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Claire Bates

Claire Bates

Claire began working with people with learning disabilities and their families at Choice Support when she left university back in 2002. Claire started working as a support worker and then a manager of a community outreach team.

In 2005 Claire began an MSc in Psychotherapeutic Counselling, completing clinical a placement within Lewisham’s Multi-Disciplinary Team with people with learning disabilities. 

Following her MSc, Claire started a new role in Choice Support’s quality assurance team as the Quality Analyst. Claire continues to work within this role developing and implementing quality systems which promote the views of people who use services and their families and ensure the delivery of high quality personalised support. 

Claire’s MSc inspired her to pursue further research, while working at Choice Support funded her to complete a PhD, which focused on partner selection for people with learning disabilities and how this impacted on the relationships they experienced. The PhD showed that romantic relationships were fundamental to people with learning disabilities, and like for many people, they were perhaps the most important aspect of their lives. People valued a loving partner to share their life with and to provide companionship. 

Claire currently holds a duel role, working both at Choice Support and at the Tizard Centre at the University of Kent as an Honorary Research Associate. Claire continues to work on research projects that seek to increase positive outcomes and increase inclusion for people with learning disabilities. Claire’s current projects include: finding out the value of personal budgets to people with learning disabilities and their families and breast screening for women who lack mental capacity. 

Claire lives in London with her husband and dog Evie. She has a keen interest in travel and is planning to drive (and live) in a van from Canada to the southern tip of Argentina.