About Us

YILN logo

York Independent Living Network (YILN) is a disabled people-led organisation, enabling and empowering disabled people to have our voices heard, we influence the services we receive and we get the most out of life.

About 40,000 people with a disability or long-term health condition live or work in York.

Through YILN, disabled people will:

  • Have an authentic voice with greater representation of our views through influencing and campaigning
  • Achieve greater inclusion in education, work, health, social activities and economic independence
  • Be able to access information, advice and guidance
  • Live in an accessible and culturally understanding city
  • Have choices about how we life our life.

YILN is a registered charity (No. 1160573) and a company limited by guarantee (No. 07245907).

As a registered charity, we are accountable and transparent about the way we run our organisation, and work on behalf of disabled people in York. We are able to raise funds to give disabled people a stronger voice and to provide services.

The committee (Board of Directors):

Stephen Lee Hodgkins (Trustee)

Stephen with one of his designs

Stephen with one of his designs

Stephen has been involved in disability equality and community work for over 20 years.

He is proudly neurodiverse/dyslexic and after leaving school with no qualifications used assistive technology and visual thinking to gain a PhD in Disability Studies/Social Psychology. In 2000, he set up a disabled persons’ organisation (DPO) in Tower Hamlets in East London, before becoming director for Disability LIB, a national lottery funded project to capacity build DPOs in the UK. Stephen is committed to inclusion and equality and has a strong interest in disabled peoples’ history, art and pride. He recently moved to York from London and now works as a part-time graphic facilitator and is a full-time dad to two young children.

Chris Edmondson (Treasurer)

Chris was born in York and has lived here all his life apart from 3 years when he was studying Accountancy at Northumbria University in Newcastle. He has seen first-hand how disabled people are subject to barriers throughout their life and wishes to support others to overcome such obstacles, he feels privileged to be able to live independently but recognises that this was mainly due to a strong network around him who supported Chris in his endeavour to live independently. His ambition is to see more people be able to have the choice to live their life how they want and not have to compromise because of the limitations of local and national policies.

Abi Bubb (Chair)

Abi moved to York when she first came to university, and has stayed here ever since. She is training to be a Social Worker and has worked with disabled children and adults for a number of years. Abi has a physical impairment, but she has not allowed this to hold her back from being an active member of the community. Abi loves to be busy and is a qualified Girlguiding leader with Brownies and Guides, likes spending time with friends, baking and loves the challenge of sailing Tall Ships. She would like everyone to have the same opportunities to lead active, independent lives, irrespective of ability or disability.

Keith Chapman (Trustee)

I have always been interested in Volunteering as a youngster and my school was the driver encouraging me to be been part of the Community and to try to put something back that would benefit others; and this has been my life in many ways. I have been driven, not by any particular faith, religion, ambition or rewards but have endeavoured to put in some support some where it is needed and to be part of an organisation in my own city working with others with the same goal in life.

Marije Davidson (Volunteer, Hate Crime initiatives)
Marije DavidsonMarije and her family have lived in York since 2006. In 2013, she joined York St John University as Equality and Diversity Adviser. Prior to that she worked in the national disability voluntary sector where she played a leading role in the equalities lobby. As Policy and Research Manager at Radar, then Disability Rights UK, she successfully campaigned for disabled people’s freedom to move to another council whilst keeping their care and support. Marije is passionately committed to putting disabled people’s voices at the heart of policy making and service development.

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