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Our Team

Our team members come from a wide range of backgrounds, but the one thing they all have in common is a desire to support those with communication difficulties. We are happy to provide support or advice via telephone or email, so please do get in touch.


Margo Mackay
Margo Mackay
Managing Director
Margo Mackay
Managing Director

Margo became Managing Director of Talking Mats at the end of March 2023. She has been part of the Talking Mats team since 2012 and combined this with her NHS role as a Speech and Languge Therapist supporting children and young people with Additional Support Needs until 2017 when she moved on from the NHS. She is a strong advocate for rights based practice and in 2019 wrote a report for the Scottish Government called “Can Scotland be brave?” to help practitioners understand what full incorporation of UNCRC means in practice.

Laura Holmes
Laura Holmes
Senior Associate and Foundation Training Lead
Laura Holmes
Senior Associate and Foundation Training Lead

Laura is a Talking Mats Senior Associate and has worked for Talking Mats since 2016.

Laura has worked as a Speech and Language Therapist for over 20 years in NHS as well as independent practice. Laura has gained experience working with both children and adults, across a diverse range of settings including mainstream schools, specialist schools and resource bases (primary and secondary), and community clinics.

Laura most recently worked for NHS Stockport Foundation Trust as a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist with the Stockport Virtual Schools Team, and she has a particular interest in using Talking Mats with children and young people who have experienced adverse childhood experiences, supporting them to have their voices heard and responded to by those around them.

Nicki Ewing
Nicki Ewing
Senior Associate and Licenced Training Lead
Nicki Ewing
Senior Associate and Licenced Training Lead

Nicki joined  the Talking Mats Team in January 2016 and is our Lead Associate for Licensed Trainers. She has a background in social work and worked in adult services, latterly as a planning and commissioning officer for people with learning disabilities. She became an accredited Talking Mats trainer in 2013 and enjoys delivering training across the UK and internationally. She strongly believes that Talking Mats improves the quality of life for people with communication difficulties by ensuring that they have their voices heard.

Melita Loaring
Melita Loaring
Training Associate
Melita Loaring
Training Associate

Melita has a background in Further Education and from 2000 worked as a lecturer and teacher supporting young adults with a Learning Disability in schools and colleges in England.

In 2006 Melita relocated to Dumfries and Galloway to join the Social Work Service as a Local Area Coordinator where she worked alongside children and adults with a Learning Disability to support them to be active contributors in their local community.

Melita became a Licenced Talking Mats trainer in 2017 and in 2022 joined Talking Mats Ltd as an Associate. Melita is keen to promote Talking Mats as an inclusive communication tool which supports individuals with a communication difficulty to think about and communicate effectively about things that matter to them.

Jess Lane
Jess Lane
Training Associate
Jess Lane
Training Associate

Jess is a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist with a clinical background in Learning Disabilities and Paediatric Mental Health. She became a Licenced Talking Mats trainer in 2023 and joined Talking Mats Ltd as an Associate in 2024.

Formerly, Jess worked for an Intensive Support Service in Gloucestershire, supporting children and adults with learning disabilities. Jess relocated to Scotland in 2022, where she worked across Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CCAMHS) Services in and around Glasgow. Latterly, Jess worked at the National Psychiatric Child Inpatient Unit, supporting children under 12 with severe and enduring mental illnesses.

Jess also works as a Research and Outcomes Officer for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT), where she helps to build research capacity, capability and culture within the profession. Jess is currently studying towards a Clinical Doctorate in Professional Health Studies, looking at the use of Talking Mats for facilitating the direct and meaningful involvement of children in care planning. 

Heather Cambridge
Heather Cambridge
Business and Office Manager
Heather Cambridge
Business and Office Manager

Heather’s background is in Business Administration and Education and she joined Talking Mats in early 2020. Heather will be your point of contact for organising training and general enquiries.

Eilidh Stanfield
Eilidh Stanfield
Research and Development Associate
Eilidh Stanfield
Research and Development Associate

Eilidh is an environmental science graduate and is finalising her PhD research which focuses on climate justice issues for women in rural Malawi. Eilidh joined the team in the summer of 2022 as our Development Associate and is working on our SMART funded project which aims to embrace future technologies to enhance the Talking Mats digital communication framework.

Fun Fact: Eilidh is netball daft

Paula Douglas
Paula Douglas
Communications and Marketing
Paula Douglas
Communications and Marketing

Paula qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist at University College London in 2002. She worked with adult inpatients in Ayrshire and Arran before moving to work in the community in Dumfries. She now heads up the Communications Team (of 1).

Yvonne Huntly
Yvonne Huntly
Licenced Training Administrator
Yvonne Huntly
Licenced Training Administrator
Mark Dawson
Mark Dawson
Digital Lead
Mark Dawson
Digital Lead

Mark is a modern languages graduate and completed his masters at the beginning of 2020. After stints working for a farm and an educational publishing company, in the Summer of 2021 he joined the Talking Mats team where he deals with all things digital.

