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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 European and domestic funding programmes aimed at physical, social and economic regeneration, Her skills include: Strategic Planning, Public Sector Administration, Problem Solving, Project Management, Business Case Authoring, Fundraising and Bid Writing.

In 2010 her son had a terrible accident, which opened her eyes to a world of inequality she didn't know existed. Post discharge her family experienced first-hand the lack of knowledge, help and support that is available to child brain injury families; so Jan and her husband undertook lots of research and developed an innovative approach to neuro-rehabilitation therapy that delivered significant positive outcomes for their son. This later drove her to found MATRIX Neurological as a registered charity.

She said: "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."

Since founding MATRIX Neurological, Jan has spoken at many conferences about childhood acquired brain injury. She delivers brain injury awareness training from the 'lived-experience' perspective to a range of professionals and agencies. She also regularly undertakes Continuous Professional Development Training with professionals to keep abreast of new developments and current practice in paediatric neuro-rehabilitation, that is then shared with the families the charity helps.

Finally Jan 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.

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.




New Trustee details coming soon...........



"Restoration of anatomical functions and relationships must be done within 2 months of brain injury"
Eyzyon Eisentein; Israel
"Taking brain injured children home causes high stress for families. Disjointed services exacerbate family stress levels."
Deborah Andrews; New Zealand
"We are medical practitioners. The real experts are the parents. Over the last 35 years they have taught me everything I know"
Lucia Braga; Brazil
"Healthy teens are better at identifying strategies to deal with barriers. KIDS WITH ABI'S CAN'T!"
Shari Wade; USA
"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
"We would like to see earlier identification and support for children with brain injuries to help them succeed in school."
Dalton Leong; Chief Executive of the Children's Trust
"Strength-based family intervention after pediatric ABI is essential. Parents need to be equipped with the skills to cope and advocate for the child."
Caron Gan; Canada
"Case management for children and young people post acquired brain injury is 'pivotal' to successful outcomes and must be local"
Deborah Andrews; New Zealand
"More play increases brain plasticity and makes for better recovery post brain injury"
Professor Bryan Kolb; Canada
"Brain development is complex and prolonged. Brain plasticity is influenced by a range of factors. Plasticity provides a base for neuro-rehab therapies and treatment"
Professor Bryan Kolb; Canada

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