Simon began working for the NHS as a General Management trainee in 1988. He worked at Southwark Consortium (now Choice Support), in London in the early 1990s and was awarded a Harkness Fellowship for his early work on individualised funding. He went on to found Inclusion Glasgow in 1996, and helped to create several other organisations in Scotland. In 1999 he began work to design systems of self-directed support for local authorities. From 2003 to 2009 he led the development of personal budgets in England as CEO of In Control. Since then he has also been policy advisor to the Campaign for a Fair Society, Chair of the Housing & Support Alliance and coordinator of Learning Disability Alliance England (now merged into Learning Disability England).In 2009 Simon founded the Centre for Welfare Reform as an independent think tank committed to equality and social justice. In 2016 he co-founded Citizen Network which is a growing global cooperative and social movement to advance citizenship for all. In 2017 he co-founded UBI Lab Sheffield and has been very active in the global movement for a basic income for all.
Simon writes on a wide range of topics from the practical to the philosophical. Key publications include Unlocking the Imagination (1996), Keys to Citizenship (2003) Women at the Centre (2011) A Fair Income (2011) Peer Power (2012) and The Unmaking of Man (2013).
Simon is a proud citizen of Sheffield, where he lives with his wife Nicola and their son Jacob. When he gets any free time he likes to be with his family, to try and read Latin and Greek, to windsurf, walk, ski, cycle and work in the garden.
1986 – Philosophy Scholarship to Dartmouth College, New Hampshire
1994 – Harkness Fellowship to University of Colorado
2001 – PhD in Moral Theory at Edinburgh University
2006 – Honorary Senior Research Fellowship at University of Birmingham
2008 – Prince Albert Medal from the RSA
2011 – Jack Tizard Lecturer at the University of Kent
2011 – Social Policy Association’s Award for Outstanding Contribution from a Non-Academic
2014 – Sir Keith Wilson Oration at the Australian Association of Gerontology Conference
2020 – Norah Fry Annual Lecture