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Biography

Lela is currently a director of Black Thrive Global and has a lifetime of experience designing and implementing policies, practices and funding regimes that address structural inequality.  She was a senior leader in the public sector for 25 years, 16 of which were in Islington where she was Assistant Chief Executive with responsibility for a range of services including corporate policy and performance, equalities, community safety, adult and community learning, arts and culture and voluntary sector grants.

Lela led on the Islington Fairness and Employment Commissions, which included engaging communities in new models of delivery and resource allocation. She worked part time as Director of Employment Programmes for NHS England until July 2018, which included increasing the number of people with learning disabilities employed within the NHS and setting up the first Individual Placement and Support (IPS) trial to extend employment support beyond mental health to other health conditions. She was adviser to the Department for Education on improving access to apprenticeships for disabled and BAME people.

Lela follows her passion for equity and social justice through her work and as chair of Health and Employment Partnerships (is a social purpose company within Social Finance that helps people with health conditions and disabilities secure, sustain and retain fulfilling work), a trustee and treasurer of Ballet Black and Bernie Grant Arts Centre, and as trustee of DFN Project Search.