Wednesday, 21 September 2011

National role for Sandie

Sandie Keene, director of adult social services in Leeds

Leeds City Council’s director of adult social services, Sandie Keene, has been appointed next year’s vice-president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS). This means that in 2013 she will become president of the national organisation that advises government and influences the way social care is shaped in this country.

Her role as director at Leeds City Council will continue in parallel with her appointment as vice-president, then president and her new position has been supported and welcomed by the council’s senior leadership and management.

On hearing that she had been elected unopposed by her fellow directors, Sandie Keene commented:
“I’m thrilled and humbled to have had the backing of my peers in such a way. This is the biggest challenge of my career to date, because social care is facing so many huge issues: in funding, in legislation, in integration with the health service and in quality of care. It is both exciting and daunting to know that the ADASS team will be at the forefront of some of the biggest changes to hit the social care profession in decades.

“As well as being a huge personal opportunity, it will also be a chance to give Leeds a voice in national legislation and policy making and I will do everything I can to promote the city as often and as widely as I can. Despite the many demands which the role will undoubtedly place on my time, my loyalty to Leeds and the vulnerable people we are here for will not diminish.”

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services is the professional organisation for the country’s 152 directors working in the £23 billion social care market for adults. As well as providing peer support for its members, the organisation carries out research into topics as diverse as carers, health and social care integration, care commissioning and social care budgets.

The organisation is a major contributor and advisor to government policy, with regular input to government Select Committees on health and social care.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, the council’s executive board member with responsibility for adult health and social care said:
“I am delighted that Sandie has been appointed to this high profile, national role and would like to congratulate her on behalf of Leeds City Council.

“The role will compliment Sandie’s position as director of adult social services in Leeds, and help to raise the profile of the city and the challenging work that is being done here to support and protect vulnerable adults.”

Throughout her career, Sandie has built up a track record of constantly improving and modernising the services for which she has been responsible. While director in Sheffield, she led the development of a Mental Health Care Trust and in Barnsley spearheaded a pilot scheme for individualised care budgets and supported fully integrated commissioning services for all care groups with the local PCT.

In Leeds, she has championed the development of more choice and personalised services for people. She has set under way the extended modernisation of day services for people with learning disabilities, meaning people have more choice and control over their lives than ever before. She led improvements in the way the city’s vulnerable adults are safeguarded, promoting greater public and professional awareness of safeguarding issues across the city. Most recently, she has prepared the ground for far-reaching changes to give older people greater choice in their residential, housing and day services. Future challenges in both her city council and ADASS roles will include the integration of health and social care services in line with current best practice.

Notes for editors

Sandie Keene began her social work career in 1974 and has spent all her working life in Yorkshire, working in Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield before coming to Leeds as director of adult social services in 2007.

Within ADASS, Sandie has been regional chair for Yorkshire and Humberside and, more recently, the policy lead for public health and assistant honorary secretary. Her role has enabled her to contribute across a range of issues, contributing to government guidance and reports and speaking at national conferences.

Sandie lives in Leeds in the week and is married with two grown-up stepchildren. When at home in Sheffield, she loves theatre, films, walking in the Peak District and catering for and hosting parties with friends. She is an active member of a local church with a passion for social justice.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Touch of glass as new exhibitions open at Lotherton Hall

Caption: Jonathan Cooke's stained-glass image of St Michael slaying the dragon and 'Ripple' by renowned furniture designer John Makepeace will both be on display in new exhibitions at Lotherton Hall

Two new exhibitions devoted to stained glass art and designer furniture open at Lotherton Hall near Leeds this week.

Starting on Thursday (22 September) and running until the end of the year, ‘Angels and Demons’ will see a display of stained glass and drawings by Jonathan Cooke and Helen Whittaker on display at the Edwardian country house in Aberford near Leeds.

The following day, Friday 23 September, an exhibition of wooden furniture by world-famous designer John Makepeace entitled ‘Enriching the Language of Furniture’ begins which runs at the Leeds City Council-managed visitor attraction until Sunday 20 November.

The first exhibition, Angels and Demons, examines the concept of darkness and light through the work of two of Britain’s leading stained-glass artists Jonathan Cooke and Helen Whittaker. Both have strong connections to the Yorkshire region, as Jonathan spent four years as an apprentice at the York Glaziers Trust which included helping to restore the stained glass at York Minster after the 1984 fire, while Helen has been based at the Barley Studios near York restoring historic stained glass as well as creating new commissions for over 10 years.

The exhibition represents the same theme as interpreted by the two artists, using drawings and stained glass to depict the eternal struggle between good and evil.

The second exhibition shows off 23 pieces of furniture by John Makepeace taken from collections in the UK and abroad. The display is Makepeace’s first-ever solo exhibition, drawing on a 50-year career which has seen his work be shown in London as well as further afield in Germany and the USA.

Key exhibits on display include ‘Ripple’, a chest with wave forms carved into the surface of an oak tree which was originally planted in 1740, and the ‘Phoenix’ chair which combines holly, oak and burr Elmwood all in the same piece.

Makepeace has also created a set of 10 low tables from a single elm tree as well as three benches all from one sycamore especially for the exhibition. The artist himself will also be making an appearance on Wednesday 5 October at 4pm to give an illustrated lecture about his work. Admission is free upon entry to the house, and to book tickets call Wendy Shuttleworth on 0113 281 3259 or email

Curator of collections at Lotherton Hall Adam White said:

“We are very excited to have these two fantastic exhibitions opening at Lotherton Hall. Stained glass art has a look and attraction all of its own and in Jonathan Cooke and Helen Whittaker we have works from two of the finest in the world.

“And John Makepeace is an absolute master of his craft, sculpting amazing furniture which is sure to impress anyone who sees it. We look forward to welcoming visitors to Lotherton Hall to see both exhibitions.”

The John Makepeace exhibition is supported by Arts Council England and Devon Guild of Craftsmen.

For more information on Lotherton Hall, visit the website at or call 0113 281 3259.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Senior communications officer,
Leeds City Council, Tel 0113 247 5472