Meet the Team
Here you can discover more about our team and why we are best-equipped to suit your training needs.
Head of Engagement and Learning
Ray has national responsibility for workforce development and is a member of the Executive Team.
With almost 30 years of experience working in the health and social care sector, and half of that focusing on staff learning and development, he is an advocate for the importance of staff development, LGBT+ equality and is involved in several developmental strategies for the organisation.
Ray has primarily a clinical background and has managed services supporting vulnerable adults with dementia, physical and mental health needs, learning disabilities and in palliative care.
He has worked for awarding organisations as an external examiner and moderator and has professional qualifications in teaching and educational development, post graduate diplomas in organisational leadership, an MBA from Leeds University and is currently completing a doctorate in Professional Studies/Health and Social Care at Chester University.
Quality Enhancement Lead
Leigh is Creative Academy’s Quality Enhancement Lead, managing our team of trainers and regularly casting an eye over our course content to ensure they maintain a high standard at all times. Leigh leads on our curriculum design and delivers training herself including clinical training packages, management sessions, well-being courses and Mental Health First Aid (MHFA).
Leigh has worked in NHS Intermediate Care, various education institutions (including higher education settings) and in charities both in the UK and abroad.
Leigh has a background in coaching and mentoring, having gained professional qualifications including ILM Advanced Coaching & Mentoring and Cert.Ed. She is an advanced coach mentor, having been a member of the North West Leadership Academy for over a decade, in addition to being a member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council.
Leigh is a qualified Mental Health First Aid Instructor and has delivered this training to more than 100 different Creative Support employees since qualifying in 2019.
Vocational Qualifications Centre Manager
Sophie is Creative Academy’s line manager of our team of assessor-trainers & internal verifiers who deliver and support staff to complete Health and Social Care diplomas at levels 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Sophie’s role is to lead, motivate and develop the team to ensure learners achieve their planned learning aim and make progression. She is also responsible for monitoring and assuring quality of delivery for the diploma programme, and to ensure standards are being met and improvements being made.
Sophie started her career in care back in 1998 as a support worker for the NHS. She then achieved a Learning Disability Nursing and Social work Qualification in 2002. Sophie went on to manage a learning disability service and here became interested and involved in the vocational training offered to staff. Sophie has worked for Creative Support since 2006; she worked as a qualified assessor & internal verifier previous to her current role as lead verifier and manager for the Assessment Team. Professional qualifications include: BA (Hons) Social Science, A1 Assessors Award, V1 Verifiers Award, BTEC Prof Award Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector and the Practice Teacher Award.
Marco has 17 years of professional experience within different care sectors, mainly working with individuals with autism and severe learning disabilities. His other experience in care includes providing end of life support as well as other clinical tasks attached to this role.
He has completed the Award in Education and Training (AET) qualification and the assessor qualification, Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (CAVA).
After joining Creative Support in August 2017, he has since completed the Certificate in Education and Training level 4 (CET), and he is now completing the Diploma in Education and Teaching (DET).
He has completed Food Safety level 4, First Aid and is fully qualified in Moving and Handling, including single handle Moving and Handling techniques.
Andy’s first experience of working in health & social care was through work at a school for autistic children, and subsequently work in the community with autistic adults, all of which he did for six years.
At the same time as the work mentioned above, he worked as a relief support worker by supporting people with learning disabilities in two different services for seven years.
His next role was a team leader position in a domiciliary company providing care for mostly elderly people in their homes. This role led him to take on a training position where he trained staff in all aspects of their job roles, which he did for 3 years.
As a trainer with Creative Support, Andy delivers training on a range of courses including (but not limited to) Administration of Medication, Moving & Handling, Epilepsy Awareness and Diabetes Awareness. His qualifications include the Award in Education and Training (AET) and an NVQ Level 3 in Adults and Children. He has also completed the St John’s Ambulance 3-day First Aid course and the 2-day Mental Health First Aid course.
Paul has 7 years’ experience as a training officer with Creative Academy. He has completed his level 4 NVQ in Care and the level 3 Award in Education and Training (AET).
Paul is also the C.I.T.R.U.S lead trainer for Creative Support staff, and he is a qualified intensive practitioner for Positive Behaviour Support (PBS). He has the level 4 Award in Managing Food Safety in Catering (Chartered Institute of Environmental Health) and is Moving and Handling level 4 trainer qualified (A1 Train the Trainer and Risk Assessing, single person).
Ben has an honours degree in Applied Psychology as well as three diplomas: one in Counselling, one in Education and Training and finally one in Nutrition.
In addition to his qualifications, Ben has many years of experience in care-related work. He spent 20 years working with homeless hostels, drug and alcohol rehab centres and with a community alcohol team. He also worked for three years as a teacher in a further education college.
