Meet The Team
Katie Whitehead - Divine Days Managing Director
I founded Divine Days Community back in 2013 to help make a difference in the lives of our disabled and learning disabled community.
My background is in Arts Therapies, Health, Social Care and tackling inequalities in health. I am a creative arts practitioner and an inclusive choreographer and have produced and created 100s of inclusive performances over the past 15 years. I am a lecturer in Performing Arts and I have a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Therapies as well as being qualified in academic support. I am the founder of The Legacy Project Supported Internships for young SEND adults and also the founder of Man-achy Men’s Mental Health provision and co founder of Divine Edge our collaboration with Edge Hill University which brings together local schools and the university offering creative intervention.
Everything I do is towards ensuring our disabled and learning-disabled community and those vulnerable in our community have a voice, a future and a hope in regards to being more connected, resilient and valued members of their community while also providing them a sense of community with one another to ensure that they know that they are never alone. I am a Skelmersdale Ambassador and the VCFS Alliance along with being on the Employment Advisory team at Edge Hill University and a Director of The Sewing Rooms in Skelmersdale and part of the Lancashire Partnershi.p
Richard Whitehead - Director of Finance/ Man-Archy and Legacy Coordinator
For me making sure that the representation of men’s mental health in our wider community is really important. Thanks to the platform of Divine Days I am more proactive in ensuring that their voice can be heard and their situation is accounted for.
I have over 25 years experience in senior management and I have a degree in Accountancy. I am trained in Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.
Coordinating with those who need my aid to bring their life to a better place is what I hope to achieve, their mental health is just as important as anyone else’s however due to masculine societal factors they find it harder to express their mental health needs.
Denise Shaw - Dance Practitioner/Active Communities Coordinator
I joined the amazing Divine Days team in October 2022 as dance practitioner/coordinator. My passion and expertise lie in dance and choreography. Having trained at the Laban center London, before teaching dance and drama in Perth Australia.
My Role involves working with both children and adults in educational settings and within the community. I deliver mind and body/creative dance therapy sessions in a safe and structured environment. What i love about this role is watching students’ confidence and creativity grow as they learn to regulate emotion through motion.
Karen Charles - Inclusion Officer
I recently came across Divine Days through my niece Lucy who is a member of Inspiration school of dance, her dance school is closely linked to divine days. I immediately felt this was something I wanted to get involved with. Having 20 years plus of childcare experience with my own children, nieces’, nephews’ and now currently my grandchildren I feel like i have finally found my dream role.
The joy I get from seeing how the children and adults enjoy their classes and most importantly how they express themselves through dance is lovely to see and watch their development. Until recently i have cared for my parents sadly both having been diognosed with dementia so i understand how to demonstrate patience and care to which i now bring with me this role. I am looking forward to being part of this amazing team and helping the students reach their goals, whilst having fun in a friendly and safe environment.
Sophie Clarke - Dance Support Practitioner
I have been working with divine for almost two years now and it has been one of the best decisions I have made ,being able to help and support such an amazing group of people has always made my week better and I constantly look forward to Saturdays with them as they never fail to bring my mood up, the dancers and the staff are just unbelievable and so supportive towards one another.
Throughout the time I have been here we have took place in so many new opportunities such as dancing for mayors, performing in festivals ,competitions and amazing shows and our new divine class has been working harder then ever and we all can’t wait to take on the new opportunities we have coming up!
Lucy Woodfinden - Dance Practitioner
For as long as I can remember I have loved all things Performing Arts, and having trained for many years in both dancing and acting, I am now in the final year of a Dance and Drama degree at Edge Hill University.
Being autistic I understand how important it is to have a fun, creative outlet within a safe, structured environment and want to use my knowledge to help others to have the best experience possible. It has always been my ambition to have a career in Inclusive Arts so being welcomed so warmly into the Divine Days family has been wonderful, and I look forward to the journey ahead.
Eva Chalk - Dance Volunteers
I have danced since a young age and am part of the Inspiration School of Dance. I absolutely love being part of a team and really believe dance can bring people together.
My love and passion for dance was what first led me to the Divine family, and I’m so glad it did- I enjoy spending time with everyone there and look forward to going every week.
Poppy E, Poppy P and Lucy S - Dance Volunteers
We joined as volunteers with Divine Days September 2022, we love volunteering for Divine Days Community.
