Helen Dalton-Hare BEM

CEO & Founder

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.

 


Sam Harwood

Deputy CEO

Sam joined About with Friends in 2016 after spending 11 years working as a school administrator and working with young children. Although her title is Deputy CEO she does much more than that, from helping in our catering department on events to manning our charity shop. If help is needed Sam will always be the first to raise her hand.

 


Jamie Moses

Operations Director

After spending many years as a business development manager Jamie moved on to a career in Business Finance and progressed to the position of General Manager at Honda. In 2010 He decided to try something new and moved to Norfolk. Having enjoyed a fantastic time volunteering at AWF an opportunity came along to join our support staff team and he has worked his way up to his current position.

 


    David Register

    Finance Manager

    After many years in commercial finance, David became our Finance Manager as well as keeping a tight hold of the Charities’ finances you will regularly find him helping out in our lunch club or delivering a buffet for our catering team. If the job involves money or food David won’t be far away.

     


    Hannah Pennington

    Workskills Manager

    Hannah joined us from “Jeesal” as Deputy Workskills Manager, her vast experience in support care has had a positive effect on all areas of our service. With her extensive training in Mental Health-Autism and person centred planning, our service has gone from strength to strength with new ventures being added to our range of services regularly.


    Katie Wade

    Outreach Manager

    Katie has had experience both in Health and Social care.
    8 years working for the NHS as an Assistant practitioner after completing an FDSC in health and social science graduating in 2014 and 3 years working at Sidestrand Hall School as a residential childcare officer.
    Katie is a true Yorkshire girl. She is very bubbly bringing lots of fun and positivity within her workplace.


    Laura Smith

    HR

    After 12 years in Construction recruitment both in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire Laura took 5 years out to raise her 3 young children. After relocating back to Norfolk, she took a part time post with About with Friends as our HR Administrator, she is now an integral part of our strong back office team managing and overseeing our staff recruitment processes.


    Matt McMahon

    Workskills Manager

    Matt has many years experience working with adults with learning difficulties in farming, gardening, woodwork and IT. He enjoys a varied workload at About With Friends covering all aspects of Workskills, from gardening and catering to supporting our members in the events and presentation team.

     


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

Over the last five years I have had a fortnightly, 2 hour designated gardening slot. I highly value your service and ethos.

It was a massive decision for his family to make and by choosing AWF it means they trust totally in the service. I am of the opinion that AWF is the only provision in the county for D and he is very happy to attend.

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.

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.

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 !!!!

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

After 30 years of trying to get P engaged in activities, he is now, under your care, beginning to grow like a great Oak tree.

Many thanks again for J’s lovely break in Derbyshire with About with Friends. He really enjoyed himself, had loads of fun and told us all about the cable cars, stepping stones, cinema, meals out, etc.! We would be very grateful if you could pass on our sincere thanks to all the staff who organised the holiday and supported our youngsters to enable them to have such a wonderful time. We are also very grateful as we, ourselves, were able to enjoy a short break in Paris, which was wonderful and recharged our batteries!