Meet the Team

Meet the team of dedicated staff and volunteers that provide support to our clients

Beccy Steele

Project Manager

In 2003 I began my training in counselling & psychotherapy, when I qualified, I undertook additional couples’ therapy and this training led me into the world of support work.

I have always worked within the charity & third sector, supporting individuals with multiple and complex needs including those involved in the criminal justice system, experiencing homelessness and poor mental and/ or physical health. 

Having worked with mental health services for almost 10 years, as a practitioner, project manager and head of services I changed roles and began working as an offender lead, this initially involved 1-1 client work and progressed to a strategic role supporting the MOJ’s strategy.

Vicky O'Sullivan

Team Leader

I have spent the last 9 years of my career working across a range of projects which have included supporting a diverse range of individuals with various complex needs. These have ranged from mental health, substance misuse, homelessness and criminality to physical health and emotional wellbeing.

I communicate regularly with professionals at all levels from managing front line staff to liaising with external services on a daily basis. The field of work I have chosen to work in is a vocation and it’s a pleasure to work alongside people to improve their quality of life through a variety of interventions.

Carole Hester

Data, Admin & Comms Lead

I’ve worked with CGL for over 5 years in Administration, Prescribing and now as the Data, Admin & Communication Lead for STEP. My career began in administration but has also led down different paths working in retail, hospitality and also education.

I am lucky to be the first person on the team to see the data behind STEP and know the work done by the team is making a positive change for clients.

Kirsty McLaughlin

ABCD & Volunteer Co-ordinator

Before coming to the STEP team, I have previously worked with CGL Inspire services across Blackburn and Darwen & East Lancashire as admin staff & healthcare. I also have teaching and management experience, which has helped me in not only managing and training our volunteers, but working in the community with our clients.

Norma Bruce

Social Worker

Have studied and achieved BSc (hons) Psychology and MA in Social Work, I qualified as a social worker in 2009. Prior to STEP I have predominantly worked in the Criminal Justice team within Substance Misuse Services in both high and low intensity areas, in a variety of roles covering arrest referral, treatment orders, prolific offenders and prison link. Working with offenders and their families both pre and post sentence.

My role for STEP involves making sure everyone is safe and provided opportunities to develop and grow. I act as training lead for the team and also deliver connect 5 training to service users and their families. Around one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year, and many more suffer with low mental wellbeing. Connect 5 trains people to help others improve their mental wellbeing, and signpost to more specialist support when needed.

Louise Windle

Public Living Room Co-ordinator

My previous role was as a private sector housing manager in sheltered accommodation for 55s and over. Throughout my 15 years, I supported tenants with various complex health and wellbeing issues to promote independence and happy living for the years ahead.

I worked with a number of different agencies supporting tenants including District nurses, Occupational therapists, Care agencies, Age UK, Help direct, Benefit agency and GPs.

I have lots of training experience with Mental health, depression, anxiety and the daily challenges we face.

I am currently working on a justice and safety programme, supporting case workers to support women who have been in the justice system to reduce re offending by building up community links and supporting them in the community.

Darren Ruth

Case Navigator

Since joining the STEP team I have gained experience of working with a wide range of issues from severe physical health including Brain trauma, COPD, (DVT’S) Deep vein thrombosis and also support clients with mental health issues.

To get the best support for the client I find it is important to work with Multi agencies including Inspire, Job Centre, Probation, mental health team, Crisis team, Home treatment team, Hostels, Age Uk, Carers service, DWP, Hospital, Transforming lives, Integrated neighbourhood team to give the best possible outcome for the client. 

I have also gained a foundation degree in Alcohol and substance misuse in 2015

Zoe Brindle

Case Navigator

I first became a volunteer at Inspire, then progressed to the post of Community Champion working with clients going through drugs and alcohol addiction. I then became a recovery coordinator where I feel my knowledge and skills vastly improved.

After a year as a recovery worker I wanted to further my knowledge and gained a position with the STEP team working with more complex situations, I feel that I’m aiding in improving people’s lives with the work I do. I am passionate about helping people and making a difference in people’s lives, by taking a non-judgemental approach I find helps in getting the best outcome for my clients.

David Benjamin

Case Navigator

For more than 4 years I’ve supported people of all ages and backgrounds with a range of social and environmental issues (homeless, refugees etc.) which have often but not always been a consequence of drug and/or alcohol dependency.

Previously I was self-employed as a joiner in the building trade, many of the skills I developed in that role I have found to be transferrable, such as patience, determination, resilience and an understanding that things don’t always turn out the way they are planned.

Carmel Clarke

Case Navigator

I have always worked in supportive roles. Previously I worked in criminal justice as a Probation Service officer working in Court and with a caseload. I also worked for many years with the Drug and Alcohol Service as a Recovery Worker and now working as a case navigator assisting people with mental and/or physical health issues.

I enjoy supporting people to ensure they receive the right support/treatment. I am non-judgemental and very approachable. 

Uzma Ahmed

Case Navigator

I have worked in Children’s services and domestic abuse services for over 20 years and during this time I have gained much experience in providing practical support for individuals who may be struggling with issues affecting their happiness and health.

My aim is to help individuals feel included in the community and allow them to be able to live more independently.

As a support worker I can help to set realistic goals and provide support in taking practical steps to improve happiness and health. I support individuals who may sometimes feel unable to cope with issues such as finance, physical/mental health and fitness, substance misuse, abuse, mobility and transport, relationships and families, employment and housing or if they are anxious, stressed, feel isolated or simply overwhelmed. I offer support towards achieving these goals and help find solutions to the causes that might be affecting their quality of life.

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