Our Staff

Leise Cooper – Parent Support Manager
Leise was involved in setting up Angels in 2003 and has been managing our services ever since. She has a BSc in Applied Psychology and Sociology and a Certificate of Higher Education in Autism (Children), as well as a Level 3 diploma in Working with Parents. She has been a school governor for seven years and has been a passionate advocate for improving services for children with autism and ADHD in Hertfordshire for 15 years, as part of the Herts All Age Autism Board and Herts Parent Carer Involvement. She is the Safeguarding lead for Angels. Leise has two sons with Autism and ADHD, one of whom additionally has a severe learning disability and epilepsy, and she has been assessed as being on the autistic spectrum herself

Leise is the Designated Person responsible for Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults

Kirsten Bennet

Kirsten Bennet – Meetings Supervisor and Specialist Support Practitioner
Kirsten became a member of Angels in 2009. She went on to become a trustee in 2010. Then in 2011 she started working for Angels as an Administrator and Meetings Supervisor. Since then she has completed various training courses through The Money Advice Unit around benefits, Safeguarding Adults and Children courses and is a licensed facilitator with Care for the Family this enables her to run parenting courses and facilitate support groups. She is also a qualified first aider. She has just recently completed a Reducing Parental Conflict course through Herts County Council. She has completed a Level 2 IPSEA online course around SEN law, as well as an online course from the British Safety Council on Health and Safety. As of 2019 Kirsten has also joined the One to One service supporting parents outside of our support groups. Kirsten has a son who is diagnosed with ADHD and Autism.

Penny Howarth – Specialist Support Practitioner

Penny Howarth – Specialist Support Practitioner
Penny joined Angels in 2006 and began working as a specialist support worker in 2009. Penny has qualified as an ASD/ADHD coach and has qualifications in Understanding Autism, Asperger’s and ADHD from the University of Derbyshire. Penny has also done the IPSEA foundation in SEN law, Safeguarding adults and children, is a licensed facilitator with Care for the Family, has completed the Open University course in Understanding the Autism Spectrum. She is also a trained Mental Health First Aider as well as having completed Sleep Training and Reducing Parental Conflict Training. Penny is also currently doing a course on understanding ADHD through King’s College, London. Penny has a son diagnosed with ASD, ADHD, Tourette’s, learning disability, severe anxiety and eating and sleeping difficulties. Penny also has three grandchildren of which one is currently going through the diagnosis process.

Raine Simcox – Finance Manager

Raine Simcox – Finance Manager

Caroline Upcraft – Administrator
Caroline joined the Angels team in July 2020 and is our newest member of the team. Caroline has a Level 2 Qualification in Understanding Autism and has recently completed training in Safeguarding Adults . Caroline also works with the charity Homestart, where she has been trained in Safeguarding Children, Perinatal Mental Health Awareness and Protective Behaviours and currently volunteers with them as a Parent Mentor supporting families with young children.  Caroline has also completed the Family Lives course on Bringing Up Confident Children for Parents of Children with ASD/ADHD. Caroline has 3 children, 2 sons and a daughter. Caroline’s eldest son is diagnosed with Autism, ADHD, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Sensory Processing Disorder, hyper mobile joints and has difficulties around anxiety and compulsive behaviour.

Our Trustees

Louise Slater

Louise Slater – Chair

Louise is a scientist in the pharmaceutical industry working on the development of new treatments for rare diseases. She has been involved with Angels organising committee, initially as a Trustee and then as the Chair of the charity for the last 10 years.  Her goal is to oversee the team, and make sure that everyone’s voice is heard, to make sure that the charity reflects and meets the needs of its members.

Contact : chair@angelssupportgroup.org.uk

Hilary Forrester - Secretary

Hilary Forrester – Secretary
Hilary has been a member of Angels Support Group since 2007 and took over the role as Secretary in 2014.  She has a Diploma in Health and Social Care from the Open University and a BSc (Hons) in Natural Sciences.  Hilary has worked as Secretary to the Board of Science and Education, and Senior Policy Executive for Equality and Diversity at the British Medical Association and is currently a School Administrator and Librarian.  Hilary has eight years experience as a school governor including as Vice Chair, Inclusion link governor and Clerk across four schools in Hertfordshire.  Hilary has two sons, the eldest has Asperger Syndrome.

Hilary is the Trustee with responsibility for Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults

Judith Russell

John Skeeles – Treasurer

John is a Chartered Accountant, who has recently retired from his own practice. Before setting it up, he commuted to London for many years, working for various commercial companies. He is active in the local community, especially as a member of St Mark’s Church, Hitchin, and Treasurer of Hitchin Historical Society.

Judith Russell

Justin Richards

Rowena Crabtree
Rowena is a Director of a business consultancy, based locally, but operating internationally. She has experience of leadership, marketing, business strategy and vision & mission development.

Judith Russell

Dr Kemi Adejare
Kemi is a Consultant Community Paediatrician in the East and North Herts NHS Trust, with a special interest in autism and ADHD.