Our aim is to provide local children who have additional needs with the opportunity to play in a friendly and safe environment. Also to provide a space parents and carers can gain support, information, advice and the opportunity to meet other parents or carers in a similar situation.
Louise Smith has been Treasurer of SPACE since it was set up in November 2014. After gaining a 1st class honours degree in International Management and French at Manchester University, Louise qualified as a Chartered Accountant with the global accountancy firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2003. She worked within their audit practice for 8 years, managing the audits of large companies such as the Financial Times and MTV. Louise is currently a stay at home mum to three small children but uses her knowledge and experience gained whilst working as an audit manager to oversee the financial affairs of the charity and to ensure that proper financial records are maintained and appropriate financial procedures followed.
Louise Smith - Treasurer
Katharine Harvey (LLB) graduated from the University of Birmingham with a 2(i) in Law in 1995. She then went on to complete the LPC at the College of Law in Chester before qualifying as a solicitor in 1999. After working as a Defendant personal injury solicitor for 12 years Katharine returned to her home city of Chester. She is currently a stay at home Mum to her 2 young daughters, as well as working part time for the University of Chester Academies Trust. Katharine became involved with SPACE after getting to know Jemma, the Charity's founder when their children attended nursery together. Katharine is the Charity's secretary and also focuses on Trust fund applications. In her spare time Katharine enjoys yoga and running.
Meet our volunteers:
Sue Irene Lauren Ruth Joyce Lesley
Space started as an idea when my daughter was just 6 months old. Isabelle was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease which is a life limiting condition that brings with it many complex health needs. The first few months of Isabelle's life were tough, coming to terms with her diagnosis and a completely new way of thinking. The past 5 years have been a roller coaster journey, I've become part of a world I never expected to. Being a parent of a child with special needs is a very lonely place to be. Learning as we go, I have been fortunate to meet other parents along this journey who have taught me a lot. However there are no local support groups for parents of young children with additional needs, and no play places to take children that are fully accessible. The aim of SPACE is to change this, to provide a SPACE where parents can meet and support each other, a SPACE where children of all abilities can play.
I am now a stay at home mummy to Isabelle and my 2 other children. I studied at University of Bangor and qualified as a nurse in 2001. I later returned to university in 2005 and gained a further qualification in counselling.
Kate graduated from Keele University in 2001 with a 2(i) in Human Resource Management, Sociology and Social Anthropology. She enjoyed an exciting career in the travel industry for 7 years before spending some time exploring abroad. On her return Kate began work as a Mentor and then as an Employment Officer for people with disabilities. She now works for a local autism and learning disability charity as a Project Coordinator. Kate has two young daughters. Her eldest has Global Development Delay, Sensory Processing Disorder and a speech disability. Kate became involved with Space after attending the play sessions with her daughter. Kate likes running, cycling, baking and socialising when she finds any spare time.
Jemma Gregory - Founder & Chair
Gillian Driscoll - Trustee
Katharine Harvey - Secretary
Kate Francis - Trustee
Gillian joined the team in Jan 2017. Gillian’s professional background includes working for large, public sector organisations in Learning and Development, Organisation Development and more lately, Public Participation in Healthcare. One of her children, Lucy, has Down's syndrome and is visually impaired. Gillian enjoys her mummy time at space where she can sit back and enjoy a chat with other likeminded parents knowing that Lucy is safe in an understanding environment. Lucy particularly likes the arts and craft sessions and joining her friends at the dressing up box! "She gets very excited when we're going to space and would be there every day if she could!"
Meet the team....