Hilary Woodhead

Executive Director

Read More

I am Executive Director of the National Activity Providers Association (NAPA) joining the organisation in 2019. I lead the organisation and oversee all aspects of the charities work, my focus is on championing excellence in activity, arts and engagement, the wellbeing of those who use care support services and the professional development of the activity workforce. I am a national and international speaker and facilitator and have extensive knowledge and expertise across a wide range of care, support and NHS services. Prior to joining NAPA, I was the Co-Director of Support In Dementia (SiD), a Dementia specialist support agency providing project management and staff development programmes across the health, housing and social care sector. I have a BA (Hons) in The Arts (Drama) and MA in Social Work (Social Care Management) I am a qualified adult learning facilitator with a special interest in Dementia, the Arts and the concept of wellbeing. In my spare time I enjoy Interior Design, Musicals and Daschunds. I live in Brighton with my partner. I have 3 children, a dog, a cat and a tortoise.

Sue Trischitta

Professional Development Manager

Read More

I am the Professional Development Manager. I am responsible for managing the NAPA Professional and Development Pathway and all related learning activity. I am a qualified trainer and Internal verifier. As the longest serving member of the NAPA team my role has evolved over the years, as the charity has grown and developed and taken new paths, I have been delighted to walk those paths with NAPA and its members. My passion for activity provision started many years ago in a small care home, seeing the difference that one small moment of engagement could make to one person, was the start of the journey that brought me here. Giving activity providers the tools to enable them to give those moments to the people they support is something that gives me so much joy. Although I am not an activity provider in a care setting now, I am a Brownie, Girl Guide and Ranger Leader, so still involved in activities! I love silk painting, crafts and music; I love to sing, and do so every week with Rock Choir.

Gianna Burns

Communications and Fundraising Manager

Read More

I am the Communications and Fundraising Manager, I am responsible for all external communications. This includes promoting NAPA’s work and ensuring all messaging aligns with NAPA’s values. I work closely with the Executive Director to develop and deliver the NAPA communication and fundraising plans. I oversee our major events e.g., Our ‘Year of’ campaigns The NAPA Member Activity Awards, the Connect by Candlelight Concerts, Wellbeing Walks and NAPA’s National Day of Conversation and Connection. I joined NAPA in 2014 and I have developed into my current role. I love my job which is varied, always busy and never dull! I have 20 years experience in activity provision and have worked directly with both children and older people. I am passionate about enabling an inclusive experience for all. I love being part of the team. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, and my 3 dogs.

Natalie Ravenscroft

Wellbeing Support Manager

Read More

I am the Wellbeing Support Manager, I joined NAPA in 2021, I am a wellbeing practitioner; with many years’ experience developing creative activity and wellbeing programmes for people with learning disabilities, older people and people living with dementia. I manage the NAPA Activity Support Service; this includes the Helpline Service, Support Forums and NAPA Calendar. I also oversee several projects and partnerships. In my spare time I am a keen cook, seasonal decorator and Tudor fanatic. Spending my weekends with my family and friends, and travelling.

Beth Lang

Communications Officer

Read More

I joined NAPA in 2019, and my role has grown since then. I am involved in a range of communication and social media activities including producing the NAPA News and managing our social media channels. I am also the Clerk to the Board of Trustees. When I am not at work I am walking my dog or running in the Chiltern Hills.

Karen Birtchnell

Membership and Finance Manager

Read More

As the Membership and Finance Manager I look after NAPA’s income and expenditure. This includes working closely with the Executive Director and Board of Trustees to set and manage the annual budget. I liaise with our 3,000+ members to provide the NAPA Members Package and manage the registration and renewal process, the NAPA Recognised Supplier Directory and the NAPA Shop. I joined NAPA in 2012, I have seen the NAPA membership package grow into the extensive resource that it is now. When I am not working I enjoy spending time with my family and walking my dog Milo who barks a lot.

