Our trustees are a group of volunteers, the majority of which are parent carers themselves, responsible for the behind-the-scenes operation of Unique Ways. Ensuring that we comply with our governing documents and charity laws, maintaining financial control, setting and maintaining our vision, mission and values – a lot of the things that keep us going!
How do you become a trustee?
Our trustees are all volunteers who attend meetings every two months. A minimum of three-quarters of the board must be parent carers, but we do have space for others too.
To find out more about becoming a trustee, head over to our volunteering page for a description of the role and how to apply.
David Fielden – Chair
I was a founding member of Unique Ways, back when it was known as the Calderdale Parent and Carers Council, and have continued to support the organisation as a trustee ever since, most recently taking on the role of the chair of trustees. I’ve seen the organisation go through many ups and downs, but am truly proud of what we have achieved over the years.
I have three sons, and my youngest, Glynn, has Downs syndrome. I know first-hand how being a parent carer can be both rewarding and challenging, and I feel passionately about supporting other parent carers through their journeys.
I enjoy travelling, especially on cruises, and have been to some amazing places – including the Amazon and Greenland.
Julie Baldock – Vice Chair
I’ve been a trustee for about six years, and am currently the vice chair. I have an autistic boy called Sam who is twenty now.
I enjoy working with Unique Ways. My role has been varied but very worthwhile. I have helped to get Unique Ways through the Quality for Health qualification, helped with interviews, and given general support to the team. All of the team are great – very hard working and dedicated.
My other job is as a lecturer in further education, teaching Maths, English and ICT.
I’ve been a Board member of Unique Way since 2008, and I am proud to see the organisation growing in both size and scope, supporting families and acting as an effective, collective voice for its members.
I am a primary school teacher in Rochdale, as well as being a representative for the National Union of Teachers. I am a governor at Woodbank Special School, as well as being a governor at a primary school in Rochdale.
I am the proud grandmother of seven grandchildren, one of whom has autism. I first became aware of Unique Ways when I attended one of their coffee mornings with my daughter – these sessions became a lifeline to my family as we struggled through realisation, diagnosis and problems at school.
We gained wonderful support and information from welcoming and knowledgeable staff, and met other parents going through the same difficulties. I continued to attend every month, as it gave me a boost to carry on – and I always felt better when I left.
I became a trustee a couple of years ago because I wanted to help others going through the same thing, and give back for all the help, information and support we received.
My spare time is at a premium, but I enjoy spending it with my husband, walking, going to the cinema, and taking short breaks in the countryside when we can. My main hobby is gardening – growing flowers, fruit and vegetables.
I am a mother of three, and live in the Calder Valley with my family. I was previously a clinical nurse specialising in mental health, and am now a stay at home mum.
I first encountered the charity when it supported my family through a very difficult period, as I have two children with autism spectrum disorder as well as other special educational needs, and one child with a genetic syndrome. I was so grateful for this support and the positive impact it had on my family that I decided I wanted to try and help others – so I became a trustee.
In my spare time, my hobbies include cooking, travel and reading.