Professor Sue Read
//CEOSue Read began her nursing career in 1975, and qualified as a Learning Disability nurse in 1980. She has built an international profile around her professional interests of loss, bereavement and end of life care, specifically, but not explicitly, for people with a learning disability. She has held a conjoint Chair at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia, and has strong links with University of Sydney, Australia and the University of Windsor, Canada. She has recently published her fourth book, all of which have focused around bereavement or end of life care for marginalised populations. Whilst she has built her research career with a focus around applied research, alongside this she has also maintained her links in clinical practice, carrying an active case load of clients and families needing sensitive support with either death, dying or bereavement since 1990. Sue retired from Keele University in July 2019, but maintains emerita status.
Sue remains a strong advocate for marginalised populations, and is the Chair and Trustee of a number of Trustee Boards across Staffordshire.
//Development Worker-Linking Generations NI
Lynne Bennett started working with Linking Generations Northern Ireland (LGNI) in November 2012 as a Regional Development Worker.
She has been working with age groups ranging from pre-school to the older generation for the majority of her working life, in a variety of settings both in Northern Ireland and London. She holds a B.A. in Early Childhood Studies.
Lynne's most recent position was with AGE North Down & Ards as a Safety of Seniors Project Officer, supporting older persons to keep safe and feel less isolated. This was achieved through a combination of daily telephone support calls and regular safety roadshows working in partnership with a broad range of other support organisations. She also worked with and supported local community groups, schools and churches in developing and delivering intergenerational initiatives over the past 4 years.
//Project Manager, Rheumatology
June joined the Beth Johnson Foundation in 1997 as a Day Group Coordinator. In 2007 she became a Health Improvement Coordinator, developing the now well established ‘Active in Age’ programme which has trained over 300 people to deliver community led physical activity sessions. June also developed a Falls Prevention Programme for NHS Stoke on Trent and has written several consultation reports for local authorities. In 2010 June gained a Masters’ Degree in Community Practice and Promoting Public Health at Staffordshire University.
In 2013 she was seconded to the Haywood Foundation, based at the Haywood Hospital in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent. There she set up and developed the Patient Information Education and Resource Centre (PIER), manned by volunteers, which provides patients, their families and carers with access to information on arthritis and related conditions.
//Social Prescriber Link WorkerLianne has 15 years’ experience working within education in various roles, starting out as a Behavioural Mentor and progressing to a team leader, Wellbeing Officer and Safeguarding Officer.
More recently she worked for Rethink Mental Illness as a Community Mental Health Recovery Worker, providing goal based support with a focus on improving mental wellbeing.
Lianne joined the Beth Johnson Foundation in 2020 in the position of Social Prescriber Link Worker, providing support for the Leek and Biddulph Primary Care Network (PCN). The focus of the role is to connect people to their local community via signposting, finding suitable support pathways and enable people to have more control over their health and wellbeing.
//Project Worker - Healthy Generations
Amanda joined the voluntary sector in 1998 as an administrator for a small local community development project. She soon became involved in project planning and delivery, and by 2000 had progressed to the role of Charity Co-ordinator.
In 2001, Amanda joined the Media Action Group for Mental Health as Senior Administrator, quickly adding event planning and volunteer co-ordination to her duties. She was project lead for a number of initiatives before finally accepting the role of Chief Officer in 2006. She spent 12 years with the organisation, designing and delivering a range of activities and training programmes that supported people with mental ill health and empowered them to challenge the stigma that unfortunately accompanies such diagnosis, as well as undertaking work promoting public awareness of holistic approaches to health, such as the local Living Well and 5 Ways to Wellbeing campaigns.
Amanda joined Beth Johnson Foundation in May 2014 and was a Link Worker for our Staffordshire Cancer Support Programme (CaSP) North Staffordshire. Amanda is now a Project Worker for our Healthy Generations Project.
