Marina is an experienced Educational Psychologist. She has worked as an educational psychologist for over 13 years, working for Local Authorities providing a range of psychology services for children and young people with a range of special educational needs up to the age of 25 years. Marina is also trained teacher with experience as a SENCO and EMA teacher working with children with English as an additional language.
Marina graduated with a Master’s degree and completed her professional training as an educational psychologist at the University of East London in 2001. She is registered as an Educational Psychologist with the Health Care Professions Council. Marina is a member of the Association of Educational Psychologists, the British Psychological Society and the Division of Educational and Child Psychologists. Marina has continued throughout her career to remain updated with the latest research and approaches including attending courses and training workshops.
Marina was introduced to Inclusive Solutions and person-centred approaches over 10 years ago. She is committed to inclusion and participation and making a difference to vulnerable children and young people.
Within Local Authorities, Marina has held specialist responsibilities including:
- Coordinating the supervision of educational psychologists in training.
- Supporting the Local Authority to develop their policy on nurture groups.
- Addressing and building the capacity of educators to address the speech and language needs of children and young people in schools.
- Leading a strategic multiagency group on anti-bullying in schools.
Extensive work with a specialist provision for young people with social, mental and emotional needs.
Marina currently works part-time as a Senior Educational Psychologist in the London Borough of Barnet which provides a service to Barnet children and young people. Since September 2014, she has also worked as an independent Educational Psychologist.
Louis Newton is a young man based in Nottingham working primarily with Inclusive Solutions and engaged in a range of activities.
Louis is working as:
- Inclusion Facilitator
- Graphic Facilitator
- PA for a man with Epilepsy and also for a young man with cerebral palsy
- Sales/Marketing Administrator
From an early age Louis has been involved in the Inclusion movement.
As a teenager Louis was involved with Inclusive Solutions European trip to Bologna, Italy where he visited a range of schools to research and promote inclusion.
Louis then worked as a Teaching Assistant for several years. He then started working as a PA for a young man with cerebral palsy who is very active in the inclusion community. This experience really kickstarted Louis on his journey to find the answers to create a more inclusive world.
Louis was introduced to PA work through the NG circle in Nottingham which has been running for many years and he was one of the founding members of the circle. Louis has been part of setting up new community circles and has also been a graphic facilitator for several community circles and PATH’s.
Louis is developing and active involvement with ALFIE (Alliance for Inclusive Education).
More recently Louis has been involved in a new initiative involving person centred planning with families.
His motto is “Together we plan, then we open the doors.”
Ms Sharon Gray OBE
Teacher of the Year!
I am currently an Education Consultant at Wholehearted Learning and the UK Hub Director for an International Charity – ecl foundation. The ecl Foundation is an international charity, registered in the UK, whose work and purpose is enhancing children’s lives. We help adults to create environments that enrich the emotional well-being, creativity and learning of children and young people. Our focus is to release a child’s innate desire to learn and for them to discover joy in their learning. We have national hubs in the UK, Namibia and South Africa and representatives in Holland, America and Asia. All delivering transformational new working practices to adults working with vulnerable children and their families, who face multiple challenges, including, mental health problems, inequality, poverty, violence and addiction.
I have been a Headteacher for 18 years, most recently, the former Headteacher at Netherfield Primary and Pre-School, a larger than average primary school of 488 children in an area of significant deprivation. I joined Netherfield Primary School in September 2009. At this time the school was in special measures. In July 2013, the school was judged by Ofsted to be outstanding in all areas. My previous experience includes 12 years leading special schools including residential units for children and young people experiencing severe social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEMH).Under my leadership I have enabled and supported sustainable change. The Cedars Primary School, Beormund and Harbour were all facing considerable difficulties when I joined them. They have all now been judged by Ofsted to be outstanding.
I currently represent mainstream schools in the Gedling area at the Strategic Behaviour and Attendance Partnership (SBAP). This identifies and supports schools and children who are experiencing social, emotional and mental health difficulties.
I am an active member of the SEND London Leadership Strategy team and work directly with them through the DfE to secure positive outcomes for children and young people experiencing SEND.
I am the Advisory Head for a Primary Free School in Liverpool and have recently supported the LIPA team through the bid writing process, interview, and appointment of Head teacher. I helped to ensure the school was ready for opening in September 2014, for example, developing the curriculum. I am now very much involved in supporting recruitment, staff and families.
