SCI-FI scriptwriting just as the BBC re-launched Dr Who to a new generation might sound like a dream job to many.
But for Edd Terrey it only served to cement his drive to leave the world of TV and focus instead on a return to the youth and community work that changed his path as a young teen, and make it his career.
Edd has just joined Heart of England Mencap as Director of Operations.
He joins the charity – supporting people with learning disabilities across Warwickshire and Worcestershire – from a Directorship at the Make A Wish Foundation. Prior to that, Edd has held senior management positions at Midland Mencap and at Worcester Community Trust, his career following a fast trajectory from the youth work where it began.
That earlier career in anti-social behaviour prevention and youth support work, stemmed from Edd’s teenage years on the estate where he grew up. Youth workers made a big impact – and by 15, he was volunteering as one of them.
“It took me on a very different path,” Edd says.
“And gave me the opportunity to think about what I could do. I started concentrating at school, pursued A-Levels and became the first person in my family to go to university.
“Most of all it showed me what seeing the potential in someone can lead to – and how you can give people the skills and tools they need to achieve their potential.”
Edd studied media production at university before doing a masters in scriptwriting, going on to work in TV.
But throughout his studies and then media career, he continued to volunteer as a youth worker back home in Warwick whenever he could.
“I always kept my youth and community work going, in the holidays and so on,” Edd says.
“And there came this point, it was during discussions with a producer just as the BBC was bringing Dr Who back, when I knew that I got more enjoyment out of youth and community work than TV.”
Edd left the media world and progressed through senior youth work to be appointed Service Development Manager at Worcester Community Trust, providing strategic and operational leadership for all areas of service delivery at the charity, running hubs and activities to support the vulnerable and isolated.
At Midland Mencap, he was Head of Children, Young People and Community Services, developing new and innovative services for people with learning disabilities.
Now at Heart of England Mencap, with its central services based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Edd is taking full operational management for all services to improve the quality of care.
And for him, that’s all about the team.
“I want to create the right working culture where people can thrive,” Edd says.
“You can have the best strategy and the best project management tools but what you ultimately need is the right people in the right roles. When that’s achieved, we reach our targets and we grow. People want to come to us for support, or come to us to work, because we are doing things right.
“Care roles are still very undervalued in our community, so I want to make sure we have the most efficient systems in place to make it easier for people to do their jobs – and I want to empower our people to be leaders, to show it isn’t all about management.”
Heart of England Mencap supports adults with learning disabilities to live the life they choose – providing day activities, supporting living, residential and respite care.
Chief Executive Helena Wallis said: “We are so excited to welcome Edd to this new role, demonstrating our commitment to growth and to being the very best care provider for the people we support.”