I joined Friends of the Elderly as the Group’s Chief Executive in the Spring of 2014 and take much pride in working with a diverse and talented team to help deliver our strategy in support of older people – in sustainable, personal, and innovative ways.
As a healthcare entrepreneur, I founded Prime Care Community Services, which provided award-winning social care services to adults and older people through the South East of England. Prime Care employed over 1,000 people and became the first social care enterprise in the UK to achieve Investors in People Gold accreditation and win the National Training Awards outright.
I served as Vice Chair of the Government-backed Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), formed to help drive the economy of the South East. I also chaired the LEP’s Enterprise Zone and the region’s Digital Catapult Centre, bringing digital services and products to market.
I am a former board member and Vice Chair of the United Kingdom Home Care Association (UKHCA), have regularly contributed to the Adult Social Care Co-Production Group of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and have served as a board member of the National Care Forum (NCF).
I enjoyed being part of the national Leadership for Empowered and Healthy Communities programme, sponsored by the Department of Health, during 2014/15. I have equally enjoyed the Charity’s leadership development work with the Centre for Charity Effectiveness at CASS Business School; City, University of London, during 2017/18. I hold a post-graduate Diploma (PGDip) in Risk Management from Loughborough University’s School of Business and Economics and am currently undertaking an Executive Leadership Masters’ at CASS.
A former UK Police Officer, I have also worked to resolve sensitive operational situations around the world for multi-national companies, government departments and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs); latterly as a director of Europe’s leading risk management consultancy, sold to Control Risks Group.
I am motivated by putting together the best people with the right structures and systems so that older people can be kept safe, and flourish; living as independently as possible in their own community, surrounded by familiar faces and settings. I believe that social care can be better connected and more innovative – something I am keen to deliver on behalf of Friends of the Elderly to the people who use its services.
In my spare time I have served for eight years as an Ambassador to the Sussex Community Foundation, part of the Community Foundation Network, where I helped raise funds in support of community groups and small charities and established three flow-through funds.
The one piece of advice I would give to my younger self is to “find a job that you really enjoy doing; that way you will never have to work again!” Life does not quite work out like that, but at least that way you have tried to make the best difference you can and had some fun along the way.
I am a keen walker, having trekked to Everest Base Camp; and a qualified Offshore Yacht Master who enjoys the sea in all its elements. So, when I am in my 80s I want to be able to continue to walk for miles and see, hear, feel and embrace the changing seasons around me.