Tim Cooper, Chief Executive of United ResponseTim Cooper, chief executive

Before coming to United Response in 2015, Tim was chief executive of Advance, a charity that supports people with disabilities, mental health needs and learning disabilities to live the life they choose at home, at work and in the community.

Tim has a wealth of experience in supporting people with learning disabilities, including particular expertise in supported employment and housing management.

Before joining Advance, Tim was director at the Office for Disability Issues and prior to that, managing director of the Work and Independence Division of the Shaw Trust.

Julia Casserly, director of our north division

Julia is responsible for coordinating all services and teams across the north division, and brings with her a valuable nursing background.

Julia has over 20 years’ managerial experience in the social care sector, covering several geographical areas across the north region.

She has a proven track record of best practice development and is committed to improving the lives of those we support in the north. Witnessing cultural, operational and transformational change throughout her time with the organisation has afforded her in-depth knowledge of United Response’s growth and evolution. Julia’s colleagues admire her caring nature and sense of humour.

Prior to joining United Response as a senior support worker in 1991, she spent six years working for Huddersfield Health Authority as a registered mental health nurse.

Tim Jones, director of our south west division

Tim is responsible for the coordination of all teams and services within the south west region, and has a panache for forming fruitful partnerships.

Tim has 25 years of managerial experience in services for people with learning disabilities, 22 of these have been spent with United Response.

Tim holds his responsibility to those United Response supports and employs as paramount. He believes we must always strive to get things right, but that when we don't we should learn and adapt – a key part of this being able to partner with different people and organisations to produce the best results.

Previously, Tim has both commissioned and provided services under the auspices of the All Wales Strategy with Clwyd County Council. His social work career was spent predominantly in the childcare sector in both residential and field social work, and, latterly, as a senior social worker. Tim has also taught within the further education sector.

Mike Crowhurst, director of our east division

Mike is responsible for the coordination of all teams and services within the east region. He is a strong believer in the value and efficacy of a person centred approach, both at national and local levels.

Since joining in 2013, Mike has brought to United Response a wealth of experience as a senior operational, programme and project manager, as well as skills gained in both small and large public and private sector organisations.

With a Masters in the Management of Community Care, Mike has both strong academic and practical knowledge of setting up, managing and developing community services for people with disabilities – including those with complex needs.

Previous roles have given Mike experience of working across boundaries between the independent sector, local governments and the health sector.

Sarah Battershall, director of operations

Sarah is responsible for operations across the organisation. She is a strong supporter of the campaigning work we do on behalf of those we support.

Sarah joined United Response in 2003. She trained as a nurse working with people with learning disabilities, and continued to work in health and social care for 24 years, 20 of which were in a management capacity.

Sarah believes United Response should further develop its reputation as a people-focussed organisation with a wealth of skills and a very strong practice-based support ethos. She is also passionate about supporting and working alongside local communities.

Her previous roles involved working in and managing services for people with learning disabilities, people with mental health needs, and services for women and children who are homeless or fleeing violence.

Mark Ospedale, director of human resources at United Response

Mark Ospedale, director of corporate services

Mark is responsible for Corporate Services at United Response. This comprises the People delivery teams such as Human Resources, Recruitment, Organisational Development; the Communications Teams inclusive of Digital, Press, Design and Marketing Communications; the Information Technology Teams and the Programme Management Team.

Mark joined United Response in 2016 and has held Director roles with other well-known voluntary sector providers such as Certitude and Action for Children. Prior to this Mark was involved with the NHS and large scale technology enabled changes including the Electronic Staff Record System and setting up Financial Shared Service Centres.

With an early career in IT and with a military background as RAF Aircrew, a Fellow of the CIPD and having studied Business (MBA), Mark has 29 years’ experience of management supported with a broad range of skills and knowledge in HR, business leadership, planning and project management of all which he loves putting to good use in supporting people to live their lives to the full.

A photo of Jerome Walls, director of finance

Jerome Walls, director of finance

Jerome joined United Response in 2016 as Director of Finance with a key remit to ensure that UR continues to grow in a financial sustainable manner for the long-term benefit of its beneficiaries and stakeholders.

Jerome is a Chartered Accountant who spent twenty five years in commercial financial leadership roles with blue chip companies including KPMG, Fisons plc and ICL-Fujitsu Services and was fortunate to have lived and worked in Canada, Sweden, France and Holland as well as the UK. Jerome entered the third sector in 2008 and worked for five years with largest DWP third sector provider, Shaw Trust, and as CFO was part of the team that secured a large percentage of the Work Choice prime contracts assisting disabled and disadvantaged clients into the workplace and helped steer the organisation through a large merger in 2012.

Prior to joining United Response, Jerome worked as an interim Finance Director in the third sector including periods with the well-known charities Barnardo’s and Anthony Nolan. Jerome lives in rural Suffolk and when not working or commuting is normally found out on a bike desperately trying to shed a few grammes before the next sportive arrives!

Contact any of our directors or request a full biography