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Acas South East team profiles

Acas advisers and trainers serving the South East region have extensive experience of and expertise in workplace issues. They can work closely with you and your employee representatives, (where appropriate), to diagnose and then find the optimum solutions to your workplace issues.

In workplace training they take pride in making sure that the people who attend their courses leave with a clear understanding of often complex topics. They provide down to earth advice and practical solutions based on a deep understanding of employment legislation.

Donna Ivey Donna Ivey - Senior Adviser/Deputy Director

Donna is an experienced Acas employee with a keen interest in employment relations and people behaviour.

Having worked for Acas in Fleet since 1991, Donna has carried out a variety of roles including conciliator, mediator, equality and diversity adviser, conciliation manager and mediation co-ordinator.  

As Deputy Area Director for Acas South East, Donna effectively directs the comprehensive range of services we provide to support organisations throughout Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East and West Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire and Surrey.

Donna continues to be a passionate supporter of effective employment relations and people behaviour.

Emma Webb Emma Webb - Trainer

Emma joined Acas from a retail head office background where her role included developing and delivering specialist personal finance training for both new and existing customer facing employees and store management.

Emma has experience of recruitment and management and has particular interests in equality, employee well-being and developing workplace performance.

Her knowledge and experience of the day to day issues confronting employers enables her to provide advice, guidance and training which is not only soundly based but also practical and pragmatic. Emma's enthusiastic and informative approach makes for engaging training sessions.

Her take on Acas work is that it is about doing whatever it takes to help. Whether you need a quick phone call, a visit, advice or training you should feel able to contact us and get the help you need. That is what we are there for.

Paul-C Paul Cook - Senior Adviser

Paul joined Acas having previously worked within a national training company where he specialised in business coaching, leadership development, strategic management, group and individual behaviour profiling, conflict resolution and performance improvement.

Prior to this Paul had over 30 years experience in the public sector through local and national policing.

He has extensive experience in core leadership development programmes where he has transferred his knowledge and practical application of leading teams through critical and major incidents.

He believes that a healthy, open and inclusive workplace is essential to enable real people development and high performing teams.        

Richard Davies Richard Davies - Senior Adviser

Richard came to Acas following extensive experience of the workplace in both the private and public sector.

During ten years within the NHS he gained experience of line management and recruitment, project management and collaborative working with the third sector. Richard was a senior manager during a period of a major national pay review and then a merger of four NHS Trusts into one.

On moving into the private sector Richard led a start up training organisation and has over 14 years experience of delivering training across the public and private sectors.

As an Acas Senior Advisor he enjoys the opportunity to practically assist companies and employees to successfully navigate the workplace in terms of law and good practice.

Steve Elliott Acas Senior Adviser Steve Elliott - Senior Adviser

Steve has worked for Acas since 1996, having joined from the Employment Relations Unit of the Department for Trade & Industry in July 1996. Previous to that he spent six years managing The Centre for European Business Information, a Government and European Commission initiative for Small Businesses.

Initially working in individual conciliation dealing with large numbers of Employment Tribunal cases, Steve acquired a wide knowledge of employment law and of the difficulties that both employers and employees can encounter.

Steve now works as a Senior Adviser in the South East, providing advice and guidance to employers. He specializes in the provision of bespoke workplace training across a wide range of subject areas working with line managers, union and workplace representatives and HR teams.

He knows the cost of mismanaging the employer - employee relationship can be enormous. He believes that given the appropriate training and advice, managers and employees develop themselves along with the business.

Keith Ledgerwood, Senior adviser with Acas South East Keith Ledgerwood - Senior Adviser

During his time with Acas Keith has, as an Individual Conciliator, dealt with many claims to Employment Tribunals helping the vast majority of parties to settle claims. Following 3 years as a Conciliation Manager Keith is currently a Senior Adviser.  Keith has handled numerous Industrial Disputes employing considerable conciliation skills to facilitate acceptable resolutions.

Keith has worked successfully with many organisations helping them introduce new policies and procedures, develop information and consultation mechanisms and resolving work-based problems.

Keith is a trained and experienced Mediator who also delivers training both internally to Acas staff and externally.

With well over 20 years experience of managing people Keith is keen to promote joint working with representatives from the workforce as the most likely way of bringing about change effectively.

Phil Osborne, Senior adviser with Acas South East Phil Osborne - Senior Adviser

Phil has over 30 years management experience from his employment in the retail sector at household names such as Halfords, Dixons and Furniture Village.

During his time with Acas Phil has, as a Helpline Adviser, dealt with many calls from employers, employees, solicitors and trade union representatives (to name a few) requesting advice on topics across the employment spectrum.

