The Expert Parent Workshop

Central to the Expert Training Programme is the Expert Parent Workshop, a modular 4-hour interactive session facilitated by experienced parent trainers that will develop parents’ knowledge and confidence when dealing with the health system. 

The workshop is delivered by parent carers who can share this expertise and insight to parents who are seeking support to get the best out of the health system for their children.  All the skills and confidence building tools are equally transferable to engaging with professionals from any service that families may come across or wish to access.

Parent Trainers

The parent trainers below have been involved with the programme from the beginning and between them deliver training on a national level. Contact them directly if you would like to commission a workshop in your area/organisation.

Anna Gill,

Anna combines a background of being the parent carer of a young man with a life-limiting metabolic condition with the professional experience of nursing babies, children and adults. This has informed her longstanding role as a parent carer rep, consultant and trainer in the world of children and young people with SEND, Long Term Conditions and Palliative Care. She has been delighted with the success of the programme, having been involved in co-writing materials and rolling out the programme as far and wide as possible. Anna has been particularly involved in developing and supporting individuals and teams of parent trainers to ensure long-term sustainability of the programme. Anna is interested in training in the Midlands, East of England, London and the South.

Katie Clarke,

Katie is the co-founder of one of the first parent forums in the country and has worked in the field of parent participation and trained parent carers for over 25 yrs. As well as setting up the charity 1Voice - Communicating Together  she has  established two social enterprises Bringing Us Together  and Visits Unlimited  Katie has lived experience of disability and deep insight into the world of families of disabled children. Her courses are fun, inspiring and informative.  She is mum to 6 young adults two of whom have disabilities, and is the host parent to young refugees from around the world.  Katie is happy to train in the north of England and willing to travel to other areas. 

Liz Dowen,

Liz is the parent carer of a daughter who has a complex medical condition. For eighteen years as a Careers and Connexions Personal Adviser Liz worked directly supporting young people with learning difficulties and disabilities. As a self-employed consultant and trainer, Liz has been involved in the development and delivery of the Expert Parent Programme. Liz covers London and the South West

Rachel Gillet,

Rachel is a parent to 2 children and has a background in education, advice and working with young families and, for the last 10 years, has worked as a trainer, developing and delivering high quality participative training. She has been involved in the development and delivery of the Expert Parent Programme and is currently delivering training for foster carers and adoptive parents, many of whom care for disabled children. Rachel is a self-employed trainer and consultant, working with many organisations, delivering training to both parents and practitioners and is a full member of the Society for Education and Training. She travels throughout the county and is able to deliver workshops in the following regions: Yorkshire and the Humber, North East, North West, East Midlands, West Midlands and London.

Cathy Hamer,

Cathy Hamer has a wealth of personal and professional experience of health services.  As a mum of two she knows the ins and outs of getting the best for her children and is always keen to share her knowledge and experience with other parents. Having worked with families with disabled children and young people for many years, Cathy has an excellent understanding of the challenges that parent carers can face in accessing health services. Cathy is based in the North West but regularly travels round the country to give support and deliver training. Easiest areas for her to access are North West, Yorkshire & Humber, London, West Midlands and North East.

Anna Walker,   

Anna is the parent carer of a 25 year old young woman with a range of complex learning, physical and sensory needs who now lives with support in her own home with her best friends. She is a qualified teacher and counsellor and has spent over 20 years involved in disabled children’s and adults services in a number of different ways from participation work to training and consultancy. She was commissioned by the Council for Disabled children to lead on the development of the original  Expert Parent programme and write the additional modules. In addition to her training and consultancy work, Anna has held a number of public appointments both in a professional and voluntary capacity. She lives in Devon and  travels across the Southwest/ South or further for training.


Expert Parent Trainers

These trainers below are approved CDC Expert Parent Trainers who have been trained to ensure the sustainability of the project regionally, they have all attended the workshop as participants and can now deliver the workshop regionally. Contact them directly to discuss how you/your organisation can work with them to deliver the workshop.


Family Voice

Louise Ravenscroft leads a small team of approved trainers delivering workshops across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire


Kulwinder is Located in and around Luton and happy to carry out training in this area


Beverley is happy to deliver the training to those who wish to receive it in South East England

Grainne Saunders, and Gail Bedding,

Grainne is based in West Sussex and is happy to travel to other areas.  Grainne and Gail deliver on-line workshops for families over two sessions.  They manage the on-line platform and are happy to deliver this to parents anywhere.


Wendy- Anne is based in Moulton Chapel, near Spalding, and is happy to deliver training within an hour travel from this area. 


Lisa is based in Hertfordshire and deliver training in London, South East England and home counties. 


Lesley is the Lead Emotional, Mental Health & Wellbeing at Interact. Lesley is based in Chelmsford Essex and she delivers training throughout Essex, Southend and Thurrock as well as neighbouring borders – Suffolk and Hertfordshire. 


Ruth is a director of Somerset Parent Carer Forum and mum to two boys with additional needs. She is willing to deliver training anywhere within England. 


Richard is based in Somerset and is willing to travel to other areas to deliver training where needed.

Sarah Conboy,

Sarah is part of the Pinpoint team of parent trainers based in Cambridgeshire