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.

Senior Home School Project Worker

Rachel Bennett

Rachel joined the Red Hen Project team in 2020 from Ridley Hall where she spent three years as a tutor and teacher in Children and Family Work. Previous to this she spent time as the Young Parents Programme Development Worker and Coordinator and a Children's Centre Manager at Romsey Mill. She also spent time as a Youth and Family Worker for the YMCA.

Rachel brings the skills and experiences gained from these different roles in her position at Red Hen, and after times spent teaching is delighted to return to face to face work with families where she is part of a team making a real impact on the lives of children and their parents. Rachel lives locally and has 2 young children. .

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.

Project Lead

Sarah Crick

Sarah joined The Red Hen Project in July 2018 and brings a wide range of business skills to the Project. Most recently, she spent time running networks for NHS leaders and her early career was marketing in the IT industry.

Sarah role is to run the Charity and ensure it meets all the requirements of funders and regulators. She liaises with the trustees, secures funding and generally make sure the organisation is fulfilling it's charitable purpose and remains fit for the future. Sarah is a mum to two teenage boys and works part-time for the Project.

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

Local resident and Reverend at The Church of the Good Shepherd, Arbury

Paul Connelly - Secretary

Local resident and former Locality Manager for Cambridge North, and current Youth Worker

Jack Atkins - Treasurer

Accountant at PwC

Sophie Evans - Trustee

Local resident, SENCo & Safeguarding leader at Arbury Primary School

Kevin Price - Trustee

Local resident and city councillor

Kirsty Cooke - Trustee

Local resident and Parent at Kings Hedges Education Federation

Miranda Gomperts - Trustee

Local resident

Bobby Ford - Trustee

IT professional


Ben Tull - Associate

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

Ellie Shaw - Associate

Head Teacher at The Grove Primary School