Meet the Team

Our Trustees

The Board makes decisions about our strategic direction and is ultimately responsible for the management and conduct of the charity.

Nopic_Staff.jpg

Currently Interim Financial Controller for Japan House London.

Since qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1989 Rosina has worked for an international quarrying & brick company, Lloyds TSB and most recently she was acting Chief Executive for a group of Trade Associations based in the Jewellery Quarter.

 

Rosina has experience as a non-executive director and has worked with various charities.

She is very much looking forward to joining the board to support the work of Options for Life and learning more about the work and the challenges, as well as the successes.

Rosina Singleton

Nicola Thomson.jpg

Nicola joined Options for Life in October 2017, She comes with previous experience in Further Education and Business Support, Private Sector Schools and the NHS. Nicola has had several different roles over the years and has always worked with young people, adults and local communities. Nicola’s previous role was “Head of Operations” here at Options for Life. Nicola had overall responsibility for ensuring the effective management and delivery of the hubs by ensuring all business deliverables were completed to a consistently high standard, within budget, to agreed success criteria, and delivered the expected business benefits.

Nicola is a dedicated and passionate individual and will work hard towards creating positive changes for adults with learning disabilities and /or autism.

“By involving our participants in the development and delivery of our services we want to ensure we continually meet their needs but also exceed these. This will provide empowerment, personal development and opportunities in the local community and beyond”.

Nicola is excited by the opportunity to further grow and develop Options for Life into an innovative and responsive organisation providing excellent services.

Nicola Thomson

CEO

Lesley Shorthouse.jpg

Lesley joined Options for life in 2017.  She has worked in the voluntary sector for over 25 years.  Lesley previously worked in community development supporting local charities and community groups to develop, grow and sustain their activities.

Lesley wants to ensure that the high quality service delivered at Options for Life not only continues but grows and develops with the input from participants, staff and volunteers.  Lesley is our CQC Nominated Individual.

Lesley Shorthouse

Head of Operations

Louise Elliot.jpg

Louise is the Support Team Manager for the Ashes. Louise joined Options for Life in January 2014 as a support Worker and has moved up to Assistant Team Manager and then subsequently to Support Team Manager.

 

Louise loves her job and is passionate about making sure the participants have a fun and interesting schedule based on their individual interests. Louise enjoys going to the theatre and is an avid animal lover.

Louise Elliot

Support Team Manager,

Oak Green Lodge

Sarah Verrecchia.jpg

Sarah joined Options for Life in January 2022. Her previous job was as Business Manager where she worked for sixteen years in a local primary school.

 

Sarah has also worked for an outdoor advertising agency as Office Manager/Personal Assistant to the Regional Director and Development Manager.

In her spare time Sarah enjoys keeping fit and meeting friends for long walks in the countryside.

Sarah Verrecchia

Senior Admin Officer

Nopic_Staff.jpg

TBC

Vacancy

Service Delivery Manager

Alan Daffern.JPG

Alan used to work with people with a learning disability in a variety of roles before retirement. He joined the Board at its inception in 1988.

 

Alan used to work as a Lay Assessor alongside Birmingham Social Services Inspection unit, inspecting residential homes in the city.

Alan Daffern

Our Senior Leadership Team

David Smith.jpg

David oversees the financial control of the organisation and will let our trustees and managers know current and projected levels of expenditure and income and the level of our bank balances.

 

David is relatively new to Options For Life, he joined in August 2019 but he has been an accountant for over 30 years largely with local councils. He likes to stay active and enjoys running and cycling and attending music concerts.

David Smith

Head of Finance

Central and Middle Management Team

Clare Hudson.jpg

Clare is a Support Team Manager and currently works at Oak Green Lodge and Woman Zone. Clare started working at Options for Life in 2012. Clare really enjoys the variety of her job as with so many participants no two days are the same.

 

Clare champions Positive Behaviour Support coaching and is passionate about sharing her skills with other managers and staff . In her spare time Clare enjoys musical theatre and all things Italian, so far she has been lucky enough to visit Florence, Rome and Venice. However, she says that it would take too long to list all the musicals she has been to see as it must be well over 50.

Clare Hudson

Support Team Manager,

The Ashes

Head Office

Simon Williams.JPG

Simon is our Finance Officer and joined Options for Life in October 2000. His previous experience was in the retail sector managing a large team covering the Midlands.

 

Options for Life gave Simon a total career change and he has never looked back. Simons tasks include sending customer invoices, paying supplier bills and most importantly staff wages.

 

Away from work Simon enjoys walking in the countryside and wants to explore all parts of Britain with his wife and children.

Simon Williams

Finance Officer

Maruf Ahmed.jpg

Maruf is the Fundraising and Communications Officer at OFL and joined the team in April 2021. He has vast fundraising experience, and now he wants to leverage his skills to fundraise for OFL participants.

