Here at Skylarks we have a small, passionate team that supports a growing community of children and families. Staff are always approachable and willing to help any parent, carer, sibling or child with an additional need who comes through our doors.
To find out more about our team's experience, and how they can help, we have put together these short biographies:
Aaron Guiver, Managing Director
I was appointed as Skylarks' Managing Director in 2021, having originally joined the organisation in 2018 as Development Manager. I now focus my time on the overall management of the Charity including operations, marketing & communications, development including restricted and unrestricted fundraising and finance.
I have worked within the charity sector for the past eight years including at other Richmond upon Thames organisations such as Richmond Borough Mind and Richmond Carers Centre. 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, the volunteers, and our trustees do, is a great privilege.
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fiona Morgan, Head of Operations
I am the mother of young adult 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 with Me too & Co/Skylarks for some time and relish leading such a strong team dedicated to supporting families with a wide range of needs.
I worked previously in management and marketing in the education sector. After having a child with a disability I moved into the voluntary sector, working for a heritage charity and now a children’s charity. My experience includes being involved in CICS (the Cochlear Implanted Children’s Support Group), Mary Hare School for Deaf Children; and Twickenham Twins Club. I am churchwarden in Richmond Team Ministry. I enjoy releasing both my creativity and tensions on clay in my ceramics class and using my languages (French, Italian, basic Spanish and BSL) in travel abroad whenever the opportunity allows!
I am proud of our team at Skylarks who work hard to support other families along their journey as parents walking 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 can be contacted at email@example.com
Mia Patterson, Programme Co-ordinator
I am responsible for all programming at Skylarks. My role involves planning and booking all our activities, both for children and parents. I have a background in the charity sector, having worked for cancer charities and other voluntary sector organisations. I can usually be found at our sessions on Tuesday afternoons.
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07398 46 557
Barbara Beczko, Senior Activities Leader
I have experience as a special needs teacher and am a qualified Reading Recovery teacher and art therapist.
I can be found at our sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays, as well as our Pedal Project sessions. I am responsible
for making sure slots for activities are filled as best as possible, so I am the person to contact for any last-minute cancellations or changes to bookings and activities.
I am a Polish speaker.
My email address is email@example.com and my phone number 07930 993150
Sona Sharma , Partnership and Fundraising Manager
I am the mother of a lovely young man who has used Skylarks' services for many years. I have also been volunteering massage therapy and yoga skills for the last six years to parents and carers. I joined the staff team in October 2018 and spend my time liaising with local companies, schools and other potential partners. I love representing Skylarks in a variety of ways, from using songs with Makaton signing at school assemblies to delivering after-dinner speeches. So if you know any school, company or organisation that might be interested in fundraising for us, please get in touch.
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Annette Cruiziat, Corporate Partnerships Manager
I have just joined the staff team of Skylarks and I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues and members. I would like to make contact with potential corporate partners and meet the established partners of Skylarks.
I have worked as a Fundraiser for several local charities focusing on different types of Fundraising and I was a trustee of the German School for many years.
My three boys are grown ups and they are about to finish their University studies abroad or have already started working.
I am keen to represent Skylarks on different occasions and I am interested in cooperating with local, national and international companies and organisations. Please get in touch with me via email at email@example.com
Susie O'Kelly, Support and Information Leader
My background was in BBC radio drama and publishing until I set up The Bridge for Social Communication charity (which ran from 2002-2013) with two other parents as a direct response to the lack of suitable services and opportunities for children with social and communication difficulties and their families. I was an active committee member of the Richmond National Autistic Society for 20 years and co-author of the first Richmond NAS Information Pack: an essential guide to services and support.
I have attended both a Makaton language programme and BSL course and started volunteering at Skylarks in 2014, becoming a staff member the following year. I know from first-hand experience how important it is for parents and carers to find a non-judgmental haven of support, friendship and information and a place where children with additional needs can play and enjoy activities. I enjoy offering support and information 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.
Siobhan Burn, Activities Leader
I've been involved with Skylarks every Tuesday (& occasional Fridays) for over six years now, initially as a volunteer and then as part of the staff team. During that time I have just LOVED journeying with the families, sharing in great joys of hard-fought milestones and 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 and 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!!
I can often be found on my bicycle, including cycling to Amsterdam and Paris to raise funds for Skylarks!
Michaela Eggleston, SEND Education Manager
I run the SEND Advice Service, a vital gateway product to the services at Skylarks for many of our families. Like many Skylarks staff, I am a SEND parent too. I trained as a SEND Advisor with IPSEA and have worked in other local charities. My previous employment was in Forensics, so I apply my detailed approach to supporting families get the right support in school for their child.
Vacant, SEND Education Adviser
Kerry Hogan, Communications Officer
I work one day a week for Skylarks, putting together all our external communications. I have a lot of experience in this field.
Cherida Plumb, Head of Fundraising
I have been working as a fundraiser for around 20 years. I started my career working for an asylum-seeker/refugee charity supporting survivors of war and violence both in the UK and overseas. I have since led teams and developed fundraising for a number of organisations raising over £10 million. I have worked for very large and very small charities, and everything in between. I specialise in trusts and foundations and community and events fundraising, but I have also been involved in lots of other areas, including compiling, and planning legacy campaigns, direct marketing, and major donor fundraising. Before being a fundraiser I worked as a project manager in the corporate sector and so I also enjoy the development side of fundraising, working with teams to establish long term plans, and budgets. I am very excited to be working for Skylarks and to help this small but mighty charity grow and support the ever-increasing number of families who need our help.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
I come from a background of helping young people with additional needs to access employment services, working in both the private and public sectors. I have experience in programme development, and project management. Please contact email@example.com or 07960 222988.