Meet the team
Only the BEST
Improve outcomes for children, young people and their families
Our dynamic team of highly qualified healthcare and educational professionals have a wealth of clinical experience and knowledge. We offer assessments, treatment programmes, unique sensory diets, as well as training for schools, parents and support groups. At Jump Start we use innovative therapy techniques and specialist equipment to help people reach their goals and fulfil their potential.
All therapists and staff hold current DBS certificates and are Health and Care Professions Council registered.
Julia Gray is the first point of contact when getting in touch with Jump Start, and we are delighted to have her as part of the team. Julia has worked for over 20 years in the City for several financial services institutions. She has worked as an Executive Assistant to the Head of IT and also worked on a major change programme for a large French Bank. She brings a wealth of experience and skills from all the roles she has undertaken.
For the last 10 years Julia has looked after her two boys full time at home. Her eldest child has additional needs, and she is extremely knowledgeable, from a parent prospective, regarding issues such as Educational Health Care Plans, and the challenges that parents face.
Julia also volunteers for a local Essex Charity SNAP (Special Needs and Parents), which helps families with children and young people who have any special need or disability.
SNAP’s aims are to inform, encourage and support parents and carers so that they can grow in strength and knowledge and become better equipped to give the best possible help to their children.
Julia also helps and takes an active role in both the boys PTFA at their schools.
Anna has been with Jump Start from its early beginnings and is the main point of contact for any finance queries. Anna also leads on our policies, health and safety, and she takes the bookings for our Training Courses.
Anna graduated from Edinburgh University in 2000, gaining a first-class Masters degree in Geography and Social Anthropology. She worked for 10 years in London as a television researcher and producer, mainly in current affairs. Jump Start offers Anna the opportunity for varied work in a developing and stimulating environment. She strongly believes in the benefits that Occupational Therapy can bring to children and their families.
In addition to running her busy household of 3 boys, Anna has also volunteered at Colchester Women’s Refuge, as part of the Outreach Team, and been an active member of Kelvedon & Feering Preschool Committee. Most recently she is has joined the charity Home Start as a volunteer to support families in times of need.
Clinic Lead, Occupational Therapist
Tania joined Jump Start in 2018 and she brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the team. She is our Clinic Lead, providing guidance and support to our team in the clinic. She is responsible for developing care pathways and policies within our service.
Tania qualified in New Zealand in 2010 (Bachelor of Health Science, Occupational Therapy), and she has worked internationally in the fields of Mental Health and Paediatric OT. In the UK, she has worked widely across the NHS and her last placement was in Specialist Services for Children and Young People, NHS North East London Foundation Trust. She was responsible for Early Years, and was the Autism and Schools Lead.
Her caseload has been varied and extensive, including children with cerebral palsy, neurodegenerative genetic conditions, ASD, ADHD, global development delay, DCD, traumatic brain injury, mild to severe physical disability, hemiplegia, learning disability, sensory processing issues, and Downs Syndrome.
Tania is a passionate and dedicated team player and is keen to develop Jump Start’s links and service delivery to Specialist schools.
Tania has completed her Sensory Integration Level 3, has attended the Sensory Attachment Intervention Level 1 for Therapists and completed DMM training (Dynamic-Maturational Model) of attachment and adoption at the Tavistock.
Director, Occupational Therapist
Adriana is a director of Jump Start and the Responsible individual for Ofsted. Adriana has been an Occupational Therapist for over 20 years. She is our School’s Lead, and has overall responsibility for our support role in specialist schools.
Prior to joining Jump Start she has worked in both the Mental Health and Children’s services; within the NHS in the UK and in private practice in Singapore. She has worked in various settings including adult inpatient hospitals, the community, special schools, preschool nurseries, mainstream schools and clinics.
Adriana has completed postgraduate training in Sensory Integration (SI) with the University of Southern California; the Co-op Coaching Techniques, Developmental Play and the “Phono-Graphix” reading scheme.
Her particular interest is in how play can profoundly affect a child’s development and this guides her approach to assessment and treatment sessions.
She has 4 children and she enjoys walking her dog and completing jigsaw puzzles for relaxation.
Consultant Clinical Psychologist
Fran Davies, BA Hons( Oxon) PgCESpEd, PgCHEP, MSc, MSc Clin Psy, MA Oxon, is an HCPC registered Practitioner Psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Fran is also on the register of applied psychology supervisors ( RAPPS) and has many years of consultancy experience.
