Our Team

Meet Our Team

Wendy Joy


Wendy trained in London qualifying in 1991. Her years of paediatric physiotherapy experience have been gained in various settings both in the NHS and also privately.

At the end of 2006 Wendy set up Total Children’s Therapy with the aim of providing a high quality, ethical, friendly service to children and their families. The practice has steadily expanded over the years and is now busy and thriving six days a week. It is the only private practice of its kind in the area to provide such a wide range of multidisciplinary, specialist paediatric therapy. Wendy now both works clinically and manages Total Children’s Therapy. She works full time combining her clinical work with lecturing and consultancy work around the UK.

Wendy wanted to be a physio from the age of 14 and loves her work. She attends regular courses and conferences to keep her skills up to date and enjoys networking with other physios around the UK. Wendy is a firm believer that therapy should not be boring. She believes sessions should be good fun for all those involved so that the children are not necessarily aware of how hard they are working. She finds this also encourages compliance whilst being of maximum benefit.

She is aware that every case has been different and likes the fact that she is part of a team that can work in different ways to tailor a bespoke service for each of the families she works with. Wendy believes in constantly pushing forwards and questioning current practice. She is a keen advocate of prevention and early intervention and has researched and developed the Storycises™ programme and stories with her colleague Jane, which has been developed to help establish essential foundation motor skills in children.


Jane graduated from Southampton University in 2003 and has worked with children since 2005. She spent 13 years in the NHS as a physio (10 as a paediatric physio) and before that, 10 years as a paramedic. She is a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and with the Health Professions Council as a state registered physiotherapist.

Jane has worked with many families with children with a variety of diagnosis – from developmental coordination disorders, to neurological diagnosis like cerebral palsy. Her special interest is in children with a neurodevelopmental diagnosis and she has completed the post registration basic and advanced Bobath Therapy courses. She has been involved in the successful rehabilitation of children after a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy helping them to achieve things that prior to surgery would have been impossible.

She always puts the family and child at the centre of everything she does and her sessions are always play based and lots of fun!


Kathryn Robinson – Paediatric Physiotherapist Kathryn is a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy graduating from Sheffield Hallam University in 2004. She is also a state registered physiotherapist and a member of the Health Professions Council. Kathryn completed a Masters in Rehabilitation from Bradford University in 2011 and completed the Bobath course in 2013.

Kathryn has an interest in neuromuscular conditions and rare syndromes and enjoys working with children with Cerebral Palsy and has been working with children and their families following Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy to help them achieve their goals.

Kathryn divides her time between NHS work and her work at Total Children’s Therapy. Her NHS roles have been in Yorkshire, Dorchester and she is now working in the New Forest area specialising in neuro-developmental conditions.

Nicki Walsh


Nicki is a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the Health Professional’s Council. She is also a member of the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists. She qualified from Teesside University in 2004 having previously completed a degree in sports medicine from Glasgow University. Since qualifying Nicki has worked in a number of NHS hospitals including the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and Kings College Hospital, London as the paediatric musculoskeletal lead therapist. She has worked in a variety of acute and community settings. Nicky has a special interest in musculoskeletal, sports injuries, orthopaedics and chronic pain.

Sarah Lord


Sarah qualified from University College London with a degree in Speech Sciences in 2004. She is a member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and is registered with the Health Professions Council. She has extensive experience working with a range of speech, language and communication difficulties in both children and teenagers. Sarah has worked in community clinics, early years settings, mainstream school ,specialist education and college environments. She is passionate about supporting children and their families through the process of developing functional communication and interaction skills.  Sarah passionately believes that children learn more when they are enjoying what they are doing rather than when they see it as hard work, therefore she always endeavours to make assessment and therapy as fun and child focused as possible. 

Debbie Russell-Jones


Debbie qualified in 2006 with a BSc in Speech and Language Therapy. She enjoyed working for the NHS for many years with children in clinic, mainstream and in specialist education settings . Debbie chose to become an independent therapist in 2016 where she felt she was able to provide a higher quality of therapy whilst providing a practical model to parents, teachers and teaching assistants as to how they can promote speech and language development on a daily basis.

