Meet The Team

Incorporated on 1st October 2021, Celebrate Difference Ltd. is a social enterprise, registered by guarantee with a vision to improve social equality for those with ADHD and other Neurodiversion.

Celebrate Difference is currently managed by its Founder and Chief Activator, Nicola Jayne Little and Managing Director, Laura Forsyth. Along with Joanne Stanton, Head of Operations & Strategy, Donna Tunney, The HUB Consett Manager and Graham Martin, Education Lead, the team brings extensive and valuable skills to Celebrate Difference Ltd. Their lived experience of Neurodivergence in themselves and their children means they do understand the challenges and their families face.

Our Board of Trustees is Chaired by Mike Clark and Clare Edwin, a client and ADHDer who offer valuable insight and challenge to the management team.

PLAYING TO OUR STRENGTHS…

OUR MAGNIFICENT TEAM aka THE CHAOS CREATORS

Nicola Jayne Little

Founder & Chief Activator

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Before self-employment, Nicola’s career was centered in education, as a primary school lead for nursery and reception children, and as a SENDCo. Following the launch of her first business in 2008, Nicola has worked extensively across the North East offering mentoring, training, and business support to 1000s of micro-business owners. She launched MINT Business Club in November 2017, Celebrate Difference in October 2021 and bought the old Braes Pub in Consett in February 2022 to renovate it into an HQ for all the businesses.

Her passion is equity and making a difference for someone every day.

Laura Forsyth

MD & Trustee

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With a background in project management, and a varied career including working for the NHS, Newcastle and Durham universities, Laura is our Operations Director and has worked across many sectors, including publishing, leisure and tourism, retail, and hospitality. Her passion is for helping people, and she’s a time management and productivity expert, a process management queen, and has run her own consultancy business since 2017. Her superpower is really listening to people and understanding what they need, especially when they may not even know themselves. According to her neurodiverse son, her other superpowers are atomic breath (think Godzilla)  and love – which is pretty awesome too.

Cathy, lady with blog hair, pointing at the wall with the HUB Consett painted on it

Joanne Stanton

Head of Operations and Strategy

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Joanne headed up our Access to Work department for 18 months and is now Head of Ops and Strategy for the organisation. As the Lead for the QbTest service, Joanne ensures that our clients receive the highest level of customer service for our clients. Joanne is still our ‘Wikipedia’ of everything A2W and is respected for her values deeply rooted in social justice, helping break down barriers and obstacles faced as a result of disability or health conditions.

Cathy, lady with blog hair, pointing at the wall with the HUB Consett painted on it

Donna Tunney

The HUB Manager

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Donna has a wealth of experience managing retail environments and as such manages the operational aspects of our HQ, The HUB Consett, as well as offering support to our clients. She has been instrumental in ensuring the HUB renovations have happened and has launched the kitchen with its new, amazing menu, and the scones particularly get positively commented about frequently! 

Cathy, lady with blog hair, pointing at the wall with the HUB Consett painted on it

Joanne Rowland

Financial Controller

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Joanne’s love of numbers and data means she is perfect at tracking everything that happens in our organisation. Joanne is our Data Demon and is currently studying for her accountancy qualifications and is determined to have them completed very quickly! She is also an exceptional animal portrait artist and you can see some of her work displayed in our HQ The HUB, Consett.

Cathy, lady with blog hair, pointing at the wall with the HUB Consett painted on it

Gabby Morris

Client Liason Access to Work

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Gabby is our “Cilla Black” of the Access to Work support services. She matches our clients with their support workers, and ensures that each client receives a personal service based on their unique strengths and individual needs.

Gabby onboard our client support workers, diligently checking that they are the right fit for our clients and manages our client portal so the process of choosing support is as streamlined as possible.  

 

Ellie Pearson

Client Liason Access to Work

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Ellie joined the Access to Work team helping match our clients with their support workers, to ensure that each client receives the most appropriate support based on their unique strengths and individual needs.

Ellie has her own portfolio of clients ensuring the process of choosing support is as streamlined as possible.

