Doncaster Fairness & Well-being Commission

A Fairness and Well-being Commission is being formed to explore fresh ways to involve local people, organisations and businesses to look at how to improve the lives of Doncaster residents in difficult financial circumstances.

Logo for fairness and wellbeing commission

How do you feel about living in Doncaster?

As part of the work the Fairness and Wellbeing Commission are doing, we are looking to gather the experiences of people who live and work in Doncaster to better understand the challenges and opportunities that residents may face.

We would like to hear from you on how you feel about living in Doncaster. Visit Doncaster Talks to fill in the survey.

Life for some people in Doncaster can be a real struggle, some people cannot easily access the things in life we consider essential such as food and heating, or spend lots of their time alone and feel isolated. This situation was highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic and is getting worse due to the rising cost of living, putting a real squeeze on household incomes. People and families should not have to choose between energy, food and essentials.

Poverty in all its forms affects people’s well-being and through Doncaster Delivering Together, our new borough plan, we have identified the basic things that we believe all people in Doncaster should be able to access and enjoy.

Doncaster’s Wellbeing Wheel acknowledges that for our residents to live a good life, we need to make sure that all people have the essentials of life, and that no one is left behind. 

  Wellbeing Wheel shows our six Wellbeing Goals

The Fairness and Well-being Commission is working to to gather evidence on the experiences of people who live and work in Doncaster so that we can better understand the challenges and opportunities they face. It will make an independent strategic assessment of the nature, extent, and causes of inequalities in Doncaster and make recommendations for tackling them in the medium and long term to improve well-being across the borough.

The potential wide scope of this inquiry means that the Commission may need to prioritise a number of key issues. These may include:

  • Barriers to work
  • Maximising income/debt
  • Food security
  • Housing costs
  • Fuel Poverty

The commission will operate in a similar way to that of a parliamentary select committee, mounting a short, focussed enquiry, taking evidence and producing a final written report.

If you would like any further information or have any queries, the commission can be contacted via email: 

Meet the Commission

Commission Chair- Dame Rosie Winterton MP

Dame Rosie Winterton

Rosie Winterton is MP for Doncaster Central, having first been elected in 1997. Rosie was brought up in Doncaster, attending Doncaster Grammar School before studying History at Hull University. Rosie held various ministerial positions from 2001-2010, including Minister of state for Transport, Minister of State for Local Government, Minister of State for Regional economic Development and Coordination and Minister for Yorkshire and the Humber. From 2010-2016 she served as Opposition Whip before being elected as a Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons in 2017.

Commission Members

Damian Allen

Damian Allen: Damian Allen is Chief Executive Officer at Doncaster Council. Since 2005, he has been a director in local government and the health service where he has had responsibility for children and adult services, commissioning, libraries and community services, mental health services, and community health services. He has also been the national director for a leading children’s charity during this period, and is a qualified teacher, who has previously taught at secondary and tertiary levels. 

Dr Rupert Suckling

Dr Rupert Suckling: Rupert Suckling is Director of Public Health at Doncaster Council. Rupert has previously held clinical and managerial roles in the NHS, local government, academia and the community, voluntary and faith sector. Qualified medical doctor, trained in general medicine, psychiatry and on the specialist register for public health medicine. His career has seen him follow the path from addressing physical to mental, and finally to social causes of ill-health across the UK. 

Rachael Leslie

Rachael Leslie: Rachael Leslie is the Deputy Director of Public Health at Doncaster Council. Her prior roles span the NHS and local government across the Midlands and the North. 

Dave Richmond

Dave Richmond: Dave Richmond is Chief Executive at St Leger Homes of Doncaster. In a 30-year local government career he has previously led the housing departments in Rotherham and Hull. During his time at the latter, they were named Strategic Housing Authority of the Year by the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Sharon Thorpe

Sharon Thorpe: Sharon Thorpe is Jobcentre Plus Service Leader for South Yorkshire. In this role she is responsible for Department for Work and Pensions relationships with external organisations across the region.

James Woods profile

James Woods: James Woods is Chief Executive at Citizens Advice Doncaster Borough. He is responsible for leading the charity with the aim of alleviating poverty and  empowering informed choices on issues that impact people's lives, through the provision of free high quality advice services. James champions the policy, research and campaigns work of CADB. He has work in the advice sector for 14 years.

Emma Norton profile

Emma Norton: Emma Norton is Head of Policy & Corporate Affairs at Doncaster Chamber. Her prior roles span the Chamber, Primary Care Sheffield, the NHS Leadership Academy and Sheffield Hallam University. She is also a Governor and Charity Trustee at the Northern College for Adults.

Cath Witherington profile

Cath Witherington: Cath Witherington is Chief Executive at Voluntary Action Doncaster, the first holder of this post. She is also an Enterprise Advisor for the SYMCA and sits on Doncaster Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board. Previously she worked as an Assistant Director in the International Education team at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills before leaving to start her own business in 2016.

