CEO Dancing Giraffe CIC
Susan has a vast amount of experience in the third sector. She worked with Royal Mail as both a human resources manager and a disability manager. She has spent the last 15 years working as a consultant in the disabled field, access auditing and advising on many major architectural projects and still continues to do so. She is also a Patron of Limbcare, a charity for people who have lost a limb or limbs through, accident, war or illness.
Susan is a high-profile figure within the regions Third Sector access movement where she has made a vast number of contacts. She joined Dancing Giraffe early in 2011 and has been instrumental in creating and maintaining good practices within our fast growing team. She became CEO on the resignation of the former CEO in September 2012.
I am local to Dancing Giraffe as I live and work in the Essex area, but I do cover the UK as and when needed. My work takes me into all sorts of situations, industries and sectors. I am a business owner and hold a qualification and membership as a HR practitioner. I therefore support business and individuals in respect to employment law. I am also qualified to work within Health & Safety and to deliver training. I am an Assessor for work based learning. I am a PAC (Productivity and Competitiveness Framework) Analyst and look at business performance, lean process operating and efficiencies. I work independently for businesses providing consultancy including advising on matters at a strategic level. I supply and or install systems in order to operate compliance to regulations and law. My other work includes consulting with industry in respect of Customs and Excise and HMRC. I am pleased to join the team at Dancing Giraffe and look to add value and support to the structures in place in order to see the organisation grow from strength to strength.
Fundraising Manager and Dancing Giraffe Researcher
John Mason from Silver End, Essex is one of Dancing Giraffe’s volunteers, working on inputting data to the website and an article researcher. A lifelong sports fanatic, in 1979 aged just 20 John sustained a serious head injury whilst playing football and spent more than eight weeks in a coma followed by eighteen months in rehabilitation. On his return home he was unable to work or play any of the sports he had previously enjoyed.
In the ensuing years, John has been at the forefront of disability sports development in Essex, working with many organisations, organising and taking part in fundraising events and founding the Essex Inclusive Sports Enterprise. John says: ‘I want to make it possible for disabled people to be more in charge of whatever they want to get involved in.’
Forefront Digital Ltd
“ForeFront Digital are a full service digital agency that specialises in Creation, Design, Development and Marketing of websites. Stuart Barnett from ForeFront DIgital says the company is honoured to be a part of the team. ‘I was introduced to Dancing Giraffe at its concept stage by Susan Pattrick, who we had worked with and who was familiar with our knowledge around accessible websites. We really liked the concept and saw the potential, so we offered to donate our time to the project. We are a very local business, and although we work with clients all over the UK, we like to work with local organisations and charities whenever we can.
‘Dancing Giraffe is a highly accessible website, designed and built to accommodate lots of users at different levels, with lots of algorithms that can link information together to make it relevant to individual users. The unique element of this site is that it will relate users to articles based on their interests and ability. We’ve used some quite ground-breaking technology to create a bespoke package that suits the unique needs of Dancing Giraffe and its users.
‘From the outset we have believed that Dancing Giraffe will eventually cater for hundreds of thousands of users and have created something that will grow with the organisation and be as interactive and powerful as they need it to be.’ www.forefrontdigital.co.uk “
Analyst, Statistician and Web Development Programmer
Stephen Bundy is the Google Analytics statistician and has done some web development for Dancing Giraffe. He now does editing of the front page, jobs page and some other pages, and provides website editing support to other volunteers, if and when needed.
He previously worked as a warehouse operative but due to redundancy he was left without a job. His First Class Honours degree in Computing and the Mathematical sciences from the Open University was exactly what Dancing Giraffe were looking for to help them develop the version 3 of their website in September 2013 to January 2014, and he was given the opportunity to develop much needed experience in the field of computer programming. The current site is version 5 with material from Universal Web Design. Version 6 is being worked upon by The Business Community Magazine Group. Version 3 made use of WordPress with the use of plugins and theme code which are the work of independent software developers and together form about 99% of the code. The version 3 home page, header, footer and further website CSS were the work of Stephen.
In 2013, Stephen said “Dancing Giraffe created the ideal starting point for gaining practical experience in computer programming which future employers will be looking for. At the same time it uses my development experience to the benefit of Dancing Giraffe by helping make improvements to version 3 of the website”.
Resource Centre Manager
‘Hi, I’m Jamie. I am currently in the final year of my BSc Psychology course, with plans to continue on to a master’s degree later in the year. As someone who is planning to spend the rest of their working life in the mental health sector in some form or another, I strongly believe that providing information and help to those who require it is an invaluable service. I view Dancing Giraffe as not only an incredible opportunity for personal and professional development, but also as a vital resource for the community which I am incredibly happy to be able to apply myself to.’
‘Living in Wickford the entirety of my 23 years, I have always had a passion for writing leading me to pursue a degree in English Literature.
I have previously worked at an MoD contractor which helped to build my confidence however felt it was time to move on and gain a qualification and editorial experience.
Taking over from the previous content editor, I hope to bring a young perspective and ideas to Dancing Giraffe. I have had first hand experience of the NHS mental health system, as well as my mothers long standing disabilities, and so understand the struggles that face disabled people politically and socially. I hope to begin to bring more awareness to these struggles through my writing, during and after University.
Dancing Giraffe is a great platform not only for my personal and professional experience, but also as a medium through which the wider community can unite and help dispel the taboo around disabilities. I am happy to be a part of the team.’
Trainer and coach Rebecca Winn has enjoyed a successful career developing people in the public and private sectors, specialising in the areas of customer service delivery and personal effectiveness. In 2011 she set up her own training and coaching consultancy, Winnthinking Ltd. (www.winnthinking.co.uk) and around the same time was inspired to become involved with Dancing Giraffe after seeing Susan Pattrick presenting at a business event.
Rebecca says: ‘I thought, “I can’t believe that doesn’t exist already”, so I came home, did some research and realised what an incredible and unique concept Dancing Giraffe was. From my own family’s experiences I knew how much this service was needed and how valuable it could be.’
Rebecca now looks after a range of administrative matters on behalf of the organisation.