Meet the Team

Our Staff

      • Cathy Wilson

      • Website Content Manager
      • Cathy works on a commission to update, improve and develop Sheffield’s Local Offer website. Having enjoyed years of support through the events and coffee mornings put on by the forum, she left her part-time teaching job to join the team in 2018.

        Cathy’s two children both have a rare chromosome disorder and have an assortment of diagnoses between them, including severe learning disability, ADHD and communication difficulties. They both attend mainstream school, although the younger child has one day a week home-schooling.

      • Amy Farry

      • HEE Project Worker
      • Amy works on a project to develop and deliver neurodisability training for staff who work with children aged 0-5 years.

        Amy’s son Arthur is autistic and non-verbal, and currently attends a mainstream nursery school. They both enjoy outdoor adventures, and can often be found exploring Sheffield’s parks and woodlands.

      • Anne Snowden

      • Development Support Worker
      • Anne joined the Forum as a volunteer and then a part-time employee in 2010. Her youngest son has a clinical diagnosis of Angelman Syndrome and attends a special school.

        Work interests include health, Preparing for Adulthood and sport. Outside of work she enjoys baking (cakes sometimes find their way to Forum meetings!), swimming and walking the dog.

      • Eva Juusola

      • Participation Co-ordinator
      • 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.

Our Trustees

      • 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 boys; Sam, her eldest, attends Bents Green Special School. Sam is autistic and has dyspraxia, ADD and oral dyspraxia. 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.

      • Laura Gillespie

      • Vice Chair
      • Laura is our Vice 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.

      • 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.

      • Katie Monette

      • Chair
      • Katie is our Chair. 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.