I am a co-opted member of Engage in Their Future, formerly NAES, and sit on the national committee that represents SEHM schools. This committee supports the development of guidance and policy with the DfE for the most vulnerable learners who have been excluded from school or who are at risk of being excluded.
I am an Ofsted team inspector and work for SERCO; I have been an inspector for 8 years. This enables me to have a detailed knowledge and understanding of the inspection process and gain new ideas and insights from different schools.
My philosophy is one of authentic inclusion. I aim for everyone within the community to see themselves as a responsible and vital part of securing positive outcomes for all. I work systemically to enable everyone to be a successful leader and a lifelong learner.
I feel privileged to take on roles within school leadership. I aim to demonstrate my philosophy in everything I do by involving everyone. I ensure every person in the organisation is clear about their role, responsibilities and accountabilities and has the highest expectations. I believe that teams working together create the necessary climate of challenge and support to bring about continuous improvement and success.
The key to ensuring value, respect and success for all lies with managers. I believe in establishing systems for rigorous monitoring and effective feedback to all members of the organisation.
I use my philosophy of firm love to model my own very high expectations. I do this through robust structures and systems that ensure everyone feels contained and confident to grow and be creative.
Tara Flood is a disability rights activist and has been the Director at the Alliance for Inclusive Education since April 2006. Tara has been involved with the disability rights movement at a grass-roots level, for the last 14 years, and she is committed to creating social and political change, that will deliver equality for all disabled people at a local, regional, national, European and international level.
Tara was involved in the discussions at the United Nations in the development of the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and is now working to get the Convention fully implemented.
Tara works with organisations led by disabled people, allied organisations, children’s rights organisations, statutory agencies and Government departments, both in a personal and professional capacity, and is committed to the voices and experiences of ALL disabled people being at the heart of discussions and decision making about our lives. Tara is a disabled person and a ‘special’ school survivor.
At the age of seventeen I was sent on a work placement to a special school. During this time I had the pleasure of working closely with a seven year old girl called Chloe. I was given the task to help her achieve her target to count up to three. Within two weeks Chloe could count up to five and she could say my name. Chloe had Downs Syndrome, and up until that point I hadn’t met anyone like her before. Chloe gave me my first lessons on taking small steps, valuing each moment and remembering to laugh along the way. It was also the first time I questioned segregated education. It’s fascinating that you can live in a moment and not know how it may make a difference in your life.
For over 10 years I worked in early year’s education supporting settings to be more inclusive. I believe it is important that all children access an education that meets their needs and I hope over the years I have empowered people to seek this right. Equally, I appreciate that much of the work for more inclusive education is changing people hearts and minds, so when I first met Colin and Derek about 8 years ago, when they delivered a number of sessions to our service about the inclusive solution tools they used, I was very excited. Over the years I have used these tools with different groups of people and I hope to continue to develop my practice, as there is indeed, something very special about helping people pursue their journey to build relationships and aspire to achieving their dreams.
In 2013, I completed my Doctorate in Child, Community and Educational Psychology at the Tavistock and Portman. I work and live in South East London.
When I was born I was thought to be perfect, (which of course I was). After four days my parents became very concerned at my incessant crying every time they picked me up or tried to change my nappy. They took me back to hospital where X-rays helped doctors to diagnose Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or ‘Brittle Bones’. As I already had fractures in my legs they thought I had a very ‘severe’ form of the condition, and told my parents that I would probably not live very long. I have a deep and defining memory of this moment when it felt that the whole world stepped back from me.
Being a disabled child is very different from being a non- disabled child. The world you inhabit is shaped by prejudice, assumptions, false predictions, and fear. Your ability to withstand this is dependent on the people with whom you are connected – how much they can love you and protect you from the value judgements of others. This is itself a matter of luck – how much support and information they themselves have, and how confident they are to challenge authority and the insidious attempts of society to de-value their children.
My family were a mixed bag. They did love me, of this I had no doubt, but they did not have the confidence to fight for me. Consequently my early years were dominated by professionals and by the power of the State to separate me from ‘ordinary’ society. I spent many months in hospitals, and many years isolated at home. My education consisted of five hours a week Home Tuition while my sister went to school. The boredom and loneliness was crushing.
At the age of fourteen I went to a residential Special School in Hampshire, at my own request. It was the first and only place in the UK in which disabled girls could study up to A level standard. There I was able to study a greater range of subjects and consequently get the qualifications to get into Art College, my sole ambition of the time. More importantly, it gave me access to other young women like me, all of us angry at how the world was treating us. Much healing laughter and tears were shared in our night time dormitories.
