Meet the Team

The team at Ups and Downs are a dedicated group of people with a variety of professional backgrounds ranging from health and social care through to education. Some members of the team have a child with Down Syndrome or other condition themselves, so have personal knowledge and experience to add to their professional role – they are well placed to relate to and support any issues or concerns you may have either as a parent or professional.

Jo Thorn 
Director

Jo Thorn - Director - upsanddowns

With overall responsibility for the day to day operations and strategic direction of this vibrant and busy charity, Joanna has over 18 years of experience working in the Third Sector.  During this time she has managed several services in relation to children and young people as well as marginalized families.

She has a passion for development which evident across our services, in the team who deliver those services and the systems in place to ensure everything we do is quality assured and value for money.

Michelle Sugg 
Fundraising and Public Relations Officer.

Michelle Sugg - Fundraising Officer - Ups and Downs

In short, we have Michelle to blame for all the marathons, cake sales, skydiving and abseiling – if it raises our profile and much-needed funds, she will have us all doing it!  Initially a family support worker, again she has been able to use her personal parenting experience for a child with Down Syndrome to the benefit of others. Michelle’s passion for Ups and Downs is simply unstoppable.  Michelle heads up all of our event for families, children, and professionals, and forms vital links with our local communities and businesses.

Sue Anderson
Family Support Team Leader

Sue Anderson - Family Support team Leader - Ups and Downs Southwest

Sue joined the team in September 2019 from an education background. She has held roles as a teacher, SENCO and most recently, as an advisory teacher for pupils with SEN for Somerset County Council.

She has a passion for supporting our children and  young people with Down Syndrome and is keen to ensure that in all areas of support, available organisations work jointly to ensure  the best outcomes for children and their families.

Jackie Lawrence
Finance and Administration Assistant

Jackie Lawrence - Finance and Administration assistant - Ups and Downs Southwest

With over 30 years finance experience and a keen eye for detail, Jackie joined our busy team in June 2017. Working 24 hours a week, she is the backbone of our office administration, communications, and financial systems.

Jacqueline Sims
Family Support School Liaison Worker

Jacqueline Sims - Family Support and Schools Liaison Officer - Ups and Downs Southwest

Jacqueline has recently joined the team having taught in special schools and mainstream primary settings for over 30 years. She has a wealth of experience supporting parents and pupils with a range of special educational needs and can provide advice regarding educational issues and training.

Jackie Andrews
Family Support Worker

Jackie Andrews - Family Support Worker - ups and Downs Southwest

As a parent of a child with Cerebral Palsy, Jackie has a wealth of experience of caring for a child with severe learning and physical disabilities. Offering one-to-one support to parents, she is able to help navigate the minefield of benefits, statements, and health care.

Catherine Jessop
Family Support  and Youth Worker

Catherine Jessop - Family Support Worker - Ups and Downs Southwest

Catherine carries a wealth of experience in both the care and education sectors, most recently in a college support role.

Her previous experience includes Foxes, (Specialist residential provision) Springboard (SEN Playgroup), Action for Children and the Brandon Trust.

She is passionate about empowering children and young people with Special Educational Needs, supporting children and young people through times of transition and supporting and providing advice and assistance to their families.

Sandra Consalvey

Youth Worker

Sandra Consalvey - Youth Worker - Ups and Downs

As Mum to teenager Josh who has a duel of Downs Syndrome and Autism, Sandra has been linked to Ups and Downs Southwest since quote ‘Josh was an egg’! 

Sandra accompanied Josh to our Sherborne youth club sessions and very quickly became an integral part of the volunteer team supporting the children and young people. 

Sandra has an expansive work background ranging from medical research to supported living for adults with learning disabilities. We are delighted that she has ‘come out of retirement’ to take on the role of Youth Worker as our Sherborne session.

Don't Be Shy. Get In Touch.

If you are interested in working together – maybe:

You would like to volunteer.
You have a fundraising idea.
You are a business that would like to work with us as your charity of the year.

send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!