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Meet Us

A short introduction to our Office Staff, Trustees, Support Staff and Volunteers who help make the group the success that it is –

The Staff

Pat Allison – Manager – Pat is a founder member of Hartlepool Special Needs Support Group since it set up in 1989, she worked for many years in a voluntary capacity before being employed in her present position.  Pat’s eldest son, who has Cerebral Palsy become a member in 1989.  Pat’s husband and youngest son along with close friend who has Down Syndrome and become a member in 2006,  all attend many of the groups social activities and regular clubs.  Pat was previously a committee member of Friends of Thornhill School and then a Governor for Catcote School.  Her experience, specialist knowledge, organisation skills and dedication are an enormous asset to the group.  In addition to her full-time paid employment, Pat continues to volunteer much of her own time to ensure the group continues being a huge success.

Julie Parker -Senior Administration – Julie is married with 2 daughters.  Julie took up the position in administration in 1999 within her role she has gained experience and knowledge in both working with members and their families as well as in the running and administration of the group.  Julie is an invaluable member of staff and a valued supporter.

Michelle Hall – Administration Assistant – Michelle is married with 2 sons.  Michelle took up the position in administration in 2016 and brought knowledge and experience in admin from a previous position she held for nine years in another local charity.  Michelle continues to gain greater understanding of our members and their families.

The Trustees

Jayne Shepherd – became Trustee in 2009 and has held the position of Chair since 2015.  Jayne is a primary school teacher in a local school and runs an after school drama club.  Jayne’s youngest child, who has been a member since 2007, has a rare genetic disorder and is a member of our “Constellation” drama group and youth clubs.  They both enjoy attending our social events and activities with their family including Jayne’s husband and son along with his young family.

Julie Carter – has been a trustee since 2007 and since 2015 held the position of Secretary.  Julie lives with her 3 children, her oldest son has Down’s Syndrome and became a member in 2007 attending the Children’s Fun Club along with his sister and continues to access the summer scheme, Julie also enjoys our other activities along with all the family.

Kevin Steven Brookes – became a trustee in 2015 and holds position of Treasurer.  He was born in Stockport and moved to Hartlepool in 2009.  Kevin is married with 2 children.  Their son who is the eldest has Down Syndrome and joined in 2013 and attends Children’s Fun Club and Friend’s Drama Fun Club with his younger sister, he also enjoys lots of other activities with all his family.  Kevin finished full time work to become his son’s carer and has since become more involved with the group.  Kevin is also a member of a parent forum group.

Marlene Barnard – became a trustee in 2018.  Marlene has held the position of a Teaching Assistant for 13 years at Catcote Academy working primarily with children who have Autism.  Marlene is married with 3 children.  Their oldest child has been diagnosed with autism and joined the group in 2015 he attends Children’s Fun Club and Friend’s Drama Fun Club and also enjoys other activities with all his family.  Marlene has a special interest in the success and growth of group and hopes that she can do her part to help it go from strength to strength in our goal to enrich the lives of those we love.    

Ami Carroll –  became a trustee in 2018.  Ami has been employed by Stockton Borough Council for 17 years, previously in SEN and now holds the position as a Family Worker for Social Services.   Ami is married with 2 daughters and joined the group 2016.   Originally Ami’s husband attended the group for many years with his brother who has Cerebral Palsy and his family now continue being involved and enjoy participating in activities the group provides.  

Karen Taylor – became a trustee in 2018.  Karen holds the position of a dental nurse receptionist with extended duties.  Karen is married with 2 children.  Their oldest son has a medical condition, Meares Irlen and learning difficulties.  He  joined the group in 2016 attending Friend’s Drama Fun Club for a short while and now enjoys the Youth Club.  All the family have  benefited from the group attending lots of the activities the group provides and Karen is excited at the opportunity of becoming a member of the trustees.  

Jamie Allison is a co-opted trustee and a member the Core Fundraising Group.  Jamie has been involved from a very young age, alongside his brother.  Jamie’s mum is the Manager and as a result, Jamie and his family have been heavily involved from the beginning.  Jamie has a vast knowledge of everything IT related and hopes to use this knowledge to move Hartlepool Special Needs Support Group through the next 25 years.  As a member of the Core Fundraising Group, Jamie is hoping to enhance future fundraising activities and is especially open to new ideas to improve the services of the group and he invites anyone with ideas to discuss them with him.

Grace Guerin is a co-opted trustee and a member of the Core fundraising Group.  Grace completed her work experience in 2003 and never looked back, continuing to be actively involved in all areas of the group.  Grace works full-time as a Teaching Assistant in a local SEN Secondary School.  Grace works with our drama group “Constellation” and supports our members during our other social activities.  Grace hopes that by being a co-opted trustee she will be able to support Hartlepool Special Needs Support Group in developing the services it provides for its members and ensure the continued success for the next 25 years.

Support Staff & Volunteers – Our group has a team of well trained support staff and volunteers, who specialise in working with children and young adults who have a disability, and are trained in a multitude of areas.  We rely heavily on our volunteers and support staff who all hold a DBS.