Association for Real Change’s Board of Trustees
Graeme Fitzsimmons, Cornerstone, Chair, ARC UK
Graeme Fitzsimmons, Head of Adult Services at National Autistic Society Scotland, has worked in the social care sector for more than 17 years, across seven local authority areas. The work, aims and objectives of ARC Scotland resonate with his own belief that supported people should have real and meaningful involvement, not just in their own care, but in how services in the Health and Social Care sector are delivered.
Agnes Lunny, Positive Futures, Chair Northern Ireland
My experience in the Voluntary Sector began in 1989 when I moved to a management position, working with people with a learning disability in Barnardos. I researched and co-founded a registered Charity for people with a learning disability, United Response Northern Ireland (now Positive Futures). I have been Chief Executive there since 1995. My services to people with a learning disability were recognised when I was honoured to receive an OBE in 2006.
Chris Bennett, Perthyn, Chair Wales
Currently, I am CEO of Perthyn where my main areas of expertise are in strategic planning and management, I also have an in depth knowledge of provider issues. This is fueled by a close working relationship with other providers across Wales and England and an interest in Employment law, TUPE related issues and social care law. I also work closely with the Welsh Assembly Government in developing and shaping different aspects of policy relating to Learning Disability Services, which gives me an insight into the different aspects of policy development. Previous roles I have held in project management and commissioning, and planning through the closure of Ely Hospital, gave me further understanding of commissioners, their legal obligations, expectations and how they operate.
Kate Allen, Kingwood Trust, Chair England,
KKate Allen is Chief Executive of Autism at Kingwood, (formerly The Kingwood Trust); a charity providing services for adults with Autism. She is an individual with a natural flair for managing and motivating people; a person used to taking responsibility and making important decisions at a high level. Kate changed the direction of her career in 2002 leaving a senior management position in Information Technology in the private sector to pursue a career in Social Care and has recently completed a MSc in Health & Social Care. She joined Kingwood in 2009 where she worked alongside the CEO to ensure that not only are quality services provided to the people Kingwood supports but that the organisation pioneers best practice in autism, before being promoted to Chief Executive in 2015.
Jenny Patterson, Breakthrough, Scotland Chair,
Jenny joined young persons’ mentoring charity Breakthrough as CEO in March 2018 having previously been the director of the National Autistic Society Scotland. Originally from Co. Antrim in Northern Ireland, Jenny moved to Scotland 25 years ago to study sociology and social policy at Stirling University. She has worked in the third sector for 20 years and has held senior leadership roles in some of the largest social care charities in Scotland and is an experienced trustee. Jenny is passionate about social change and committed to playing her part in creating a better, fairer society for everyone.
Peter Jung, Turning Point,
Peter is an Operations Manager for Turning Point Scotland and has worked at a senior level for more than twenty years, managing and developing services for people with learning disabilities in both the statutory and voluntary sectors. He is a qualified nurse both in learning disability and mental health and has a keen interest in improving support for people with learning disabilities who are in prison or who have a forensic history. Peter stepped down as the ARC UK Chair in 2018 following his two year term, and was previously the ARC Scotland Chair.
Gary Thompson, Swanton,
I believe good leadership begins with openness, accountability and especially ambition. Ambition for the vital role of adult social care, for our staff teams and services, but most especially for the people we support. I think that this is what will see us through these challenging times. My own approach is to combine an attention to detail (about the lives of people we all support and the issues that are important to them) with strategic knowledge and a bit of plain speaking! These are things that I can bring to the ARC board and wider, vitally important voice that the association has.
People say that I am decisive and supportive as a boss and colleague. I am good at taking a long view and knowing where we need to be as a care organisation both now and in the future. I hope that people admire me for my honesty, transparency and integrity. These things are very important to me personally and professionally.
Gary is Operations Director at Swanton.
John Crawford, Yarrow,
John is the CEO of Yarrow, a London based not for profit organisation which supports people with learning disabilities to use their personal budgets to achieve their life ambitions. John has been working for people with learning disabilities for the last 30 years and has worked in a wide range of organisations. John is passionate about ensuring that people with learning disabilities have great homes and access to employment and quality lifestyles. He has worked at a senior level for the last twenty years and has developed a wide range of innovative services including: social enterprises, employment projects and housing services for adults with complex autism. John joined the ARC UK Board because he is highly motivated by ARC’s vision to support innovation across the UK.
Jane Other, William Blake House, Jane Other, William Blake House
Jane Other is Chief Executive of William Blake House which comprises of a portfolio of residential care homes for adults with complex learning disabilities. This registered charity was first established in 2000 and I joined in 2004, progressing to CEO in 2008. The organisation attracts residents from across the UK, currently liaising with over 15 local authorities. As well as providing residential care, a wide range of life-affirming activities are available to our residents. We attract volunteers from across the world in support of our work. I am an advocate of ‘Heart Leadership’ and we ascribe to the ethos and principles of Rudolf Steiner, with organic nutrition and healthy activities.
Large parts of my career were spent within the NHS and Social Services learning about the core challenges of ‘frontline’ engagement with the wider public and the effort of many good people to make a real difference to the lives of others. I also spent time in the commercial sector as a Business Enabler, to advise and support with the challenges faced by business ‘start-ups’ and the factors that determine success or failure. I learned that accurate management information is a key ingredient to success, combined with the right people doing the right things. ‘Leaders’ can only make effective decisions when all the information and resources are known in advance of initiating actions. A corporate mission must be shared and communicated regularly so that staff teams can work towards the intended outcome.
Trustee Board Meetings, AGMs, Annual Reports & Accounts
Further information on Board meetings, Annual Reports and accounts can be found here.