The Families InFocus staff and trustee team, standing and sitting.

Meet our team

Our Team

Our team of friendly and experienced staff  have a range of skills, knowledge and experience. They work across Essex to support SEND families.

Our staff team are supported by a team of skilled volunteers and trustees.

I felt overwhelmed with everything and anxious. I felt understood, listened to and respected by staff who helped me so much. I am so grateful.”

Team Members

Families InFocus promotional bugs. They are blue.

Lily Copeland

Activity Club Worker

Lily is an Activity Club Worker at our club in Colchester.

Families InFocus promotional bugs. They are blue.

Russell Pagan

Chief Executive Officer

Russell joined us as our CEO in November 2023.

Family Support Advisor Linsey is talking to a colleague. She is wearing glasses and smiling.

Linsey Hyde

Operations Manager

Linsey joined Families in Focus in 2013 and is the Operations Manager. Prior to this she was the Family Support Advisor for Braintree District and Uttlesford.  Linsey previously worked for a national disability charity providing advice and support and had graduated from Anglia Ruskin University with a First class Honours Degree in Early Childhood and Education Studies.

Karen wearing a Families InFocus T Shirt and standing next to a brick wall.

Karen Mathews

Family Support Advisor, West Essex

Karen is one of our Family Support Advisors. She has worked for Families InFocus in different roles for 12 years, but first sought support from the charity as a parent. After volunteering in befriending and admin roles, and at our Saturday Activity Club, she became a paid employee of the charity in 2010. Before becoming a Family Support Advisor three years ago, she worked as a PA to the Director and then as an Independent Supporter. Prior to her employment at Families InFocus, she worked for a local counselling service on their helpline

Julie, the Senior Family Support Advisor is at her desk. She is wearing a white jumper and smiling.

Julie Neilson

Family Support Manager

Julie started at Families InFocus in 1998 as a volunteer befriender.  A few years later she secured a job as a part time Admin Assistant and is now our Senior Family Support Advisor.  Previously Julie had a varied career in the Women’s Royal Naval Service and Lloyd’s of London.

Family Support Advisor Terri is talking to a colleague. She is wearing a brown jumper and her glasses are on top of her head.

Terri Towler

Family Support Advisor, North Essex

Terri started working for Families InFocus in 2019, and is one of our Family Support Advisors. Away from her role as an FSA she is a Mum to 3 boys, Two of whom have SEND. Before joining Families InFocus Terri spent many years supporting parents and carers as a parent mentor at The Maze Group and she is also Chair of Colchester Parent Support.

Wendy a family support adviser is sat at her desk.

Wendy Potter

Family Support Advisor, North Essex

Wendy joined Families InFocus in 2021 as a Family Support Advisor. Before joining Families InFocus, Wendy worked for 10 years supporting SEN children in a Primary School, and for a local charity supporting autistic young people aged 16-25.

Families InFocus promotional bugs. They are blue.

Abi Nash

Activity Club Worker

Abi is an Activity Club Worker at our club in Chelmsford.

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