Meet The Team

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Meet the Team

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The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Childrens Commissioning team was created in 2017. The team structure chart shows the make up of the team. The structure chart is up to date as of 01 May 2020.

Helene Carr – Head of Service Children’s Commissioning Peterborough and Cambridgeshire
Helene is the head of Children’s Commissioning at Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council.  Helene leads the strategic programme of commissioning for children and families, driving innovation to deliver better outcomes and financial efficiencies.  Helene leads a large team with a variety of commissioning portfolios.

Children’s Commissioners

Lucy Loia – Senior Children’s Commissioner (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)
Lucy leads the SEND Commissioning team and commissioning activities that are shaping and delivery of improved outcomes for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities  across both authorities. Lucy works closely with partners and providers to create integrated commissioning strategies that support SEND  and the development of new models of service delivery.
Lucy manages the SEND Commissioning team, and the SEND Access to Resources Team.
Lucy is CIPS qualified and applies this to ensure we are commissioning safe, effective with quality provision for children, young people and adults with SEND.

Anita Hewson – Children’s Commissioner (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)
Anita is a qualified and registered social worker with over 25 years of experience working in Social Care with SEND families and practitioners. Anita’s main area of work is within Disability Services focusing on overnight short breaks, community and home support. Anita says Co-Production with parents, carers and young people is of the utmost importance in the way I work.

Zoe Redfern-Nichols – Children’s Commissioner (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)
Zoe’s focus is on commissioning for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, primarily those children in Social Care and education. Within Zoe’s portfolio is the Community Short Breaks Services within Peterborough and the Short Breaks offer across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire
Zoe says she is passionate about ensuring that children with disabilities and complex needs receive personalised and flexible support.

Benjamin Palmer – Children’s Commissioner (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)
Benjamin has a broad range of experience in SEND as an education provider in the independent sector; managing Ofsted registered Short Breaks and Family Support services in the community and voluntary sectors; and as a Commissioner for SEND services within the public sector. Additionally he has undertaken extensive consultancy work nationally on behalf of Parent Carer Forums, Local Authorities and Health Services and a range of National Charities. Subsequently he has gained extensive understanding of the legislation and practice impacting upon those with SEND. He seeks to use these experiences, along with the invaluable views of children and young people and their families to secure collaborative approaches to improving SEND support and provision to ultimately enable greater equity in society.

Sam Nash – Children’s Commissioner (Children in Care)
Sam is the Commissioner for Children in Care across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, primarily focusing on Cambridgeshire. Sam’s commissioning activities include: independent foster care, residential children’s homes and supported accommodation services for Children and Young People in Care.
Sam says I am passionate about ensuring that participation and the voice of the child is embedded in our commissioning approaches.

Jarryd Anthony – Quality and Performance Officer
Jarryd’s role is to support the team through data management and analysis. He joined children’s commissioning in March 2020, having joined the council in January 2020, when he briefly worked in corporate information management. Jarryd comes from a criminal justice background and has worked as a researcher for the Northamptonshire Constabulary, a casework officer for the Hampshire Constabulary, and a crime analyst for the New York City Police Department. Jarryd went to Nottingham Trent where he studied criminology and psychology and hopes to put his skills to good use within the public sector.

Pam Setterfield – Children’s Commissioner (Children and Families)
Pam’s commissioning brief falls into the scope of “Children and Families” commissioning. The commissioning and procurement activities in her brief are in partnership with a number of County Council and City Council teams including Early Help and Public Health as well as with organisations such as Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and a number of voluntary sector organisations. Included in Pam’s portfolio is work in relation to Children’s Centres, working in partnership in developing Best Start in Life Programme and evidence based parenting programmes, including young parents, although there are other contracts Pam is responsible for.

Helen Andrews – Children’s Commissioner (Children and Families)
Helen’s commissioning brief is also within the Children and Families commissioning. Helen’s portfolio includes jointly working with a range of partners from Youth Offending Services, Strengthening Communities, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Constabulary and the Voluntary and Community Sector.
Helen is always looking for innovative solutions that challenge mainstream thinking. Commissioners works with people, social problems and systems. We know organisations want to provide bespoke responses and that commissioners want to help local systems produce better outcomes. Commissioners are therefore key to understanding systems, creating collaborations and conditions for people to achieve better outcomes.

