Sanford House, Sandford Street, Swindon, SN1 1HE
01793 542575

SAM’s Senior Leadership Team

Your life. Your choice. Your voice.

Dawn Dixon – Chief Executive Officer

Responsible for day to day management decisions and implementing and monitoring SAM Advocacy’s strategic plan, Dawn acts as the direct liaison between the Board of Trustees and Leadership team.

Colette O’Sullivan – Advocacy Director

Colette acts as deputy CEO and supports the CEO in the running of the organisation.   

Colette is responsible for the operations of the one to one advocacy service for mental health, non-statutory and Children and young people’s advocacy.  Colette is the safeguarding lead for children, young people and adults.

Rachel Grabowski – Advocacy Manager

Rachel is responsible for operations for the statutory services for Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy and  Care Act at Swindon Advocacy Movement.  She manages the receipt and processing of all referrals and enquiries into SAM.  Rachel is the safeguarding deputy at SAM.

Caroline Blunsden – Community Advocacy Team Leader

Caroline manages the non-statutory community-based projects for adults; Boost Your Skills, Project Boost (Day opportunities for adults with LD), and the Learning Disability Partnership Board. She oversees the recruitment of volunteers for these projects.  Caroline has 13 years’ experience of working with individuals with support needs.

Sharon Davis – Finance and Compliance Officer

Sharon is responsible for Finance and Compliance Resources within the organisation. She works closely with Dawn and the  managers to develop and monitor service budgets.

Ian Reynolds – Training Manager

Ian’s primary role is to manage the Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) Team; working within the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. This team work with people who lack mental capacity and have no one independent to support them in making certain important decisions like where they live or what medical treatment they should receive.

In addition Ian is responsible for all training and training development for SAM and outside organisations . He is also the City & Guilds Assessor for the Independent Advocacy Diploma or Certificate for all staff and volunteers working in an advocacy role at SAM.

Our Board of Trustees

Richard James – Chair of the Board of Trustees

Richard has lived in Swindon since 1989 when he moved here from South Wales to work at the Nationwide Building Society headquarters. He first became involved with SAM in 2017 before becoming a Trustee in 2018. He was made the Chair of Trustees in late 2019.

Mark Boden

Mark comes from Port Talbot, a steel town in South Wales. He qualified as a Solicitor and worked in local government for 40 years. Through his legal work and later work as a corporate manager he has experience of all aspects of council work including education, child protection and adult protection. He has done much work in health and social care with the NHS, including developing ground breaking partnership working. Outside work Mark’s interests include history, Medieval churches, and walking.

Jane Weston – Trustee and Treasurer

Jane joined the SAM board in 2009 and has held various positions in the committee including Chair and Treasurer. She moved to Swindon in 1991 whilst working in the electronics industry and now combines being a Trustee for SAM with working for another charity. In her spare time Jane enjoys walks with her dog, reading, sketching and Pilates.

The Crew

Gary Bawden

Gary has been Co-chair in the past. On the crew for 10+ years

“I enjoy finding out what’s happening at SAM and helping to make decisions about the work we do”

Anthony Dixon

Currently the co-chair and has been on the crew for 8+ years.

“I like helping people, that’s what we’re all about”

Angie Cooper

On the crew for 10+ years, Angie has been the Co-secretary in the past.

“I like doing the interviews and meeting new people”

Teresa Hardman

Teresa has been on the crew 10+ years.

“It’s interesting and getting new people on the crew is really good”