Biography.

Karen has been with the GDA for more than 6 years . Starting as Executive Director, then evolving into the Partnership Director.

Karen has a diverse career and background. Born in Guernsey she started working age 14 on ‘Mr Tostevin’s farm out west’ to fund her motorbike, sport and travel hobbies. Karen was fortunate to be sponsored by Kleinwort Benson to study Business and Environmental Science in London for 4 years before returning to work in the financial sector. Here she worked her way around the bank on a graduate rotation before settling in Marketing. Thanks to many opportunities Karen worked on a project in Germany before moving to the London branch to specialise in HR.

After 10 years in finance Karen had the opportunity to move to Australia where she took contracts that would not be possible in the islands working at Queensland Rail, Mining and IT start up companies before finding her niche in Analytics and strategic workforce planning. Much of her consulting work looked at analytics linked to Equality and she was fortunate to work with many diverse companies in her role as Asia Pacific lead and then EMEA Europe Middle East Africa lead for SuccessFactors.

In Australia Karen met her partner Wade and had two cheeky Ausettes (girls).

Returning with the family to Guernsey for the European role, Karen was fortune to meet the amazing Shelaine Green and observe Rob Platts at a local event. Motivated by their passion and commitment (plus having a young family) Karen gave up the traveling to work locally in the third sector.

Karen isn’t shy about stating how hard the last 6 years have been. Used to dynamic roles where you can ‘get things done’ it has been frustrating watching the slow progress of the Disability Legislation, Equality Body and other work streams delayed by politics, push back and civil service resource. But having met so many amazing members and partners at the GDA and within the wider third sector, she’s committed to ‘Changing attitudes about disability’ and equality more widely.

Karen founded Access for All and Equality Guernsey and is a committee member of the Association of Guernsey Charities

Representation.

Karen represents our membership on the following groups and committees:

  • Disability, Equality and Inclusion Strategy board – proxy for Carol Le Page (GDA) and Ellie Jones (Equality Guernsey)
  • Discrimination Legislation stakeholders group
  • Equality Guernsey
  • Association of Guernsey Charities (AGC) – Disability Sector representative
  • ITV Diversity Group

Recent news from Karen Blanchford

Karen has sent the following members to members:

It is now the right time for me to move on. As I think you all know, I am passionate about Equality and Inclusion, you as members and the changes we wish to see. After 7.5 years, with this huge milestone nearly complete, the wonderful Carol and a new board in place, it feels right. I won’t be going far … to one of our member charities GROW. I am looking forward to being part of an amazing team and crew there, as they transform their offering at the new site during 2023.

I will be seeing the legislation pass, finalising a few partnership projects, delivering the Consortium training, before taking some personal leave and joining GROW formally Jan 2023

Thank you for all your support over the last 7.5 years! Don’t worry we will tie in a leaving do with celebrating International Day of Disability early December!