Naomi has worked for Creative Support since 2002 when she started as a student. At that point she worked mainly in the Trafford area and went on to manage several mental health services each requiring different levels of support.
Whilst in services Naomi completed her NVQ level 3 in Promoting Independence, her NVQ level 4 in Care and then her level 5 diploma in Health & Social Care. She later moved on to the level 2 practitioner skills in the Management of Substance Misuse and the level 3 in Tackling Substance Misuse. She makes use of these qualifications and practical experience to deliver training for Creative Academy on Substance Misuse and various mental health-related courses.
Naomi has completed the Award in Education and Training (AET) qualification and is now completing the Diploma in Education and Teaching (DET).
Naomi has taken the lead in Creative Academy’s medication training and has completed a 4-day certified instructor programme in Medicines Administration. She also assists in the delivery of Creative Academy’s first aid and basic life support training, for which she has completed the 3-day St Johns Ambulance course in first aid, as well as defibrillator training.
Amanda Holt has worked for Creative Support for over 10 years, starting in local services as a support worker before moving up to a senior and then managerial position, supporting people with learning disabilities, autism, extra care needs and physical disabilities. Amanda subsequently took on a role as quality enhancement lead for a time during which she visited services to support managers within their role, before finally joining the Learning & Development Team, Creative Academy. Amanda still picks up shifts within our services in a relief capacity, and as such she has ongoing experience of what it is like to work hands-on in care projects.
Prior to working for Creative Support, Amanda worked in health and social care with other organisations, starting at the tender age of 18 years old when she held a role as a home support worker for older people.
In terms of training and qualifications held, Amanda has an NVQ level 2 and level 3 in Health and Social Care, as well as having completed a series of moving and handling training, including Kinetics 3, Moving and Handling level 4, Diverse and Complex Moving and Handling level 4, and Single Person Moving and Handling level 4. She also has level 4 qualifications in Safeguarding Adults and Children, PEG Care, Continence Care, Stoma Care, Stroke Awareness along with all mandatory training required to work within services. She is currently completing her Award in Education and Training (AET) and her Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (CAVA) award with a view to ultimately completing a level 5 qualification in Education and Training.
Mik has worked for Creative Support since 1st June 2008 when he was transferred over from the NHS. At that time he was a home leader of a supported living service for adults with complex needs. He has been in his current role as a training officer since December 2013. In this role he delivers a variety of training sessions to both Creative Support staff, relatives of the people we provide support to and finally to our service users directly.
Prior to working for Creative Support he was employed as a Registered Nurse LD by the NHS from 1986, and during this time he held different positions in a variety of localities ranging from large institutions to smaller individual supported living homes. A constant theme throughout his career has been delivering training to both staff and service users.
Since qualifying as a Registered Nurse Mik has gained a range of training qualifications, which includes City & Guilds 7307 Teaching Adults in Further Education, ENB 998 Assessing Nurses, Train the Trainer in a variety of clinical based areas, Administration of Rescue Medication and Emergency First Aid in the Workplace. Finally, in Mik’s own words: “I have a belief that anyone can learn new skills, and it is my role to develop and adapt training to fit an individual’s learning style and enable them to develop.”
Edd has completed a Joint Honours degree in Psychology & Criminology and he credits this with having ignited an interest in working with people who have a rich tapestry of life experiences.
Following this, he became a Recovery Navigator at the Birmingham Mental Health and Recovery Service providing 1:1 mental health support. He then joined the Learning & Development department to create and assist in the delivery of Creative Academy’s mental health courses in the hope that more open and honest conversations could take place around mental health. He has also been trained in Emergency First Aid, Food Safety Management and has an Award in Education and Training (AET).
Outside of work Edd produces music, plays guitar and enjoys travelling!
Leah has worked for Creative Support for just over one year, and her work within health and social care began when she was in her twenties. Initially, Leah was a volunteer in a domestic abuse setting in the Greater Manchester area. She then moved onto paid work where she began a counselling service for children and young people living in the refuge, often using play therapy as a means of counselling them. At this time Leah was also a volunteer counsellor with Childline.
Most of Leah’s career has been within the field of education, working at both further and sixth-form colleges where she progressed to being a head of department. She has taught a wide range of health and social care and childcare subjects over this time. Before joining Creative Support Leah was working as a private counsellor alongside teaching counselling in a college to adult learners.
Leah has a degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Counselling Skills. She also has a range of teaching and assessing qualifications and a diploma in Education Management.
Since joining Creative Support Leah has qualified as a first aider and a Mental Health First Aider, with a plan to train as a Mental Health First Aid instructor.