Rachel Hiscox – Assistant Commissioner (Children in Care)
Rachel is currently working with Sam Nash on the Dynamic Purchasing System for Children’s External Placements, Supported Accommodation Services for 16-18 year old young people and the Staying Close Staying Connected Project.
Rachel says: My passion lies within Children’s Social Care having joined Cambridgeshire County Council in October 2012 and working in this sector since.

Gemma Foster – Assistant Commissioner (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)
Gemma joined the team in March 2020. Gemma supports Zoe with the Community Short Breaks Offer across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire. Gemma also monitors SEND contracts and service
Gemma says: I have worked with young people for 11 years at PCC in a variety of roles and am passionate about the voice of young people and how they can get involved in shaping the services they receive.

Maddie Alpar- Assistant Commissioner (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)
Maddie joined Cambridgeshire County Council in October 2017 as part of a Local Government Graduate Programme. Maddie then joined the Childrens Commissioning team in April 2019 as part of my final three placements. Maddie works with Anita on the Overnight Short Breaks project, which is looking to change the existing delivery model of short breaks to better suit current and future need.

Harriet Morse – Assistant Commissioner (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)
Harriet joined the team in  March 2020.  Harriet’s background is in the NHS, where she worked at Addenbrooke’s hospital for 5 years, as a manager in the Acute Neonatal Transfer Service team who cover the East of England.

Anna Tuck  – Assistant Commissioner (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)
Anna  joined the team in  March 2020. Anna works with Ben on the joint commissioning and sufficiency strategies as well as developing and expanding our relationships with our Out of School Tuition providers.  Anna has worked in Cambridgeshire County Council for 17 years in SEND related positions but also as a freelance consultant working with some of SEND service providers.
Anna says: I am hugely passionate about enabling positive change for children, young people and adults with SEND and making a difference to the lives of these families.

Gavin Mullin – Assistant Commissioner (Children and Families)Gavin works on Early Help projects which is where his passion lies having previously worked with Cambridgeshire’s Troubled Families programme within Early Help. Gavin manages a range of contracts and activities with Helen: Mental health services for children and young people, young carers, translation and interpretation services, Young carers services, SEND mediation and disagreement resolution, Cambridgeshire’s Local Assistance Scheme, Appropriate adult services for children, young people and vulnerable adults, website development, data management of dashboards and advocacy services for children in care.

Laura Fordham – Assistant Commissioner (Children and Families)
Laura joined the Children’s Commissioning team in August 2019 following a 12 years working in the Recruitment industry.  Laura support Pam managing Children Centres, Parenting Programmes, Family Information Service and the Outdoor Education Advisor Service.

Access to Resources: Children in Care (CiC)

Access to Resources Team (ART) is a team within Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council are responsible for sourcing fostering, residential and leaving care placements for our children in care and children with SEND, including post 16. Access to Resources broker different types of placements for children and young people. This includes:

  • Independent Fostering Agencies (Short term, long term, emergency, bridging and respite)
  • Residential Children’s Homes
  • Supported Accommodation for 16 – 18 year olds
  • Housing related support accommodation for young people preparing for independence
  • Secure Welfare placements
  • Supported Living

ART work closely with our In House Fostering Teams, Social Care Teams and SEND and Children in Care Commissioners.

ART also support the management of contracts with monitoring visits of placements and make a valuable contribution to the shaping of future commissioned services for children in care.

Joanne Leggett – Senior Placement Officer

Jo has been part of the Access to Resource Team for over 3 years. She has been instrumental in developing processes and building an effective ART team. Jo is a great communicator with excellent practice knowledge and organisational skills.

Tahmina Hussain – Placement Officer
Tahmina has been a placement Officer for almost three years. Tahmina says she has always had a passion to work with children and make a positive difference to their lives, which she feels she is achieving in her current role.

Emma Yeeles – Placement Officer
Emma started with the Access to Resources Team in 2014.  Emma says that when she first started she found the role emotionally tough. However she soon realised how valuable her role was in helping social workers to safeguard children.

Gina Dixon -Placement Officer
Gina mainly works in identifying fostering, residential and semi-independent placements. Gina joined the team in 2018. She says she has always had an interest in working with young people and felt this would be the perfect role for her.

