Meet the Management Team

Claire Hilton

Managing Director

Claire has been Managing Director for Unity Works since 2020 after joining Thera 18 months previously to cover maternity leave. She has a background in social care and the employment and skills sectors, focusing for the past 15 years on the involvement of people supported in the services they receive, strategy and business development. Her experience spans the public, private and charitable sector.
Claire’s role is to lead Unity Works and ensure we provide high quality employment support and training opportunities in successful social enterprises for people with a learning disability, in line with our vision and values.

Helen Smith

Employment Service Manager

Helen Smith, the Employment Services Manager at Unity Works, is a passionate champion and advocate for people with a learning disability in the workplace. Her work over the past 20 years has had significant impact on the lives of hundreds of jobseekers with a learning disability and contributed to bridging the disproportionately large employment gap people with a learning disability experience. She oversees our supported employment, employer engagement and two of our social enterprises. She has established and nurtured relationships with commissioners, employers, families and carers that have cemented Unity Works as a pioneer and trusted pair of hands for the local authorities in which they work.

Lynn Parker

Operations Manager

Lynn came to Unity Works as Operations Manager in 2019 with an impressive background in 5 star hotel catering. After working in hotels across the world for a number of years, she returned to the UK, where she ventured into contract catering, running operations across 35 office buildings within London including cafés, restaurants, hospitality, fine dining and vending. During this time Lynn worked with Unity to place people with a learning disability in catering employment and it was seeing our mission in action that drew her to join the team. She now oversees our social enterprise cafes and hospitality catering operations.

Suzanne Thomson

Learning and Skills Manager

Suzanne joined Unity Works as part of the employment team in 2017. A passionate advocate for diversity, equality and inclusion, Suzanne has extensive experience working for charities and third sector organisations supporting people with learning disabilities, learning difficulties and autistic people. She has held roles including job coach, support worker, job broker and contract manager, and enjoys consulting with employers who wish to audit and improve their accessibility and inclusion strategies. Suzanne’s main interests include co-production, representation and ensuring services reflect peoples’ aspirations and abilities. As Learning & Skills Manager, Suzanne is working to further develop our training and skills offer to help people with learning disabilities, learning difficulties and autistic people to achieve their goals.

Laura Murphy

Health & Wellbeing Manager

Laura has been working in the learning disability sector for over 10 years after formerly having a career in hospitality. Having been with Unity Works since its inception in 2019 Laura manages the Health & Wellbeing Service which played a vital lifeline through the covid lockdowns. Laura is bringing her vast network connections and expertise to help develop this service from its current North West London delivery to working across all strands of Unity Works. Laura is a specialist in developing and delivering programs that improve health outcomes and reduce inequalities; taking particular interest in the role that communities and social connections have to play in achieving this.