Alison began her career in health and social care in 1992, supporting individuals with complex physical health needs. In 2003 Alison completed an advanced diploma in nursing studies with the university of Sheffield and went on to work at Oakwood Centre for Rehabilitation Medicine at Rotherham hospital, gaining experience in neurological rehabilitation.
In 2008 Alison decided to change paths to work for Voyage Care supporting individuals with learning disabilities and acquired brain injury as she developed an interest in this area due to her two sons being diagnosed with autistic spectrum conditions.
After 7 and a half years Alison was promoted from nurse to registered manager of a service in Sheffield. Although Alison gained valuable experience as a manager she decided to leave the post after a year and a half and return to nursing, gaining a position of senior nurse with Steps.
In her leisure time, Alison enjoys spending time with her husband of almost 25 years and her two sons Jack (20) & Billy (14) Music is a big part of Alison’s life, she sings in a choir with Cast Academy and has previously graced the stage in sections of amateur musical theatre productions of Les Miserables, We Will Rock You & Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to name a few. Alison loves live music, particularly supporting local bands as often as possible.
Annette is a qualified social worker with a wealth of experience in case management. Over the past twenty years, she has worked with both adults and children in the Derbyshire and Sheffield statutory services in mental health, physical and learning disabilities, transitions and palliative care. Annette has provided specialist services for both private and statutory clients and families with life changing and life limiting conditions and has experience of working in hospital, hospiceand community settings. She has competency in providing client centred assessments, carer assessments, care plans, risk assessments, and commissioning of services to provide ongoing support.
In her role at STEPS, she will bring valuable empathy and understanding and will act as a pivotal and sound advocate to our clients and families suffering life changing and difficult circumstances. She is skilled in working with other professionals across boundaries to ensure the needs of the client are met appropriately and brings experience in the recruitment, supervision and management of rehabilitation teams.
Annette is also a qualified practice educator with links to Sheffield Hallam University, working with social work students to provide placements and carries a certificate in counselling skills too!
Annette also works as a consultant case manager and has considerable experience in the assessment and preparation of costed case management reports, adopting an entirely holistic approach in all her work.
Annette has two daughters and one grandson and loves to spend time with her family.
Will also be found : enjoying the great outdoors and walking in the Peak District with the family dog.
After graduating from The University of Loughborough in 2014 with a degree in Fine Art, Bethan completed a TEFL course and embarked on an adventure to China, where she taught English and Drama at a secondary school.
On returning to the UK, she decided upon a career in rehabilitation therapy. She comes from a family with a medical background and has herself developed a strong desire to help improve the lives of individuals. She brings her artistic skills to STEPS with a particular interest in psychology and rehabilitation through creative practice. Bethan enjoys painting and photography and is a keen swimmer.
Will also be found: walking in the beautiful countryside
Weakness: a mojitos or two whilst listening to jazz and old soul.
With her 20 years of practice and teaching expertise and a unwavering commitment to excellent patient care, Bev will guide our facility team at STEPS, Alexander House from January next year.
She joins us from the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust Neurorehabilitation Team where she has been Case Manager since 2012. Her role there covered both clinical supervision as well as ensuring compliance with statutory training requirements. She also handled specialist patient assessments, liaised with families, ward and medical staff to ensure the gathering and sharing of accurate information and had additional responsibility around budget and resource management.
Up to 2012, she has been Outreach Sister at the Neurorehabilitation Unit, Kendray Hospital, Barnsley covering assessments of individuals, Staff Nurse for Barnsley PCT (NHS), a 20 bed care home for residents with learning disabilities and complex health needs, overseeing care plans and risk assessments and Team Leader for Sheffield Community Health (NHS) in a community based role providing support for patients with learning difficulties and sensory impairments to transition from long term residential placements to home.
Bev has training in Dysphagia Management and Recognising Metastatic Spinal Cord Compression to add to her many strengths.
Weakness : a passion for homemade cake
Can also be found : walking in the woods with her family and her dog
Bronwen qualified in medicine from the University of Leicester in 1990 and began her specialist training in rehabilitation medicine in junior doctor posts in Sheffield in 1995.
She has worked in neurorehabilitation in Rotherham since 2003 gaining extensive experience in a wide range of neurological conditions as part of a multidisciplinary team. Her special interest areas are management of brain injury, spasticity, including the injection of botulinum toxin, and multiple sclerosis.
