Lesley Cooke

Vice Chair

Lesley recently retired from a varied professional employment history. Having worked in all sectors – public, private and voluntary, as well as having been self-employed over the years. She is born in Stockton – educated locally, attended Richard Hind School, trained as a diagnostic radiographer at Stockton and Thornaby Hospital moving to the then new North Tees Hospital in 1974.

She has always been involved in the voluntary sector as an active leader in the Scout Association for over 20 years. She was a volunteer and paid staff member for Playgroup Network including tutor and quality assurance. Lesley fully supported her children throughout their school life as a PTA member of both junior and senior schools. At the behest of her granddaughter, Lesley has gone full circle and is now back in the school setting as a volunteer to help children read.

After working extensively with public sector managing the Children’s Playbus and delivering childcare training across many colleges and other providers, Lesley continued as a consultant delivering and assessing management qualifications primarily in the local authority and medical settings. Lesley also spent 8 years working for the probation service delivering personal development to offenders before becoming a magistrate for Teesside Bench. She ended her “working life” as a quality assurance manager for a local community learning establishment but is still actively involved in charities as a volunteer.

When Lesley became a Catalyst board member, over 4 years ago, her primary vision was and still is for Catalyst to be a strong voice for the voluntary sector.