Who is who @SAGE

Emma Shaw –Chair of SAGE

I am a Senior Practitioner currently employed by Staffordshire County Council working on the Stafford Care Planning and Court Team. I have been a qualified, practicing social worker in Staffordshire for the past 22 years working primarily with Children in Care. For the last 10 years I have supported student social workers as a qualified practice educator and the last 6 years I have been an active member of Staffordshire’s foster panel.

The model we use within Staffordshire is Restorative Practice. This model focuses on encouraging relationships between families and workers, building on strength, empowerment and resilience, rather than focus on weaknesses, the importance of really actively listening, transferable experience in working with families within my volunteer role within SAGE.

I am also a mum of two children, my eldest is trans and my youngest is a lesbian so we proudly identify as a rainbow family who are fortunate enough to have a very caring friends and family network. I understand how it feels to both access community support services and deliver services.

I have a depth of personal and professional experience that I look forward to bringing to the role.

Cheryl Sutherland Treasurer of SAGE

After studying psychology at University I went on to become a support worker based in a local NHS inpatient facility where they provide assessments and planned person-centred treatment for individuals with mental health conditions, Some of these conditions include deliberate self-harm, acute psychosis, gender dysphoria and eating disorders.

My studies have given me an insight into diverse family dynamics and this, along with being a mother to bisexual children, benefits my role as a volunteer with SAGE.

Jason Jones – Secretary of SAGE

Hi, my name is Jason I was raised and spent most of my life in Staffordshire and I have my business located here. 

I was asked to be a Trustee for SAGE after been told about their plans and I thought I would like to be part of this organisation, at the grand age of 50 I wish there was the same support available to me when I was younger. 

Please have a look on my business website www.shoptothedoor.com  

Kathy Coe MBE Patron of SAGE

I am a mother of three children, who I brought up largely on my own after leaving an abusive relationship. 

My introduction into the voluntary sector was when I was offered a job as Co-ordinator of the Burntwood Office of Lichfield and District CVS, a job I loved. At the same time, because of my lived experience of domestic abuse, I was setting up a charity to support victims.   That was my passion and I worked hard with a committee of wonderful people to make it happen.

In 1991 we were successful in registering Pathway Project as a charity and a limited company, we began raising money and in 1993 our 24-hour helpline was launched and in 1994 we opened our first refuge.  Pathway has evolved, always listened to the needs of the people we support, who have helped to shape our services. Two years ago I retired as CEO and became a volunteer at Pathway. Shortly before my retirement I was contacted to tell me that I was in the New Year’s Honours with an MBE for services to domestic abuse  

I am very pleased to become a Patron of SAGE.  I have always tried to support and speak out for those who are marginalised and living with inequality, and I know that the LGBT+ community are suffering from the loss of many services in the last 10 years.  I believe that SAGE can make a difference and I am happy to promote their work in whatever way I can.

My name is James, and I am the Service Delivery Coordinator (Voluntary) for SAGE. 

As Service Delivery Coordinator I help coordinate the group sessions, provide 1-1 support to individuals, sourcing and writing funding bids, provide training and support to various external agencies such as the local NHS trusts, Police and Fire Services, as well as business and other external agencies.

When you first contact SAGE, I will often be the first person you will be in touch with whether it be on the phone, text, or email.

My skills are confident in providing training, signposting, and supporting individuals, my background was primarily in health and social care which led to community development

I have been actively involved in LGB&T+ communities for several years. During this time, I have been frequently approached by individuals and organisations all wanting to access a local LGB&T+ support service or guidance about how to support family and friends. Subsequently I met with the people whom you’ve read about above and have been involved with SAGE since its inception.

My motivation to set up SAGE is that people who need support, in my younger days there was no support out there until I was in my early twenties. Now in my early 40s I realise people still need support.

I look forward to supporting people in anyway I can, if I can’t, I will try and find someone who can.

Michelle Croft  Trustee  Assistant Service Delivery Coordinator/ Volunteer Coordinator

 My name is Michelle my day to day job is providing home care to members of the community. In September 2022 I will be starting my Mental Health Nursing Degree. 

My role within SAGE is primarily James Service Delivery Coordinator right hand woman, this involves co-coordinating of some of our peer support groups, I also coordinate our volunteer programme

To Volunteer or to contact me with any other query’s email- michelle@sage.lgbt