Associates' network

The CSP Associates’ network represents the interests of associate and student associate members.

Find out more about Associate membership

Register to attend the AGM at 7pm on 15 April 2024

To stand for election for a network leadership team position, please submit a statement of interest by 12pm on 1 April 2024.

Get involved by joining the iCSP Associates' network page.


Associate members at ARC 2023
Associate members at the 2023 Annual Representative Conference

The purpose of the network is to:

  • Promote equity, diversity and belonging within the CSP and among support workers in particular.
  • Recruit support workers and others eligible for associate membership into the CSP and engage them through the work of the network.
  • Raise awareness with stakeholders of the role of physiotherapy support workers, overseas qualified physiotherapists undergoing adaptation for HCPC registration and returners to practice.
  • Contribute knowledge and expertise to CSP policy, practice and other initiatives to highlight and contribute to development of the physiotherapy support worker role.
  • Address the unique needs of members of the network – for example, by providing a safe space to network, supporting one another and providing learning opportunities.
  • Collaborate with and support the work of other CSP networks and boards.

Associates' network priorities

  • Launch the Associates’ network to CSP members and increase activity via the iCSP platform.
  • Engage associate and associate student members at CSP events including the Annual Representative Conference (ARC).
  • Support members to seek out career/leadership development training opportunities.

Get involved with the Associates' network

The membership of the network is automatically conferred on all CSP associate members and student associate members.

We welcome new and existing members to engage in ways that suit their wants and needs.

There are several ways you can get involved with the network, such as joining the iCSP network page or private Facebook page, or joining the network leadership team. To participate in any of the private groups or become part of the leadership team, you must first join the network.

iCSP graphic
Join the iCSP network for news, discussions and more. Private (CSP members only)
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Associates' network members can join the private Facebook group (invite only).Private
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Follow us on Twitter @AssociatesAtCSP for the latest updates from the network.Public

Associates' network roles

Leadership team roles are open to all associate and student associate CSP members.

If you would like to find out more about the roles or ask any other questions, email the Associates' network.

We are looking for members interested in taking up a leadership team position. If you would like to find out more about the roles or ask any other questions, email the Associates' network.

To stand for election, please submit a statement of interest by 12pm on 1 April 2024.

Elections will take place live at the annual general meeting (AGM) at 7pm on 15 April 2024.

Please note, elected members to leadership team positions will be invited to attend an in-person planning day for the network leadership team on 29 April at the CSP London office.

Register now to attend the AGM

Between 2 and 15 April, you will still be able to express interest in the roles. However, you will need to attend the AGM live to make a statement prior to the vote. Please email the networks engagement officer if you have any further questions about the election process.

Leadership team

RoleNameTermResponsibilityApplicant criteria
ChairChris Richards2023-2025
  • Liaise with CSP Council.
  • Manage the network’s inbox.
  • Lead the network’s delegation to ARC and other CSP conferences.
  • Raise the network's concerns with CSP council.
  • Liaise with the chairs of other networks, including the Diversity networks.
  • Chair the network’s AGM.
Associate member
Vice-chairRobert Minter2023-2025
  • Liaise with CSP Council.
  • Manage the network’s inbox.
  • Lead the network’s delegation to ARC and other CSP conferences.
  • Raise the network's concerns with CSP council.
  • Liaise with the chairs of other network, including the Diversity networks.
  • Chair the network’s AGM.
Associate member
SecretaryEmma Jackson2023-24 (role is for election at 2024 AGM)
  • Liaise with the leadership team to plan meetings.
  • Gather agenda items from committee members.
  • Circulate agendas and reports.
  • Take and circulate minutes.
  • Check that agreed actions are carried out.
  • Support the leadership team with other tasks necessary for the functioning of the network as capacity allows.
Associate member
Events officerChristie Devon and Becca Bambridge2023-24 (role is for election at 2024 AGM)
  • Lead on curating events for the network, including the AGM. This person will be supported by the CSP networks engagement officer.
  • Support the leadership team with other tasks necessary for the functioning of the network as capacity allows.
Associate member
Communications officer (website and social media)Gemma Hawtin2023-24 (role is for election at 2024 AGM)
  • Lead on content for the network CSP webpage, including the network iCSP forum, as well network communications with Frontline magazine.
  • Support the leadership team with other tasks necessary for the functioning of the network as capacity allows.
  • Oversee the network social media accounts.
Associate member
Learning and development leadJoão Pereira 2023-24 (role is for election at 2024 AGM)
  • Support improved understanding of support workers across the profession through events and resources.
  • Support the leadership team with other tasks necessary for the functioning of the network as capacity allows.
Associate member
Students officerVACANCY(role is for election at 2024 AGM)
  • Speak from a student perspective so that the network’s annual actions incorporate the student voice.
  • Engage students in network activity.
  • Support the leadership team with other tasks necessary for the functioning of the network as capacity allows.


