Triple A Leadership
Image (Left to Right): Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall, Helen Storey (Chief Officer), David Peacock OBE (President), Karen Quinn (Chair).
Diversity in Leadership
Triple A is comprised of many parts which help to mould and shape our direction and vision. We are very proud of our diverse leadership team which ensure we are meeting our core mission principles and providing a great service to our users and trainees. In order to do this effectively we have appointed a President and Board of Trustees to oversee the charity’s governance, and a Chief Officer to manage the day-to-day running.
Sheila first started working with people with autism and learning disabilities 47 years ago as a student volunteer.
She then worked for the British Deaf Association for 13 years. She was their marketing and publication manager. For the last 23 years she was the Chief Officer of Carlisle Mencap. Carlisle Mencap is one of the biggest local Mencap societies in the UK. Whilst at Mencap she was responsible for development of the Cumbria Autism Family Support project which supports the families of young people with autism across the county. She was also responsible for the creation of the Grace Little Children’s centre. Sheila has vast experience of providing services for people with disabilities, managing large staff teams and budgets running into millions of pounds per annum.
Sheila retired from work in June 2021. She still takes an interest in the voluntary sector and is a board member for Cumbria CVS. Sheila enjoys fellwalking, birdwatching and gardening in her spare time.
Vice-Chair of Trustees
Karen Quinn is the Senior Project Manager for the National Autistic Society (NAS). She is responsible for the project delivery and reprovision of Services across NAS’s Adult and Education Services. Prior to this, she served as an Officer in the Royal Air Force and was deployed on operations. Karen has a Masters degree in Social Policy & Law. She was delighted when Helen approached her about becoming a Trustee for Triple A.
A qualified outdoor instructor, Karen seeks to encourage others on the autistic spectrum to get out on the hills and is extremely proud to volunteer with Triple A’s Duke of Edinburgh programme.
As an autistic person, Karen is passionate about helping raise awareness and working towards reducing the inequalities and challenges faced by autistic individuals. She hopes that her experience as a Presiding Judge with an autism diagnosis can help highlight the issues faced by autistic people as they attempt to navigate the criminal justice system.
Julia (Jules) McDonald is the Deputy Head Teacher at Sandgate Special School in Kendal. Julia has worked in the world of Special Educational Needs for 20 years. Early on in her career as a Primary School Teacher, she discovered a love for working with students who were a little different. She then went on to work at a Special School where she discovered Autism. She was inspired and so began her MA in Autism (distance learning) with the University of Birmingham.
Prior to joining Sandgate, Julia worked as a Specialist Autism Teacher managing a Strategic Provision for Autism in South Cumbria. Julia is still passionate about supporting people with Autism and so joined the Triple A team as a trustee in 2018.
Murray lives in Appleby, having escaped from Lancashire some 17 years ago. His wife, Jackie, and he moved here when their 3 children were very young, but not before 2 of them had been diagnosed as on the autistic spectrum and they have combined the usual challenges of parenthood with some special and additional ones.
Murray’s working background has been in retailing/fundraising in large charities, most especially Oxfam, where he spent the bulk of his career in a broad variety of disciplines. Murray held some senior roles and was instrumental in some fundamental change, in particular re-empowering the core volunteer activists.
For 7 years, his day job was running the Youth Zone in Carlisle – where he first met our CEO, Helen, and they shared an interest in the issues facing those living with autism. As Helen developed the concept of Triple A, Murray introduced her to his eldest, Harry, who has been involved from the very early days.
Murray was delighted when Helen approached him to take on a trustee role as the charity was established, and try to use the experience he had of working in and running charities to influence the development of this very special and very exciting organisation.
In his leisure time, you will generally find Murray and Jackie on their narrowboat exploring the waterways of the country, or, when at home, Murray can often be found in the garage working on something involving wood.
Dave is a qualified Clinical Psychologist with 25 years experience of supporting autistic people and people with learning disabilities across the life span. Dave has a psychology degree, a doctorate in Clinical Psychology and a Masters Degree in the study of autism. Dave is passionate and enthusiastic to understand and promote the needs of all autistic people.
As a former chair of governors in a Cumbrian Primary school Dave has effectively promoted the inclusion agenda and is keen to support the development of services for autistic people that are robust, resilient and fit for purpose. Dave’s moto in life is work hard play hard and learn something new every day. Dave is committed to the work and ethos of the Triple A project and has been a trustee since spring 2020.
John is a recently retired senior Executive, with over 40 years’ experience of working in the built environment sector, with full operational and financial management for multi-million pound budgets and several hundred employees, and where he has thrived on problem solving and developing and implementing strategic change.
In all cases John’s approach is to develop collaborative, long lasting partnerships based upon integrity, and clear and positive dialogue, supported by a strong interpersonal manner and absolute commitment to achieving the highest possible standards.
Ken Powell is a former classroom teacher and trainer who has worked all around the world. He is also a writer of several books. He has lived between Cumbria and Bangladesh for more than twenty years with his family.
He continues to tutor students, write books and help schools in Asia improve the quality of education in their communities and currently lives in St Bees.
Educated at Keble College, Oxford and at Tulane University, New Orleans. He obtained his Undergraduate degree in History of Art and postgraduate degree in Political Theory & Economic Development.
He founded a software company set up to provide a digital platform for students to showcase hidden talents that might otherwise be overlooked. Students typically recorded their interests, participation, experiences and achievements in a broad range of extra curricular activities.
Charles spent the early part of his career working for JP Morgan both here and abroad. He retired from The City in 2010.
Charles lives in Dumfriesshire with his wife Totty.
Rev. Canon. Dr David Peacock OBE
David Peacock is a former Principal of Whitelands College and Pro-Rector of the University of Surrey Roehampton (now the University of Roehampton).
On his retirement in 2000, he was appointed a member and subsequently Chair of the then Cumbria Probation Board. He went on from there to found Cumbria Reducing Offending Partnership Trust (CROPT), a voluntary organisation providing community support and a range of services for offenders and ex-offenders across Cumbria.
He is a Church of England ordained clergyman.