I am a qualified social worker with a BA(Hons) in Humanities and Social Sciences; the CQSW and an MA (ECON) in Social Policy and Social Work and a Certificate of Management. I have over 20 years experience in Children’s services and have specialist expertise in Safeguarding and looked after children. I have worked at a senior policy and strategy level within Government and the Voluntary sector.
I have worked for Barnados and the NSPCC where I was Child Protection Advisor during the Victoria Climbié Inquiry. I led the NSPCC’s work on the inquiry attending as a professional expert for which I received an excellence award for my work. I then worked for the Department for Children Schools and Families, helping to establish the Every Child Matters agenda and setting up and leading the first substance misuse programme for Children and Young People. During this time I was involved in developing the Children Act 2004 and accompanying guidance and other key policy documents, such as Care Matters.
I am a sessional Inspector with the CCSIW and a member of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence Advisory Board on Looked After Children. I currently sit on the Welsh Government Quality Work Stream developing the ‘Outcomes Framework’ for Supporting People Services.
I am a member of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) and Social Care institute of excellence (SCIE) Programme Development Group on the Physical and Emotional Health and wellbeing of Looked after Children and Young People.
I am a Manchester City fan, keen Birdwatcher and a lover of art.
I have a BA(Hons) in Public Administration and over 18 years experience of working in the supported housing sector. I spent 10 years working in scheme in East London, firstly as a Support Worker and then as the Manager for 5 years. I then went on to become Supported Housing Manager for Family Mosaic where I was responsible for managing services including a 46 bed homeless scheme, 7 leaving care schemes, 4 Learning Disability schemes and an Acquired Brain injury unit.
I was then employed as a Supported Housing Manager for Gloucester Youth Housing Association with responsibility for overseeing 13 Young People’s Supported Housing schemes Gloucestershire. I was also project manager of the ‘Foundations First’ consortium consisting of 6 partner organisations across Gloucestershire.
I feel so lucky that I have enjoyed all of my career. Working in supported housing means that you meet so many interesting people and I have learnt so much from them. Solas is a fantastic place to work and I am so fortunate to work with such great people.
Out of work, my main hobby is athletics. I am a member of Newport Harriers Athletics Club and have enjoyed relative success recently as Welsh Champion and ranking 5th in the British Championships over 200m.
I worked for twelve years for Torfaen County Borough Council (TCBC) based at Blaenavon Leisure Centre as a Lifeguard, Sports hall Attendant and Duty Officer, I have also worked in retail. While at TCBC I gained management qualifications in Nebss, CMS and DMS, NVQ Level 4 and a Certificate in Counselling Skills.
I wanted a change of career and started as a relief support worker at Clarence Place in 1999.
Since then I have held many positions within Solas and am currently Head of Young Person’s Services and manage services in Caerphilly, Monmouthshire and Torfaen
I enjoy the opportunity of managing diverse teams in an environment that can be difficult, challenging and rewarding. I am motivated by a service that is constantly changing and being shaped by the people we support. Solas gives Young People the experience of independence in a safe environment and works with them in a person centred way to achieve their goals. I enjoy enabling people we support opportunities and life experiences they might not have had before. The potential for clients is unlimited and we get to watch it develop first hand.
I am fascinated by the natural world and the evolution of our species, and the history of the different cultures, past and present. I love walking, jogging, cycling and reading books on alternative and holistic approaches to life. I have studied Reflexology, Reiki and Crystal Therapy.