Must be a current student associate member and can roll over into first year of postgrad

Equity, diversity and belonging officerMark Hennessy
2023-24 (role is for election at 2024 AGM)
  • Provide oversight on all network activities reflecting on equity, diversity and belonging.
  • Suggest adjustments on network activities to support principles of equity, diversity and belonging.
  • Help to engage members from marginalised groups in network activity.
  • Support the leadership team with other tasks necessary for the functioning of the network as capacity allows.
Associate member

Meet the leadership team

Chair: Chris Richards

Chris Richards

I am a physiotherapy assistant practitioner, and I have been working in Hywel Dda University Health Board for seven years in the community physiotherapy team. For the past year, I have been in a part-time secondment as a therapy assistant practitioner in a virtual service for prostate cancer.

Before working in the NHS, I spent almost a decade in the fitness and leisure industry, where I trained and examined lifeguards. I qualified as a personal trainer and nutritional adviser as well as being a national exercise referral instructor. I also undertook roles connected to managing a centre.

Three years ago, I was a founding member of the CSP Support Worker Reference Group, which aimed to highlight and develop the support worker role, and I am very proud of the achievements made during this time.

I am extremely excited to have been chosen as the chair for the newly developed Associates' network, and truly hope that people will believe in the vision we have as a network, to promote equity, diversity, inclusivity and belonging within the CSP and among support workers, highlighting and contributing to the development of the physiotherapy support worker role.

Vice-chair: Robert Minter

Robert Minter

I have been a therapy assistant at the Hull University Teaching Hospitals (HUTH) NHS Trust for the past eight years. I was previously in a seconded role as an allied health professionals support worker lead for six months. I am also the associate representative for the ARC agenda committee, a workplace steward and a representative for the Yorkshire and Humber Network.

Before coming into the NHS, I was a security guard/door supervisor working around the country at various events such as the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, Commonwealth Games, and Glastonbury Festival to name a few.

About three years ago I was approached by the CSP to join the Support Worker Reference Group, and as a founding member, it was amazing to see how far we progressed and evolved over this time. My aim is for this to continue with the newly formed Associates' network and my role as vice-chair.

Remember: support workers, unregistered but not unqualified.

Secretary: Emma Jackson

Emma Jackson

I am a stroke rehab physio assistant in the Regional Acute Stroke Unit in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast. I have been working here for three years and find it the most rewarding and fulfilling role; it is my calling.

I work with patients in their acute and medium-term rehabilitation stages, assisting in retraining mobility, balance, motor skills, sensory rehab and overall regeneration of ability. I also provide all the admin support for our team – equipment, paperwork, measuring and fitting orthotics.

I joined the CSP in 2021 and became the Northern Ireland member of the Support Worker Reference Group. We have now formed the Associates' network and I am incredibly proud to be part of this group of experienced and talented people as we pioneer and advocate for the development of our roles. I sit on the CSP Northern Ireland Board as the associate board member, representing support staff/physio assistants across the province. I was part of a piece of work in the CSP to engage support workers from across Northern Ireland. This has successful in helping me to create links with colleagues in other trusts, and find out what support workers want to see in terms of career development prospects.

Events Officer: Christie Devon

Christie Devon

I work for North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust as their therapy services support worker educator. I am very proud of my role as I am a non-registered band 5. It’s a very niche role and one that I think more trusts should implement because the benefits to the staff are huge.

Before coming to the trust in 2009, my background was always in administration. I came to the trust as secretary to the professional leads in physiotherapy and occupational therapy and stumbled across the support worker role. I retrained and the rest, as they say, is history.

I joined the Support Worker Reference Group in March 2020, just as the pandemic was starting. I am immensely proud of the work that we have done as a group over the past few years. We are pushing the role of the support worker and making sure that their voices are heard in all the right places! One of the highlights of being part of the group was speaking at ARC last year. It stirred up a lot of interest and started a lot of discussions within other trusts with regards to what support workers can achieve.

I am excited to be part of the new Associates' network as events officer. We hope to improve on all the good work we did as a reference group, but make it bigger and better. With the new framework coming in as well next year, it’s an exciting time to be a support worker.

Learning and development lead: João Pereira

João Pereira
João Pereira

I am João Pereira, I work as a senior physiotherapy technical instructor in trauma and orthopaedics at Northampton General Hospital.