At Seventeen I went to Art College. It was my first venture into the able-bodied world and neither side were prepared for it. I was too shy to speak, they were too awkward to help. I spent three fairly unhappy years learning about the world in which I had been told I was too ‘faulty’ to enter. I was generally shocked and disillusioned. The non-disabled world was really not that great, and the people in it seemed to know very little. I realised that I was not motivated by competition, greed or artistic ego, and that commercial art was not for me. This of course led to a big problem in that I was not trained to do anything else. Added to the fact that most employers were too shocked by my diminutive size to imagine me managing in their factories or offices, I was forced down a very difficult path to follow, but one which has, in the end, been infinitely richer and more satisfying than a life designing cereal boxes or advertisements. I had to learn to take charge of my own life.
The remainder of my story up to now demands a whole book to be written. The significant events are:
- all my close relationships
- becoming politicised via the women’s movement
- discovering and joining the Alternative Society, (a meeting place for radical thinkers in all areas of social development from world peace to education, including Dr E.F. Schumacher, Leopld Kohr and many others)
- meeting Harvey Jackins and (partially) recovering from past hurts through learning to use the tools of Re-Evaluation Co-Counselling
- helping to develop the Disability Movement
- daring to have a baby
- meeting politicised parents of disabled children
- meeting Richard Rieser and starting the Alliance for Inclusive Education
- the ongoing struggle to use my counselling, speaking, artistic and literary skills in the service of humanity rather than profit
I currently live in Tooting, London and have recently become self employed having been the Co-Ordinator/Director of the Alliance for fifteen years. I am a regular writer of an ‘Opinion Page’ for Community Care Magazine and have recently become a patron of the Children’s Rights Alliance for England.
I still believe that people are essentially good, and can and will eventually build a classless, inclusive society. I love being part of making it happen.
Apart from all the above issues, I am interested in listening to folk music, painting and photography, and am working with a group of friends to set up ‘Full Circle’, a co-housing community in the West of England in which one day I hope to live with my friends, growing old disgracefully together.
Read more of Micheline’s story on her website.
I have a passion for music, technology and equality. I have spent a lot of time studying the ways we can include people in mainstream society, learning from the gurus of Inclusion in the U.S and Canada. I have a broad range of skills ranging from Sound Engineering to Inclusion Facilitation, and I have a good knowledge of IT.
6 months (2014) as the Manager and Chief Engineer of a Council funded Recording Studio project in Nottingham City. 3 months in the U.S (2014) on an internship learning from two Community Organisations: Neighbours Inc (New Jersey) and Citizen Advocacy (Georgia).
- Advocacy: saw the different ways we can utilise people from our community to stand up for people with no voice.
- Listening: there is a story behind every situation.
- Creativity: met various business owners who could not find employment elsewhere because of their disabilities.
- Graphics: Participated in Graphic Facilitation training workshops, which is an innovative note taking method useful for groups including disabled people.
- Video Production: Documentary Filming, Directing, Interviewing and Editing. (Final Cut Pro)
- Photography: Took and edited large amounts of photos of conferences, training sessions and public events.
2009-2015: Personal Assistant to disabled adults.
- Responsibility: administration of prescription drugs.
- Dependability: having someone’s life in your hands.
- Team player: working as part of a team to provide the best quality care we can.
- Support: encouragement and confidentiality.
Leeds Beckett University: Music Technology BSc (Hons):
- Game Audio
- Audio Software Programming (Max MSP)
- Sound Design (Kontakt)
- Studio Recording Techniques
- Applied Acoustics
- Sound Reproduction Systems
- Music Technology in the Community
- Hi-Fi Loudspeaker Design
Trinity Leeds Apple Store (2015 – present): Listening to customers needs and finding them the perfect solution, as well as providing exceptional customer service. My work is assessed by customer feedback, so I strive to exceed their expectations.
- Teamwork: My colleagues and I work together to solve technical issues and help customers find new ways of doing things.
- Enriching lives: we help customers get the most out of their products and themselves by providing workshops and one to one tuition on how to use them.
- Personalisation: I get to spend time getting to know each customer without time constraints, commission or targets, which is very rewarding, and I meet some very interesting people every day.
