WellChild strengthens its leadership team

Posted on the 6th June 2019

WellChild is strengthening its leadership with two new members of the charity’s senior management team and two new parent trustees joining the charity.

WellChild welcomes a new Director of Programmes, Tara Parker, who will be in charge of the work WellChild does to improve the lives of children and families, including its national network of WellChild Nurses, Helping Hands, Better at Home programme and other initiatives. Meanwhile, new Director of Operations Emily Henderson will be in charge of making WellChild tick as an organisation managing the important support services which make WellChild run smoothly.

The charity has also strengthened the voice of parents in the running of the charity with two new parent trustees Leanne Cooper and Craig Hatch, who will sit on WellChild’s Board of Trustees to provide strategic leadership and support to ensure the organisation does what it set out to do.

WellChild is planning to further strengthen its management team by recruiting a Director of Fundraising and Events. Find out more and apply here.

WellChild Chief Executive Colin Dyer said: “We are delighted to welcome our new directors and trustees. They will bring a strong combination of lived experience and professional expertise to the leadership team and will be a huge asset in our work towards our vision to give every child and young person with exceptional health needs across the UK the best chance to thrive with the home and family life they deserve.”

WellChild’s new Director of Programmes is Tara Parker, a registered paediatric nurse with extensive experience across the UK. Her career in paediatrics has spanned both acute and community sectors and she has held senior positions within Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and NHS Acute and Community Trusts.  Tara has specialised in commissioning of care for children with complex health needs and disabilities. Her move to WellChild will enable her to continue the important work of championing the rights of some of the most vulnerable children and young people and their families in the UK.  Tara is mother to two children, one of whom who has complex needs and this has enabled her to gain a unique insight to both the lived experience and the professional challenges.

New Director of Operations is Emily Henderson who joined WellChild having worked in business management and operational roles across various sectors, concentrating on the health, social care and charity sectors more specifically in the last six years. Emily works across the organisation and manages the operational and support services including business processes, finance, IT, Health & Safety, Data Protection and front of house to ensure that WellChild runs smoothly, efficiently and effectively.  Emily is skilled at assessing the services that an organisation uses, such as IT, telephony and database to ensure they are robust, secure and effectively adhere to GDPR.  Emily has undertaken training covering leadership and management, IT, health & safety and business administration.

WellChild’s two new trustees are both parents with children with complex needs, helping to further strengthen the voice of parents in the leadership of the organisation.

Leanne Cooper is mum to three daughters, Erica, Sophie and Kyla. Sophie has cerebral palsy and multiple complex needs. Leanne has worked at regional and national levels to improve services for children and young people living with serious health needs and is the driving force behind the parent-led #notanurse_but campaign. Through the campaign, Leanne has shared her experience through a powerful series of video diaries, which have been viewed widely online and used to educate child health professionals and decision makers across the sector. As a WellChild Parent Ambassador and campaigner, Leanne has spoken at many conferences and events, sharing her experiences caring for her daughter and her passion for making a positive change to services and helping raise awareness of WellChild’s work.

With four children, including Fraser who has Cerebral Palsy and a large amount of daily care needs, Craig Hatch has first-hand experience of the challenges facing families caring for a child with complex health needs. As a WellChild Parent Ambassador, Craig has spoken about his experiences at a number of conferences, events and was part of the team that spearheaded the #notanurse_but campaign, shining a light on the reality of life behind closed doors for thousands of families. Craig is Group Managing Director at global professional services firm, WYG Group. He is a Chartered Surveyor and a Fellow of both the RICS and CIOB.

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