Meet the Team

Our Staff

      • Eva Juusola

      • Director of Operations
      • Eva first became involved with the Forum as a parent volunteer back in 2009 – and liked it so much she left her job as a translator to join our small staff team.

        Eva has a particular interest in marketing and communications, and writes most of the articles for our newsletter and this website.

        In her spare time, Eva enjoys painting, printmaking and photography.

      • Katie Monette

      • Director of Strategy
      • Katie was our Chair for several years and has recently become an employee. She is a single full-time mum of two girls. Her eldest has verbal dyspraxia, autism and ADHD and is in mainstream school. Her youngest has no special educational needs, but does have various health issues. She has had major open heart surgery and suffers from extreme migraines, Raynauds syndrome and hyper mobility.

        Katie attends many strategic meetings as a parent carer representative. She is also trying to strengthen our links with local parent support groups by setting up an Affiliate Membership scheme.

      • Sharon Blagden

      • Peer Support Manager
      • Sharon leads the Peer Support Service.  She retired from a career as a primary teacher and Headteacher where she led on parental involvement and inclusion.  She worked for many years in communities where families spoke over 30 first languages.  She is a trained mindfulness teacher and has a strong interest in self compassion and well-being.  In her free time she loves to read, be out in nature and spend time with her family, especially her two young grandsons.

      • Celia Pritchard

      • Administrator
      • Celia started working with us in May 2022. She has many years of experience working within administration and is passionate about working with SPCF.

        In her spare time, Celia loves to explore the Peak District with her two young boys and enjoys crotchet.

      • Anna Marie Emmett

      • Project Worker, Autism in Schools
      • Anna works on the Autism in Schools project. She has a background in Training and Development. Her son has a diagnosis of autism, he has an EHCP and attends a mainstream school. Her brother also has a diagnosis of autism.
        In her spare time, Anna attends Martial Arts classes and she also enjoys crafting.

Our Trustees

      • Laura Gillespie

      • Chair
      • Laura is our Chair. She was a Physiotherapist prior to having children, specialising in Neurology. Laura has two children, a son and a daughter. Her son has a diagnosis of autism and is currently attending Peaks College. Laura is interested in inclusion and preparing our amazing children and young people for adulthood.

        Laura is one of our parent carer representatives and supports our volunteers. She is also Chair of Sheffield Lightning Athletics Club and Chair of Governors at Bents Green Special School.

        In her spare time, she loves walking in the Peak District, holidays in Cornwall and is a season ticket holder with her family at Sheffield Steelers Ice Hockey Club.

      • Joel Hardwick

      • Trustee
      • Joel has three children. The middle one has a rare chromosome disorder (2q23.1 Microdeletion Syndrome), attends an integrated resource, and enjoys climbing hills in the Peak District (or at least the snack stop at the top!). Joel previously worked for the local authority in planning and commissioning the Sheffield education system and is now Assistant CEO at Nexus Multi-Academy Trust, who have 10 special schools across South Yorkshire.

      • Sarah Sanders

      • Treasurer
      • Sarah is a Qualified Chartered Accountant who has worked both in Practice and Industry. She has recently returned to Sheffield after living overseas for 10 years, where she was the Treasurer of the local rugby club and involved in Girl Guiding.

      • Clare Peck

      • Trustee
      • Clare has two daughters in their twenties, the younger one has Down Syndrome and attends college.

        Clare has recently retired from general practice and one plan is to learn the saxophone (has the instrument, now needs to practice!). She is an active member of her local Christian community and is busy learning Makaton to sing and sign. She loves walking, gardening and reading.

        She has recently become more involved in our outreach work and is looking forward to meeting more families face to face soon.

      • Jayne Woodward

      • Trustee
      • Jayne is mother to two sons; her eldest attends social care day services and is autistic and has dyspraxia, ADD and oral dyspraxia. Her youngest has graduated from university and has SpLD.

        Jayne works part time as a Disability Adviser at the University of Sheffield which involves supporting disabled students. She has been involved with the Sheffield Parent Carer Forum since its inception, and was chair of the organisation from 2008 to 2017.

      • Melissa Simmonds

      • Trustee
      • Melissa Simmonds is a parent of two children, one of whom has autism. Both attend mainstream school.

        Melissa is leading on our outreach programme to Black Minority Ethnic (BME) groups. She also has a keen interest in families with disabled children accessing religious denominations, as she believes such families are living in isolation when they need the backing of their religious communities most. Melissa has recently left the Civil Service and is now a part-time Children and Families worker.

      • Julie Chambers

      • Trustee
      • Julie became involved with the forum after her daughter was diagnosed with subcortical band hetereotopia, a rare genetic condition, and it became clear that she would need an EHCP. Julie recently became a trustee, and has a particular interest in working with the local authority on trying to improve the whole EHCP experience for other parents and children. Amongst other things, Julie represents the forum on the EHCP QA group where they review the quality of EHCPs and feed back recommendations to the SEN team. Julie previously worked as a research scientist but is now a full-time mum to her two daughters.