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.


Mike Crowhurst, director of our south division

As a board member and member of the directors team, Mike shares responsibility for the strategic and day to day management of United Response. As Director of Operations he is responsible for all teams and services within the south.

Before joining United Response, Mike was Director of a Change Management consultancy for thirteen years. In this role he worked at a senior level across the private, independent and public sectors - with organisations such as HC One, Care Management Group, Barnet, Barking and Southwark Councils on major transformation projects.

Mike’s passion is in driving service transformation to deliver better outcomes for citizens, whilst making the most efficient use of public money. He believes community care has come a long way over the past three decades, but not far enough.

He says, "The next few years will be the most exciting yet, as we redesign the way services are delivered in partnership with citizens, communities, the public sector and business.

"That is our journey in United Response. It’s what gets me out of bed in the mornings. It is what makes United Response an amazing organisation to work for."


Sarah Battershall, director of quality and practice

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

Sarah joined United Response in 2003. She trained as a nurse working with people with learning disabilities, and has continued to work in health and social care for 30 years, 24 of which were in management and leadership roles.

Sarah believes United Response should further develop its reputation as a creative, people-focussed organisation with a very strong practice-based support ethos. She is also passionate about supporting and working alongside families and local communities to ensure that people who need support have strong connections.

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