 

He is also involved with the marketing strategies of OFL. In addition, Maruf loves to visit places with his family to explore the natural beauty of the United Kingdom. He likes to read books, listen to music and watch movies.

Maruf Ahmed

Fundraising and Communications Officer

Jeorgia Nasser.jpg

Jeorgia works as the HR admin assistant, she really enjoys working at Options for Life and started here in 2017.

 

She also works on reception where she enjoys greeting participants, parents/ carers, and visitors. Jeorgia loves shopping, going to concerts and planning her next holiday in the sun!

Jeorgia Nasser

Human Resource Admin Assistant/Receptionist

Rashid Nasser.jpg

Nassa works as our maintenance person. He started working at Options for Life in June 2020. You will find him working at one of our four hubs, either painting, decorating, plumbing or working on the general upkeep of the buildings.

 

Nassa has 25+ years’ experience carrying out maintenance work and repairs and has worked for a number of other large organisations. He enjoys a good cup of coffee, going on sunny holidays and a trip to Screwfix!

Rashid Nasser

Maintenance Person

Tom Peel.jpg

Tom is our Music Support Worker, he organises the OFL Choir, Radio and Music Sessions.

 

Tom has been working for OFL for the last 4 years and says his highlight has been the designing and building of several pieces of sensory equipment. This was possible through funding from The Post Code Lottery and collaboration with Joe Welden, Matthew Evans and FabLab West Bromwich. Tom also runs Overhear Ltd a mobile app that geotags poetry to places in the West Midlands.

Tom Peel

Music Project Worker

Debbie White.JPG

Debbie used to work for a local authority before retiring in 2003. Prior to that she trained as a teacher and spent five years working in the voluntary sector with people with learning disabilities.

 

Debbie joined the Board of Trustees in 1994 and became a Director in 2000.

Debbie White

Mandy is the Support Team Manager at Acorn Lodge, which is for participants with PMLD - complex needs (Profound and Multiple Learning disabilities).  Mandy has worked at Options for Life since 1997 and during that time has worked at every hub.

 

Mandy returned to Acorn Lodge in December 2017, the hub has changed considerably in that time with the introduction of the new “Zone” which offers a range of sensory experiences for participants.

 

Mandy loves nothing more than to go out for meals and has a strong passion for football (mentioning no teams). Mandy fostered a young boy and later adopted him, Mandy’s son Wayne is fun, loving and autistic, which makes him the fantastic man he has now become. Mandy is our CQC Registered Manager.

Mandy Critch

Support Team Manager,

Acorn Lodge

Mandy Critch.jpg
Harriet Moat.JPG

Harriet was appointed as a trustee in 2012 and became a co-chair in 2018. Harriet spent almost 20 years working as a solicitor, with the last four of those as a partner in a legal firm. In 2009 she decided to change career and has built up a small portfolio of houses for private rental.

Harriet has a lot of voluntary sector experience, including Birmingham CHC, Birmingham West NCT and Birmingham Women’s Hospital. She has also undertaken clinical governance inspections of large NHS organisations and has provided lay support to Birmingham Children’s Hospital board with risk management.

Harriet Moat

Amrit Virk.png

Amrit was appointed as Vice Chair to the Board in 2022. Having grown up in Sandwell, Amrit is passionate to support local charities thrive within the community.  Amrit has over 15 years’ experience in Further Education providing services to Young People and Adults with learning difficulties.  

 

In 2017, Amrit was nominated as Staff Governor at Burton & South Derbyshire College and is currently active as a Director of Curriculum. He works with local Health & Social Care agencies to increase the awareness of both physical and mental disabilities to positively influence attitudes towards disability inclusivity. More recently, he is involved in delivering the National Disability Strategy, enabling young people with special education needs or disability to sustained employment.   

 

In addition, Amrit also manages a family-owned commercial & residential property business in Sandwell. He leads on providing emergency social housing to members of the community in need, collaborating with agencies such as the local authority, housing charities & probation service.  

Amrit Virk

Craig Griffiths.jpg

Craig started with Options For Life in December 2021 . Craig has joined as a Support Team Manager, and enjoys working alongside people. Craig has an extensive career working in care and has worked with people with different abilities and needs.

 

Craig is passionate about making a difference to people’s lives and enjoys making a positive difference. Craig also has a personal experience of how caring for someone makes a positive difference in people’s lives, and strives to pass this on through his work.

Craig Griffiths

Support Team Manager, Ocker Hill

Vicky Collins.jpg

Vicky joined Options for Life in 2012 after having spent 19 years with a local authority (Sandwell Council).

During this time she has remained part of the reception team in addition to providing administrative support firstly to Oak Green Services and more recently the Facilities and Maintenance team.

Facilities and Maintenance is a completely different role for Vicky, she enjoys the variety of work involved and is finding that she’s learning new tasks every day!

Outside of work Vicky enjoys shopping, meeting up with friends and is currently deciding on where to book a City break.

Vicky Collins

Facilities and Maintenance Admin Assistant/Receptionist