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About Us

The Dante Leigh Foundation is named after Dante Leigh, a British man who was born with a rare genetic syndrome diagnosed as Le Jeune Thoracic Dystrophy.

At the time of his birth he was not given much chance of surviving past a few weeks. However, through medical interventions, therapy and dedicated friends and family, Dante surpassed all expectations and continues to lives a happy life. However, while he is in good health, it is still a challenge trying to meet aspirations for him. These include seeking to meet his full potential which may or may not include contributing to the community in which he resides.

The Dante Leigh Foundation was set up as a recognition of the support received and opportunities given to Dante from birth up to his twenty-first birthday, with the aim of giving back the same to disabled and disadvantaged persons within communities in the UK and worldwide.

We seek to help minimise the frustrations families and friends of those with learning and physical disabilities encounter in sourcing information and accessing suitable services to meet their needs based on the experience of Dante’s family.

We aim to reduce the need for knee jack placements for any with a learning disability by advocating for more independent living as they enter adulthood, similar to any other young person needing their own space and independence.

Our Vision

Our vision is to see disabled children grow up and achieve independence in adulthood like any other child with confidence that they would be supported by their community when necessary to enable them to contribute to society.

Charitable Objects

The objects of The Dante Leigh Foundation as declared in its Memorandum of Association are to:

Provided the relief of disabled people by the provision of accommodation, education, training for employment and such other services as the trustees shall from time to time in their absolute discretion determine.

Provide facilities for the creation and leisure time occupation in the interest of social welfare with the aim of improving conditions of life for those who have need of such facilities.

Our Trustees

Our Board of Trustees is responsible for shaping the strategy and direction of The Dante Leigh Foundation. We meet regularly to ensure our policies and strategies help us be there for the disabled and disadvantaged.

Jean Leigh

Jean Leigh is the co-founder of The Dante Leigh Foundation and has a long career in charity finance, governance and administration. She is a fellow of  The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland, is certified in General Practice Management, and holds a diploma in Business Studies.

She is a mother of three children including Dante Leigh whom the charity is named after. In her spare time she loves listening to music and attending concerts and theatre productions.

Reuben Leigh

Reuben Leigh is a sibling to Dante Leigh and a father to a son with ADHD. He brings to the charity his experience with disability and his eagerness to ensure that disability does not define a person’s capabilities. His advocacy and support of his son is a testament to this.

He is one of the General Managers within ‘Mitchells and Butlers’ and has over 18 years experience within the hospitality industry – 15 years with Mitchells and Butlers. He is sociable, has an appealing and lively quality about him which is advantageous for the charity in campaigns.

Genevieve Patnelli

Genevieve is a Medical Secretary and Failsafe Officer for one of London’s teaching hospitals. She brings with her legal work experiences having worked as a legal secretary in a large City of London legal firm for several years. She also served in the leadership team of her church for 12 years (the last three being in a senior position) and was on the Board of Trustees for the church and the building for 3 years.