Who We Are
Stand North Wales was formed by Yvonne Brookes and Sarah McCulloch as a not for profit Community Interest Company in response to the closure of organisations representing families of children and young adults with SLCN, Additional Needs and Disabilities in North Wales. The definition of stand is:
“Stronger Together for Additional Needs and Disabilities” in North Wales.
‘Supporting Inclusive Communities’.
Yvonne Brookes:Director STAND North Wales CIC
I set up STAND North Wales CIC with Sarah McCulloch in April 2018. STAND is a parent-led organisation that recognises that families with children with additional needs and disabilities need to have a voice in their community, feel supported and empowered to be able to support their child to reach their true potential.
I have been working with families for over 15 years. My previous role was as the North Wales development officer for AFASIC Cymru, a National charity working with families of children with developmental language disorders. I have experience of supporting families and managing projects that offer families support and enhance the skills of the professionals supporting them.
I am married with 3 children, 2 dogs, and 2 cats and enjoy walking and traveling.
Sarah McCulloch: Director of STAND North Wales CIC
I have worked supporting families for many years. My past role was working as the Family Learning Coordinator for Flintshire County Council before becoming self employed supporting families as a Peep (Parent Early Education Partnership) Practitioner developing early language skills through play.
I am passionate in supporting families. especially families with children with additional needs and disabilities.
I am married and have two children, one of which has autism, a chromosome disorder and speech and language difficulties. I like trying new crafts, walking and spending time with my family and friends.
Jeannie Bishop: Advisory Board member
Hello, my name in Jeannie Bishop and I am married with three lovely teenage sons. I was delighted to be invited onto the advisory board for STAND NW as it has given me a chance to ‘give something back’ in return for the excellent support and help my family has had from Yvonne and Sarah over many years.
With SLCN and ASD within my family and a career in the field of clinical research I hope to bring both my personal and professional experiences to the role and thereby contribute in a small way to this effective, and much needed, not for profit CIC.
My name is Jenni and I live in Denbighshire. I’m a mum of one. My son is 12 years old, non verbal, has learning disabilities and is on the ASD spectrum. He attends the county ALN school, where I am on the PTA. Everyday has a challenge or two! But I wouldn’t swap it.
As a family we were introduced to Afasic, through a speech therapist. Afasic helped our family in so many ways, advocacy, socializing with similar families, attending their training sessions and seminars etc. So when Afasic finished and Yvonne and Sarah started STAND NW CIC, my family and myself wanted to support their amazing work, so that other families and our own can still access this invaluable service.
Phil Kennedy: Advisory Board Member
My name is Tina Hughes and I am 49 years old. I have always had a passion and desire to work with children with Additional Needs and their families. After qualifying as a Nursery Nurse I worked for 6 years as a teaching assistant at the David Lewis Centre, Wilmslow.
This was a residential school for children with Epilepsy, and other learning difficulties. The fact that it was residential meant I had opportunity to work both in the school, and the home settings with pupils up to the age of 18.
I decided to leave the David Lewis centre to go to university to qualify as a teacher. Again I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work with adults in a residential setting, up to the age of 45, with Autism and Learning Difficulties. This experience really impacted upon my philosophy and values as a teacher, as I felt I gained an insight into where young people go after school, and the importance of developing communication and independence skills so they can have a say in their future.
As Assistant Head Teacher at Ysgol Tir Morfa, I have had the privilege of working closely with parents, and families, at various stages in their journey with their child. I am also the parent of 2 children with Autism, both of whom presents very differently. I understand first hand the impact that having a young person with additional needs can have on a family, the positives as well as the challenges.
Being part of STAND is really important to me as I truly believe that by being able to intervene early, offering the right support when it’s needed is so important. So often, I have worked with parents who have never been given the skills/knowledge to truly understand and support their child’s disability, and so they feel tired and ineffective. STAND offers a way to prevent this, and I am very excited about being part of the board and supporting the development of STAND in anyway I can.
Hello, my name is Ann Smith and I live in Denbigh.
I am a former Senior Youth Worker with Conwy Youth Service and prior to Conwy worked with Denbighshire Youth Service. In March 2019 I left full time employment to spend more time with family and look into an alternative self-employed career ~ I have done lots of ‘supporting’ and ‘managing’ and ‘teaching’ in my youth work but never anything in the physical care field ~ so I was going to retrain as a foot care technician. I found the grant, the course but then also found I have the start of carpal tunnel syndrome aka bad wrist and fingers. So, the foot plan had to be put aside. Is kicked into touch too much of a pun?
I knew when I left my full-time post that I would still want to be in contact with Youth Work and support those that work with children, young people and families. I was going to remain a Youth Work Tutor for another few years whilst the foot care business took off ~ so this has continued more strongly than first envisaged. I now have a part time role with Addysg Oedolion Cymru/Adult Learning Wales as their North Wales Tutor Support and Curriculum development officer.
I love the work of STAND NW. I see the importance of the work that they do. The strengths of the individuals and families they work with. The need to develop the skills of others working with individuals and families. I had done some training with Afasic and a small amount of accreditation work with groups of their young people. I continue to learn so much from young people. I was happy to be involved in Yvonne and Sarah’s new adventure and offered to help if they felt I could add anything to the group. So far, I have helped with a jumble sale, the Games Club and with reading and commenting on policy and processes. All great fun ~ devious gamers though!
I am a mum to a beautiful daughter who has amazing talents and is regularly challenged by her epilepsy and dyslexia. My baby has babies of her own. I think now that the best thing about being a mum in being a grandmother (but do not tell her I said that). I do now manage to spend more time with family. Cinema visits with my mum in the afternoons. Looking after the grandchildren and having long weekends away to stay with friends. Nannie naps are a regular requirement now.
I like to be busy, but I also like to slob in my pjs and eat cup cakes for breakfast. I like art, reading and swimming ~ the more cup-cakes the more swimming.
My name is Rose Richards. I was brought up and live in North Wales. I speak Welsh as my second language. I retired in 2016 after working for 30 years in Social Care, supporting children and parents experiencing difficulties. As a child I experienced what it was like to grow up with a brother who had a lifelong disability. As an adult, both my children were diagnosed with an inherited blood disorder. As parents, we had to learn to manage our son’s disability in order for them to both go on to lead independent, full and active lives. In 2015 I became a grandparent for the first time to my grandson. Un fortunately he was born with an undetected vocal cord disfunction which resulted in him having a tracheostomy at 3 weeks old. It was from this point that I was introduced to a whole new world of living with a child with a speech and language difficulty. STAND offered me the support, advice and Makaton training which enabled me to gain the confidence and skill to help him reach his potential and feel connected to his whole family and community.
NB I have put bit in about Welsh in case you want to include it