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Bringing carers and the carers service together as expert partners to ensure carers needs, wishes and feelings are at the heart of everything we do

Meet The Staff

Sam Morris – Chief Executive Officer

I have a vast amount of experience of working in the public and private and now the voluntary sector. This includes 13 years’ experience in a Senior Management role taking responsibility for the Strategic development of the service. I completed a Post Graduate – Diploma in Management Studies in 2010.

I am passionate and determined to make a difference for carers and their families. I really enjoy my job and feel proud to head up the Carers Service.

Emma Shaw - Head of Projects Team

I have extensive experience of working with people in the public, private and third sector. I have worked in supporting children and adults, professional multi-agency work and developing projects and new initiatives. I volunteered for the Carers Service prior to securing this full time role which I enjoy thoroughly and I am fortunate to work with an amazing team.

Clare Hobley - Head of Advisors Team

I came to BwD Carers Service in November 2013 after spending 9 years working in Drug and Alcohol strategic teams and 18 months working in other Carers Services.  My role as Drug and Alcohol Carers Advisor brings together my previous work experience, as well as my passion for supporting people and making a difference.  

Currently on maternity leave.

Michelle Ellis - Head of Fundraising Team

I have over 15 years’ management experience within the substance misuse field across community, criminal justice and secure environments in both the public and third sectors. The Fundraising manager role is concerned with the promotion of the service across all sectors and in diversifying the income streams to support core funding. I am a carer myself and find the team to be stunning.

Gillian Ingham Matt - Finance officer

I took up the position of Finance Officer with BWD Carers Service 3 years ago. I have over 30 year’s experience working in an Finance/Admin role for both public and private sector organisations.   I work closely with the team to help manage their finances and budgets. I thoroughly enjoy the charity sector for the challenges it brings with continuing growth and stability.

Liz Paterson - Finance Assistant

I have worked two days per week for the Carers Service since March 2017. My main responsibilities here are maintaining invoice, cash and bank account transactions.

As a Chartered Accountant, I have worked within the accounts teams of a large number of companies and voluntary organisations. I value the experience this variety has given me, and I enjoy working with people.

I am a carer myself, so fully believe in the ethos of the Carers Service.

Christine Robinson - Service Development Coordinator

My past profession has been in Corporate Event Management, Hospitality & Project Management.  I also have many years’ experience in the voluntary and community sector, including a Board Member Trustee of several charities.  I am currently a foundation Governor of a primary school and a Carers UK Local Ambassador.  My role as Service Development Coordinator for the Carers Service is my ultimate ‘dream’ job, raising awareness not only of the service but unpaid carers too, being a carer

Valerie Merrills - Charity Shop Manager

I am married with one son and two granddaughters age 5 and 6, I live in Bromley Cross, Bolton.

I trained as a hairdresser and nail technician but developed allergies to many of the products used. My first retail job was in a town centre shoe shop, since then I have worked in various retail positions including fashion, petrol and off license (I am a licensee!).I am also a qualified NVQ assessor in retail.

This is my third management position within charity retail, doing a job I am passionate about.

Parveen Awan – Carers Advisor

I come from a teaching background and have been with the service for last 13 years.  I am  able to communicate in other community languages which is very beneficial for working  with the diverse communities of Blackburn with Darwen.

I am also a carer

Vicky Bentley - Carers Advisor

I have worked for Blackburn and Darwen Carers Service since April 2013 having previously worked in social care and advisory roles within statutory and voluntary sector for many years. I believe that the carers service makes a positive difference to the lives of carers and I am a very enthusiastic team member’.

Anna Frankland - Carers Advisor

I have worked for the service for 5 years.  My previous role was to offer support to those discharged from hospital who would have no family or friends to care for them. My current role is Darwen and Rural Carers Advisor. I work one to one with carers in these areas identifying their individual needs and how to give them the support they need to continue caring.

Yasmin Khalil – Carers Adviser

I have worked for the service for over 7 years now. I am also a carer and it was due to my own personal experiences I decided to take this job so that I could then use these experiences and my professional knowledge to help others carers. I have a very broad knowledge and specialities of working with and supporting carers who support family members with learning disabilities.

Sonia Stevens - Carers Adviser

I am the Older Peoples Carer Adviser and my background is working with older people.  I also have personal experiences of being a carer,  so I have a very good understanding of the issues that older people and their carers face.  It is my aim to give carers advice, information, support and empathy to enable them to continue in their caring role.

Michael Strahan - DAAT Carers Advisor

I have worked in health and social care for 15 years; my previous roles include the youth offending team, secure residential care homes, hostels and semi-independent living units for vulnerable children and adults.

I am a generic carer’s advisor and also lead advisor for the drug and alcohol project.

I thoroughly enjoy my job; I am able to support all different kinds of people with a wide range of different needs. This keeps me very busy and making a difference in people’s lives makes it all worth it.

Jenna Walmsley - Young Adult Carers Adviser

I first came to the Carers Service to obtain support personally, for myself. The support I received inspired me to help others in the same situation, which led me to becoming a volunteer for the service. I am enthusiastic and passionate about making a positive difference to people’s lives.  I have recently been given the opportunity to join the team here at BwD Carers Service working with Young Adult Carers and I look forward to what the future has to bring.

