Staff, Volunteers, and Trustees
- Meet The Team
Originally from the West Midlands, Kev has lived in the South East for 10 years.
Kev has worked in the voluntary sector for over 30 years and has led Brains Matter since June 2022. He leads on strategy, business development, operations, finance and HR.
“I’m lucky to be able to work with a great team and a supportive and forward thinking Board of Trustees. My role is very varied but I’m happiest when spending time in the centre chatting with clients. I am very excited about the future of the charity and look forward to introducing new services to support adults in West Kent and further afield who have been affected by brain injury”
Kev’s hobbies include travel, cricket and music. He lives in Sussex with his cat Fang and his collection of guitars.
I’ve been working with vulnerable adults for over 20 years in various sectors. Understanding the importance of keeping people mentally and physically simulated, by creating activities and programmes in various forms. In doing so, supporting adults in a group setting, and person-centered care fully concentrating on their needs and wellbeing in a positive way.
My background wasn’t always in this sector as managed a group of Estate Agents in Surrey and had my own business selling from specialised nectars to bottled beers. After having my two wonderful daughters, I trained and qualified in various forms of massage and working on my NVQ and case studies. I found myself being offered a job managing and rolling out an Activity Programmes to a group of Residential homes, where I worked closely with clients and their families, as well as the community. My love of supporting vulnerable adults grew ever stronger when I took the position of Activity coordinator for Brains Matter in 2020. Since I’ve been promoted to Deputy Manager, where can combine my previous experience in sales, networking, referrals and fundraising, as well as well as training and understanding of a brain injury. I truly love my work at Brains Matter because it’s about real people who are inspiring and deserve to be looked after.
Other than my work, I’m all about family including the fur babies and have recently become a Nanna, it’s amazing.
Before joining Brains Matter I worked in the community sector for the NHS, helping with the recruitment of community nurses, health visitors and evening and night nursing staff. My boss at the NHS left to become the Service Manager of Brains Matter. We kept in touch so I knew that it was a wonderful charity to work for. Shortly after this in July 2000, a vacancy for a book-keeper at the charity arose. Feeling frustrated in my role at the NHS, I applied for and got the job. My role entails keeping tabs on the day-to-day comings and goings of money, payroll and loads of other little jobs which, could be anything from ordering stationery or cleaning materials to taking the minutes of staff meetings or claiming gift aid from HMRC. I love working for Brains Matter. No two days are ever the same, so I’m never bored. Everyone, be it staff, volunteers or clients are so kind, generous and lovely people. It just makes it a pleasure to be here.
When not working I love going to the cinema, drawing, dog walking and spending time with my family and friends.
I have been working with vulnerable adults for 15+ years. I started with care in the community, then I worked for Surrey County Council as a reablement assistant, supporting clients to live independently in their own homes and assisting with rehabilitation. I then went on to be an activities coordinator in a large care home.
I am passionate about my work and I hope to be able to support each client with the activities that they want to do, learn new skills and most importantly for them to have fun!
At home I am a mother to three children. This keeps me very busy but when I do get time I love to read, I enjoy the countryside and I like to run.
I have been an outdoor activity instructor for 4 years, I started as a ski instructor in Canada and I then worked for a charity outdoor centre in Eridge working with lots of different people teaching them to ski, to climb, to kayak, archery, orienteering and much more.
I am extremely excited to work with and get to know all of the clients. To share in the fun, learning and gaining new skills during our many activities. I always try to take compassion, kindness and care in all aspects of my work no matter what activity we are enjoying.
I recently moved to Tunbridge wells and I am enjoying all of the green spaces on long walks with my partner. I am a very adventurous person, I enjoy hiking, yoga, and skiing.
Before joining Brains Matter, I volunteered for many years supporting stroke survivors with aphasia. I found this very rewarding, and it led me to Brains Matter charity where I have now been working in the community as a Wellbeing Support Officer for several years.
I thoroughly enjoy getting to know clients well and helping them to achieve the things that are important to them. It is a pleasure to see how, with support, people become more independent in organising and managing their day to day lives. Helping people to access new social opportunities and community support is very satisfying. It’s also great to see new hobbies being discovered and old ones being rekindled.
I love long country walks, going to the theatre and cinema, reading and most of all, having fun with family and friends.
I started as a volunteer at the centre in the summer of 2015 and liked it so much that I started to work here as a Community Wellbeing Support worker in June 2016.
I have since become the Community Wellbeing Support Coordinator. This means that I work with Julie Ransom taking care of our clients in the community, visiting them in their homes and helping them to live their lives to their fullest potential.
We help our clients to achieve whatever goals they have in mind. This is very varied: accompanying them to the gym, cycling with them, helping to fill out forms, completing admin, attending benefit meetings, being a listening ear and just going for a coffee and a chat are a few of the many activities we do together.
When not working, I love gardening, playing tennis, painting and hanging out with family and friends.
