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THE Ruils STAFF TEAM
Ruils Services and Projects
THE Ruils STAFF TEAM
Cathy Maker: Chief Executive Ruils
I have two very active boys and spend a lot of time ferrying them around or standing on the side of football, rugby and cricket pitches. I love reading and walking and travelling to new places.
April Clifford - Operations Manager
I am the new Operations Manager at Ruils and am delighted at the opportunity of working for such a dynamic and exciting organisation. I previously worked in the advocacy sector for nearly eight years and am committed to ensuring that people are enabled to have real choice and control over their lives.
I hold a Masters in Modern Art and love going to exhibitions whenever possible. I have recently taken up yoga and find it to be relaxing for both the body and mind; it is an excellent way for leaving behind the stresses of life ! I also enjoy going on bike rides with my husband and getting out and about into the countryside whenever possible. I also have a cat called Monty who is a constant source of entertainment.
Surabhi Dhondiyal: Lead Transition Worker
I started at Ruils as an Independent Living Advisor and enjoyed the opportunity it gave me to meet people from different walks of life. I am now the Lead Transition Worker for the Person Centred Planning Project that Ruils is involved with and I work with young people to develop a Life Plan. I moved from Canada a couple of years ago and, whilst I miss the snow (and, would you believe it, the cold winter weather) I have since learnt to enjoy the rain and grey skies of London.
My family and I live close to Bushy Park and that is the favourite haunt of my two children, who like nothing better than belting cheery hellos to the deer and ducks that abound there. In my spare time I like to read Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series as they are funny and a wonderful way to end my day.
I try to use my bicycle at work as much as possible and my current project is to find a bike seat that feels like a comfy couch.
Caroline Thorogood: Volunteer and Community Involvement Officer
I’m responsible for recruiting and supporting volunteers and having been a volunteer myself in the past, I’m passionate about the opportunities volunteering can offer.
Alasdair Sladen - Volunteer Advocacy Co-ordinator
I am responsible for the new Advocacy Service which enables individuals and groups to understand their rights and choices and, pivotally, ensure that their voices are heard ! I am a passionate believer in the simple but effective power of people helping one another.
I have previously worked in delivering campaigns and community development for a large social care provider and have many years experience of working with volunteers at grassroots level.
When I am not working, I can often be found with my head buried in a book or watching a forgotten cult film. I also enjoy the theatre and have recently started going to the gym as an antidote for not being able to go on as many country walks as I would like which is actually proving surprisingly fun !
Paula Buckton - Independent Living Advisor
I joined the Ruils team 4 years ago as a part time Support Planner and Broker for Self Directed Support in Richmond. At the same time I worked as a supervisor for Bluebird Care, a home care agency, setting up new care packages and supervising carers. I joined Ruils in a full time role at the beginning of 2013 working on two main projects; Pooling Budgets where I am responsible for developing a website which offers a safe and effective model for individuals to pool resources, and our new service, aimed at those who fund their own care, assisting them to look at support options available and set up the right support (launching soon). I also run find-a-pa.
Amy Cook - Student Social Worker
I am presently in my second year of a three year Social Work Degree at Kingston University. As part of the degree, I must experience working within an organisation that supports people with disabilities and/or complex social care needs. This is my first experience of working within a charity and I have already recongnised the positive impact that Ruils has within the community.
Whilst on this placement with Ruils, I will be working on the Advocacy Project, the Self Funders Project and experiencing life in a day centre one day per week. I have learned a great deal in a very short period of time and look forward to the coming weeks at Ruils when I hope, with their help and guidance, to develop my personal and professional skills.
I am orginally from Richmond and have recently moved back to the Borough. I love the Borough and I believe it has so much to offer but I recognise that so much work still needs to be done to tackle social exclusion, poverty and accessibility.
I enjoy spending time with my family and reading.
Julie Botherton - PA Network Co-ordinator
I have been appointed into the role of PA Network Co-ordinator at Ruils which is in addition to my main career within the social care voluntary sector. I am passionate about raising the profile of Personal Assitants (PA's) and helping to give them the recognition and training opportunities they deserve. I have previously worked within the statutory sector mainly supporting older people and individuals experiencing mental health problems.
Having lived in the South West for many years, I decided to move back to London just over a year ago so that I could be closer to my family. In my spare time, I am a keen swimmer and walker - Charlie, my dog, ensures that I remain very active ! I have also started to embrace the many varied cultural activities London has to offer.
Lydia Hansbury - Employer Network Co-ordinator
I live in Richmond with my husband of over 35 years. We have 3 grown up children - 2 sons and a daughter. Whilst my sons still live locally, my daughter has emigrated to Australia.
I was born and raised in North Wales and, although I have lived in the Borough for over 30 years, I still consider myself to be a 'Welsh girl' with a passion for the Welsh culture, particularly male voice choirs and rugby.
I have spent most of my adult life working with people with learning disabilities. Most recently, I have worked for Ruils as a Support Planner and as a PA supporting a client with MS. I have personal experience of physical disability and dementia which have affected close members of my family.
I enjoy cooking, listening to music, gardening, going to the cinema/theatre, driving, DIY, walking in the countryside and spending quality time with my family.