//Volunteer Co-ordinator - Bereavement Help PointsAndrew began working in the voluntary sector over thirty years ago as a buddy volunteer supporting people affected by HIV/AIDS. He played a leading role in local community responses to the HIV epidemic for two decades and helped establish the HIV charity “Staffordshire Buddies”. During this period he also spent two years working overseas as an AIDS management Advisor in Northern Namibia.
Andrew was Chief Executive Officer at Staffordshire Buddies until 2011 when he left full time employment to care for his partner. During this period he undertook voluntary work with patient participation groups, achieved new qualifications as a trainer, and worked part time from home as a complementary therapist. Following the death of his partner Andrew took up a new senior role as Director of Operations at the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice.
Andrew joined the Beth Johnson Foundation in January 2020 as volunteer co-ordinator for the Staffordshire Cancer Support Programme (CaSP). He is now helping develop volunteering to support our Bereavement Help Points project.
//Finance and Business Support Manager
Brian has over 30 years of financial experience in a variety of fields: in practice, auditing, industry and, for the last 13 years, the third sector and related businesses.
His most recent work experience was with Housing Associations, prior to that Brian spent 12 years at Groundwork, initially with focus on the financial aspects of the business but latterly in a broader role encompassing strategy, policy and facilities.
He joined the Beth Johnson Foundation in August 2014 as Finance and Business Support Manager.
//Project Worker - Healthy GenerationsClare recently joined the Beth Johnson Foundation in 2019 as a Project Co-ordinator for the new Healthy Generations project.
Clare joined the voluntary sector in 2002 working for the Children and Young People’s Service at VAST. She left the service as Programme Manager two years later to study for a degree in Art and Design. Following this, Clare has been involved in the development of projects that give older adults more opportunity to influence how services are provided locally. She worked for Age UK North Staffordshire as part of the EngAGE Team and Co-ordinated the Older People’s Engagement Network at Saltbox. Clare’s more recent post was with Age UK Staffordshire where she Co-ordinated the Help at Home service, a service that supported people to stay independent and live in their own homes.
Currently Clare is also pursuing a career to become a trained Counsellor, an interest that has arisen from her community engagement experience of working with older adults who are experiencing mental ill health.
//Regional Development Worker - Linking Generations NILynn graduated from Queen's University Belfast in 2005 with a BSc Hons in Psychology and from university moved into the Community and Voluntary Sector and has 13 years experience.
Starting as a support worker in a Charity supporting Adults and Young People with Learning Disabilities and moving onto roles involving training and project delivery.
Her most recent role as Parental Engagement Coordinator for Parenting NI which involved coordinating the CYPSP Parental Participation Project. This involved networking and building relationships with key stakeholders to maintain effective partnerships to progress the best practice dissemination when designing and delivering services for parents.
Also, co-coordinating training and parental participation exercises to give opportunities to contribute.
//Project Co-ordinator - Dementia Advocacy ProjectGraduating from Edge Hill University with a First Class honours degree in Performance and Heath studies, and is currently studying a Masters in Mental Health Sciences. Laura spent 4 years working with a charity opening and managing a Dementia Day Support Service. Laura recently joined the Beth Johnson Foundation in 2020 with the position of Project Co-ordinator for the Dementia Advocacy Project. She will be providing support to people living with dementia within Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.
//Manager - Dementia Advocacy
Prior to working at BJF Betty worked in the health service and joined the Foundation in 2001 as a Coordinator of the Advocacy Dementia project for seven years, later becoming the Manager of the project. During this time Betty obtained an MA in Gerontology. She also holds a diploma in the advocacy qualification.
The Foundation was successful in gaining funding which enabled Betty to manage the Advocacy Support Project and as a direct result of this project, the lack of appropriate supervision for supervisors of advocates was highlighted. Betty, with support from Kay Steven, developed an accredited OCN level three supervision training module for supervisors of advocates. Betty presently carries out the training for the OCN level training for supervisors.
