Our Patrons

Jim Blair

Jim is currently Clinical Lead Health Improvement at NHS England, Associate Professor Intellectual (Learning) Disabilities at Kingston University and St Georges’ University of London as well as Clinical Advisor Learning Disabilities NHS England. He is also the Health Advisor at the British Institute of Learning Disabilities and the Learning Disability Advisor to the Sates of Jersey and Guernsey. Jim is currently the Vice Chair of the Royal College of Nursing’s London Board.

Other highlights from his career include Specialist Clinical Advisor to the CQC, Consultant Nurse Learning Disabilities at Great Ormond Street Hospital and Consultant Nurse Learning Disabilities at St.George’s Hospital in London. Jim was President of the Royal Society of Medicine’s council for the Forum on Intellectual Disability and Vice Chairman of Special Olympics Great Britain. He is also an Expert Advisor to the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman, an advisor for the Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group and is on the editorial board of www.intellectualdisability.info.

Jim is involved in the movement to enhance and improve care of people with learning disabilities.

Jim Blair

Steve Elias

Steve is currently the presenter and choreographer of the BBC 2 “Our Dancing Town” and the Artistic Director of Carmarthen Youth Opera, he has also recently been made a proud Patron of the London Ballet Foundation. His most recent UK freelance teaching credits include, MA Musical Theatre Degree at  Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Arts Educational Performance Arts School.

He was also invited by Ken Cazan to teach on the highly acclaimed Vocal Arts and Opera course at the prestigious USC Thornton school of Music, LA. Steve was also awarded a bursary ‘Acting for Others’ from Dance Development Trust. Steve has enjoyed meeting and working with the DanceSyndrome dancers and is excited and honoured to be a Patron.

Sian Lockwood OBE

Sian Lockwood is a graduate of Oxford University with a Masters in Social Work Studies. She worked in a wide range of statutory and voluntary sector organisations in the UK and Africa before becoming in 1991 the Chief Executive of a charity in the north of England, provided a variety of community and family based services including Shared Lives. The charity grew and diversified under her leadership, extending its reach to cover more than eight local authority areas and increasing its turnover fifteen-fold.

Sian was elected Chair of NAAPS UK (the network for family-based and small-scale ways of supporting adults and now called Shared Lives Plus) in 2002 and in that role worked closely with UK governments to promote the value of very small localised services and ensured that legislative and regulatory requirements were appropriate and did not place unnecessary barriers in the way of people establishing and delivering local small scale enterprises. She continued and extended this work when she was appointed as the charity’s first Chief Executive in July 2004 and was instrumental in securing recognition by central and local government of the importance of very small community social care and health services to the successful transformation of adult social care.

Sian is the first Chief Executive of Community Catalysts, a Community Interest Company launched by Shared Lives Plus in January 2010. Over the five years since its launch Community Catalysts has worked through a range of local partners (councils, independent providers and third sector infrastructure organisations) to help local people use their gifts, talents and imagination to set up sustainable social care and health enterprises and to support the development of Shared Lives.

Sian was awarded an OBE for services to social care in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

sian lockwood


Julie Ward MEP

Julie is a Member of European Parliament and an active campaigner for equal rights and social justice.

She has extensive experience of front-line grassroots work, engaging with people from all walks of life as they try to do their best for their families and their communities often in very challenging circumstances.

Julie was recently involved in an international delegation to Belfast to participate in an all-party discussion about the role of the arts in peace-building processes. This, combined with her knowledge of social justice, equality and community cohesion make her an ideal patron for DanceSyndrome.

Organisations that have supported DanceSyndrome on their journey, include…


Spirit of 2012

Big Lottery Fund

Arts Council England


Djangoly Foundation

The Percy Bilton Charity

Austin & Hope Pilkington Trust

Lancashire Adult Learning

Lancashire County Council


Duchy of Lancaster

Preston City Council

Adactus Housing

Tudor Trust

Henry Smith Foundation

Manchester Guardian Society Charitable Trust

East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group

Partners & Supporters

Business in the Arts

Colin Mather, Harmony Blinds

Community Catalysts

Mailbox ETC (Didsbury)

North Lancashire Learning Disability Partnerships

Preston’s College

Trafford Council

UnLtd Connect

Pathways Associates

University of Central Lancashire

Lancaster University

Hynburn and Ribble Valley CVS


Caritas Care

The Bridge Centre, Accrington

My Life CIC

Andrew Curden