We work with a wide range of associate consultants and coaches with whom we have established long and trusted working relationships. Our consultants all combine excellent skills to support organisations in moving forward, with in-depth experience in the public sector and in particular, services for children, young people and families. Our coaches are all professionally qualified, and have the added value of understanding the public sector and services for children and young people. We also have a number of expert advisors who support our work. This enables us to bring together the very best team to deliver excellent results.

Information about just some of us is shown here, providing a flavour of the solid experience we bring.

Carola Bennion, Director

Carola has worked with central government departments and agencies, local authorities and their strategic partners, and voluntary organisations for over twenty five years – developing a wealth of experience in strategic development and the delivery of policy within both public and social sector environments. She is highly effective at both national and local level and has led and worked on a number of national programmes. As a consultant she is frequently engaged to facilitate change management, service improvement and the development of strategy, and brings a passion for supporting outcome focussed ways of thinking and working. Carola is a qualified and experienced leadership coach, accredited at ACC level with the International Coach Federation. She coaches with both national and local government organisations, and VCSE organisations, and is particularly effective coaching managers to develop their capacity for leadership. Her warm and open approach enables her to establish trust quickly.  She is perceptive and insightful, with a talent for clarifying complexity.

Claire Burgess, Associate Consultant

Claire has over 25 years experience of working in the children’s sector – local government, children’s heath services and the VCS. She has managed child protection teams, developed and managed innovative multi-agency services for children in need, children in care, and child adolescent mental health services. She is experienced in change management, organisational development and programme management at a local, regional and national level. Claire has supported the development and implementation of national programmes and has worked as the specialist consultant for children’s services at the Local Government Group, developing improvement support to the children’s sector, working closely with central and local government and Ofsted. Claire has a tireless energy to lead and support improvement through strong partnership relationships and a systems approach.

Roger Bushell, Associate Consultant

Roger has considerable experience in leading and managing a wide range of services for children and young people. He was Head of SEN in Tameside and Assistant Director of Education in Stoke-on-Trent following an early career in teaching and educational psychology. His teaching experience was in a residential special school and he was a principal educational psychologist. A consultant since 2000, Roger has worked extensively at national, regional and local levels. Recently he supported CWDC’s work on “leading integrated working” and contributed to the National College’s leadership provision for Directors of Children’s Services. Roger is skilled in analysing complex problems to find workable solutions. He has an open and friendly style, is able to establish trust quickly and, where appropriate, challenge expectations and assumptions constructively.

Lyn Frith, Associate Consultant

Lyn has a successful track record working in education and children’s services in both the statutory and voluntary sectors.  Her early career was as a residential social worker, teacher and education welfare officer. She progressed to a senior role within a local authority where she was instrumental in developing innovative and high quality provision for vulnerable and disaffected young people. Lyn was seconded to the then DCSF to work with pathfinder Children’s Trusts and has worked extensively with government and other national organisations and local authorities. Lyn is passionate about improving the well-being and life chances of children, young people, vulnerable adults and families.  Lyn has recently supported a range of local authorities develop their commissioning arrangements, including support for locality based commissioning, using an outcome based approach.  She has strong analytical skills and a precise and articulate presentational style. Lyn is highly collaborative and her particular forte is in building robust and effective partnerships.

Vivien Taylor, Associate Consultant

Vivien offers over 25 years experience of working in services for children and young people – in Local Authority Social Care, Health, voluntary sector and regional improvement settings. Her experience spans operational practice and management, strategic planning and service development, commissioning and procurement and improvement support. Vivien works with staff at all levels on local, regional and national programmes of support and children’s service development. She has a particular expertise in developing effective joint working strategies, protocols and commissioning processes; and the development of services for disabled children. She believes in a facilitative and enabling approach and maintains an emphasis throughout on working collaboratively in an integrated way across service boundaries.

Will Thomas, Coach

Will a trainer, performance coach and former teacher with a passion for creativity and learning. His career began in personnel management, and was followed by highly successful roles in teaching and educational leadership. He has acted as advisor to Worcestershire LA and has extensive training and coaching experience with a wide range of organisations and individuals both in the UK and abroad. He is author and co-author of nine books on coaching, creativity and leadership. His infectious enthusiasm for training and coaching are evident from the first time you meet him. His training and coaching is described quite simply as “Inspirational”.   He is an advisor to The Steve Sinnott Foundation and trustee of Manisha Child Welfare Foundation Nepal.