Alison Teader

Programme Director – NAPA Arts in Care Homes

Read More

I am the Director for our National Arts in Care Homes Programme. This five-year programme funded by The Rayne Foundation and Baring Foundation supports care homes to embrace the arts. My main interest is in the arts, creativity and culture and how they can be made more accessible for all. Before joining NAPA, I worked for over 20 years for a London-based housing trust, managing an arts programme for care homes, sheltered schemes and supported mental health housing. During this time, I developed productive partnerships with some wonderful artists, museums, galleries and arts organisations and saw first-hand the benefits for all involved. In my spare time I like going to exhibitions and gigs, listening to music, reading, creative writing, gardening, lino printing and walking my rescue dog.


Oliver Thomas

Chair of the NAPA Board of Trustees

Read More

I joined the NHS in 1980 and worked in acute hospitals and community settings in the Midlands, North West and South East until I left in 1997 to join Bupa’s UK Care home business, responsible for 15 care homes mostly in and around London. Bupa’s business expanded and I became, initially, Regional Director in the South East and then, as the company continued to grow, Director of larger regions in the South. In 2009 I became Director of Bupa’s UK Care Homes, responsible for 302 homes across the UK, retiring in 2013. Since then I have continued to work in the care sector. I am a non-executive director of care home businesses in the South East and East Anglia and joined NAPA in 2019 as a Trustee, taking over as Chairman a year later. I live in Yorkshire on the edge of the Dales and enjoy walking, photography, following my football team around the country and visiting my children, all of whom live in London.

Gloria Haynes

Vice Chair of the NAPA Board of Trustees

Read More

A career in health and social care, largely in care homes for older people, has provided an opportunity for me to contribute to the development of care services. A specific area of my work is the care of people living with and experiencing dementia – where NAPA’s role with occupation is vital. One of the requirements of my profession as a social worker is to challenge inequality and poor practice which I do with commitment and determination. Therefore, an important area of my focus is in challenging agism, negative language and attitudes to older people and care home services.

Ed Watkinson

NAPA Trustee

Read More

For the past 3 years I have been a Trustee of NAPA. I have been involved in social care for 30 years, and have had many roles from care assistant to strategic commissioner, but my main focus has been regulation working with CSCI and CQC to help services understand what they need to do. I feel that assisting residents of care homes to live full lives is vital to their well being, and NAPA is a hugely valuable resource to make this happen. Away from my work, I live by the coast and enjoy everything this offers, and on the rainy days try to bake the perfect sourdough loaf!

Sue Ascott

NAPA Trustee

Read More

I am Head of Learning and Development at the Fremantle Trust where we provide nursing and care support for 1000 older people and people with learning disabilities living in 23 homes or services. My specialism is leadership and management and now, how we can move learning to make best use of technology. My career has encompassed financial services, education and housing although I have worked across the health and social care sector for the last 12 years. During those 12 years, I have worked with NAPA in a variety of ways including projects and training delivery and I was proud to become a Trustee in 2019. As a Trustee, I want to support NAPA to evolve and continue to serve our members as their trusted partner. Outside of work, I volunteer for a number of good causes and my own interest is my garden and my family.

Chinno Wills-Cole

NAPA Trustee

Read More

I have worked in the health and social care sector for 20 years. My interests in education, health and social care, social policy and criminology, led me to pursue studies in those fields. I am CEO and co-founder of Dementia Care Experience and Workshops CIC, an organisation dedicated to increasing dementia awareness in society, particularly among black minority ethnic communities. I became a NAPA Trustee in 2020. I have worked as in the NHS, as a care assistant and as a home care worker supporting people living with dementia. I discovered that the principles on which NAPA operates fulfil my desire to continue to play a role in providing supportive environments. This is the primary reason I became a NAPA Trustee. I will do my utmost to support NAPA’s work and encourage others to participate, particularly those from minority ethnic communities in activity, arts and engagement. In my spare time I am a Restorative Justice Facilitator with a Youth Offenders Service and football coach.

Tracy Paine MSc, CF

NAPA Trustee

Read More

I am the former Deputy Chief Executive of Belong having joined in 2003. During this time I was one of the founding innovators of the Belong brand and played an instrumental role in revolutionising dementia care and pioneering an award-winning village model with small households to transform quality of life and up-end institutional, task-oriented approaches to care. Having been a member of NAPA for almost 20 years I am keen to give my support to others to help create vibrant communities keeping people active and able to lead more independent lives.

