Our team below and our army of volunteers all have one aim in mind, to help our members live a good life and enjoy the opportunities that we offer!
Teresa Harfield, Manager, My Life Opportunities, Standish
Teresa has worked in the care sector for twenty-five years. During this time, she has undertaken a variety of roles, working with people with a range of different needs.
Having begun her career working part time in an EMI unit whilst still at school, Teresa progressed to become a support worker for adults with learning disabilities and then made her way up to Registered Manager status.
Since then, as part of a Learning Disability Team, Teresa has used her vast experience to assist a variety of health professionals within the NHS and now, we are pleased to have her as our My Life Opportunities Manager at our Standish Site!
“My passion is seeing other people achieve and succeed. I feel it is important to have a creative mind and make these things accessible to all. I also enjoy the horticulture and growing aspects of My Life Standish and have real vision for this in the future!”
Amber Hornby, Deputy Manager, My Life Opportunities, Standish
Amber has worked in social care since 2009, starting out within Theatre in Education. After a period of time spent in Youth Work management, Amber undertook a Masters degree and became a Safeguarding Officer, working with young adults with complex disabilities and a variety of health needs.
This inspired Amber to move to Cyprus and Greece, where there is a huge amount of inequality for children and young adults with additional needs. Here, she used her wealth of experience to train staff and build policies.
After returning to the UK and working in a more office-based capacity as a Safeguarding, Compliance and Training Lead, Amber is now delighted to be providing face-to-face support at My Life. Amber says:
“I love working at My Life because every day is different. I get to see how much of a difference we are making by being in the centre of everything, every day!”
Jodie Crompton, Manager, My Life Opportunities, Leigh
After taking part in My Life’s Pathways to Employment course in 2016, Jodie was immediately inspired to become part of the My Life team.
Since then, Jodie has become part of the fabric of My Life, having undertaken many roles within the organisation. As Jodie says:
“I have worked within all departments in some form, which has been invaluable in giving me knowledge of the organisation as a whole and how everything we do fits together.
This has helped me to really understand My Life’s ethos and the story of how the charity has evolved, as well as how we can all continue its work best, to make a better life for everyone in our community.”
A very positive person, with a passion for people and all things travel, Jodie lives in Standish with her partner and cat Will. Jodie also has a twin sister, which as she herself says, means that there is two of her – so that must be how she gets so much done!
Nigel Lyons, Manager, My Life Opportunities, Leigh
Nigel is qualified as a Social Worker and is a former Registered Learning Disability Nurse, dual qualified in 2003. Throughout his career he has mostly worked managing registered complex behavioural care settings.
Nigel is an integral part of My Life, having been with the charity since its very earliest days. After starting as a music facilitator, he went on to lead My Life’s Advocacy service for five years and now manages Leigh’s My Life Opportunities. Nigel is also a key member of My Life’s leadership team.
With a passion for understanding autism and behaviours, Nigel delivers a variety of training for My Life, including practice educating student Social Workers. Nigel says:
“I believe in my work at My Life – we are built on the foundation of improving the experiences of our members through their real community connections. I continue to be inspired because I have seen the seeds first planted develop and grow beyond all our expectations.”
Our workshops and sessions are led by very talented professionals in their fields – Head Chefs, professional artists and crafters, outdoor adventurers who’ve travelled the world, fully qualified mindfulness and yoga teachers and more.
Paul Plumbley, Catering Facilitator
As well as being Head Chef of our Stable Door Café, Paul also leads on all of our catering and hospitality activities.
Having begun his career over thirty years ago after training at St Helens Catering College, Paul has worked in many UK hotels and restaurants, focusing on Lancashire and the Lake District, where he gained a wide knowledge of seasonal food.
Paul has also owned his own local gastro pub, which became well known for its fresh local produce. Prior to joining us, Paul won awards during his ten years catering at Manchester City Football Club, then, as Paul says:
“My life took a turn for the better and I found My Life! So far this has been the most rewarding career opportunity I have had. Here, I can see the joy that cooking can bring to people. I plan to spend many more years at My Life, sharing my catering and hospitality knowledge with all our members and staff.”
Wendy Rowberry, Art Facilitator
A trained art teacher, our immensely talented Art Facilitator Wendy leads on our art activities, all of which are bespoke and tailored to meet a person’s individual needs.