Hi, My role as a Community Navigator is to work within the hospitals to support new patients and their families, giving them support and guidance in what may be a very difficult time. I have been working with vulnerable families for approximately 12+ years. I am passionate about helping people to achieve their goals. I have gained a sound knowledge of behaviour and mental health. I am passionate about my work and give every role 100%. I have a lot to learn and I am looking forward to being able to give this role all of my time, experience, empathy and hard work.
Outside of work I spend most of my time with my children and grandchildren. I have just recently been gifted my 7th grandchild, and she is gorgeous.
My hobbies are going to the theatre in London ( I have been many, many times) with my 2 daughters. I love crime shows and films and a good thriller.
I provide general support to clients when they visit; playing games, helping with other activities and having social chats. I was keen to support the charity as my mother suffered a severe head injury so I feel I have some understanding of the challenges our clients can face. Volunteering with Brains Matter gives me a sense of purpose, since I retired and makes me feel part of a special community. The centre is a happy, sociable place where clients can feel safe and engage in a varied activities programme and make new friends. I try to be cheerful and welcoming when I am volunteering, and I like to think that we all leave having had an enriching and positive experience.
I am the Volunteer Production Manager creating mugs, badges, t-shirts, etc. Whilst working alongside clients on a one to one basis. The centre is a bit like my second home, my confidence has grown hugely since becoming a part of the brains matter team and I now find it much easier socialising with people outside of the centre. My wife has been a long-standing client of the Brains Matter Charity which is why I wanted to get involved.
After a failed brain operation in 2016 and being told I would never walk again, I taught myself and to re learn my cognitive skills. I finished working as a receptionist because this experience inspired me to empower others in a similar situation to me. In my spare time I have done several volunteer roles including the Samaritans and the stroke association which I am very passionate about.
Jo trained as an Occupational Therapist and has worked for the past 40 years learning from and supporting those who have sustained a brain injury and their families.
Jo works full-time as Director of Head First, as a Case Manager, and as an expert witness. Jo is also involved in research and writing, and supporting others, so their voice can be heard, and it makes a positive difference to them and others in the future.
In her free time, Jo loves meandering around Rye Harbour Nature Reserve with her dog, Bubbles, and a long lens camera catching the wildlife.
“I have been a member of Headway and Brains Matter since the early years and a committee member for over 25 of them, serving as social secretary, Vice Chairman, Chairman and for the last 6 have had the honour of being President.
My background is in Nursing and specifically in Occupational Health Nursing.”
‘‘I’ve been working in accounting and tax for many years, gaining my ACCA and CTA qualifications in 2001 and 2003. Having worked in Tunbridge Wells since 1999, I became a partner in Wells Associates in 2013. I was asked to become involved in Brains Matter in 2019 and relished the chance to give something back to the community. It’s a wonderful charity with fantastic staff and clients and I continue to look forward to supporting in my role as treasurer.’’
Eddie practised as a solicitor for many years in Tunbridge Wells and specialised in Court of Protection matters and in particular acting for clients with a brain injury. He retired in 2019 but remains a consultant to his previous firm. He lives in East Sussex with his wife Lyn.
John is a retired nurse initially specialising in cardiology and cardiac surgery. John has held several senior management positions including board level roles. Professional interests include governance, safeguarding and practice development.
John now divides his time between Wimbledon and Rye Harbour.
Interests include walking, wine, opera, and eating.
Erika qualified as an occupational therapist in 2002 and soon chose to specialise in neurology and brain injury. This passion has led to Erika working at 2 major London teaching hospitals before setting up her own private practice in 2010. Erika also writes reports for medical legal cases. She has been on the Brains Matter Board of Trustees for 3 years now and really loves the role, meeting the staff, other Trustees, service users and their families, and supporting them along their journey. Thank you for having me!
“I worked for Kent County Council for 27 years in the Education Department. As a qualified HR professional, I provided advice and support to schools on all employment issues until I retired in 2011.
My son suffered a brain injury in 1994 and I became involved with Headway/Brains Matter the following year. I was mainly involved with fundraising and was a co-opted Trustee then after a break I became a Trustee several years ago.
My experience of having a son with a brain injury has given me an understanding of the ongoing problems and issues for all of us in the family. I would like to use my experience to help other families in a similar position as ours”
Angela lives in Tunbridge Wells with her husband Jay and their 5 cats.
She is a Transformation Director at Cognizant – a global Business Consulting Company – and supports organisations with their business strategy and change programs.
Outside of work Angela enjoys volunteering and the outdoors and is a practicing Buddhist.
Angela is inspired to support Brains Matter as she recognises that anyone of us could have a brain or head injury as a result of an accident or illness and that community support, access to local services and connection with others is critical to experience a quality of life every one of us deserves.
The youngest member of our team, Molly can usually be found either sitting on a client or running around the garden very quickly.
Molly lists her hobbies as biscuits and not sitting still.
We asked Molly what she liked about working for Brains Matter but she didn’t reply. Because she’s a dog.