Gillian Jones – Manager
I joined Friends for Leisure back in 2008, having previously worked as a manager with the Department for Work & Pensions and Connexions Cheshire & Warrington.
My passion for the purpose and ethos of Friends for Leisure was my motivation for joining the organisation and, having seen the charity evolve over the last five years, I feel truly blessed to be involved with it.
Maggie Readman – Project Worker
My background is in social work and latterly I spent 10 years with the Alzheimer’s Society. My eldest daughter is autistic and I think this helps me to empathise with our families.
I have been involved with Friends for Leisure since the beginning; first as supporter and street collector, then committee member/trustee and since September 2008 a project worker covering part of Macclesfield, Wilmslow, Poynton and Knutsford. I originally came to the “front line” for three months, but I’m still here because this is a great team to work in and all our young people are such an inspiration.
Lisa Nixon – Project Worker
Hello, I have been working for Friends for Leisure for the past three years. Part of my role involves going out to meet children, young people and their families to find out how we might be able to help. This also gives me the opportunity to listen and take on board any additional information that could better enable the young person to become involved with any of Friends for Leisure’s activities, such as our youth groups, drama group or holiday leisure programs.
The other part of my role is to organise the Congleton’s 15Up youth group which runs from New Life Church twice each month. For me, this is where the fun really begins, and where I often see many of our young people when they first come along feeling shy, nervous, and a little afraid of what to expect. It can be quite daunting, meeting other young people and getting to know our volunteers. It is a fantastic achievement for me to see confident, happy, and inspiring young people emerge, gaining confidence and self esteem and enjoying spending time with friends.
Abi Jones – Volunteer Coordinator
I have been volunteering for a number of different organisations for over eight years and I am passionate about volunteering, and the benefits that come with it. I studied a degree in Criminology in Sheffield for three years, where I found a real passion for working with young people in my local community. Additionally my family have been a short-break foster family for disabled children since I was two years old and this has provided me with valuable insight and experience.
I have been the volunteer coordinator at Friends for Leisure since August 2011, and absolutely love each and every aspect of my role. I love that I get to work with a team of hardworking and dedicated group of volunteers, and an amazing group of young people who I see growing from strength to strength. Friends for Leisure is an incredible organisation to work for, and a team I am very proud to be a part of.
Claire – Volunteer Office Administrator
I went to college to do a course in life skills and went on to do level 1 and 2 in Business Administration, followed by the European Computer Driving Licence as an evening course. When I left college, I needed something to do and asked a lady about work experience. She recommended Friends for Leisure and I have been here for six and a half years. I am the longest-serving member of staff in the office.
Claire Addis – Fundraising and Marketing Coordinator
I chose to work for Friends for Leisure because of the great work the charity does. I’ve been in fundraising and marketing for charities for almost 15 years now, after graduating in Geography and Economics at Nottingham University and spending a year volunteering across the globe. I particularly love working for charities that support young people and people with disabilities. I love that my work allows me to raise funds to keep Friends for Leisure’s services running well into the future. So watch out as I’ll be pestering you all to help, whether that be running a marathon, shaking a collection bucket or perhaps sitting in a bath of beans?!
My background is working in primary education and childcare. Since graduating in Primary Education in 2011, I had the opportunity to work in several settings both teaching and working one to one, and group support for children with disabilities and additional learning needs. I found this role extremely rewarding, especially when I was able to see the progress that children were making which impacted on their confidence to achieve.
I previously worked for Crossroads Care, working with disabled children and young people at social skills groups and fun clubs where they had chance to socialise with others and learn new skills. Before joining Friends for Leisure I was the Young Carers project worker for Crossroads. This too, was very rewarding, as I was able to support young carers to socialise; build their confidence and self esteem; and help them to reach their personal goals.
As soon as I joined Friends for Leisure, I felt part of an excellent team and I enjoy supporting the young people and the families that I work with.
Whilst studying my degree in Psychology and Abuse Studies, I began volunteering with Friends for Leisure. I had volunteered for two years before starting the role as Activities Coordinator at Friends for Leisure. I really enjoyed volunteering for FFL and it is here that I developed my passion for working with young people.
Part of my role involves coordinating the activities that FFL provides and the other part of my role involves organising, planning and delivering the activities at Macclesfield youth group and holiday activities. Additionally, I deliver disability awareness sessions within the local area such as schools, colleges, businesses etc. The most rewarding part of my role is seeing the young people making friends and having fun!