My name is Althea (Founder & contributor)
I’m a mother of 4 adult children and a grandmother to two granddaughters and a grandson.
I’m happiest when I’m helping people. Helping disabled people have a voice and find ways to live their lives as independently as possible, with the right support system to make that happen. It’s been my career for over 37 years, doing various roles as a nurse, home care worker and social worker to name a few and all within the health and care sector.
I could talk endlessly about the values of independent living. My job as an Assessor with the ILF (Independent Living Fund) means I come into daily contact with disabled adults who use their direct payments and independent living funds to employ their own personal assistants (PA).
Many of my clients speak about the benefits of having their own personalised assistance and the challenges of being an employer, for example, keeping up-to-date with paperwork and recruiting a PA. In many instants I provide advice, information and signposting to enable disabled people to continue to employ their PAs knowing help is available as required.
From these conversations, I decided I wanted to do more to help the 70,000 of people in the UK who directly employ their PAs and that’s where the idea of FindMyPA.Care came about.
With the help of my daughter Shereen (and my assisted technology software), I write about all aspects of finding and retaining great PAs.
Ever the academic, I am also toying with the idea of doing a PhD in this area.
3 things you might not know about me:
I was diagnosed with dyslexia in 2016 (aged 57)
Dyslexia is where you have difficulty interpreting words which in some people can cause issues with reading, writing and spelling. My form of dyslexia manifested itself with challenges with grammar, spelling and working memory. I just assumed it was just me. It never occurred to me that I was dyslexic until after having a conversation with a tutor at university, he suggested I get an assessment. Which I did and lo and behold, I was diagnosed with dyslexia.
I am a keen supporter of Arsenal
Football supporters come from all walks of life and I am a true testament of that. With a passion shared by my son, who for his sins supports Manchester United, I can chat about game analysis and offer opinions on the transfer value of certain players along with the thousands of armchair football coaches.
I’m a knitter and rambler
I love nothing better than knitting oversized blankets from my grandchildren (and children) and taking advantage of the beautiful walks to be had in Loch Lomond (Scotland).
Hi, I’m Shereen (Managing Editor)
Thank you for taking the time to visit our website.
I’m Althea’s eldest daughter and I have two daughters of my own.
I’ve had an eclectic career in Human Resources where I’ve worked for a variety of well known high street brands such as Carphone Warehouse, Gala Coral, Hobbs, Greene King and Caffe Nero.
Up until recently, I have been unaware of the challenges disabled people face, both in a personal and professional capacity. When my mum asked me some very specific questions about employment law one evening, it led to a lengthy conversation.
I had no idea, for instance, that disabled people could act as employers, and 70,000 of them do in the UK alone. It’s a challenge for the experts to navigate employment law. Moreover, it can be touch for in house HR practitioners to successfully get a handle of recruiting and retaining employees. I can’t imagine how challenging it can be for older and disabled people.
3 things you might not know about me:
On my unfinished to do list is…
To do a little stint on a radio show. In my mind I truly believe I have a great voice for radio. I did a show once a few years ago and loved it. It’s definitely on my bucket list.
Be still my beating heart.
I can still remember the first Mercedes Lackey and Tamora Pierce books I read at fourteen years old and that set me on a long path of loving paranormal romance and fantasy novels. There’s something about a happy ending that somehow speaks to the optimist in me.
18 months ago I was able to deadlift 143kg…
In bare feet. That’s the equivalent of lifting an average sized donkey. Not sure where that skill will come in handy but it’s an achievement all the same.
Tere, I’m Mehis (Proofreader)
Estonian by birth, I’ve lived in the UK for 14 years. I’m the partner to Shereen and also designated proof reader as I used to be an Editor for business magazine in a previous life.
3 things you may not know about me
In my youth, I was a semi professional…
Basketballer. I’m a diehard basketball fan and my favourite team is Dallas Mavericks.
I’m a real sun worshiper
In Estonia we get extreme seasons and I was never one for the cold. Not that England is much better but we do live an hour’s drive from Camber Sands (East Sussex) which becomes our second home in the summer holidays.
In my spare time I’m a part time amateur currency trader
I’ve yet to progress to trading for real but I enjoy researching financial markets and understanding the algorithms behind demo trading software.
Hi, I’m Natalie (Illustrator)
3 things you may not know me:
I’m into Bible journalling
I was given 3 journal Bibles for my 21st birthday, and every night you will probably find me peacefully sat on my bedroom floor, drawing in my Bibles.
If I wasn’t an artist, I would be a…
Baker! I love baking, cakes, brownies, cookies, pastry dishes… I love to make them and to eat them. I used to bake cakes to sell for charity. One day I’d really like to take a course on bakery, to improve my skills and confidently bake for people.
My ultimate dream is…
To print my own illustrated clothing and canvases. Maybe one day, I will make this happen.
Do what you love, and do it well – that’s much more meaningful than any metric.