The Ace Children's OT Team

Alison Cairns (Founder)

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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 and RCOT member

Trained to Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner Level

CYPF member

COTSS-IP member  

Diana Pierags (SI4)

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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 and RCOT member

CYPF member

Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner

Certified Bobath trained therapist

Dana Turner (SI4)

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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) OT

HCPC Registered

Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner

RCOT member

CYPF Member 

Amanda David

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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 and RCOT member

CYPF member

Sensory Integration Practitioner  

Janette Wallace

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Janette qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1987 and started her career in Child and Family Psychiatry (as was). After this she spent two years in a regional Neuroscience Unit working in Adult Neuro Rehab.


Since 1993, Janette has worked in Community Paediatric/Child Health Services in a number of roles and a number of NHS organisations.


She has previously been on the NECs for NAPOT (now CYPF) and for SI Network UK and Ireland.


Janette’s background is as a Clinical Specialist and Clinical Lead for Paediatric OT within community services working with children with a range of needs and level of complexity both within clinic and community settings.


Janette continues to work in the NHS in a managerial role but has maintained her clinical practice, including mentoring and supervision and as an Associate for Ace Children's OT.


Janette Wallace, Dip COT, BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy

HCPC Registered

RCOT member

CYPF member

Laura Hamilton

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Laura qualified in 2012 and worked initially in community adult mental health in Scotland prior to relocating in Berkshire, where she has lived for the past 5 years. 


Since 2014, she has worked  with children and young people in both Hampshire and Berkshire.


She has worked in the NHS as a community and clinic based paediatric OT, including special needs schools. 


Laura works with infants and different aged children presenting with neuromuscular, developmental, physical and sensory modulation difficulties and as an Associate for Ace Children's OT. She also gained experience in the assessment and provision of specialist equipment for children, including seating systems, sleep systems and upper limb splinting. 


Never one to stand still, Laura completed her post graduate training in Sensory Integration Level 1 and is currently completing level 2. 


Laura Hamilton BSc (Hons)

HCPC Registered

RCOT member

Post Graduate Sensory Integration Student (currently level 2)

Wendy Gaen

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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 joined the Team as an Occupational Therapy Assistant and having been mentored by Alison,  regained her registration as a practicing OT.


BA (Hons) in History of Art and English

Diploma in Occupational Therapy

HCPC Registered

RCOT member

Diploma in Reflexology

Fellow Member of Association of Reflexologists

Diploma in Transformational Coaching

Member of the Association of Coaching

Andrea Foyen

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Andrea qualified in 1979 as a State Registered Dietician in Germany and in 1984 with an HND in Business Studies. Andrea came to England in 1987, where she started a family. After home educating her children, Andrea worked at a Special Needs School in Hampshire as a specialist Learning Assistant and Therapy Assistant. It was there that her passion for Occupational Therapy was ignited and she qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2015 from Bournemouth University. Andrea gained experience in a hospital setting, working in A&E and rehabilitation. 


Andrea then made the transition to work in the NHS with children and young people as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist, working in mainstream and special schools, in home and clinic settings. Andrea worked in a multidisciplinary team, working with a variety of children from 0-19 years, including children with physical disabilities, also children with ASD and ADHD, DCD and sensory modulation difficulties. Using an Occupational therapy motor learning approach, Andrea has been successfully teaching children occupations such as letter formation, how to ride a bike and tying shoelaces.


Andrea is very passionate about helping children to achieve their full potential and has experience in working with children to increase their self esteem and work on their emotional self-regulation.  


In addition to her work with Ace Children’s OT, Andrea is currently enabling children at a specialist school in Hampshire for children with Autism to achieve their ‘Personal Best’.  Andrea will be starting her training in Sensory Integration in the very near future.


BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy

HCPC Registered

RCOT member

CYPF member

SI Network member

Lucinda Cocks

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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. She has also taken a lead role developing Health and Safety policies for both team members and clients visiting our clinic.


Lucinda Cocks BA (Hons) Economics

Diploma in Higher Education, Nursing (Mental Health)

ENB 998 Teaching and Assessing in Clinical Practice

Chris Taylor

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After completing her degree in Computer Science, Chris worked for a large IT company for 12 years. Here, she was involved in all stages of the software lifecycle from capturing customer requirements, through design, code, test and implementation of computer systems for the air traffic control industry.


Chris took some years out to raise her family and has worked in a Junior school as a Learning Support Assistant, supporting children with special needs including autism, Down’s syndrome, Pfeiffer’s syndrome, delayed learning and hearing loss. 


Chris joins Ace COT to help scale the back office infrastructure.


Chris Taylor

BSC (Hons) in Computer Science

Julia Turnock

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After completing a degree in Design and Technology as a mature student in 2000, Julia worked part time at a specialist school and college in Hampshire for children with physical disabilities as an Occupational Therapy Technician. Alongside this role, in 2005, Julia joined the NHS in Hampshire as a Community Paediatric Occupational Therapy Technician.


In these roles, Julia has worked with children and young people from ages 0 to 25, with a wide range of physical and learning needs, on programmes to develop the individual’s independence skills in the areas of community access, wheelchair driving, domestic skills and self-care. 


Working with the NHS team, Julia has worked in mainstream nurseries, schools and in the home, delivering handwriting and fine motor assessments and programmes, participating in groups working on gross and fine motor skills and assessing for some classroom equipment and simple home adaptations.


Julia Turnock BA in Design and Technology

Associate member of RCOT

Fay Parker

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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 joined Ace Children’s Occupational Therapy to support Alex in scaling the Business.


Earlier this year, Fay took a lead role supporting the business process change as the GDPR legislation became law and is now our Data Protection Officer (DPO).

Sophie Cairns

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Sophie joined the Practice to help maintain continuity of Back Office cover during the Summer Holiday period of 2019 and remains engaged on a part-time basis


Having completed the first year of her Physiotherapy degree, Sophie was interested to understand how different the OT assessment and treatment lifecycle differs from that of Physio from her NHS placements

Alex Cairns

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 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