Meet the Team

Bernie Wood image
Bernie Wood

Hi, my name is Bernie Wood, and I have been the General Manager of Talbot House Support Centre for 35 years. I have five children, and my youngest has Downs Syndrome. I came to Talbot House in 1978 searching for the support I desperately needed from parents like myself and so I now support other parents just like me.

I am an optimist and to stay focused I always try to look on the "bright side". I set realistic goals, accept compliments graciously, avoid dodging my mistakes and I admit to and apologise for hurting others. I am active in carers causes, I am passionate about parent carers rights and will try to educate others about learning disabilities so they understand their new knowledge!!

To contact Bernie you can e-mail

Frances Crake image
Frances Crake

Fran came to Talbot House in 2006 to tackle the admin and quickly became a very important part of the Talbot House team. She always makes herself available whenever the parents who come to the centre need anything and later became a parent support worker.

Fran has the knack of soothing all situations that need it and she contributes so much to the running of Talbot House; arranging weekends away, carers lunches, parent consultations, organising the pamper service, and home visits for older carers. Fran will never leave a task alone until it is completed successfully, she is a valuable asset to Talbot House.

To contact Fran you can e-mail

Jacqui Hyde image
Jacqui Hyde

Jacqui joined Talbot House as a support worker in 2008 following a career change from being a legal secretary. Jacqui is a strong mum who single handedly raises her two children. Her youngest has a significant speech and language disorder, ADHD and learning disabilities.

Jacqui is a unique character bubbly and fun, her straightforward thinking is appreciated by parents as well as her fantastic correspondence skills. Jacqui's letter writing especially with legal matters is second to none. Jacqui has recently been working with parents with court issues, child protection and vulnerable adults. 

To contact Jacqui you can e-mail

Paul Cassidy (Chair)

 Paul has been a Trustee of Talbot House since 2015, and has been Chair for the past three years. He has been involved with Talbot House for more than 30 years, having helped ensure parents were claiming all their correct benefits when he was the Principal Welfare Rights Officer at Manchester City Council in the 80’s and 90’s.  Before he retired he was Director of Adult and Children services at nearby Oldham Council, having previously been Assistant Director of Social Services at Manchester for 13 years, where he held lead responsibility for Carers, Learning Disability and Autism.  Paul also has extensive experience of the charitable sector, having been Chair of Trustees for Manchester Law Centre for 10 years and is currently Treasurer of Rainbow Haven, a refugee support charity and Company Secretary for Imagine, Act and Succeed, a supported accommodation charity.

Denise Price (Treasurer)

Denise has been aware of the work of Talbot House for many years as she was Lead Commissioner for Learning Disability Services. Upon her retirement from Manchester City Council she joined the board in 2013.

Denise’s considerable professional knowledge, understanding of and empathy for people with learning disabilities and their carers is an incredible asset to our management team. Denise has also been able to bring her knowledge of budget management to the role of treasurer.

Denise is very ‘hands on’ and also carries out additional volunteer work with us providing support and advice to parent carers.

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Helen Bottomley

Helen is a parent carer and has been involved with Talbot House for 30 years. Helen is married to John and she has twin daughters aged 32 years old, Nikki and Claire. Claire has multiple and profound disabilies and Nikki is University educated. Helen devotes most of her free time to Talbot House. She contributes in ways that only Helen can do from decorating, gardening, designing and sewing costumes for our Christmas shows. She is infact a women of all trades and master of everyone. In fact she is the only one who can make Bernie do as she is told!!!

Helen became a Talbot House Trustee in 2009.

June Jackson
Abigail Birch
Martin Rathfelder