Ali Gardner – Chair
Ali has worked in the area of learning disabilities for the last eighteen years as a social worker, policy development officer and as an academic on both a Learning Difficulties degree and a Social Work programme. Ali’s research interest include self directed support and personalisation and she has been involved in the development of national educational and web based learning in this area and has recently writtn a book ‘Personalisation and social work’published by Learning Matters.
Phil Brooks – Secretary
Phil has been Secretary of Stockport Advocacy since its inception in 2004.
Phil has held various management positions with Norweb, United Utilities and more recently with Electricity North West. He brings an extra dimension to the team as his background is different to the other director’s which allows him to look at things in a different way.
The main skills that he brings to the team centre on project management and business awareness.
Concetta has a first degree and PhD in Sociology. This discipline has raised her consciousness in social justice and promoting a fairer society in particular for disadvantaged groups. Concetta’s interest and experience in social care education has always directed her to working within education around inclusivity and social justice. She has worked within disability education specifically, for more than 12 years, managing a BA (Hon) Degree in Learning Difficulty, involvement in inclusive education and teacher education and currently on a BA Social Work. This experience has led her to be involved with many aspects of disability rights and provision. Concetta enjoys her role as a director for Stockport Advocacy and feels privileged to be involved in its achievements and success.
Jan is a retired Head of German, teaching pupils of all abilities from 11 to 18. After the birth of her daughter, Jan became increasingly involved with Special Needs pupils and often assisted in the preparation of Statements of Educational Need. She has also supported and encouraged students to “befriend” pupils at Heaton School. Jan has been associated with Stockport Mencap for many years and since her retirement from teaching Jan has become more involved in the work of the Valuing People Partnership Board Health sub group and attended the Pathway to Housing workshops at Stockport Advocacy.
Having had to fight hard for provision for her daughter, Jan has experienced at first hand the invaluable support that Stockport Advocacy has to offer and the excellent work they do. She is therefore delighted to be given the opportunity to help the Advocacy in some small way by becoming a director.
Richard is a Partner at Pannone Solicitors and Head of their Disability Rights & Public Law Unit.
He qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and specialises in community care, mental capacity and human rights.
He has a sound background in all aspects of social welfare law and regularly provides training for the voluntary and statutory sector.
I have known Stockport Advocacy for at least 5 years. I attend the Speaking Out Group, representing it at the Valuing People Partnership Board and also have been part of a consultation group attending University to consult about course content.
In addition I am involved with DDRG (Disability Design Reference Group) and also volunteer at The Newbridge Centre and WaTT (Working and Training Together), where I support members to learn new skills. I also organise tenants meetings where I live and feedback areas of concern or what’s not working for people to the support staff.
In 2014 I was asked to become a Director of Stockport Advocacy and was pleased to accept as I like to represent people with disabilities, I think this stems from when I was younger when I helped other students at school.
I am currently a lecturer in Social Work on the MA Social Work programme at the University of Manchester, with a shared leadership role in Practice Learning. The Practice Learning leads have responsibility for developing and delivering the practice based elements of the MA Social Work programme. I qualified as a Social Worker in 2007 and worked for Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council for just over 8 years working on the Community Learning Disability Team, Younger Person’s Disability Team and Locality Team during this time.