She lives in Sheffield with her husband and three sons, a labradoodle Lewis, her chickens and two guinea pigs. She loves to run and cycle through the area’s many parks, woodlands and moors.
Weakness: secretly disappearing to her allotment to enjoy some peace and quiet
Will also be found: sitting in the gardens of the Druidstone Hotel, Pembrokeshire watching the sunset over St Brides Bay on her family holiday
As Non-Executive Director, Ian brings a unique perspective to STEPS; on the one hand, with his extensive experience in managing and running successful companies and on the other, as he is currently rehabilitating from a T3 incomplete spinal cord injury as a consequence of a motorcycle accident in 2016.
As Chief Executive Officer since 2012 at CAP HPI, a successful Automotive Data business based in Leeds, Ian headed the sale and transition of ownership by Montagu, a leading European private equity investor. Under Montagu’s ownership, Ian’s leadership created and unlocked a high growth performance culture. So much so, that by late 2014 it was snapped up by American listed company, Solera. CAP HPI is a business with a strong culture, with values which reflect collaboration, openess and great integrity, sharply reflecting those of Ian.
However, in June 2016 Ian prematurely retired from corporate life due to a high speed motorcycle accident during the Isle of Man TT. After four weeks in intensive care and a further three months of rehabilitation at the Regional Spinal Injuries Unit at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, Ian has invaluable experience that he can share with the team at STEPS.
“When I first learned about what the facility in Sheffield had to offer, the attitude and approach of the management team together with the coordinated intensity of the therapies on offer, it made me wish that I had spent my rehabilitation there. I’m so very pleased to be able to contribute in a meaningful way to such a wonderful project”.
Ian lives in Malaga, Spain with his partner Pâriś and has two grown children in Edinburgh.
Care is a core STEPS value and it is as important in our catering as anywhere else. With over 15 years professional cooking experience, James will oversee all things edible in his role as Head Chef, but will also bring to the mix his huge experience in nutrition and health.
James’s interest in food began when he became the family household cook as a teenager, following a family bereavement. He continued to cook through University, and then afterwards, used his culinary skills to earn a living whilst pursuing his passion for skiing in the Alps.
A period living and working in New Zealand further consolidated his commitment and on returning to the UK he focussed on a becoming a chef, working in fine dining restaurants at Michelin star level and high-end restaurants including successful restaurant launch. James expanded his knowledge and experience with time spent in Australia working in some of Sydney’s most progressive restaurants before returning to Europe to work in luxury tourism in Switzerland and Corfu.
James began taking a greater involvement in his client’s individual needs and preferences and saw the evolving relationships that people were forming with their diets. He focussed on his nutritional knowledge and delved deeper into the role food plays in our lives.
Together with his team at STEPS he intends to elevate the role of food to a new level, passionately believing in its power as a contributor to successful recovery, rehabilitation, vitality and happiness.
James lives what he preaches. When he isn’t in the kitchen he loves to spend time in the mountains. He is an avid skier and ski tourer, he climbs when he can and trains Cross-fit as much as possible to keep himself ‘mountain ready’. He lives with his partner Holly who is also mad for the mountains and arguably a better skier.
Will also be found: taking photographs and reading Hellboy
Jason began his work in construction in 1986 and spent twenty years as a bricklayer for Sheffield City Council. Following that, he set up his own construction business, widening his skill base across all associated trades. He has worked in many healthcare settings including care homes for the elderly and hospital wards, widening his experience to maintenance as well as building.
His solid practical experience together with his team skills will ensure STEPS reaches opening smoothly and efficiently and is run like clockwork!
He lives in Grenoside with wife Lisa and three children.
Will also be found : cycling for charity – keeping fit and raising money at the same time!
Josh graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in Human Biology, from this degree he became passionate about the fundamentals of the body and how it works. Wanting to pursue a career in physiotherapy, in order to allow knowledge of anatomy and physiology to combine with his passion to help people.
Jules combines her extensive business and health background to head up the management of STEPS.
Initially training as a nursery nurse, she has nannied in the UK and Australia where she gained some invaluable experience in a private maternity hospital. She graduated in Homeopathic Medicine in 1993 from The school of Classical Homoeopathy, London and is a qualified practitioner with experience in Ireland and the UK.
