Meet The Team

The Future Steps Team is made up of individuals who are dedicated to bettering the lives of children and young people. Each valued member of the team brings a new and unique asset to our dynamic and forward-thinking organisation.

Julie Davis BHSc COT
Managing Director
I have worked in health and the private sector for over 24 years. Initially in the NHS where I established an Occupational Therapy service for children. I then co-owned a private occupational service within Newton Aycliffe until early 2014. I now am the sole owner of Future Steps Consultancy. I have recently completed Level 2 Intensive Mentorship: Hands-On Advanced Treatment’ at the STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder. My company is exceptionally rewarding and allows me to develop pathways, work with various agencies in the field of paediatrics; work in Special and mainstream schools. I treat children and develop new programmes and models of service. My philosophy is to work together with professionals, educators and families, creating a service that responds to the individualised needs of the child and organisation, effectively making a difference to every child’s life.
Lynn Mitchell BA (Hons) BSc (Hons)
Occupational Therapist & Therapy Lead

My role involves overseeing the running of the Thornaby Clinic, training staff, specialist assessments and treatments, overseeing STRIVE provisions,  attachment assessments, teacher and parent training, company development and continuing to practice as a therapist.

I am highly passionate about improving the lives of children and their families and the undeniable link that my role has within education. Initially, on completion of an Occupational Therapy Degree I furthered my knowledge in this area by completing the Sensory Integration Modules 1, 2 and 3. More recently, alongside Julie Davis, Future Steps MD, I have undertaken training under the guidance of Dr. Patricia Crittenden on her Dynamic Maturation Model (DMM) of Attachment and Adaptation, specifically; the DMM training, the School-Aged Assessment of Attachment (SAA), and Advanced SAA. In September 2018, I will begin my Post Grad in Attachment Studies and will also begin training on the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment (CAPA).

The more I learn about my field the more I want to learn. I am completely encompassed by the work we do Future Steps and by increasing my knowledge I can then empower the children and young people we work with as well as their parents, carers, families and educators.

 

Ruth Davies
Occupational Therapist
Whilst studying for my initial degree in psychology I worked part time as a support worker. This is where I discovered my passion for working with children and adults with additional needs. I then went on to work in an independent living setting supporting adults with autism, it is here that I discovered occupational therapy and the amazing impact it has on people’s lives. I applied for the Masters at Northumbria University where I studied for 2 years. Whilst studying I worked as a teaching assistant in a number of special educational needs schools and supported a young girl with cerebral palsy. I completed my course in March 2016 and was successfully chosen to be part of the Future Steps Consultancy team. I am overjoyed to be part of such a special services that really makes the difference in the lives of many children and their families. I look forward to developing in this role and working closely with the local schools and children that attend Future Steps.
Kate Smurthwaite
Occupational Therapist
During my career I have held various administration support roles for local government children’s and adults services. Whilst working in these roles I discovered my passion for the profession of Occupational Therapy. In 2013, I commenced the undergraduate degree course in Occupational Therapy at Teesside University. During my time studying I developed a particular interest in the area of paediatric practice. In April 2016, I secured my first occupational therapy role with Future Steps consultancy team. I am excited to be part of such an innovative Occupational Therapy service that makes a positive difference in children’s lives. I look forward to developing my professional skills in this specialist area of practice.
Emma Davies
Occupational Therapist

I’ve been working for Future Steps since October 2017 after achieving my MSc in Occupational Therapy from Teesside University. My role as development lead in Autism allows me to work towards enhancing the service that we provide to specialist provisions, as well as to work with adults as part of the Autism in mind service (AIM).  Alongside this it is my responsibility to ensure that we continue to develop our practice within the clinic to support individuals with Autism. I’m really happy to have been given the opportunity to work in this fascinating area, and look forward to continue working with families and educators  to make a difference in our local community.