“I have a passion for art and its capacity to instil real change in people’s lives. As well as developing new skills, art can help us to relax, have fun and is a fantastic communication tool. It can be used to find out about what really matters to people: what they enjoy doing and what they want to do.”
Wendy is also My Life’s official Artist in Residence and an Associate Member of Cross Street Arts in Standish. When she is not facilitating our art activities, she spends time creating her own artwork.
Tiffany Whitter, Yoga Facilitator
Our Yoga Facilitator Tiffany is a 200hr IYN approved yoga instructor and has further qualifications in Teen Yoga, Yin Yoga, Yoga for CFS/ME and supporting the Pregnant and Post Natal student.
A very busy person, as well as facilitating our classes here at My Life, Tiffany owns The Den Yoga Studio, provides online classes to bring yoga into people’s homes and teaches yoga to the children at Standish Under Five’s Preschool.
“I’m incredibly passionate about yoga being accessible for everyone. You really get a buzz from seeing the benefits that people receive when you guide them through positive movement, breathwork, meditation and relaxation. It’s a way for them to hold a safe space away from the chaos of everyday life.”
Our members love yoga with Tiffany, and we have to say, we do too!
Louise Southern, Dog Grooming and ‘Doggy Day Care’ Facilitator
After leaving school in 1993, Louise began her career in retail. Having always had a love of dogs, she took a dog grooming course in 2003 and started her successful dog grooming business.
During this time, Louise also supported a young man with complex needs, a job that she found so rewarding, she began working for My Life. Having recognised the benefits dogs can bring to people, Louise introduced her love of dogs and grooming to the charity, becoming our dog grooming and ‘doggy day care’ facilitator.
“I really enjoy my job and get a lot of satisfaction from it, leading the dog walks with My Life members, providing dogs for dog therapy and organising day trips, meals out and mini breaks, as well as continuing to support a young man with complex needs. Coming to work, making a difference to others’ lives and seeing them smile makes my day.”
Janice Rogers, Art Facilitator
After graduating from art college Janice spent 16 years designing surface patterns for the interior design industry.
When patterns became predominantly computerised in the early millennium, Janice switched career and went into teaching, initially at Runshaw College and then Lancashire College, as well as teaching art and design in numerous schools.
Janice has been using her vast experience to teach art at My Life for just over two years, working three days a week with us and spending the rest of her time as a professional artist, selling to collectors all over the world.
Lincoln Yates, Forest School. Workshop and Bush Craft Facilitator
Captivated by outdoor adventure from an early age, Lincoln has spent fifteen years exploring over sixty countries, living with different cultures and learning about their way of life.
During his career, Lincoln has been a textile and sewing machine mechanic, climbing instructor and mountain guide.
He has also owned two companies, one of which became the leader in the travel security products industry after he designed and patented the innovative “Saklock” travel bag security lock.
Voted by the Times as ‘the second-best person to know’ regarding adventure travel, Lincoln is currently writing a book about his adventures.
A Level 3 Forest School practitioner, Lincoln enjoys sharing his passion for the outdoors with My Life’s Day Opportunities members and says:
“From an early age I was engrossed, captivated and excited by the outdoors and adventure, it is a passion, a part of me that will never disperse, fade or become tiring. The wilderness and the outdoors are part of my being and who I am and always will be.”
Tracey Turner, Associate
Tracey is the founder of Birdie and Blossom, a local artisan craft business based in Standish.
As well as working with My Life, Tracey collaborates with other talented makers to produce beautiful products and designs quality workshops.
We are very pleased to have Tracey here to run bespoke craft workshops for our My Life Opportunities members, from needle felting to wire sculpture, free-motion embroidery and painting.
Tracey says: “I believe it is important to share different craft skills and experience the therapeutic benefits of taking time out for yourself to find your creative side.”
Elaine Murphy, Deputy Site Manager
After a long career in food production, Elaine changed direction and spent 18 years working for Wigan Council’s Social Services. She has a wealth of experience supporting adults with learning difficulties, having worked for Wigan’s Children and Young People’s service and also in mental health rehabilitation, supporting adults working towards their recovery.
Elaine joined My Life in September 2019 and, having her own horse and being a breeder of Polish and Silkie chickens, is very at home here at our Standish base! As our Deputy Site Manager, her DIY skills come in very handy. Elaine is also the leader of a community volunteer group that aims to support the environment, so is a great source of information when we’re undertaking our site improvements.
Integral to our team, our support workers work closely with our members to help them get the most out of our fun activities.