Professor Sue Read
Sue 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.
June is now based at Bradwell Hospital for the near future.
Regional Development Worker – Linking Generations Northern Ireland
Elaine started working with Linking Generations Northern Ireland (LGNI) in March 2023 as a Regional Development Worker. She has a varied working background and holds experience within the charity, community and health and social care sectors and is a qualified adult teacher. Elaine has moved to the organisation from a community programme where she worked as a career mentor, supporting individuals back into employment, training or education. She has also worked within the domiciliary care sector and has experienced first-hand, the impact that loneliness and isolation has on our older generations. Elaine is enthusiastic about bringing about positive experiences for all generations and is currently completing a Level 3 Award in Intergenerational Care and Education.
Social Prescriber Link Worker
Lianne 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 Manager – Dementia Advocacy & Bereavement Friendship Projects
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 the Manager of the Dementia Advocacy Project and Co-ordinator of the Bereavement Friendship Project.
Volunteer Development Manager
Patsy has worked within the local communities of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire for nearly 30 years after graduating from Bradford University with a BA Hons in Peace Studies. Patsy started working with people with learning disabilities in 1994 in a local care setting, supporting communication, inclusion and speaking up. Patsy continued this work for the next five years within a local day service for adults with learning disabilities. In 2000 Patsy joined a local advocacy organisation to develop a speaking up group for adults with learning disabilities.
From 2000 to 2022 Patsy worked within the advocacy industry developing community advocacy and a volunteer-based community advocacy programme. During this time Patsy successfully completed a Training and Assessing Qualification (TAQA) with Stoke-on-Trent College. Patsy achieved a qualification in participatory community research whilst undertaking community research about people’s experiences of living with hardship with Staffordshire University. Patsy is a published author and contributes to local and national events, promoting equality and inclusion principles and practice. In 2022 Patsy was awarded a lifetime achievement in Advocacy in recognition of her work within the advocacy industry locally and nationally and in our communities.
Patsy joined BJF in early 2022 as Volunteer Development Manager and lead for a local partnership project Discover Digital. Patsy promotes strength-based volunteering and continues to work with volunteers and communities to develop digital inclusion, community supports and promote positive ageing.
Finance and Business Support Director
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.
Clare joined the voluntary sector in 2002, working for The Children’s Fund Stoke on Trent. During this time, she designed and delivered intergenerational volunteering workshops for young people, parents, and grandparents so they could evaluate the Children’s Fund projects. Clare later left the Children’s Fund as Programme Manager to pursue her course of study for a BA Hons in Design Crafts.
For the past thirteen years, Clare has gone on to work for older people’s services in North Staffordshire. She worked as the Help at Home Senior Coordinator for Age UK North Staffordshire, helping older people to live independently. Clare also worked in community engagement roles whilst at Age UK (EngAGE Stoke on Trent) and Team Lead (Older People’s Engagement Network) at Saltbox, helping to build relationships with groups that have not been involved or previously underrepresented in local engagement.
Clare started work for the Beth Johnson Foundation in 2019, as part of the Healthy Generations Team. During this time, she engaged with different communities within Stoke on Trent, helping to design and deliver workshops around their health, wellbeing, and digital technology needs.
Clare’s work experience has led her to commence studying for an MA in Counselling Psychotherapy and she feels passionately about helping people to have their voice heard. Clare is delighted to be working once again for the Beth Johnson Foundation, working to help offer advocacy support to older people who are living with dementia.
Senior Project Development Manager
Adam has been working in the media and community sector since 2012, having previously worked as a manager in the financial industry. A community journalist and founder of The Community Cast, Adam has previously worked for The Sentinel, Stoke-on-Trent Live and BBC Radio. He has worked with people and communities across the charity and cultural sector running projects with Expert Citizens, Stoke Recovery Service, Support Staffordshire, British Ceramics Biennial, YMCA and VOICES. In 2021 Adam founded The Community Cast, which works with a range of diverse communities to support them in raising their voices through creating content such as podcasts, films, and research projects and training. Since 2012 Adam has been involved in delivering community engagement research supporting the Appetite arts project and working with Staffordshire University.
Adam is now working as the Senior Project Development Manager, supporting BJF with their strategic aims, developing projects, identifying new opportunities, and managing current projects and fund-raising initiatives.
Jackie graduated from the University of Teesside with BSc (Hons) degree in Psychology and went on to gain an MA/Dip in Social Work from Keele University.
Jackie’s experience includes working in Statutory Social Care to support older people and people with disabilities, mental health services, drug and alcohol services and palliative care.
Jackie has joined the Beth Johnson Foundation as a member of the Dementia Advocacy Team. The purpose of the role is ensure people who live with a dementia condition, have their voices heard and to provide advocacy support to promote their rights and choices.
Development Worker – Linking Generations Northern Ireland
Joyce joined Linking Generations NI (LGNI) as a Regional Development Worker in January 2022. She has worked in the Voluntary Sector since 1992 in organisations addressing issues such as older age, health, homelessness and community wellbeing. Her experience covers the areas of campaigning, public affairs, business development, income generation, policy and communications. As such she has worked with people at all levels and from all walks of life, enjoys the challenge of making a difference and is excited to be involved in all things intergenerational.
Director – 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 18 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.