Welsh Referrals

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Meet The Team

Senior Management Team

John Farragher

Executive Chairman

John is the founder, owner and Chairman of Potens.

John is a Learning Disability Nurse.

He said: “Born near Birkenhead docks a long while ago – I’ll admit to being in my fifties!

Concert Pianist, Astrophysicist, Raconteur and Olympic Athlete are just a few of the things I’m not known for.

Trained as an Learning Disability Nurse in early 80’s which started the incredible journey leading to the privileged position I am at today.”


Nicki Stadames

Chief Operating Officer

Registered Nurse (RNMH)

Nicki is Potens Chief Operating Officer, with 20 years’ operational experience in the Health and Social Care Sector. Whilst Nicki has previously worked in both Local Authority and Charitable organisations, the vast majority of her experience is in the Private sector. Nicki joined the company as the Registered Manager of the one and only Registered Home and has grown alongside the Organisation in partnership with those who live and work within.

Nicki has been with Potens since 1996

Tom Arnold

Finance Director

ACA & BA (Hons) Economics

Tom is the Director of Finance for Potens. He is a chartered accountant with over 20 years finance experience working in the health and social care sector. He has previously worked as a Finance Director of a GP out of hours service and a company providing healthcare in secure environments.

Tom has been with Potens since 2004

Naomi Atkinson

Director of Operations

Naomi has worked across social care services for a significant number of years after completing a Social Science Degree and Social Work Qualification.

Naomi is particularly motivated by promoting customer involvement and seeing the positive impact this can have on an organisation, as well as a focus on staff appreciation and engagement.

Naomi lives in Yorkshire with her husband, 4 grown up children and various animals. She loves skiing, walking and eating!

Naomi joined Potens in January 2019

Noreen Mitchell

Regional Director North & West

BA (hons) Community Management & PG Dip in Management.

Noreen is one of Potens Regional Directors with responsibility for North Wales and North & West England.

Noreen has over 20 years operational management experience within the health and social care sector within a range of organisations including; housing associations, local government and the charitable, voluntary and private sector.

Noreen has been with Potens since 2007.

Mike Hartley

Regional Director East

Mike has worked in health care, primary in Mental Health for 42 years .

Mike started his career as a Registered Mental Health nurse leaving the NHS as a Community Psychiatric nurse . Mike then spent 26 years at a National Mental Health Charity Rethink Mental Illness for the last 12 years up to December 2019 when he joined Potens as a Director.

Mike experience in his previous charity post included overseeing Quality, being the charity’s Caldecott guardian and Safeguarding Lead. Mike had a number of other roles including supporting Integrated governance, overseeing health and safety and supporting specialist development. Most recently in his career at the charity before joining Potens Mike assume responsibilities for all the charities portfolio of Care homes with Nursing. Mike has retained his nurse qualification continues to update himself as to recent practice .

Mike joined Potens in December 2019.

Bettina Jeppesen

Regional Director South

BA (hons) in Sociology and Social Policy. Advanced Diploma in Dual Diagnosis (Mental Health & Substance Misuse)

Bettina has over 25 years’ experience in the social care sector, 10 of these years as a senior manager. Bettina has worked across third sector and private companies predominantly supporting people with learning disabilities, mental health conditions or a range of additional complex needs, including; registered, supported living, floating support and community activity based services.

Bettina joined Potens in the summer of 2017

Area Managers

Jayne Dakic

Area Manager (South)

RMA, A1 assessor, NVQ 5, Portage HV award.

Over the past 38 years Jayne has work across most care sectors including babies, children and family services , adults with mental health, learning disabilities, addiction, duel diagnosis, challenging behaviours, autism PMLD , specialised complex physical and health needs and people with life limiting diagnosis, in the NHS, local authority, and the private sector.

For the past 15 years alongside her senior management and operational roles she has been working in service crisis management, safeguarding and part of the WSCC emergency response team.

Jayne started at Potens in February 2021.

Mike Barton

Area Manager (Blackburn, Bradford & Sheffield)

Dip HE Management; Level 5 Disabilities Studies; Certificate in Counselling.

Mike has over 30 years’ operational experience working in the Health & Social Care sector both in the UK and Ireland, within a variety of roles and settings including; housing associations, charitable, voluntary and private sector companies.

Mike oversees Potens services in Northern Ireland, Blackburn, Bradford and Sheffield.

Mike Joined Potens in 2011 as a Registered Manager.

Alecia White

Area Manager (Tees)

NVQ Level 2 & 3 Health and Social Care. NVQ Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services.

Alecia has over 12 years’ experience in the social care sector, 5 of these years as a senior manager. Alecia has worked across the sector under Local Authority, NHS and Private Companies predominantly supporting people with learning disabilities, mental health conditions and a range of additional complex needs, including; registered and dual registered for supported living, residential and domiciliary care.

