Meet the Team

Claire Randall

Operations & Finance Manager
After leaving school I turned my weekend job at Tesco into a full time job and soon found myself on their management training program. From this I gained many transferable skills that I now use.

I joined Home-Start in 2004 as an Organiser working in the rural area and since 2012 have been Co-Scheme Manager with responsibility for day to day scheme running and finance.

Outside of work I love spending time with my family. Duncan and I have been married since 1998 and we have two big children, Hana and Luke. We have four French Bulldogs, Nala, Kobe, Odin & Lilo who take up a lot of my time and fill the forthcoming empty nest. I also have a passion for coffee, baking, window shopping, eating out and the cinema.

Kat Wiles

Safeguarding & Fundraising Manager
I have worked at Home-Start Ashford & District since 2002 taking on a variety of roles including volunteer training and support, family work, community development, group facilitation, supervision of staff and currently fundraising.

In addition, I have worked on other projects through the voluntary sector most notably for Canterbury Open Centre and Catch 22 (formerly Rainer) on some challenging projects with homeless people and mentoring services for ‘Looked After Children’ and you offenders.

Prior to working in the voluntary sector I completed my studies at Canterbury Christchurch and Kent University with a Degree in English and Art and a Post Graduate Degree in ‘Modern Literature and Culture’.

I love to view (and occasionally make) art whenever possible and visit large and small exhibitions both locally and nationally. I enjoy comedy evenings, film, reading, and walking. I also volunteer as a parent helper at Tenterden School Federation.

I live with husband, Matthew and daughter, Amelia.

Katie Davis-Clifford

Family & Volunteer Co-Ordinator
I have proudly volunteered with Home-Start since 2014. Having faced some difficult times myself I needed a new direction and a focus. I always enjoy supporting my friends and family through challenging times so this seemed a great opportunity for me and I haven’t looked back since!

To date (2019) I have supported four families and can really credit Home-Start with guiding my career choice of helping others. I was thrilled to be able to join as Family Support Worker starting in February this year.

Alongside Home-Start I also work as a Parent Support Coordinator for a charity that counsels children and runs a parent support programme. I’ve also worked in schools as a one to one teaching Assistant.

I have a busy life with 3 children who all have varying hobbies and a busier social life than me! I am so pleased I am able to continue working with such an amazing charity that I have seen at first hand, empowering families to become more confident in their own abilities, and supporting them on that journey.

Talitha Peck

Family & Volunteer Co-Ordinator
I have lived in the Ashford district since I was 7. I was initially a volunteer for Home-Start, finishing the prep course in 2019 following my A-Levels.

I have always loved caring for people and had an interest in the social care world, so volunteering with Home-Start seemed like a great opportunity. At 20 I am the youngest member on the team. I’m really looking forward to collaborating with volunteers in helping to empower the families I work with.

I volunteer for Kench Hill, an environment centre where I help teach children about sustainability and the outdoors. I am mum to a beautiful black cat called Luna and she is the light of my life. I also love choral singing, plant-based cooking and listening to musicals!

Helen Brown

Group Co-Ordinator
After leaving university I worked in the motor industry for eleven years before deciding on a career change after the birth of my second son.

I have worked within Social care ever since. Starting as a community carer progressing to a Manager for a care agency and then working for Pilgrims Hospices before joining Home-Start in 2015.

I chaired my son’s PTA for two years and still assist at the junior schools and I am on the committee for the local cub group and fundraise for my eldest son’s football team.

I am married and have two boys, Isaac and Matthew.

Amanda Clayson

Family Support Worker
I have lived in the rural areas of the Ashford since I was 4. When I was 18 I started work in the Motor Trade as a parts advisor, after a couple of years I left to have my first child, I am now a mum to 3 girls, a dog, a cat and a fish.

My family and I had the help of a Home-Start volunteer while my children were young and we adjusted to family life. After developing an interest in psychology I studied and gained a level 5 qualification in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which I used to facilitate some Self Help Awareness Groups in the local community. When my youngest started school, I decided I would like to pursue a career in the social sector, preferably working with families with young children. I completed my Volunteer Preparation Course with Home-Start Ashford in 2018 and volunteered with a family, I thoroughly enjoyed the volunteering. In February 2019 I started working for Home-Start Ashford as a Family Support Worker.