 

Cathy, lady with blog hair, pointing at the wall with the HUB Consett painted on it

Holly Knight

Marketing Coordinator

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Holly has a natural gift for talking to people and making them feel included and accepted. As Marketing Coordinator, you can find Holly on all the socials, reeling away to raise the profile of our businesses. Holly divides her time between running our Marketing and working in the HUB where she is exceptionally gifted at selling tea!

Cathy, lady with blog hair, pointing at the wall with the HUB Consett painted on it

Graham Martin

Education Lead

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Graham leads our Education Department, working with young people to give them meaningful work experience and valuable life experience. An experienced SEND teacher, Graham loves empowering people to thrive.
He goes by the name Big G at work and also loves boats!

Cathy, lady with blog hair, pointing at the wall with the HUB Consett painted on it

Darren McCabe

Clinical Nurse Specialist in ADHD

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As a registered Learning Disability Nurse, Darren worked extensively in the NHS for over 10 years. Darren currently provides 1-2-1 support for our team as well as our clients, helping them understand ADHD and Neurodiversity and put positive strategies into place.

Cathy, lady with blog hair, pointing at the wall with the HUB Consett painted on it

Emily Willas

Assistant Psychologist 

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Emily joined us working in the HUB looking after our customers and retail stockists. Her current role sees her delivering QbTests for our clients, making sure they’re comfortable completing their assessments. She loves working away on her laptop behind the curtains in the HUB but does have a desk upstairs too!

Cathy, lady with blog hair, pointing at the wall with the HUB Consett painted on it

Dora Sadler

Client Services Manager A2W

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As Client Services Manager for Access to Work applications, Dora works with our clients over a 6-month period, to successfully secure the grants our clients deserve.  In the future, she also will support our Clinical department.

Cathy, lady with blog hair, pointing at the wall with the HUB Consett painted on it

Sophie Bainbridge

Access to Work Administrator

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Sophie supports our Access to Work service, working closely with the team ensuring the processes designed to give our customers the best experience are all adhered to!

Cathy, lady with blog hair, pointing at the wall with the HUB Consett painted on it

Lindsey Thompson

People & Wellness Manager

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Lindsey is PA to Nicola and has the strength and amazing organisational skills to keep Nicola on track! She has a really varied background but loves the dynamism of the Celebrate Difference team and each person’s unique character.

Cathy, lady with blog hair, pointing at the wall with the HUB Consett painted on it

Kate Duggan

Kitchen Assistant

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Kate joined us as a volunteer in the summer of 2023 and now has a permanent part-time role working at the HUB. You can find her in our kitchen making gorgeous cakes and lunches or serving food and drinks to our customers.

Cathy, lady with blog hair, pointing at the wall with the HUB Consett painted on it

Clare O’Connor

Kitchen Assistant

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Clare joined Celebrate Difference at the very end of 2023, and her amazing cooking and baking are already a firm favourite with the team and customers! 

Cathy, lady with blog hair, pointing at the wall with the HUB Consett painted on it

Cathy Collingwood

Kitchen Assistant

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We’ve known Cathy as one of our most creative stockists in the HUB, and now she is a team member in the kitchen! Her scones are just scrumptious and get so many positive comments from our customers – the ‘Best in Consett’ apparently!

Cathy, lady with blog hair, pointing at the wall with the HUB Consett painted on it

Ethan Bell

Operations Assistant

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Ethan has joined the Celebrate Difference team as an administrative volunteer whilst he works towards his Level 3 in Business and his Level 1 Employability qualifications.

Clare Edwin

Trustee

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From engineering, to teaching, to silversmithing: it’s fair to say Clare Edwin has had a varied career. It was only when she found silversmithing in 2016 that she really felt she found the right fit. Having been a part of Nicola’s MINT community since the beginning, her business, Handmade by LollaMac, has flourished. Knowing the challenges of working with an undiagnosed condition gives Clare an understanding of the issues and concerns that clients of Celebrate Difference, and the wider community face. Clare is an amazing addition to the team, and is determined to help others access support, seek diagnosis, and understand their perceived limitations.

Cara Smith

Ops Assistant – Saturday

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Cara works in the HUB on a Saturday making sure everything runs smoothly for our customers.