Helen Dalton-Hare BEM

Helen founded About with Friends around her kitchen table in 2002 with nine initial members and a handful of volunteers. She served on the Board of Trustees until About with Friends became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) in April this year. She continues to lead the organisation as CEO and attends Board meetings in this role. Helen is from London and worked in Social Services for over 30 years. As a youth worker, she ran the London Brent PHAB Club before joining Barnet Mencap to lead a project with people with Autism and behaviours that challenged, and then moved to Harrow Mencap to lead a project integrating children and adults with learning disabilities into the community. Helen relocated to Norfolk in 1996 and was the Paston College Community Outreach Lead for students with Disabilities before starting About with Friends. She received the British Empire Medal in 2014.

Held a brown belt in judo, and has an ambition to see the world.

I just cannot thank you enough for taking K my daughter so that she could have fun with her friends on holiday in Milton Keynes, […] it made her extremely happy.

Selfishly for me it gave my wife a much sought after period of respite exhausted after 16 years of constant care. Complete respite is dependent upon the knowledge that your child is in safe professional caring hands. The ‘about with friends’ staff impress me because they display such enthusiastic vocational attitudes towards their care.

I’ve got my life back

I haven’t seen D for ages and he looks like a new man . The stress has gone from his face – he looks great Well done !!!!

Just wanted to say a big thank you to you and everyone else that supported H on the recent trip – she had an amazing time. I enjoyed look at the Twitter feed to see what you had been up to.

Thank you for taking K to Milton Keynes on holiday, it made her extremely happy. Selfishly, it gave my wife a much sought after period of respite after 16 years of constant care.

Just a short note to thank you all for your help with our daughter. she has spent many years at school with little improvement in her behaviour and speech, yet in just a few weeks she has been with you guys the improvements in both areas are plain to see.

I am not sure what the different methods used are but please continue as you are, as life at the moment for us as a family is greatly improved because of your input.

We are very aware of her complex needs and how she can change like the wind but we will continue to enjoy the fruits of your labours.

We cannot tell you what AWF means to us as a family – a lifeline, a light in the dark. Something that has offered our daughter equality, to have a social life and really support us as a family.

A big thank you to yourself and the About with Friends staff for another great trip! J had a fantastic time, going on the Harry Potter Studio Tour, which he had wanted to do for ages and ages.

About with Friends and you particularly, have done some great work with excellent outcomes for D. I was particularly pleased to hear that you are working on integration with the Youth Group as I felt he would miss out on peer interaction if he didn’t come to college.

This is the best transition I have had for a student in the whole five years I have taught 6th formers!