Lucy Douglas BA (Hons)
Development Lead & Executive Manager
As Development Lead and Executive Assistant to Managing Director, my role is to work under the guidance of Julie Davis to ensure that Future Steps is the most effective, caring, and professional occupational therapy organisation in the North East. In my time here at Future Steps I have seen our organisation change the lives of so many children and their families and there is no better feeling in the world than being part of that.
Heather Hill
Occupational Therapist
I completed a degree in Physical Education and Youth Sport in 2012, where I had the opportunity to deliver multi-sport sessions and organise inter-school competitions for primary school children. It was whilst studying an inclusive sport module that I discovered my passion for working with children with special educational needs and disabilities. After graduating, I worked as a specialist teaching assistant and was then accepted on the Occupational Therapy course at Teesside Uni. I qualified in May 2017, and this is my first role as an occupational therapist which I am thoroughly enjoying! I am very excited to be part of such a specialist service and hope to make a positive difference to the lives of the children and families who come to Future Steps.
Emily Foster
Occupational Therapist
Whilst studying BSc Occupational Therapy at Northumbria University, I worked as a personal assistant for a young boy with multiple conditions. This passion for working with and supporting children has developed through roles including running anti-bullying workshops in schools, youth clubs and summer schools and providing support and inclusive summer camps for children with disabilities in Belarus. On a clinical placement with children in Malta, I began to understand the incredible difference that sensory integration interventions can have on the lives of children and their families. Since joining the Future Steps team in September 2017 I have loved working alongside the team, children and their families and staff in schools and I look forward to playing such an important part in helping children to overcome barriers and reach their full potential.
Amy Farrell
Occupational Therapist

I completed a BSc in Sports Science and health in Dublin City University in 2015. It was whilst on placement as an adaptive physical activity coordinator where I discovered Occupational Therapy and the remarkable difference it can make on the lives of children and adults. I began a Masters in Occupational Therapy at Teesside University in January 2016 and had the amazing opportunity to complete my final placement at Future Steps Consultancy. It was during this time I began to understand the incredible impact that Sensory Integration can have on children and their families and the work that Future Steps do. I had the opportunity to follow children’s journeys from assessment, through treatment, education of parents/carers and educational staff and review, seeing amazing changes at each stage. I qualified in January 2018 and secured my first Occupational Therapy role with the Future Steps team. I am excited to work in an organisation that works so closely with parents, schools and other professionals to make a positive impact in the lives of each child

Samantha Greenwood
Occupational Therapist

During my first degree in Fine Art I witnessed the powerful effect activity can have on health and learning for both children and adults. This is when I discovered Occupational Therapy and realised my passion for working with children and young people. Throughout my studies in Occupational Therapy at Teesside University, I worked as a carer for people with learning disabilities. This is where my interest in working with families and individuals with sensory needs began to grow. After receiving paediatric placements during my training, it was clear to me where I wanted to be as a therapist. I am extremely excited to be working for Future Steps and being a part of helping children families gain the building blocks for a better future.

D'Arcie Hall
Occupational Therapist

D'Arcie began her journey at Future Steps as an Occupational Therapist in August 2018

Emma Ralph
Occupational Therapist

I studied Occupational Therapy for 3 years at Teesside university and qualified in May 2018. I was honoured to accept my first role as an occupational therapist for Future Steps and began my journey in July. I have always had a passion to work with children and from my first day in the clinic at Thornaby, I knew this was the career for me. I am so excited to be working alongside such a passionate and motivated team all reaching for the same goal, to improve the lives of children and their families. I look forward to developing as a professional and making a difference within such rewarding company.

Emma Riggall
Occupational Therapist

Emma started her Future Steps journey as an Occupational Therapist in November 2018

Kirsty Woodhouse
Occupational Therapy Assistant

Kirsty started her Future Steps journey as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in November 2018

Hannah Williamson
Development and Communications Junior

Hannah began her Future Steps Journey as Development and Communications Junior  in June 2018

Lauren Davis
Business Support Junior

Lauren began her Future Steps journey as Business Support Junior in August 2018

Lucy Richardson
Company Administrator

Lucy started her Future Steps Journey as Company Administrator in September 2018

Kelsey Nettleton
Front of House Receptionist

Kelsey started her Future Steps journey as Front of House Receptionist in September 2018