Laura has a professional background and a degree in marketing. She is a co founder of the site You Know and is a very able addition. Laura has worked in direct payments at a senior level and undertakes inspections for CQC. Her real passion and experience though stems from her relationship with her sister Sophie. Sophie is a person who needs support to achieve a good quality of life. Laura is also a niece to Gerard who she also helps support. Gerard has Down's syndrome and autism and lives with her and other close members of her extended family.
Laura can bring her experience as a family member, trainer, co developer of this site, civil rights activist, graphic facilitator, advocate and creative solutions expert to your situation. She can always and will find better solutions if there are problems in your current situation. People say Laura is very caring, cheerful, personable, genuine, honest and hard working and that's what she aspires to be so shes glad it is endorsed.
"I am first and foremost a family member, two members of my family have complex learning and physical support needs. I have a lifelong understanding of a wide range of disabilities and have watched and been actively involved in the transformation of services.
Due to my personal experience I pursued a career in Health and Social care, working with and for people with any type of additional needs.
I am older sister to Sophie who whilst having complex learning difficulties is one of the most amazing and inspirational people I know, she ensures every day is lived to the full. Sophie was even instrumental in assisting a young man who was suffering neglect and abuse to seek help, this transformed his life. My sister was my little shadow and thrived on the family ensuring she had all the opportunities possible in life despite the barriers put up by society and also by some placed by those who should have been there to help overcome them. Sophie gives so much to others as well as ensuring that she has the life she wants.
I am also niece to Gerard who at the age of 57 was born with Downs Syndrome, in a very different time to Sophie. With a gap of 32 years between the birth of Gerard and the birth of Sophie you would expect that many changes would have occurred in the opportunities available to people who have additional needs. It saddens me that despite some large positive leaps there is still some alarming inconsistency in the quality of life for people who need support.
During my time at university I voluntarily and independently assisted in setting up an advocacy and support charity in West Lancashire. Following on from obtaining my degree in Marketing, Media and Cultural theory I became immediately employed as a Direct Payments Advisor,
I made a fairly radical decision to become a freelance trainer and consultant so that I could cover a broader spectrum of work in the field of Health and Social care, this sat more comfortably with me as I was not confined by the preset boundaries of working for a local authority. I wished to assist others to learn and become aware of their role in the lives of people with support needs and to participate in the understanding and development of future change of service planning and delivery. My priority has always been to maintain the person who requires support at the fore front of everything we do. I have therefore been involved with the following:
- Person Centred planning facilitator and trainer of PATH, ELP, MAP
- National pilot for Individualised budgets and personalisation of services – worked with a number of families on this project, though In Control.
- Facilitator of Service brokerage
- Worked with Instream Partnership who are contracted by Oldham council as the Personal Budget and Direct Payment team. I provided advisory and support planning with clients.
- Completion of Train the Trainer
- Personal Futures (One of the few accredited and authorised people to use the tools and methods developed by Beth Mount and Connie O’Brien)
- National Partners in Policymaking courses; Making it Happen and Sharing the Knowledge – delivery of training to participants
- Merseyside Partners in Policy making Joint training programme (Sefton, Knowsley and Liverpool ) – delivery of training on disability related subjects including equality and diversity.
- Graphic facilitator and co facilitator at many high profile disability related conferences
- Graphic facilitator for North West Training and development team during Person centred planning events
- Independent consultant for Major high street bank and other corporate and first sector organisations to ensure they meet requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act and other legislation along with traditional disability awareness. Ensuring that they provide the highest standard of service and inclusivity to all their customers.
- Edge Hill University Health and Social care – design and delivery of disability related modules for Nursing degree and health and Social care cohorts for awareness of equality and diversity.
- Expert inspector on CQC inspection contracted by the Challenging Behaviour Foundation."
I am able to provide on line advice and will assist wherever I can to make sure you get the correct information and help.