Meet Our Care Team

Committed to providing full support for young people

Lauren Hands

Lauren Hands

Team Leader

My name is Lauren, I have been supporting individuals with physical and learning difficulties for around three years. I am very passionate about what I do and alongside working for Connections 2 Independence I also work at The Milestone School supporting young individuals. My main priority is to make sure that I am providing the best level of support needed and that the young people I support are happy and safe. I love being able to positively contribute to an individual’s quality of life. I have a caring nature, a great sense of humour and pride myself on being a trustworthy and reliable person. I love to meet new people and socialising with family, friends, colleagues and the individuals I care for. I joined Connections 2 Independence to offer individuals the best support I can. 

Kelsey-Jai Fowke

Kelsey-Jai Fowke

Team Leader

My name is Kelsey, I have been supporting individuals with their care needs for approximately 2 years. I am extremely passionate about my job and all of the young people I support. I believe I have a lot to offer those I work with which can include my caring nature, my great sense of humour and my belief of always putting others before myself. I enjoy meeting new people and getting to know them to build a positive, long-lasting relationship. In my free time I like to be with my friends and family, and my main hobby is dance and I have represented England in the European Championships in Germany. Dancing is something I have done since a young age and I find it a great way to express myself and meet new people. I am a trustworthy, honest and reliable person and with this I hope to offer you the best support I can. I have just completed my NVQ Level 2 Health and Social Care and am considering to move on to complete my Level 3. 

Heather Thomas-Hook

Heather Thomas-Hook

Personal Assistant

My name is Heather Thomas-Hook, I’ve worked in Education for twelve years both in mainstream and SEN schools. I am also a qualified Reflexologist and Body Massage Therapist.

I completed my NVQ3 in Child Care Learning & Development qualification whilst working at Leonard Stanley Playgroup as a Play Leader, I then moved to Uley Primary School as a Teaching Assistant working in years 3 & 4.
I massaged residents at Mencap Homes and found this very rewarding and loved the interaction with the residents. This is when I decided to take the next step by joining The Shrubberies SEN School in Stonehouse to become a Teaching Assistant. During my time at The Shrubberies I learnt how to use Makaton, PECS, Team Teach, Wade & Rescue, administer medication (Buccal and EpiPen) supporting the students within the class and out in the community. I moved up to The Apperley Centre (Post 16 for The Shrubberies School) and became a Teaching Assistant Level 2 and stood in for the class teacher on PPA days and as and when needed.

I worked in groups and 1:1.
I have worked with PMLD, MLD and carried out personal care on individuals who sometimes found it difficult to accept personal care with challenging needs.
In my previous role in Stroud at Children’s Social Care, I often bumped into ex-students from The Apperley Centre … I heard them before I saw them – shouting out my name!! I decided I needed to be back at a special needs school.

I started my new role at Alderman Knight SEN School Tewkesbury in September 2019 as their Receptionist/Administrator and enjoy the interaction with the students.
I am so excited to be working as a PA working with such lovely young adults again. I am fully insured and plan to help the people I support work to the best if their ability, help them learn new skills and have some fun!

Joanna Brooks

Joanna Brooks

Personal Assistant

My name is Joanna Brooks.

I have worked with children in some capacity or another since completing my NVQ in childcare over 24 years ago. I started my career working in residential care with children with physical difficulties, as well as children with sensory, learning and communication difficulties. I found this job extremely rewarding and loved the diversity of the role.

After having my daughter I completed my TA training and went on to work in Education, initially working as 1-1 support for a visually impaired student.
After my student made the transition from Primary to Secondary I became the TA in our Reception Class and here I have stayed for the past 12 years. I am also play lead for Breakfast and After school club which I love as I enjoy seeing all age groups coming together and having fun!

I have acquired a variety of skills and training over the years but one thing that stands out above all of the others is a good relationship with parents, parents know their own children better than anyone else and their input and advice is paramount to being a successful PA/educator.
I am now enjoying an additional challenge working as a PA for Connections 2 Independence and am looking forward to see what the future will bring.

Josie Ward

Josie Ward

Personal Assistant

Hi my name is Josie, before I had my children I worked in the care sector supporting adults with learning disabilities for 5 years. I have a Level 3 NVQ in Health and Social Care, as well as qualifications and extensive experience in supporting individuals with Behaviour that Challenges. Both of my children have additional needs and I am very passionate about neurodiversity acceptance and supporting individuals to be proud of who they are. I am naturally a caring and nurturing person and I enjoy being out in nature. In my spare time I love painting and bike riding.

Karen Davies

Karen Davies

Personal Assistant

Hi I am Karen, I have been supporting young individuals with their care needs for about 4 years . I am extremely passionate about my work and the young people I work with. I have a lot to offer those I support, this can vary between feeding, changing, administering meds ,sensory and general assisting in there day to day needs.


I don’t class this as work, more my choice of career to help make a difference in those of our young people and that of their families. In my spare time I enjoy time with my own family and socialising with friends.
I am a devoted ,caring and compassionate individual ,who I would like to think could make a difference to others.

Laurie Harrod

Laurie Harrod

Personal Assistant

My name is Laurie Harrod and I have worked within care for over fifteen years. My experience is primarily with adults with learning difficulties however over the past five years I have had the pleasure of working with people from aged 5-85 with autism, cerebral palsy and epilepsy/dementia. 

