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Trustees and Governance

Every charitable organisation, large or small, is run by a Board of Trustees. Trustees are legally responsible for making sure the organisation does what it was set up to do and that the money it receives is spent efficiently and for the right purposes. In a small charity the trustees usually do most of the work, but in a larger charity, such as Deafness Support Network, the work is mostly delegated to professional staff.

In DSN, the Board of Trustees is usually referred to as the ‘Council’ but the function is the same. They meet four times a year, receive reports on DSN’s work; examine financial statements; make suggestions about how things might be done better, and generally check that our work meets the aims of the organisation, i.e. improving access and equality for D/deaf people.

So who are the trustees? All DSN Trustees are volunteers. They come from different backgrounds, but mostly they are people who have come into contact with DSN in some way and have become interested enough to want to help run the organisation. Many are themselves Deaf, deaf, deafened or hard of hearing and have a valuable knowledge of the problems faced by deaf people.

If you are interested in the work of the Trustees or feel that you can contribute, please contact us:


  • Peter Morley

    I am Peter Morley and I was born Deaf. This was because when my mother was pregnant she contracted German Measles. Growing up, I regularly went to Warrington Deaf Club as well as attending Manchester Deaf School in Old Trafford. I left school in 1960 and worked as an engineer. There was always something new to learn and I was continuously learning for 46 years. I have only recently retired.

  • Dan Birtles – Chair

    Born profoundly deaf, I attended Birkdale School for Hearing Impaired Children, and then onto secondary education at Mary Hare School.

    I currently work as Senior IT Manager for ACC Liverpool Group, including Echo Arena Liverpool hosting a diverse range of conference, sporting, entertainment and exhibition events. Previously, I worked for a number of companies, including BT having responsibility maintaining the 999 platform for Deaf People, and TextDirect (formerly Typetalk) as Systems Analyst, specifying and delivering various IT solutions.

    I live in Cheshire, with my wife, who is also Deaf and teaches Sign Language and between us we have 4 children.

    I play active part in the Deaf Community and founded Cheshire Deaf Walking Group to bring Deaf and Hearing people together on regular walks throughout the year.

    As a role model for Deaf people, I hope to bring a wealth of experience back into the community and supporting DSN delivering and maintaining valuable services that they provide.

    In my spare time, I enjoy walking my dog, skiing, pubs and trying out new things! 

  • David Scott – Vice Chair

    I live in the village of Cuddington, Cheshire and am currently Managing Director of Vision Support Trading Ltd (VST), the trading subsidiary of Chester based Charity, Vision Support. Vision Support provides services to the visually impaired while VST provides commercial transcription services into Braille, audio or large print.
    My early career was in industrial marketing, working for a variety of companies, and then in the management of leisure trusts in Wigan and Manchester. I am also Chair of the Cheshire & Warrington Social Enterprise Partnership and served on the Board of High Peak Community Housing for four years.

  • Bob Birchall – Secretary

    Bob joined DSN as Chief Executive in 2011, bringing with him twenty years of management and leadership experience from the private, public and charitable sectors. Having spent nine years in senior roles within the NHS, Bob is particularly interested in the issues of health inequality and how that may be overcome, and ensuring greater public benefit by building stronger partnerships that span health and social care.

  • Liam Glennon – Treasurer

    My background is in the financial services sector where I’ve spent over 25 years working mainly for large organisations e.g. Banks and Accountancy firms. A fairly typical corporate life with a significant amount of time committed to qualifications, long working hours and far too much time spent commuting. I recently took the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy and reassess my priorities.


    Whilst I now have a senior role with a regional accounting firm, I now work part time hours which frees up time for other activities. I’d been approached by Philip Brown – who I’ve known for over 20 years – previously to see if I would help out at DSN but unfortunately my work commitments prevented me from getting involved. However, when Philip spoke to me again a few months ago, the timing couldn’t have been better and I’m delighted to have the opportunity of becoming Treasurer at DSN. I’m looking forward to utilising my financial experience to add value to the role for the benefit of all involved.


    Outside work, my interests include golf, cricket & football, enjoying a glass (or two) of wine or a pint (or two) of real ale, days out walking and holidays abroad. I’m married and live in Poynton. 

  • David Pane

  • Janet Huntington

    I have been profoundly Deaf since birth . I worked for ICI for 10 years before having a family. I have done some life skills with tenants at Stepping Stones also BSL teaching as well as providing Deaf Awareness.  I feel very strongly that Deaf people should be treated as equal not people doing things for them. I want to improve the quality of life for young profoundly Deaf people in giving them good job opportunities. I have now retired and do some volunteer work for DSN also British Deaf History Society and  enjoy travelling and walking.

  • Natalie Doyle

    Natalie Doyle

    Born profoundly Deaf I have been an active member of the Deaf community from an early age.

    I currently work as an IMHA (Independent Mental Health Advocate)  and IMC (Independent Mental Capacity Advocate) in a range of secure mental health settings. 

    I have years of experience working with those suffering from poor mental health most recently working with adults, I have previously specialised in work with children and young people.

    Apart from my work in mental health, I am also passionate about teaching British Sign Language and particularly love teaching children and young people in schools and colleges –  my favourite has to be baby yoga and babysign! I have previously done a lot of work with looked after children, organising residential trips building their confidence and self-esteem through teaching life skills to help them gain their independence.

    I currently live in Liverpool with my Fiancé and 2 beautiful boys and enjoy an active lifestyle, holidaying, sporting and I regularly take part in the Cheshire Walking Group.

    I would like to consider myself a good role model for Deaf people and hope to be able to use my skills and experience to support the running and success of DSN as best I can.

  • Ben Colman

    My background is in Sales and Marketing across a diverse range of sectors, including packaging, medical devices and, in recent years, audiology.  For the past 13 years I have held senior management positions for one of the world’s leading audiology groups, focussing on the sale of hearing aids, assisted listening devices and diagnostic equipment predominantly into the NHS.

    This has given me a unique and privileged insight into the needs of the D/deaf community and I am passionate about being involved with an organisation such as Deafness Support Network in developing and delivering vital services to this community in Cheshire.

    I recently took voluntary redundancy and am now advising small / medium sized companies on commercial strategy as they strive to grow their business.

    I am delighted to be able to bring my commercial skills to DSN in the capacity of Trustee and look forward to playing an active part in developing their impressive services for the benefit of the D/deaf community.

    On a personal level, I live locally near Northwich and am an active golfer, walker and skier.  I love my music (particularly rock!), enjoy the theatre and am partial to the odd glass or two of good quality wine and a nice cold IPA!