Miltos has worked at Creative Support since 2013 as an assessor in the Training Team, supporting and assessing staff members’ Health and Social Care diplomas from level 2 to level 5. He is also involved in the internal quality assurance of these diplomas. Miltos also regularly delivers the Creative Academy Induction webinar to our new staff.
Miltos began work in care in 1990 and worked both in Sweden and the UK. He has worked in residential and nursing homes, supporting people with mental health and learning disabilities and also supporting older individuals in a service for people with dementia. He then worked as team leader in a residential setting in Leeds.
Qualifications Miltos has achieved include a degree in Children & Youth Educational Program (Sweden), an NVQ level 3 Award in Health & Social Care, an A1 vocational qualification award in Assessing, a level 3 in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) and a level 4 award in Internal Quality Assurance (TAQA).
Jean was TUPE’d across to Creative Support April 2013 while working as a Registered Manager for Extra Care services in Carlisle Cumbria. She completed the Registered Managers Award in 2006 with her previous employer.
Whilst in services Jean completed the Award in Education and Training (AET) with Creative Support’s Learning and Development Team, Creative Academy.
In February 2020 Jean was successfully interviewed and moved over to the Learning and Development Team as an Assessor/Trainer, assessing up to Level 5 Diploma and working alongside the training team hosting/delivering various training to Creative Support staff.
Alice has worked for Creative Support since 2007 when she started out as a registered manager setting up a Bedfordshire supported living scheme. Until 2013 Alice was actively involved with developing new services in the South-East region while also continuing to manage the Bedford service.
While managing the Bedford service, Alice completed her RMA (Registered Manager Award), NVQ 4 and foundation degree in Care Management (equating to the current level 5 qualification).
Alice later moved over to the Learning and Development Team on a part-time basis while continuing to manage services, and she eventually moved over to the team full-time in 2013, working both as a diploma assessor and a trainer.
Alice has gone on to complete her PTLLS (Preparing To Teach in Lifelong Learning Sector) qualification, accredited TAQA (Training, Assessment and Quality Assurance) award, level 4 certificate in Food Safety Management and her CIEH level 4 award in the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice (QCF).
Alice delivers a range of both webinar and face-to-face classroom training including Administration of Medication, Food Safety, Infection Control, Safeguarding People at Risk, Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, Data Protection & Information Governance and the Creative Academy Induction. Alice is also a diploma assessor/tutor assessing and supporting staff to complete level 2 – level 5 Health and Social Care/ Management diplomas and also is an Internal Quality Assessor (IQA). Alice has more recently been involved with developing the level 3 certificated stand-alone medication administration unit.
Pauline has worked for Creative Support since 2004. Initially she was a deputy manager over two supported living services in the North East for people with learning disabilities. She was also a qualified NVQ assessor and whilst working in this role she completed her Registered Managers Award and Verifiers qualification.
Pauline transferred to work in Creative Support’s Training Team in 2006 taking on the role of an assessor and trainer. Here she completed the Assessor Update qualification, Leadership and Management qualification (ILM), ‘Train the Trainer’ course, Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector level 4, the Award in Education (AET), ‘Train the Trainer’ in Medication Administration and level 4 Preparing for Medication Administration.
Pauline supports and assesses staff completing Diploma Qualifications up to the Manager’s Level 5, her training and qualifications have been regularly updated to ensure she can fully support her learners achieve their awards.
Pauline delivers a variety of training courses including Infection Control, Health and Safety Awareness, Safeguarding People at Risk, Administration of Medication, Learning Disabilities and the Creative Academy Induction.
Adele has worked for Creative Support since 2010, starting off in a support worker role within a service in the Chorley area that focused on supporting those with learning disabilities. While working here she completed her level 2 diploma in Health & Social Care, progressing into a senior role within the service upon completion, and she followed this up by completing her level 3 diploma in Health & Social Care.
After 8 years in this service Adele wanted to progress into a role where she could assist staff with their learning and development, and Creative Support’s Training Team, Creative Academy, funded her qualification to become an assessor within the organisation.
Adele has since worked full-time as an assessor covering the North West area since 2019, and she is currently working towards her level 4 in Management.
Diane has worked for Creative Support since March 2008 and works in the Stoke-on-Trent region as a training and development assessor and internal verifier – her role is to assist our support staff and managers in achieving a relevant Health & Social Care diploma qualification for their role, and this could be a diploma at level 2, 3, 4 or 5. She also takes part in the quality assurance of other assessors’ work.
Diane has worked in the care sector since 1987 where she first worked night shifts in a small residential home. She moved to a specialist dementia home and became an assistant manager for a 45 bedded home. She worked here for seven years before joining Creative Support.
Diane’s qualifications include an NVQ level 2 and level 3 in Health & Social Care, Registered Managers Award (RMA), Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS), D32/33 Assessing vocational achievement award and V1 Internal Quality Assurance award.