The Team at Merton Centre for Independent Living 


Find out a little more about our front line team below: 


Lyla Adwan-Kamara - CEO

Lyla is CEO of Merton CIL and has been since August 2012. She has a background in marketing, research, and international development. Lyla lives in Merton with her husband and two children under 5.


Stuart Butler - Service Manager

Stuart is our Service Manager. He joined the advice team from Citizens Advice where he worked as an outreach advisor. Stuart also has an extensive background in advocacy. He read classics at Kings and has a degree in Law from Birkbeck, as well as Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law. 


John Kelly - Policy and Startergy Manager

John was a co-founder and original trustee of Merton Centre for Independent Living and has now joined the team as Policy & Strategy manager. His background is in developing Youth work and Education/Learning for Social Change. He has been an active member of the Disability Movement for over twenty years and has worked nationally and internationally on issues of Disability Equality, Inclusion and Independent Living and he is also a qualified facilitator. John is a professional artist and musician and performs nationally and internationally. John's Rights & Equalities focus and his creative practice compliment each other side by side to create accessible ways of exploring and bringing about change.


Karly Francis - Advocate

Karly joined in May 2015 and specialises in health. Karly has past experience in advocacy as well as having graduated from Hull University with a degree in Physics. Karly trains in disabled water skiing.


Richard Downes - Engagement and Development Worker 

Richard has been active in the Disability Movement as an Advocate and Activist for more than 20 years. Richard is proud to define as a disabled person. He is currently using his talents to lead our volunteer team and to direct and provide training.


Colin Finch - Advocate 

Colin previously worked at Greenwich CIL, where he worked for over five years as an advocate. Colin has a degree in Law from Oxford Brookes University. He has varied working experience – spending time working for a trade union as well as Customs and Excise (now known as Revenues and Customs).


Fatema Majid - Caseworker (Currently on Maternity Leave)

Fatema is our newest member of the team. Fatema comes froms Bradford, Yorkshire and has a Law degree from Bradford university. She has a background in both advice and advocacy. She has experience within mental health as a support worker, giving debt advice worker for people with disabilities and terminal illnesses and was a generalist outreach advice worker at Citizens Advice Bureau. Fatema is OISC level 2 qualified in Immigration advice. Fatema has represented Clients in Immigration tribunals and asylum interviews/screenings for a private immigration firm.


Charlet Wilson - Office Administrator 

Charlet joined Merton CIL in May 2015 and has a degree in Law from Brunel University.


Tam Preboye - Hate Crime Advocate 


Lizzie Wilson - Caseworker