Meet the team


Julie Skinner

Founder & CEO

Hello, I am Julie Skinner the founder and CEO of Special People.

Back in 1998 when Special People was established, services and attitudes towards children with disabilities were limited. As the mother of a child with additional needs I was frustrated by the lack of provision and availability of support tailored to meet both the child’s needs and that of the family. I realised that with all the other difficulties parents faced, finding appropriate childcare shouldn’t be one of them and decided a new perspective was needed.

As a teacher, parent ,school governor with experience in social and youth work I felt I was well equipped to look at all aspects of support for a diverse range of people. We set up a policy of treating all clients as individuals which was, amazingly, innovative at the time.

Special People became a popular service very promptly. Parents asked for our services via social services and primary care trusts in addition to accessing our care privately. I am proud to say we now work in over 14 different Local Authorities and NHS trusts and also have a branch in Manchester.

I am lucky enough to have a fantastic team behind me in our office in Finsbury Park which allows me to have some free time occasionally. This is when I can indulge myself in my interests which include travel, animal welfare (especially dogs) reading and social history. This isn’t an exhaustive list!

As someone who is passionate about any unfairness and disability rights I do hope you will find our services useful. We have a policy of “if we can help we will” and this is reinforced by our dedicated staff who really are Special People.


Marsida Haxhiasllani

Marsida began her career with Special People in 2012 after completing a degree in Public Administration and Social Policy. She is the Training co-ordinator for all our staff in addition to her work on our placements team. Marsida speaks fluent English, Albanian and Italian and has 2 children.


Angelique Nugent

Angelique joined Special People in 2012 as a Placements Care coordinator. She previously worked in the housing sector and also worked as a family support worker, this involved working in a variety of settings, family and fosters homes.


Sarah Matthew

Sarah has returned to Special People after a year on maternity leave following the birth of her son. Sarah comes from a Social services background and has been with us since 2011. She works on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.


Ranju Banerjee

My Background is in Psychology and Sociology, my past employment amongst others, has been as a legal executive, youth worker, crèche worker in a drug and alcohol centres. I also have a grown up son of 18 years.


Elena Tsareva

After a decision to change career I started an AAT accountancy course at Barking & Dagenham College; achieveing both the AQ2010 and AQ2013 standards in February 2007, joining Special People shortly after in May 2007 as an Accountant Assistant. Since joining I have gained wide experience and took part in business development including systems upgrades and maintenance, running payroll in–house.


Lee Perkins

Lee has been at Special People since November 2012. During this time he has progressed into a key member of the finance team and has started an ACCA course in order to become a qualified accountant. He currently runs the payroll and deals with odd jobs around the office, mainly IT. He is a huge Tottenham Hotspur fan and enjoys going to the gym.


Kathy Truesdale

With degrees in Psychology, Criminology and Sociology. I joined Special People after 12 years in the Mental Health industry. Driven by my passion for fairness and justice, I believe everyone should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential. I decided to join the team permanently.


Sharon Hamilton

I have been with Special People since 2002. I am NNEB trained and have a background in Portage and SEN and I worked as a Childrens Special Needs Worker for 10 years. I started at Special People as a Support Worker and then took on a management role. 12 years on, I am still here.


Trisha Hanrahan

Trisha joined our placements team in the summer of 2014 from Crossroads in Camden after an extensive career in Social Care. She has been a great asset to our organisation and we are pleased to have her “on board”.


Lidiya Beloli

Lidiya is our Administration and Human Resources Co-ordinator. She joined us in 2014 after 10 years in Airport Security so Special People is an extremely safe place to be!


Portia Newton-Gooding

Portia joined us in 2015 after briefly working as a Support worker. She has a degree in Sociology from Brunel University and will soon be embarking on a Masters degree. Her interests in Additional Needs came about with her voluntary work and from personal experience. She will also be writing and coordinating future tenders on our behalf too.


Donaleen Johnson

Donaleen has 20 years experience of working with children with emotional, behavioural and learning difficulties. She holds a Bsc in Psychology with Special Needs Education and has held positions in schools, hospitals and Under 5’S centres in addition to social care services. Her role as our Quality Assurance Manager involves risk assessing, monitoring services with staff, service users and their parents, healthcare professionals and funding bodies. Also a director of Up Cycle Books; sending books to developing schools in the Caribbean.

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