Julia spent four years managing two nursery schools in Surrey and in the last 13 years, she has successfully grown and managed her own network marketing business with an annual turnover of £200,000 taking full responsibility for recruiting, training and motivating a team of 200.
Jules has grown up in a big family working in the health profession. STEPS has enabled her to live out her dream of one day combining her huge experience with her innate desire to establish a care business with her sister Toria.
Jules lives in Oughtibridge to the northwest of the city with her three sons and two dogs . Now her eldest son has started at Nottingham university, STEPS is the next exciting chapter in her life.
Weakness: dog walks that involve stopping at a cafe serving good coffee and cake!
Will also be found: baking for a house full of family and friends
Karen qualified in 2002 from University of Brighton as a Physiotherapist. She was first inspired to work in Neurological rehabilitation after completing junior rotations at St Georges Hospital, London in Neurosurgery and Stroke rehabilitation. After this first introduction, she moved onto a Neurological rehabilitation role in Wandsworth community team, South London where her passion for this area was set.
From here, a move to New Zealand saw her take on the Senior Physiotherapy role on the Regional Neurosurgery and Neurology Unit of Wellington Hospital where she developed not only her experience in rehabilitation of individuals with Neurological injury but also developed a passion for treating people with balance and vestibular disorders.
After five years in New Zealand Karen returned to the UK and has been based in Sheffield working in Neuro-rehab in the private sector and is an Associate Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University.
Will also be found : donning her running shoes and heading for the hills, the muddier the better. And when not covered in mud she will be hanging out with her family (or hiding from them with a good book and a glass of New Zealand Pinot Noir)
Katherine qualified in 2004 from the University of Hull as a Clinical Psychologist and began her career in Adult Mental Health services in the East Riding of Yorkshire. In 2007, Katherine moved into a neurological rehab setting and developed experience in rehab of individuals with neurological injury, including traumatic brain injury, stroke, meningitis, encephalitis, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. This experience led Katherine to complete further training in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Nottingham and in 2011, Katherine was awarded the qualification in Clinical Neuropsychology by the British Psychological Society.
After several years as clinical lead in an inpatient neurorehab setting, Katherine moved to work part time in the NHS, with individuals diagnosed with dementia. Alongside the NHS, Katherine has been working in neurorehab in the private sector since 2008, predominantly with individuals who have sustained traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries.
Katherine’s specific interests include cognitive rehabilitation, interventions to assist in managing the emotional and behavioural symptoms following an acquired brain injury and work to support families with issues surrounding adjustment and loss.
Katherine lives outside of York with her husband, two young children and boxer dog. In an attempt to manage the chaos of home, she enjoys running and ping pong!
Kathryn is our Communications Director. Graduating from Nottingham Trent University in Modern European Studies, she began her career in the contract publishing division of Pearl and Dean.
She has worked in various roles in marketing roles, setting up her own communications agency in Surrey in 1990. She takes the strategic marketing role for STEPS, encompassing brand creation, planning, public relations, event organisation and funding.
Kathryn has known Jules and Toria for nearly 20 years and has been in on the idea of STEPS from the beginning. Being part of this focused team of dedicated and caring professionals and creating this much needed and long awaited neurological rehabilitation facility in South Yorkshire has definitely been her career ‘high’ to date!
Kathryn has three daughters, the eldest in her third year at KCL, one in her first year at Bristol and one still at school.
Will also be found: Stand Up Paddling or on the M1 from Surrey to Sheffield listening to Robbie Williams!
Kerstin is a highly experienced HCPC registered Occupational Therapist and has worked both in community and hospital settings.
She completed her PG Diploma in Occupational Therapy at London South Bank University also gained a degree in Social Policy and Health from the University of Hull.
She joins us from City of Edinburgh Council, where she worked within Health and Social Care providing OT assessment and intervention along with complex care management for clients in the community with a range of disabilities. She has also worked across a range of services including, East North East Leeds Housing as Lead Occupational Therapist and Senior OT within Leeds Community Health Trust Community Neurology Rehabilitation Team.
Kerstin has a wide range of post qualification training and CPD activity, including theoretical principles relating to normal movement, extended moving and handling training, specialist seating and postural management. She has also completed ILM Level 3 management programme and Appreciative Enquiry (strengths based) Leadership programme.