Betty is currently Treasurer on OPAAL’s board.
//Project Co-ordinator – Healthy Generations Project
Jane worked for the NHS before joining the Beth Johnson Foundation in 2002 as an administrator. Since then she has held various posts including support worker on the Health Improvement Project and Project Co-ordinator on the ‘Volunteering for Health Project’, (a 3 year Department of Health funded project to promote and support volunteering within Health and Social Care placements for adults 45 – 65 suffering from minor mental health problems). From 2009 until March 2020 Jane held the position of Project Co-ordinator for the Dementia Advocacy project and is a qualified advocate completing the Level 3 certificate in Independent Advocacy (Providing Independent Advocacy to Adults) qualification in 2012.
Jane is currently the Project Co-ordinator on the Healthy Generations project.The project is working towards reducing social isolation, promoting health and wellbeing and raising levels of health literacy, leading to reducing health inequalities. The project is funded by National Lottery Community Fund until December 2021.
//Project Co-ordinator - Bereavement Help PointsHilary has been working in the voluntary sector since the 1980’s working firstly as a Community Artist, then a Befriending Co-ordinator for North Staff MIND supporting people with enduring mental health issues.
She was one of the founding Directors of Asist Advocacy Services which was established in 1994, where she worked for 19 years developing advocacy services for people with disabilities in Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent.
Hilary first joined the Beth Johnson Foundation in 2015 as East Staffs Volunteer Co-ordinator for the Cancer Advocacy Project. The project supported older people in East Staffs with cancer to have a voice in their treatment and care.
In 2016 she moved on to Approach Dementia Services where she was Director of Operations, overseeing a variety of services supporting people affected by dementia.
Hilary has returned to BJF as the Project Lead for the Bereavement Help Points Project, creating a service to support people experiencing difficulties coping with the loss associated with the death of their families and friends, especially through the period of sanctions associated with Covid-19.
//Manager – Linking Generations Northern Ireland
Vicki graduated from Queens University Belfast in 2005 with a BA in Sociology and Social Policy. She started in finance/administration, working in a community centre in an interface area of East Belfast, going on to become leader of the older people’s group and helping out with the after-schools, youth club and the summer scheme.
She joined the Foundation as a part time Intergenerational Worker and progressed to full time employment as Northern Ireland Intergenerational Project Co-ordinator with the Centre for Intergenerational Practice, raising awareness of the practice, offering training and support for groups to become involved in its initiatives, and managing two intergenerational small grants schemes (grants and support for groups undertaking intergenerational projects).
Angela has enjoyed continuous employment since leaving school, working in office environments that included electrical, engineering and travel, as well as being office supervisor for one of Marks and Spencer’s largest suppliers.
Angela has been part of the Business Support team at the Beth Johnson Foundation for 15 years. Her duties include Reception, Travel/Accommodation, Finance, Health & Safety, GDPR and is Clerk to the Board. She also maintains the BJF website and social media sites.
//Director of Policy & Engagement
Lynne has worked within the voluntary sector in Staffordshire for 20 years and has been at the Beth Johnson Foundation since 2002.
Having completed a degree in Law & Politics as a mature student, Lynne took a different path from the one expected and, having been influenced by her voluntary work at a refuge for females who experienced domestic violence, began working to support people in vulnerable situations e.g. homelessness, young people leaving care and adults experiencing mental distress.
A growing interest in older people and ageing brought Lynne to BJF and she has been involved in the development of projects that formed the basis of the Mid-life Programme (concentrating on adults aged 50 – 64). Those projects included work around health and wellbeing, and enabling people aged 50 and over to access opportunities for employment, education/training and volunteering.
In 2010 our mid-life programme was merged with our later life work to form the Positive Ageing Programme, which Lynne leads.
BJF is at the forefront of a life transitions approach to ageing as evidenced in Lynne’s 2013 report ‘A life course approach to promoting positive ageing’.