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Senior Leadership Team


Nicola Thomson (Business Support Manager)

Nicola Thomson (CEO)

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 (Business Support Manager)

Lesley Shorthouse (Head of Operations)

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

Lesley wants 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. 





Nicola Thomson (Business Support Manager)

David Smith (Head of Finance)

David joined Options For Life in August 2019. This is his first role working for a provider in the charitable sector having previously spent his entire working career in local government.

He recognises that these are challenging times and money and funding will continue to be tight but he wants to help continue the success and ensure the on-going financial stability of the organisation.