He believes the management skills he has built up stands him in good stead for the duties he now carries out.

He also operates as a trainer running a wide range of Acas courses, both workplace training and open access events.

Phil is keen to contribute to the effectiveness and productivity of organisations by improving employment relations practices and procedures, thereby reducing the incidence of employment problems/disputes.

Matt Penfold, Senior adviser with Acas South East Matt Penfold - Senior Adviser

Matt has been an Acas Collective Conciliator and Senior Adviser since 2006 prior to which he was working in London with the Central Arbitration Committee.

As a Collective Conciliator, Matt assists in the avoidance and resolution of both local and national disputes between employers and trade unions/employees. This has included successful outcomes to, amongst others, tube, airport, manufacturing and transport disputes.

The Senior Adviser role sees Matt advising employers, unions, workplace reps and employees on employment rights and industrial relations issues. One of his key personal interests is working with organisations to improve joint relations in the collective arena wherever possible.

When asked for advice, Matt is always willing to offer a second opinion. He can help take away the strain of ongoing employment matters in your workplace by considering the issues from a fresh perspective. He works with you to come up with solutions which companies may never have thought of.

Tim Rising Tim Rising - Trainer

Tim joined Acas after over 20-years in Criminal Justice, latterly as a National specialist trainer.

He is an advocate of appropriately targeted quality training at all levels with many years practical experience of delivering a variety of courses at all levels. He is a firm believer that training should be enjoyable so as to encourage learning and participation.

He has experience in representation and management, along with hands-on involvement in change management, with a practical understanding of the anxieties and communication issues that can affect each of these processes.

Tim's belief is that good quality training practiced alongside good quality communication gives added value to employers, staff and staff representatives alike.

Krissy-S Krissy Simmons - Senior Adviser

Krissy joined Acas in 1997 and has worked through many pivotal roles in the organisation including providing advice on the helpline.

Having managed staff for over 22 years, from admin teams to self employed builders, ex-service personal and senior managers, Krissy has a wealth of experiencing when it comes to managing people.

With a wide range of knowledge in all employment matters - from helping the smaller employer with only one staff member, to the multi national employers, Krissy is able to effectively tailor options and solutions in a constantly changing workplace.

She firmly believes that encouraging people to undertake training, allows them to question what happens and why, and to explore the possibilities open to them.

Bernard Style, Senior adviser for Acas South East Bernard Style - Senior Adviser

Bernard's career has included experience in the Ministry of Defence, Manpower Services Commission, Employment Department (including three years in the Personnel Department), Office of Manpower Economics, Health and Safety Executive, and (since 1987) Acas.

Bernard's time with Acas has been spent first in South and West London as a Senior Adviser/Conciliator and then as Conciliation Manager for West London and, from 2001, in South East England, as Senior Adviser/Conciliator for Surrey and Kent and (from 2004 to 2007) as Area Director for the South East (Surrey, Kent and Sussex). Since then he was for a time Senior Adviser/Conciliator for West Sussex and Brighton and Hove, and now operates in the same capacity throughout South East England.

Specialising in Collective Conciliation focused on avoidance and resolution of disputes between trade unions/employees and management in all sectors throughout South East England; and is now South East England Regional Coordinator for Acas relations with trade unions.

He believes that the quicker a dispute is resolved the better as conflict which escalates can be extremely damaging to all parties involved. Entering into collective conciliation in good faith provides a way of starting up a conversation so that parties can better see each other's point of view and identify a way forward that everyone can sign up to.

Lorraine Williamson Lorraine Williamson - Senior Adviser

Lorraine joined Acas with over 20 years experience working within HR-related disciplines.

As a business development specialist Lorraine has held commercial management roles within both private and public sector organisations, including Oxford Innovation, Capita Health Solutions, Pearson Education and First National Bank.

Lorraine qualified as a Workplace Mediator in 2008 and has significant insight to transition and change related to productivity and business growth.  

Focused on the application of good practice to ensure individual and organisational wellbeing, Lorraine believes in a preventative approach and the implementation of timely interventions at key stages to achieve results.

Francoise-W Francoise Woolley - Senior Adviser

Francoise joined Acas from a background in Criminal Justice, specialising in the areas of change management and conflict resolution. She has over 10 years experience in delivering training.  

Used to dealing with challenging and emotive situations, Francoise applies her knowledge of psychology to the challenges faced in the workplace, which she believes are often rooted in human behaviour. She has a passion for helping people overcome hurdles, and move towards effective ways of problem solving.

Francoise believes that effective communication is the key to improving employment relations. As a Senior Advisor, she works alongside employers and employees to help improve workplace relations by assisting to diagnose issues and by delivering bespoke training and workplace solutions.