Having started her early career working for a recruitment consultancy, Karen has worked in the charity sector since 2010 when she took up position as Branch Manager/Volunteer coordinator first with Little Angels Breastfeeding peer support and later with Homestart Tameside and Oldham. Karen established the commissioned breastfeeding service and was responsible for recruiting and mentoring volunteers as well as a small team of paid staff to support breastfeeding mums. Working closely with health professionals and midwives she set up a number of breastfeeding groups, antenatal workshops and a home visiting support service alongside hospital support.
In 2013 Karen took up a post a Regional Coordinator with Bliss, the charity for babies born premature or sick. Initially responsible for setting up a volunteer support service across North Yorkshire the role expanded and developed to include supporting neonatal units across all of the Yorkshire and Humber and North West Regions, to audit and improve their services. Karen was responsible for engaging with the individual neonatal units and working with the Operational Delivery Networks at a more strategic level. She set up a programme of support including workshops and presenting at events alongside bespoke unit support. Sitting on a variety of boards and groups Karen was able to support and advise the networks and neonatal units on a variety of areas and took part in local and national peer reviews.
Karen also holds the position of Chair of Maternity Voices Partnership Tameside and Glossop, ensuring that service users are at the heart of maternity service reviews and future cocreation of services.
Karen enjoys the challenge of setting up new initiatives and seeing projects through from start to finish. She enjoys sharing ideas and hearing others ideas to improve and develop services. She is a strong advocate for ensuring everyone has a voice and the opportunity to develop their ideas. She is also an active volunteer within her GP Patient Participation group and ran a voluntary support group for parents of premature babies for over 10 years.