Who are we?

workingtogethercare.com -The Team
Based in North East Scotland Gráinne Smith, George Baird and Penny Hemans have built this new web magazine to offer support for carers in building more constructive family communication when ‘challenging behaviour’ is part of any illness or condition – as well as the most effective professional/family communication possible to create the best co-ordinated 24/7 care.

The team works together to build the most useful and practical items for professionals and families who also work towards creating this essential care and support.

Gráinne Smith
Based on personal and professional experience, many individual interviews, over 10 years regular telephone helpline work, plus much reading and research, Gráinne plans and writes most of the articles under the different headings and invites Guest Writers to contribute to the magazine.

George Baird
With years of experience in computer work, George has translated the dreams and ideas of the workingtogethercare.com team into reality through building the site initially then teaching Gráinne and Penny how to add content, put images on site, how to make useful links both internal and external, move items to different areas…

Penny Hemans
Penny contributes much background support and organisation, takes photographs and adds images to the magazine, as well as adding thought-provoking ideas to discussion on progress.

The workingtogethercare.com team welcomes ideas and suggestions of further useful additions to the web magazine.

Gráinne is :

  • Parent of Jay, now recovered after years of struggle to beat anorexia nervosa, binge/purge type.
  • A former head teacher in North East Scotland who has worked with hundreds, possibly thousands, of troubled children and their families.
  • A founder member of North East Eating Disorders Support (NEEDS) Scotland 1996 –
  • Successfully petitioned Scottish Executive about services and resources (lack of) in eating disorders, 2002 – 2005.
  • Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) Taskforce Member for Worldwide Charter for Action on Eating Disorders from 2005-
  • A SEDIG (Scottish Eating Disorders Interest Group) Committee member
  • Editor of ‘SEDIG News’ 2005 – 2008

Gráinne has talked with hundreds, possibly thousands, of carers both family and professional, at conferences and as a volunteer on NEEDS Scotland and Eating Disorder Association – now b-eat – UK telephone support lines since 1997.

Trained and worked for 3 years 1986 – 89 as a Samaritan (UK telephone charity offering telephone support for the suicidal and despairing).

Gráinne’s favourite saying is ‘Don’t curse the darkness – light a candle.’  Many people have lit candles along the way to light Gráinne’s path, especially in difficult times; she hopes that the articles, suggestions for practical activities, items which may be used for training, and other materials, plus conference reports and the interactive discussion forum…will help light candles for others.

She is also :

  • Author ‘Families, Carers and Professionals: Building Constructive Conversations’,pub 2007, John Wiley and Sons*
  • Author ‘Anorexia and Bulimia in the Family’, pub 2004, John Wiley and Sons*
  • Co-author ‘Skills Based Learning and Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder: the new Maudsley Method’, by Janet Treasure, Gráinne Smith, Anna Crane, pub 2007 Routledge*
  • Collaborator with Ulrike Schmidt, Chris Williams, Media Innovations and others, on ‘Anorexia CD-Rom – How To support a Loved One’*

*See Reading Resources in Resources page

I was born in Ireland, and apart from my first few months have always lived in North East Scotland.  Educated in Keith, I then studied and lived for a time in Aberdeen where my two children were born.  Later I taught near Keith, then Banff and Fyvie.  A few years ago I moved to a small town just south of Aberdeen.  Living at the coast, a favourite haunt is walking my dog Trix on the beautiful beach here.

Eleven years ago I abandoned teaching to concentrate on writing – plays, poetry, fiction as well as non-fiction.  For more about my playwriting, poetry and other interests, please check my own website www.grainnesmith.co.uk

Grainne Smith

Grainne Smith

George is :
an IT consultant based in Stonehaven in the North East of Scotland.

George looks after the technical design & maintenance of workingtogethercare.com (WTC), back office and support systems. He has enjoyed working with Gráinne during the building of the site and helps with the ongoing training – teaching Gráinne & Penny how to add new material to the site, how to link to internal & external pages, and generally offering any support needed with the development of this new web site.

George’s particular interest in WTC was triggered through his father, who worked in the Mental Health Unit at the Craig Dunain Hospital, Inverness. He took an interest in the community & family side of patient care & in a small way, helping Gráinne on this project feels a little bit like following in his father’s footsteps.

With more than 10 years management experience in the private sector, George offers IT services to home users and small businesses. He specialises in the provision of Open Source systems to small businesses, so that they may reap the same benefits as large organisations running commercially licensed, internally operated software – without the associated complexity and high costs.

George Baird

George Baird

Penny’s life experiences and professional expertise :

  • college: senior secretarial qualification, 1967, Braintree, Essex;
  • travelled, lived and worked in Japan 1978-1983; India 1985-1986; Australia 1986-1989;
  • counsellor with the Samaritans, Japan, 1980;
  • college II: national certificate of horticulture in Organic growing,Otley College, Suffolk; 1990
  • University: podiatric medicine, Birmingham – left half way due to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis as a result of illness in 1982/1983;
  • studies in natural  healing, Sydney, Australia, 1985;
  • college of natural healing, Hadleigh, Suffolk, 1993;
  • Leonora Van Gils Reiki Master workshops, Darsham, Suffolk, 2000;
  • Elizabeth Speed Reiki Master and Karuna workshops, St Andrews, 2003;
  • member of CLAN Aberdeen since 2006;

Interests and Background in Scotland
:  Grandfather:  Canon William R. Torvaney, St James Episcopal Church, Holburn Junction, Aberdeen;  introduced to music through the Torvaney clan;  Grandmother:  Marian Johnston of Culter and Milltimber;

  • Poetry, Music, and working with people
  • Womens aid and domestic abuse
  • Eating Disorders
  • Conservation, RSPB, and the National Trust for Scotland
  • Aloe Vera for health
Penny Hemans

Penny Hemans