New National Star principal ‘values high quality across board’
NATIONAL Star, one of the country’s leading charities working with young people with disabilities and learning difficulties, has appointed a new principal.
Simon Welch will oversee National Star’s learning programmes in Cheltenham, where the charity is based, and its centre in Hereford. He is also responsible for the charity’s workbased programmes including supported internships, National Star’s extensive therapy provision and its Lifttraining course.
Simon first started at National Star exactly a decade ago as a personalised learning mentor, working one-to-one with learners.
But it wasn’t his first encounter with National Star. As a 14-yearold Simon visited the Ullenwood campus with a friend to find out more about what the charity did.
“Through my friend I met James, who was a student at National Star, and I was interested in the challenges he faced,” said Simon, 37. “James’s carer watched me with James and asked me if I had ever considered a career working with young people with disabilities and it went from there.”
He added: “What I value most about National Star is that we all believe in a high quality across the board and in everything we do, from our residential care, to our teaching to our facilities.”
Born in Gloucester Simon grew up in the Forest of Dean where he lives with his wife and three daughters, aged two, five and seven. Chief executive David Ellis said Simon was the strongest candidate for the post. He said: “What makes National Star is that everything we do has the young people we support at its heart, which has always driven Simon in his roles here.”
Simon succeeds Pauline Bayliss-jones, who retired earlier this year.
Simon Welch, the new principal of National Star, with learner Alex Smith