In addition I have volunteered for The National Childbirth Trust, helping to organise events and fundraisers. In my spare time I enjoy reading, spending time with my family and exploring new places to visit with them.

Claire Tipping

Family Support Worker
It’s great to join the Home-Start team. I’ve mainly worked as a dental nurse over the last 20 years, getting to know patients and their families has been rewarding. I have also spent a short time at a special school as a teaching assistant, helping children reach their full potential.

I’m married and have a daughter, who is in her twenties and a teenage son. We also have an elderly dog who is a little spoilt! 

I enjoy cooking, yoga and being in my muddy boots out walking. 

Lucy Bartlett

Family Support Worker
After leaving University with a Sociology degree, I worked in a variety of office jobs.

It soon became apparent that this was not where I belonged, so I returned to University to study to become a primary school teacher. I taught for 16 years, across all year groups and in 3 very different schools. During this time, I supported many families from diverse backgrounds, some of whom were experiencing great difficulties.
As a teacher, my role was also that of a social worker and councillor. I am passionate about children’s emotional literacy and have attended courses on regulating behaviour and improving resilience.

As a parent of an Autistic child with separation anxiety and generalised anxiety disorder, I can fully sympathise with other parents who feel they are not listened to and who are lost in the system.

My daughter began school refusing and ended up out of education for 2 years. It was heart breaking for us all, but especially for my daughter who just wanted to be like her friends. It was an incredibly challenging time. I gave up my teaching job to be her full-time carer. Eventually, we were given a brilliant Early Help Advisor, who referred us to various support groups, including Home Start. I set up a support group on facebook for other mums with girls with ASD. We talk regularly and support one another when times are tough. Thankfully, my daughter is now settled at a specialist school for ASD children.

I am currently tutoring children with special educational needs, some of whom are school refusing. I take my little dog Buzzy along to see them to raise their spirits! He is the baby of our family! I love taking him for long walks across the fields with my husband and my daughter who is 11and my son who is 9. We also love going to the beach and throwing stones into the waves.

I am the newest member to Home Start. I am very excited for this opportunity to support families through my role of Family Support Worker.

Richard Henderson

Patron
My working life ended with me being MD for Henderson Global Investors plc in the Varieties and Private Clients Division.

Following my retirement I have had various roles including Chairman National Trust Finance Committee for Southern England, Chairman Kent Magistrates Association, Vice Chairman Governors Ashford School, Church Warden and Treasurer for Warehorne Church and Warehourne Parish Councillor.

I am married with four children and four grandchildren. I joined Home-Start Ashford & District in 2002 after being introduced by a mutual friend. I served as Chair for over 10 years and have recently stepped down but remain actively involved.

My hobbies include amateur painting, travelling through old Soviet Union, theatre trips and I’m an active member of Ashford Choral & Kelly’s choir.

Steph Senior

Chair of the Board of Trustees

Margaret Jordan

Company Secretary, Treasurer and Trustee
Now retired, I have the time to indulge a number of my passions including hill walking, cycling, music, my five grandchildren and of course Home-Start.

I am a lawyer by training and was a partner in a law firm in the City of London. I specialised in corporate and European law and was based in Brussels for over 20 years.

For the last fifteen years of my working life I worked for a multinational company. As a result, I have a range of skills beyond the law including strategic planning, management and governance. I like to believe that the experience of working in various parts of the world has also made me very open to new ideas and doing things differently.

Catherine Maylam

Trustee with the Responsibility of Safeguarding

Kathy Corby

Home Visiting Volunteer and Volunteers’ Representative on the Board of Trustees
I became a home visiting volunteer in 2007 and to date I have supported seven families and have represented the volunteers on the board of Trustees since 2011.

I was born and lived in Greater London until 1989, when my job as Fundraising Manager for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in London moved me to the South-East. I was responsible for community volunteers raising funds to support lifeboat crews in Kent and East Sussex until my retirement in 2004.