Kat Booker has a background in psychology which has supported her work with children with children with challenging behaviour throughout her career. She began her career as a TA in a weekday residential BESD school in Sussex. After qualifying as a teacher she went on to work in Southwark, London in a BESD primary school. Here she worked as part of a team that redeveloped a curriculum that embraced many of the principles and practices of nurture groups. After a year living and working in Melbourne, Australia, in mainstream settings she returned to work in a range of schools from infant mainstream to secondary BESD before grasping the opportunity to develop a nurture group in a large primary school in a significantly deprived area of Nottingham. Within a year this provision had been described by OFSTED as outstanding and its impact across the school was tangible.
This spurred the development of a second key stage 1 unit which went on to offer enhanced provision placements to other schools in the locality. This inclusive intervention style played a significant part in shaping her thinking as the SENCO and as an Outreach Support Worker within the authority supporting other schools. Kat has spoken at conferences across the country and has now returned to her home in Sussex where she is director of the independent consultancy Meet the Need Ltd, which seeks to help others to identify and meet the needs of children with SEN, particularly those with SEMH. Having participated in team visioning work with Inclusive Solutions for over 10 years and seen the impact this has had on inclusivity, she is now an associate co-facilitator and provides graphics to a range of intervention work sessions.
Marnie is a Inclusive Educational Psychologist who is so positive and wonderfully person centred. She operates out of the East Midlands area. Marnie has worked in a paid and / or voluntary capacity with children, young people and families for over 30 years. This work has often been with people who have found it hard to find a voice or be heard and has often been with communities that may be vulnerable or who are facing challenges. She remains committed to and is passionate about inclusion and participation.
Working as an educational psychologist in an inclusive way for the past 12 years Marnie, was the first person in two large Local Authorities to use PATH and MAP processes to support mainstream inclusion. She created Child-Centred-Reviews and Meetings and has developed these for 11 years; and has presented this work at the Portage National Conference. Person Centred Planning, thinking and ethos is at the heart of all Marnie’s work.
Celebrating and promoting inclusion and participation within Local Authorities enabled Marnie to work with an artist to position young people’s views about inclusion into poster and banner form; produce information leaflets and write various articles for publication.
Achieving her Doctorate in educational psychology at the Tavistock and Portman Clinic, Marnie remains committed to promoting mental health in schools, organisations and communities. This research explored young peoples views about mental health promotion in secondary schools with the emergence and development of an ecological model of mental health promotion (Aston, 2012). Questionnaires, Audit and Planning tools incorporating the views of young people are products produced. Marnie has been a visiting lecturer over a number of years for the Birmingham MSc and Doctorate courses in educational psychology.
Prior to working as an educational psychologist Marnie, established a non-profit making organisation supporting and promoting mental health at a community level. She is the director of the newly formed ‘Imagine Inclusion’ that focuses on supporting and promoting Inclusion, Participation and Mental Wealth.
Jacqui (yes, she is Colin’s partner) is a Co- headteacher in Nottingham City in one of the most inclusive schools in the UK. She and her job share Sally were the first two women in the UK ever to ‘job share’ a headship. She is great with teams, Graphics, challenging behaviour and work with children and parents.
Julia Hayes is an experienced Educational Psychologist who now works as an inclusion and participation consultant across the UK and abroad. As well as training, her work includes drawing graphics, live, during conferences. She developed her drawing skills though running person centred planning meetings with disabled children and their families.
She regularly works abroad to support inclusive education in other countries, such as Afghanistan, Moldova, Latin America and South East Asia and had breakfast with the First Lady Of Panama on behalf of Inclusive Solutions (tough day at the office).
When not working she is mostly eating cheese and/or training for a triathlon.
Robin worked for more than 20 years at Elliott Durham Secondary School in the City of Nottingham, latterly as a Head of Department of Humanities and PSHE. In 1995 he and Derek Wilson were responsible for instigating and developing the school’s Anti Bullying Campaign (ABC), a Peer Counselling scheme. ABC became nationally and internationally recognised as a model of “best practice.”
In March 2000, Robin was seconded to Nottingham City Education Department for 2 years to manage the Restorative Conferencing /Peer Support project. This project, funded by the Home Office, introduced Peer Support schemes and Restorative Interventions into Nottingham schools and involved the training of Education Department colleagues, school staff and pupils.
