This Trustee Week, we are celebrating our board of trustees and the contribution they make to Natural Breaks every day.


Meet Daniel – one of our newest trustees at Natural Breaks and hear his story about his time so far.


How long have you been a trustee at Natural Breaks?

4 months! Phil and I were co-opted onto the Trustees Board on 19th June 2023, I believe.


Tell us about your background in the sector.

Previously self-employed & working and volunteering in third sector, I moved into the world of Adult Social Care after COVID to have more of a positive impact on the world – and did so by joining Liverpool Social Care Partnership (LSCP). I was then picked up by the national team at Digital Social Care (now rebranded to Digital Care Hub) on the Better Security, Better Care (BSBC) programme.

BSBC had been funding my role at LSCP to deliver cyber security & data protection support, funded ultimately by the Department of Health & Social Care. I now work as the Delivery Manager of the Better Security, Better Care programme, grant managing 28 predominantly Care Associations across the country to deliver free, fully funded, support for cyber security and data protection. I work very closely with the Department of Health & Social Care, the NHS Transformation Directorate to ensure that the sector digitises safely.


Why did you want to become a trustee at Natural Breaks?

I have always been keen to ‘make the world a better place’ with the work I do and this is an excellent opportunity to help oversee a charity doing fantastic work in the sector. In my ‘day job’ I work sector-wide so it is excellent professional experience for me to keep myself embedded in a provider, especially one with such a positive reputation for good practice.


What have you loved so far since joining us at Natural Breaks?

I have enjoyed raising cyber security and digital transformation as a key issue. I was very glad to see Natural Breaks had already progressed with a digital system and are on our way to completing the Data Security Protection Toolkit. Diane and her team have been writing up a cyber-security strategy with Kevin (our Chair) and I have ensured my expertise has been made available when required and without being overbearing given the operational pressures the entire sector faces.

What impact have you experienced on the lives of people we support at Natural Breaks?

Although I have only been here for four months, it is absolutely clear that people we support are at the heart of everything we do, providing truly person-centred care. The senior leadership team regularly report to us how staff go far above-and-beyond what is required of them to ensure we are providing the best possible care to the people we support. As someone dedicated to improving the lives of others, the almost endless examples of our people being ‘good people’ are truly inspiring and has a very positive impact on the lives of the people we support.


What has your experience at Natural Breaks been like so far?

Brilliant! It’s such a wonderful charity. It’s all about the people we support, allowing them to live as independently as possible in a person-centred way. I really feel, and can evidence, that the work being undertaken makes the world a better place… I am grateful to be able to play a role in that work.


Diane, Susan, Keely, Joanne, Karen, Jacqui and the rest of the team – who are all very highly experienced - have created exactly the sort of positive, open and caring culture that promotes good practice. They each have the rare ability to behave professionally perfect while maintaining that personal edge that makes them individually so likeable. When I joined Natural Breaks, they all generously gave their time up to sit with me and discuss, very candidly, who they are, how they work together and why it all works as well as it does.


What future plans do you envision for Natural Breaks?

The sector is in a difficult place at the moment – especially in terms of the workforce crisis – and Natural Breaks is no different, although we are proud to say we do not use agency staff and pay above the Real Living Wage. We are lucky enough, and have planned well enough, to have staff who absolutely go above-and-beyond what is required because they care, but… I hope for, and envision a time when, there are enough people in the sector to fill those vacancies.

Natural Breaks has a natural niche in the locally commissioned market but we are currently limited to the Merseyside area. I am a passionate advocate for the people we support and the staff who provide that support so, naturally, I believe there should be a local ‘Natural Breaks’ in every area of the country.

To learn more about our teams at Natural Breaks, click here.