Whilst living in London I was a volunteer for a charity providing a 24/7 telephone helpline called ‘Parents’ Anonymous’ for eight years, taking on the responsibilities of Secretary, S. London Co-ordinator and organising the monthly on-call Duty Rota.

My husband Richard and I live in Tenterden and we have two daughters and a son, and six grandchildren ranging in age from 26 years to 6 months. Many of our family live and work in USA and Middle East, therefore holidays are often focused in opposing directions.

My other interests are gardening, yoga and history and I am the Excursion Secretary for the Tenterden local history society.

Derek Smyth

Trustee
Having studied an honours degree in Politics and Modern History at Manchester University my business career then took off mainly in the brewing industry where I was involved in market and financial analysis as well as long range forecasting. I have also been a director of a Co-operative retail society.

In 1998 I was elected as a member of the Kent County Council representing South Ashford and became the Lead Member on local government finance in the Labour Group. I retired from the Council in 2017.

Since 1998 I have been a member of the Board of Home-Start because I believe strongly that the early years of a child’s life are critical to their later development enabling them to seize as many opportunities in life as possible.

Maria Stuttaford

Trustee
My professional journey started as a university-based researcher, educator and learner. I have successfully designed and led research projects and worked with students and trainees developing new learning programmes. My varied career has provided me the opportunity to undertake research with academic colleagues, partner NGOs and civil society organisations as well as develop volunteer training. I spent the first part of my career in South Africa, England, Scotland and the Netherlands. For the past 10 years I have done unpaid work in the field of social justice and human rights while living in the USA and Europe. Through these roles I developed my networking, governance and strategic problem-solving skills.

I joined the Home-Start board because I think my governance, education, mentoring, networking and research skills will support Home-Start in achieving its goals.

My partner and I live in Ashford. My step-daughter and her partner live in Leeds and my step-son and his partner live in London. In my spare time you’ll find me running in Victoria Park, working out at a local gym, pottering in our garden or relaxing with a good book and listening to music.

Amy Honey

Education Advisor to the Board of Trustees
I am currently employed by Goldwyn School where I work as a Specialist Teacher in the Ashford District for pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs. My role entails: supporting schools and individual pupils within mainstream Primary and Secondary schools; delivering core and bespoke training to schools; offering recommendations to schools with regards to referred pupils to support with inclusion and effective intervention strategies and resources.

Previous to this role, I worked at Furley Park Primary Academy for 14 years as a Primary Teacher and SENCO.

In my own time, I like to do simple things like: spending time with my children; gardening; reading; and experimenting with textiles on my sewing machine. I keep meaning to get back in to my love of arts too…and will do when the moment catches me.

Sara Emmerton

Family Advisor to the Board of Trustees, Home Visiting Volunteer Service
I was brought up in the beautiful Peak District in Derbyshire, but it was too land-locked for me and I eventually found my way to the North Kent Coast in 2002 (via Newcastle to study English Language and Linguistics, and London where I met my husband and trained in Speech and Language Therapy).

I worked across East Kent as a Speech and Language Therapist working with adults for 10 years, during which time I enjoyed hobbies of sea swimming, yoga and my lifelong passion of creative writing.

I have three children, aged 9, 6 and 4. My eldest child has autism with a profile of pathological demand avoidance and presents with violent and challenging behaviour. This has been extremely traumatic and difficult for all of our family. We became a Home-Start family in Autumn 2017, and our volunteer as well as the whole team have had an incredibly practical, positive and valuable impact on all of our lives.

I look forward to helping to support other families in difficult situations by offering advice and input as Family Advisor.

Andy Allsop

Family Advisor to the Board of Trustees, Chill with Dad
I moved to Ashford in 2011 and have been with my partner for 8 years. I have been a part of Chill with Dad since September 2016. I have two daughters which keeps me on my toes along with a full time job. 

I like to bake and make my own jams. Autumn is my favourite time of year as I make all things pumpkin like jam, pies and loafs. 

Other interests are football, NFL and my PS4.