ECP are made up of a team of highly skilled and experienced people.
Sal Thirlway- Sal has served as a Trustee since 2018 and is the Chair of the Trustee Board. He has over 20 years experience working in local government Children’s Services, and has held Head of Service and Assistant Director roles in a number of authorities. Sal’s experience is in securing improvement and developing early intervention and prevention approaches. Sal has experience of the voluntary sector through his role with Barnardo’s and is now the Director of his own management consultancy.
Bob Thompson – Retired Head of Early Years for Bedfordshire County Council and previously a primary school Headteacher. Bob has a keen interest in supporting young children and their parents. He is actively involved as trustee of two other charities local to Bedford. He also has a long term commitment to athletics at a local level.
Jane Cotton started her career in the policy Civil Service and then developed into HR, taking her HR professional qualifications. She worked at Executive Director level for Government Departments including Transport, for the Charity Commission, and for Oxfam. Since 2015 she has been volunteering in the charity sector, including in a range of trustee roles eg with WWF, a Wildlife Trust and One YMCA.
Deborah James – Deborah represents the Peter Pan Teaching School Alliance on the ECP board of trustees. The Peter Pan Teaching School Alliance is a group of outstanding and good schools from Bedford and Cambridgeshire who care for and educate children from 6 weeks to 11 years old. We have over 30 home languages and serve extremely diverse communities. We focus on developing the whole child by supporting children’s well-being and ensuring high levels of involvement and engagement. The Peter Pan Teaching School Alliance is one of the organisations that Make up the ECP. I am a National Leader in Education and I am currently Head teacher of Crosshall Infant School Academy Trust in St Neots in Cambridgeshire. I have been a Head teacher since 2005
Our Leadership Team
Kath Shaughnessy is our Business Manager who develops, leads and oversees the functions of ECP in collaboration with all partners. Kath has many years of experience in leading the delivery of private, public and charity sector contracts and services.
Michael Howe is our Children’s Centre delivery, safeguarding and domestic violence lead. He has extensive experience in the delivery of Children’s Centre services both Luton and Bedford as well as leading early help services in several local authority areas.
Wendie Lovatt is our volunteering programme lead enabling our local community to become more involved in their local Children’s Centre. Wendie has many years of experience in recruiting, training, inducting and supporting local volunteers and is well regarded locally for the outstanding service FACES provides.
Isabel Davis is our learning, development, and School liaison lead. Isabel is a National Leader of Education and will play a crucial part in ensuring all early years practice is of high quality, leading to positive outcomes in Children’s development and readiness for school.
David Martin is our Director of Resources at YMCA and Company Secretary. David has worked for YMCA since 2010 and has been Director of Resources since 2012. Prior to this he was Head of Resources for a local authority leading on corporate resources such as property, procurement, HR and ICT as well as the management of Council Tax, Business Rates and Benefits. Outside of work, David has been the Trustee of a number of youth charities. He has also provided leadership and support to a number of national and international projects and programmes for a national youth organisation.
Our Children’s Centre Team
Children’s Centre Managers
Helen Letting and Lisa Baker are our Children’s Centre managers who are responsible for the day-to-day management of Children’s Centre services and delivery teams at our Centres. Both Helen and Lisa are highly experienced leaders of Children’s Centres, having worked in Bedford for a number of years.
Katy Sexton is our Team Leader whose primary focus is to support our Children’s Centre Managers and delivery teams. Katy ensures our work with parents, carers, families and children reflect ECPs vision for the Children’s Centres and support the engagement of parents in the development and learning of their children.
Family Support Practitioners
Family Support Practitioners work with families on a one to one and group basis. They provide help and support to parents and carers who need a bit of extra help when it comes to parenting and raising Children under five years of age.
Children’s Centre Practitioners
Children’s Centre Practitioners will be the most familiar faces to families accessing our services. They deliver all the day to day activities you see in the timetable and are highly skilled Early Years Practitioners.
Our Perinatal Practitioners will probably be your first contact with us when you find out your little one is on their way. They support families at the ante and postnatal stages of parenthood and are skilled in breastfeeding support, baby massage and a whole host of other things that come along with being an expectant parent or parents and carers with babies.
Data and Monitoring officer
The Data and Monitoring Officer is our information lead who works closely with our Business Manager to ensure we are delivering against our services aims.
Our Administrators play a crucial role in the day to day running of our Children’s Centres. They are a friendly face when families arrive at the centre and support the rest of the team with managing bookings for activities.