Anthony Fitzgerald

Anthony Fitzgerald: Anthony Fitzgerald is Executive Place Director at NHS South Yorkshire ICB. He is also Vice-chair of Doncaster Council’s Health and Wellbeing board. His previous experience in the NHS includes Chief of Strategy and Delivery at Doncaster CCG and Director of Strategy and Delivery at Harrogate and Rural District CCG. 

Owen Dungworth

Owen Dungworth: Owen Dungworth is a Young Advisor within Doncaster Council and helps improve Children and Young People services by bringing expertise and knowledge about being young to influence strategic planning, decision-making and marketing across Doncaster. Owen has been in his current post since June 2022, prior to this Owen was an active member of Doncaster Youth Council working on various campaigns and striving to elevate the voices of young people across Doncaster.

Dolly Agoro

Dolly Agoro: Dolly Agoro is the Chair of the Doncaster Inclusion & Fairness Forum and the founder of BME United Doncaster. In addition, she is a qualified Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and specialises in immigration law in the UK where she runs her own law firm. She also runs other non-profit organisations such as Mother Deborah Ministries, is an advocacy service for victims of domestic abuse.

Councillor Rachael Blake

Cllr Rachael Blake: Cllr Rachael Blake is ward member for Rossington and Bawtry and Portfolio Holder for Children’s Social Care and Communities. She is also chair of the council’s Health and Wellbeing Board and has been appointed to represent the Authority on the Corporate Parenting Board and Migration Yorkshire Board.

Councillor Jane Kidd

Cllr Jane Kidd: Cllr Jane Kidd is ward member for Wheatley Hills and Intake. She is Chair of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee and the Chief Officer Appeals Committee. Jane also represents the Authority on the Doncaster and District Deaf Society and the and the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee. She is also a volunteer Co-ordinator at Live Inclusive, a voluntary organisation delivering services for disabled people.

Arshad Khaliq

Arshad Khaliq: Arshad Khaliq is a Programme Manager in Doncaster Council’s Policy, Insight and Change team, and is also the Founder and Chair of the Ethnic Culture Fusion Network (ECFN). In his career, Arshad has had over 25 years of leadership and senior executive experience across a portfolio of organisations in highly complex political environments, including private, public, academic, and voluntary sectors.

Reverend Eleanor Robertshaw

Revd Eleanor Robertshaw: Eleanor is Team Rector of Great Snaith in the Archdeaconry of Doncaster and was previously Curate in Stainforth. She is a member of the Diocese of Sheffield’s Board of Faith and Justice. Nationally, Eleanor is a trustee of the Church of England Pension Board and a member of the Remuneration and Conditions of Service which recently worked on the Clergy Wellbeing Covenant. She is passionate about seeing other flourish and is aware how much lack of opportunities and poor wellbeing impact on this.

Phill Mettam

Phil Mettam: Phil Mettam has been a resident of Doncaster for many years. Originally employed by the National Coal Board, he has spent over 30 years working for the NHS. Over the last 10 years he has held senior leadership roles running healthcare organisations, during this period he served on four Health and Wellbeing Boards'

Professor Ed Ferrari

Professor Ed Ferrari: Ed Ferrari is Director of the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University. He is a co-investigator on the £6m Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) running from 2017-2022. Ed has undertaken research projects on strategic housing issues, including understanding housing markets, targeting neighbourhood interventions, and examining the impacts of policy. He is also Managing Editor of the leading international journal Housing Studies

Professor Parveen Ali

Professor Parveen Ali:Professor Parveen Ali is Professor of Nursing and Gender Based Violence, a joint position held at the University of Sheffield and Doncaster & Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals. Prof Ali leads MMedSci Advanced Nursing Studies and is a Deputy Director of Research and Innovation in the Health Sciences School at University of Sheffield. Her role at the DBTH aims to develop research capacity among Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals. Her research focuses on gender-based violence, domestic abuse, inequalities in health related to gender and ethnicity, and health care professionals’ preparation.

Heather Boyce: Heather Boyce began her career as a teacher before moving into community education. In 2008 she moved into the VCF sector and started work at the Anne Frank Trust UK - an anti-prejudice charity – and worked in Senior Leadership as Head of Education Development. Since 2018 Heather has been Chief Executive at Age UK Doncaster, a charity and SME providing home care and other services to help older people live and age well.


Session Summaries and Documents

Here you can find summary notes from the Fairness and Well-being Commission's sessions alongside associated documents.

Call for Evidence

As part of the work the commission is doing to assess the nature, extent, causes and impact of social inequalities in Doncaster, organisations and individual with an interest in improving fairness in the city are invited to provide evidence or information to further the commissions assessment. 

DFaWC Call for Evidence
Download (426KB - PDF)

Please read the Call for Evidence document for full details and share the document with partner organisations and individuals who may be interested in providing evidence. 

Submissions are to be emailed to If you have any further queries or require any additional support, please do not hesitate to contact us.  

Organisation Submissions