Kerstin has a special interest in positive psychology approaches of solution focused working and motivational interviewing. She is passionate about making sure that therapy goals are person focused and can translate into a real life environment including all aspects – the fun stuff as well as the tough stuff.
Weakness: a vast collection of woolly hats
Will also be found: either walking the hills wearing one or shopping for new ones!
After a year out spent working in the ski resorts, hotels and campsites of France and Switzerland, Lottie settled down to a French and Business Studies degree at Leeds University and worked in Leeds General Infirmary as a Medical Secretary in the Department of Genetics.
After bringing up her four children back in Sheffield, she returned to work at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Weston Park, as a Support Worker on permanent nights and then as a Ward Clerk.
After four years and in desperate need of some daylight, she moved to the administration side of the NHS based on the Teenage Cancer Unit at Weston Park. In her last role, she was a Data Quality Coordinator, working in the Directorate of Specialised Medicine (Haematology) monitoring of their eighteen week patient pathway and keeping to the Government guidelines on timescales. This included accessing patient records using Excel spreadsheets and referencing data quality reports.
Lottie has older children living in Glasgow and Bristol as well as two still living at home.
Will also be found : at her happiest, running in the Peak District in a pair of muddy trainers.
Weakness : just ask her to compete in a running challenge – she just can’t say no!
Lucy qualified as a Physiotherapist from Sheffield Hallam University in 2007. She began her Band 5 rotations in Walsall PCT where she predominantly worked in musculoskeletal out-patients. Due to a health condition Lucy took a break from her career as a physiotherapist and went to live and work in Spain.
There she worked as a Choreographer whilst undergoing continued treatment and rehabilitation for a vascular and neurological condition. When able, she returned to working as a physiotherapist, this time in the private sector.
Her experience as a patient had fuelled an interest in Neurological Rehabilitation and inspired Lucy to return to the UK where she completed an MSc in Advancing Physiotherapy Practice.
Lucy has a passion for dance, and after working as a choreographer, she now teaches dance. She is a regular at the gym and uses a balance of exercise and rest to manage any ongoing health issues.
Will also be found: in the gym
Weakness: much good wine with a high standard of cuisine!
Mary graduated from Sheffield University in 1981 with a degree in Zoology in keeping with her love of nature and the outdoors. After graduating, she worked for Liverpool City Council whilst also being a weekend volunteer Country Park Ranger, taking an active part in conservation of the environment. Originally from Wirral, Sheffield became her home in 1980, where she has worked in various accounting and finance roles ever since.
She has been friends with Toria for over 20 years and having known about STEPS since its conception, she is honoured to join the team as financial administrator.
When not working or seeing to her family’s needs, and cat, Jess, Mary is to be found knee deep in muck in her varied role as a volunteer farm hand for a local Farm Charitable Trust.
Can also be found : in the heart of the Peak District on her many rambles into the nearby Derbyshire hills, moors and edges, or climbing the peaks of Snowdonia, The Lakes and The Yorkshire Dales
Nic worked for JS Parker Ltd, a firm of Case Managers, from 2005 to 2016 with a client with spinal injury. Her experience with people who have suffered spinal injury is extensive, having supported individual clients as well as working with larger groups. She has been involved in clients’ transition to and ongoing care at home, getting involved with purchasing property, adapting it for complexed needs, as well as being responsible for clients’ finances.
From 2016-2017, Nic worked with clients who have suffered brain injury, both on the Spinal Unit of The Northern General Hospital and those living in their own home.
She is qualified at level 2 in British Sign Language and uses SSE for communication.
Weakness: classic cars and the stories they tell
Can also be found: snapping away and creating the old style black and white photos of yesteryear
Ray is the business bedrock of STEPS. Having spent all of his working life in financial services starting in accounting and stockbroking, he is currently Senior Technical Manager for John Charcol, the UK’s leading and original independent mortgage adviser, where he has worked since 1989.
He lends his vast experience not only of economic matters, strategy and finance, but extensive PR work with broadcast and print journalists, including frequent TV and radio interviews for BBC, Sky, ITN, Channel 4 and LBC and has his own blog. Ray is on the Board of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI), having been a founder member in 2003.
As our sole male Board member, Ray allows us to already meet the Government diversity target for FTSE 350 companies which requires each sex to have at least 25% representation on the Board!
