Our senior team

Skills for Care's CEO Sharon Allen Our CEO Sharon Allen

Our Corporate Leadership Team is made up of our Chief Executive and five directors. They regularly meet to set our strategic and operational direction based on our business plan.

Sharon Allen OBE – Chief Executive

Sharon is a qualified social worker and housing professional with a BA (Hons) in Housing Studies and a MBA.

She has worked in the public and voluntary social care sector for nearly 30 years and was Chief Executive of St Anne’s Community Services before joining Skills for Care.

Sharon was awarded an OBE in June 2015 for services to social care, homeless people and housing.

She is a member of the Think Local, Act Personal (TLAP) programme board, chairs the Homeless Link Homelessness Transition Fund grants panel, is a board member and chair of the Operational Committee for Cambridge Housing Society and is also a member of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) board.

You can follow Sharon on Twitter @sharonallensfc.

Our directors

For more information about our directors please click on the links below.

Andy Tilden

Andy originally trained as a teacher and is a qualified social worker and external verifier in management and health and social care qualifications. He has a MBA with a strong focus on learning and development.

Andy has worked in residential child care and remand services, education welfare and as a lecturer in a further education college. He helped to set up a training company attached to a learning disability company and delivered training across the South West of England.

Andy joined TOPSS England (now Skills for Care) as a regional development officer for the South West before being appointed as director of sector development – skills.

You can follow Andy on Twitter @andytildensfc.

Maria Lagos

Maria has over twenty years’ experience in social work practice and management, and education and training. She has a degree in Social Sciences and Psychology and a MS in Social Work Studies - CQSW.

Maria has managed child care services and worked in voluntary projects delivering services for refugee children and their families. She lectured in social work for six years and was course director of a practice teaching programme.

Maria moved to TOPSS England (now Skills for Care) when it was created and is now director of sector development – innovation, leading a team responsible for workforce innovation, policy, research, social work, and recruitment and retention. 

Thea Seville

Thea has worked in social care for over 30 years and began her career as a local authority child care and day service officer in North Yorkshire.

She then worked as a further education lecturer, training officer and volunteer coordinator before becoming development manager in a voluntary sector learning disability service.

In 2001 Thea worked with the local authority and independent sector services across Cumbria to set up the Cumbria Learning Disability Partnership and was CEO until moving to Skills for Care.

Thea began working at Skills for Care in 2004 as the North West regional development manager before being appointed as director of strategic workforce intelligence.

Nicola Tudor

Nicola has a degree in Business Information Management and a Chartered Institute of Marketing Post-graduate Diploma in Marketing. 

Nicola has spent most of her career working in the social care sector and has developed an insight into the challenges and needs of those providing social care services. Prior to joining TOPSS England (now Skills for Care), Nicola worked in publishing at the Department of Transport.

Within her role as director of marketing and communications her key focus is on ensuring that employers know about, and can easily access the products and services that Skills for Care has developed to meet their needs.

Nicola works part time (Monday-Wednesday) and job shares with Barry Lee-Potter.

Barry Lee-Potter

Barry is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, has a degree in Philosophy and Linguistics.

Barry has led marketing and communications teams in the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, the Sector Skills Development Agency and at Department for Work and Pensions, Department for International Development and Department for Education.

He has managed large, integrated direct response campaigns using TV, radio and direct mail, as well as developing no/ low-cost techniques for organisations using social platforms to enable organisations to listen to what people are telling them; and to get their messages across quickly.

Barry works part time (Wednesday-Friday) and job shares with Nicola Tudor.

Sue Shaw

Sue has a BSc Honours degree in Economics and Statistics from Leeds University and a Diploma in Entrepreneurship from Manchester Business School. 

Sue is a qualified Chartered Accountant, who trained with one of the big four international accounting and auditing firms. After qualification she gained experience including corporate taxation, receiverships/ liquidations/ bank security reviews and due diligence.

She has managed a portfolio of audit clients including commercial companies, pension schemes and a portfolio of charitable, not for profit, voluntary sector and social housing clients mainly based in Yorkshire.

Sue joined Skills for Care nine years ago and has worked in finance and accountancy for over 25 years.

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