Meet the Team
James Allen – Managing Director James is responsible for the development of a range of specialist residential services for people with learning disabilities across the UK….. Since joining Consensus in 2006 James has overseen the opening of over 15 new services and played a leading role in seven major acquisitions. James’ 20 years of experience in the health and social care sector includes senior level roles with both providers and commissioners. James began his career working in local government, before moving into the NHS where he worked for a London Regional Health Authority, managed a hospital closure programme and subsequently managed community based learning disability services for Bedford and Shires NHS Trust. Following on from this role, James worked for Bedford and Luton NHS Trust, initially as an Associate Director of Mental Health. From this position James was promoted to Operations Director where he was responsible for the operational management of all Trust community and hospital based services, including Mental Health, Learning Disability, and Older Adults. Before joining Consensus James was also Operations and Development Director for an independent care provider. In this role he led the expansion of supported living services across the North West and the Midlands. James’ commitment and dedication to his role can be seen in the increase from 200 to nearly 600 beds at Consensus and the recruitment of a full Development Team. His drive to constantly develop new services is based on his belief that organisations such as Consensus can make a huge difference to people by enabling them to live full and active lives within their communities. James is passionate about identifying gaps in support for people with complex needs so that Consensus can work together with local authorities to ensure the highest standards of support across the UK.
Mike Ranson- Director of Development & Partnerships Working closely with the Senior Leadership Team, Mike leads on the development of innovative models, continuing Consensus’ commitment to investing in new services and improving service provision. He has extensive knowledge and experience of the area and is passionate about enabling the people Consensus supports to benefit from choice, opportunity and success. Before to joining Consensus, Mike worked as a Commissioning Development Manager and Procurement Lead for a large County Council and NHS Learning Disability Partnership. In this role Mike gained an in-depth understanding into commissioning priorities, needs and processes. Developing specific expertise in designing and developing services to meet particular needs, Mike led the organisation to diversify and deliver efficiencies in working practice. Prior to this role Mike was a Placement Negotiation Manager for a County Council, where he worked with commissioners to ensure individuals with support needs could access specialist services. Mike’s proudest achievement was designing and delivering a unique accommodation and support solution for young people with learning disabilities aged between 14 and 25. Working closely with the local authority, Mike designed a service that enables young people to achieve positive outcomes during this difficult transitional time. In his spare time Mike enjoys playing golf, walking his dog and DIY.
Simon Dimitrije Kezic
Simon Kezic- Business Development Director- Wales & The Borders Joining Consensus in June 2007, Simon’s role focuses on developing and building service provision across Wales and the Borders….. He has achieved much at Consensus, including securing the shortlisting of the new Ty Hendy service for the prestigious Pinders Awards and a nomination for innovative service at Ty Hendy at the National Dementia Care Awards. Simon has 26 years’ experience in the social care sector, beginning his career as a residential social worker for people with cerebral palsy. He built on this initial experience at the Autistic Society and later joined Humberside Social Services Mental Health Team in Bridlington. Simon subsequently joined a large independent care provider and successfully managed a number of homes for the group. He then moved into roles with responsibility for multiple care homes at a similarly large care provider, first as Deputy Chief Executive before being promoted to Chief Executive. Before joining Consensus, Simon was the Service Manager for Learning Disabilities at Cardiff County Council’s Adult Services team, managing a budget of £28 million. From his specialist experience in learning disabilities and mental health Simon has gained the skills necessary to provide high quality care for all of Consensus’ residents. He has worked to build the profile of the excellent work that Consensus does across Wales. He is keen to use research to ensure that care homes fit with the local community, forming partnerships with local stakeholders to ensure the very best support is provided at the right locations. A passionate Cardiff City fan, Simon also enjoys rugby union, horse-riding, walking dogs and cooking.
