Biographies

Biography: Anna Lunts (Chief Executive)
Anna has 27 years of experience of working in health and social care, including 10 years NHS experience in mental health nursing and project management. She has been the Chief Executive of Creative Support for 18 years, since the formation of the agency in 1990. Anna has significant experience of business development, financial management, training and operational management.
Biography: Gordon Chivers (Board of Trustees)
Gordon ChiversGordon joined the Board in September 2014. During his career with Cumbria County Council he worked firstly as a specialist social worker, and then as a Strategic Development Manager of services for people with learning disabilities, people with mental ill-health and older adults. Since his retirement, he has worked as an independent consultant for public and voluntary health and social care organisations. He has extensive personal experience as a carer.
Biography: Pete Gibbs (Board of Trustees)
Pete is the founder of PMG HR Solutions and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He has extensive strategic and operational HR experience having worked in both the public and the private sector.
Biography: Elaine Horrocks (Board of Trustee)
Elaine Horrocks Elaine re-joined the Board in June 2011. She is a member of the Institute of Learning and Teaching, a Fellow of the Institute of Internal Auditors and a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. She is currently a self-employed Training Consultant, in addition to serving as a Trustee for Bedfordshire and Luton Mind and as a Finance Committee Member for the charity Interserve.
Biography: Darrell Johnson (Board of Trustees)
Darrell JohnsonDarrell is a qualified Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) and provides operational support to Manchester City Council’s Emergency Duty Services. He is a Practice Teacher with considerable experience of training and development, and is currently Policy & Performance Officer at MCC, where he leads on equality and diversity in Adult Social Care Services. He also works with Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust, advising on user/carer involvement and engagement.
Biography: Pravin Majithia (Board of Trustees)
Pravin is a consultant business planner and financial modeller. He has extensive experience in product, portfolio and cost centre finance management including the development of strategies and business investment cases. He worked in the Pharmaceutical Industry for over 20 years where he was involved in development of psychiatric medicine business cases. He has supported two charities over the years with innovative fund raising.
Biography: John Rodgers (Board of Trustees)
John RodgersAfter RAF military service John took up scholarships at the University of Hull (BA Hons) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (MSc Econ) and since then has had a varied professional career. His experience encompasses employment policies, industrial relations and human resources, and roles in local government as a city councillor and as Head of the Employment Section of the TUC, plus trade union work at national and international levels. More recently he has had further high level representative and academic experience as the UK member of the European Training Board (CEDEFOP) and as visiting Professor for European Social Agenda studies at Toulouse Business School. He has also undertaken education and training consultancy roles on management and evaluation projects in East and Southern Africa. This period has included a sabbatical semester at Queens University in Belfast for advanced studies in international relations and global politics. John has direct experience of the social care sector through a family member with learning disabilities and mental health problems. He joined the Committee in March 2009.
Biography: Louise Rutter (Board of Trustees)
Louise RutterLouise joined the Board in 2014 shortly before leaving YMCA Training where she worked for 11 years and for the last 5 as Director of Quality. Louise has now taken up post with a large national charity as Head of Contracts and Quality where she can use her extensive knowledge and experience of contract management, quality assurance and improvement.
Biography: Kashif Ali (Board of Trustees)
kashif-aliKashif joined the Board in December 2007. He lives in Oldham but works as a Barrister in Manchester with a practice including mental health law and employment law. He has extensive interests in current affairs and politics, mental health care, social and economic policy, discrimination and disadvantaged groups, human rights issues, and international relations.
Biography: Anne Kay (Board of Trustees)
Anne KayAnne is a service user from Bradford. She is an ex-police officer who served with the Firearms and Dog Handling teams. She has experience of teenagers who self-harm.
Biography: Daniel Thorley (Board of Trustees)
IMG_7517_edit sqDaniel is a service user from Burnley. He volunteers with the Floating Support team and advises Calico Housing on Disability related issues. He previously served on Burnley Youth Council.
Biography: Chris Watts (Board of Trustees)
Chris WattsChris is a service user from Birmingham. He was formerly a teacher and a community worker and is currently Chair of the Service User Committee at Northfield.
Biography: Julie Cooke (Service Director)
Julie has 14 years of experience in the health and social care field, in mental health and older people’s services. She has experience of NVQ assessing and practice teaching and has also completed the Practice Teacher’s Award. Julie has a strong professional interest in Human Resources management, legal aspects, data protection and protection of vulnerable adults. Julie is responsible for our various quality initiatives including the internal audit programme, Supporting People QAF and Investors in People.
Biography: Debbie Craddock (Service Director)
Debbie has 20 years of experience working in social care including the statutory and voluntary sectors. She has considerable experience of managing both mental health and learning disability services. As Creative Support’s lead manager for learning disability services she has championed the introduction of the Learning Disability Awards Framework and person centred planning. During her career with Creative Support Debbie has developed a wide range of new services including highly respected services for people with challenging behaviours.
Biography: Emma Knight (Service Director)
Emma qualified as a Social Worker in 2000 and has since worked in a range of services, including substance misuse, bereavement, mental health and learning disabilities. She has worked for Creative Support for over 8 years in a variety of roles. Before taking on the role of Service Director, Emma was the Area Manager for our Salford, Stockport and Manchester Services and a lead manager in the promotion and implementation of the Recovery Model. Emma is a qualified Practice Teacher and holds the Registered Managers Award; she has a keen interest in social work practice and development and is currently undertaking her MSc in Applied Mental Health Practice. Emma looks forward to using this experience to develop staff practice in areas such as Capacity and Service User Involvement. She is lead manager for our services in Bedford and Harrow, the East Midlands, Stoke Mental Health and Stockport.
Biography: Colette Leigh (Service Director)
Colette is a qualified mental health nurse with more than 12 years experience of health and social care. She has significant experience of service development including large capital projects. She has been responsible for developing high quality new services for people with mental health needs and a dual diagnosis and is the lead manager for our services in Lancashire and the North East, where she has developed a wide range of mental health and learning disability services.
Biography: Sam Priestley (Service Director)
Sam has 19 years of experience working in Community Development and Social care including work both in the UK and internationally. She has considerable management experience in organisations that focus on complex needs (specialising in low threshold and harm reduction services), homelessness, mental health, equality and gender work and services for ex offenders. Sam has worked in residential services, prisons and also in community settings. Before joining Creative Support in June 2011, Sam had been a senior manager for 5 years, involved in strategic planning, governance issues and quality. In her role at Creative Support, Sam will be focusing on a number of the head office functions, initially strategic and business planning, as well as line managing the Housing Team and working on quality in partnership with Donna Francis.

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