The Ace Children's OT Team

Alison Cairns (Founder)

  Alison qualified in 1989 and has a background in Neurology & physical disabilities. She has worked as an HCPC registered Occupational Therapist with children since 1998 specialising in children with complex needs such as Autism and ADHD. Alison was the clinical supervisor for OT students and clinical team lead in her role in the NHS between 1998 and 2014, Within the past 4 years Alison has undertaken Independent practice, establishing the company and recruiting the OT team. She has also been trained within 24 hour postural management, complex seating and equipment for children with conditions such as cerebral palsy and has worked within special school environments. Alison undertakes specialist sensory integration assessment  and treatment of children within specialist nursery and school settings each week.   

Alison trains educational staff on a regular basis in her role within the Hampshire Teaching school federation, and was invited to be the keynote speaker at the pre-school conference in March 2017.   

Alison Cairns Dip COT, BSc (Hons), HCPC registered, BAOT member,

Trained to Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner Level

CYPF member COTSS-IP member  

Diana Pierags

  Diana qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2010, and went straight into a career working with children and young people aged 0-25. She has worked as a paediatric community based OT in London and Hampshire. She has been part of a multidisciplinary team working with a variety of children including premature infants, neuro/physical difficulties, sensory/modulation difficulties and developmental difficulties in a variety of settings including special needs schools, home settings and mainstream school environments with attached resource bases for children with ASD. This has given her a wide depth of experience working with children and young people aged 0 to 25 both in schools, nurseries and in their own homes. Diana is a qualified advanced practitioner in sensory integration, certified Bobath trained therapist, school AMPS and SCERTS trained therapist. She also has extensive experience in splinting of upper limbs and assessing for equipment based needs such as specialist seating systems at home and school.     

Diana Pierags BSc (Hons) OT, MSc Advancing Practice in Occupational Therapy  HCPC registered, BAOT member, CYPF member, Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner, Certified Bobath trained therapist.  

Amanda David

  Amanda qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2004, and went straight into a career working with children and young people. She has worked as both a paediatric community based OT in London and Hampshire, and been employed directly by numerous special needs schools. In London, Amanda worked in the team managed by eminent OT Dr Sidney Chu. This has given her a wide depth of experience working with children and young people aged 2 to 19 both in schools, nurseries and in their own homes. 

Amanda is currently covering the North Hampshire and Berkshire area for the Practice.

Amanda is a qualified Sensory Integration Therapist from the university of Ulster.    

Amanda K David BSc (Hons),  

HCPC registered, BAOT member, CYPF member, Sensory Integration Practitioner  

Anthea Bailey

  Anthea is passionate about the privileged position of working with children and young people, enabling them to reach their maximum potential. Since graduating as an Occupational Therapist in 2007, she has specialised in working with children, young people and their families. She is committed to her clients and has been told that she ‘helps children to shine’. Anthea has worked as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Occupational Therapist in a Tier 4 in-patient and day service, also as a Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist in paediatrics and learning disability. She has been able to draw from relevant experience from work in a women’s refuge, where an essential part of her role was to support parents and children with emotional, behavioural and developmental difficulties and her work in a residential school for children with complex needs and challenging behaviour.    

Anthea takes an enthusiastic, forward thinking and professional approach to work. She has been commended consistently for her strong family centred approach and for her ability to plan and implement interventions at a high standard and with efficiency, creativity and initiative, also for her sensitive and empathic nature.   

Anthea is a qualified Sensory Integration Therapist from the university of Ulster.  Other post registration clinical qualifications include a Level 4 Teaching diploma and ‘How to be a Brain Friendly Trainer’ accredited through The Institute of Training and Occupational Learning (ITOL). As a trainer, she works creatively to craft engaging multi-sensory learning environments and activities to enable learners to acquire new skills.   

Anthea Bailey BA (Hons)  MSc Occupational Therapy   

HCPC registered  

Royal College of Occupational Therapy member,  Sensory Integration Practitioner  

Michelle Chadwick

Michelle qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1999. She worked for 11 years in the field of mental health, across a broad spectrum of settings based in London including Community Mental Health Teams, inpatient hospitals and in a senior clinical lead role in a psychiatric day service. Michelle also developed as a clinician working in a highly specialised Eating Disorders Clinic providing treatment to teenagers and young adults, while here she trained in using family therapy. She went on to broaden her clinical skills working as a Speech and Language Therapy Assistant in a neurorehabilitation centre in London working with adults with severe acquired brain injury. 

After a short career break to have a family, Michelle trained and established her own childminding business developing her skills and knowledge with children aged 0-8 years. She then went on to work in a secondary school as a Special Educational Needs Learning Support Assistant with children aged 11-16.  Over recent months Michelle has been working to complete and fulfil her return to practice requirements in order to begin working as a paediatric Occupational Therapist.  She has been working alongside and has been mentored by Alison Cairns and other members of ACE children’s OT.

Michelle is very excited to be joining the team. 

Michelle Chadwick BSc (Hons)

HCPC registered

Royal College of Occupational Therapy member

Dana Turner

After a career in holistic therapies, Dana qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2009 and worked in a rotational post for the NHS for two years. This involved working in the community, neurology, general surgery and mental health. 