Bernie Middlehurst – Referrals Manager Bernie is one of two Referrals Negotiators who ensure the people Consensus supports receive the right specialist assistance to develop greater independence and lead fulfilling lives….. Bernie joined Consensus in February 2012, following nearly 30 years in the social care sector. During this time, he has worked in a wide variety of local authority social care practitioner and management roles. After graduating from Warwick University with a degree in Economics and Politics, Bernie trained as a social worker, securing a training contract with Buckinghamshire County Council and completing his combined social work studies and a Masters Degree at the London School of Economics. Bernie’s passion for delivering outstanding support was inspired by a year he spent working as a Community Service Volunteer at a long-stay psychiatric hospital in the North West. It was this experience that helped to shape Bernie’s commitment to ensuring individuals with learning disabilities and mental health problems should receive positive and compassionate support. Following a number of years working directly with people living with learning disabilities and mental health problems, Bernie took on his first management role, creating two new day services: for young adults with mental health problems and for older people with dementia. As a result of his outstanding work Bernie subsequently took on a strategic role developing and commissioning mental health services at Bedfordshire County Council and Luton Borough Council. Prior to joining Consensus, Bernie was the Strategic Commissioning Manager for Learning Disability Services at the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, where amongst many other responsibilities, he led on the development of new, more flexible, supported living arrangements to enable individuals with learning disabilities to achieve greater independence. Bernie’s extensive experience and dedication to tailored support have enabled him to make an outstanding contribution to ensuring Consensus delivers positive outcomes to the people we support.
Rob Tooze – Head of Operations for the South West and Wales Rob is Head of Operations for the South West and Wales for Consensus Support Services. In this role, he manages enquiries, referrals and admissions and ensures the specialist support provided is informed by the latest research, information and advice. With over 28 years’ experience in the health and social care sector, Rob brings a wealth of knowledge to his role. This extensive track record, ranging from nursing practice to regional management, informs Rob’s approach to each aspect of his role as Head of Operations in this region. Qualifying as a Registered Nurse for people with Learning Disabilities (RNLD) in 1990, Rob subsequently worked as a Service Manager and an Area Manager for a large not-for-profit care provider. He then moved to work with another provider covering the South West and Wales before joining Consensus Support Services in 2008. Rob is proud to work for Consensus, helping the company continually build on high standards and ensure each individual receives tailored support that enables them to achieve positive outcomes. Rob enjoys the variety of responsibilities that come with his role and the strong sense of team work which is fostered at the organisation. In his spare time Rob enjoys spending quality time with his children, walking his dogs and learning to play the banjo.
Janice Peskett – Head of Operations – Midlands East Janice is Head of Operations for the East Midlands area at Consensus Support Services. In this role, Janice provides operational and strategic direction for Consensus, delivering strong leadership and ensuring that the highest quality of support is provided at services across the region. Working to ensure the delivery of fully informed specialist support, she manages referrals and admissions and is always on hand to respond to the needs of the people Consensus supports in the East Midlands region. Janice has over 18 years of experience in the social care sector, starting her career as a Cadet Nurse in Whiston Hospital, Merseyside where she supported patients with a variety of healthcare needs. This early experience inspired her to move into working in residential care. After successful spells managing two different services in Northamptonshire, Janice took on a Group Manager role where she played a lead role in the creation of a specialist service for adults with learning disabilities in the county. During her time at Consensus Janice has also worked as a Regional Manager. This role extended her involvement in the leadership of Consensus and gave her the responsibility of ensuring regional compliance with organisational policies and requirements as well as national standards. From her experience in managing support services and through her constant focus on quality of life, Janice ensures that individuals Consensus supports are enabled to achieve positive outcomes and make their own choices. Janice works closely with the Consensus Senior Leadership Team to enable support services continually build on our high standards and give the individuals supported every opportunity to play active and meaningful roles in the communities they are a part of.
