Shirley Ayres Consulting on Being Inspired

Shirley Ayres Consulting

The Philosophy of Shirley Ayres Consulting 

The Japanese have a word “Kaizen” which translated means “the gathering of the wisdom of the people” The Be Inspired website was launched to provide an independent and innovative web based resource for social work and social care. We are committed to supporting individuals and organisations to make connections and partnerships across sectors and disciplines.

We are very aware that in the 21st century organisations need to find different ways to engage, excite and energise their stakeholders. This doesn’t just mean communicating well – it means having a good story to tell. Our approach, which is underpinned by a commitment to empowerment through knowledge, links the latest marketing and new technology to promote excellence in the social work field.

Social work has many good stories to tell. It is the ultimate paradox that the communication skills so vital to effective social work are not reflected in the marketing and promotion of the care sector as a whole. We need to motivate and engage with politicians, service users, funders, investors, providers, media and other relevant groups to ensure that society values and adequately funds the social work and care services which support the most vulnerable people in the community. For more information about our consultancy services contact

How we work

Engaging, listening, discussing, carrying out interviews, providing workshops, undertaking desk and field research

Identifying significant patterns and themes and developing a strategy based upon the key issues with agreed outcomes

Implementing identifying relevant outputs and outcomes the development of a communications strategy

Handing over ownership to the organisation through training, mentoring, presentations and reports.

Evaluation, assessing how the ideas are working in action, making suggestions for improvements.

We work most effectively with organisations who are actively seeking to challenge and change the way they deliver their services. These organisations recognise that the way to stand out from the crowd is to stand for something original and unique. Inspiration is shared through a vision and values.

The Team 

Shirley Ayres began her social work career with a national children’s charity establishing innovative community based projects for troubled and troublesome young people. She was awarded an international scholarship in the 1980’s and completed post-graduate studies at the Law School Sydney University, Australia.

In the 1990’s Shirley held the position of Chief Officer at GLPQ, a charity and company limited by guarantee responsible for the post qualifying education and training of social workers in London. GLPQ became a nationally recognised and independent voice for the challenges confronting social work practitioners in an increasingly diverse landscape.

In 2005 Shirley established a new knowledge and communications consultancy. Her work draws upon her qualifications and experience in social work, marketing, ethics, criminology, leadership and management. She works with a growing number of associates who provide complementary skills, knowledge and expertise. This enables the consultancy to provide unique perspectives into the development of innovative responses to the challenges facing an increasingly complex and disconnected society. 

Shirley is a respected commentator on issues of communication and diversity in the care sector. She is particularly interested in the challenges of securing the meaningful co-operation of diverse stakeholders including people who use service users and carers. She is currently involved in a number of ventures exploring the potential of the internet and Web 2 technology to enable communities of interest to connect and network more effectively.

Peter Loizou has lead responsibility for the development and design of a number of Web 2.0 developments including the Be Inspired website. He has specialist knowledge of data collection and analysis in the care sector. He has undertaken research to support the development of strategic partnerships and the implementation of a major workforce mapping exercise in social work and social care.

James Souttar is a communications consultant with extensive experience of public, private and not-for-profit sectors. These include charities and social enterprises, Sector Skills Councils, Professional Skills for Government, and a number of universities. In 2005, the University of Middlesex awarded James an Honorary Doctorate in recognition of his work in leading their rebranding.

Marcia White is an experienced journalist who has worked on every major magazine and newspaper covering the sector, including: Guardian Society, Community Care, CareandHealth Magazine, Skills for Care London PQ Bulletin and SCLondon. Formerly managing editor of CareandHealth magazine she has an in-depth knowledge of the care sector and the policy drivers underpinning the development of the mixed economy of care and the relationships between the statutory, private and voluntary sector.

Cheryl Lewis has substantial experience in the voluntary and public care sector. Her background is in advocacy, focusing on the delivery of high quality person centered services and solutions. Her strengths are in her insights and capacity to connect with individuals and groups using her highly developed interpersonal skills. Cheryl has a particular focus on strategic perspectives, which will translate into improved performance management. She has a personal and professional commitment to lifelong learning and education.

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One Response to “Shirley Ayres Consulting on Being Inspired”

  1. 2010 - new decade, new challenges - what needs to change in social work and social care? | Be Inspired! Shirley Ayres Consulting Says:

    […] Partnerships – Shirley Ayres Consulting will be joining up with a number of organisations who are committed to driving up standards in […]

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