Meet the Team
I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1980 and went straight into Paediatrics working in a variety of special schools and also working with those with special needs in mainstream schools. My main areas of work were treating children to improve their hand eye co-ordination, perception, activities of daily living and also working in the development and provision of special seating and aids and equipment. I joined the Child Development Centre multi disciplinary team where my speciality was working with cerebral palsy children, using the Bobath Neurodevelomental approach.
In 1993 I became the Manager of The SPACE Centre and am responsible for the smooth running of the centre, training staff and carers to use the Multi Sensory room to its best effect and developing new equipment/ session ideas in SPACE. I also advise others how to develop their own rooms, do talks and lectures on the use of Multi sensory rooms and am involved in developing research projects into the use of such rooms. In 2004 I qualified as a Person Centred counsellor which reinforces my work with clients with special needs, giving them respect and empathy and ensuring experiences at SPACE are led by the clients’ needs.
I have been at SPACE since it opened in 1993 and am still passionate about the benefits to those with special needs. I have seen fantastic results from children speaking for the first time to those with profound disabilities being able to use the little movement they have to control some aspect in their world. Perhaps best of all is seeing the pleasure shared by families and friends visiting SPACE.
Group Coordinator and Facilitator
I qualified as a physics teacher in 1998 and worked in main stream schools. I then specialised in Special Needs, gaining my Advanced Teacher status in identifying and teaching children with specific learning difficulties and then went on to Head the Special Needs department of my school, teaching children with a variety of difficulties. Whilst doing this, I did a placement working with children with behavioural problems who had been excluded from school, helping them with their education and trying to reintegrate them. I then had a short spell working for Playing for Success at Preston North and End and Burnley Football Clubs. Here I helped struggling youngsters with maths and English by using alternative methods, ones not necessarily used in school. By basing the subjects around football a lot of the students were able to access more of the curriculum.
I stopped working in 2004 after my daughter was diagnosed with Lissencephaly, a rare brain disorder, and severe epilepsy, which has left her needing complete care around the clock. I spent 4 years at home with her, and more recently her little brother and sister too, before returning part time to work. I learned Signalong, a type of sign language, to help with communication with my daughter, which has proved very useful recently.
The SPACE centre has made a huge difference to our family, giving my daughter opportunities she struggles to get elsewhere. I was thrilled to join the staff in October 2008, and hope the contribution of my skills help to make a difference to other people’s lives.
I have 1 son and 1daughter and have 3 grand children.
After leaving school I attended Smart’s Commercial College in Preston to learn shorthand and typing. From there I worked at the Lancashire Constabulary Police Headquarters in Hutton from 1971 to 1979. This work was extremely enjoyable as I worked in the Police Recruiting Department seeing applicants through from the initial stage of application right through their training until the time they were posted out into Division.
After having my family I worked part time in the office at the Lancashire Constabulary Motor Driving School and Dog Section.I later worked part time at my local primary school as a teaching assistant until in 1993 I was introduced to ‘The SPACE Centre’ my role here has grown over the years. Whilst working at SPACE I have attended a number of courses which include moving and handling, Toolkit for Autism and a First Aid at Work course.
The most enjoyable part of my job is seeing the young children grow,flourish and achieve many things – and I know that coming to SPACE has contributed to these achievements. Being able to share the parents pleasure at seeing the progress their children have made makes me feel very privileged. My role now is dual purpose being a facilitator for the groups and being the Housekeeper – supervising the cleaning staff and making sure the centre is always clean and tidy and welcoming.