Meet the Team

  Trustees (Steering Group for PCAN)

CarolHi I am Carol Thomas, I am married, have two boys and live in Huddersfield. My oldest son – now a teenager –  was born with a rare syndrome resulting in multi-sensory impairment and complex health and communication needs. I gave up a successful career to care for him full time and since then have worked part time in a variety of settings involving service users and carers, as well as carrying out voluntary work to support families of children with additional needs. Our long journey through health, education and social care was a steep learning curve, and has made me passionate about involving parents in the shaping of services for children and families. I also believe that having good information is key to helping parents get through what can be very difficult and stressful times in their lives. I am delighted to be part of PCAN and am keen to use my skills to help support PCAN members.

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Hi, I’m Tracey Smith-McQuillan. With 13 years’ experience teaching adults with learning difficulties and challenging behaviours, I have always had an interest in helping others. What’s more, I’ve personally walked in the shoes of a parent of a child with additional needs. I remember all too well the feelings of isolation and desperation that come with the roller coaster of challenges that come as your child grows up.

Because of this, I am incredibly passionate about helping families have their say. Consultation is not just a tick box exercise, it really works, and at PCAN, with the collective support of our members, we have a very strong voice.

I love making a difference socially too, encouraging parents to contact and meet one another, and offering friendship to those who sometimes just need a chat.  Wherever possible I try to make sure this involves cake!

Hi, I’m Anne Patterson-Brown and I joined PCAN because I think the charity is very special. Run by parents, for parents, I believe we can help in a way that very few other organisations can. For example, I have a child with a hearing impairment and a child with special needs. I’m often able to share my own experiences, to point other families in the right direction.

Given my job as a community resolution officer, and having worked with other charitable groups in the past, I also know how important it is to treat everyone as an individual. It is about listening and offering as much support as possible, for that particular person.

As a trustee one of my key responsibilities is to remain abreast with ever-changing legislation and policies. We try to demystify the often mind-boggling nature of such documents and updates, so that parents feel informed and empowered, by information they can trust.

Hi, I am Nicola Sykes. I live in North Kirklees and have four children. I qualified early on in my career as a nursery nurse and worked in nurseries across Kirklees for many years. I recently trained as a tutor/lecturer and now work with adults with learning difficulties – it’s a job I am very passionate about and find incredibly rewarding.

I am delighted to be part of PCAN and am keen to use my skills to help and support as many PCAN members as possible. I believe that having good information is key to helping parents get through what can be very difficult and stressful times in their lives, and I take great pride in seeing our membership figures grow and grow.

Hi, I am Joanne Jackson

Hello, I am Johanna Hull. 

Hi my name is Anisa Kothia.  I live in Dewsbury and have two sons, one of whom has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.