We are active members of Inspirations School of Dance which partner with Divine Days. We were blown away by their performances and asked if we could join. We support in both the Divine Inspiration and Divine Dance and we also perform when our dance troops are on tour.
Gemma Copeland - Legacy Project Job Coach/Awards and Recognitions Lead
I joined the Legacy Project as a job coach in November 2021 and I have the privilege of supporting young interns with additional learning needs within a job placement with a view to gain paid employment on completion of their internship. What I love about this role is that no two days are the same and I find it incredibly rewarding watching the progression of the interns through their chosen employment path.
A supported Internship can be perceived as work experience, but it couldn’t be more different. Job Coach’s help the interns to develop their skills during a work placement and build their confidence for them to be able to complete tasks independently. The role of the job coach is hands on, along with making observations and undertaking assessments ensuring that the interns are developing at their own pace to achieve their Employability Skills qualification and onto paid employment.
Nicola Schaefer - Legacy Project Job Coach/Marketing Lead/Safeguarding Lead
I joined the Legacy Project as a job coach in January 2022, supporting young interns with additional learning needs within their education setting, job placement or paid job. I love how the role is varied and rewarding, whilst being able to advocate for our young people, supporting them to become autonomous adults.
Im a young entrepreneur Mentor at The Prince’s Trust a qualified further education teacher and a Holistic Wellbeing Therapist. I have an academic background in Social Science, previously lecturing at Edge Hill University on social policy and law., and development psychology. In my spare time i love spending time with my dogs and family as well as walking, cooking, practising yoga and all things related to a mindful lifestyle
Colette Jones - Job Coach & Schools Links Liaison Officer
I have over 15 years experience with SEND and SEN children and Adults. Qualified Nursery Nurse. Mum of two grown up girls in their 30’s and 5 handsome Grandsons. Love family time and socializing, DIY, swimming..
When it comes to The Legacy Project. I am able to apply the skills that I have learned over the years to help young adults with their needs and what they want to get in life, it is my job to make sure that they have the skills and information to achieve in the workplace, I find joy in being able to talk to and inspire young adults to get to where they want to be in life.
Anthony McNulty - Legacy Project Job Coach
I first heard about Divine Days through a friend who informed me that the company was looking Job Coaches. I did some research on the company and decided it was something I would like to get involved in. and was able to join the team for January 2023
I enjoy the experience of working with some wonderful people in a variety
of environments. To aid our interns to thrive within the real working environment and to make sure that they have the same opportunities that others have as I don’t think having a lower chance to get employed for something out of their control is fair.
I am delighted that I took on the role.
Tony Bishop - Legacy Project Job Coach/Community Lead
Since I’ve been lucky enough to work at Divine Days I have really understood the concept of the many various projects that we all get involved with
Even though it is very early days I have certainly noticed a major difference a work coach/mentor has on the many student’s activities and wellbeing
Firstly I’ve noticed the confidence levels are raised and obviously the many students have different strengths ,if we can utilise those strengths I truly believe that their confidence will grow and help them to be totally independent and happy in their future workplace
I have already noticed s significant change in some of the students that I’ve been allocated to work with
I believe that in the future the projects will only get better and be more interesting to the students and to all of us job coaches too
I think potentially there are many ways we can all tap into the community and workplaces and make a huge difference to all involved
Kristine Eccles - Community Connections Coordinator
Four years ago, I stumbled upon a Divine Days Community dance session, as a support worker. A few hours later, I stumbled into a Divine Days Community group session. This was the day my new journey in life began. To see the imperative work Katie Whitehead and the Divine Days team were achieving with children and adults in our community, I found beautiful and awe- inspiring. My eyes were opened, and my heart filled with hope and possibilities after experiencing first hand,
the incredible impact the sessions have on children and adults physical, mental, and social wellbeing. It was an honor to be asked to take the job role of Community Coordinator and to develop, coordinate and connect some of our vulnerable members of our community.
Joshua Osullivan - IT Manager/Newsletter Lead
The legacy project is where I first heard of Divine Days, after a year of interning with them and being able to have the aid of the amazing job coaches that are on hand allowed for me to get a job with them.
Being able to support individuals like myself and aid in the development of not only children with special educational needs but those who are around them makes me feel like I’m making an impact in communities where it feels very exclusive. Making these areas more accessible for those like myself is a big factor as to why I take honor in my work.