Chair, Dave Marsland, Lecturer in Social Work

Dave is a lecturer in social work who has focused on safeguarding adults for over 20 years. He has a particular interest in residential and staffed settings and people with very high support needs. Dave has worked extensively with families and older carers and is the father of a fabulously autistic son.

I am immensely proud to be part of the Ann Craft Trust and to help support their amazing work.


Claire Bearder, Group Manager – Access & Safeguarding (Retired)

Claire has significant and extensive experience of safeguarding adults at both a strategic and operational level. Her past work was considered pioneering and at the cutting edge of practice. Claire has since progressed in a number of safeguarding adults roles. These include leading complex safeguarding work as a practitioner, policy formulation, staff development, quality assurance and consultancy in both a large local authority and a number of other agencies.

As a key player on the Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Adults Board, she is instrumental in leading the safeguarding agenda forward via the partnership. She chairs the quality assurance sub group of the board. She manages the Adult Access Service (the “front door” into social care), The Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), the Strategic Safeguarding Team and the governance arrangements in the local authority for safeguarding.

Claire has contributed as an officer to a few peer reviews and is committed to sector-led improvement representing the East Midlands region on the ADASS safeguarding policy network.


Dr. David Charnock, Assistant Professor, Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, School of Health Sciences University of Nottingham

David has over 35 years’  experience in services for people with learning disabilities, for the past sixteen years working in higher education teaching health care professionals. As part of his current role he developed aspects of the nursing curriculum to incorporate lecture and seminar content to help safeguard the needs of people with learning disabilities in health care settings. David’s PhD focused on the masculine identity of boys with learning disabilities. He has led small research projects focusing on the wellbeing of people with learning disabilities, and their parent and caregivers.


Malcolm Dillion, Independent Chair, Nottingham City Safeguarding Adults Board, 2015-2019

Malcolm has been involved in social work since 1975, when he started as a Trainee Social Worker in the London Borough of Southwark. Since then, he’s worked for Nottinghamshire County Council, where he was an Area Director responsible for all care services in inner city West Nottingham, and as a District Manager, responsible for all social care services in a county District and at University Hospitals Group. From 1997 to 2006 he was the Assistant Director, Adult Commissioning for the Council, responsible for the management of policy, procurement and operational staff across the full range of adult social care services, with associated strategy, policy and service development. More recently he’s undertaken independent consultancy for Local Authorities and the NHS, including as the Interim Care Act Implementation Officer for Nottingham City Council, and as the Independent Chair, Nottingham City Safeguarding Adults Board.

I’ve been involved with the safeguarding of children and adults throughout my career. Nothing has been more important than learning and improving in this work.


Professor Rachel Fyson, Associate Professor

Rachel is an Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Social Work in the School of Sociology & Social Policy, University of Nottingham. She has previously worked as a researcher for both the Ann Craft Trust and the Norah Fry Research Centre, University of Bristol (a national centre of excellence in learning disability research). Before becoming an academic she worked for many years in services for both children and adults with learning disabilities. Her research interests have been shaped by her pre-academic work experiences and are focussed on learning disabilities, abuse and safeguarding, interagency working and policy implementation.

I am constantly amazed by the extent of ACT’s influence and the small size of the dedicated team that make this happen. It is a pleasure and an honour to be able to contribute to ACT’s work, in however small a way.


Emma Gibson

Emma Gibson, Ethics and Compliance Manager

Emma is the safeguarding lead for Badminton England, having held the role for nine years. Prior to that she worked in safeguarding and volunteer management for England Netball and in disability sports development for the English Federation of Disability Sport, now called Activity Alliance.

Emma has always been a keen advocate for safeguarding adults in sport, being a founder member of the Safeguarding Adults In Sport Group. She has remained a supporter of the Ann Craft Trust and all that they stand for for over 15 years.

On a personal level, Emma is a keen club cricketer and gym goer. She has held various voluntary positions in sport including in cricket, squash and disability sport. She is hugely influenced and inspired by her younger brother, who has Down’s Syndrome while living an independent active and sporting life both as a participant and a keen spectator.


