About Us

Our Rules

‘We had an Extraordinary General meeting on Thursday 20th September 2018 because we updated our rules at People First Dorset. Click the blue buttons on the left to read the important information.


Here are some staff photos.  On  the left is Lisa Dixon who is the Project Manager for the Speaking Up Projects.  Lisa is also Volunteer Project Manager, supports the Management Committee, does Easy Read and is a First Aid instructor.

In the middle is Laura Kerr who is our Manager. She started up the Friendship Club. 

Jo White is on the right.  She is the Friendship Club Project Manager.

Laura Dunne is the Forum and Quality Checkers Project Manager for the Dorset County Council User Led Contract.  She is also Deputy Manager.

Kerry Martin is the  Forum Project Worker.  She has lots of experience working with national organisations that help people with learning disabilities. 

Zoe Howe is a Project Worker and will be working with Quality Checkers and Friendship Club

Management Committee

On the left is our Management Committee:  from left to right on the back row are Joseph and Di,  on the front row Bill, Hannah and Natalie. They represent people with learning disabilities, discuss things that need to be changed and tell our Trustees.


We are governed by our Charity Trustees who are also our Company Directors.  They make the final decisions about the best way to do things. They do the fiduciary which is working out how we spend our money and making sure we follow the charity laws and guidance.

Hazel Morgan is our Chair of Trustees. 

I am delighted to be chair of trustees of People First Dorset.  I have been passionate about working with people with learning disabilities and their families to get the best life possible, since 1977. That was the year my younger son Peter was born. He had Down’s syndrome. I learnt so much from him during his lifetime and wrote ‘Through Peter’s Eyes’ (Arthur James, 1990).Later I became a Co-Director of the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities.

Ruth Bettenson is our treasurer. 

I am very proud of being a part of the People First Dorset team and of the work that our staff, our members and our volunteers carry out in the community with people with learning disabilities.

I have been a Trustee for People First Dorset for some years. I used to work as an accountant so I was happy to become Treasurer in 2015.

Although I was born in London, Dorset has been my home for many years. I now live in Dorchester with my family and our two cats.

Also on our Board:

Richard Maxfield  

As a trustee I want to keep people with learning disabilities improving their lives and having a better life. I bring to the trustee board my experience of working on the Learning Disability Partnership Board, and have lived experience of living with a learning disability myself.

Tony Hess. 

I hope that, with the experience gained from my varied background I will be able to contribute to this worthwhile charity. I have lived in Dorset for the best part of 45 years.  My working life has been mainly in engineering. I have also been a publican and a civil servant working for the Ministry of Defence.  Since retirement from full-time work, I have worked part-time in school transport for children with a diverse range of disabilities and I volunteer with the Seagulls Independent Speaking-up Group in Weymouth.

Judith Anstice

I am pleased to be a Trustee as I have a great empathy with the aims of the organisation. I fully support that members should be active within the management and assist the team in encouraging all members to speak up for themselves and to be heard by the authorities. In my professional career I have developed services with local authorities and their partnerships to support vulnerable children, adults and families. I have experience in a management role within charities, NHS and social services and raised awareness nationally about the needs of family and other unpaid carers.

Catriona Doncan

I am honoured to become a Trustee for People First Dorset.  I very much hope that my career working in Human Resources where I employed and trained employees will be useful to the charity. I have also run my own restaurant and managed hotels.

I believe that every person should be given the chance to reach their full potential.  Since taking early retirement I have volunteered with a charity which provides digital education to young people living in Rural Africa.

I live in Ringwood with my two grown up sons and dog called Jake.