Meet the Team

The SENDIASS team are trained to give you accurate and relevant information and advice about special educational needs, as well as supporting you to make decisions about your child’s education.

All Advisers and Triage Officers have completed SEND legal training run by IPSEA (Independent Provider of Special Educational Advice). That means they can give you legally based information about your rights and responsibilities and those of schools, colleges, the Local Authority and education professionals.

They also attend regular training on SEND issues and all staff are fully Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checked. This means a check has been done to make sure they can work with vulnerable groups, such as young people.

Amy Bolger

Triage Officer

I began my career as a 1:1 in a school for a child with cerebral palsy. After two years doing this I applied to Winchester University to train as a primary school teacher.  I have always had a fondness to work with children who have SEND.  I consider myself to be very friendly and as a teacher I would be the ‘go to’ person for parents before they sought advice from the SENCO. As a class teacher the parents knew me well and being a long standing member of the school made me reliable and approachable. After three years as a Reception teacher I started my training as a SENCO and then found out I was expecting my first child. 

My daughter has Spina bifida, hydrochepalus and Arnold chari II and requires medical intervention and support with day to day living.  I am currently a school governor at my daughters school and my governor role there is an SEN governor so I am in charge of filtering information through that team and meeting with the school SENCO and parents of children with SEN.  I also work for the charity Shine South which is specifically for families and individuals with Spina bifida and hydrocephalus.  I help run social events, chat and message with parents and fundraise for the upkeep of our lodge and the gatherings we host.

Some of my hobbies/interests include: 
I love food so anything related to cooking, eating out and social gatherings is my kind of thing.  I love watching films with my family and I spend a lot of time on my massage mat which I bought during the first lockdown and it has helped me massively to recharge, and refocus my mind.

Fun Fact about me:
I love adventures.  I have trekked through Nepal, climbed Annapurna, visited the Golden temple in Amritsar, climbed Machu Picchu and white water rafted in West Virginia.  If there is a new experience or fun adventure to be had I’ll be there.

Charlene Hemmings

Triage Officer

Many years ago I volunteered at a local playgroup, offering respite care for children with disabilities.  After having my own children, I went on to study for a Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Childcare and worked in a Pre-school as an Early Years Practitioner.  Whilst I loved working with the children, I felt that I wanted to be able to offer more support and advice to families, which led me to this role at Rose Road.

Some of my hobbies/interests include:
I love to bake cakes….and eat them!  As a family we love trips to the beach or the forest.  I really enjoy being creative and have attempted many different crafts including floristry, pottery, painting and bread making….I’m not very good but it’s fun having a go!

Fun fact about me: 
One day I WILL complete the Couch 2 5K app all the way to the end and start to actually enjoy running!  One day…..!

Anna Gunn

Triage Officer

I became interested in this field when my own children began to display SEN. I then realised how difficult it was to get the information that would help me and make life easier. I wanted to make decisions about what would be the best route for my children but found that gathering all the information needed around school choices and support for families very difficult and time consuming to find.

It can be emotional exhausting when you are so involved and trying to manage so may things at one time. I wanted to help other people in this position too and I have now been involved in supporting parents and young people for 6 years.

Having first-hand experience in a lot of SEN aspects that parents who contact Roseroad helps with understanding how a situation feels.

I feel passionate about supporting and have a comprehensive view of SEN, having supported within SENDIASS, and have also worked within the Local Authority SEN department.

I really enjoy supporting people with information and advice and helping them navigate this tricky system and in turn empowering people to pursue their goals.

Before I worked in the SEN field, I was in the Coast Guard, Merchant Navy and Police.   

Some of my hobbies/interests include:

I love Gymnastics and coach Tumbling to a National level 4 times a week.

I like to trampoline when I can (fitness permitting) and supporting young people there too.

I have always been interested in food and nutrition. I love to research food types and experiment cooking and definitely love the eating part !

I like to be out and have fun times in the open air with my family.

Fun fact about me:

I have been to 56 countries when in the Navy.