I am the Chair of the End of Life Partnership (EOLP) a Charity in Cheshire that aims to create a more complete and holistic approach to living well, care, death and loss through public awareness and community engagement, education and training.

I became a Winston Churchill Fellow in 2017 following my travel fellowship that took me to Australia, USA and Europe to research dementia designed communities and care homes.

I developed an Intergenerational project with Ready Generations and was involved in the inception of the Nursery in Belong Chester, and lead on the development of the Arts and Dementia project in partnership with the Bluecoat in Liverpool.

I won the 2011 Healthcare Design Champion in the Building Better Healthcare Design Awards.

I been a registered nurse for nearly 40 years and as a nurse and innovator, I have always kept people and their wellbeing at the heart of all that I do, encouraging those around me to step into the other person’s shoes and to make things happen.

I live in Cheshire. I support Manchester City. I have a campervan, a Jack Russell and 4 beautiful granddaughters that keep me busy. I speak a little Spanish.

Jackie Pool

NAPA Trustee

Read More

I am an Occupational Therapist and have specialised in dementia for over 35 years, working in health and social care in hospitals, care homes and with people at home.

I have supported NAPA since its foundation 25 years ago and as I am a strong believer in the importance of engagement in meaningful activity to promote well-being for all, I sincerely believe in the importance of recognising and valuing activity providers for their knowledge and skills. NAPA, of course, is at the heart of this and I look forward to bringing my own experience, particularly as the developer of the Pool Activity Level (PAL) Instrument, to enable the growth of the NAPA membership and offering in order to deliver this with even more success in the coming years.

My role as the Dementia Care Champion for QCS Quality Compliance Systems and also as a Visiting Lecturer to post-graduate students at the University of Winchester will also support my ongoing passion for learning and sharing knowledge to support those who are receiving care.

I am mother of two Labradors and so enjoy lots of bracing walks in my free time.

Sue Goldsmith

NAPA Trustee

Read More

I have worked within the care sector for the past 30 years, beginning my journey as a mental health nurse working in acute settings before moving across to older people’s services. I am now an Operations Manager working for Belong. Throughout my career, I have always had a keen interest in the psychological well-being of the people that I support, especially the need for people to continue to enjoy social engagement with others and to feel valued within their communities. My involvement with NAPA has allowed me to contribute to how wellbeing is viewed, promoted and celebrated within the care sector; being able to support an organisation whose focus is to champion fun, engagement and inclusivity is both an honour and a pleasure. The work of NAPA has been a great inspiration to me over the years and I hope to be able to give a little of this back through my contribution as a Trustee.

Suzy Cooper

NAPA Trustee

Read More

I have twenty years of wellness experience, I now work for a leading care home group as the senior manager responsible for developing and directing the lifestyle and wellbeing provision across the organisation. I have an academic background in fine art and psychoanalysis and worked for over ten years as a yoga therapist in the community, including training yoga teachers and yoga therapists. I am committed to promoting active ageing and wellness programmes for older people and became a NAPA Trustee in February 2018. I am an active Nordic walker, yoga and sauna enthusiast.


Mike Phillips

NAPA Advisor and Associate Trainer

Read More

I am NAPA’s Advisor on LGBT+ Inclusion and a NAPA Associate Trainer. I am freelance trainer/facilitator/consultant/coach who is passionate about releasing potential through learning and development and improving the lives of those receiving care. I have been involved in LGBT+ and HIV activism for 30+ years, including delivering the first LGBT+ awareness training for South Wales Police and was an independent evaluator for the Age UK LGBT+ project Opening Doors; developing a course ‘Meeting the Care Needs of older LGBT+ people and facilitated the Rainbow Café for LGBT+ people with dementia and their carers. I am a former actor, my hobbies include the theatre and arts, travel, reading, DIY/Gardening, and trying to get my two cocker spaniels to remain calm.

Anna C. Park

NAPA Advisor for Learning Disability Inclusion and Technology in Care

Read More

I’m a Care and Education Consultant with a background in Day Service Activity Provision and Training, as well as pioneering the use of sensory technology. My life has shown me the significant role activities and cultural experiences can play in opening up channels for self-expression and stimulating creativity. I fully support NAPA’s core values: respecting the uniqueness of every individual whilst aiming to improve the quality of daily interactions, ensuring they are engaging, life-enhancing, and provide real moments of connection. I’m a huge advocate of the arts and music: I particularly enjoy teaching piano, calling barn dances and performing with my tap dance group at folk festivals.

