TLAP team members

Ian Hanton, Policy Advisor for Care Markets and Commissioning

I have worked as a local government commissioner for around 15 years notably leading the Supporting People partnership in Northamptonshire, collectively developing services and initiatives strongly informed by the expertise of lived experience. 

I've spent an equivalent amount of time working in third sector organisations largely focused on housing, homelessness, mental health, drugs and alcohol in a career driven by a commitment to equalities and social justice.

I've been working at Central Bedfordshire for of late focused on developing a much-improved range of accommodation options for older people as both replacements for the tired designs of yesteryear and innovations in residential care, housing with care & support. I've developed community micro-enterprise organisations; initiating the culture shift to help these local, personalised initiatives prosper with excellent support of our partner, Community Catalysts. Currently, we have 60 community micro providers offering alternatives to traditional social care services, with scope for making choice and control real for local people.

I'm seconded to TLAP for two days a week and amongst other functions I'm promoting innovations in community-centred support and invite recommendations and applications to join the Innovations Directory; helping shift good practice from the margins to the mainstream.


Kate Pieroudis, Co-production Advisor

I support the National Co-Production Advisory Group (NCAG) having previously helped shape co-production at the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE). 

I’m passionate about people who use services having a voice in shaping those services- working in partnership with professionals to find ways they can share power and be involved in designing, delivering services all the way through to seeing how well those services are working. I believe people closest to problems are often those closest to solutions.

My experience has involved setting up and managing big projects like a peer support project at Disability Rights UK supporting more disabled people into physical activity and sport. At the Stroke Association I managed the Back to Work project supporting stroke survivors into work or volunteering. I have many years experience within disability user-led organisations in policy and campaigning roles.


Linda Doherty, Senior Business and Project Manager

I am TLAP's business manager and also lead the partnership's Information and Advice work stream.

I hold a master's degree in social work from the London School of Economics. My first job was as a residential worker at 48 Boundary Road in Camden, a forward thinking residential establishment for people with physical disabilities where residents were very much in control of their care and support with staff acting as facilitators -much like personal assistants. This provided a strong grounding for the future.

I went on to work as a social worker for deaf children and for deaf adults in Greenwich and as a Team Manager at Wandsworth. I then worked as policy officer for ADASS for 9 years prior to being seconded to Think Local Act Personal where I helped to set up the partnership.


National Co-production Advisory Group

TLAP co-produces all its work with members of the National Co-production Advisory Group . They are intgral to how we operate and are key to our success as a partnership.

Sanchi Murison

Sanchi Murison, Senior Communications Advisor

I work for TLAP as Senior Communications Advisor. I have worked in the voluntary sector for many years in communications, marketing and fundraising, and as a marketing consultant to many charities. My most recent full time role was as Head of Marketing and Communications for a leading provider of support for people with autism and learning disabilities, where I became a passionate user of person-centred planning tools. 

I’m pleased to have the opportunity to support the TLAP partnership with promoting personalisation, and especially keen that its work is seen as relevant and practical. I have a personal interest in dementia and am a dementia champion for the Alzheimer’s Society in my spare time.


Tim Parkin, Senior Policy Advisor

I work for TLAP as a senior policy advisor, working across a range of projects.  My entire career has been spent in social care in a range of different roles that have included policy and strategy; partnership work; commissioning and project management. Between 2009 and 2013 I worked across the South East of England for the Department of Health, and then the Health & Social Care Partnership, supporting policy implementation in the areas of personalisation, User Led Organisations, safeguarding, and carers.

Before coming to TLAP, I worked for Sitra, an organisation that represented supported housing providers, on a range of projects designed to link housing with social care, particularly in and around the development of the Care Act.

I greatly enjoy the opportunity that TLAP presents to contribute to the development of person and community-centred approaches, I particularly value working with a wide range of organisations for a common purpose and co-producing all we do with people with lived experience.


Caroline Speirs

Caroline Speirs, Head of TLAP

I spent over twenty years working in a variety of roles in local government social care departments including policy, commissioning and leading on personalisation.

It was a pleasure to join the TLAP team in the summer of 2014 and even more so to become its lead in 2017.   I relish the opportunity our partnership has to support the sector to continue to make the shift from policy rhetoric to reality on the ground.  Many of our partners deliver cutting edge, high quality approaches that are light years away from traditional, formal services and it is a privilege to showcase these person and community centred approaches as examples of the possible. 

Working with the National Co-production Advisory Group has made clear to me the change that takes place when you include people with lived experience at all levels.  It is heartening to see that more institutions and organisations are beginning to understand that co-production is not an optional extra.  Rather, it is fundamental to an approach that is based on mutual respect and sharing of power.

Martin Walker, Policy Advisor for Personalised Commissioning and Self-directed Support.

I have worked in Local Government for the past thirteen years with roles ranging across education welfare, children’s social work, neighbourhood management, and adult social care. Prior to this I worked in retail and the banking sector.

I contribute my experience of policy and change work at a local level to the exciting programme Think Local Act Personal is developing around Personal Budgets and Self-Directed Support.

I look at what works around the country and, in doing so, use this knowledge to help areas work out what’s the best approach and practice for them in their ongoing work to embed personalisation.

Sara Zmertych, Communications Manager

I am TLAP's Communications Manager. I have worked mostly for the not-for-profit sector for charities supporting refugees and migrants, people with mental health difficulties, carers and victims of crime. Previously I worked in special educational needs.

Working for TLAP keeps me in touch with an important value for me which is working to make improvements to the lives of society's least cared for people and helping to give them a voice.