I have always had a passion to care and a need to make people’s lives better. I love to help people and thrive when I know I have made a difference to someone’s day. I have a level 3 in Health and social care and hope to achieve my level 5 at some point in the near future. 

 

 

Michelle Pearce

Michelle Pearce

Personal Assistant

Hi, my name is Michelle Pearce. I work with Connections 2 Independence in order to offer support to individuals within the community.

I have worked within care and support sector for six years where I have developed many skills, leading me to have extensive knowledge in a wide range of disabilities, proving a much more flexible approach to carers and parents.  I am very passionate, outgoing and understanding individual and I love every second of my job. I do my upmost to make sure individuals are getting the very best support I can offer.

I love to build relationships and trust with the families and individuals I care for. I am a mum myself to three children who I have raised on my own with a small support network, so I am aware of the difficulties families face when needing support. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and going on long walks which I find is good to relax my mind.  I thrive to learn as I always believe there is room for improvement, I love to meet new people and make changes to people lives. I want to promote independence and social skills, giving young people opportunities they have not had before.

Victoria Girdler

Victoria Girdler

Personal Assistant

My name is Victoria, I have been a personal assistant since November 2019. I have previous experience working with children within a nursery setting. I thoroughly enjoy my helping others and at the end of the day knowing I have had a positive impact on someone else life makes me feel great. I have a lot to offer those who I work with whether that be as part of a team or individually. I have a naturally caring nature and also want to go above and beyond to help those in need, I also have a great sense of humour and can remain calm under pressure. I love meeting new people and learning about them and their stories, I believe this helps to build a strong positive rapport and relationship with them and their families.

In my spare time, I enjoy exploring with my two children and husband visiting various forests, lakes, and new parks (we love exploring to find the Gruffalo to say hello). I also enjoy listening to music, singing, and dancing and took part in many competitions as a child and teenager.
I am an open-minded, trustworthy, and honest person who likes to make everyone feel welcome and included.

I have an NVQ Level 3 in Working with children and young people and would be interested to gain my level 2 in Health and Social Care in the near future.

 

 

Bailey Danter

Bailey Danter

Playscheme Staff

Hi, my name is Bailey and I have worked with supporting vulnerable young people for over a year now. I am very passionate about my job and I love helping others. I love to dance, and I used to be a gymnast and cheerleader when I was younger.

What is it your love about your role within C2I:

  • I love that I can help young people develop new skills and gain confidence.
  • I love helping others, not just the young person but their family too.
  • I love meeting new people.
Daisy Watters

Daisy Watters

Playscheme Staff

Hi my name is Daisy! I have been with Connections 2 Independence since October 2020. I am currently in sixth form studying Psychology, Sociology and Geography in hope to get into University to study Primary Education and gain a Qualified Teacher Status. I am a bubbly, happy and approachable individual. I have been dancing since the age of 3 and will no doubt continue for the rest of my life as its one of my passions! I love helping others in all aspects and just being around and interacting with the people that I love and care about is my ultimate favourite thing to do with my time!

 

Jordan Prout

Jordan Prout

Playscheme Staff

Hi, I’m Jordan, I am 18 years old and have always loved working with young people. I like playing netball, and I am very flexible because I used to do gymnastics, I love elephants and cared for them when I went to Thailand! I don’t like crickets or grasshoppers.

What is it you love about your role within C2I:

  • I have always been a bubbly and chatty person, who will always help whenever I can.
  • I love being able to give the young people a feel of independence and empowerment.
  • I love being able to be a role model for the young people and give them someone to look up to.
  • I love being able to be a friend to the people who need friends most, and be someone they can trust.

 

Rebecca Hoadley

Rebecca Hoadley

Playscheme Staff

My name is Rebecca, and I have a passion for working with children, especially those with special needs. I started off as a sports coach and PE teacher, but soon discovered a natural ability with special needs children after volunteering to help at church. Since then, I branched out to make it my full-time career, so I could put all my energy and enthusiasm into helping those with additional needs. I work as a learning support worker in a special needs school, as well as a PA for multiple children. I value all individuals equally and am passionate about supporting them in any way; to enable more independence and skill progression, and to simply have fun and enjoy our time together.

 

Stacey Gray

Stacey Gray

Playscheme Staff

Hi I’m Stacey. I’ve been working with vulnerable children and young adults for over 15 years in both educational and care settings, I am currently a SEN teaching assistant in Cheltenham. I have worked with young people with a wide range of additional needs including pump feeding, epilepsy, multiple profound learning difficulties and physical disabilities throughout my career as a teaching assistant and personal assistant. I have an honours degree in psychology and have visited nearly every country in Europe. I used to be a fully trained lifeguard, but now I’m just as happy sewing and baking.

 

Contact Us

If you would like to find out more about Connection 2 Independence and the services we provide, please call today on 01452 924 946 or alternatively, you can use the form below. 

15 + 11 =

01452 924 946

info@connections2independence.com

Registered Office:

16 The Glenmore Centre,
Jessop Court,
Waterwells Business Park,
Gloucester,
GL2 2AP

Company Number: 12466129

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