Meet the team

Welcome to the Assistive Technology team at Leonard Cheshire.


Our team is led by Steve Tyler, a visionary leader with 30 years of experience in the accessible technology sector and making technology work for disabled people. 

Steve started our department with a pilot project at Hill House, building our team to deliver new technologies to the residents and facilities. Securing additional external funding along the way, Steve has led our team to expand its reach again and again, reaching more services within Leonard Cheshire across the Northeast and Northwest regions.

Our team now includes Julie Eshleman, a dedicated researcher focused on using technology to improve lives, and Dave Hursthouse, who oversees our strategic growth. We also have Kay Barnes, our first Assistive Technologist, and Will Baker, who both work directly with our projects to bring the latest tech solutions to those who need them most. Together, we are committed to helping people live, learn, and earn in their chosen communities.

Headshot of Steve Tyler

Steve Tyler

Job Title: Director of Assistive Technology and Digital Transformation

Steve brings 30 years of experience in accessibility, assistive technology, and digital transformation. His experience includes working in such areas as improving disability access in retail, transport, finance, TV and radio, mobile telecoms, and publishing. Steve has a background in accessibility and technology and product usability, with a Masters in Business Administration and Bachelor of Science. When not working, you can find him roasting and brewing his own coffees, trying out new technologies, and spending time with his family.

Find Steve on LinkedIn

Headshot of Julie Eshleman

Julie Eshleman

Job Title:  Assistive Technology Researcher

Julie is our dedicated Assistive Technology researcher, with 20 years of experience in disability supports, organisational psychology, and mixed methods research. She is currently completing her PhD in Sociology and Social Policy through the University of Stirling, leveraging her expertise to produce rigorous research focused on the AT work at Leonard Cheshire. Julie is not all work though; she also enjoys reading, being outdoors, and especially reading outdoors! Her experiences and interests bring a unique perspective to our team!

Find Julie on LinkedIn

Headshot of Dave Hursthouse

Dave Hursthouse

Job Title: Assistive Technology Manager

Dave brings more than 30 years of experience in senior Information Technology (IT) roles with e-commerce retailers. Currently, he is working on overseeing the expansion of the team and extending the single-site AT concept to two regional AT Hubs for Leonard Cheshire services. Dave has a background in technology management and leading business and cultural change. When not working, you can find him taking on a variety of endurance challenges including Ultra Marathons and Ironman Triathalons, or volunteering as a lifeboat crew member on the RNLI’s Porthdinllaen all weather lifeboat on the Llyn Peninsular in North Wales.

Find Dave on LinkedIn

Headshot of Kay Barnes

Kay Barnes

Job Title: Assistive Technologist

Introducing Kay, the very first Assistive Technologist of our team. Kay has been in the care and support field for over 30 years and has made significant contributions in nursing care, community support, palliative care, and supportive living services in Cheshire, England. Currently, she is engrossed in bringing technology champions along the Leonard Cheshire AT journey at new project sites in the NE and NW. In her free time, Kay loves reading, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends.

Find Kay on LinkedIn

Headshot of Will Baker

Will Baker

Job Title: Assistive Technologist

Introducing Will, our team’s second Assistive Technologist. Will has been in the technology field for 4 years and has made significant contributions, including a short film exploring the life of learning difficulties in children. Currently, he is engrossed in expanding the future for Leonard Cheshire residents with AT implementation. In his free time, Will loves a round of golf, video games, photography, and going for pints with mates!

Find Will on LinkedIn