The team

Darren Connew
Head of Service

Darren joined in July 2021 as the new Head of Service. Darren is a professionally qualified Youth Worker and spent many years working directly with individuals and leading teams in Employability based work, with a focus on those who faced barriers into gaining employment or training. He has a wealth of experience of developing new business opportunities and working closely in partnership with others.

Sue Witty
IPS Team Lead (South Essex)

Sue has been in post since 2008. Sue’s background is predominantly in Recruitment, Sales and Retail. Sue began her career in London working in; retail, high street recruitment agencies and recruitment advertising. Sue leads her West and South teams, and is responsible for managing demand and their caseloads, practice and professional development and developing relationships with employers and partners.

Alina Harley
IPS Team Lead (West Essex)

Alina joined Employ-ability in May 2023 as the IPS Team Lead for West Essex. Alina has an extensive background in working with people, having joined us from a similar programme where she delivered and led a team of 9 staff. Prior to the employment sector, Alina managed a flagship store for Boots Opticians.

Patrick Sullivan
Retention Team Lead

Patrick helps users in Epping. He provides 1-1 support to users, helping them with their confidence in order for them to reach their employment goals. He also facilitates support with employers who have employees with mental ill health. Patrick likes classic cars, snorkelling and vegetable growing!

Angelo Sansiviero
Team Lead (West Suffolk)

Angelo specialised as a graduate for schools focusing on special educational needs support provision and he is now excited to use the recruitment expertise he has to support those with mental ill health in finding and retaining work. Angelo enjoys building relationships and helping people to find success and thrive, when he’s not doing that, you might find him poring through a good book or spending time with his family.

David Walkerley
Senior Employment Retention Specialist, South Essex

David helps those with mental ill health to find paid work or voluntary work. His work also involves providing job retention services, working with clinicians and approaching employers to employ Employ-Ability’s users.

Amy Jacobs
Employment Specialist, Harlow

Amy joined the Employ-Ability team as an Employment Specialist in August 2020 and represents the West Essex team in Uttlesford. Her role is to work alongside the community mental health team to aid people’s recovery through work opportunities. Amy has over 10 years’ experience managing stakeholder relationships. She is passionate about supporting people living with mental ill health to realise their potential in employment.

Amy is also studying to be a Counsellor in her spare time. When she is not working, Amy is usually reading a book or spending time with her little boy and husband.  She is a long suffering Spurs fan.

Emma Pope
Employment Specialist, Harlow

Emma provides support to clients in the area of Harlow to build their confidence and to support them with their employment goals and explores different ways to build and maintain their resilience. Emma helps people who are experiencing mental ill health to find new employment/training or to retain their current employment.
Her past career involved working for a housing provider and a local charity, supporting vulnerable adults with, housing issues, domestic violence and most recently employment issues. She is committed in seeing others feel empowered by their own efforts.
Emma enjoys yoga and is also a keen gardener.

Carleyann Claridge-Hughes
Employment Specialist, Harlow

I am an Employment Specialist based in Harlow, supporting those who are experiencing mental health struggles on their journey back to employment. Before working here, I was a care and support worker for vulnerable adults, over the last 9 years I have worked in dementia care, neurological rehabilitation, and epilepsy. I am passionate about meaningful work and have a particular interest in mental wellbeing. Outside of work I enjoy drawing and painting as often as I possibly can.

Laura Carter
Employment Specialist, Canvey Island

I joined the South team in June 2021. Prior to this, I worked in education for many years as a cover supervisor and higher level teaching assistant. I provided careers advice and support to Years 7-13 in a specialised Mental Health unit for adolescents. I now work closely with the clinical teams providing employment, education and training support to our clients with severe mental illness. I enjoy being part of a team that helps create positive, meaningful and lasting change, helping our clients bounce back!

Andria Moggridge
Employment Specialist, Basildon

Andria provides 1-1 personalised support to users referred to Employ-Ability. Andria helps users become work ready, which includes preparing their CV and identifying their career goals. Andria loves to spend time with her family, and is a keen beaded jewellery maker.

Geraint Hole
Employment Specialist, Brentwood

I have recently joined Employ-Ability and will be covering the Brentwood area from the Brentwood Resource Centre.  I have had a number of different careers in my working life including 15 years in the Met Police, 17 years working in the leisure industry starting as a Personal Trainer and Exercise Referral specialist, and then moved into various managerial roles. This culminated with me being a General Manager running a leisure centre for 7 years.  I am passionate about helping and supporting people with mental ill health back into work, and giving people hope that life can get better.  I have been a client of Employ-ability myself until recently and know the help and support that is on offer.  I wanted to find a job that brought more meaning and reward, so last year I completed the IPS Grow course for Employment Specialists. I will use all of the experience I have gained working in different sectors and also my own life experiences to be an advocate for my clients to get them in to paid work.

Ann-Marie Oddie
Employment Retention Specialist, West Essex

I joined Employ-ability as an Employment Retention Specialist in November 2021 after 10 years within the recruitment industry. I became interested in mental health after realising that it affected those around me, which encouraged me to take a course at the local college to learn more. As a Retention Specialist, my remit is to support clients in retaining their job while dealing with mental ill health.  In my spare time, I like to walk my two dogs and spend time with friends.

Christina Wright
Employment Retention Specialist, South Essex

Christina has a varied background in supporting individuals with additional social, emotional, learning and mental health needs in therapeutic and social care roles and also delivering training to professionals around these topics. Christina enjoys building relationships with people and helping them to recognise their own strengths and potential, so they can move towards reaching their goals. Within her role in the Retention team, she supports employees and employers to find ways of working together to enable the employee to retain their role; which can include looking at reasonable adjustments and additional support that can be accessed. In her spare time Christina enjoys playing the saxophone, piano and drums and also volunteers for the Samaritans.

Megan Salter
Employment Retention Specialist, Southend

Megan is the employment retention specialist for Southend. Since starting back in May 2021, she has been working on creating a pilot to prove the need for employment retention in the Southend on Sea borough in order to create the funding for an on-going contract. Previously, Megan has worked in various roles ranging from retail management to specialised support work but has found this new role of helping individuals suffering with their mental health retain their employment, incredibly rewarding and a welcome challenge. In Megan’s spare time she loves to travel and enjoy all the riches the world has to offer, especially the snorkelling!

Emily van Oosterom
Employment Specialist, Newmarket

Emily joined the team as an Employment Specialist covering the Newmarket and Thetford area. Having previously worked in the Health and Social Care sector, Emily is passionate about supporting people in an individualised way.

Debbie Parry
Senior Administrator

Debbie supports the Service Manager and looks after all of the office administration at Employ-Ability. She ensures that the rest of the staff have adequate support to work efficiently.  She has extensive experience within administration support spanning over 35 years. Debbie is a trainee counsellor and enjoys sewing in her spare time.