Disability-Smart Senior Champion Award – 2019

Tim is sat down at a table smiling at the camera with an award next to him

Winner – Tim Fallowfield, Sainsbury’s

What we were looking for

Someone who uses their position of seniority within an organisation to advocate for disabled people. Their influence should ideally be within their organisation and throughout the wider business community. We wanted to see strong leadership leading to real changes for disabled people.

What did he do?

Tim Fallowfield is Company Secretary and Director of Corporate Services at Sainsbury’s. He is very active within Sainsbury’s, as chair of the Disability Steering Group and Board Sponsor for Carers and Disability. He regularly hosts listening groups for disabled colleagues to raise anything they want to be heard. He also uses his influence over internal policies to ensure the concerns of disabled colleagues are considered, for example by conducting an accessibility audit at the Store Support Centre.

Tim has influenced government policy through lobbying efforts with the Ministers for Disability and the Department for Work and Pensions, leading to Sainsbury’s being used as an example in a DWP consultation. He is a prolific speaker and writer on the importance of leadership on disability issues, and he regularly hosts events. He chairs the Business Leaders’ Group and makes disability inclusion a key priority of his work there.

Why did he win?

If you live and work in this area, it’s almost impossible not to be aware of Tim’s impact due to the sheer range and volume of work he does. He works tirelessly within and outside Sainsbury’s to improve the lives of disabled people. Our judges had no doubt that he’s devoted to championing disability inclusion and awareness.

He is a highly effective senior champion, with tangible and significant results. For example, Sainsbury’s stores now have dementia-friendly toilets, and many run regular Autism Hours. He also played a crucial role in Sainsbury’s joining the Valuable 500 campaign.

Tim won because the work he’s done is unparalleled, both in terms of quality and quantity. He has shown and continues to show true leadership.

Watch Tim's acceptance video here:


Katy Talikowska – from creative agency AMV BBDO, Katy was instrumental in the creation of the Valuable 500’s ‘Diversish’ film and #Diversish, which encouraged business leaders not to overlook disability in their diversity and inclusion work.

Victoria Cleland – as the Bank of England’s Executive Director of Banking Payments and Innovation, Victoria has led the Bank’s inclusion measures, including the accessible and inclusive design of the new polymer £10 notes, and making the Bank the first public organisation to sign up to the Valuable 500.

Pavithra Ys – Founder and Managing Director of Vindhya e-Information, a socio-economic venture based in India that works to employ and empower disabled people.

Inspired to enter the 2020 Disability-Smart Awards? Contact our Events team at events@businessdisabilityforum.org.uk for more information.