Liz Taylor
Liz Taylor
Associate
Liz Taylor
Associate

Liz is a Learning & Development Officer working in voluntary sector social care. She has worked with autistic people and those with learning disabilities for over 20 years, and specialises in staff training on alternative and augmentative communication methods. She has been a Licensed Trainer since 2016 and is now a tutor on our online Foundation course

Julie King
Julie King
Associate
Julie King
Associate

Associate Tutor

Based in Edinburgh, Julie currently works as a Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at Queen Margaret University Musselburgh

Julie has extensive clinical experience including working as a specialist neuro Occupational Therapist in an inpatient setting; working in the community supporting adults with neurological conditions to access digital technology, and also has experience in renablement and care management. Julie became one of our trainers in 2014 and she is keen to promote how Talking Mats can help those living with cognitive impairment have a voice on areas that matter to them.

Sharon McGrory
Sharon McGrory
Associate
Sharon McGrory
Associate

Associate Tutor

Sharon qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 2005 and her specialism is working within the Acute Stroke Team of Forth Valley. She has also worked within the 3rd Sector in a training and consultancy role. Sharon believes this experience allows her to offer support to our online participants and introduce them to a practical tool that can make communication easier.

Rachel Woolcomb
Rachel Woolcomb
Associate
Rachel Woolcomb
Associate

Associate Tutor

Rachel is a freelance occupational therapist working in and around Gloucestershire.  She works with people who have experienced neurological impairment following a brain or spinal cord injury and those who have sustained traumatic life changing physical and psychological injuries.  She also acts as an expert witness with the medico-legal process.  Rachel has been a team member since 2018 and is particularly interested in the use of Talking Mats as a thinking tool.  She currently tutors on the Talking Mats online Foundation Training course.

Mary Duffy
Mary Duffy
Associate
Mary Duffy
Associate

Associate Tutor

Mary is a Speech and Language Therapist working with children and young people with physical disability and additional support needs. She has been one of our Licenced Trainers since 2015 and is now applying her experience and knowledge to her role as a tutor on our online Foundation Training Course

Dr Jill Bradshaw
Dr Jill Bradshaw
Research Network Lead
Dr Jill Bradshaw
Research Network Lead

Jill is a Consultant Speech and Language Therapist and RCSLT National Clinical Adviser for Learning Disabilities.  She joined the team as an Honorary Research Associate in 2017. Jill set up and leads the Talking Mats Research Network with Joan Murphy.  She is also a Reader in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at the Tizard Centre at the University of Kent.  You can read more about her research here.

Lois Cameron
Lois Cameron
Non-executive Director
Lois Cameron
Non-executive Director

Lois is one of the founding directors of Talking Mats Social Enterprise. By profession, Lois was a Speech and Language Therapist and worked in various roles in the NHS primarily in learning disabilities . She was heavily involved in building the research evidence base for Talking Mats and since 2011 her focus has been to ensure that as many people as possible benefit from this transformational communication framework.

Joan Murphy
Joan Murphy
Non-executive Director
Joan Murphy
Non-executive Director

I am a Research Speech and Language Therapist and founder of Talking Mats. I worked with people with acquired communication difficulties with the NHS for many years and began working at Stirling University in 1989 as a researcher. Since then I have led a number of research projects and have a wide portfolio of publications. Together with my colleagues, I have developed Talking Mats into a well-respected communication framework, which is used worldwide with a wide range of people.

Margo Mackay
Margo Mackay
Managing Director
Margo Mackay
Managing Director

Margo became Managing Director of Talking Mats at the end of March 2023. She has been part of the Talking Mats team since 2012 and combined this with her NHS role as a Speech and Languge Therapist supporting children and young people with Additional Support Needs until 2017 when she moved on from the NHS. She is a strong advocate for rights based practice and in 2019 wrote a report for the Scottish Government called “Can Scotland be brave?” to help practitioners understand what full incorporation of UNCRC means in practice.

Laura Holmes
Laura Holmes
Senior Associate and Foundation Training Lead
Laura Holmes
Senior Associate and Foundation Training Lead

Laura is a Talking Mats Senior Associate and has worked for Talking Mats since 2016.

Laura has worked as a Speech and Language Therapist for over 20 years in NHS as well as independent practice. Laura has gained experience working with both children and adults, across a diverse range of settings including mainstream schools, specialist schools and resource bases (primary and secondary), and community clinics.

Laura most recently worked for NHS Stockport Foundation Trust as a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist with the Stockport Virtual Schools Team, and she has a particular interest in using Talking Mats with children and young people who have experienced adverse childhood experiences, supporting them to have their voices heard and responded to by those around them.

Nicki Ewing
Nicki Ewing
Senior Associate and Licenced Training Lead
Nicki Ewing
Senior Associate and Licenced Training Lead

Nicki joined  the Talking Mats Team in January 2016 and is our Lead Associate for Licensed Trainers. She has a background in social work and worked in adult services, latterly as a planning and commissioning officer for people with learning disabilities. She became an accredited Talking Mats trainer in 2013 and enjoys delivering training across the UK and internationally. She strongly believes that Talking Mats improves the quality of life for people with communication difficulties by ensuring that they have their voices heard.

