The Assist is run on a day to day basis by the CEO, Richard Ward, who is ably supported by Operation Managers Lucy Graver, Trish Chapman and Leah Crook and by the Office Manager, Tonie Thomas.

The in-house Social Worker at Assist is Alison Bilton-Hill, who undertakes the following roles:

  • Safeguarding lead
  • Personal Outcome Planning lead
  • Volunteer co-ordinator and on-site supervisor forĀ  Social Work students on placement

Michelle Clarke has the role of in-house Occupational Therapist at the Trust and together with Roger Bilton-Hill (the Supported Employment lead) she helped to develop the new travel scheme, alongside other employment related frameworks.

All day to day duties and responsibilities are overseen by the Assist Trust Board of Trustees who meet to discuss all pertinent issues on a monthly basis (see further details on the Trustees page).


At the moment, Assist employs a total of 30 staff, in a variety of capacities, including Keyworkers (who act as a point of contact for the members and their support network), Support Workers and One to One Workers. All frontline staff at Assist are qualified to level 2 standards in care or above, and many individuals undertake extra training to enhance additional roles that they have undertaken. These roles include:

  • Job coaching
  • Travel Training
  • Housing support
  • Health & Safety responsibilities
  • Communication co-ordinating

All staff working regularly with the members receive regular training in areas such as first aid, safeguarding and food hygiene as appropriate, and 5 days are set aside each year for all staff to engage in training provided in subjects such as:

  • Mental Capacity and the rights of the individual
  • Dealing with aggressive behaviour
  • Keyworking
  • Professional Boundaries
  • Communication
  • Autism and aspergers
  • Risk assessment
  • Epilepsy awareness
  • Etc.

At any one time, Assist will engage a number of volunteers to work alongside their experienced staff team, in all sorts of groups and activities. These arrangements often prove to be beneficial for all concerned as the members are supported more thoroughly and the volunteers themselves gain valuable experience in the world of care and support.