Sadie Kevill, Family Support Manager

It’s almost 10 years since I began my career in childcare and I really love my job as a Childhood Practice Manager in the Far North.

Out of work I enjoy spending time with my own children, having fun outdoors visiting the beach and at times even swimming in the cold North sea!

I have recently found a love for gardening and cycling which helps me to unwind. Although on a cold winters day you can’t beat cuddling up on the sofa with the family and a nice cup of tea.

North Team

Amanda Wagstaffe (Area Family Support Practitioner)

I have over 7 years experience as a childminder, working in an after school club and supporting people through a helpline.

Four years ago I decided i needed to get fitter and took up cycling and running. Ive never looked back. A great way to de-stress and to appreciate the beautiful world we live in.

Julie Taylor (Family Support Practitioner)

Hello everyone. Since joining Cala in January this year I have been on a rollercoaster of courses, meeting all my groups and getting to know all my lovely colleagues.

I relocated to the highlands in Jan 2011 and its one of the best decision I’ve ever made, not only do we live in the same village as my husbands family, Its a fantastic place for kids to grow up. Since my little girl was born I have made great friends, all of whom I met at baby and toddler groups.

When the position for Parent and Toddler Group Facilitator came up I couldn’t believe my luck, equally when I got offered the position I thought this is too good to be true. My little girl is starting playgroup and I was so sad that we would miss out on going to toddlers as we always have so much fun, but now with being the new Playgroup and Toddler Group Facilitator I will get to be the lady who provides the fun.

In my spare time, when there is some I run my children to all there after school clubs, spend time as a family and enjoy life.

Debbie Larnach (Gaelic Toddler Development Worker)

I joined CALA  as a Gaelic Parent Toddler Development Worker in November. I support two lovely toddler groups in the far North of Scotland, one in Thurso and another in Bettyhill. I am very passionate about promoting Gaelic and I am delighted to be able to do it with the wonderful parents and children that come along to these groups.

In my spare time I love road cycling, mountain biking, keeping fit and going to the many beaches here with my three boys and our dog Bonnie

Skye, Lochalsh and Wester Ross Team

Shirley Taylor (Area Family Support Coordinator)

I have lived on the beautiful Isle of Skye since 2002 with my husband and 3 children.   After having my own family I have worked with pre-school children for  8yrs as a registered childminder before joining the Family Support Team.

I enjoy cycling and swimming round this beautiful Island (in nice weather) and certainly would not venture into the sea without a wetsuit!

Heather Knowles (Family Support Practitioner)

I moved to the gorgeous West Highlands from the outskirts of Nottingham in 1991, and have never wanted to go back! I have been involved in working with children all of my adult life. I have 5 beautiful daughters and grandchildren too.

I think I have the best job in the world, enjoying all aspects of it, meeting people, supporting parents and families, helping groups to run, and playing with children! Messy and sensory play are the areas I enjoy the most, but I love to create, so enjoy art and craft too. When I’m not working I enjoy spending time with my own family, camping, walking, and doing lots of different home crafts.

Lochaber Team

Caroline Askew,  Area Family Support Co ordinator.

Having travelled about a lot and had many interesting and varied jobs I love working with CALA as the Family Support Co ordinator for Lochaber. I support 11 Parent and Toddler Groups in this stunning area. Outdoors is where you will find me in my time off where I love to walk, cycle and chop wood for the stove.

My newest activity is Polytunnel Gardening, so I soon hope to be growing & eating lots of fresh veg. Children all grown up now but I have superb memories of making friends at my own Parent and Toddler Group when they were wee and I am delighted to be able to work with Parents, Babies & Toddlers again.

Mary Margaret Rose (Gaelic Toddler Development Worker)

I have been working with CALA’s Gaelic Parent Toddler project for a whole year now! When I joined I thought it was only going to be for 3 months but I am happy to say I am still with them and hope to continue for a while yet!

I work with 2 groups on the beautiful West Coast in Mallaig and Acharacle and enjoy the diverse nature of working with rural communities.

In my spare time I enjoy walks on beaches/hills and also do a fair bit of camping. I also enjoy swimming and go several times a week to our local pool.

Inverness Team

Nicki Hutchison (Family Support Practitioner)

I have worked with children and parents throughout my working life in various different capacities.  I’m passionate about providing lots of opportunities for children to learn, develop and explore the world as they grow and try to make sense of it. 
It’s a privilege to be able to provide some of these in the groups I go to and to listen and chat to families about the rollercoaster ride of parenting. Every day is an exciting mix of singing, reading stories, exploring, listening, playing and being messy and creative.  Out of work, I am usually found doing all these things too with my own children and their friends!

Mairianne Nairn (Family Support Project Coordinator)

I enjoy many aspects of my role within CALA but nothing beats having fun with all the amazing children and their familes that I meet at baby & toddler groups, army groups, prison family sessions and Dads’ groups to name but a few!

When I’m not at work I am spending time with my own three children. We love to have fun and are outdoors as much as possible and camping whenever we get the chance!

Monika Maleszka-Ritchie (Bi-lingual Coordinator)

I am the Polish Bilingual Coordinator for CALA. I live in Culloden with my family. I am from Poznan in Poland and my husband is from Edinburgh. But we met back in 1996 on an archaeological excavation in the Beauly Firth – we always say that fate has drawn us to the Highlands!

I really enjoy helping children develop and engaging with their parents and carers. I love messy play and creative learning. But I have a special interest in outdoor learning – I help run the Inverness Young Archaeologists Club in my spare time and recently contributed to the Forestry Commission Scotland Outdoor Archaeological Learning resource. I also love gardening and am very proud of my annual strawberry harvest!

Lisa MacDonald (Gaelic Development Worker)

I’ve been working for the Gaelic Toddler Project since February 2012. I look after the groups on the north west coast as well as line-managing the team. I love travelling to these distant communities and I value the friendships I make along the way. Every day is different and no two groups are the same, which makes my work exciting and extremely rewarding. It’s wonderful to see the wee ones absorbing the language and being able to support the parents is such an important part of my work.

I enjoy writing and singing, both of which come in handy! Apart from that, I like keeping fit in all sorts of ways eg skiff rowing and weightlifting… anything but the treadmill!