Trustees

Andy Goodwin – Chair

Andy has worked in the Financial Services’ sector for more than 30 years and is a fully qualified Financial Adviser. He has vast experience in motivating staff and encouraging achievement of targets, both in a personal capacity and on a corporate level. Andy is Hard of Hearing.

Barry Avison – Treasurer

Barry qualified from AAT 25 years ago and brings a wealth of disability arts and culture experience to the Board. A well-known member of the Deaf Community, Barry is part of the ground-breaking and innovative DaDaFest (Disability and Deaf Art) team, which he has nurtured from a small community arts organisation to a leading international festival production.  His voluntary roles have included Treasurer of the British Deaf Association, Chair of the Sign Dance Theatre Trust and Chair of Newcastle Deaf Club. Presently Barry is involved with the Wirral Deaf Community, Conwy Coast Deaf Golf Society, MerseySign Deaf Theatre and RiverSign Sign Choir. Barry moved to Merseyside (via London) from Newcastle 25 years ago after working with the NHS and a Sign Dance Theatre company.

Katy McGunigle

Katy has more than 30 years’ experience of working in the charitable and health and social care sectors. Katy grew up with a significant hearing loss and relied on lip reading. After acquiring some of her hearing in her late 20s, her involvement with Merseyside Society for Deaf People increased. In the last couple of years Katy has written and produced the play ‘Perception of Time’ in British Sign Language and English, which has led her to link in with public health services and universities researching the inequalities within Cancer services for D/deaf people.  

John Brennan

John brings more than 25 years senior management experience to the Board having led organisations delivering specialist services for communities with any degree of hearing or dual sensory loss.
Previously Director of the UK Council on Deafness and CEO of Cumbria Deaf Association and MSDP, Mr Brennan has significant expertise, knowledge and experience at a strategic and operational level.  John is also a founder Board member of Network for Europe and Expanding Horizons, organisations supporting the voluntary sector to access European funding/activity and improve social inclusion.

Mr Brennan’s considerable success in fundraising and local authority contract management l strengthen the charity’s capacity and capability, to respond to the many challenges currently faced by many specialist Deaf services and community support organisations.

His local knowledge and regional, national and international network and experience, enhances the organisation’s response to developing new opportunities and services which meet the changing and evolving needs within the Deaf and hard of hearing communities.

Elaine McDonald


Elaine brings 22 years’ experience to MSDP’s Board ranging from clinical audit and governance through to operational and operational management.  Holding a variety of posts in London hospital trusts and London Ambulance Service, Elaine has worked at regional level with the NHS Regulator as well as senior leadership roles in large acute hospitals, heading up hospital divisions for supra-regional specialist services. 

Five years ago Elaine relocated from London to the Wirral with her young family to enjoy a quieter pace of life. Her current interests include being a School Governor as well as undertaking voluntary and casual work in local primary and secondary schools.