I started my NHS journey three years ago. Prior to that, I volunteered with the NHS alongside my previous employment.

As part of my daily routine, I support physiotherapists and occupational therapists with their patient assessments, and I have my own caseload of non-complex patients. I see these patients in our inpatient gym, progressing their mobility and assessing activities of daily living (ADLs) such as kitchen and stairs assessments to ensure they're ready for a safe discharge home or on to another pathway.

I am a founding member of the Associate network and feel it is important and essential in bringing support workers together to create an agenda to meet our shared needs and aspirations for our roles. It allows us to network with one another which leads to so many benefits in the long run.

My passion is in learning and development, so I will be working in this role within the network, pushing for career growth and opportunity for all support workers.

My motto is, 'We must acknowledge the past during the present in order to build the future we all deserve.'

Communications officer (website and social media): Gemma Hawtin

Gemma Hawtin
Gemma Hawtin

I am Gemma Hawtin and I work as a Community Paediatric Physiotherapy Assistant with the Integrated Children’s Additional Needs Service (ICAN) at Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust

We work with children and young people aged 0-19 who have difficulties or a disability which impacts upon their movement and makes their daily participation in activities difficult. The children we support have a long term neurological or developmental condition.

I graduated from university with a Sport Development with Physical Education degree. Before I worked in the NHS I worked as a sport development officer, playworker and teaching assistant – all skills that have been transferable. 

I started my NHS career at Leeds Teaching Hospitals working on Major Trauma Ward later going on to Airedale Hospital working in Bingley Canalside in the MSK outpatients department until I came back to Leeds working in the community, I’ve now been in the NHS 10 years this year. 

The experiences I have had working for three trusts in a range of different areas will help me with this role as I have learnt so much from working in many different areas.

I support physiotherapists with annual assessments; we speak with families, plan and arrange assistant blocks for the physios; and now including the wheelchair skills sessions, which is something I feel like a legacy will be left as this was not in the service when I started. We won an Advancing Healthcare Award in 2020 for the project, not just the category but overall. This year I went down to London to inspire more to apply at the awards.

We also assist with Aquatics, Rebound and Land sessions, assist with orthotics clinics, service improvement and working as a team for student placement. We visit schools, homes and health centres and every day is different. 

I have been a member of the CSP since 2020. Until then I didn’t know of any associate network so to be part of the leadership team as communications officer is something I am very proud of. 

I feel I am an influencer within my networks, not only with support workers but the wider networks I can use my skills in the communications team and keep raising the profile of the network and what the CSP can do to assist unregistered members develop and pursue their own dreams. We can all be leaders – some of us just don’t know it yet. We can also be the best we can be.  #StrongerTogether

I volunteer with Physiotalk on Twitter, which hosts a tweetchat every other week, and I support and host these. This has been great for my development as enjoy joining in and networking with other like-minded people on a variety of subjects within physiotherapy. I also join in many other tweetchats as you can learn so much from others and take it to your own workplace.  A community of people who can share and learn together. 


Equity, diversity and belonging officer: Mark Hennessey

Mark Hennessey
Mark Hennessey

I am a Physiotherapy TI within the Neuro/Elderly team at Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust. I have worked within physiotherapy for just over two years having previously worked for 13 years as a sport and exercise instructor for a mental health trust, also in the North East of England.

My current role is based on an elderly inpatient rehab ward at Blyth Community Hospital in South East Northumberland, although I do also dot around and help out on orthopaedic/trauma wards when the opportunity arises.

I’m a huge advocate of the Moving Medicine initiative, and was influential in establishing an ‘Active Ward’ ethos on the ward I worked on while working at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

Away from work and of course my family, my passion is sport and alongside my day-to-day job I have been involved with coaching rugby league for over 10 years, most recently working with the Scotland National setup and Newcastle Thunder RLFC. As well as my coaching qualifications, I also completed qualifications in PT and exercise referral.

I joined the CSP in 2021 and have been a avid supporter and proud member ever since. When the opportunity arose to be more involved with the CSP I was excited to throw my hat into the ring, and then completely overwhelmed to be selected to represent my support worker peers. I hope to give you all the best representation I can from an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion point of view, as well as assist the rest of the leadership team to make our new network a roaring success.

Events calendar 2023-24

Event date/timeNameDescriptionWho can attend?Registration
Wednesday 20 September 2023 at 11.45amCareer pathways for support workers in England - webinarEvent in collaboration with

West Midlands regional network

ALLWatch the event
Monday 17 April 2023 at 7pmLaunch event and annual general meetingOnline meeting – virtual attendance only via MS TeamsAssociate and student associate CSP membersWatch the event

Useful resources

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