Andrew Parsons

NAPA Honorary Legal Advisor

Read More

I am Senior Partner and Head of Healthcare Providers at UK law firm RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP. We are ranked as leaders in the field in the Chambers UK and Legal 500 directories. I am included in the Legal 500’s Hall of Fame. I am driven by a passion for supporting the health and social care sector through high quality, value for money advice and have built long term relationships with providers over several decades. Outside of work, I love to play golf and attend sporting events such as Queen’s and Wimbledon tennis tournaments, and the rowing at Henley Royal Regatta among many others!​

Professor Julienne Meyer CBE PhD

NAPA Advisor for Research and Development

Read More

I retired in September 2019 and now hold an Emeritus position. I am a former registered nurse and qualified teacher, who led Research and Development in Care for Older People at City, University of London for 23 years.  My research into Care for Older People uses collaborative approaches to bring about whole systems change and reflect on the lessons learnt from attempts to improve practice.  My style of working is evidence-informed, relationship-centred, appreciative, and action-oriented.

I enjoy working in a variety of different settings (health and social care; general and mental health; primary, secondary, and tertiary care) and across traditional boundaries (public and private; policy and practice; research and education). I am best known for my work in care homes and in 2006 was one of the co-founders of My Home Life ( an international initiative to promote quality of life in care homes.

Since retirement in 2019, I have been working in a variety of roles:

  • Professor Emerita of Nursing: Care for Older People at City, University of London
  • Visiting Professor for University of Hertfordshire
  • Co-chair for Commission on the Role of Housing in the Future of Care and Support at Social Care Institute for Excellence
  • Research and Development Advisor for National Care Forum
  • Non-Executive Director for Elizabeth Finn Homes
  • Co-Lead for the Kings Fund/My Home Life Care Homes, Housing, Health and Social Care: Learning Network
  • Committee Member for Worldwide Elements To Harmonize Research In long-term care liVing Environments (WE THRIVE) Consortium
  • Member of Strategic Advisory Panel for Standard Wise International
  • Co-investigator on several projects

In 2015, I was awarded CBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours for services to Nursing and Care for Older People. More recently, I was celebrated by the University of London as one of their 150 leading women (1868-2018)

NAPA Patron and Ambassadors

Pam Rhodes


Read More

I am a familiar face on BBC Television’s SONGS OF PRAISE programme, regularly interviewing people ranging from The Pope to Dolly Parton. I am known as an empathetic interviewer, especially when people are speaking about sensitive, perhaps traumatic experiences. I am a a presenter who truly loves hymns, old and new. If you mention almost any hymn you can think of to Pam, she’s likely to come back with the full story of who wrote it and why, as well as giving you renditions of a couple of tunes to which it can be sung – as you’d know if you’ve ever dipped into any of her weekly radio programmes WITH HEARTS AND HYMNS which are featured on Premier Christian Radio. I have presented televised recordings in venues from the Sydney Opera House to London’s Royal Albert hall, and is regularly asked to compere orchestral or musical events at theatres and churches around the country, including the spectacular BATTLE PROMS concerts. I am also well-known as an entertaining after-dinner speaker, as well as a mainstream author with six novels and nine factual books under my belt.

This is in addition to the very practical involvement I have with charities both national and local, being a patron of many organisations including MHA GROUP, LIVABILITY (Christian organisation for Disabled Living in the UK), THE CHURCH ARMY, PAPWORTH HOSPITAL, MERCY SHIPS, and hospice provision for both adults and children locally and nationwide and of course NAPA. I am married to Richard Crow and lives with my family at a two-acre small holding in Bedfordshire. I enjoy dancing so I am often out ballroom, line or tap dancing – or at modern jive evenings similar to the one at which I met my husband Richard at some years ago!

