Ivy Mill Business Centre, Crown Street, Failsworth, Manchester. M35 9BG


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I began working with people with disabilities in 2001 whilst studying health and social care at Salford College after school. Following college, I was employed in a day service, then in supported living services, where I had the opportunity to support people with varying levels of need.

Alongside supporting people with disabilities, in 2006 I went on to Salford University (BSc Hons Integrated Social Work and Learning Disability Nursing). My knowledge and skills in working with people with learning disabilities developed through academic study and various placements within learning disability nursing and social work services. In 2009 I was fortunate enough to have my final placement with Ordinary Lifestyles, and I’ve been employed as Registered Manager since 2011. I have always respected the person centred values of the organisation and it’s been great getting to know the people we support and working with some excellent staff who are really dedicated to what they do.

Jemma Cowburn: Registered Manager

I am registered with the NMC as a Learning Disability Nurse and with the HCPC as a Social Worker. In 2013 I attended Bolton University to study for nursing mentorship. We now work closely with the University of Salford to enable students from their Integrated Learning Disability Nursing and Social Work programme to attend placements with Ordinary Lifestyles, which have proved to be very valuable.

In my spare time I enjoy walking, camping (when it’s not raining!) and travelling to new places. I’ve got two little dogs which keep me busy.

Since being at school I have had an interest in Social Work and in particular working with people who have disabilities.  When I left school I spent a year working for the National Autistic Society in Norfolk where I lived in a service and supported a number of individuals who had a diverse range of support needs.  I went on to study at MMU (BA Applied Community Studies) and Salford University (Diploma in Social Work), whilst doing this I worked as a Support Worker and saw the difference good quality person centred support can make to the lives of people who have disability.

I have been managing Supported Living Services since 1998.  I joined Ordinary Lifestyles in 2005 initially as Training Manager, becoming a Registered Manager in 2013 and now I have been given the opportunity to combine that role with that of Chief Executive Officer.  My role is to provide leadership to the charity and to be responsible for the management and administration of the charity within the strategic policy and accountability frameworks agreed by the board of trustees.

Clodagh McGurrin: CEO

I love having the opportunity to work with the people we support and have worked alongside some really dedicated staff who go above and beyond their duties to provide an excellent service.

Outside of work I am kept busy with 2 teenagers and a failed guide dog called Hazel.  My family also volunteer for Trafford Home from Home scheme and have provided short break care for a child with learning disabilities since 2009

I joined Ordinary Lifestyles in 1995 - I was the first employee! At that time, the families who set up the organisation were meeting together to plan how their sons and daughters could stay living in their own local communities, in their own homes, with support from their own staff. Having just completed my Social Work Diploma at MMU, I saw an advert they had placed in the Manchester Evening News for a Development Worker. I was very interested - and delighted when they offered me the job!

Things were very different in those early days, as we still did not have funding for people to move out of their family homes. I worked alongside Clare Dalton (Keith’s mum) and the other parents, helping them plan the new service, write policies, apply for charity registration etc. Everything changed once we were finally awarded funding to run our first service, supporting 2 men in Harpurhey, in 1997.

Kathy McIver: Training Manager

I now work as Training Manager, and also line manage the services we provide to people who still live with their families. I love my job, and feel proud of what we have achieved over the years, growing as an organisation but hopefully staying true to the values and vision we started out with.

I left Ordinary Lifestyles in 2005, when I was expecting my son. I had a big leaving do at Corpus Christi Social Centre on Varley Street. Maggie made a speech and I was presented with some lovely gifts. Then in 2013, circumstances for me and Ordinary Lifestyles combined, with the result that I was able to return! So if I ever leave again (which I’m not planning to), I can’t have another leaving do - because I’ve already had one.

I have worked within the voluntary sector for around 18 years, beginning as a receptionist on the New Deal scheme before being offered an administrative role for BHA (a health and social care charity focused on challenging health inequalities) in 2000.  Once there I moved into a newly created Finance Officer role before progressing on to become the Finance Manager.  

A few days before Christmas of 2014 I received a random email from the then Head of Services of Ordinary Lifestyles telling me that she’d spotted my CV online and asking whether I’d be interested in a role with the organisation that was being developed.

My initial thought was that this was one of the many spam emails I received at the time but curiosity got the better of me and I responded….around 6 months later I joined Ordinary Lifestyles!  Although I have an auntie that has both physical and learning disabilities she is cared for at home by my family with the only real involvement being from a day centre therefore the care sector as a whole was completely new to me….two years or so down the line I’m probably still getting to grips with my understanding of it J

Vikki Monaghan: Finance & Administration Manager

Beyond Ordinary Lifestyles I enjoy travelling, football and food – often all three at the same time!  I’m also a trustee of a charity which provides culturally sensitive support and information for people with cancer, their families and their carers.

Meet Our Management Team