Fiona Morgan, Operations Manager
I am the mother of teenage twin boys, one of whom is profoundly deaf and has bilateral cochlear implants. I really appreciated the services of Skylarks when my children were small and found it a wonderful source of support. As a family we have experienced the frustrations and difficulties of the SEND system and battling for the needs of your child, both in education and the NHS. I have been involved in the background of Skylarks for some time and am relishing my front-line position, working with families to provide support for their wide range of needs.
Having previously worked in management and marketing in the private education sector, since having a child with a disability, I have moved into the voluntary sector, working for a heritage charity and now a children’s charity. My experience includes being involved in organising events for CICS (the Cochlear Implanted Children’s Support Group), as secretary of the PTA for Mary Hare Primary School for Deaf Children and Membership Secretary for Twickenham Twins Club. I was involved in establishing “Little Heaven”, a special church service for children with additional needs and I run activities for children and young people and represent families on the PCC of the Richmond Team Ministry. I enjoy releasing both my creativity and tensions on clay in my ceramics class and using my languages in travel abroad whenever the opportunity allows!
I see my role at Skylarks as one of supporting other families along their journey as parents walking along a path different from the one they were expecting to take; and as collaborating with a range of other organisations to provide the best support possible for families.
I am responsible for:
- planning, delivering and developing all of Skylarks’s activities.
- premises management.
- volunteer management.
- Registering new families and signposting to appropriate services
- Supporting new and current families
Aaron Guiver, Development Manager
I have four children, two with additional needs and disabilities. I recently started at Skylarks in October 2019 as Development Manger where I work on our Grants, Fundraising, Reports and most recently our new rebrand. Previously, I worked within the charity sector for the past 8 years, working at other Richmond upon Thames organisations such as; Richmond Borough Mind and Richmond Carers Centre. Im an experienced network manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Health and Wellbeing industry. Skilled in operations management, small business development, and managing client relations. . Working at Skylarks is incredibly rewarding; being able to see the difference made to children's lives as a result of the work my colleagues, volunteers, Trustees and I do is a great privilege.
I am responsible for:
- Securing, monitoring, evaluating and sourcing grants
- Fundraising and partnership opportunities
- Marketing and communications
- IT development
- Business administration with Companies House and Charities Commission
- Patron relationships
Susie O'Kelly, Play Session Leader
My background was in BBC radio drama and publishing until I set up the bridge for social communication charity with two other parents (which ran from 2002-2013) as a direct response to the lack of suitable services and opportunities for children with social and communication difficulties and their families. We offered a variety of services including activities for children and parent information evenings. I have been an active committee member of the Richmond National Autistic Society for over 10 years and was co-author of the first Richmond NAS Information Pack: an essential guide to services and support in the Richmond borough and beyond.
Having used the services of Skylarks in its early days, I went on to attend both a Makaton language programme and BSL course and started volunteering at Skylarks in the Friday sessions in September 2014. I know from first-hand experience how important it is for parents and carers to find a non-judgemental haven of support, friendship and information and a place where children with additional needs can play and enjoy activities. As a staff member, I now look forward to working with the volunteers and offering support to all families who use the services of Skylarks, and most importantly in making sure everyone feels welcome and valued whatever their age, circumstances and needs.
I've been involved with Skylarks every Tuesday (& occasional Fridays) for over 5 years now. Initially as a volunteer & then I joined the staff team. During that time I have just LOVED journeying with the families, sharing in great joys of hard fought milestones & supporting them through some of the challenges. I come home quite exhausted most weeks, but with a smile on my face, because I LOVE my job & all the people that I've spent the afternoon with.
I KNOW that Rice cakes are a healthy option, but no one can deny that they would be better off on the 'Art table', decorated with glitter & hung from the ceiling as a Sunshine!!! Chocolate Digestives are SO much nicer!!