Andrea Lewis – Resource Officer
Andrea is managed by Gina and supports her by finding placements for Children and Young People In Care. Andrea has a black Labrador called Flo.

Annabel Oldham – Resource Officer
Annabel’s works on finding placements for children in care. These can be foster placements, residential or supported accommodation placements. Annabel’s role include duty and dealing with emergency and planned placements. Annabel is keen to progress and develop her skills and knowledge.

Heather Murray – ART Assistant Officer
Heather is the newest member of the team. She says she has been interested in Children’s Social Care for a long time as her family have much experience of providing respite care for children with complex needs.

Ros Anderson – ART support Officer
Ros works closely with the Access to Resources Team providing support with a variety of tasks. These include issuing child contracts for placement, contracts to provider and ensuring statutory documents are submitted on time such as the REg 44. Ros is expert with LiquidLogic and its new finance tool, ContrOCC. Ros supports the team with LiquidLogic queries.  She says it has been a learning curve for all.

Access to Resources: Independent Special Educational Provision (ISEPS)

In a very small number of cases, it may not be possible to meet a child’s special educational and care needs within Local Authority maintained educational provision in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough. In these cases, children may attend an Independent Special School. The ISEPS team are part of the process identifying suitable placements and providing support for placement stability.

This Team work closely work closely with the Statutory Assessment Team, Social Care teams, the NHS Continuing Care, Commissioners and other professionals.

The team also helps with contract management, undertaking monitoring visits of placements and contributing to the shaping a recommissioning of future service provision.

Okailey Dua – Senior Placement Officer, Independent Special Education Provisions (ISEPs)

Okailey manages a team of Placement Officers and Resources Officers identifying independent special schools for children and young people with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). Okailey broadened her knowledge from finding placements for Children in Care to children with SEND. In 2018, Okailey took over the responsibility of referrals for ISEPs and has been developing practices and process within the ISEPs team.

Vicki Ashford – Placement Officer
Vicki joined the team recently and brings much experience as a principle instructor training staff in positive approaches to behaviour management of children and young people in education an care settings.

Bethany Flack – Resource Officer
Bethany’s work mainly focuses on finding Independent Special Education Provisions (ISPEs) for children and young people with special education needs and disabilities. Bethany also works on securing 52 week placements for children in care with SEND whether that is foster or residential placement. Bethany is passionate about helping children and young people live their life to its full potential in a safe and friendly environment where they are understood.

Megan Alexander – Resource Officer
Megan facilitates the process of referrals for Independent Special Education Provisions for children with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP). Megan says her passion lies within helping those in need and giving them the best educational package that suits their ability whilst helping them to maintain a safe and stable environment for them to live in.

Finance Team

Gill McConville – Finance Manager
Gill has been working for Cambridgeshire County Council for over 35 years primarily in financial roles and has been the manager of the Children’s Commissioning finance team since 2017. Her role is to be the link between the Children’s Commissioning team and the Corporate finance team and to manage and monitor delegated budgets within the directorate. The Team’s main priority is ensuring that all Providers invoices are paid on time.

Manju Mathew – Finance Officer
Manju  has been working for Cambridgeshire County Council for over 17 years. She is now the Finance Officer for the Children’s Commissioning Team.

Louise Douglas – Finance Assistant
Louise  has been working for Cambridgeshire County Council for over 6 years and has much experience with the Commissioning  team, Statutory Assessment Tea and SEND services. She says she is now back where she started, with Commissioning team! It’s funny how things work out.

Robert Harrington – Finance Assistant
Robert works as a Finance Assistant in Children’s Commissioning. Robert ensures invoices received from providers are paid on time and maintains up to date records about children’s placements. Robert has worked for Cambridgeshire County Council for over two and a half years.

Business Support

Pippa Hayward – Business Support Officer
Pippa started working in CCC business support for Helene Carr and the wider team in September 2018. Pippa is the key that keeps the Commissioning team running smoothly.

Bhagwati Makwana – Business Officer
Bea supports both the Commissioning Team and the Access To Resources teams with all the administration duties. Bea has been with the council for over 11 years and has a range of administration experiences support teams dealing with Domestic Abuse, Road Safety, and Safeguarding Adult boards.

Isobel Thomson – Business Officer
Isobel recently joined CCC as Business Officer for the Commissioning Team. Isobel has an interest in SEND and Psychology.