Vanessa Dixon – Chief Executive Officer
I joined The Birchall Trust at the end of 2020 after working for the past 30 years in other voluntary sector charities and most recently a large national homelessness charity. I feel extremely privileged to have joined such a passionate team who work with adults and children affected by sexual abuse, rape and sexualised violence. It really is a joy to work here, to receive amazing feedback from people who tell me their life is no longer on hold. I strongly believe there is no excuse for sexual violence and by delivering trauma informed services designed by the people that use them my vision is that we amplify the voices of those who have previously been silent.
Jan Athorn – Operations Manager – Clinical Lead
Person Centred Counsellor (MBACP)
6 years ago when I found Birchall, I knew instinctively it was the place I wanted to work as a counsellor. For me personally, working with survivors of sexual crimes was an area that felt close to my heart and one I wanted to make a positive impact in. I just wanted to help people to lead the life they wish for after such world shattering events. In August 2018, I joined the staff team as the Adult Co-ordinator, this role really gives me an opportunity to shape the quality of the service we deliver and support our counselling team to provide a therapeutic experience our clients absolutely deserve.
I am immensely proud of The Birchall Trust, it is a privilege to be part of such a special organisation that changes lives and gives hope for a brighter future to so many.
Kim Robinson – Children & Young People Clinical Lead
Client Focused, Trauma informed Therapist
I started working at the Birchall Trust in June 2017, supporting the team of counsellors and therapists working with children and young people accessing therapy. I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to join such a well-established and much respected charity, having heard so many wonderful things about the amazing therapeutic work it offers to clients of all ages.
It is a privilege to work alongside the Counsellors and Play Therapists who work with passion and commitment, using their exceptional skillsets, knowledge and experience and sharing them with Birchall Trusts young clients.
Everyone involved with The Birchall Trust has special and unique working roles to fulfil. I value and appreciate my role within an immensely hard working, dedicated and supportive team, which inspires me to achieve my part, in helping develop the best service we can offer to our clients.
I am a Cumbria Domestic Abuse Champion and attend the Cumbrian network meetings. I also sit on the LSCB Furness Practitioners Forum and the Children and Young People’s Voluntary Sector Group
Michaela Hayes – Administrator
Our small dedicated trauma informed staff team are able to engage sensitively with all our clients; they have collectively have a wealth of experience and excellent business and administration qualifications.
Lynn Aitken- Allocations Officer
I first started working at The Birchall Trust in 2016 and left in late 2017 I then returned to working for The Birchall Trust in 2020.
Working for The Birchall Trust had been the most rewarding part of my career, so I was absolutely delighted to be given the chance of working back at the Trust. I love seeing the progress clients make from when they first come to the service to where they are at the end of their journey with us.
My role within the team is to allocate our clients to members of our counselling team. It’s a privilege to work within such a dedicated and supportive team and I value the role I have within the team immensely.
Freelance Fundraiser and Service Development Co-Ordinator
I took over as the Fundraising and Development Co-ordinator in June 2019. It has been a steep learning curve over the last few months but I have enjoyed getting to know Team Birchall and feel inspired by the work they do. Although I have just started working for the Trust on a more long-term basis, I have developed a good understanding of its work over the years through a number of initiatives that I was involved with, including a feasibility study and a lottery evaluation. What came across to me during this time is the excellent service that the Birchall Trust provides and the real impact that it has on people’s lives. When I interviewed people as part of the lottery evaluation, it was very humbling to hear their stories and the difference that the service had made.
I bring to the role of Fundraiser a variety of experience. I not only ran a Charity myself for a number of years, but also have worked as a Grants Officer and more recently have worked freelance in the Voluntary Sector providing a variety of support to local charities.
Steve has had links with The Birchall Trust since 2009.
During this time he has been Chair of Trustees and also our past Adult Counselling Co- Ordinator. Steve is now our Freelance Consultant and assists us with Policies and Procedures and quality standards.