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Better Communication CIC is able to support commissioners, providers and practitioners with implementing change to deliver better outcomes for children and young people.

About us

Please click on the names below to read more about us.


Marie Gascoigne

Marie has gained a reputation as a champion for children with speech, language and communication needs and an expert on policy in this area and its implementation. Her approach is to employ a whole system approach to supporting each individual child and by using creative problem-solving techniques to put concepts into practice. This approach reflects Marie’s clinical background as a Speech and Language Therapist with an MSc and an MBA.

The scope of Marie’s work includes advice at a national, regional and local level. Marie was an expert advisor for the Bercow Review, a member of the Expert Advisory Group for the Better Communication Action Plan and is one of the authors of the Commissioning Tools for SLCN published by the Commissioning Support Programme. Marie has supported over 30 Local Authorities and Primary Care Trusts from both a commissioning and service delivery perspective.

Emma Jordan

Emma Jordan is a specialist speech and language therapist.   She started her clinical practice working with both preschool and school-age children in a range of settings.   Emma has worked in Worcestershire for over ten years and now leads the speech and language therapy team in the Wyre Forest.   Emma continues her clinical practice primarily supporting children and young people in mainstream schools.  Her specialist area is neuro-developmental difficulties.   

Emma has a history of working in close collaboration with education colleagues.  She manages Language for Learning in partnership with Sue Hayden, specialist teacher.  Emma and Sue have co-written the Language for Learning training courses and materials with Language for Learning: a practical guide for supporting pupils with language and communication difficulties across the curriculum winning the NASEN and TES Book Award for Teaching and Learning in 2005.    Language for Learning in the Secondary School was published in 2011.   

From 2009 – 2011, Emma worked for Worcestershire County Council and NHS Worcestershire, project managing a commissioning review of all SLCN services.   This culminated in winning the Shine a Light Award for Commissioning as part of Hello, the national year of communication.

Maria Luscombe

Maria is a speech and language therapist by profession who began her career in Ireland followed by 25 years experience in the NHS.  Maria has worked work across both acute and community settings within Elderly care, Learning disability and Children’s services holding team leadership and management roles within unidisciplinary and multidisciplinary teams.

Maria is passionate about children’s services, as a member of London Children’s Task Force and more recently of the Acute Paediatric network expert panel for HCfL she has been able to influence strategy, policy and planning for children and young people. Maria sits on the London leads AHP steering group which focuses on developing, supporting and improving AHP’s and the services they offer across the capital.  Maria is a steering group member of the London SLT managers network and a former chair of the Education Committee of RCSLT. 

Michelle Morris

Michelle is Consultant Head of Service for a large NHS Teaching organisation in the North West of England delivering SLT services into a range of primary, secondary and tertiary health organisations, to local authority and to the independent sector  

Until recently Michelle was the DH advisor for speech and language therapy and has strong links within the Departments of Education and Health and within third sector organizations.  She has contributed to a number of DH workstreams including the Healthy Child Programme, Continuing Care for Children with Disabilities and Allied Health Professional Service Improvement. Michelle was an advisor to the Bercow review, a core contributor to the Report and provided professional advice to a strand of the subsequent Better Communication Action Plan.

Michelle has an MSc and a keen interest in public health with specialist expertise in the relationship between inequalities and communication skills for children and young people.  She has supported both the DH and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists in developing policy relating to clinical workforce in this area. Michelle was formally a member of the RCSLT policy and partnerships and clinical practice boards

Michelle has considerable experience of supporting children’s commissioners in the NHS and LA and is currently providing professional advice to the children’s board within a shadow GP consortium.

Victoria Riley-Hill

Victoria is a qualified speech and language therapist who has worked across the NHS, education and not-for-profit sectors. Victoria has worked with children and young people with speech, language and communication needs as well as their parents, carers and associated professionals. Victoria has been a lecturer for both undergraduate and postgraduate speech and language, and education students.

Victoria is passionate about supporting the learning and development of others within organisations and across sectors. Her MBA and postgraduate qualification in coaching and mentoring provide an evidence-based approach which builds upon her background in human communication supporting individual, team and organisational change and development.

Sharon Tuppeny

Sharon is an Occupational Therapist with 19 years experience working in health, social care and most recently in a professional membership organisation. Sharon has combined her role managing children’s therapy services with positions at Board and Trustee level (as Co-chair of the Professional Executive Committee for City and Hackney Primary Care Trust and as Vice Chair of the College of Occupational Therapists).

Sharon has experience reviewing and re-designing services both with the Access Partnership and  MGA Consulting and of developing and delivering training.  She is passionate about developing emerging roles for children’s occupational therapy in order to demonstrate and facilitate the impact of occupation on health, well being and development. She is currently working as a professional affairs officer for the College of Occupational Therapists promoting this potential and developing resources to allow members to do the same. 

Sharon was presented with a Merit award by the College of Occupational Therapists in 2010 in recognition of her contribution to the profession.