Sarah is our health advisor on the board, being the Lead Nurse at Norwich Practice’s Health Centre. Sarah is part of the policy review group as well as being a lead trustee on fundraising and promotional events.
What does Sarah love about The Hamlet?
The ethos that every child and young adult is valued as a unique individual and deserves to reach their potential. The care and commitment of staff at all levels and the real sense of teamwork.
Tania is a parent trustee, who has two young children with additional needs. Tania comes from an early years background and is a qualified nursery nurse. She is actively involved in supporting the children’s service, especially the Little Bee sessions. Tania has supported the development of this service in a very practical way. She also makes wonderful cakes for our numerous bake sales!
What does Tania love about The Hamlet?
I love the atmosphere that can be felt as soon as you walk through the door. It’s an atmosphere of love, care, security, compassion and a place I and my children can feel safe and where other people will really understand what I and my family are going through. I know I can share my problems and concerns in complete confidence knowing that the staff will go out of their way to help me in any way that they can. The respect and genuine concern between all the staff and parents is so evident every single day.
It’s my safe place!
Pam is our longest serving trustee. As an architect with many years’ experience Pam has a special interest in buildings, and how small adjustments can allow them to work better for the occupants. Pam was integral to the building of the children’s centre at Johnson Place in 2011, without her help and expertise it would not have become the fabulous centre it is today.
What does Pam love about The Hamlet?
Being a part of a very special and specific caring group.
Nick is a practising solicitor who has lived in Norfolk for most of his life. He is a valuable member of the board being able to cast a legal eye over how and what we are doing at board meetings.
What does Nick love about The Hamlet?
The smiling faces; the service users and their families are always happy with us.
Simon is a trustee parent whose son is at Ella Road. He works in the Financial Services industry and has been employed by Aviva for 28 years, having joined from school. He currently manages a team of 12 staff based in Norwich, Sheffield and York responsible for redesigning and changing operational processes for customers and customer services staff.
Simon says, I am very passionate about people with disabilities' rights and also how challenging the lives of their carers can be. I have experienced first-hand how difficult and underserved the system is for people. The Hamlet Centre is so critical for many people and I cannot think of a better cause that I would like to volunteer my time to.
What does Simon love about The Hamlet?
That it makes a massive difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our society. It genuinely is a happy place for students to come and develop in a safe environment. That my son enjoys going there and I trust The Hamlet to look after him.
Irene has been a board member since 2012 and is now Chair of the Trustees. When Irene moved to Thorpe Hamlet she wanted to get involved with a local charity. Irene has been actively aware of disabilities from childhood because of family experiences and it was natural to want to do something to help. She used to be a member of her local Advisory Committee for Disabilities when she was an elected councillor.
Irene says, ‘As manager of the local arts centre, disability access and proactive programmes were part and parcel of what I organised. We even had a Festival one year called Celebrating Abilities. I have done many things in my life – in charities, business, local government, health – and try to bring the skills and knowledge I have acquired to making The Hamlet even better!’
What does Irene love about The Hamlet?
All the smiles - from everyone: staff, children, young people, parents and carers. Never a dull day at The Hamlet.
Stuart has been involved with The Hamlet for many years, both as a professional social worker and now as a trustee. Stuart’s experience in social care and disability brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the board.
Stuart knew our founders, Jack and Margaret Wymer very well and understands the foundations on which the charity was built.
What does Stuart love about The Hamlet?
It was my good fortune to know Margaret and Jack Wymer, founders of The Hamlet, and to work with them, particularly Margaret, for a while. I share their philosophy of involving families, minimising disability, maximising ability and providing quality care. I also worked with Margaret’s brother, Gerry Blyth, (now a patron of The Hamlet) when he was manager.
For me, the purpose of The Hamlet continues to be being positive about children and young people with disabilities, supporting families, quality care and a ‘can do’ approach.
Ed has known about the work of The Hamlet for many years. Ed comes from a communication and campaigning background. He has worked as a campaigner for a disability rights charity, as a public affairs manager in the university sector and as a campaigns professional for a political party.
Ed says, ‘I have been aware of the fantastic work of The Hamlet Centre and the Toy Library for many years so it was a real honour to be accepted as a Trustee. It gives me a chance to actively support the Centre and their community.’
What does Ed love about The Hamlet?
How much the team cares about what they do.
Jenny is our Vice-Chair and a social housing consultant. She a parent trustee, whose son had been using The Hamlet for a number of years. It is really important for us to have parents of children with disabilities on the board to ensure we understand their needs for The Hamlet.
Jenny Says, ‘I play a part in taking key decisions about the direction of the organisation and ensuring we consistently provide a high quality service that responds to a range of needs and remain viable. I take a lead role in supporting the development and review of policies at The Hamlet to ensure we are fair and consistent and operating in line with good practice. I have previously raised money for The Hamlet through sponsored events with my 2 children which has been great fun!’
What does Jenny love about The Hamlet?
The Hamlet is a fabulous place- it’s a safe place where everyone is valued and it is full of fun and laughter. The staff are highly skilled, motivated and focussed and provide invaluable support to those attending and their families.
Gary was involved with The Hamlet in 2016 when he was the architect for the reception area at Ella Road. Gary lives in Norwich with his wife and two wonderful canine friends who keep him sane when things get tough! He is a very keen cyclist, fisherman and artist.
Gary says, ‘I believe my architectural skills can be utilised in improving The Hamlet’s property, including improving the quality of the spaces for users and staff, making the buildings more energy efficient and monitoring the condition of the premises.’
What does Gary love about The Hamlet?
I have admired the commitment and care demonstrated by the staff that I have met. Witnessing the enormous impact that this has on the families that The Hamlet care for has been humbling.
Emma is a chartered accountant and provides financial expertise to the board. In her professional life, she has been an auditor of companies of all sizes. She moved into industry in 2008 and has worked in many areas including property, leisure, banking, travel and now oil and gas. The charity sector is new to Emma who wanted to get involved in a local charity.
Emma ensures that the financial reporting meets the needs of the board and uses her expertise to ensure that the board understand the reporting.
What does Emma love about The Hamlet?
That it provides its users with the possibility of being the best that they can be in a safe and welcoming environment.
Ann wants to help The Hamlet in whatever way she can. Her expertise and skills from her social work background is of great benefit to the charity. Her work spans over 40 years as a youth worker, children and families’ social worker, researcher at the UEA and now an independent social worker for family courts in care, adoption and private law proceedings in civil courts.
What does Ann love about The Hamlet?
Friendliness and opportunities for children. I knew Jack and Margaret Wymer from the early days of the Toy Library and then Margaret when she sat on Norfolk’s Adoption Panel.
Dani is the Assistant Head at Sidestrand Special School in North Norfolk and is our education specialist. Her work involves overseeing provision for Looked After Children, delivering Signalong training to pupils and staff, monitoring and evaluating the impact of intervention and the use of the Pupil Premium, School2School support for mainstream settings and leading the school alongside other members of the Senior Leadership Team.
What does Dani love about The Hamlet?
Its flexibility, creativity and inclusivity! I worked at The Hamlet 10 years ago and it was such an enjoyable place to be. It is great to visit Johnson Place and Ella Road as a trustee and see that after all this time that is still the case! The staff and students are so enthusiastic!