Following her degree in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, Fran spent the first three years of postgraduate life as Research Officer at the MRC Cognitive Development Unit in London, working on Theory of MInd research. Fran then took up a place at University College London where she completed her three-year Clinical Psychology training.
Qualified for more than 25 years, Fran has worked in a variety of NHS, local authority, third sector and private outpatient, educational and residential settings, working therapeutically with children, young people and their families and carers. Client groups include children and adults with disabilities & autism, looked after children and those with complex attachment, mental health or neurodevelopmental presentations. Fran has set up and lead a multidisciplinary team specialising in supporting individuals with ASD and co-coordinated the setting up and running of an adult ASD diagnostic service. Fran has also worked as a lecturer and enjoys delivering training across a broad spectrum of topics and audiences. Fran is trained to use a wide range of specialist assessment and therapeutic methods. In addition to her role at Jumpstart, Fran is also the Lead Clinical Psychologist for a brain injury rehabilitation service.
Dr. Matt Slavin
Children's Champion, Clinical Psychologist
Dr Matthew Slavin; DClinPsych is a Clinical Psychologist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and is a Chartered Member (CPsychol) of the British Psychological Society.
Matt provides specialist assessment, therapy, consultation, training and clinical supervision to support vulnerable client groups across the life span.
With specialist training and practice in the areas of developmental psychology, trauma, attachment and systemic practice, Matt is committed to improving the lives of children, young people and families affected by separation, loss and trauma. Matt invites children, young people and families into a safe authentic compassionate therapeutic space which offers warmth, acceptance, and healing. He works collaboratively with families to explore together the emotional distress and difficulties present in a shared understanding (i.e. formulation) and makes sure that therapeutic goals are meaningful for client’s lives. Knowing that opportunities for healing and growth happen within trusted relationships, Matt makes sure to spend the time to build a strong therapeutic alliance and ensures he helps guide individuals through moments of hardship and joy within sessions. With clinical and research expertise in nature-based therapies, Matt works in and outside of the clinic ensuring that sessions meet the individual needs of the children and families he sees, and that fun, exploration and discovery are sewn into the seeds of change.
Expert Occupational Therapist
Hayley is a Senior Occupational Therapist, with Sensory Integration training level 2/3, and Sensory Attachment Intervention level 1. Hayley has over 20 years experience in Occupational Therapy and has worked in various settings including adult resource units, children’s own homes, special schools, preschool nurseries, clinics and mainstream schools. Hayley set up and ran the OT department at Doucecroft School, Autism Anglia, for the last 8 years. She was responsible for providing support for children with autism spectrum conditions and additional complex needs.
Hayley is passionate about her key interests in Sensory Integration, Attachment therapy and autism, and is keen to develop her expertise in the area of Attachment. She has completed her DMM Training (Dynamic-Maturational Model) of attachment and adaption at the Tavistock.
Hayley has worked for in the NHS for a large part of her career, including Suffolk and West Suffolk PCT, and began by working within social services.
Another key interest of Hayley‘s is to be creative with strategies and ideas in therapy. She enjoys collating resources and has recently compiled a booklet entitled, ’Sensory Strategies for Personal Care’ (found on Autism Anglia Website).
Outside of her busy work life, Hayley has found time for numerous voluntary roles, including setting up a handwriting and coordination group in a local school.
Consultant Occupational Therapist
Naomi is registered as an Occupational Therapist with the HCPC. She is trained in Sensory Integration and Sensory Attachment Intervention. Further she is an Australian accredited Transpersonal Art Therapist and Counsellor and is currently studying Psychodrama under Kate Tauvon and Clark Biam.
Her main interests include how development and life experiences influence an individual becoming who they are; how they respond because of that on an emotional and practical level in relationships and the other spheres of life. She has an holistic approach and sees the body as a main source of information towards integration. She believes that play provides a good platform for connection and interaction. She values the strength of nature in healing and the power of storytelling through imagery. She believes in embodiment towards cognitive understanding. She enjoys using sandplay and movement as tools to accomplish that.
She loves animals, wild swimming and reading.
