Here are some of our team members at PCAS
These people are part of the team that keeps PCAS going from strength to strength, they are “Here when you need them”
Simon Arthur – Service Manager
Hello, everyone, my name is Simon Arthur, I am a physically disabled person following an accident at work in 1991. This was a very difficult period in my life as I had to come to terms with my disability, had numerous operations, lost my job, lost my HGV licence which I had only just got, had to go onto benefits and became very depressed with my life.
After 2 years of this, my wife contacted social services who came out and plans were put in place for me to start at The Grange Day Centre in Shrewsbury. I started in 1993 and became involved with setting up Shrewsbury Dial-A-Ride, this was a voluntary role, and after about 18 months I came up with an idea for an Advocacy service to help and support people with disabilities (as I knew how difficult it was to get the right help for myself) anyway Shropshire Peer Counselling & Advocacy Service was born in 1995 and I worked as a volunteer for 7 years, before being offered the opportunity to become the paid manager.
I have been with PCAS for over 20 years now. My job is to ensure PCAS is run properly, I support the staff, I also work with clients, I do staff supervision, reports for our funders, arrange the training for staff, I keep all the policies up to date, pay invoices, raise the funds to keep PCAS open, in fact, I do pretty well anything the charity needs doing. I do have some very good help from Alli, my administrator she is a whizz at doing the database and graphs and all evaluation for our funders. I am passionate about helping people to have a better quality of life with our support.
Alli Arthur – Evaluation Administration
Alli started with PCAS in 2011, she is a major cog in the working of PCAS because she does all the designing of our databases, financial sheets and provides graphs and information for our funders and trustees as well as doing the annual report, and keeps the workers on their toes making sure all paperwork is correctly filled in and gets to the office on time. Alli also does a lot of work in preparing reports and graphs for our funders, she is so good on computers helping everyone else to do their work on the computer.
Alli also does the lunch at our trustees’ meetings and our AGM. Alli is the first point of contact for PCAS, so if you need an advocate to help and phone the office it will probably be Alli who takes all the details so we can contact you to see how we can help.
Glenda Crawshaw – Assistant Manager
I started working for PCAS back in 2009, having previously worked for Wrexham BC. It was an ambition of mine to become an advocate, and it was absolutely the right choice for me. I feel comfortable in my role, having gained a lot of knowledge over the years working with vulnerable people. I have such a passion for supporting and speaking up for disabled people, and nothing pleases me more than seeing someone I have supported moving on with their life. It can sometimes be a very challenging role, but with the support of everyone involved with our small charity, we get the job done for our clients.
I have recently been promoted to Assistant Manager, which I am very proud of, and hopefully, this means that I can take some of the pressure off my Manager. We have a wonderful team at PCAS and are all so committed to our roles, and believe that this shows through in our results.
Some may know that I am also a farmer’s wife, and this is a welcome distraction from my “other” job at PCAS. It has been known for me to return home after a stressful day to jump on the quad bike and go and have a thrash about to relieve my stress levels. It works!
I enjoy my garden, socialising with friends, and on a weekend you will find me either in my garden with our two cheeky cairn terriers or walking some of the wonderful walks in my area or helping out on the family farm, especially at lambing time!
Judith Webster – Shropshire Advocate
Judith joined PCAS in late 2014. This was her first time as an advocate. She has a wealth of experience helping people under stress. Having taken early retirement from local government in 2006 as the Housing Options Manager, where she had spent nearly 20 years helping homeless households she moved to Shrewsbury to be near her son and his family. She has a daughter in Australia and two “Ozzie” grandsons.
When she first moved to Shropshire, she worked as an activities assistant in a retirement home in Bridgnorth and volunteered as an advisor with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. She worked also part time at Shropshire Council. In 2013 she qualified as a counsellor and went on to volunteer in this role with the NHS, MIND, Age Uk and Aquarius, an organisation supporting those with alcohol-related difficulties.
She has always been passionate about helping people in difficulties, and when she first started with PCAS she was shocked about the number of people who had no support or help in the community. She enjoys working with the other agencies in order to achieve a stress-free lifestyle for her clients.
Judith enjoys amateur dramatics and has appeared in several plays in Shrewsbury. She also loves gardening and cooking. Her terraced garden reaches the banks of the Severn, which is her delight. She is threatening to buy a small boat!
Ann Shaw – Telford Advocate
Ann has recently retired from a long career with West Mercia Police. The last 8 years were spent working with vulnerable people (including those living with disabilities) who had experienced Hate Crime and may have had issues reporting this to the police.
She is a Dementia Champion and has worked with both Shropshire and Telford Dementia Action Alliances. She has been instrumental in bringing the Safe Places initiative to Shropshire. This is a scheme that provides short-term safe havens for anyone who may be vulnerable when out in the community. It provides reassurance for individuals, carers and relatives when loved ones are out independently.
Ann believes that everyone should have a voice when it comes to managing their lives and will work to ensure that her clients’ needs are met to their satisfaction.
Jackie Copson – Advocate
I joined the PCAS team in February 2017 having recently retired from a long and rewarding career with the NHS as a Nurse and Midwife.
I find it immensely rewarding working with clients and helping them to overcome issues that are holding them back from leading a more independent and fulfilling life. I have found that almost without exception, the clients are incredibly grateful for an advocate’s support, telling me things like: ‘I have waited so long for someone like you’ and on more than one occasion: ‘Thank you, what would I have done without you?’
This has made me reflect that most of us take our ability to self-advocate for granted and that I feel very privileged to be working in such a trusted position. The challenge though is to empower and encourage self-advocacy wherever possible and not reliance or dependency in the long term.
Though I have brought with me many transferable skills from my previous role, I have much to learn and I am enjoying doing so alongside my clients and no one expects me to be the font of all knowledge, but that is all part of the role, if I don’t know, I will find the answer.
Our monthly team meetings are invaluable, enabling us to share experiences and knowledge in order to support our clients. I enjoy the autonomy of my role but feel reassured by the support of an experienced Manager and other team members.
I have recently joined PCAS as an Independent Advocate (March 2017) supporting people within Telford & Wrekin.
My previous employment spanned over 22 years working within Social Care for Telford & Wrekin Council initially as a Finance Officer then, Social Care Officer and more recently as Reviewing Officer. I have a wealth of experience working with vulnerable people.
I decided I quite liked the idea of taking life a little easier and ended my employment with T & W, however after 3 months realised being a ‘lady of leisure’ wasn’t for me as I missed working and supporting people and was very excited to be offered a position as an advocate with PCAS.
My interests are spending time with family and enjoying high days and holidays