In April 2002, Robin was appointed to lead the Anti Bullying Support Team in the City of Nottingham, which continues to advocate Restorative and Peer Support processes, as anti bullying strategies. The team is also responsible for writing Nottingham City Children’s Services guidance to schools on Anti Bullying policies and strategies. The ABS team also acts as a consultation service for schools who wish to undertake any strategic Anti-Bullying work or training with staff or students.
In 2004 Robin’s work in the general area of Restorative Justice was recognised by an invitation to meet the Prime Minister in Downing Street. Robin has worked extensively throughout the UK as a presenter, facilitator and consultant on several areas in education, most notably Peer Support and Restorative Approaches. His work on Peer Support as an Anti-Bullying strategy was shown by the BBC in April 2004 in the series of programmes: “Britain’s Secret Shame”.
In 2005, Robin joined the Anti-Bullying Alliance’s East Midlands regional steering group, and also contributed to the DfES National Programme for Specialist Leaders for Behaviour and Attendance on Peer Support.
In February 2007, Robin was invited to join the DfES scoping group on “Gangs and Bullying” which advised the department on ways of tackling this important issue.
Robin’s work was recognised in 2008 when the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation conferred “Approved Provider” status on all the Peer Support programmes provided by the Anti-Bullying Team. This unique award named Nottingham City as “a benchmark Local Authority” for this work.
In 2010, Robin announced his retirement from his work with Nottingham City Children’s Services.
Robin is a parent to one son.
Jaynie works for Inspiring Inclusion providing events, training and consultancy across Scotland to foster support and promote inclusive communities and citizenship for all. Jaynie also hosts and promotes the work of Inclusive Solutions across Scotland.
Contact Jaynie on 07837265159 or email@example.com.
Jack is a dear friend and inspiration to our work here at Inclusive Solutions. Without him there would be no us!
Inclusion Press creates person centred resource materials for training events, public schools, high schools, community colleges, universities, human service agencies, health organizations, government agencies, families, First Nations organizations – nationally and internationally.
Carol Tashie was Project Co-ordinator, Institute on Disability at The University of New Hampshire USA. Carol is the co-ordinator of both New Hampshire’s Statewide School Systems Change Project and the Post Secondary Education Consortium of New Hampshire administered by The Institute on Disability.
Carol is co-author of Seeing The Charade, From Special to Regular, From Ordinary to Extraordinary (1996) and Petroglyphs: The Writing on the Wall (1997) and Changes in Attitudes. Changes in Latitudes: The Role of the Inclusion facilitator. Prior to joining The Institute, Carol was one of the first Inclusion facilitators in New Hampshire (moving in the process from the traditional special education teacher role) and was responsible for returning all of her District’s students to their neighbourhood mainstream schools.
Robi Kronberg has worked as a consultant with school districts throughout the United States. The two areas of greatest focus for her work are differentiated teaching and inclusion. Both of these areas address practical ways of supporting diverse learners in mainstream schools. Her approach to differentiated instruction addresses a wide range of diverse learners including students with disabilities, students who are gifted, those who don’t speak English as a primary language and so on.
Robi has been in education for 25 years. She has worked as a special needs teacher, a Senior Consultant at the Colorado Department of Education, a professor, and a coordinator of many federal grants. She has a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Administration and a Masters in Special Education.
Paula Kluth is an independent educational consultant based in Chicago, Illinois. Her professional and research interests centre on differentiating instruction and on supporting students with autism and significant disabilities in inclusive classrooms. She has a M.Ed. in Educational Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Wisconsin. She is a former special educator who has served as a classroom teacher, consulting teacher, and inclusion facilitator. She also regularly works with family organizations and disability-rights and advocacy groups. She is the author of “You’re Going to Love This Kid”: Educating Students with Autism in Inclusive Classrooms (2003, Jessica Kingsley Publishing) and “Just Give Him the Whale – 20 Ways to use Fascinations, Areas of Expertise and Strengths to Support Students with Autism (with Patrick Schwartz, 2003, Brookes Publishing). She has also written many articles and chapters on inclusive schooling. She is currently conducting research on the literacy experiences of students with autism. She thanks the real experts- those with disabilities and their families- for sharing their lives and expertise and teaching her all she knows about disability, ability, and inclusion. For more on Paula’s approaches to the education of young people with autism go to: www.paulakluth.com
‘Educational Consultant, nurturing minds.’
Kelsey is a positive, motivated professional with a passion for ensuring every child receives the high quality therapeutic support and educational experience they deserve in order to ensure they reach their full potential. She has over 20 years’ experience working with children and families, specialising in supporting some of the most vulnerable, often who have experienced trauma or abuse, with complex social, emotional and mental health needs, in education, therapeutic and play settings.