I have jumped out of a perfectly working aeroplane and bungee jumped in New Zealand.

I have rafted in Nepal and led scuba diving in Thailand.

I managed to emigrated to Australia for a week and shipped all my furniture which didn’t re-join in the UK for 3 months !

Jasmine Dace

Senior Triage Officer

As a child I was a young carer for my brother and my mum. I have several years of practical experience working with disabled young people, helping them to overcome their difficulties and realise their abilities… and have fun doing it! Now, I am enjoying using my skills and knowledge to help families to achieve better outcomes for their loved ones with SEND difficulties.  

Some of my hobbies/interests include:
I love exploring nature and the outdoors, cooking delectable dinners, and collecting crystals.  

Fun Fact about me:
I am also very creative, with a Bachelor’s degree in Illustration and previous involvement performing lead roles in theatre shows.

Hayley Legg

Parent/Young Person's Adviser

I first started off in SEND area with casual hours as a support worker for children, whilst I was a single mum. That led me to then being a support teacher, I worked closely with two children with physical and mental disabilities in reception year. My job role would entail differentiating their work, delivering ELSA, updating sen support plans, ensuring they were safe and that the school was accessible to a young boy I worked with.  I enjoyed this job thoroughly and although it suited me because of school hours it also meant I missed out on a lot of my daughter’s school events due to being in school working with no flexibility.

That is when I then found my current job role and it was perfect. School hours but with flexibility. I have been working here for nearly 7 years. I have supported families and young people. I attend social clubs, made some great connections with inspiring young people, done lots of training to keep me up to date with send law and understanding SEND.

I did used to know Makaton through my school job but I am rusty with that now, maybe that could be my next course!

In all my job roles I have gained satisfaction from knowing I am making a difference to someone else’s lives and I do not think I would ever choose a different career path.

Some of my hobbies/interests include:

Paddle boarding, Travelling, Food

Fun fact about me:

I have had 7 piercings.

Debra Weston

Parent/Carer Adviser

I have a son with SEND who, fortunately, attended a Special Needs Nursery, followed by placement in a Specialist Unit in a mainstream school.  I had to fight for support in Secondary school and College was a struggle for him.  But, despite, among many other issues, not being able to talk when he started Infant school (only a handful of random words), he went on to University and now has a degree.

I worked as a Teaching Assistant in Primary schools for many years, working mainly with SEND pupils, where I gained, not only job satisfaction and happy memories, but more experience of SEND and educational provision.

In 2014, I joined Portsmouth SEND IASS, initially as a volunteer but, within a few months as a Parent Adviser.  I have completed all the Legal Training and other training related to this position.  More importantly, I have gained more valuable experience from working with parents.  I really enjoy my job and do my best to share my knowledge with parents and strive to empower them to deal with all issues they are faced with, concerning their children’s education.

Some of my hobbies/interests include:

Exercise classes including; Combat, Aquasise, Yoga and Pilates. Walking & reading.

Fun Fact about me:
I abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower to raise funds for Charity.

Ashley Raynor

Programme Manager

I have worked in the Southampton area supporting unpaid carers since 2014. This has been in a variety of roles including specifically working with those caring for someone with a Learning Disability, Physical Disability or Sensory Impairment. I am passionate about ensuring everyone has access to individualised information and support and can therefore make empowered and informed decisions in their lives. I understand how challenging it can be for young people, for parents/carers, and for professionals to navigate the education, health and social care systems and how overwhelming it can be. Sometimes we all need help to understand what is available, understand the complex laws and guidelines that define this, and determine what is best for each individual persons needs. I am proud to be part of such a knowledgeable and compassionate team who are here to offer that help.   

Some of my hobbies/interests include:
I love good food, spending time with family and friends, and exploring outdoors with my husband and my two boys. I am an avid reader of fantasy fiction and love to binge watch TV series once my kids are asleep.

Fun Fact about me:
I am also a Perinatal Educator and teach a range of antenatal education classes and baby massage and yoga classes.