About Shiny Stone
Shiny Stone is a charitable organisation that is dedicating itself to helping children with developmental and trauma related mental health issues.
Born from a need to find appropriate resources and education to help their daughter, the founders of Shiny Stone who are based on the Wirral have become educated themselves in various childhood developmental and mental health issues. In their struggles, they have found a lack of available knowledge and training available in the North West of England regarding various childhood conditions.
Shiny Stone will be bringing education to the community and professionals alike, to help with early identification and to increase awareness for children and families experiencing developmental and mental health difficulties.
Sara Hirst-Watson - Chief Executive Officer
There is a saying that children are here to teach their parents. This has certainly been the case in our family.
Our children have faced the challenges of autism, Selective Mutism, severe anxiety and speech and language difficulties. Watching their heartbreaking struggles and desperately wanting to help them has sent me on a journey of research and discovery.
Trying to get the right help for our children has cost our family financially and emotionally. With all the knowledge I have learned I feel a new passion to share what I know and help children with neurological difficulties. It feels like going back to my previous career in engineering would be a waste of all this knowledge.
There are many families that are not able to do the research or pay financially for the right support, what happens to their future? By providing training to parents and professionals it is my hope that we can gradually begin to build a community of people who can help each other. That support will help our children to overcome their difficulties and have a brighter future.
Michelle Hirst-Watson - Board Chair
As a parent of children with autism, Selective Mutism, speech and language difficulties and high anxiety I know the stresses and heartbreak of watching your children struggle to integrate into society. Watching them want to do activities but not be able to. I've a learned a lot on my journey that has helped and we have come a long way as a family. I have learned not only from professionals but also through our own research. Unfortunately there is a lack information and understanding in the world and at times it can feel like we are fighting a lonely battle. This is why I wanted to help set up Shiny Stone to help and educate people, to help children achieve their potential. The earlier you can help children the better the outcome will be. The better we educate and support our community the more collectively knowledgeable we become in the battle with mental health.
Kevin Chernets - Board Member
I am a Senior Software Engineer who has had many different roles including Technical Support Manager at the London Stock Exchange. I have often worked in the past with Charities and Not-for-Profit groups to help them succeed with their membership management and web presence.
I have been fortunate to have had a career that now spans more than 25 years in technology. Having seen the development of both hardware and software innovations, because of my interest and dedication to the study and development of both and my belief that volunteering is so important
My very early experiences gave me an opportunity to learn the true basics in both hardware and software applications. My many years of direct involvement have given me a strong grasp of those foundations and allows me to code in many languages, analyse major systems to develop solutions to improve regulatory and internal compliance and achieve superior software system performance. I also believe in volunteering to help the community and I believe in the goals and directions Shiny Stone is taking.
I look forward to the different ways I can use my skills and experiences to help advance the Shiny Stone directives.
Margaret Price - Board Member
I was born in London shortly after the 2nd World War and moved to Wallasey in 1951. I attended St. George’s Road Primary School and then Wallasey High School. After leaving school I went to Edge Hill Teacher Training College where I trained as a Primary School teacher with special interest in Social Work.
In 1968 I started teaching at Egremont Primary School and then transferred to Moreton Special School which is now known as Stanley School. Soon after this my husband and I became Deputy Head and Deputy Matron of Wimbrick Hey which was a residential home for children from all over Cheshire with a variety of social problems. While in this job my husband and I fostered a fourteen year old boy in order to help him through his final years of school. Although I loved this role I missed teaching so I became Head of an Assessment Progress unit in Leasowe. This was a new initiative by Wirral Borough Council to help early identification of young children with special needs. One of my pupils needed a foster home so again we fostered him for fourteen years until he was old enough to go his own way.
In 1976 I retired from teaching to raise my family and run my own nursery from our house. After ten years I returned to teaching and remained at Grove Street Primary School for twenty-eight years until I retired in 2011. Now I am a full time volunteer manager of New Ferry Village Hall which I love.
My hobbies include gardening and baking.