Melita Loaring
Melita Loaring
Training Associate
Melita Loaring
Training Associate

Melita has a background in Further Education and from 2000 worked as a lecturer and teacher supporting young adults with a Learning Disability in schools and colleges in England.

In 2006 Melita relocated to Dumfries and Galloway to join the Social Work Service as a Local Area Coordinator where she worked alongside children and adults with a Learning Disability to support them to be active contributors in their local community.

Melita became a Licenced Talking Mats trainer in 2017 and in 2022 joined Talking Mats Ltd as an Associate. Melita is keen to promote Talking Mats as an inclusive communication tool which supports individuals with a communication difficulty to think about and communicate effectively about things that matter to them.

Jess Lane
Jess Lane
Training Associate
Jess Lane
Training Associate

Jess is a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist with a clinical background in Learning Disabilities and Paediatric Mental Health. She became a Licenced Talking Mats trainer in 2023 and joined Talking Mats Ltd as an Associate in 2024.

Formerly, Jess worked for an Intensive Support Service in Gloucestershire, supporting children and adults with learning disabilities. Jess relocated to Scotland in 2022, where she worked across Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CCAMHS) Services in and around Glasgow. Latterly, Jess worked at the National Psychiatric Child Inpatient Unit, supporting children under 12 with severe and enduring mental illnesses.

Jess also works as a Research and Outcomes Officer for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT), where she helps to build research capacity, capability and culture within the profession. Jess is currently studying towards a Clinical Doctorate in Professional Health Studies, looking at the use of Talking Mats for facilitating the direct and meaningful involvement of children in care planning. 

Heather Cambridge
Heather Cambridge
Business and Office Manager
Heather Cambridge
Business and Office Manager

Heather’s background is in Business Administration and Education and she joined Talking Mats in early 2020. Heather will be your point of contact for organising training and general enquiries.

Eilidh Stanfield
Eilidh Stanfield
Research and Development Associate
Eilidh Stanfield
Research and Development Associate

Eilidh is an environmental science graduate and is finalising her PhD research which focuses on climate justice issues for women in rural Malawi. Eilidh joined the team in the summer of 2022 as our Development Associate and is working on our SMART funded project which aims to embrace future technologies to enhance the Talking Mats digital communication framework.

Fun Fact: Eilidh is netball daft

Paula Douglas
Paula Douglas
Communications and Marketing
Paula Douglas
Communications and Marketing

Paula qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist at University College London in 2002. She worked with adult inpatients in Ayrshire and Arran before moving to work in the community in Dumfries. She now heads up the Communications Team (of 1).

Yvonne Huntly
Yvonne Huntly
Licenced Training Administrator
Yvonne Huntly
Licenced Training Administrator
Mark Dawson
Mark Dawson
Digital Lead
Mark Dawson
Digital Lead

Mark is a modern languages graduate and completed his masters at the beginning of 2020. After stints working for a farm and an educational publishing company, in the Summer of 2021 he joined the Talking Mats team where he deals with all things digital.

Liz Taylor
Liz Taylor
Associate
Liz Taylor
Associate

Liz is a Learning & Development Officer working in voluntary sector social care. She has worked with autistic people and those with learning disabilities for over 20 years, and specialises in staff training on alternative and augmentative communication methods. She has been a Licensed Trainer since 2016 and is now a tutor on our online Foundation course

Sharon McGrory
Sharon McGrory
Associate
Sharon McGrory
Associate

Associate Tutor

Sharon qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 2005 and her specialism is working within the Acute Stroke Team of Forth Valley. She has also worked within the 3rd Sector in a training and consultancy role. Sharon believes this experience allows her to offer support to our online participants and introduce them to a practical tool that can make communication easier.

Rachel Woolcomb
Rachel Woolcomb
Associate
Rachel Woolcomb
Associate

Associate Tutor

Rachel is a freelance occupational therapist working in and around Gloucestershire.  She works with people who have experienced neurological impairment following a brain or spinal cord injury and those who have sustained traumatic life changing physical and psychological injuries.  She also acts as an expert witness with the medico-legal process.  Rachel has been a team member since 2018 and is particularly interested in the use of Talking Mats as a thinking tool.  She currently tutors on the Talking Mats online Foundation Training course.

Mary Duffy
Mary Duffy
Associate
Mary Duffy
Associate

Associate Tutor

Mary is a Speech and Language Therapist working with children and young people with physical disability and additional support needs. She has been one of our Licenced Trainers since 2015 and is now applying her experience and knowledge to her role as a tutor on our online Foundation Training Course

Dr Jill Bradshaw
Dr Jill Bradshaw
Research Network Lead
Dr Jill Bradshaw
Research Network Lead

Jill is a Consultant Speech and Language Therapist and RCSLT National Clinical Adviser for Learning Disabilities.  She joined the team as an Honorary Research Associate in 2017. Jill set up and leads the Talking Mats Research Network with Joan Murphy.  She is also a Reader in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at the Tizard Centre at the University of Kent.  You can read more about her research here.

Awards
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