Meet the Team at DSAuk

DSAuk has a dedicated team of staff, funded by Children in Need and Sport England, who in turn support a larger team of volunteers acting in the roles of  trustees, ambassadors, regions co-ordinators and regional members. Everyone at DSAuk works towards the associations aims and mission of “making regular sporting opportunity accessible and enjoyable to anyone and everyone of restricted growth in the United Kingdom, regardless of their race, colour, ethnic origin, gender, location, sporting ability or financial support”.

Staff Team

Tim Shephard – Association and Events Manager

Hi, I’m Tim Shephard,  the DSAuk Association Manager/Events and Engagement Officer. Our family and particularly my son Jack who has achondroplasia, have benefitted so much from the DSAuk so when the opportunity arose in 2007 to work for the association I jumped at the chance. I wanted more people to experience the special place that the DSAuk is and what its #DSAmazing events bring to our families.

My role is very varied and I am effectively responsible for all the day to day running of the charity and its work. I manage the administration from within the DSA central office including financial budgeting and reporting, email and telephone queries, funding bids, maintaining the membership database, maintaining DBS checks and facilitating board meetings and the AGM. I report to the DSAuk board on a regular basis and work closely with the Chair, Vice Chair and Trustees. I am also responsible for delivering our National events including The National Games, Boccia and Badminton comps, Camping event, Canoeing days and the National Training days. I attend meetings, including those hosted by the British Paralympic Association, as a representative for DSAuk and its members to highlight our work and ethos, get the best deal for our charity and get our message across to the wider world.

I have also had the honour of being the GB Chef de Mission at the last three World Dwarf Games, organising the team, its training and preparation for the event.

The DSAuk team of Staff, Trustees, Ambassadors and Volunteers work closely together, supporting each other in our roles to provide the best experience for our members. It is this magic ingredient that makes the DSAuk such a special place and so successful as a charity.

If you have any questions about me or my role or just want to chat, I would love to hear from you at tim.shephard@dsauk.org

Nigel Burton – National Partnerships Officer

Hi, my name is Nigel Burton. In 1997, we took our son, Thomas, who has Achondroplasia, to the 2nd World Dwarf Games in Peterborough. This led to me volunteering in many roles at the National Games and in 2009 I took on the daunting task of scheduling and overseeing the entire games weekend.

In 2011 I started working full time for the association. My role is very strategic, connecting with sports and non-sports sector organisations such as Sport England, National Governing Bodies of sport, Active Partnerships and Health, Education and Disability service providers, in order to ensure people with dwarfism are able to have meaningful participation opportunities. I work closely with Tom Mills, our Regional Development Officer, along with our regions co-ordinators, to plan how these connections can filter down to benefit our members at a regional level.

Other responsibilities are for the scheduling and delivery of the major sports competitions at our national events, the Dwarf Games in May and the Boccia weekend later in the year and being involved in the design and coordination of research projects to gather insight and information which can be used by all organisations to improve their services to people with dwarfism.

The national events are the highlight of the year for many of our members and I take great pride in delivering competitions that are filled with camaraderie and fun and are looked back on with many happy memories. It is great to work as part of the staff team, providing support, assistance and events to our members. My role is varied and challenging but always provides satisfaction in the knowledge that we are making a #DSAmazing difference to people’s lives.

If you want to talk about DSAuk or my role with the association then please get in touch at nigel.burton@dsauk.org

Tom Mills – Regional Development Officer

For those of you that dont know me I’m Tom Mills. I was born in 1991 and was introduced to the DSAuk when very young by my parents who took me to the National Games, which back then took place in Peterborough. I have very fond memories of these times and have made friends for life. I am also lucky to have met my long term partner Sophie through the DSAuk and my step daughter Isla. We now have a son, Arlo and are enjoying family life together.

The charity has made such a positive lasting impact on me and my family and I was over the moon when the opportunity to give back and work for such a #DSAmazing charity became available and I have never look back since!

After studying Leisure Management and Sports Development at University and working for 2 years with Caudwell Children as an Activities Coordinator, I became the DSAuk Regional Development Officer in 2014. I thoroughly enjoyed the role at Caudwell Children, but the job at DSAuk was an opportunity I could not miss. Initially, the role was for 6 months but I am grateful that the charity, board and trustee’s have been able to source funding for the role to continue. Along with Nigel, I am currently funded by Sport England.

My day to day job comprises of a variety of tasks: managing the fantastic volunteer teams up and down the country in the 9 DSAuk regions, reaching out to the wider community including Schools, Colleges and Universities raising dwarfism awareness which I thoroughly enjoy and thrive off making a difference. I also oversee and head up the DSAuk Social Media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and assist the team with the planning, organisation, scheduling and delivery of our National Games and Events.

I am looking forward to the future, working with the team at DSAuk and ensuring we continue to provide memories and moments our members and supporters can cherish forever.

If you have any questions about me or my role I would love to hear from you at tom.mills@dsauk.org.