Annie Stevenson

NAPA Ambassador

Read More

Having started working with older people aged 8, collecting the sixpences on my mother’s meals on wheels round, I spent my entire career working in the care sector and advocating for those who are marginalised to increase their quality of life. NAPA is all about this and when I met its Founder, Margaret Butterworth in the 80’s, a true visionary, I was hooked. I see the Arts as a key way to create meaningful engagement and am thrilled to witness NAPA embracing this. My own passions are dance, music and tennis with the conviviality they create.

Chris (Christine) Maddocks

NAPA Ambassador and person living with dementia.

Read More

In July 2016 I was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia when I was 60 years old, this was following a couple of minor strokes. Previous to that I had been working for the Environment Agency, having been a police officer for thirty years. Last year I was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia. I am an ambassador for Alzheimer’s Society, Lewy Body Society and, of course, National Activity Providers Association (NAPA). I am a steering group member of 3NDWG, and an active member of the DEEP network. I would describe myself as a dementia activist giving talks and lectures to a variety of audiences to raise awareness of dementia I enjoy walking, gardening, taking walks by the sea and the woods observing nature.

Jen Blackwell

NAPA Ambassador

Read More

Jen Blackwell is Creative Founder and Director of DanceSyndrome. Jen has Down’s syndrome but at no point has that got in the way of her aspiration and determination. Ever since leaving mainstream school she wanted to be a community dance worker, but after more than 10 years of searching she never found appropriate training.
In 2009 DanceSyndrome was started and in 2010 Jen found 14 dancers to work with, half of whom had learning disabilities. Together they have grown into a dedicated, inclusive group of learning-disabled Dance Leaders. In 2013 DanceSyndrome became a charity.
Jen is living a fulfilled life, immersed in her passion for dance. She does so alongside other dancers with learning disabilities who also have opportunities to explore their gifts as leaders, dancers, team players, soloists and contributors to society. In doing so, they become role models for others.
Jen is now a well-recognised and respected role model and this has been recognised through a number of awards. In September 2015 Jen was thrilled to win “Inspirational Woman of the Year” at the Enterprise Vision Awards 2015. Jen has gone on to be included in the Shaw Trust Power 100 2018 & 2019 and was chosen as the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Point of Light Award in October 2018.
Jen said “Dancing is my life, I am passionate about dance and about supporting people like me to have opportunities in the dance world. Winning awards shows that people with learning disabilities can do amazing things with their lives if given a chance”.

Associates and Assessors

Jennifer Dudley

NAPA Ambassador, Assessor and Consultant/Associate Trainer

Read More

I began my career in the Health and Social Care industry as an Occupational Therapist, specialising in care of people with dementia. I have held many positions in Social Care, including Day Care Manager, Care Home Manager, Director of Care for a Care Home Provider and latterly Director at NAPA. I am a qualified Trainer, Assessor and Internal Verifier, utilising my skills throughout much of my working life. I have been a committed Brownie and Guide Leader for over forty years. I have always believed that everyone should have meaningful engagement, and live a full and enriched life, regardless of their circumstances. I am delighted to be able to continue contributing to the wonderful work that NAPA does.

Sylvie Silver

NAPA Ambassador and Freelance NAPA Consultant/Associate Trainer

Read More

I am proud to have worked as the Director of NAPA for 15 years and constantly say they were the best years of my working life. Since retiring in September 2019, I have been able to lead some NAPA training days and support some NAPA project work in a freelance capacity but carrying the title of Ambassador gives me the greatest pleasure.

I am a passionate advocate of the need for meaningful engagement to bring happiness and well being to people. Supporting and delivering activity in a care setting takes a range of skills and attributes. NAPA leads the way in setting the standards for these and raising awareness at every level.

Retirement has given me the opportunity to do more work in some other volunteering roles that matter to me. I am now a Trustee of the My Home Life Charity and Chair of the Air Cadet Association. I have also continued as the Treasurer for Surrey Wing Royal Air Force Air Cadets.

Like most Activity Providers I enjoy being busy so hobbies like gardening, sewing , painting and reading fill my days easily but always take second place to spending time with our 3 grandchildren.

Sylvia Cowleard

NAPA Associate Trainer

Read More

I am a dementia care skills trainer with a passion for including activities in the everyday lives of all vulnerable adults. I remember a physiotherapist telling me once, “when you stop moving, you stop living”.

