- Executive Director
Paul Higgitt - Manager
Tom Collins - Engagement and Information Lead
Emily Lovell - Community Outreach Lead
John is the former West Midlands Head of the Big Lottery Fund where he led the regional team awarding around £60 million per year between 1992and 2013. Nationally he devised, using co-production methods, the £100 million Talent Match programme for young people furthest from the labour market. He now acts as a consultant and adviser to a range of public and charitable organisations. Clients have included Black County Together CIC, Walsall Council, Avon and Bristol Law Centre, ESF, St Basil’s and the Heart of England Community Foundation. John is a Magistrate in the adult and youth criminal courts and a member of the Lord Chancellors Advisory Committee.
Lucy qualified as a nurse in 1980 and worked in the NHS for many years. Following this clinical career, Lucy became a clinical nurse teacher and later qualified as a registered nurse tutor. Lucy teaches both undergraduate and post graduate health professionals and undertakes funded research projects. Her research focuses on service user experiences of care and she has completed several studies on this topic. As a Professor of Nursing, Lucy is also director of the Centre for Social Care Health and Related Research (C-SHaRR), which focuses on studies relating to quality of care and patient safety. Lucy has presented at conferences around the world regarding her research, published papers and written two books on the subject of health research. Lucy is committed to improving the experience of people who access healthcare services.
Ross is recently retired from a long career spent working within the steel industry. This included working for British Steel, now Tata UK, as General Manager for the Walsall based steel processing and distribution centre. In 2001, as co - owner, he helped establish a successful steel stockholding and manufacturing business supplying products to a number of blue chip customers typically within the Automotive, Construction and Waste industries. Ross has also worked in a voluntary capacity for Age UK, undertaking a befriending role to older people within the Community. Amongst his qualifications, Ross has a degree in Health and Social Care and a NVQ level 3 in the same discipline. He has lived in Walsall for over 50 years and is passionate about improving both services and outcomes for local citizens by utilising the extensive range of skills he brings from the private sector.
Managing Director of Aaina Community Hub a third sector organization that caters for women from diverse sections of the community who are living with disadvantage and exclusion. Also founder and Treasurer of Iqra Supplementary School and Youth Provision since 2005 which is also based at Aaina and delivers life enhancing opportunities for young people who are living in marginilised communities. My background is in Law and I maintain an interest in this area through my work as a Magistrate and member of the Charities Tribunal. I am a full time working mother of who enjoys reading and writing when the time permits, swimming to keep fit and radio broadcasting when the opportunity arises.
Teresa graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in physics and moved into the software development industry. When her second son was born with profound learning disabilities her life changed completely. She gave up work to care for her son and gradually become more involved in helping to shape education, health and social care services for children and adults with learning disabilities. Currently Teresa is Vice Chair of Governors at Mary Elliot School and sits on Walsall’s Education and Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee. She is a member of the Parent Carer Forum committee, FACE Walsall, which aims to work in co-production with the authority to improve services for disabled children and young adults. She is Chair of Talking SENse! which supports parents in getting their children's additional educational needs met. Teresa is a trained peer assessor with the Carer User Support Partnership. Recently she was a member of the Learning Disability Partnership Board until it was folded due to funding cuts.
Sylvia has lived in Walsall 50 years with a background in Primary Care Management in Walsall and Birmingham. She has served as a Non Executive Director on the Walsall Health Authority and Walsall Community Health Council, Lay Governor Mental Health Trust, setting up of Patient and focus groups together with a keen interest in health care delivery, embracing diversity and equality. Since retiring she has become Chair of her own GP practice’s patient group, member of the Walsall Patient and Public Liaison Group (PPLG), involved in health research with varying universities including, National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), and, as a cancer survivor, Cancer Research UK.
Frances Beatty MBE, JP
Frances has spent most of her career concerned with advocacy, complaints, engagement - spent working for a rural and farming membership organisation, influencing national/regional government policy making from the evidence base of problems experienced by its business members. She subsequently ran my own business for nine years and has a non-exec background in business, higher education, local government, environment, health and social care, having served/serving as a board member of various bodies, including Staffordshire Ambulance Service; Stafford & Rural Homes HA; Harper Adams University; Peak District National Park Authority. She holds the Cabinet portfolio for Economic Development & Planning on Stafford Borough Council. Frances is a Board member and Caldecott Guardian for Engaging Communities, overseeing effective management of handled data; and EC Board representative on the Healthwatch Advisory Boards for Staffordshire, Walsall, Wolverhampton.