Jim Dickson – Carers Welfare Rights Officer

I joined the Carers Service in October 2014 having spent many years as a welfare rights adviser. My role is to help carers and their families maximise their income through benefits, tax credits entitlement and/or employment opportunities. I enjoy meeting carers and being a practical help.

Zamir Aslam - Benefits and Employment Worker

I joined Bwd Carers October 2016. I have extensive experience/knowledge in benefits and welfare having worked for the DWP for 10 years. My job enables me to help clients identify ways to maximise their income through eligible and relevant benefits. I work in partnership with Shelter so my client base is varied. I find my job very rewarding.

Kulsum Chishti – Activities worker

I have been an Activities and events co-ordinator for the past 5 years.  I plan, organise and deliver activities to enable carers to get some time away from their caring role, build confidence, learn a new skill or find a hobby.  I have always worked in roles providing advice and support to adults and children.

Kiran Sadiq – Volunteer Co-ordinator

I have worked with the carers service for just over 4 years. I enjoy helping people to have a great experience from our service and are therefore able to move forward in their lives. Admin is the engine function and so is being a great team player – other staff tell me that I am ‘like a breath of fresh air’, as I just get on with the job at hand and will support anyone and everyone who needs my help.

Jan Langfield - Emergency Card Admin

I have promoted the Carers’ Emergency card since March 2015, first at the Red Cross, transferring with the job to the Carers’ Service in Blackburn in July 2016.  I enjoy helping people and have previously been a volunteer with Oxfam and the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.

Carol Beardsworth – Admin and Information officer

As a carer myself I have been involved with service for about seven years. Because of the invaluable help and support I received I wanted to offer something back to this wonderful service and became a volunteer. I was then successful in my job application for receptionist with the service. After two years as reception I was successful in becoming the Administration and Information Officer.

This includes normal reception duties but also much more, for example, being a strong team player and ensuring as a team our carers have an excellent all round experience.

Rashida Ahmed – Admin/Receptionist

I first started using the service as a Carer in 2013.

After all the help they provided I felt that I wanted to give something back, and started volunteering in June 2016.

I have been employed by the Carers Service since December 2016 in the Admin/Receptionist position; I welcome visitors by greeting them, in person or on the telephone, answering or referring inquiries, direct visitors by maintaining employee and department directories, and giving instructions. Maintains security by following procedures, monitoring logbook, and issuing visitor badges.

I like to think that I am a warm friendly approachable face to the charity that makes anyone visiting feel welcome and safe.

Meet The Trustees

Alan Pickup - Chair of Trustees

The experience I bring to the carers service is mainly due to my managerial role in the provision of NHS services through a not for profit social enterprise. I have held many senior positions, many at Board level, although I had to retire in 2013 due to ill health. I have been a carer since 1973, together with my wife, for our son who has learning disabilities. I was the main carer for my father in law who had dementia and helped care for my parents and younger brother through terminal cancer, so have empathy for family carers. I have lived in BwD all my life, and I am particularly interested in Learning Disabilities and the Health of the Borough. I also attend many local focus groups.

Phil Benson - Vice Chair of Trustees

‘I have a passion for excellence in all aspects of social care, improving quality and standards for people requiring support and their families and carers. My focus is to support people to live better lives, always ensuring we support a person in a way that ensures they still do all the things that are important to them.

I have experience in large social care services and currently work in an operational and business development role in one of the UK’s largest national charities supporting innovation and excellence in dementia care, commissioning new services and improving quality and standards across the organisation.’

Nan Goodall - Trustee

I have been a trustee and chair from the very beginning of the service. I see that as a responsibility not only to chairing trustee meetings so that they flow smoothly with everyone having an equal voice – but it also commits me to all the wider aspects of the service as a whole. This includes overall direction, effectiveness and accountability. My aim is to work closely with our Chief Executive so that the BwD Carers Service achieves its aims and objectives and delivers the outcomes it was set up for.

David Radley - Trustee

Now retired, formally a purchasing director for an engineering company, and foster carer for many years, specialising in the care of children with special needs. Through this role I helped to form a support group for the families of special needs children and consequently I became involved in the carers service from its conception. I have, through my association with the service long realised just how isolating it can be to be a carer and the carers service is aimed at breaking down that isolation. I am pleased and privileged to be part of the process.

James Hadleigh - Trustee

I am the manager of Care Network, a local charity that provides a range of quality assured services for vulnerable adults and carers living in the BwD borough that promotes their independence and well-being. I support the Carers service by providing managerial experience and support. Being a trustee helps me to better engage with, and understand, the needs of carers in the borough and provides a partnership platform to ensure a more effective service for carers.

Graham Brindley - Trustee

Graham is an enthusiastic and persuasive Independent Finance Professional with a strong analytical and financial background, combining sound commercial judgement, logic and innovation, as a driving force in business profitability and strategic direction. Particularly skilled in all aspects of acquisition and divestment, financial controls and reporting, procurement and business development initiatives.

Rosalind Nuttall – Trustee

I spent most of my working life in publishing and press & PR and ran my own company for nearly four years until June 2016.  This involved writing concise copy for a wide range of print and on-line publications to promote a range of manufacturing clients, as well as helping to produce websites and literature.  Running my own business also meant carrying out administrative tasks, including pitching for new work, report writing and invoicing.

Appointed a Trustee in October 2016 my aim is to share my skills in marketing, PR and social media and put them to good use by raising awareness of the Service’s invaluable activities.