I have a vested interest in the success of the project to establish Care Co-operatives.
As the parent of a teenager, Joe, who has Down's syndrome and autism I share the 'lived' experience of the families that we work in caring for a disabled child. Joe is now in the process of transition from high school into the world of self-directed support. I want him, other disabled people and their families to have meaningful choice and control and fully participate in society.
Through my personal relationships and professional role I have met literally hundreds of families over the years and have a connection through our common experiences as parents and carers. I have been fortunate to be able to work outside the home since Joe was little and this has definitely helped me personally in terms of my mental health and professionally in gaining a wide perspective on the issues and challenges for disabled people and their families.
I have been working with other parents and professionals in the field of disability for eighteen years including eight years with SNIP (now known as Kindred, www.kindred-scotland.org) as training manager and then Director until December 2008. I also worked closely with the National Managed Network for Children with Exceptional Healthcare Needs (CEN) for several years producing educational materials including films such as 'The emotional impact of tube-feeding your child', which can be seen on their website, www.cen.scot.nhs.uk.
I work as a trainer, facilitator, coach and currently I am carrying out the evaluation of the Rank Foundation's community development project in Dundee over three years (2016 - 19).
I am a qualified counsellor and worked as a therapist in Glasgow for many years. Whilst I no longer practice as a counsellor my therapeutic training and psychosocial understanding informs all of my work.
I began working with EDG in 2014 and in my consultant capacity worked with Maureen to develop the model of Care Co-operatives and the successful application for this project to the Big Lottery Fund.