Meet The Team
Healthwatch Calderdale is an Independent charity. We employ a small staff team and are helped by volunteers. Our Board of Trustees oversees and steers our work, members of our board are not paid for their role.
Karen - Director of Healthwatch Calderdale
I have worked for Healthwatch Calderdale since 2016 and became Director of the organisation in 2021. I am responsible for leading and developing Healthwatch Calderdale. I also manage our NHS Complaint Advocacy Service. The most important aspect of my role to listen to the voices of the people of Calderdale with regard to health and social care. My work involves putting these voices at the centre of health and social care in Calderdale and ensuring that people’s concerns are listened to by the organisations, which provide and pay for the services.
I have worked previously with people with chronic health conditions as an advocate, a wellbeing practitioner, a horticultural therapist and a health coach.
Calderdale is very familiar to me. I was educated in the area and have lived in Calderdale for 35 years. My key interests are health, nutrition, supporting and empowering people as well as the self-care of chronic health conditions.
Julie - Independent Health Complaints Advocate
I have worked at Healthwatch Calderdale since 2018 as an Independent Health Complaints Advocate. My job is to support, inform, and represent people in Calderdale, who are considering or wishing to make a complaint about National Health Service (NHS) care they or a family member have received.
I help people to find their way through the complaints process by:
• Helping people to express their concerns about the NHS
• Supporting people to access information so that they understand their options and choices with regard to making a complaint
• Offering practical help for example writing letters or attending meetings
• Explaining responses and correspondence relating to a complaint
My work also helps to highlight where there are issues in local NHS services.
Joanne - Engagement & Information Officer
I have worked for Healthwatch Calderdale since May 2018 and work as an Engagement and Information Officer.
I help provide information about local health services in response to queries from the general public; support people to have their say on health services and feedback their experiences.
I also work on wider engagement projects, using people’s stories and experiences to highlight where change can be made in the health service.
I previously worked as a journalist at newspapers in West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.
I am a volunteer with the Scouts and am interested in supporting children to get the best start in life, helping young people to be active and engaged in their community.
My areas of interest are in early years and women’s services.
Clare - Operations Manager
I’ve worked with Healthwatch since it started in 2013. I’m still working for the organisation because I have a passion for championing the voice of people in our local communities, particularly those who are sometimes easy to ignore.
I’m now the Operations Manager for Healthwatch Kirklees and Healthwatch Calderdale and I work with amazing colleagues and volunteers who are so kind, knowledgeable and skilled in the work they do; my job is made easier because we’re all working to provide the best possible service to local people and we all want to make a difference.
When I’m not at work I love running and I’m proud to say I’m in the 1% of the population who have run a marathon!
Mark - Office Administrator
I have been with Healthwatch since September 2022 as the Office Administrator for both Kirklees and Calderdale. I have a background of working in health and social care administration since 1996 and being a full-time carer for ten years for my mother.
I particularly enjoy the variety of my work with Healthwatch and it is definitely true that no two days are ever the same.
Most of my spare time is spent listening to music and restoring historical recordings to newer formats.
Katherine - Volunteering and Engagement Officer
Enter and View Lead
I have worked for Healthwatch Kirklees since 2014. I am responsible for the recruiting, supervising and the supporting of our wonderful volunteering team. My aim is for all our volunteers to achieve their potential while having a fun and positive volunteering experience. Lets hope we have got it right!
I take the lead on our Enter and View visits which are something I'm also very passionate about. Its important to me to make sure that health and social care services listen to the voices of the people using their services.
In my spare time I volunteer for a local charity which I enjoy.
I feel time best spent for me is with family and friends laughing or enjoying the many walks in our local area.
I love nothing more than travelling to new places and sampling the local cuisine near and far.
I enjoy working for Healthwatch its good to work with vibrant, happy team.
Alexandra - Engagement and Information Officer
I joined the Healthwatch team in April 2022 as an Information and Engagement Officer for both Calderdale and Kirklees.
I came to the team with over a decade of experience of working in social care and have a passion to help people within the community, particularly vulnerable individuals, whose voices aren’t always heard.
I have really enjoyed joining this fun-loving and caring team!
When I’m not at work you’ll usually find me in the kitchen baking (sometimes burning) yummy treats!
Helen - Communications Officer
Hi I'm Helen, Communications Officer for Healthwatch Kirklees and Calderdale. I joined the team in 2021 and have found it inspiring to work with an organisation genuinely committed to helping people and improving public health services.
As Communications Officer my job is to make sure people find out about all the great work we are doing to improve health and social care in Kirklees and Calderdale.
I get to help tell stories like these which showcase just how hard our team work to have a positive impact. I design communications and raise awareness for projects like this where we partner with local organisations to help make a difference in our communities. I also share useful information on our website and social media sites to keep local people up to date with health and social care support news.
At home, I'm a Mum of two — my girl Erica and my boy Leo, who are little superstars and we spend many an evening having a kitchen disco or playing dress up. Not everyone knows that many years ago I qualified as a rescue diver in Indonesia!
I am a Pharmacist who retired to Halifax after a managerial career with a national chain of pharmacies, during which I spent time in several parts of the country and experienced service with many varied communities. My interest in Health Watch stemmed from some related voluntary work with CAB that extended into the formation of PPI Health Forums.
After retiring I learnt more about the NHS than I ever did whilst working within it, as well as about its intertwining with Social care, Council and Government! Further voluntary work as a governor with an NHS Mental Health Trust was stimulating, motivational and fitted well with Links and its successor, Health Watch. Having had good experience of the NHS and Social Care, both personally and from family contacts, I am delighted to “put something back” where I can and seek to maximise the quality of these services within their realistic resources.
Angela Everson - interim Chair
I am the CEO of WomenCentre, an organisation that works across Calderdale Kirklees and Bradford. I have worked as a registered nurse, social worker and probation officer as well as in the voluntary and community sector for the last 20 years.
Our Volunteering Team
Administration & Data Entry volunteer
I help Healthwatch Calderdale with data entry and administration, mainly relating to its NHS Complaints Advocacy Service. I am presently volunteering from home, giving my time when I can. I also help with proof reading reports and collecting feedback from members of the public.
Community Engagement & Outreach volunteers
Our Community Engagement & outreach volunteers can be seen out and about with staff members at local community groups and events, GP surgeries, hospitals in fact anywhere where we can make sure people have a voice and can tell their story about their experiences of using health and social care services.
Call Handler & Admin Support (NHS complaints advocacy service)
These are our volunteer team supporting with advocacy administration, follow up telephone calls and collecting feedback about your experience of using our service.
This team work remotely from home
Authorised Representatives (Enter and View volunteers)
We have a small team of volunteers supported by staff working across Kirklees and Calderdale visiting services at the point of service delivery and speaking to patients, residents, staff and visitors and finding out about their experience of using the visited service.
Take a look at the enter and view reports on our work section
Online Feedback Collector
Our volunteers are gathering feedback online, keeping us updated with local news about health and social care services.
They research and give feedback on NHS service websites, letters and collect views from their families and friends. all about experiences of using health and social care services.
I have been involved with Healthwatch Calderdale since when I met Karen Huntley at an event about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD). I offered my data analysis skills to support a patient experience survey she was beginning to organise.
The survey was very rewarding work and the resulting report received Parliamentary attention.
One of my daughters has a severe presentation of EDS and, as a consequence of her diagnosis, my wife and I are aware of similar difficulties in other members of our family.
Healthwatch has given me the opportunity to make a difference to the ways in which health professionals and others address the needs of these particular patients and, possibly, those of other patients with rare or rarely diagnosed illnesses or syndromes.