She offers assessment, advice, training and therapy packages to primary and secondary settings. She enjoys working with families to provide assessment and understanding of speech and language difficulties and ways to support their development. She has experience working with children with:

  • Speech sound delays / disorders
  • Developmental language disorders
  • Expressive and receptive language difficulties: Understanding and putting words together in sentence.
  • Attention and listening difficulties
  • Autistic spectrum conditions
  • Attachment disorder 
  • ADHD
  • Developmental verbal dyspraxia
  • Children with Down’s Syndrome
  • Fluency/ stammering 
  • Selective mutism
Nicola Mearing


Since qualifying from City University, London in 2009 Nicky has worked with children and young adults with a range of speech, language, communication and swallowing difficulties in Special Schools, Mainstream Schools and Nurseries and Day Opportunity Centres.

Nicky has over 10 years experience of working in the field of complex needs and has knowledge of working with conditions such as Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Traumatic Brain Injury, a variety of genetic conditions including Down Syndrome and Rett Syndrome as well as progressive conditions.

Nicky has an extensive knowledge of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems ranging from low tech symbols and signing to PODD books and high tech communication aids including iPads and eye gaze devices with a range of software and apps. She is able to provide staff training or work directly with AAC users to further develop their skills in a fun way.

Nicky also holds a post-graduate qualification in The Practical Management of Eating and Drinking Difficulties in Children and a keen interest in sensory feeding difficulties.

Nicola Mearing

Diane Lewis, BSc (Hons), MSc, MRCSLT, Highly Specialist SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPIST

Diane qualified from the University College of London with a master’s degree in Speech and Language Therapy Sciences in 2005. She is a member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and is registered with the Health Professions Council.

Diane has a history of working in Special Schools and over 14 years experience working in the field of complex needs. She has knowledge of conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, autism, Down Syndrome, sensory impairments, traumatic brain injuries and has developed her knowledge in a number of specific areas such as social communication, attention and listening and development of speech sounds.

Diane has a special interest in augmentative and alternative communication both high and low tech and is passionate about a Total Communication approach.

Diane also holds a post basic dysphagia qualification and has knowledge of assessing, supporting, advising on complex eating and drinking difficulties.

Nicola Mearing


Marie-Claire qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 2003 and has worked in a range of paediatric settings since qualifying including pre-school clinics, mainstream schools, special schools and hospitals.
She has experience of working with children with speech, language and swallowing difficulties of all age groups from new-born babies into adulthood.

Marie-Claire is registered with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).  She has a specialist interest in the field of neurology and has developed specific knowledge and skills in brain injury and a range of paediatric neurological conditions.

Marie-Claire enjoys tailoring therapy to suit a child’s needs in exciting ways for maximum enjoyment and to achieve the best results.

Jo Scott


Jo has been a passionate advocate for Occupational Therapy with children for over 20 years. She graduated from Coventry University in 1994 with a BSc Hons degree in Occupational Therapy and in 1995 she had the opportunity to work in the USA for 2 years with children from the Native American population and has worked in paediatrics ever since. On returning to work in the UK she worked in London and then locally with Solent NHS Trust with children with a variety of challenges including Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Coordination Disorder and Dyspraxia, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Integrative difficulties, physical and learning disabilities. She has a special interest in early years but also has a significant level of experience in working in mainstream and special school settings. She is motivated to make therapy fun and motivating ensuring that every challenge is achievable. She is committed to developing a child’s potential, working towards increased participation, occupation and independence while focusing on collaborative goals which are functional and a priority for the child.

Jo is Bobath trained and working towards becoming a Sensory Integration practitioner. She is a member of Council of Professionals Supplementary to Medicine (CPSM), The Royal College of Occupational Therapy (RCOT) and The Children and Young People Specialist Section. She is also a member of the SI network. 

Clare King


Claire qualified as an OT from Derby School of Occupational Therapy .  She is a member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT) and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.  Claire began her career working in the NHS and moved to the private sector in 2009.  She has specific interests in working with Autism Spectrum Condition and Learning Disability.    

