We’re so pleased to share that five new trustees have joined Stonewall’s board: Dunni Alao, Lou Downe, Gbolahan Faleye, Adam Lake and Dr Kyle Ring.
Our trustees are responsible for overseeing all of our work, taking collective decisions at board meetings on matters from finances to strategic goals. It’s their role to ensure that Stonewall is accountable, complying with the law and carrying out work for the public benefit.
Our new trustees bring skills across fundraising, communications and HR, to name a few. They are all fierce proponents of LGBTQ+ rights and are fully dedicated to our ethos and goals as we move forward with our new strategy. We now have the most diverse board in our history, with strong representation of trans people and people of colour, as well as a greater diversity of socioeconomic backgrounds.
We’re so grateful to each of our five new members for bringing their skills and lived experiences to our charity. We now have a wider range of voices and experiences helping oversee our work than ever before, which will take Stonewall ever closer to achieving our vision of a world where all LGBTQ+ people are free to be themselves and can live their lives to the full.
Please read on to find more information about each trustee.
Dunni Alao (she/her)
HR Leader, Civil Service
I work as a UK civil servant in Human Resources and it is this area of expertise that I hope to bring to the Board. I believe that people are the most valuable part of any organisation and I am very much looking forward to working with the Senior Leadership Team to ensure that Stonewall has the right support in place and prioritises the needs of its workforce.
Working on the Olympics while at the Department for Transport was a career highlight, and in 2018 I was shortlisted a Top 10 Corporate Rising Star at the National LGBT Awards. Outside work, I’m a big advocate of causes against homelessness. I spent three months in New York volunteering at a charity for homeless men with a history of substance abuse, and I have taken part in Crisis at Christmas since 2008.
It’s an absolute honour to support a charity that is actively advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. I truly believe the work of Stonewall is vital, not just for our LGBTQ+ family but wider society. As someone from a diverse background, I believe there is far more that unites us than divides us. We all want to get on and live our lives in peace, and by protecting the rights of each other we safeguard those rights for everyone. Because a fairer society for the most marginalised is a better society for all.
Lou Downe (they/he)
Founder, School of Good Services
I run a professional coaching and training business called the School of Good Services, where I help organisations deliver services that meet the needs of their users and have a positive impact on the world. Before that, I spent six years in the UK Government establishing the cross-government standards for good services. I was nominated as one of the top 50 creative leaders by Creative Review and one of the world's 100 most influential leaders in digital government in 2018.
I grew up in Devon and outside of work I love to garden and cook. I’ve been known to take a stepladder to the park looking for walnuts, and take over derelict plots around London to turn them into allotments (with the help of some city-farm manure transported in my wife’s suitcase!).
I am hugely excited to be joining Stonewall's board of trustees. There are many who, because of their privilege, might feel that the battle for LGBTQ+ rights is won, but it is far from being so. We are not free until we're all free, and Stonewall is at the cornerstone of that mission.
Gbolahan Faleye (he/him)
I am a proud fundraiser, business development and stakeholder engagement expert and in my career, have been fortunate to raise money for various good causes. This currently includes enabling countries and their governments to work more effectively through advice and policy solutions. Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, I helped stand up programmes to support African governments and multi-lateral agencies in their fight against the virus including the roll-out of vaccination programs. Prior to this, I have worked across the private, public and third sectors on issues ranging from education to heritage and international development.
When it comes to the change I’d most like to see, it has to be a world where LGBTQ+ people are free to be who they are, regardless of where they are from – be it Nigeria or Nottingham. It’s as simple as that. But as we know, the reality is very different. This is why I am proud to join a group of committed individuals working to ensure that this goal is reached. We will of course need to be pragmatic about the road ahead and resilient to challenges. But as we are stronger together, I know we can do it.
I am proud to join the Stonewall Board and look forward to contributing in some small way to the immense achievements the organisation has been able to achieve and will achieve going forward.
Adam Lake (he/him)
Head of Climate Week NYC
The specialism I bring to the board is communications, though I have a wider interest in strategy and development. Since taking on responsibility for Climate Week NYC in 2018, a major focus for me has been to engage with a wider audience as part of our fight against climate change. My proudest achievement was helping Climate Week NYC support over 500 events in New York and around the world during a pandemic year.
I have been a campaigner of some description or another since as long as I can remember, but initially I worked as an actor. I think it was when I had to dress up as a donkey and dance on the pitch with the Cheeky Girls at Brentford football stadium that I realised I wanted something more meaningful from life. I decided to join PinkNews as an intern over a decade ago and this led to me becoming their Political Editor, after which I had several rewarding campaign roles.
I am incredibly excited to join the Trustee team. Stonewall has never been in a stronger position to create positive change for LGBTQ+ people in the UK and around the world. Inclusion is only as strong as its weakest link, and until equality encompasses our entire community – both through legal change as well as societal – we cannot say that any of us are equal. ‘Free to Be’, to me, is about having the ability to be as fabulous or as boring as anybody else, happy in the knowledge that the best way to be living our best lives is by living them as ourselves.
Dr Kyle Ring (they/them)
I have been working as a medical doctor for the last nine years and am nearing the end of my specialist training in HIV and Sexual Health. I have sat on a number of national committees, but I am most proud of my work with Decolonising Contraception, a grassroots community group run exclusively by people of colour with the aim of addressing racial health inequalities in sexual and reproductive health.
I’m also passionate about challenging Euro-centric beauty standards. This inspired me to start an instagram page called @in.hair.itance, aimed at celebrating hair history and diversity for people of colour. The page now has more than 90K followers and continues to grow.
The LGBTQ+ movement has made so much progress over the last 50 years, in no small part due to our unity and recognition of the cis-heteronormative patriarchal powers which affect each of us. I hope that in the next five years we re-embrace the power of that unity, ensuring that no group is left behind. Our future success is dependent on cohesion, co-ordination and understanding.
I am so excited to join the Board of Trustees and be given the chance to represent such an inspirational organisation like Stonewall.