Ray and his wife, Lana, married in 1968 and have 4 children, including Julia and Victoria, and 10 grandchildren all living in Sheffield.
Weakness: Campari and orange on the beach
Will also be found: hunting for bargains in Poundland
The Demonstration Centre works closely with the Academic Unit, and the Rehabilitation Division of the Rheumatology & Rehabilitation Research Unit.
Both services aim to promote the best practice in enabling people to live optimally, particularly in those of working age (16 -65) with a range of disabilities from multiple sclerosis, stroke and head injury, child congenital limb deficiencies, rarer neurological disabilities, younger strokes of severity and early traumatic brain injury.
Sachin worked as a Consultant in Neurorehabilitation at Rotherham (2011-2014) before joining Sheffield Teaching Hospitals as the Consultant/Clinical lead in Trauma Rehabilitation in March 2014.
Sachin’s specific expertise is in rehabilitation of musculoskeletal and neurological disorders and his special interests include spasticity management, head injury and polytrauma rehabilitation.
He lives in Sheffield with his wife and two children.
Will also be found: playing badminton, cycling and walking through the beautiful landscapes of the Peak District
Sophie is the youngest clinical member of staff within the STEPS team at just 22. Graduating from the University of Hull in 2015 as a Sport Rehabilitator, she went on to work for her local football team, Grimsby Town FC, and was the medical lead at Wembley during the promotion final in May 2016.
She has worked with a wide variety of professional athletes in various sports and also with La Cirque du Soleil, providing soft tissue treatment to performers.
During her time as a fitness instructor, her passion to help others evolved; especially when working with people suffering from neurological conditions and traumatic brain injuries. She has a desire to assist individuals in reaching their full potential and relishes the opportunity to work with a highly qualified team of professionals who share her strong values.
Will also be found: being passionate about her health and fitness
Weakness: disappearing on a little ‘Sophie adventure’, exploring new places to eat or run
Tom’s interest in neuropsychology began when studying as an undergraduate in Clinical and Abnormal psychology, and since then he has worked in various neurorehabilitative services, including Headway and the Oliver Zangwill centre. Tom now works at Steps in a dual role as both assistant psychologist and senior rehabilitation assistant, with a particular interest in ACT and other third wave cognitive behavioural therapies.
Weaknesses: Good coffee and good books
Can also be found: Somewhere in the Peak District, either fighting gravity climbing up rocks, or enjoying gravity riding down hills
As Clinical Director, Toria oversees all aspects of rehabilitation at STEPS.
She trained at St Mary’s School of Physiotherapy in London, qualifying in 1993 and has over 20 years of experience working in a variety of specialities and settings, both NHS and private.
Toria began work at Northwick Park Hospital London, completing her junior rotational posts before relocating to Sheffield where she spent the next decade working at two private hospitals, gaining experience in orthopaedics, neurology, surgery and women’s health. She then moved on to work at The Park Hospital, Nottingham and the Alexandra Hospital, Manchester, continuing to build on this experience but also to develop new skills in palliative care and oncology rehabilitation.
On returning to Sheffield 9 years ago, she worked at St Luke’s Hospice where acquired more specialist skills, such as lymphoedema management, with a particular interested in rehabilitating patients recovering from cancer treatments.
In the last few years, alongside setting up STEPS, she has worked for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals in their Day Rehabilitation Unit, elderly rehab wards, intermediate care units and within the community with a very varied caseload including patients with Parkinson’s Disease, neurological conditions, stroke survivors, orthopaedic injuries, falls and complex multiple conditions.
Toria has always relished the challenge of running her own business, researching ideas with her sister in the creation of the vision that is now STEPS. She now plays out her passion for the best possible quality treatment and patient care and cascades these values and philosophies throughout her team. Her other ambition was to design and build the best Physio gym on the planet….almost achieved!)
Toria has 3 children, the eldest, a qualified commercial pilot, a daughter at Glasgow University and her youngest son is a keen climber and a member of the GB Climbing Squad. She enjoys going to the gym, walking in the beautiful Sheffield countryside and hiding somewhere with a good book and a cup of Earl Grey.
Will also be found: at a local climbing wall researching the latest rehab equipment on her laptop.
Weakness: Talking too much! (according to her sister)