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Laura Falconer, CEO, Assistant Director Impact


Laura Falconer, is a Speech and Language Therapist by background with over 30 years’ experience of working in the fields of Early Years, Vulnerable Families and Children and Young people’s Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Laura started her career in 1987 working in a large General Hospital supporting people with a wide range of difficulties impacting on mental health and wellbeing, including stroke, cancer, progressive neurological conditions, dementia, learning disabilities and specifically working within a Psychiatric unit.

In 1990, she took up the post of Senior Speech and Language Therapist at RSNH, in Larbert, working with children and adults with learning disabilities both in the community and the hospital, including many adults with dual diagnosis. Here she established innovative parent led and multi-agency in patient services.

Laura then moved to NHS Lanarkshire in 1993 to manage a large team of staff working in the field of learning disabilities. She remained in Lanarkshire for 17 years, managing 4 Localities and developing services for vulnerable children and adults, including children with autism, conduct disorder, neurodevelopmental conditions and children affected by complex adversity such as parental substance misuse and parental mental health problems. Laura led on service redesign and delivered innovative services in partnership with families and other agencies such as CAMHS, ADP, voluntary sector.

In 2010, Laura joined Barnardo’s and as the Assistant Director in Fife Locality, managed a wide range of family support, counselling and advocacy services, Leading for Early Years in Scotland and subsequently as the Assistant Director for Mental Health in Scotland, leading the development of the organisations work.

In 2017 she took up the UK wide role of Assistant Director Impact for Mental Health and Wellbeing within Barnardo’s and is responsible for setting the strategic direction for the organisation in relation to its Mental Health and Wellbeing work. Laura is currently leading on an ambitious programme of work across 4 Nations, focusing on facilitating place based whole systems change for children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing within Strategic Partnerships and leading Barnardo’s journey to become a Trauma Responsive organisation. Laura is passionate about early intervention, in ensuring children and families are central to service design and in developing innovative practice. 

Laura lives in Perthshire, Scotland and spends her spare time hillwalking and practicing yoga and meditation.