Claire is passionate about supporting children and young people to reach their maximum potential by working alongside them to develop their independence in daily living.  She has experience working within mental health teams and has training in Sensory Integration. 

Rachel Crennall


Over the past 25 years, working as a registered music therapist, Rachel has used music in a wide variety of health, education and community settings – working with children and adults of all ages. After working at the Royal Hospital for Neuro Disability in London, Rachel moved to Dorset in 2001. In addition to the work she does with Total Children’s Therapy Rachel works with adults with acquired brain injury. Rachel is a member of the British Association for Music Therapy and state registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. She plays the flute and piano.

Simone Roaf


Simone is an integral part of the team who co-ordinate the day to day running of the practice.

She also works as a therapy assistant with our therapy team. Her background has enabled her to bring her years of experience working with children to her work at TCT. NNEB qualified for over 20 years Simone has worked in a variety of childcare settings: day nurseries, playgroups and schools in a variety of roles such as a TA and 1:1. Her area of specialist interest is early years. Simone combines her considerable experience working with children with her natural warmth and enthusiasm resulting in a knowledgeable approach to working with children and families in a friendly, caring and fun way.

Charlotte Joy

CHARLOTTE JOY – Therapy Assistant

Charlotte has worked at TCT as a pool side and therapy assistant since 2015. She has built up her experience working with various members of the therapy team and as a result her skills and versatility has grown over the years. Her empathy and calm steady nature are an asset to the team. She is friendly, enthusiastic, and always happy to help out.

She assists on 1:1 sessions, groups and our ‘fun days/events’. Charlotte also helps out on the clerical side when required. In addition she also has support worker experience and has worked with both verbal and non-verbal children.

Kim Pickering

Dr Naeem Mughal MBBS, DCH, MRCP, MRCPCH – Consultant Community Paediatrician

Dr Mughal graduated in 1989 and was trained as General Paediatrician. After working as Consultant Paediatrician in general paediatrics for about a year he moved to Community Paediatrics in 2006. After initial training in Community Paediatrics in London (St Mary’s hospital in Paddington), Dr Mughal worked as a Consultant Community Paediatrician in Dorset County Hospital for a year and later worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London from July 2008 till December 2009. He then moved to Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey as lead Community Paediatrician and Head of Community Paediatric department. He worked at Frimley Park Hospital for 7 years before joined Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in February 2016 as Consultant Community Paediatrician and Designated Doctor for looked after children. He still works at Poole Hospital as Consultant Community Paediatrician & has joined TCT team for private work.

We welcome Dr Mughal to our TCT team who has vast experience in Community Paediatrics especially in the field of Neurodevelopmental conditions (ASD and ADHD) which is his special interest. Our new ASD & ADHD assessment service at TCT will be run by an assessment team including a Specialist Speech & Language Therapist, Educational Psychologist and Occupational Therapist, the team will be headed by Dr Mughal.

Katy Bravery


Katy is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and is also registered as a Practitioner Psychologist with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC). She is a member of the Association of Child Psychologists in Private Practice (ACHIPP).

Katy qualified as an Educational Psychologist from the University of Southampton in 2012 and has experience of working in both child and adult psychological services. Katy has worked in schools since 2007 and has taught thinking skills and philosophy classes to primary aged children. Since qualifying Katy has worked with Poole Borough Council and now works as an independent practitioner. 

Katy has a wide range of experience working with children and young people experiencing difficulties with learning, emotions, behaviour, sensory needs, friendship difficulties, social and communication difficulties and complex Special Educational Needs and medical difficulties. In the past she has trained Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs) and supervises their practise across the local area.

Katy completed her doctoral thesis in the area of Attachment Theory and she has completed additional post-doctoral qualifications to assess Attachment through play in school aged children. Katy has worked as the Lead Educational Psychologist for Looked after Children in Poole and has been a member of the Virtual School for Looked After Children. Furthermore, Katy is able to deliver therapeutic sessions with children, young people and their carers or families using a range of methods including Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). She is Level 1 trained in DDP. She has worked in a variety of settings including nurseries, schools, colleges, children’s centres and hospitals. Katy has also worked with Poole Hospital as part of the Complex Developmental Disorder Team (CDDT) to assess Autistic Spectrum Disorder and she offers training to parents and school staff in this area.

