Phil and I were co-opted onto the Trustees Board on 19th June 2023.

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.

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.

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 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.