Meet the Management Committee
Laura Cook, Chair. The Learning Support Centre
I have worked in NMH for over 20 years and started my career in disability as a support worker. I am the Managing Director of The Learning Support Centre, which is an NMH provider and training centre, I am passionate about disabled students getting the right support and about ensuring quality provision across the sector. I have experience in strategic roles such as a SEND Governor and Trustee for Leicestershire Citizens Advice Bureau.
Natasha Hardiman, Vice Chair. Amano
I have worked in the DSA sector for eight years, managing Sound Support NMH provision and the Contact Associates assessment centres before moving to Amano. During this time I managed the changes that DSA-QAG, SLC and DfE brought to the sector giving me an insight into the sector as a whole and the ability to work with all colleagues with the same aims, the student having the most positive experience possible, solving problems and improving outcomes
In my current role for Amano, I’m committed to ensuring that non-medical help provision continues to be an integral part of the DSA recommendations and pathway. I feel that I can bring a knowledge of assessment centre practice and assistive technology developments to the NMH Providers’ Association and will support the organisation in any way I can.
Martin Hall, Treasurer. University of Leeds
I have worked in education for 17 years, including 14 years of teaching and 11 years working in the area of additional learning support/disability services. I worked in Further Education for 14 years, firstly as an administrator in community development and then as a lecturer and manager in Additional Learning Support. Since September 2015 I have worked at the University of Leeds, starting as a disability coordinator for a year and since then as the Support Worker Team Manager.
Dexter Johnstone, Officer. Clear Links Support Limited
I have been part of the management team at Clear Links Support for over 16 years now. During this time I have built up a lot of knowledge and experience on all aspects of the DSA-funded support, including running an AT service, managing the financial operations of a support service, and leading on data protection matters. I am delighted to join the Association’s management committee, taking on the role of the Treasure. I hope I can contribute and continue the great work the Association is doing in sharing information and representing its members and striving to improve the quality and availability of Non-Medical Help support for disabled students.
I believe and want to ensure that students are provided a high quality service. This is achieved through building strong and positive relationships with other stakeholders in the sector.
Jane Hartlebury , Officer. Edge Hill University
In representing my professional service colleagues as Ordinary Officer on the Board, I will strive to further enhance the activities of the Association. I believe that equality and diversity enrich and are drivers for the success of student support. The expertise and skill set I have gained as Senior Inclusion Officer at Edge Hill University for the past 10 years positions me to provide operational perspectives and to consider the impact of DSA changes through the lens of a widening participating HEI. I am fortunate to manage a team of support staff, their CPD and Supervision to ensure we provide an outstanding student experience. I also co-ordinate our DSA funded support, DSA-QAG audits and quality assurance. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and member of the Institute of Leadership and Management. As a representative, I will seek to protect our core values, encouraging a collegial spirit to see the pressures and expectations of our ever-evolving sector as a challenge, and focus on what needs to be done. I value honesty and I find it fulfilling to support, develop and positively influence all stakeholders through my commitment and engagement, combining personal humility with professional drive.
Chris Owen, Officer. Specialist 1-1 Study Skills Tutor
I am a Cardiff-based educator, who has worked across several age groups, subjects, and abilities, and undertaken a variety of roles since 2008. I worked for the University of South Wales as in-house study skills tutor for 4 years and have worked freelance since 2017. I enjoy working closely with students to help them develop their confidence and improve their work through 1:1 tuition.
Christine Breakey, Officer. Study Skills (Autism)
I have a life-long passion for equality, inclusion and communication which I have channelled in the field of autism. I started my career in social work before contributing to the establishment of one of the first secondary school Integrated Resources for autistic students in the country. This led to me setting up and developing the inclusive autism specialist support service at my local further education college in 1999 and authoring two books on autism. I have recently retired from the ownership and management of Spectrum First Ltd (now Spectrum First Education) which I set up in 2003, and which provides autism specialist NMH support, and I currently work as an autism specialist Study Skills Tutor within this service. I am committed to: improving access and removing barriers to learning for all disabled students; raising the quality of good professional practice, and enabling the views of all professionals in the NMH sector to be heard. I consider the association to be an effective platform to address these goals.