About Us

About Us

Founder & Registered Manager - Karen Scott

Karen Scott is the Founder and Registered Manager of Promoting Independence South West Ltd. Karen has extensive knowledge and experience working with Adults within Social Services, Primary Mental Health Trusts and charity sectors. As a Qualified Social Worker since 2010, Karen has a passion for people's rights; particularly those with Learning Disabilities, Mental Health and Physical Disabilities.

After completing her Newly Qualified Award in Social Work, a Post Qualification in Mental Health and completing Level 3 in Management and Leadership Karen pursued her career within Cornwall County Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council as an Adult's Safeguarding Chair. This role evidenced the importance of good quality care and the roles and responsibilities of all professionals working with our most vulnerable people in society.

Karen lived in East Devon between 2016 to 2021 and worked in various Adult Social Care Teams, as a Team Manager from Community/hospital services to Countywide projects within Devon County Council Karen now lives in Newquay, Cornwall. Promoting independence, safety, choice and rights for adults has been the main principle of Karen's practice and management of services. Karen states that 'our practice is embedded by strength based and person-centred approaches to support and mentor our clients towards increased independence. This provides better outcomes and less reliance of services for our most vulnerable in society.

About Us

Principal Social Worker - Karen Billing

I started working part time for Promoting Independence South West in April 2022 after spending thirty years working for Cornwall Council.

During my time with the council, I have worked in Cornwall's Fostering Team, working alongside colleagues in Children's Services, later transferring to work in Adult Care and Support; originally as a Case Co-ordinator, qualifying as a Social Worker in 2014. At first I worked with individuals with a learning disability, later transferring to work with Health Colleagues, spending four years with Mid and East Cornwall Hospital Discharge Teams. In 2020 I returned to work in the community, working with older people and adults with physical disabilities.

I particularly enjoy working 'alongside' individuals, building relationships, treating each person as an individual, believing that person is the expert in their own lives. Working together, gaining skills, building confidence, empowering individuals to integrate with their local community and to move forward in their lives.
I am so pleased to be working with Promoting Independence, working alongside like-minded colleagues, identifying with the company's integrity, values and ethics.

Although I don't originate from Cornwall, I have lived in Cornwall since 1986 (so nearly a local!) I live with my husband (who is Cornish) in the east of the county. I am a mother and a grandmother. I love spending time with family members (both in Cornwall and with those 'up country'). I also appreciate the time spent with my friends, meeting up for meals out, trips to the theatre or cinema and we also enjoy spending time walking on the moors or on local beaches (we are so lucky in Cornwall aren't we?). Whether it is time spent with family or friends I realise I am so lucky to have genuine support alongside the many, many laughs we all have together.

About Us

Principal Occupational Therapist - Vicki Walters

I am a Senior Occupational Therapist with 17 years of working within the NHS. During this time I have had a wide range of experience in many different settings to include Derriford hospital, Plym neuro rehabilitation unit and the stroke unit at Mount Gould plus social services in Plymouth.

More recently I have been working in the community in Tavistock, facilitating safe and effective discharges from the hospital or in the community, as part of a crisis management team, preventing hospital admissions. This community work also included working with clients with long term conditions, providing rehabilitation and promoting their independence.

I have skills in working with the individual, listening to their story and identifying their most immediate needs and working with them to achieve their goals. This is why Promoting Independence Southwest felt like the ideal next move for me. They are all about the individual and supporting them to function at their full potential within the community.

I am a Cornish girl and have recently moved to Newquay to live by the sea. This has proved to be the best move ever! I love walking and swimming and I can now do this whenever I feel like it. Family are a huge part of my life and we try to get together as much as possible, usually around the dining table!

Lead Mentor & Coordinator - Claire Tregunna

My partner and I love a table surrounded by friends and family, the sea, our dog, and weekends away in our van. I enjoy cooking, reading, and walking the dog; these are my me times which are especially important.

Although my background is in business and sustainable, accessible tourism, after having a family, there were some changes.

Being Cornish and having lived in Cornwall most of my life I have witnessed the changes (good and bad) and challenges for people with support needs.

After working as a HLTA for young people with learning difficulties in a rural secondary school, I undertook training in Advanced Counselling Studies before taking up a position at a larger school with a greater range of vulnerable young people. Most of my work was with young people with behavioural problems and other educational needs who wanted to be anywhere but school. My communication skills and person-centred approach saw a positive effect on the attitude of those students I worked with. I am approachable, kind, friendly (sometimes fun) and understanding which, I feel, the students welcomed.

Prior to joining Promoting Independence South West I worked as a tenancy sustainment officer at a charity supporting vulnerable adults with complex support needs including drug and alcohol dependency. Through building relationships, an empathic and non-judgemental attitude, and my ability to treat each person as an individual, residents were able to engage in courses, activities and volunteer so enabling them to move to more independent living. I am so proud of the relationships I built whilst there and believe my outgoing personality and caring nature alongside my professional attitude were important factors in this.