Tania May, GP

Tania qualified as a doctor in Manchester in 1989. She then worked as a junior doctor in hospitals in Lancashire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. After working in a range of specialities, such as paediatrics, emergency medicine, stroke and rehabilitation medicine she became a GP in 2005. Over the years she has worked as a partner, locum and salaried GP in a range of practices, in inner city, suburban and rural areas. In 2007 she joined the Division of Medicine at Nottingham University as a clinical teaching fellow. In this part time role she is involved in medical student education. Subjects taught include medical ethics and advanced consultation skills.


Penny Standen, Professor of Health Psychology and Learning Disabilities

Professor PJ Standen  is Professor in Health Psychology and Learning Disabilities in the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham. Her major responsibilities have been teaching medical students, trainee psychiatrists and carrying out research to identify ways of improving the quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities and those who care for them. The main focus of her research has been designing and evaluating information technology for people with intellectual disabilities and using approaches that involve them as much as possible in the design process. In this she is helped by the Nottingham International Consortium on Educational Research, a consultancy group of people with intellectual disabilities for which Professor Standen is a joint facilitator. She has a long standing relationship with the Ann Craft Trust from the time it was part of the Department of Learning Disabilities in the Medical Faculty and worked with Ann on some of her research projects.


Suzanne Wilson, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Suzanne Wilson worked as an NHS Clinical Psychologist in a multidisciplinary and integrated community learning disability team setting for 25 years.

Suzanne has had clinical experience in carrying out specialist psychological assessments, interventions and therapeutic work for people with learning disabilities and their families and carers, including when there are serious concerns about mental capacity, dementia, and parenting. She has had substantial experience of Adult and Child Safeguarding and of supporting other professionals particularly concerning the dilemmas and emotional challenges that they face.

Suzanne worked on a number of Mental Capacity Assessments concerning marriage and sexual relations.

Suzanne is committed to using her experience to develop research, policy and practise training. She is a Member of the Advisory Group for the My Marriage, My Choice Research Project based at Nottingham University.

I firmly believe that safeguarding children and adults at risk must be an essential part of all organisational practise and I’m very pleased that I can now contribute to the much-valued work that Ann Craft Trust carries out in providing information, advice, support and training in this area.


ACT Patrons

Sir Roger Singleton CBE ACT Patron

Sir Roger Singleton CBE

Roger Singleton has a background in education, children’s services, management, mediation and safeguarding. He is a former chief executive of Barnardo’s. Since leaving in 2005 he has been an independent consultant specialising in safeguarding and interim management. He is a consultant to charities and organisations on their safeguarding policies and practices; he trains board members and senior staff in safeguarding; and he carries out statutory and in-house reviews and investigations into child and adult protection issues.

From 2007-2012 he chaired the Independent Safeguarding Authority prior to its merger with the Criminal Records Bureau to form the Disclosure and Barring Service. He has been the Government’s Chief Adviser on the Safety of Children; interim chief executive of the children’s charity, Lumos; and the interim Director of Safeguarding at the Church of England.

Kate Spicer, ACT Patron

Kate Spicer

Kate Spicer is a writer and filmmaker. She has two brothers, Will and Tom. Tom has fragile x syndrome and is severely learning disabled. Kate and will recently made a film about Tom, called Mission to Lars. She hopes to bring learning disability more into the view of popular culture. While much of her activism around this is found in her work with Mencap, her experience of life with Tom, and her awareness of the unacceptably high incidence of abuse of both learning disabled adults and children, meant she was extremely happy and excited to be working with us. Find her on twitter @spicerlife.


We are always looking out for experienced trustees or management team committee members to join our team. If you’re interested in being considered, please get in touch with your CV and a covering letter with some information about your particular skill set, what you could contribute to the Ann Craft Trust and why you’d like to join and email it to: ann-craft-trust@nottingham.ac.uk

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