to enable other disabled supporters access to sports stadia on equal terms as non-disabled supporters.
Owain Davies, Development Officer
Owain joined Level Playing Field in January 2017 as Development Officer. In his role he supports rugby clubs, county cricket clubs and other sports across England and Wales to enhance their accessibility for disabled supporters to attend fixtures and their stadiums. Owain also delivers LPF’s Disability Inclusion and Etiquette Training directly to the clubs.
Owain graduated from Bucks New University with a BA Honours in Sports Management and Rugby Studies. Since his time at Bucks he has gained experience working within the disability sport sector by heading up the Saracens Sports Foundation’s Disability and Inclusion. Owain is passionate about inclusion, having volunteered at Gateways Clubs from the age of 8 along with his parents.
Sport is an important part of Owain’s life and he has been working within the sector from the age of 18. Owain is an avid rugby fan, supporting his hometown club of Bridgend and also Saracens. Away from rugby, Owain has supported Everton from an early age and enjoys watching cricket in the summer. Owain is also a volunteer runner for an inclusive running club in North London and in 2016 Owain ran the London Marathon.
Chris Summersell, Administration and Communications Officer
Chris joined Level Playing Field in December 2014 as Administration and Communications Officer. Chris provides administrative support to the team as well as managing the communications output of the Level Playing Field website, monthly newsletters and Social Media channels. Chris also manages the annual Level Playing Field Working Together project.
Chris holds a BA Honours degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Reading and has since gained experience working within the Utilities and Technology industries in administrative, project support and IT roles, as well as a short time spent working within London schools delivering sport coaching sessions to children.
A keen volunteer football coach and holder of a variety of coaching qualifications, Chris is currently Head Coach of a grassroots football club and has coached a variety of age groups and abilities as well as visiting several top European football academies to broaden his experiences. Chris plays and watches both football and cricket, and has travelled throughout the UK and Europe as a supporter and he will bring these experiences and his enthusiasm and passion for sport to the role.
Kieran Reynolds, Project Coordinator
Kieran joined Level Playing Field in December 2014 as Project Coordinator. In this role he is continuing the Working Together: Fans and Clubs project which offers support to clubs and disabled fans who would like to establish a Disabled Supporters Association (DSA). He is also working with existing DSA's to recognise the challenges DSA's face and to identify where LPF can be of further assistance.
In 2013. Kieran graduated from the University of Winchester with a degree in Politics and Global Studies. He is passionate about supporting disabled people and has previously worked in the Policy and Campaigns team at the National Autistic Society. He has also worked with Sutton Council to help them develop and implement their Autism strategy and is a currently a member of their Autism strategy steering group. Kieran has experience in campaigning, project management, public affairs and volunteer management. He has also worked at the Post Office, 4Children and in the constituency office of an MP.
Kieran follows many sports and has played Football and Rugby Union. He is a keen football supporter and regularly attends matches.