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Meet the Leadership Team


David Woolley

Chief Executive

David has worked with people with learning disabilities for over 20 years, starting his career as a tutor designing training courses before joining Your Voice Counts in 2006 to support a user-led self-advocacy group.  David moved into our Chief Executive Role in 2012, overseeing the development and expansion of our services to ensure more people benefit from our commitment to listening to and empowering people with lived experience of learning disabilities, autism and mental ill health to make positive changes in their lives. 

A keen collaborator, David has contributed directly to the development of integrated working across the health and social care systems in Gateshead and South Tyneside and champions the role of the voluntary and community sector through his ongoing involvement with Blue Stone Collaborative. 


Jenny Rohde

Head of Operations

Jenny joined Your Voice Counts in 2019 and oversees the infrastructure of Your Voice Counts, managing our buildings, governance and the Board, organisational risk, health and safety, information governance and administration services.   

Jenny has previously held roles in education and the arts, including schools, museums and other charities and is passionate about creating systems and processes that consider the people who will benefit from them, with a particular focus on equality, diversity and inclusion. 


Gareth Rowe

Head of Finance

Gareth is a Big-4 trained ACA Chartered Accountant and is passionate about making a difference to individuals and communities.  After previous roles as Chief Financial Officer at Single and Multi-Academy Trusts, he made the move into the Third Sector in January 2020.   

Since joining Your Voice Counts, Gareth has been strengthening financial controls and procedures in line with sector best practice as well as managing our growing business development function and linking financial forecasting to our fundraising strategy.   


Lindsay Henderson

Head of Communities

Lindsay joined Your Voice Counts in 2020 after previously holding roles directly supporting people in the youth work, mental health and homelessness field before moving into partnership development and systems change work.    

As our Head of Communities, Lindsay oversees the services we offer across Gateshead and South Tyneside for people with learning disabilities and/or autism, including 121 crisis work, social prescribing link work, drop-ins and group activities, employability support and self-advocacy support. 


A true believer in the value of lived experience and co-production, Lindsay is proud of the work Your Voice Counts does to put people at the heart of the organisation and is keen to embed our commitment further through initiatives like our Our Lives, Our Leadership project which creates leadership roles for people with lived experience.   


Sharon DeJesus

Head of Advocacy

Experienced advocate Sharon manages our advocacy service, overseeing and developing the work we do to provide statutory advocacy services in the Newcastle and South Tyneside local authority areas.

Working closely with our commissioners and other partners, Sharon is responsible for keeping abreast of best practice, driving innovation, and ensuring our policies, procedures and systems deliver the best outcomes for the people we support. 


Sharon also provides complex case support and promotes the role of advocacy across and beyond the sector, striving for quality and championing co-production of services with the people who use them. 

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