Alecia joined Potens at the beginning of 2020

Chris Browne

Area Manager (South-West)

MA Community Care Management

Chris has over 25 years’ experience in social care primarily working with people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health issues as well as experience in housing and working with people with physical disability.

Chris is also experienced in national governance issues having sat on national boards, holding a national brief for the support of children with disabilities and been the organisational lead on child protection.

Chris joined Potens in March 2018

Wais Zamani

Area Manager - Tyne

Post Grad level 7 Diploma in Business Administration. Diploma Level 5 In Management Development (DMD), Level 4 Leadership & Management Awards, NVQ Level 2,3,4 In Health and Social Care. BSc (Hons) In Internet Computing.

Wais has over 13 years operational experience in health and social care within a range of Private and Charitable organisations; managing adult and children services.

This includes: Supported Living, Dom Care, Complex and Palliative Care, Domestic Services, Homelessness, Substance misuse services, Mental Health, Registered Residential Services, Older people services, Complex Autism, Dementia Care services, Complex Challenging Behaviour, Respite and Day Opportunity services.

Wais is also an experienced Training Facilitator, he developed and delivered specialist courses on behalf of LA, PCT throughout England and Scotland


Michelle McColl

Area Manager (Lancashire)

Leadership and Management Level 5

Michelle has worked in Social Care since 1988, with a focus on working with adults with learning disabilities and mental health needs.

Michelle joined Potens as a Registered Manager in 2009, was promoted to Locality Manager in 2018 and is now Potens’ Area Manager for Lancashire.

Passionate about promoting good mental health and the recovery model within our services, Michelle led Potens’ CQC outstanding (across all 5 domains) service Mansard House.

Glenn Barnett

Area Manager (North Wales)

Registered Nurse (RNMH), Registered Managers Award (RMA), ILM Level 5 Management and IOSH.

Glenn has responsibility for residential services and day opportunities in North Wales, and is also the Responsible Individual working closely with CSSIW to maintain compliance. Glenn has 24 years clinical experience in both Learning Disability and Mental Health and has worked in a variety of settings and locations throughout the England & Wales.

Glenn joined Potens in 2006 as a registered manager and progressed to General Manager for Queens Court before being promoted to Area Manager for North Wales.

Joanne Crosby

Area Manager (Greater Manchester & Cheshire)

NVQ Level 5 Leadership in Health and Social Care (2017)

Joanne has over 12 years’ experience in senior people management roles within Health and Social Care within a range of settings supporting individuals with acquired brain injuries, autism and complex learning disabilities. Joanne has extensive knowledge of the guidance that governs Residential/Supported Living protocols as well as the CHC and independent investigation processes.

Joanne is the Area Manager for our Greater Manchester and Cheshire services

Asmah Memon

Area Manager (Merseyside and Wirral)

Asmah is the Area Manager for Merseyside and Wirral

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MSc in Psychology, NVQ Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services.

Asmah has over 12 years’ experience in the social care sector, 10 of these within various management roles, service manager, branch manager and regional support manager. Asmah has worked across third sector and private companies predominantly supporting people with acquired brain injury, mental health conditions, learning disabilities and complex needs, including: registered domiciliary care, supported living, residential and community-based support.

Asmah started with Potens in September 2020.


Business Development Team

Janie Holmes

Business Development Manager (West)

Janie has been employed within the health and social care sector for almost 30 years, she has experience supporting both children and adults with complex needs. Within that time, she has held both operational and development roles wherein she has developed knowledge and gained understanding as to the changing needs of those we support.

Janie believes that the experience she has gained has enabled her to have insight and understanding as to the ongoing operational and developmental challenges which providers must address daily.

She has extensive partnership working with stakeholders and with those we support ensuring that the needs of the individuals are met through quality services.

Janie covers our West Region and joined Potens in January 2021

Natalie Brooks

Regional Business Development Manager (East)

NVQ Level 3 Health & Social Care
BA (Hons) Care, Community and Citizenship

Natalie has worked within Social Care for 12 years. She began her career within operations as a support worker within Domiciliary and Supported Living settings, eventually working as a service manager for a Charity Organisation. For the last 4 years Natalie has worked as a Referral and Assessment manager helping to secure new business, working alongside the operations team and commissioners to set up new services, secure placements for individuals within Supported Living and Residential settings. Natalie has worked with individuals with various support needs including Learning/Physical Disabilities, Mental Health, ABI and Autism.

Natalie joined Potens in January 2020.

Services Development Team

Lorraine Hollis

Service Development Manager (East)

Lorraine has worked in Health and Social Care for 30 years.

She has worked across all levels from Practitioner to Senior Manager. Lorraine has developed and managed a number of multi-disciplinary teams including Residential Services, Day Services, Community Treatment Teams for both Adults and Young People.

