Meet the team
Get to know the fabulous faces behind the Young Carers Academy and read a little bit more about us.
Dr Dee Gray - Director
Hello I'm Dee, and I'm very proud to be one of the Directors of the Young Carers Academy.
I'm a founding Director, and began establishing the Young Carers Academy many years ago through my work in wellbeing.
My background is rather diverse and includes, health, law, research and education. I have also had a caring role for many years, in fact I became a young carer at about the age of 7 and it has always been part of my life.
I have a fair few formal obligations as Director, but in amongst these I hope we have many opportunities to meet and discuss how we can collaborate on projects and programmes, perhaps we will also get the chance to co-produce some wonderful opportunities with young carers too.
Do get in touch with us, and share your ideas and aspirations!
Dr Rich Edwards - Director
Hello I'm Rich, and I am very pleased to be a Director of the Young Carers Academy.
I am a company director and entrepreneur living in North Wales, with over 25 years' experience in academia and technology businesses.
My background is in Chemistry, Education and Computing. I have held technical advisory roles in a number of companies and successful publicly-funded development projects. I am a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and ISO/IEC 27001 Lead Auditor. I am a keen reader, mountain walker and gamer, and I am passionate about restoring the environment for future generations.
In this role I hope to bring all of these interests into the realm of Young Carers. I am particularly excited about the use of technology to help carers meet and support each other, and then to meet in person to enjoy outdoor activities.
Ursula McDarren - Director
Hello I’m Ursula, and I feel very honoured to have been appointed a Director of the Young Carers Academy.
I currently working in private catering and my contracts take me all over the world. I have a background in finance and have worked in many different businesses over the years.
I love travelling, eating and riding my bicycle, plus the odd bit of wild swimming when it’s not too cold!
I am very much looking forward to contributing to the academy with my skill set and learning some new skills along the way.
Karina Jones - Associate
Hello I am Karina and will be developing coaching and confidence building within the young carers leadership programme.
Karina is an actor and vocal coach who most recently appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company in their rep season 2019-2020. Karina is also an aerialist and is visually impaired. As a Clore Fellow, Karina would like pass on her skills in mentoring and leadership and be part of a strong community of carers. She is really looking forward to working with the young carers building self confidence, creativity and having fun.
Caroll Whitbread - Accounts Manager
Hello I am Caroll, and I am the Accounts Manager here at the Young Carers Academy.
Our paths will connect when you have any queries about sponsorship costs, invoices for work, costs to commission work from us, when you want to know ways in which to contribute resources, and how to ensure prompt payment when you work with us. I am a very experienced accounts bod, and am well versed in working in an action orientated supportive organisation. I have also had carer responsibilities on and off since I was a child.
Soo Rees-Jones - Programme Design
Hello I am Soo, I am a practising artist and an Art and Design lecturer at Coleg Menai in North Wales.
I am the programme leader for the Level 3 Art and Design qualifications and also mentor for the trainee lecturers programme. I work with students from Level 2 up to degree level and teach a range of applied arts. My role within the Young carers Academy is twofold. I work alongside the director to develop curriculum planning and I also provide opportunities for the young carers to engage in creative activities.
Emily Roberts - Virtual Assistant
Hello, I’m Emily and I’m the Virtual Assistant here at the Young Carers Academy.
I’ve been working with the Academy since August 2020 and my duties include policy reviewing, template creation, maintaining the website, graphic design, translation work, social media management, organising databases and other administrative duties.
I’m an avid reader and animal lover and I look forward to continuing my work with the Academy and am excited to see the upcoming projects unfold.
Colette - Intern
Hello, my name is Colette, and I am extremely proud to be the first intern for the young carers academy.
I am 19 years old and I am in my second year of studying psychology at Bangor University. Having been a young carer myself, I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to be involved in something that will help other young carers. I am involved in the wellbeing project and doing some research around it. I know this is such a great opportunity and this experience will teach me so much, too.
Pamela Luckock - Associate
Hello, I am Pam, and having recently retired as co-founding Director of the Young Carers Academy, I move into this exciting new role as Associate.
I look forward to adapting my wide experience as a Coach / Mentor, facilitator, and World Cafe host to benefit the young carer members of the Young Carers Academy CIC.
It’s my intention within this new role to encourage each of the young carers we work with to explore their hopes and dreams for their future and to find ways in which they can turn these into reality.
I hope to also be able to share my personal interests; these include community food growing (Incredible Edible) cooking, crafts and being in the natural environment, all of which have a positive and evidenced impact on wellbeing.
In this new Associate role, I will endeavour to enable each young carer to feel heard, valued and be their ‘best self’.