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Project team and partners

Illustration of trans people in bathroom

Project team (listed in alphabetical order)

Image of Azekel Axelle

Azekel Axelle (They/Them)

Hi, I'm Azekel and I'm Founding Director of the Black Trans Foundation, an organisation that provides free therapy to Black trans and non-binary individuals in the UK. My work focuses on creating and building new worlds where the societal structures that uphold ableism, transphobia and white supremacy have no power. I am working on the section of the project that focuses on the healthcare experiences of Black trans people and trans people of colour. I hope that this work will continue to support new structures that center our needs.

Image of Evelyn Callahan

Evelyn Callahan (They/Them)

In addition to my role as one of the research fellows on this project with The Open University, I am currently finishing up my PhD in sociology at Brunel University London with a focus on trans people's experiences of healthcare in the U.K. I also have a BA in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut and an MSc from University College London in Medical Anthropology. While my research interests are varied, I am always focused on the real-world application of the work and on being of service the researched communities. This work in particular is incredibly personal to me as someone who is non-binary and transmasculine as well as pansexual. In this way I value my ability to speak on these topics from a place of both academic knowledge and personal experience. Originally from Connecticut I now live in London with my partner Will. In my precious little free time I enjoy reading fiction, going for country walks, and decorative planning.

Image of Jamie Fletcher

Jamie Fletcher (She/Her)

I am a freelance theatre/film director, musician and a part-time research co-ordinator at Yorkshire MESMAC. Over the last 8 years I have been involved in a range of trans and queer activism, campaigning and support work. I have led bespoke trans training with churches, charities, universities, theatres and primary and secondary health care establishments. In 2016 I co-founded Non-Binary Leeds and led the support group until 2018. From 2017-2019 I worked part-time as a Gender Outreach Worker for LGIS and Yorkshire MESMAC helping shape local provision and services as well as providing one to one support for trans people and facilitating a range of groups and support services including Trans Mental Health Support Group in partnership with Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service, Trans Sexual Health Clinic with Yorkshire Mesmac and Leeds Sexual Health and Making Waves trans (including non-binary) only gym and swim sessions at Bramley Baths. I am originally from Manchester but now call Leeds my home. I live there with my amazing partner who I married last year. I am a board games geek and I am currently trying to re-learn my childhood hobby of skateboarding and skating… it’s sort of working.

Image of Tajah Hamilton

Tajah Hamilton (They/Them)

Hi! I'm Tajah, a consultant for the ICTA project, as well as a diversity and inclusion professional, writer and poet. Within the ICTA project specifically, I am looking at the healthcare experiences of trans people who are also Black or people of colour. This work highlights the need for a holistic look at the healthcare system for trans people, and I hope it will lead to vast improvements based on community needs.

Image of Richard Holti

Richard Holti (He/His)

I’m Professor of Professional Learning at The Open University Business School – my work is all about how professionals and the organisations they work in learn and improve what they do. I’m an experienced researcher and educator in health services. The key challenges for health professionals include deepening their understanding of the needs of people who use services, and of how different services can work together to meet the needs of the whole person. I’m proud to have led a programme of leadership development for the NHS in England which reached thousands of clinicians and managers and helped them focus on the perspective of the service user. This project on improving care for trans people matters to me personally because I have an adult trans son. Whilst I’ve seen some great care provided by the NHS, as a cis person I’ve also been dismayed at the problems a trans person can encounter, such as lack of coordination and shared understanding between a GIC and a GP practice. I’ve lived in Brixton in South London for over thirty years and love the rich diversity of the area. But I still consider myself a northerner – I grew up near Newcastle-on-Tyne.

Image of Sam Hope

Sam Hope (They/Them)

I am the Patient and Public Involvement Lead for the project, ensuring the trans community in all its diversity has a voice at every stage of the process. A therapist, author and trainer, as well as a committed activist, I am always looking for new and creative ways of building support, solidarity and inclusion for marginalised groups.  This year I authored Person-Centred Counselling for Trans and Gender Diverse People, and I also blog and run the Facebook page Trans Inclusive Feminism. I’m a big sci-fi nerd and live with my partner and three cats near Nottingham.

