Our Family Workers

Senior Home School Project Worker

Christine O’Reilly

Chris joined the Red Hen Project team in 2002 having previously worked for 14 years as a Teaching Assistant in a local primary school and 2 years for social care. She was also a parent governor and then a staff governor at the primary school before moving to social care. Chris has lived in the local area for 42 years and raised her 3 children here alone and is now a proud grandparent of 3. Chris is finding being a grandparent much easier than a parent but has experienced the hardship of raising children alone in a sometimes difficult area and uses this experience and understanding in her work with the families.

During her 15 years at the project Chris has seen families grow, move on and have their own children and takes great delight in them coming to see her to update her on their progress. She has also enjoyed seeing the project move from being relatively unknown to being widely recognised as an example of excellent practice and a source of support for a great many families. Chris uses the wealth of her vast experience and local knowledge in her work, and is also the designated safeguarding lead for the project.

Home School Project Worker

Maria David

Maria joined The Red Hen Project in September 2015, and loves to work with people and listening to their unique stories. She focuses on the individual’s strengths to motivate them to achieve their goals. Maria has one daughter and she finds parenting challenging at times, but says that she learns every day with her daughter and from the families she works with.

As a Portuguese native speaker - she arrived in England in 2002 – Maria has gained valuable insight on how other people from different backgrounds may find it challenging to adapt and settle in to a different culture. From her own personal experience Maria recognises and is more aware of the issues that individuals may face, such as feeling excluded, being discriminated against and feeling powerless.

In 2012, Maria successfully concluded her BA degree in Social Work in 2012 but she is a ‘life-long learner’ always expanding her skills, knowledge and experience to develop professionally and personally.

Red Hen has a been great help to me, has really supported my difficult situation, helped my granddaughter and quite frankly I think I would of cracked up without them.

Red Hen has helped support both myself and son incredibly she has put into place a variety of activities for him regarding his emotional and social needs with lots of visuals and others ideas that I hadn’t thought of. We have really the help/support given to us as parents throughout his ASD diagnosis. Thank you.

Red Hen has helped massively, rebuilding my confidence again to help and manage my children.

The project helped with chairs for the dining table for my child to sit and have dinner. We were able to access money to pay for a garden fence and gate to help keep them safe in the garden.

The Red Hen staff are very professional and encouraging, caring and supportive… changed my family life for the better.

Red Hen act as a link between the official and the home environment, [the family worker] gives you time and knows how to get things done.

Our home worker has helped us so much to work towards sorting things out so that its given us the opportunity to be a family again.

[My family worker] listened and gave me practical advice. Things are now 100% better.

The trips Red Hen puts on are just brilliant …. As a family we’ve never been on holiday and we wouldn’t have done anything this summer.

Without Red Hen we have a number of families who would be at breaking point.

The Red Hen Project is well known in the community and therefore is seen as a positive, non-judgmental easy to access source of support without the stigma or anxiety of working with statutory services.


Lesley Ford - Chair

Teacher at Arbury Primary School.

Rev David Maher - Vice-Chair

Reverend at The Good Shepherd Church Hall

Paul Connelly - Secretary

Former Locality Manager for Cambridge North, and current Youth Worker.

TBC - Treasurer


Sophie Evans - Trustee

SENCo & Safeguarding leader at Arbury Primary School.

Kevin Price - Trustee

Local city councillor.

Kirsty Cooke - Trustee

Parent at Kings Hedges Education Federation.


Ben Tull - Trustee

Head teacher at Arbury Primary School.

John Cattermole - Associate

Head teacher at Shirley Primary School.

Stacey Harper - Associate

Head teacher at Orchard Park Primary School.

Sarah Merritt - Associate

Head Teacher at Kings Hedges Education Federation

Karen Martin - Associate

Head Teacher at The Grove Primary School