In 2011, Dana made the transition to working with children and young people and gained experience as a Paediatric OT in a special needs school for ASD and ADHD and other complex needs.  

Since then, she has trained to become a qualified Sensory Integration Practitioner from the University of Ulster. Dana has utilised her skills training staff to extend their knowledge and implement programmes within the curriculum. Dana is used to working with other disciplines, parents and families using a client centred approach, to ensure children and young people receive support they need to reach their potential in education and beyond.

Dana Turner BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy

HCPC registered

Sensory Integration Practitioner

Royal College of Occupational Therapy member

CYPF Member 

Lucinda Cocks

Lucinda gained a degree in Economics before working as an Investment Fund Manager with financial intermediary Hargreaves Lansdown in Bristol. Having decided that her vocation lay elsewhere, and after taking a career break travelling India, Nepal, Thailand and Australia, she re-trained as a Mental Health Nurse at King Alfred’s College, Winchester and Park Prewett Hospital in Basingstoke. She worked as Community Psychiatric Nurse in Aldershot for the Hollies Community Mental Health team and as a Senior Sister managed a caseload of 60 patients. She also mentored nursing students.

Spending a number of years at home bringing up two children, Lucinda then returned to work part-time as a Special Needs Learning Support Assistant at Hook Junior School, supporting children with a variety of needs one-to-one. During her time there she achieved two qualifications in Speech, Language and Communication Needs, following which she delivered SLCN interventions. She also completed a course to teach Yoga and Meditation in schools, rolling out a programme of Yoga for the entire school and running a daily Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation group for vulnerable children.

In her spare time Lucinda enjoys learning languages and gained a Russian GCSE from Queen Mary’s College, Basingstoke. She also speaks German and Norwegian. For the last year, Lucinda has worked as a volunteer for English Heritage at Stonehenge in the re-constructed Neolithic Huts, sharing information about Stone-age life and artefacts with visitors.

Lucinda joined Ace Children's OT to develop the role of OT Assistant.

Lucinda Cocks BA (Hons) Economics

Diploma in Higher Education, Nursing (Mental Health)

ENB 998 Teaching and Assessing in Clinical Practice

Wendy Gaen

Wendy graduated with a degree in English and History of Art before training as an Occupational Therapist between 1986 – 1989, at St Andrews School of Occupational Therapy in Northampton. After qualifying in 1989 Wendy worked in a range of settings both within the NHS and Social Services in the local and surrounding area.

Having gained experience at The Ridgewood Centre as a Senior OT, working with people with acute mental health problems, she moved to Park Prewett Hospital. At this hospital she worked with patients experiencing long term mental health problems, who were returning to the community after an extensive hospital stay.

Wendy joined Surrey Social Services providing assessments of clients living in the community with a progressive debilitating disorders and long-term physical disabilities, covering all aspects of daily living. She later moved to Hampshire Social Services, progressing to be Senior Practitioner, carrying a caseload and with responsibility for supervising the OT team.

After taking a career break to have her children, she worked at Elvetham Heath Primary School, as a Learning Support Assistant with specific duties, supporting a small group of children with special needs.

Her passion for complementary therapies, led her to train and qualify as a Reflexologist in 2007.  Over the 10 years in which Wendy has built her practice she has gained experience in helping clients to manage stress, hormonal changes and a wide range of chronic health issues, including chronic exhaustive conditions, in which she has additional training.   In 2014 Wendy added Coaching Skills to her practice and in 2017 gained an additional Diploma in Transformational Coaching.

Wendy has been married for over 20 years and has 2 children, both of whom are now studying at University. She enjoys Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi. She goes Tap dancing and Ballroom dancing regularly and loves to read. 

Wendy joins the Team as an Occupational Therapy Assistant and is being mentored by Alison whilst regaining her registration as a practicing OT.

BA (Hons) in History of Art and English

Diploma in Occupational Therapy

Member of Royal College of Occupational Therapists

Diploma in Reflexology

Fellow Member of Association of Reflexologists

Diploma in Transformational Coaching

Member of the Association of Coaching

Fay Parker

Fay’s focus in her career has been in administration and finance.  She has over 20 years experience working in a wide variety of businesses from a small graphic design agency, television production and more recently, a large global insurance company.  She has gained her skills working as a PA, Office Manager, Administrative and Accounts Assistant.

Fay has spent the last few years as a full-time mother raising her two young children and has joined Ace Children’s Occupational Therapy to support Alex in growing the Business.

Alex Cairns

Alex has enjoyed a long career working predominantly at executive level within global IT companies with a particular focus in consulting businesses and driving strategic change. More recently, Alex pursued an interim career working across a variety of sectors at board level fixing complex business, technical and political issues with an underlying IT focus. 

Following Alex’ last assignment, he took a career break and started helping Alison with the newly-formed Ace Children’s OT. He enjoyed this so much that he now runs the Company allowing Alison to focus on the clinical side of the Business.   

Alex Cairns 

Member, British Computer Society 

Chartered IT Practitioner 

Member, Institute of Directors 

Member, Institute of Interim Management