Karen Preston


Karen is a Chartered Educational Psychologist. She is a member of The British Psychological Society, Association of Educational Psychologists and registered with the Health Professionals Council.

Karen qualified as a teacher and then became an Educational Psychologist in 1983. She worked in a multi-disciplinary team in a specialist school before joining Leicestershire local authority as an E.P. in 1989. Karen moved to Bournemouth in 1996 and currently works part time for a local authority. She has developed specialist knowledge in the areas of specific learning difficulties, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, emotional and behavioural difficulties and early years work. She also delivers a wide range of training to schools. Karen enjoys working with children and young people of all ages. She works in a consultative way with the young person, their family and the educational provision. Her aim is to help young people fulfil their potential with the support of the adults around them. 

Caraline Owens


Caroline started her career as a nurse and then moved on to work in therapeutic residential care with young children, where she developed a therapeutic living environment for children who had experienced trauma. Her training in counselling/psychological therapy started in 1983 when she worked in a Family Support Centre. She completed the Advanced Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling in 1996 at Manchester University. Since then she has attended many other courses related to work with children, including a Post Graduate Diploma in Family Practice (Family Therapy) from the University of Reading. She has also completed Theraplay Level 2 and is working towards accreditation.

She is a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and also the Association of Family Therapy (AFT) – working within their ethical guidelines. She works with children and families in a creative, therapeutic way, along with play, story work etc, as well as talking therapy. 

She always endeavours to create a warm and accepting environment in which children and families can feel safe and supported and can therefore explore their concerns, fears, worries, and feelings. In addition to her work at Total Children’s Therapy, Caroline also works for CAMHS in East Dorset.

Caraline Owens

Debbi Dover – Family Support Practitioner

Debbi has worked in a wide variety of teams and settings over the years and has a very good understanding of child development, facilitating parenting programmes, along with her extensive knowledge of what is available in the local community and of interventions that are available to children, young people and families.

Her experience allows her to make informed decisions and offer support to those she is working with as well as any professionals she liaises with.

One of her particular skills is good communication and the ability to work alongside workers from all disciplines and to ensure agreement and promotion of effective services for families. Debbi enjoys working in partnership with others and is respectful that all will have something to offer and can learn from each other.

Clare Williams


Clare began her career as a primary teacher in East London. She then went on to become an advisory teacher in Tanzania, East Africa. On returning to the UK, she became an Adviser for an East London Behaviour and Advisory Team before qualifying as an Educational Psychotherapist which crystallised for her the relationship between emotional well-being and learning.

She completed her MA in Therapeutic Education in 2007 and then worked as Consultant for the Primary Strategy Team in Dorset, coordinating Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) and later as the Emotional Well-Being Adviser for the Borough of Poole. Clare has written resources for schools and was the co –creator and author of Jigsaw PSHE.

Clare has a range of experience in training and consultative work having been a facilitator and trainer at National Conferences and a consultant trainer for the Institute of Education, London. Whilst working as a mental health practitioner for CAMHS, she led a programme of training on Emotional well- being, attachment and mental health across Dorset.

Clare has led a number of LA and multi- agency initiatives. She created and managed the Chesil Emotional Health and Behaviour Service, a team of professionals working to support children, families and schools, and created Thrive Education Zones that operated as Thrive nurture bases for children at risk of exclusion and supported families and schools to enable the children to return to mainstream provision. The project also worked with parents to support them and to enable them to build their own self esteem in supporting their children.

As well as working with Total Children’s Therapy, Clare is a consultant and trainer for Trauma Informed Schools UK and an Adviser for Optimus Education’s Well-being award as well as a trainer for the Incredible Years Programme and Incredible beginnings programme for nursery settings.