Image of Peter Keogh

Peter Keogh (He/His)

I’m a Senior Lecturer in Public Health and Deputy Associate Dean for Research Excellence at the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies at The Open University. I’ve been doing research in the area sexuality and sexual and reproductive health for nearly thirty years now.  I have always taken an applied and community-oriented approach to my work and believe that as much as possible, health research needs to be done by and for the people most affected and invested. I was inspired to become a researcher in the area of HIV as a result of my own experiences as a gay man living around the virus since the early 1990s, and for many years, I researched the social, intimate and sexual lives of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in the context of HIV. I have also carried out a lot of applied research on the needs of LGBT communities. More recently, I’ve become increasingly involved in research on the sexual and reproductive rights and experiences of people in development and humanitarian settings around the world, but I still do lots of work in the UK. I live in central London with ‘him indoors’ and our drop-dead gorgeous pooch Hattie.

Image of Naomi Moller

Naomi Moller (She/Her)

My main professional role is as an academic counselling psychologist – I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at The Open University. I have an interest in policy and national debates around mental health and the provision of psychological therapies and also have a role as Research Consultant for the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. My research interests historically have been broad (eating disorders, fat in therapy, infidelity, couple and family therapy) but I have a long standing interest in diversity issues as they relate to equitable access and non-discriminatory treatment in psychological therapy, which is what drew me to the current project. I identify as cis-gender and heterosexual. I live with my partner of 20+ years Hanan; we have three teenagers, two dogs and two cats. I dislike housework but enjoy cooking and reading sci-fi and fantasy.

Image of Michael Petch

Michael Petch (They/Them)

I am am the Policy and Research Coordinator at LGBT Foundation and have been working there since 2017. I also work in the volunteer programme but have been involved in all sorts in my time there. I have done a fair amount of training development and delivery, but I think my proudest moment so far has to be the production of the “Sex Guides”, three LGBT inclusive sexual health educational resources written with support from community members. I was really drawn to this project because of my own personal history with gender identity and expression as a non-binary person, particularly around the challenges of navigating healthcare. I have academic experience of researching trans (including non-binary) people’s identities over time and their use of language throughout. I am excited to be working on a project where I can develop these skills, and where my research will have benefits for the wider trans community. I live in Manchester with my partner, and our two Guinea Pigs (Ripley and Treacle). I enjoy reading and playing video games away from work and am particularly excited for Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Image of Benjamin Taylor

Benjamin Taylor (He/They)

I am the Community Development Worker for the ICTA project. I’m transmasculine/non-binary and pansexual. I have a post-graduate certificate in the history of medicine from the University of Leeds and a BA in History from University of London. I love reading anything to do with medicine, gender and disability. As a trans person this project is very important to me as I always want to help my community in any way I can. I am also a queer, disability and fat activist, I have created art and work online with others to educate others and spread positivity. In my free time, in-between activism and working, I love to crotchet for my etsy shop, read and care for my many house plants.

Image of Ben Vincent

Ben Vincent (They/Them)

I am one of two research fellows on this project (together with Evelyn). I am a queer, non-binary person, and I completed my PhD at the University of Leeds (on non-binary identity negotiation in relation to healthcare and LGBTQ communities) in December 2016. I also have a BA in Biological Natural Sciences (specialising in Genetics) and an MPhil in Multi-Disciplinary Gender Studies, both from the University of Cambridge. I am author of the book Transgender Health: A Practitioner’s Guide to Binary and Non-Binary Trans Patient Care (Jessica Kingsley, 2018), and a few more books on the way! When I’m not juggling these, I’m a keen piano player, play video games, and enjoy painting and drawing.

Image of Paul Walley

Paul Walley (He/His)

I am a senior lecturer in The Open University Business School. I’m involved in research in a wide range of public sector organisations, but most of the research I’ve been doing in the last 20 years has in some way been connected to healthcare. I’m passionate about helping improve health services to maintain availability for everyone, minimising waits and delays and improving the quality of the service that is delivered. Most of my work has been in whole system improvement, emergency care and mental health, so this project is interesting to me as it is so different to those I’ve worked on in the past. My research generally translates and adapts system analysis and improvement methods from other sectors to public services, and this is how I’ll be contributing to this project. My favourite part of any project is the field work, and always enjoy meeting both service providers and service users to understand their perspectives. I identify as cis-gender and heterosexual (and use the pronouns he and his).

Project partners

The project lead organisation is The Open University. A number of the project researchers are Open University employees.

There are also two third sector project partners, both organisations with a history of supporting trans (including non-binary) people: LGBT Foundation and Yorkshire MESMAC. Two of the project researchers work for these organisations.

The focus of the ICTA project is on improving healthcare for trans (including non-binary) people. Two NHS Trusts are thus also project partners: Leeds and York NHS Partnership Foundation Trust and Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust.

OU logo
LGBT Foundation logo
Yorkshire MESMAC logo
NHC Northamptonshire logo
NHS Leeds and York logo