Meet the Board

David Umpleby


David is the Chair of the Unity Works' Board of Trustees. David has spent much of his career in the design and delivery of public programmes to support marginalised groups. While working with Remploy Employment Services as a consultant, David developed a real passion for employment programmes for those with a disability. He firmly believes that employment can transform people’s lives for the better and is excited about how Unity Works can support more and more people with learning disabilities finding meaningful training and employment. David’s day job is a Growth Director in Capita’s Public Sector business where he is focused on the Defence sector. In between Unity Works and Capita, David can usually be found on the golf course or having fun with his daughter. He hasn’t been able to persuade her to help him combine the two!

Claire Hilton

Managing Director

Claire has been Managing Director for Unity Works since 2020 after joining Thera 18 months previously to cover maternity leave. She has a background in social care and the employment and skills sectors, focusing for the past 15 years on the involvement of people supported in the services they receive, strategy and business development. Her experience spans the public, private and charitable sector.
Claire’s role is to lead Unity Works and ensure we provide high quality employment support and training opportunities in successful social enterprises for people with a learning disability, in line with our vision and values.

Virginia Beardshaw

Non-Executive Director

Virginia’s career has included periods as one of the first Directors of Commissioning in the NHS, and work on the future of health services at the King’s Fund. She was CEO of I CAN, now Speech and Language UK, for eleven years. Her work there convinced her of the contribution people with a learning disability can make in the workforce, and of the transformative power of meaningful work to individuals. One of her sons has completed Unity Works’ accessible apprentice programme. She was appointed CBE for her work for children with disabilities in 2015.

Neil Bramley

Non-Executive Director

Neil has worked in senior leadership positions across the Financial Service and Environmental Conservation sectors for a number of years, with a career spanning Operations, Commercial Management, Service Improvement and Transformation. In addition, Neil has spent a number of years working with businesses and charities to develop more sustainable business models and to support less advantaged young people into training and employment. With family members with learning disabilities, he is passionate about helping Unity Works to support even more people to achieve their goals.

Tavish Kumar

Non-Executive Director

Tavish works as a chef at Cinnamon Club, a fine dining restaurant in Westminster. He joined them after completing his Level 1 and Level 2 Chef Diploma qualification with Westminster Kingsway college and Unity Works. Having graduated from the Unity Works apprentice programme, he has first-hand experience of the needs of new apprentices and was very active playing a mentor role during the lockdown. He is passionate about food and cooking and loves sports. He also loves playing golf and table tennis during his spare time.

Alison Bunney

Non-Executive Director

When Alison isn’t busy with the general project management and logistics tasks that being a working parent involves, she works as a business consultant. She supports private and third sector clients in the employability, skills and criminal justice sectors with strategy, organisational design, business development, bid management and contract mobilisation.

Before starting her own business with a former colleague, she worked in recruitment and public services. Latterly working for an organisation that experienced considerable growth, she was fortunate enough to wear many hats gaining insight and experience that she brings to her own business, and to her role as Non-Executive Director at Unity Works.

Lorna Weston

Non-Executive Director