Before joining Potens in October 2019 Lorraine worked for a National Charitable Organisation within the People Directorate as the lead for Management Development.

Judith Hacking

Service Development Manager (West)

Registered Nurse (RNMH), Executive Diploma in Management Studies, Registered Managers Award & various other management qualifications.

Judith has over thirty years experience within the  Health and Social Care Sector.  Having worked in a range of settings within the NHS, charitable and private sectors Judith’s previous roles  have included; Service Improvement Manager Regional, Operations Manager Lancashire and Culture Champion.

Judith joined Potens in 2018

Positive Support Team

Dave Walton

Positive Behaviour Facilitator (West)

Degree in Psychology, Advanced Professional Diploma in PBS

Dave has worked in the social care sector since 2002, starting off in child care, supporting people with Autism as a care officer before moving on in to team leader and manager roles. During this time Dave became an Advanced Practioner in Intensive Interaction, was PECS trained and Makaton trained. Dave also worked as a Behaviour Management Trainer delivering 3 day BILD accredited courses and worked as a behaviour support co-ordinator.

Dave joined Potens in 2018

Georgina Tiller

PBS Facilitator (South)

RNLD, BSC Hons Health & Social Care, Certificate in Education (PTLLS).

Georgia is a Positive Behaviour Support Facilitator for Potens based in the South. She is a registered Learning Disability Nurse and has been in this field for almost 30 years.  She has worked in a vast number of settings private, voluntary and public sectors including with children, young people, adults and elder care.  Georgia has experience in mental health.  Georgia has previously worked in management and has been teaching Health and Social Care courses for 18 years.

Georgia joined the Potens Team in January 2017.

Support Functions

Gail Simko

IT Manager

Gail is our IT Manager and ITIL Expert, with in-excess of 25 years’ experience in IT, working across the Education, Legal, Recruitment & Facilities sectors, with the last 17 years being in a Senior/Management capacity.

Gail has worked in a local, national and global capacity and has successfully built and delivered IT Services throughout the UK, Europe, America & Asia.

Gail’s key responsibilities are to oversee the smooth running and delivery of the day to day IT Services across the business nationally, to build, modernise, streamline, integrate and continuously improve new IT infrastructure Initiatives and to oversee and deliver our Operational Software Training Projects.

Gail joined Potens in January 2019

Graeme James

Commercial Accountant

Graeme is Potens’ Commercial Accountant. He has over 15 years finance experience in public and private sector organisations.

He gained a real passion and expertise for the health & social care sector while working for a leading national care provider.

Graeme has spent the last 6 years working in Senior Operational Finance roles, partnering with leadership teams to improve their overall commercial and strategic performance.

Graeme joined Potens in August 2018

Emma Spike

Recruitment Analyst

Emma is our Recruitment Manager and Analyst, with many years recruitment experience at a Senior management and Regional level and a focus on high compliance recruitment and retention.

She has previously covered the whole of the UK and Ireland for large companies over both Education and BPO Outsourcing and has returned to the sector to have a positive impact on both quality and cost. Having previously developed and led teams creating bespoke recruitment solutions, her focus is to get the right people the first time around allowing our managers to focus on what they do best and ensuring a candidate focused and streamlined process.

Emma joined Potens in December 2018

Nikki Carpenter

Finance Manager

ACCA (certificate Level) & AAT

Nikki is the Finance Manager for Potens supervising the accounts team and providing support to operations, she works closely with the Finance Director.

She has over 20 years accounting experience within a range of organisations including; charitable, voluntary and private sector with considerable expertise working within the health and social care sector and understanding the needs of the business.

Nikki has been with Potens since 2010

Matt Gardiner

Facilities Director

Matt is Potens’ Facilities Director.

Matt has over 20 years experience within the construction and property industry, with three years Health and Care sector focus, is a member of the IWFM and holds a Prince 2 Project management qualifications.

Matt joined Potens in 2019.

Pauline Davies

Office Manager

Pauline has over 10 years’ experience in a variety of roles covering Human Resources, Quality Assurance and Administration Management.

Based at Potens Head Office in Birkenhead, Pauline’s role manages and supports the administration function across all Potens services and areas.

She has significant experience working within the health and social care sector, understanding the needs of the business.

Pauline started with Potens in 2015

Frank Walsh

Workforce Development Manager

Assoc CIPD, BSc (Hons) Degree Technology Management, L5 Dip Business Advisor & NEBOSH Certificate

Frank has responsibility for planning, reviewing and evaluating the company Learning & Development, HR and Health & Safety strategies.

He has over 20 years’ experience working with organisations from a variety of sectors in helping them to develop their workforce development practices.

Frank Joined Potens in 2011

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