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Our Trustees

Our First Trustees

Our launch event on Tuesday 6 October 2015 held at the Middlesbrough Hotel and our First Trustees, Jan Rock, Ann Dale and Dr Maeve O'Sullivan.

Jan Rock - Founder & Chair

Jan worked in local government for 22 years, mainly in physical, social and economic regeneration and large scale public sector funding programmes. Her skills include: Strategic Planning, Public Sector Administration, Problem Solving, Project Management, Business Case Authoring, Fundraising and Bid Writing.

In 2010 our son had a terrible accident and we developed an innovative approach to early stage neuro-rehabilitation therapy that has delivered significant results.

"In founding this charity my passion now is to share our experiences to help improve the provision of services for children and young people who have sustained an acquired brain injury (ABI) and support their families to ensure they are able to access the help and support they are entitled to."

Jan also currently oversees the production of the charity's financial records that are reported to the Board of Trustees at each meeting.

Iona Leigh-Jones - Secretary to the Board of Trustees

Iona is a Police Officer with over 20 years experience. She has spent many years as a detective, involved in safeguarding for Cleveland Police.
Iona is passionate about protecting vulnerable people, working closely with other agencies in the pubic and private sector, to achieve the best outcomes for children and adults in need.

As a keen runner she is involved in a community running group in Middlesbrough. Iona first met Callum Rock after his accident and is proud to have been involved when he ran in a 5 mile road race with the group raising in excess of £1,200 for the Great North Air Ambulance.

Iona has been a School Governor, championing the importance of bespoke education plans for young people with acquired brain injuries.

"I understand the importance of standing up for people, challenging policies where they are not fit for an individual or making sure there is a policy in place to cater for all. I will bring my experience and energy to support the fantastic work that Matrix Neurological is doing for young people and their families."

We invited Iona to be a Trustee because of her diverse skills mix, community knowledge and professional experience, She will take the lead on Child Safeguarding on behalf of the charity.

Dr Angela Simcox - Trustee

Dr Angela Simcox is a Consultant Paediatric Neuro-Psychologist who joined us in April 2018.

Angela has worked as a Clinical Psychologist and Paediatric Neuropsychologist since 2005. She has a wealth of experience working with children and young people with brain injuries and their families in the NHS, private and charitable sectors.

Angela started her training at Leeds General Infirmary, and has subsequently worked at James Cook Hospital, King's College Hospital Regional Neurosciences Centre and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. She also spent five years setting up and running a clinic in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for children with neurodevelopmental difficulties.

Now Angela has returned to her home in the North East with her family. She also runs her own private practice working with children with neurological and neurodevelopmental difficulties across the region. Angela also acts as an Expert Witness in cases of acquired brain injury following clinical negligence or accidental injury.

Angela said about joining Matrix Neurological:
“After many years working clinically with children and families in acute services, I have been constantly frustrated by the lack of understanding of their needs and limited services available in the wider community once they are discharged from hospital; so I was very happy to hear about Matrix's innovative aims, activities and future plans.”

I am excited to be able to be part of the leadership team and am looking forward to expanding the support available to brain injured children, young people and their families in the region. I will also help to raise more awareness of MATRIX; its services and childhood acquired brain injury in general.“

Angela brings a range of new and exciting skills and experience to the Board, and we are delighted that she has decided to join us.

Danny Kay - Trustee

Danny Kay became a Trustee for us in May 2018.

Danny is an experienced IT Professional who has managed and delivered large scale software development projects for some major national and international companies. He is also the Managing Director of an IT and Software Development Consultancy. As such he brings a wealth of project management, business management and high level IT skills to the charity.

In his work-life, Danny is also a part-time Lecturer at Teesside University where he teaches 2nd and 3rd Year Degree students.

In his spare time, he is also studying an MSC in Computer Networks and Security and a degree in Counselling.

Danny said about joining MATRIX Neurological:
"I believe strongly in the charities aims and objectives and the quest for fair treatment both for young people living with acquired brain injuries and their families. I find the lack of support and knowledgeable help for these children and their families to be a huge concern and wish to help by contributing my skills as a Trustee."

Danny previously volunteered a few hours a week for us, during which time he learned more about our work and the plight of the families we help. We are delighted he has decided to join us as a Trustee.





"When different organisations assess different aspects of a child's neuro-rehabilitation needs, everyone looks at things from a different perspective and highlight needs and conflicting priorities"
Cathy Jonson; Rehab without Walls; United Kingdom.
"Restoration of anatomical functions and relationships must be done within 2 months of brain injury"
Eyzyon Eisentein; Israel
"Different 'experts' involved in pediatric neuro-rehabilitation come from different organisational cultures which causes conflict and has a negative effect on the outcomes for the child."
Barbara O'Connell; Ireland
"There are problems with getting people into neuro-rehab centres. Those most in need are often those most excluded due to a lack of socio-economic resources."
Vicki Anderson; Australia
"Children and young people have poor social competence post brain injury due to reduced cognition, executive functions, and emotional control. As a result they are twice as likely to have mental health issues in the future"
James Tonks; University of London
"Our 10 year study proves that family-led home-based neuro-rehab interventions deliver the best outcomes for children and young people"
Lucia Braga; Brazil
"We need to harness the power of brain plasticity for treating children and young people with brain injury. Stressful experiences alter brain development of a child, especially at the key ages of 0-3 and at ages 10-16"
Professor Bryan Kolb; Canada
"Healthy teens are better at identifying strategies to deal with barriers. KIDS WITH ABI'S CAN'T!"
Shari Wade; USA
"Families and professionals spend time focusing on the negative aspects of ABI. Families need to be properly supported as 'resilience' is key to delivering successful outcomes for children and young people."
Roberta De Pompeii; USA
"Taking brain injured children home causes high stress for families. Disjointed services exacerbate family stress levels."
Deborah Andrews; New Zealand

OUR MISSION: To work to remove (health) inequalities for children & young people affected by acquired brain injury; and provide effective support to their families that makes a real difference.

Council for Disabled Children Lottery Funded