Learning Disability Support/ Supporting Community Organisations, Volunteering, Enterprise

Staff Team

Cheryl Starr 

Support Worker


I have worked with people with a variety of physical disabilities, sensory impairments, mental health difficulties and dementia. I gained a degree in Occupational Therapy in 2009 and undertook work placement at a Special Needs School where I developed my interest in working with Learning Disabilities including Autism. I currently work for Buxton Volunteer Centre  where I have worked with children and young people who have Learning Disabilities for the past 3 ½ years. I support people to attend Alderbrook Day Centre. I also work with elderly people to help them remain independent in their own homes.

I have supported people to attend Bright Choice club for over 3 years and took on the role of managing the club for a three month stint to cover Tracey’s maternity leave. The club provides a wonderful safe environment for people to socialise in, join in activities, enjoy new experiences and learn skills. I have worked at Bright Opportunities since Jan 2014 and find great satisfaction in teaching service users independent living skills from planning healthy menu’s, to making shopping lists, going out and finding ingredients then preparing meals together.

Now that we have the allotment up and running I enjoy supporting service users to use the wonderful space available to them. It is fantastic to see them enjoying the outdoors and contributing as much as they are able to the gardening or just relaxing and watching the wild life. We also get to pick and eat the wonderful things they have helped to grow!

My hobbies include walking with my family, yoga, swimming. I enjoy travel and holidays, listening to music, bird watching and wildlife. My aim is to assist service users to achieve their full potential.

Denise Wedge

 Support Worker

                                        densie wedge

I have worked in the areas of support work and rehabilitation support for over 16 years.

In 1997 I was internally trained at a psychiatric hospital as an Occupational Therapy Assistant, working in rehabilitation of adult patients who had severe, chronic mental illness with challenging behaviour. Following this, I worked as a Support Worker with adults who had learning difficulties in a Day Centre, providing support in life skills and leisure sessions. To progress and gain further experience of disability I worked as an Educational Support Worker at a residential College of Further Education for severely disabled students. I very much enjoyed working with children and young adults and explored this area of work further in my role as a Support Worker for FAIR that supports young parents with young children who are struggling to cope. I was then employed, as a team of four people, to set up a new Sure start Children’s Centre in Northamptonshire

In 2011, I relocated to Buxton. I initially provided assistance to Sure start Children’s Centre in Chapel en the Frith, as a Support Worker in sessions for disabled children with their parents and also young parents and their children.At this time I also became a volunteer for The Bright Choice Club, supporting young people with learning disabilities. Since 2013 I have worked for Aspire, as a Support Worker for disabled children and young people. During this time I have also been studying at Buxton College and in July I gained the qualification: Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care. I am now delighted to have joined Bright Opportunities, as a Support Worker for young people who have Learning difficulties. I gain personal satisfaction from supporting these people with their learning of life skills and also in taking up opportunities, which builds on their confidence and self esteem.


Pete Alsopp

Allotment Project Worker


I started my working career at the GPO, where I worked for ten years before deciding on a career in horticulture. Having gained a job with the High Peak Borough Council I went on to study at Manchester College part time where I gained my City and Guilds level 1, 2, 3 & 4, & RHS Certificate in Horticulture. I then went on to study part time at Reaseheath College where I gained my National Certificate in Horticulture (NCH). I became a craftsman gardener and assistant propagator for the High Peak Borough Council working in the greenhouses and the Conservatory. There followed a period of time travelling, and a spell working on a natural history station in Swedish Lapland.
A later career move found me studying for a Joint Honours Degree in English & Contemporary History at Salford University. Having gained my degree I eventually gained a position as a Facilitator and then a Lecturer at Derby University, working with 16 to 18 year olds and finally adult learners with special needs. Lecturing at Derby I studied for a large selection of certificates linked to special needs, challenging behaviour and autism.
Whilst studying at Salford I worked during the summer on a gardening project for High Peak Community Mental Health Team. Strangely enough, after retiring from lecturing at Derby, I now find myself working on a Community Garden Project once again, a position I am really enjoying. The creation of the garden has proved to be challenging, interesting and always good fun, meeting new people and making new friends on the way. I still take a great interest in literature, history and archaeology, nature study, music: and of course – gardening.

                                       Martina Langer

                                                                                                                       my photos 001

                                       Helen Turner

helen turner

Charlotte Ulley


Kath Sterndale


Colin Floyd