Living well with brain injury Call 01892 619 001

 

 

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.

 - Brains Matter
Kevin Bottrell, Business Manager

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.

 - Brains Matter
Lisa-Rae Brough, Deputy Manager

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.

 - Brains Matter
Jane Stanley, Finance Administrator

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.

 - Brains Matter
Julie Hemsley, Activity Co-ordinator

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.

 - Brains Matter
Katie Hughes, Activity Co-ordinator

I originally trained to be a hair, beauty and special effects make up artist. Before joining the team at Brains Matter I worked in a variety of areas such as oncology, dermatology domestic violence and dementia. I’ve always wanted to make a difference and thrive on supporting people through some of life’s toughest challenges.

I’m extremely excited to join the team and get to know the clients. My main motivation is helping support people in order to make a difference to their lives.

I love animals and have three dogs. I enjoy walking and doing charity events such as white collar boxing. I still dabble in make up and love to get involved in a challenge.

 - Brains Matter
Norna Squires, ABI Navigator

 

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.

 - Brains Matter
Jo, Volunteer

I am the Volunteer Production Manager creating mugs, badges, t-shirts, etc. I also work 1-2-1 with a client, helping him with his strength, balance and mobility. 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.

 - Brains Matter
Scott, volunteer
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Lesley, volunteer
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Ian, volunteer

 

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.

 - Brains Matter
Jo Clark-Wilson, Chair of the Board of Trustees

 

 

“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.”

 - Brains Matter
Judy Horwood, President

 

 

‘‘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.’’

 - Brains Matter
Jackie Barker, 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.

 - Brains Matter
Eddie Fardell, Company Secretary

 

 

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.

 - Brains Matter
John Kennedy, Trustee

 

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!

 - Brains Matter
Erika Johnson, Trustee

 

“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”

 - Brains Matter
Sue Pearce, Trustee

 

 

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.

 - Brains Matter
Molly, Motivational Support Officer