Our trainers

Our trainers

Holly Kelleher

Holly Kelleher (QTLS, BA Hons, MBA) has worked in training since 2003 when she started working in the further education sector delivering apprenticeships and associated employment preparation courses. In 2010 she moved into the supported employment sector, establishing Gateshead Council’s award winning Supported Employment Service GATES, developing travel training services and a Supported Internship programme delivered in Gateshead Metrocentre. She then moved to the private sector working on a range of projects, the majority of which were integrating commercial business and SEND education programmes to support people with learning disabilities and neurodivergence into paid work.

Holly now works as a freelance education consultant and co-owns an independent retail business. Holly holds the following professional qualifications which she brings to her work as a BASE Trainer; Assessor, Internal Quality Assurer, External Quality Assurer, Cert Ed, Hons Degree in Post Compulsory Education and Training, MBA in Project Management. She holds memberships with AoC, APM, SET and IOSH. 


Kathy Melling 

Kathy comes from a background of supported employment and disability with her first experiences in the sector in the late 1970’s in the United States. She began her studies at the University of Illinois, and had the privilege of being taught by Marc Gold, the founder of Training in Systematic Instruction and supported employment. 

She emigrated to the UK in the early 1980’s and worked in disability services in London, Buckinghamshire and Kent. Her pioneering work in Kent in transforming day services and developing supported employment featured in Changing Days. 

She became the National Employment Lead for Valuing People Now at the Department for Health in 2009, and worked as part of the Valuing Employment Now cross-Government team until it was disbanded. Her most notable achievements in this role include writing and publishing a cross-Government definition and best practice guidelines for supported employment, developing the Valuing People Now employment resource hub, and supporting local areas to develop employment pathways across service and agency boundaries. 

She was involved in the establishment of the British Association of Supported Employment where she continues to be an active member of the National Executive Committee. She now works as an independent trainer and consultant, and has worked on the introduction of National Occupational Standards and new qualifications for supported employment, which she continues to deliver.  She has done work with NHS England and NHS Employers on the learning disability employment pledge, linking with people with learning disabilities and /or autism and NHS employers.  

Kathy has a research background and has featured in various publications such as Tizard Learning Disability Review.  She was on the Advisory Board for two different research studies – co-produced research with the Norah Fry Institute and Cornwall People First, and NDTi’s research on employment support for people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health conditions.

In her spare time, Kathy supports a range of community and voluntary sector organisations in Kent as well as Charlton Athletic.


Liz Mellor

Liz is passionate about the power of supported employment. She has worked in the sector since 2006, when she created and built a supported employment service for people with a learning disability. Initially working alone, she went on to grow and manage the team and supported many people into paid employment.

She is a qualified tutor with many years experience of delivering training in adult and community education as well as to those with special educational needs. She is a qualified and experienced assessor.

Liz also brings to her work, her wide knowledge and experience from working in mental health services; both hospital and community settings. She is a qualified RMN.

She can also draw on the knowledge and experience of service monitoring of quality of provision both in supported employment and adult and community learning. She delivers supported employment training for BASE and is an assessor for the Level 3 Supported Employment Practitioner qualification. She also delivers Mental Health First Aid training and is part of the SEQF audit team.

We often say during training that supported employment is a people-y business and Liz is a people-y person.