Senior Occupational Therapist
Ciara has recently joined Jump Start as a Senior Occupational therapist with sensory integration level training 2 and has completed SI Level 3 and Sensory Attachment Intervention training. She has been qualified for almost 7 years and has experience in forensic mental health, Adult mental health and most recently she has worked in a child and adolescent mental health ward for children and young people with complex needs including those with autism and learning disabilities. Ciara has worked very closely with those young people with ASD, learning disabilities and complex trauma histories which led her to complete further training in sensory integration to learn more about how best to support them. She has experience in applying Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) principles within her work. Ciara have worked both for the NHS and private companies throughout her career.
For Jump Start Ciara visits numerous specialist schools to give support with SI intervention. She also enjoys clinic time at JSC to conduct sensory assessments, comprehensive reports and complete SI interventions.
In her spare time she enjoys reading, baking, going to the gym and running.
My key areas of interest include: ASD, family work, schools, trauma informed approaches, DBT.
Senior Occupational Therapist
Naomi completed a Bsc Hons in Behavioural Sciences before working as an Occupational Therapy assistant in a mental health access team. This led Naomi to qualify with an Msc Hons in Occupational Therapy in 2014.
Since qualifying Naomi has completed her Junior rotations at Ipswich Hospital in; Complex Care of the Eldery, Trauma & Orthopedics, Rapid Assessment and A&E where she became a Senior Occupational Therapist. After leaving Ipswich Naomi worked in inpatient wards and an Intensive Support Team for individuals with Learning Disabilities and/ or Autism. This experience enabled Naomi to complete further training in Sensory Integration where she is a Level 3 Practitioner.
Naomi works in the Jump Start Centre clinic every other Saturday and is in Suffolk Schools visiting children and their teachers the rest of the week.
Outside of work Naomi enjoys running, fitness classes, horse riding and training her puppy Bertie who she hopes will become a PAT dog one day!
Senior Occupational Therapist
Lesley joined Jump Start in April 2019, having spent the previous 7 years working for a NHS service for children who have a diagnosed moderate to severe learning disability. She also worked with families to assess and manage the child’s behaviour. It was in this role that she undertook training in Sensory Integration, gaining a Post Graduate Certificate from Ulster University. Working in this role taught Lesley how to assess children who are not able to complete standardised assessments. This focused upon clinical observations, discussions with caregivers and spending time engaging the child in sensory play activities.
Lesley has a previous degree in Anthropology and Cultural Studies and a BSc in Occupational Therapy from the University of Essex, as a newly qualified Occupational Therapist she worked within a mental health team.
Following this training Lesley developed an interest in the complexities of family dynamics and trauma and how these impact on a child’s ability to function. This interest led her to complete the Sensory Attachment Level 1 course, DMM Training (Dynamic-Maturational Model) of attachment and adaption at the Tavistock and she has undertaken the ‘Just Right State’ Programme in June 2019.
Since joining the Jump Start team Lesley has undertaken Sensory Attachment Assessments, direct sensory and emotional regulation intervention with children both at the clinic and within their home environment. Lesley is passionate about educating others and supporting caregivers to gain a greater understanding of their child’s nervous system. She is interested in developing ways in which people can adapt their environment and their bodies through exercise, giving them the sensory feedback they require throughout their day.
Senior Occupational Therapist
Claire Pemrick, Managing Director, Occupational Therapist
Claire has over 20 years of experience working with children both in the UK and the US. She holds degrees in Occupational Therapy (BA Hons), and Communication Disorders (BA Hons). She has Masters level training in Sensory Integration and is an Advanced Practitioner, a Mentor to level 4 students, and was previously the co-editor of the SI networks e-newsletter emphaSIze. She is a member of the College of OTs, HCPC and DBS registered.
Claire gained her experience working for the NHS, and at a national Children’s Charity. She furthered her experience as a sole practitioner, and established Jump Start Therapy in 2012 to expand the practice.
Claire’s expertise lies with treating children with diagnoses such as Autism Spectrum Conditions, Dyspraxia, Cerebal Palsy, and Sensory Processing Disorders. She is now specialising in the area of Attachment, working with many adopted and fostered children.
She works directly with schools, local authorities and can provide expert assessment reports for use in tribunals. Claire has recently trained in Sensory Attachment Intervention and has expertise working in the area of adoption/ fostering. Several local authorities have used her expertise in this specialist area.