Activity is a wonderful way of bringing meaning to my life, doing the shopping or housework, making my favourite cake, or meal, or playing with my grandchildren. We all do a variety of activities every day, whether they are daily living, work related or leisure activities. Why should it be any different for those in need of care and support? NAPA and I share the same values around activities and engagement for vulnerable people.

Simon Reeve 

NAPA Supporter – TV Adventurer supports NAPA

Read More

Simon Reeve is the main adventure traveller on British television. He has travelled to more than 120 countries making multiple award-winning TV series for the BBC, including Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Tropic of Cancer, Equator, Sacred Rivers, Greece, Tropic of Capricorn, Turkey, Australia (Winner of the British Travel Press Award for Broadcast Travel Programme), and his new series Russia. He has received a One World Broadcasting Trust Award for “an outstanding contribution to greater world understanding”, the prestigious Ness Award from the Royal Geographical Society, and the Special Contribution Award at the Travel Media Awards.


Simon says- ‘Many care homes have moved on from just offering Bingo on Friday, but as a society we’re still a long way from seeing each and every person in care as an individual with their own wants and desires – no matter how frail they might be. It is often the little things that bring wellbeing and contentment. Keen readers may need a volunteer to read books to them, or an ex golfer might want to watch the Open on TV with a few beers to hand. It’s not much to ask, and it can make the world of difference to an individual’s quality of life. But personal touches are often woefully lacking in many care settings, where personal care needs are met but social needs are not. We need this to change, and we need to do better. NAPA is working hard to make a difference.’

Helen Lewis Lloyd 

NAPA Associate Proof Reader

Read More

I have always been interested in language and literature and have a Linguistics degree. I am an advanced reminiscence practitioner and qualified Dementia Care Worker. I provide respite care for my local hospice in Brighton and I am an English tutor.  I love my work as a proof reader for NAPA. I feel privileged to be associated with the charity and am always excited and inspired by the activities provided and the amazing support available. In my spare time I enjoy walking on the South Downes or along the Sussex Coastline with my partner, 2 children and Labradoodle, Ivy.

Alison Tingle


Read More

My grandad had dementia, which started me on a career path working with older adults about 15 years ago. My first role was as an activity coordinator within residential care. Since then, I have undertaken various community-based roles and was with the Alzheimer’s Society for a number of years. I have paired this work with study gaining an MSc in Advanced Dementia Care and am currently completing my PhD researching older adults’ engagement in community activities. I support NAPA as meaningful activities are crucial to a sense of self and belonging. A mum of three boys, I love cooking, travel and walking my dog.

Anne Wagstaff


Read More

As an OT working in mental health for 15 years, the use of activities to support the health and well-being of my patients was of the upmost importance. Understanding the therapeutic value of activities and how they are implemented is key to a successful outcome for service users, which is why I enjoy supporting the work of NAPA and their students, playing my part in helping that happen. I currently run my own business, which involves engaging people in craft-based sessions. When I have some spare time I love walking my dog and paddle boarding on my local river.

Ceri-Anne Wilkins


Read More

I am Ceri-Anne and I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2018. Prior to this, I worked as an activity coordinator in a dementia specialised care home for over 100 residents. I am proud to work for NAPA as I am passionate about supporting those working in care homes to provide environments where their residents can live fulfilled, meaningful lives. My favourite occupations/meaningful activities are yoga, crocheting, painting and spending time at the beach.

Graeme Holding


Read More

I began working in a care home in ’97 while I was finishing my A-levels and progressed up to an Activity Coordinator role 20 years ago. I have completed the Level 2 and Level 3 NAPA courses for activity coordinators both of which are extremely helpful for this role. It was after completing my Level 2, that I became an assessor, supporting learners with the important role of providing activities. In my free time, I love being with my family. I’m a martial arts instructor and a published children’s book illustrator.

Jan Millward


Read More

I have been working in care for 16 years, and have had many job roles including carer and Activity Coordinator. The highlight of my year as an AC was always taking part in the NAPA challenge! I am an assessor for the NAPA Level 2 course and I find it inspirational reading all the examples of fantastic care from homes around the country. I live on a farm and I write a lot of poetry. One or two of my poems have even made it into the NAPA magazine! Last year my proudest moment to date was becoming a Gran for the first time!