Photograph by Malcolm Maciver

Carole Edwards

CEO

Carole is a Plymouth girl, born and bred. Her early career was in banking and prior to joining CASS+, a freelance market researcher. Carole started her criminal justice journey as a volunteer in prisons and probation and is an original member of the CASS+ team. Her 25 years of experience in the Criminal Justice System stand her in good stead to lead this organisation. She ensures that CASS+ has the funding in place to deliver a dynamic service and she oversees all staff and volunteers. She inspires and leads a passionate team focussed on getting people the advice and support that will enable them to turn their lives around.

‘I feel honoured to be working with such a talented team so focussed on guiding people towards healthier, happier lives and away from further offending. Coming from a volunteering background, I couldn’t be more pleased that we have remained committed to our model of delivery through volunteers – they have contributed to our development and helped to improve our communities through improved pathways into employment with other local providers.’

Patsy

Operations Manager

Patsy brings 16 years of criminal justice experience to the team, having started out in the prison service. She is a seasoned manager and administrator, with skills, knowledge and experience based on working at all levels, in many different roles within the Civil Service and the third sector. Her expertise in training and quality assurance are proving an invaluable addition as CASS+ grows in all aspects of its service. Patsy moved to Devon five years ago when she started working as a Victim and Survivor Liaison Manager for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). She was promoted to Deputy Head of the South West Inquiry Office, taking a lead on the submission of written accounts. As a result, Patsy is our go-to as we work with our partners to embrace a trauma-informed practice.

‘I really love the way this team cares about each other and the clients. This is a truly unique service. It’s exciting that CASS+ is here for people – I know how much people need that extra care and efficiency when trying to navigate a very complicated and daunting system. The team goes over and above to find creative and innovative answers to problems, however long that may take. I’m very excited for what the future holds.’

Christine

Business Manager

Chris is one of our stalwarts, a lynchpin since our foundation in 2015. Throughout her career, she has combined her training and administration skills very effectively. As a mother of two, Chris was told that she was only fit for a factory job. Determined to prove them wrong, she gained vital qualifications in IT, Business Administration and Customer Service and quickly found a job supporting people into the workplace. Chris is highly motivated to help others find opportunities in life. She feels honoured to have worked at Plymouth City College where, amongst many other projects, she ensured that asylum seekers and refugees became integrated into our community. In her spare time, she’s continued to study to AAT standards in Finance and Bookkeeping. Since 2017, she has been a qualified Bookkeeper and continues to work towards full accreditation as an Accountant. She became a part of the CASS+ family in 2010 when she joined Rethink Mental Illness.

‘I’ve gone from half a day a week as an Admin Assistant to four days a week as Business Manager. I love the variety – I’m responsible for the smooth running of HR, recruitment, training, inductions, finance, and reporting. I really believe in this cause. We help people going through bad times and this continues through to the support we give each other in the team. Too many people wouldn’t give our clients another thought, but we all deserve a second chance.’

Photograph by Malcolm Maciver

Michelle

Assistant Coordinator, Newton Abbot Magistrates’ Court

Michelle joined the team as a volunteer in 2018. Since then, she has developed a broad skill set, from IT and administration to client support. She’s completed a variety of courses, including Business Administration Level Two. As a result, our database is in very capable hands, enabling us to manage confidential information accurately. Since 2020, she has been employed as our part-time Administration Assistant and has just taken on the role of Assistant Co-ordinator at Newton Abbot Magistrates’ Court to make her full-time.

‘I want to do meaningful work. CASS+ has enabled me to grow my skills, knowledge and experience so that I can give back to those in need of support when facing a crisis.’

Photograph by Malcolm Maciver

Debbie

Coordinator, Bodmin & Truro Magistrates’ Courts

Debbie is an original member of the CASS+ team. As a ‘Cornwall girl’, she brings local knowledge to everything she does. Applying strong values to her work with clients, Debbie is known for ‘going the extra mile’ and working with passion. She balances a contract to work with victims of crime alongside her work with offenders at court and understands the crossover between the different hats that people going through the criminal justice system can wear. Not really seeing herself as a manger of people, she has supervised and developed around 100 volunteers through Cornwall services – many of whom have remained in touch after they’ve left us.

