Kemal Houghton — Chair —
I Joined the Board of Trustees in 2009 after taking early retirement from Wirral Social Services. I have spent most of my time working with people with learning disabilities in one way or another. During a period of over 30 years I have been a care assistant, a day centre officer and a residential manager. In 2001 I became a Supported Living Officer and helped to set up numerous Supported Living Schemes including many of W.I.L.L.’s early developments. Doing this work gave me knowledge of housing issues, funding and benefits. In my final years with Wirral I became a social worker in what was then the Learning Disability Team based at Ashton House. There I became familiar with all social work tasks including community care assessments, safeguarding and commissioning services.
Apart from chairing the Trustees’ Meetings, I can be found at W.I.L.L.’s social events with my ancient disco equipment, exercising my skills as a bingo caller!
When I’m not doing things with W.I.L.L., I spend much of my time writing and performing poetry. I am Chair of the Chester Poets, a presenter at First Thursday (Heswall) and on the internet station Vintage Radio. I have been involved with Wirral’s Festival of Firsts for a number of years and have run workshops for the festival and in schools and local libraries. I think I may also be a little obsessive about walking…
My name is John Engwall. I am the Vice Chair of WILL and have been involved as a parent and a Trustee since 2001. From 2005 to 2014, I was Chair of WILL. I was first drawn to WILL because of the vision and enthusiasm of those parents who founded the charity and their commitment to the principles of Person Centred Planning and their belief in Supported Living. I have previously been a social worker, staff training officer and a Health Commissioner for adults with learning disabilities in Liverpool, until my retirement in 2015. I enjoy music, gardening, walking, spending time with our young grand-daughter…and even shopping!
Hello, my name is Cathy Hood and I am a Chartered Accountant. I volunteered to become a Trustee with WILL in 2008 when they were looking for a Treasurer. My role covers all things finance related such as monitoring financial performance, preparing year end accounts and budgets, and supporting Committee decisions with financial information where applicable.
My name is Joan Price.
I worked as an Learning Support Assistant at Foxfield School in Moreton for 12 years. I was also a School Governor at Foxfield School and Sandbrook Primary School, also in Moreton.
My husband Barrie and I ran our own electrical contracting business. I ran the office, processing the wages, making appointments and ordering materials etc.
I was one of the founder members of W.I.L.L and we met in my lounge for several years, before obtaining Lottery funding to start up an office with one employed manager.
My name is Heather Solomon, I am 59 years old. My daughter has been supported by WILL for 10 years. I started my career as a sales assistant in Marks and Spencer, I was then a PA for some 20 years, ending up developing property with my husband. Now a widow, I do voluntary work at Claire House Children’s Hospice, and St John’s Adult Hospice. My hobbies are dancing, travelling and just spending time with friends and family.
Hello my name is Julie. I have been a Trustee at WILL for five years. The reason I became a Trustee is simply, first and foremost, I am a mother to my wonderful son Lee. Lee has a learning disability; five years ago I chose WILL to take care of him. My role as Trustee allows me to input from a mother’s perspective. I want to make sure that Lee and other young adults cared for receive the best care and the highest quality of life. I love getting involved at charity events, meeting up with people and parents – it’s like one happy family.
I worked for Wirral Social Services for 23 years, originally with Adults with Learning Disabilities, then with Children and then with Older People. I then moved into senior management and that is when I met Kemal!
There was a restructure and I moved to the Training Department – helping to improve the skills of the next generation of practitioners
I left the Council to take up a post with the National Autistic Society, completed a Master’s in HR and gained my level 7 CIPD Qualification and stayed there until 2008 and the world changed. I had some time unemployed and completed some short term and interim assignments (Including delivering Management Training for the Abu Dhabi Government). Then I met Kemal in Aldi and I joined the merry band of trustees.