People in the SUPA Group

Contact information

Academic Lead, SUPA Group
Department of Social Policy and Social Work
University of York
YO10 5DD

Member profiles

Members of the SUPA Group are invited to post a little about themselves to give an insight into who forms our advisory group and who students may engage with as part of their course. 

Edward Robson

Ed Robson

It is an honour for me to take over as the Academic Lead for the SUPA group from Simon Cauvain. Here at the University of York, service users and carers complement the teaching provided in both classrooms and on placement.  They bring the insight of their experiences and the reality of social work practice within safe and direct reach of our students.  The group is embedded within both undergraduate and postgraduate courses: student feedback consistently upholds the value of the SUPA group and I am very pleased to be able to support its continued growth and increased range of involvement. I would also like to thank Simon for his sterling work as the outgoing Academic Lead, and wish him every success in his new post at Nottingham Trent University.

I am a registered social worker with broad experience of working with a range of service users within the field of social care. Since the 1990s I have worked in the fields of mental health, homelessness, children and families, substance misuse, older adults, young carers and teenage parents. I became a qualified social worker in 2002 with a DipSW and graduated from (what was then) the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside. I am also a qualified counsellor and practice educator and have achieved management qualifications since becoming a qualified social worker. I have worked in both the voluntary and statutory sectors and throughout my career have maintained a keen interest in professional training and development, as well as improving service user involvement in service provision.

Ann Hardy

A retired lady, I have a wide experience of people and a reservoir of life skills. My working life included Post Office Counter Clerk, Playgroup Supervisor and Support Worker in a day centre. Later as Relief Ward Clerk working on every hospital ward I observed numerous medical conditions and the social effects they had on patients and their families.

Always involved in community groups, voluntary work has filled my spare time. After many years caring for my mother, my special interest is in dementia and carer support. As an Alzheimer Society volunteer I cover information stands to inform and support those whose lives are directly affected, and also others with a general interest in one of the 'biggest time-bombs' facing our society today. I am keen on educating the different age groups to change negative attitudes from seeing only what those with dementia can no longer do, to, where possible, what they can still achieve.

Chris‌ Edmondson

I have been with the SUPA group for 3 years and I am now the chair of the group. I enjoy sharing my experiences with social workers and people who in the future wish to become a social worker. I am involved in many organisations within York whether it be service user organisations or in an advisory capacity for the public sector, e.g. York City Council.

I was born with a neuromuscular condition which has affected my mobility, health and has caused social segregation. I have used social services throughout my life and have used the service more since I reached 18. This is because I decided to study accountancy at Northumbria University and as a result left home to live independently. I have now lived 7 years independently supported by a team of PAs paid for through direct payments.

Jackie Chapman

I became a carer at the age of 9 having to look after my 2 siblings and a three week old baby due to my mother’s illness, (no National Health in those days and if my father didn't work he had no money to look after his family). I had a full time job until I was 65 during which time I was a full time carer for my husband for the last 12 years of his life whilst suffering with emphysema. Over the years I have also cared for both my parents and mother in law, because of this I have always cared passionately for the 'Carer' and very concerned about the fate of former carers who on the whole are forgotten.

When I reached the age of 50 I became involved with the MS Society taking on the roles of Chairman, Secretary, Fund Raiser and part of the Support Team, I also help to run our MS Café every week.

Due to my connections with the MS Society I am also involved with other groups mainly: University of York SUPA Group, York Carers Forum, York City Council Cares Strategy Group, York Hospital & PCT Carers Health Support Group, University of York SPRU Group, Health Watch York Representative looking at the health & social problems in the City of York, North Yorkshire & York Neurological Alliance and I am a trustee of York Carers Centre.

Part of my work involves helping professionals to understand the needs of people with disabilities and their carers, and as a former carer I hope I can contribute something to help improve their lives.


Born in Newcastle, I grew up in Wetherby, Lincolnshire & Harrogate. I played for Bradford Bantams and trailed for Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield Town and Nottingham Forest. Under the guidance of England and Yorkshire cricketer, Peter Kippax, I also played for Yorks Colts under-16s cricket team

I attended Royal Navy training at RAF Biggin Hill, however was rejected because of my height. My working life started with 2 jobs: the Leeds Road Post Office behind the counter part time and a full time job at Hill Cannon Partnership Consulting Engineers. I trained to be a young Civil Engineer passing my ONC (1988) and HNC in Civil Engineering (1990).

I have had bipolar disorder for 23 years and in that time have had 9 'highs' and one episode of depression. Nonetheless I run my own business reasonably successfully. I understand and cope with my illness and have a very supportive family.