Directorate and Administration

Noelle Blackman

Dr Noelle Blackman joined Respond as deputy chief executive in 2003 and has been chief executive since 2012. At Respond she has continued to develop staff training and psychotherapy services for people with learning disabilities and or autism who have experienced abuse and trauma.

She is registered dramatherapist and holds a PhD which researched the understanding of the bereavement experience of people with learning disabilities through psychotherapy.

In 1997 she founded a unique NHS bereavement therapy service for people with learning disabilities which coincided with the closure of long stay hospitals. She is also the co-founder of the National Network for the Palliative Care of People with Learning Disabilities. For twenty years she co-facilitated a user involvement group of older people with learning disabilities which began as part of the GOLD research project for the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities.

She has lectured at many universities including UCL, UEL, Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Hertfordshire.

She has presented papers nationally and internationally and her published work includes the books Loss and Learning Disability and Caring for People with Learning Disabilities who are Dying along with chapters in the journals Intellectual Disability, Psychotherapy and Trauma, Supervision of Dramatherapy and Understanding and Working with People with Learning Disabilities who Self-injure.