1. Where are you from?
I was born at home, with the help of the local midwife in Whitefield. I’m the youngest of five kids of Irish parents.
2. Where did you study?
I went to St Josephs RC High school in Whitefield, it has since been knocked down and houses built on it. I went onto Bury College to do a Diploma in Health and Social Care, I then went to the University of Manchester to study Social Work.
3. Where did you work previously?
I have held various roles over the years, from Tesco to Kendals! I also enjoyed my time working with adults and children with learning disabilities. Once qualified I worked at Lancashire County Council based in Burnley on the Adult Learning Disability Team as a social worker. I then moved to Bolton Council working in a multi disciplinary learning disability team. It was one of the first councils in the country who housed their LD Health and Social Care Teams together. Two years after qualifying as a social worker I became the team leader for the team. Due to reshuffles in the council I eventually ended up managing two locality teams and we worked within the age range of 16 upwards with people who had a disability. I managed all the safeguarding, capacity and DoLs assessments, we worked with local special educational needs school planning transition to adult services for 16 year olds who would require our support in the future.
I then left and began to work at Rehab Without Walls (RWW) as my boys were young and I wanted the flexibility of managing my diary around them. RWW catapulted me in to the world of brain injuries and spinal cord injury and I have never looked backed.
4. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
My dogs needing a wee!
5. What’s an average day look like for you?
- let the dogs out
- boys out to school and college
- off to the office
- ensure all staff are accounted for – I like to know that they are all safe
- emails, usually lots to get through
- off out to visits, this can be anything from a really great settled case that I only have to bob in and out of as and when they need me, or out to a pre-settled case and the person is still in hospital. It is safe to say that no two days are the same! Just how I like it!
6. What’s been the single best moment of your career?
Single oh gosh there has been several! The ones that I am really proud of are:
A young lady who I have been involved with for several years. Early post accident she was just out of school so she was having difficulties understanding her injury, she believed it had not changed her and she went onto place herself in some very risky situations. The was loads of involvement from therapist and the services really struggled to get her to engage with anyone, yet here we are so many years down the road and she is in her own house, in a very settled relationship and has a very beautiful baby. Once upon a time I was seeing this young lady virtually every week, now I bob in out as she needs me or if im passing for a cuddle with baby!
Another case is an elderly gentleman who suffered a brain injury and spinal cord injury as a result of a road traffic accident. I was involved from three months post accident. He spent seven months in hospital and the local authority wanted to place him in an older persons home. I fought and managed to get the CCG to place him in a rehab unit. Eighteen months later I managed to find a rental property and had it adapted to suit his needs. He is now back to living at home with his wife and his children with his grandchildren very close by. He benefits from a 2:1 support package partly funded by the CCG.
7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Married to Tom Hardy on a beach!
Back to reality though! I’d like to think that I am continuing to do what I am doing now, growing AMS Case Management with the fantastic team I have around me today.
8. If you didn’t do this job – what would you do?
Archaeology – I love anything historical and I love nothing more than a damn good bridge! I am in awe of some of the ages of older bridges and try to imagine what work, machinery etc. went into planning and building them. One of my most favourite old bridges is the Ribblehead Viaduct in Ingleton, and the most modern one is, I’m sorry to say, the new Runcorn Bridge!
Find out more about Marie here.