We currently have 6 Trustees sitting on the Board here at Next Step, one of which has been with us from the very beginning and one who has joined as recently as 2023! We are looking for more Trustees to support us in our mission to ‘continue to be the best bespoke provider and recognized specialist for adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities providing day opportunities, outreach and respite’. Expertise in the Care/Charitable Sector isn’t essential, if you are interested in finding out how you may be able to contribute, please get in touch!



Christine Naylor – Trustee (Parent Of Next Stepper)

As mum to Matthew, who has complex needs, I was one of a group of  parents and professionals who recognised the need for the provision of a service that would meet his, and other similar young peoples’ needs when they left Ravenscliffe, the excellent specialist secondary school here in Halifax.

It seems a long time since but bM (before Matthew) I worked for a large building society primarily responsible for the mortgage budget gaining investment management experience. I have also worked for the Calderdale Adult Education department and enjoyed teaching adults with disabilities such topics as basic skills, health and wellbeing and art and crafts.  I have also been a support assistant for cookery, literacy and numeracy as well as swimming.

I am a former trustee and past Chairperson for a national charity, the Tuberous Sclerosis Association and am married to Philip, without whose help and support I would not be able to manage my various volunteer roles.  We have been fortunate that we are able to enjoy a reasonably active life with Matthew, who despite the complexity of his learning difficulties and his epilepsy, is physically able and very eager to walk and cycle on his tandem (at the back!) with his dad.

Like many parents of children with special needs, I have represented, attended, spoken at, lobbied and been involved with numerous organisations and events, with the sole intention of improving the lives of our offspring.  It therefore gives me great pleasure to see the development of the Next Step Trust into the flagship provision that we originally envisaged at the start of our journey.







John Mooney – Company Secretary

With a degree in engineering and a diverse career in UK manufacturing industry, I am currently a self employed environmental consultant, running three Packaging Compliance Schemes.  I have been married almost forever and have a grown up daughter who loves to dance. When I am not working, I love to walk on the hills & moorland of Yorkshire.

I have been supporting charities that help disadvantaged adults all of my adult life. I am currently a trustee/director of four local charitable businesses.







Mo Cawthorn

Mo lives in Halifax with husband and son. She qualified as a solicitor in 1989 having studied at Manchester University. She trained in Manchester and practised in Leeds before joining Wilkinson Woodward in Halifax in 1992 where she is now a partner. She specialises in employment and litigation work.

As well as being a trustee she is a governor at a local primary school.






Leigh-Anne Stradeski

Leigh-Anne Stradeski is the Chief Executive of Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax, West Yorkshire.  She came to Eureka! in 2000 from Canada where she was Executive Director of the first Canadian children’s museum in London, Ontario.

Leigh-Anne is a great believer in the importance and power of community, and has been involved in many charities on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Community Foundation for Calderdale.

She has a particular interest in ensuring that children and young people with disabilities have access to opportunities and experiences which will enrich their lives and was therefore delighted to join the Next Step Trust in 2013.




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Julie  Walsh

Julie qualified from Medical School in Leeds and then trained as an Anaesthetist in West Yorkshire. She was a Consultant Anaesthetist at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust for 20 years and has recently moved to Airedale NHS Trust where she is a Deputy Medical Director and still does some Anaesthetic work.

She lives in Halifax with her husband and son and daughter.


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Emily Pearson

I work for Newground Together, the charity within Together Housing Group as the Community Programmes Manager in Calderdale, delivering a range of community engagement programmes with health and well being at their heart. This includes; Youth work, employment and Skills and Sustainable Affordable living programmes. I have 20 years’ experience of youth & community work in the public and voluntary sector – managing charities and service areas. I love that my work supports people to live their best lives and overcome personal barriers and challenges. I enjoy working with a variety of partners to achieve more for people and communities.

In my free time, I generally love being outside and am a keen netballer, hiker and more recently park runner!

What does being a Trustee for NST mean to me?

I really wanted to support a charity who were making a positive difference in peoples lives every day. I had no idea where or what charity, I just knew I wanted to give some of my time to support an organisation where I could. I was introduced to Next Step by Community Foundation for Calderdale. I got to know them, the work they do and joined them a couple of months later.

Being a Trustee is really rewarding, you need to be able to listen to the views of your fellow board members and the team, whilst considering the facts of how the Charity is run day to day. You can support decision making and development within the organisation by giving support and challenge. People from all kinds of backgrounds and professions can get involved.

My favourite bit of the board meetings are the positive stories about how we are supporting people to live their best life. It feels good to be part of something amazing!




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