Our Plymouth Training Centre supports this area. With over 20 years experience in providing government funded training, the Plymouth centre boasts an extensive range of work based QCF qualifications and Apprenticeships. Short courses are also available.
Our Taunton Centre supports these counties. The Taunton Centre has a full range of Training Courses, and offers work based QCF qualifications and Apprenticeships..
This area is supported by our Exeter Centre. This new centre will serve the needs of employers in Devon. The Exeter Centre has a full range of work based QCF qualifications and Apprenticeships.
We can deliver Apprenticeships, Traineeships and work-based training in all areas in Cornwall in the sectors of Health & Social Care, Business Skills and Childcare. Our Business Manager, Teresa Copping, will be happy to assist you with any queries you might have such as hiring an apprentice/ trainee, funding or training for your staff.
Dr Jane Townson MA (Oxon), MSc, PhD
Dr Jane Townson MA (Oxon), MSc, PhD, was appointed as Chief Executive in June 2015, after joining the Somerset Care Group Board in April 2011. Jane’s earlier career was spent working in bioscience and agribusiness and since 2005 she has been a Non-Executive Director and Senior Independent Director on the Board of the Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, gaining significant experience in clinical and social care governance. She also runs her own business, providing consultancy and professional training services for organisations and individuals on the link between nutrition and health and wellbeing.
Executive Director HR and Organisational Development
Sue Andrews BA (Hons) FCIPD
Sue joined the Somerset Care Group in 1993, becoming Group Head of HR and Training ten years later and shortly after being appointed as Director of Somerset Care’s training company, Acacia Training and Development. In 2012 Sue was admitted as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIPD) before being promoted to Executive Director of HR and Organisational Development in July 2015.
Executive Director of Finance
Gary joined the Somerset Care Group on Tuesday 5 September 2017. Gary is a Chartered Accountant, ACA, who has worked in the commercial sector for 26 years, after graduating with a First Class Honours degree in Economics and Accountancy from Loughborough University.
Gary has worked in a diverse range of sectors, including technology; retail, including international supply chain; distribution; wholesale; financial services; business services; recruitment; business process outsourcing; construction; and manufacturing. In these roles, he has gained experience within fast moving acquisitive and entrepreneurial environments and, as a Finance Director, he provided strategic input at Board level.
Gary is experienced in raising and managing finance – working capital and equity; trade sales and exits; organisational and corporate restructuring; business partnering and operational support; financial planning and analysis; project costing and customer review, including bids and tenders, and re-negotiation of existing customer contracts. His work has included multi-site, group consolidations of UK and international businesses, plc and owner managed companies, including private equity, and FCA compliance. Gary has also managed investor relations, due diligence, acquisitions and the integration of acquired businesses.
Roger joined the Somerset Care Group Board of Directors in October 2016. Roger has a background in care, housing and support services for older people. His most recent executive position was as Chief Executive of Methodist Homes (MHA), one of the UK’s largest charities and foremost providers in the sector. Roger has also played a prominent role in establishing organisations such as Care England, Your Care Rating and Associated Retirement Community Operators.
Richard joined the Somerset Care Group in July 2016. Alongside his role on the Board of Directors, Richard is Chief Financial Officer and Retail Operations Director for the apetito Group, which deliver meals to care homes, hospitals and people living in their own homes. Richard is also the Chief Financial Officer and Vice-President for apetito Canada.
Sarah joined the Somerset Care Group Board of Directors in October 2016. Sarah is Head of Private Patients and Commercial Support at Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. Sarah has been a senior manager in the leisure industry, and led the turnaround of the historic Fox’s woollen mill after its acquisition by Deborah Meadon, investor and entrepreneur known for her appearances on BBC’s Dragon’s Den. Sarah has an MBA from Exeter University.
Executive Director of Development
Jo was appointed to the board in the new role of Executive Director of Development in February 2017. Having graduated from university with BSc (honours) in Consumer Product Management, her career has spanned product, brand, category, shopper and retail marketing working within SME’s (small and medium-sized enterprises) through to Global enterprises to deliver changing consumer needs established through key insights. She has held senior positions with some of the country’s most established FTSE 100 businesses.
MBE, DL, Chairman
Angela was appointed to the Acacia Training and Development Group Board of Directors as Non-Executive Director in September 2017. Angela brings with her a wealth of experience of chairing large organisations, including Yeovil District Hospital, and Devon and Cornwall Housing Association. Angela was awarded an MBE in 2011 for services to healthcare.
Hazel has worked for Acacia Training for over 10 years. Initially employed as the Key Skills Co-ordinator, Hazel has been promoted through the ranks and is now line managing the centres. With a high focus on quality and customer service, Hazel has helped to shape the company as it has evolved from the amalgamation of three separate training companies. Prior to her employment with Acacia Training, Hazel worked freelance as an assessor, internal verifier and training co-ordinator with several local training providers in Plymouth.
Regional Business Development Manager
Duncan has a wealth of experience within the education and training sector. For the last 7 years Duncan has been a Business Relationship Manager for the largest apprenticeship provider in the South West, Cornwall College Group. His responsibilities included leading a team to work with employers across the South West in the development of apprenticeship programmes, implementing the new Apprenticeship Standards and creating bespoke training programmes to suit the needs of businesses across the South West.
Regional Commercial Manager
Terry joined Acacia Training in 2008 and is a qualified Life, Business and Executive Coach, who believes in developing people and organisations and helping them communicate more effectively. Running his own company for 10 years and being the past Chairman of the local Chamber of Trade and Commerce, he understands the importance of these qualities in creating a successful workplace.
Terry is passionate training and in particular helping young people in the transition between education and work and is dedicated to helping keep local talent in the area by training them locally in the workplace.
Regional Programme Manager
Fiona joined Acacia Training and Development in 2010 as an Assessor and QA Assistant. Since that time she has had variety of roles which has given her broad understanding of Acacia, the value that our staff and colleagues bring and what we offer to our wider community.
Fiona has a wealth of experience in the Training sector and has worked with Apprenticeships and Work Based Learning since qualifying as an Assessor 1997. She previously worked for a large FE College in Northamptonshire as Faculty Manager for Engineering and Construction holding responsibility for the delivery of the Apprenticeship provision.
Fiona is responsible for the delivery of Apprenticeships across Acacia and is passionate about supporting and developing people to reach their full potential.
After gaining a degree in Business Studies and taking an accountancy conversion course at the University of the West of England, Sophie worked for nearly ten years in audit and tax roles before moving into the industry. Sophie joined Acacia Training and Development in 2004 as an Accountant, progressing later to her current position of Finance Manager.
Regional Quality & Compliance Manager
Heather joined Acacia Training and Development in August 2009 as the Quality Assurance Manager. Previously Heather worked for a multinational Employability and Skills Training Provider in a national quality assurance and training role. Over the years Heather has gained a wealth of knowledge in learning and development, HR, office and estates management, quality improvement and lean processes. Heather was the Taunton Centre Manager for 18 months from December 2013, then provided maternity leave cover as Workforce Learning & Development Manager in Somerset Care for 12 months before returning to her role in Quality Assurance within Acacia.
Heather is responsible for quality assurance throughout the Company including maintaining the Company’s quality standards for Matrix, IiP, Centre of Excellence Endorsed Provider with Skills for Care, and the current Ofsted grading of Good. Additionally Heather is also responsible for the Admin and Support teams, offices and training centres, and estates management.