‘Every day is different, and never have I felt coming to work a chore. I am extremely passionate about what I do, and enjoy covering other CASS+ desks when needed. Making a difference to people’s lives is such an honour and to have such a fantastic team working beside me enables us to give 100% to our service users, which makes CASS+ so unique.’

Mollie

Assistant Coordinator at the Magistrates’ Courts in Truro and Bodmin

Mollie joined as a volunteer with CASS+ in 2020. Within a year, she’d found herself in a paid role as our Assistant Coordinator at the Magistrates’ Courts in Truro and Bodmin. It was here that she discovered her passion for criminal justice work and began to study Law at University.

‘By the time people reach the court, they are in serious crisis. I love being in exactly the right place at the right time. The trauma of court can affect people’s mental health, so we really do need to be here to help them find a way through. We always have more than one problem to solve, but it’s so rewarding to send people on their way with their difficulties resolved.’

Photograph by Malcolm Maciver

Ivan Judd

Coordinator, Plymouth Magistrates’ Court

With 33 years as a Prison Officer, Ivan knows all about the ins and outs of the Criminal Justice System. This commendable dedication was followed by a further seven years within the Prison Service, including involvement in a number of award-winning interventions. He joined CASS+ in 2021 to ensure that our flagship service in Plymouth runs smoothly and efficiently.

‘I enjoy working with people, and helping where I can – exactly what the CASS+ team does every day of the week. It’s so rewarding to be part of such a committed and enthusiastic team, from the CEO right through to all the volunteers.’

Photograph by Malcolm Maciver

Jonathon Gatward

Community Fundraiser

Jonathan started out as a Punk Rock comedian, eventually getting signed with United Artists. He quickly worked his way from sales rep to director level, finally managing the Disney licences for Hasbro Toys. Unfortunately, at this point, he hit the wall running. As a result, Jon has huge empathy for the many people we see with mental health needs, as well as those he now helps as a voluntary Mental Health Support Worker. He joined the CASS+ team in 2012 as a volunteer and is now employed one day a week to make sure that as many community groups as possible know about how CASS+ helps people.

‘I love this job because it brings together my passion for the social care sector and my people skills. It’s a real pleasure to be able to work with such an interesting range of groups committed to improving lives.’

To book a talk contact: Jonathon.Gatward@cassplus.org

Photograph by Malcolm Maciver

Henri

Coordinator, Newton Abbot Magistrates’ Court

Henri comes to CASS+ with a wealth of experience after a highly successful career in people management and training in international banking. She quickly transferred her people skills into counselling, delivering emotional telephone support and issue-focussed training for unpaid carers across Devon. From there, Henri turned to teaching and set up and ran a successful private counselling college for 10 years. Henri has brought her passion for supporting people to the CASS+ team which goes from strength to strength as a result.

‘I believe that by being my truly unique and genuine self, I have given and will continue to give others the courage to do the same to take back their lives.’

Sam

Assistant Coordinator, Plymouth Magistrates’ Court

After serving 20 exemplary years with the Metropolitan Police Service, Sam relocated back to her roots in Plymouth where she can explore the great outdoors with friends and family. She has extensive knowledge of the Criminal Justice System having been a career detective and taken many challenging criminal cases to Magistrate and Crown Court. Sam brings a great deal of experience, empathy and understanding of people from all walks of life. As a result, our team in Plymouth is learning a great deal about how to support the people who come through the door.

‘I am delighted to invited to join the CASS+ team, and right away I’ve been made to feel like I’m very much part of the family.’

Photograph by Malcolm Maciver

Tessa Webb

Communications Officer

Tessa moved to Plymouth in 2021 and her feet haven’t touched the ground since. She brings a wealth of experience in setting up professional communications from scratch and we’re thankful to Lloyds Bank Foundation for making this happen. As a Member of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, Tessa’s 30 years in marketing, communications, events, brand management, and PR across the commercial, charity, education and arts sectors stand her in good stead to raise the profile of CASS+.

‘Everyone at CASS+ goes over and above for the people we support. I feel privileged and excited to promote such a unique and pioneering service. I’m looking forward to getting CASS+ known more and more across Devon and Cornwall.’

For all media enquiries, contact:

Tessa.Webb@cassplus.org or 07719 052792