Who we are?

Board members

Rebecca (Becky) Nixon Chair

Becky has worked as a volunteer for the Bureau for seventeen years.  She initially offered her support to others by helping to provide an information and advice service on a range of matters to people with different types of disabilities. Testament to her hard work was her willingness to research and find the information people required to help them live independent and fulfilling lives.  In addition she became a valued and reliable member of the benefits team helping clients to complete benefit forms and gain information on the benefits to which they were entitled.

Becky’s role at the DIB has not remained static.  Despite her own health problems she has continued to develop her own skills, qualifications and experiences and enhance the support she has offered to others.  With the establishment of an IT centre at DIB, Becky took on the role of IT tutor and gained her PTLLS, the qualification which would enable her to take on a teaching role.  Since gaining the qualification she has taught individuals on a one to one basis and in group situations and she has received praise and positive feedback from students and fellow teachers alike. Her students have made good progression and some of them have gone on to gain work and the qualifications that help them to succeed in the workplace.

Becky is a highly valued volunteer at DIB.  She has the respect of staff, students, clients and members of the public.  Her expertise in disability related issues is well known and she is a source of support and help to other volunteers who recognize her commitment and experience.  She is incredibly reliable and clearly enjoys her work and the role that she plays within the organisation.  In 2015, she won a national award for her volunteering activities.


Peter Tunwell Treasurer

Born in Manchester a long time ago, I worked in the textile industry all my working life, of which the last 27 years were spent as MD of a company manufacturing  nylon and polyester yarns in Macclesfield. I have lived in Bollington for the last 40 years. My voluntary work includes director/treasurer of the DIB, Director/Board member Bollington Health & Leisure, Tax Volunteer for  national charity TOP (Tax Help for Older People) and Bollington Festival Treasurer 2005 and 2009. I am married, have 3 children (in their 30s) and a dog! I enjoy the mountains, walking, climbing and skiing.


Marion Goddard Secretary

I have been interested and involved with disability organisations as I have worked in the voluntary sector for 14 years from the mid-1970s. After 25 years as a Manager in Adult Social Care I retired in 2011, since when I have volunteered to be a Board Member at Healthwatch Cheshire East, and a Trustee at both the Disability Information Bureau and Rossendale.


Bob Birchall Board Member

I joined the Deafness Support Network as Chief Executive in 2011, bringing with me twenty years of management and leadership experience from the private, public and charitable sectors. Having spent nine years in senior roles within the NHS, I am particularly interested in the issues of health inequality and how this may be overcome, and ensuring greater public benefit by building stronger partnerships that span health and social care.


Richard Watson Board Member

I am a retired engineer having worked all my professional life on power station design and construction.

I have lived in Macclesfield with my family since the mid-eighties, having moved up from the Midlands with my job.

Serving as a borough councillor for Central Ward in Macclesfield for a number of years, I met some of the problems faced by disadvantaged and disabled constituents. In the past fewer services were available, but now the Disabiltiy Information Bureau aims to increase the number of services available to meet such needs, and I hope to play a part in developing these services in the future.


Gill Peate Board Member

I joined the Disability Information Bureau in 2015 after moving to Macclesfield with my job.  I work as a solicitor dealing with cases involving Clinical Negligence and Serious Personal Injury. 

Prior to qualifying  as a Solicitor, I trained as a Nurse and worked as a  Ward Sister at Withington Hospital.  Both professions have helped me to appreciate the many hurdles experienced by our clients at the DIB.  I am married with 2 children and enjoy cycling, hill walking and travel.


John Kirk Board Member

Educated at Kings School Macclesfield, worked in Accountancy, Retail, Transport and Distribution until having to give up work at 56 with onset of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Married to Pat for 32 years and they have four children


Staff members

Laura Smith Chief Executive Officer

Monday - Friday. Location varies


Averil Goodier Employment Mentor

Monday - Friday


Leanne Lake Employment Mentor and HR

Monday - Friday Macclesfield


Emma Budge Information and Advice Coordinator

Monday to Friday

Location varies


Kwok Wei-Wan IT Tutor and Coordinator


John Ball Welfare Rights Advisor

Tuesday, Wednesday Macclesfield

Thursday Congleton


Gary Lord Welfare Rights Advisor

Monday, Tuesday Macclesfield


Yvonne Cotton Welfare Rights Advisor

Wednesday - Crewe


Yvonne Tildsley New Leaf Trainer


Shopmobility staff

Ailsa Oakley Shopmobility Officer

Monday and Wednesday


John Revill Shopmobility Officer

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday


Jacqui Kendall Shopmobility Officer

2nd Saturday and Final Sunday of every month