I am excited to be able to use my skills as well as my experience and personality at such a forward-thinking company, to help build resilience and self-confidence for those people who may just need a bit of help to live more independently.

About Us

Mentor Coordinator - Pollyanna Horsfield

I have worked with young people in an educational setting for over ten years with a range of physical, health and social care needs. Within my team we provided a unique and personalised approach to learning and development support. The aim of a collaborative person-centred approach which enables individuals to be empowered and as autonomous as possible.

I have worked with a range of ages over the years from 2-19, I felt most inspired when supporting the post 14 department, where promoting independence was paramount in order to prepare the young people in moving forwards with the next stages of their lives, providing them with the skills in which they need to live as independently as possible. In assisting the young people to view their strengths in ways that they may not have explored before allowing them to reach their full potential. This opened my eyes to the many possibilities and importance of supporting and promoting independence. I felt a sense of pride watching the young people move on to the next chapters of their lives with the knowledge and skills to better equip to support them at the start of their adult lives.

Focusing on individuals' strengths optimizes their abilities to function on a daily basis and supports them in making their own choices in all aspects of their lives. This is something that I feel very strongly about. I am deeply passionate about equality and diversity and feel that everyone has a right to independence and accessing life to the very fullest.

I believe Art can be hugely beneficial to support mental health and wellbeing and I love how it can be used in order to help explore thoughts and feelings in a non-judgemental environment, where the individual can express themselves and build on their confidence and who they are as a person. I am trained in drawing and talking therapy and find it amazing how in drawing a picture and talking about it can make such a difference to someone's lives.

Promoting independence is important to me because everyone deserves to make their own decisions about their lives and be as independent as possible. I am so pleased to be a part of an organisation that promotes independence and focuses on everyone as an individual, ensuring that any care and support is tailored to the individual's needs. I value independence and therefore believe that everyone deserves their own independence. I enjoy advocating for people that may not be able to advocate themselves."

About Us

Mentor Coordinator - Clare Latchem

I have worked within the care sector for approximately 14 years, firstly within the NHS, after which I then focussed my work in the private sector supporting individuals with a wide range of learning and physical disabilities. My work was both in residential settings and also within the community. Clients ranged from the age of eighteen to eighty with varying disabilities from, autism, cerebral palsy, brain injury, downs syndrome, schizophrenia, anxiety, epilepsy, through to other associated complex health, emotional and behavioural needs. Each client having their own specialist requirements.

I realise the importance of person-centred practice in order to maintain the rights, dignity and autonomy of our most vulnerable in society and through my work I have developed a strong passion for human rights and equality. I believe that people with learning disabilities should have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else and should be valued as a person. They should be supported and encouraged to achieve their goals in order to lead a fulfilling and independent life.

In my spare time I act as a charity trustee in which I campaign for change and support others in minority groups and marginalised communities.

About Us

Mentor Coordinator - Emily Fletcher

My passion is helping others regain their independence and supporting them in complex situations.

For a number of years, I have supported ladies with complex needs fleeing domestic abuse in and around Cornwall.

I have completed my Level 2 and Level 4 in Advanced Counselling which I found beneficial when working with others. I am currently completing a degree in Criminology and Psychology. I am trained in domestic abuse Level 2 and DASH trained.

When not working I enjoy taking my dog for walks on the beach and spending time with my family.

About Us

Mentor Coordinator - Mark Webster

After many years working in industry and public services I finally found my true vocation in life in 2010 when I started working with adults who were struggling with mental health and learning disabilities.

My approach has always been person centred and I have always focused on encouraging individuals to develop and shape their own independence.

There have been many highs and lows along the way. One of the most rewarding journeys I was part of was that of a man who had been in institutional care for most of his life who progressed to supported living and, eventually, an independent life with his own home. That taught me that progress to independence is only limited by the constrictions placed by other people.

The move to Promoting Independence South West was an exciting opportunity for me to be part of a very special team of people who are completely focused on person centred approaches to mentoring towards increased independence.

Outside of work family is everything to me. We have four adult children and five grandchildren who keep us entertained and busy. I also enjoy caravanning and touring new places.

Mentor Coordinator - Rachael Hickman

I really enjoy meeting new people and building positive relationships with them. I'm happiest when I see others succeed at something important to them.

I moved to Cornwall, having worked as a Children and Families Social Worker in Essex. I loved working with different families and supporting the children and adults. Having moved to Cornwall I was drawn to the idea of working more directly with individuals to promote their needs, and empower them to gain independence.

In my free time, I love to be outdoors and, in particular, at the beach. I recently completed a course that has enabled me to teach outdoor activities such as surfing, bodyboarding, kayaking, paddle boarding and coasteering. When I'm not active I'm happy watching TV, films, or being creative.

In my work with Promoting Independence South West I look forward to meeting and working with new people, sharing my hobbies and skills, and supporting people to achieve their personal targets.