Over the past 10 years Kelsey has worked within a senior leadership capacity in both special and mainstream schools. She has led in the successful conception, strategic development and day to day operations of 3 London specialist settings for pupils with significant SEMHD (Social Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties), all of which have been judged by OFSTED as Good or better.
Most recently, she was Deputy Head Teacher at a 5 form entry East London Primary School in an area of extremely high deprivation, with over 1100 pupils, leading in Social Inclusion. She joined the school as part of a restructured leadership team in January 2013 when the school, in the eyes of OFSTED, was “requiring improvement”. Within 18 months the school was judged to be “Good” and is now firmly on its way to being described as “Outstanding”. In July 2015 the school was awarded “Centre of Excellence” status by the Inclusion Quality Mark and the creative, solution focused approaches used to support their most vulnerable pupils have been recognised and shared with other local schools.
Kelsey has recently relocated, with her husband and two children, from London to a village just outside York. This was in the pursuit of a healthier work life balance and one of Kelsey’s aims is to practice mindfulness on a daily basis. She is currently an Educational Consultant with Nurturing Minds and a Senior Independent “Team Teach” tutor. Her philosophy is one of high expectations, firm boundaries and genuine warmth and affection for all she encounters; young people, parents and professionals. Within her current role she uses therapeutic skills, coupled with knowledge and experience of school leadership to offer training, consultancy, mentoring and coaching to a range of educational and mental health professionals to support school improvement and better enhance provision for children and families.
Claire is the Principal Educational Psychologist for Schools’ Choice Community Educational Psychology Service. She’s a consultant for Sycol and also works as a trainer and person centred facilitator for Inclusive Solutions.
‘I live in Suffolk with my husband, children and Springer Spaniel, Max. My family and friends are all really important to me. I enjoy cooking (well perhaps just the eating), house renovation and knitting.
I really enjoy my work and value my working relationships. I am lucky to be able to work with inspiring, motivated colleagues and am keen to work with others in order to bring a range of ‘voices’ into the planning and development of services.
I enjoy the challenges and opportunities that are part of my career. I work across a range of services and educational settings to help embed person centred, inclusive psychological thinking into everyday practice. For example, working with Schools, Academies, Child & Adult Services, Youth Offending, Adoption & Fostering, Corporate Parenting and Public Health. I work to promote integrated, reflective practice, including the development of resources such as a screening tool (Analysis of Additional Needs Screening Tool) in order to identify a young person’s strengths and difficulties as well as planning ways forward. Another aspect of my work is supporting people’s emotional well-being, raising awareness of issues such as attachment, loss and the effect of trauma on young people.
I love working with people who share my enthusiasm and vision for developing value based, lean and person centred ways of working. I am inspired by being able to apply psychology across a range of contexts. You will often see me carrying large rolls of paper and pens as I am a graphic and process facilitator. Ask me and I will be happy to tell you all about this way of working.
Lucy Power is an experienced senior leader and manager who has worked in private and public sector organisations in the social care sector as well as for several Local Authorities as a Social Worker and Lead Commissioning Social Worker. Lucy is a qualified personal and business performance Coach and is trained in Transactional Analysis. With over twenty years of rich and varied experience in supporting and working together with disabled people as well as folk from other marginalised groups, Lucy is a competent and confident facilitator who will help you to make real and lasting change in your organisational practices.
I have taken on many roles during my time as a parent, as an advisory board member for Foundation for People with Learning Difficulties, Co-Chair of the West Sussex Parent Carer Forum, Trustee of Reaching Families, a Portage worker, Parent Partnership volunteer and Independent Supporter for families going through the statutory process around Education, Health and Care plans. I currently deliver the NHS accredited Expert Parent Programme workshop which helps parents and carers better advocate the health needs of their children. My interests lie in supporting people to identify and articulate how they want and need to be supported so that they can have a gloriously ordinary life and live their dreams.
But more importantly, I am a full time mum having left my career as a research biochemist (specialising in vaccine development for tuberculosis and previously plant pathology) many years ago to raise my two children. My youngest child has a learning disability, just one aspect of her amazing personality.
I live in West Sussex, love to practise yoga and aspire to spend all day in my pottery studio playing with clay and encouraging others to join me in the delights of being creative and expressive.