Working alongside colleagues from Family Lives, our team of programme workers lead on Relative Experience's outreach work.  Meet them below, and find out who to contact in your area.

Dawn Jenkins – Programme Manager
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Dawn is based in our Newcastle office, and manages our Relative Experience North East; Supporting Kinship Carers, Supporting Kinship Children (Teesside); and Raised by Relatives programmes.  She joined Grandparents Plus in 2014 and has comprehensive experience of supporting children, young people and their families from roles in the education, voluntary and statutory sectors.  Dawn is a qualified social worker and has worked in frontline children’s services teams in the Northumberland and Newcastle areas.  Dawn currently sits on the service user involvement committee at Northumbria University and has delivered workshops to undergraduate and postgraduate Social Work students around kinship care.

Ray Blythe – Tyne & Wear, Northumberland
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Ray has worked within both statutory and voluntary sectors, with families and children for over 10 years. She has worked in a number of roles including mentor, advocate and mediator for three different charities and in two different local authorities. Ray is a school governor with three children.

Darren McGlen – Teesside, South Durham, Darlington
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Darren has worked in the community sector for the past 12 years having previously worked in various roles within the NHS.  He has a vast experience working with young people and their families, those with disabilities, behavioural problems as well as those involved in the criminal justice system.  Darren is a parent of two as well as a qualified foster carer.

Mari Dilworth – Teesside
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Mari is a Project Worker for the Relative Experience project  in the Middlesbrough area. Mari has 16 years’ experience as a Youth and Community Worker and 26 years’ experience in the further education sector as a lecturer in counseling, health and social care and as a Manager of Foundation Learning. She has a wealth of experience of working to support adults and young people promoting self-esteem and self-advocacy in the Teesside Area. She has two adult children and three grandchildren and plays an active part in their lives.

Ancha Stoodley – Tyne & Wear, Northumberland, North Durham
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Ancha previously spent five years as a Parenting Worker for Northumberland Youth Offending Service, supporting families where a young person had committed an offence.  She also has extensive experience in the drug and alcohol field, spending six years as part of the Therapeutic Care team at Phoenix House residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in South Shields, and a further three years' experience working in drug and alcohol services in Worcestershire and Birmingham. Ancha holds a BA (Hons) in Sociology and is passionate about volunteering and working with families. She has two children.

Yvonne Brown – Programmes Coordinator
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Yvonne brings to the project over 30 years’ experience of PA and administrative positions within Newcastle Social Services, including management roles. Yvonne has experience of fostering and has one daughter.