Julie Bendelow- Head of Operations – South Julie is Head of Operations for Consensus South Services. A commitment to ensuring that the people Consensus supports lead independent and meaningful lives informs every strategic and operational decision Julie takes…… With over 26 years’ experience of successfully managing change and development across the NHS, voluntary and commercial sectors, Julie brings a wealth of experience to her role at Consensus. In 1986 she qualified as a Registered Nurse and began her career at East Berkshire NHS Trust. Building on her knowledge and experience, she set up and managed a service for six people with complex support needs in East Gloucestershire. It was this experience that led to Julie’s commitment to quality services that recognise each person’s right to direct their lifestyle. Julie subsequently worked at Hft, a national charity which provides local support services for people with learning disabilities. Julie was Project Director at Hft and responsible for the £3m budget for a new development. In this role she continued to develop her passion for person centred services that support people to develop greater independence. Julie joined Consensus in 2009 as a Project Director and became Head of Operations for Consensus South Services in 2010. In the last two years her focus has been on providing operational and strategic direction and taking executive responsibility for designated strategic business units. Julie’s whole approach is underpinned by her commitment to the quality services that Consensus delivers. A big fan of motor sports, Julie also enjoys travelling around Europe, learning conversational Spanish and spending time with her family.
Mark Dyson – Head of Partnerships and Development Mark joined Consensus in June 2007 as Head of Partnerships and Development. Mark is responsible for Consensus’ vital relationships with the NHS and PCT commissioners….. He works hard to find creative and cost effective solutions, ensuring that Consensus is able to provide superb care for the people we support. Mark works with Consensus’ strategic partners in order to develop a range of bespoke residential and supportive care solutions that help provide the very best care for those that need it. Mark has a total of 17 years’ experience in the learning disability, and social care sectors. Throughout this time he has held a number of roles, including managerial roles, and as a Director in the NHS and for both the not for profit and the private sectors. Mark is proud of the first class support services he has worked to create at Consensus. He takes enormous satisfaction when residents tell him that they love living in the homes he has worked hard to provide – though seeing a person develop and ‘move on’ he believes is even better. A keen runner, though he may not be as fast as he used to be, Mark still competes and is a UK athletics running coach. When he is not running or acting as Head of Partnerships and Development, Mark takes an active interest in leadership development, helping to facilitate the Leadership Trust Foundation’s international programmes in the Middle East and Asia.
Ray Godwin – Head of Partnerships – North Ray Godwin is Head of Partnerships (North) for Consensus, his role is to design and project manage new developments and services across the region…… Ray qualified as a Social Worker back in 1995, since then he qualified as an Approved Mental Health Practitioner, and for 10 years he managed a busy team of specialist Learning Disability Social Workers in a Greater Manchester borough. Ray, who joined Consensus in 2009, brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge that he is using to shape plans for new developments in part of the country where the Consensus brand has yet to become established. Ray is passionate about the work he does and is equally passionate about making a positive difference to the lives of the people he supports. As well as being Head of Partnerships (North) for Consensus, Ray is also Director of Operations and Development for Kingarth Ltd; a company which works in partnership with Consensus to deliver highly specialist and innovative services for people with learning disabilities who have been detained in hospital. Ray is excited about the future and is looking forward to delivering more new services across the region. In his spare time, Ray is a singer/songwriter and although he is based in Lancashire, strangely enough both Consensus and the record label KM Records to which he is signed are based many miles south in Colchester. Ray, who studied performing arts after leaving school has been making music since the mid-eighties; recent works with his band The Dandelion Clocks, include a collaboration with Manchester City Football Club which can be downloaded from iTunes. He is currently writing a new album, however given the ambitious plans he already has to develop new services, he says he’s unsure as to when it will be ready for release.
Kathryn Clarke – Head of Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) services Kathryn joined the company as the Catering Manager in 1983, Kathryn worked in a variety of managerial positions before taking over as General Manager in 1997, then Head of Operations in 2011. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or visit www.grettonhomes.org
Myles Kelly – PWS Liaison Officer Myles has worked for Gretton Homes since 1986 before being promoted to a range of managerial positions. He then became part of the small but energetic Management Team who helped develop and grow Gretton Homes to be the world’s single largest provider of PWS residential services. Email email@example.com for more information or visit www.grettonhomes.org