Andrew O' Toole

ANDREW O’TOOLE – therapist and supervisor

Andrew is a Family Therapist, trained as a Supervisor at the Tavistock in London, and supervises staff in the NHS, independent practice, and local schools. 

Cathy Darby


Cathy is a member of The British Psychological Society and qualified from the Open University with an honours degree in Psychology in 2017. She has been working in education for 22 years in Primary Settings and has vast experience of supporting parents/carers and children. She has worked in a variety of posts: SEN 1:1 Teaching Assistant, Deputy Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator, and Designated Deputy Safeguarding Lead. Cathy combines her years of experience working with children, parents and outside agencies and is passionate in supporting the needs of her families in a friendly and supportive manner.

Kim Pickering

Sarah Alderson – Secondary phase advisor

Sarah is a qualified teacher and has been working in education for 25 years, predominantly in the secondary setting. She has 20 years experience of working with SEND young people and their families, outside agencies and school staff. She has been a SENCO in 3 different schools, Advisory Teacher for the Local Authority, Designated Teacher for LAC and Deputy Safeguarding Lead. She is a qualified Assessor for Exam Access Arrangements.

Sarah is a passionate educator and advisor who uses her years of experience and knowledge to provide support and guidance to both young people and their families/ care givers, through the education and SEND processes. She offers personalised and creative solutions to engage with young people and support parents / carers in a compassionate and professional manner, working collaboratively with young people, families, outside agencies, schools to ensure the best possible outcomes for the young person.

Laura Small

Laura Small MBPsS, BSc (Hons), PGCE, NASENCO (PGCert), MSc (Psychology) – Consultant SENCo & Early Intervention advisor

Laura has been an educational practitioner for 21 years starting her career whilst studying Psychology (BSc Hons) and working for a local specialist school as a teaching assistant, residential support worker and providing respite in the community for families and their children with autism. Qualifying as a teacher in 2005, Laura was struck by the breadth of neurodiversity and complex need in mainstream schools. With this capturing her interest, Laura continued her journey in education with increasing responsibility and specialism: Classroom Teacher, Specialist Lead Teacher, Deputy Manager Specialist Resourced Provision, SENCo, Safeguarding Lead and Assistant Headteacher across Early Years, primary, middle, specialist and secondary school settings. Laura is now a local authority advisory teacher for Children in Care (CIC) and Care Experienced Young People (CEYP).

In recent years, Laura has been collaborating with Bournemouth University’s Psychology department to deliver lectures and seminars on ‘Inclusion’ and ‘Working with Parents’, alongside developing educational research with the department. This complements Laura’s own research completed as part of her MSc Psychology, ‘Social camouflaging and adolescents with autism: managing the mainstream environment.’ She has particular interest and specialism in the field of autism and masking. Laura’s experience has contributed to a strong awareness of the dynamic influences on an individual’s life and the importance of approaching problem-solving from a person-centred and strengths-based position – the voices of children and young people and those of their caregivers are central to how she works. Laura is able to offer consultation and support to schools and will also guide and support families who would benefit from early intervention and a Lead Professional to coordinate services to help them move forward – bringing it all together.

Kim Pickering

Toto – The Total Children’s Therapy Team Mascot

Toto has joined the TCT Team to carry out a very special role helping us in lots of different ways. As a very caring and friendly panda, Toto will

  • be aware of any brave children who have been in hospital or have been poorly
  • listen out for any kind things our children may do
  • enjoy hearing about any special events from our children
  • love to celebrate with our families when something special or momentous is achieved

Toto will sometimes send messages to the children, or award certificates or stickers. There may even be times that a mini Toto is sent in the post.
Toto will also attend any events that we run and will occasionally visit clinic (but only if everyone knows about it – Toto wouldn’t arrive unannounced).
Welcome Toto – we are all looking forward to having you on the team.

Get in Touch

Contact Info

Total Childrens Therapy
Poole Road Medical Centre
7 Poole Road

Telephone: 01202 743674
Mobile: 07939 410048
Email: info@totalchildenstherapy.com

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