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Chair of the Board of Directors

I am Chair of the Board of Directors and the Lead Director for Catholic Life and Mission. I have served on all the Committees of the Board and chaired the Audit Committee. Before being invited to join the Board of Directors I was on the Local Academy Committee at St Wilfrid’s and St Peter’s.

I have worked in both Further and Higher Education as a BSL/English Interpreter, during which time I was Chair of the Education Task Group for my professional body ASLI (the Association of Sign Language Interpreters, England & Wales). After gaining my PhD from the University of Bristol, I worked for the Diocese of Lichfield as Diocesan Officer among Deaf People. In this role I was responsible, with my clergy colleague, for a wide range of functions including budget, training, liaison with other Diocese departments and the planning and delivery of church services across the whole of the Diocese. I supported a number of Deaf candidates through ministry training and created and delivered Deaf awareness and interpreter awareness training for clergy conferences, training events and in partnership with external groups such as Through the Roof. For many years I ran the North Staffs Deanery SpREd Group (Catechesis and Formation for young people with Special Needs not in Catholic Schools). I have extensive knowledge and experience of SEND issues.

I have been Parish Administrator in five of the parishes of the North Staffs deanery. In this role I have worked with grant-awarding bodies, professional fund-raisers and managed building and restoration projects in heritage churches.

While at school I was helped greatly by committed and faith-filled teachers in our Catholic schools here in Stoke-on-Trent. Through their example and interest I was encouraged towards opportunities to develop my faith and to academic achievement. I am proud to be associated with the Newman Catholic Collegiate, and to play a part in ensuring that all pupils have the very best opportunities in all aspects of their formation. 

 Dr Gillian Meller