Unique Ways is run by a dedicated, supportive and friendly team, most of whom are parent carers ourselves. We come from a range of different backgrounds, but have all come to Unique Ways out of a desire to achieve the best possible outcomes for our children – and to help other parent carers to do the same.
Shona Walsh - Chief Executive Officer
I’m delighted to be joining the team at Unique Ways.
I’ve worked within the Voluntary and Community Sector in the North of England for nearly 30 years, mainly in income generation.
I’m a Scot, but no longer feel I live in a foreign land, as Yorkshire feels very much like home now after living here for 10 years. I moved to West Yorkshire in 2008 from South Manchester.
In my downtime, I love music (mainly 80’s & 90’s) and still enjoy going to gigs. I also enjoy travel (UK and overseas), weekend walks, the theatre and am very much a reader.
Martin Reynolds - Office Co-Ordinator
I’ve worked for Unique Ways since February 2014. Previous to my employment, I volunteered as a Finance Administrator and also sat on the Board of Trustees for two years.
I have two children, and my eldest has a disability – so as well as a member of staff, I’m also a parent member. As well as looking after the day to day running of Unique Ways, a large part of my role involves looking after the finances to enable families to access all the support we provide, and ensuring that parents and carers have a voice and influence on services. You may also find me in the office solving IT issues – or with a screwdriver in my hand!
During my downtime, I can be found looking after my children (Dad’s Taxi), running and cycling the many hills of Calderdale, watching the mighty Shaymen, or on the golf course (usually looking for that wayward ball), and I also enjoy cooking and the odd glass of bourbon
Helen Norris - Ordinary Lives Practitioner / Independent Supporter Co-Ordinator
I’ve been involved with the organisation since about 2008, first as a parent of a child with additional needs (my middle child has autism) and then as a member of the team since about 2010. My roles within Unique Ways have been varied – initially I started as a volunteer, then as a Trustee for the Board. However, since 2010, I have worked on behalf of Unique Ways both as a Person-Centred Planner and a Independent Supporter
As Unique Ways’ Independent Supporter and co-ordinator, I work with families, children and young people around the newly introduced Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. While I do support parents to navigate their way around the new system, my main role is to collate both pupil and parental voices ahead of an EHC request or conversion from an SEN statement, and support parents and young people to ensure their views are represented to a wide range of professionals – including schools and the Local Authority.
I love working for Unique Ways as I am passionate about inclusion, and supporting parents to get the best outcomes for their child.
When I’m not at work, I love spending time with my three children and my husband – we’re fairly active and enjoy getting out for long walks in the woods or days out, but these must include cake! I also love listening to old school music, baking and reading – when I get the chance!
Heidi Coney - Family Voice Co-Ordinator
I have worked as the Family Voice Co-ordinator here at Unique Ways since May 2017. Before that I worked in the marketing sector for many years and then decided to have a change of career and trained as a counsellor. After some years bringing up my children I got a job as a counsellor in the NHS and this role made me appreciate the real importance of good emotional wellbeing and especially for parents. I have also volunteered for several Calderdale charities over the years including Samaritans and more recently Home Start where I enjoyed the practical aspect of helping families.
When I’m not at work I like reading, cooking and swimming for relaxation. I also love spending time with my two boys and husband and literally running around after them – we all do the Park Run on a weekend and I recently completed my first race, the Manchester 10K.