EXPERT BY EXPERIENCE

Biography  

I am currently a Full-time Postgraduate Student studying MSc Psychology at the University of Gloucestershire. I am a student member of the British Psychological Society and hope to progress in academia over the next few years.  

Originally, I come from an Arts background, with my education and qualifications being in Fine Art, but more influentially, I cut my teeth by working with, for, alongside or being mentored by some of the best international live artists over the years. I have obtained Arts Council England funding myself several times, unfortunately this is harder to come by, I still have the urge to create work about personal experiences, my work has always been autobiographical. After having some amazingly well-respected exhibitions, it had to take a back seat after 2014 when parenting two young children basically made it impossible to maintain. In 2017 I made my latest big piece about a deeply personal scenario, but one that was being experienced by many all over the county and beyond. Since that point, I have focused on improving things that created the material for my artwork and I now am an outspoken advocate for Autism, FII and MH, and other related things. These informed my decisions to both work in SEND, and subsequently, to undertake the psychology masters and develop my research skills. 

For employment, I am a steering group member for Families in Partnership (FiP) Worcestershire’s Parent Carer forum and take on a variety of roles to inform the development of SEND Services. I am also the Chair of the Worcestershire Autism Partnership Board, which comes with a lot of responsibility, as outlined below. I do this, to better improve services for children like my own, as a parent carer to two autistic boys, 6 & 9 years old. Although I am busy, their needs come first, and for me, the best way to ensure their needs are met, is to be instrumental in the formulation of the services that are intended to support them. I speak from experience, as a Professional and represent other Parent Carers, the SEND & Autistic communities. 

CV available on request. 

EXPERIENCE

Consultant: Special Educational Needs, Autism | 2017 – present As a steering group member for Families in Partnership (FiP) Worcestershire’s Parent Carer forum, I am the Health and Social Care Lead, I consult on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities reforms, and ongoing projects, including consulting on Education, Health and Care Plans, Mainstream Autism Bases, and Medical Education Team, and other restructures of services. I am personally heavily involved with the All Age Disability Strategy, and as the Chair of the Worcestershire Autism Partnership Board, work closely with the Local Authority in Worcestershire, as well as Herefordshire, through the Learning Disabilities and Autism NHS / CCG STP Footprint. I am responsible for consulting and compiling the Worcestershire All Age Autism Strategy. I hold places on the CYP Emotional Health and Wellbeing board, the Carers Partnership Board and inform Health & Wellbeing Board, I am also a co-opted board member for Healthwatch Worcestershire.

Artist, Writer and Performer | Self Employed | 2006 – Present I am an acclaimed National Multi-disciplinary Artist, working with Spoken word, Live Art and Installation, and have been self-employed since 2006.  Being an Artist, Writer and Project Manager for others, has allowed my Bid writing and Budgeting skills to develop and shown that I am capable of communicating ideas with others and seeing a project from the inception to completion within a variety of contexts. 

I have vast experience in having worked alongside some of the biggest international names in the field including Ron Athey, Lydia Lunch, Nicole Blackman, as well as working for International Live Art Festival ‘Fierce’, touring with Slovenia’s ‘Aksioma’ and London’s ‘Spill Festival’. I have personally received Arts Council England & National Lottery Funding to develop and exhibit my own shows at the Birmingham Hippodrome, London’s Act Art, The Barbican Gallery, Goldsmiths School, Cultivate Gallery, Fierce Festival, and the Artrix. The shows have been about mental health and domesticity; ‘Only a Phone Call Away’, ‘What Goes on in This House, Stays in this house’, ‘Deathtripping’ and in 2017 the first work since becoming a parent, ‘Accused: An Autism Mother’. I have since been concentrating on parenting and reforming Universal Services for Worcestershire’s SEND children and Parent/Carers. 

PREVIOUS ROLES

Performance Manger | NHS England – Contract | 2016, 2017 & 2018 For NHS England Operations & Delivery Team, Winter Room project, requiring the compilation of confidential A&E data and managing important documents to share with the National Team/Secretary of State over the challenging Winter period. Working closely with Service Directors, ensuring that Returns to the Regional & National Teams are completed to a high standard and assurances are met and delivered to strict deadlines. 

Assistant & Project Coordinator | Birmingham Health & Care NHS Trust | 2008 – 2016 Assistant to the Senior Management Team and Project Coordinator for the General Manager. I gained Certificates in Project Management and Business Planning at this time. Service re-design led to redundancy.

Assistant For Strategic Director | Housing & Constituencies Birmingham City Council | 2006 – 2008 Support to the Strategic Director of one of the largest Council Departments in the Country. Liaising with the public and Councillor’s in sensitive matters, organising events and meetings. I left this agency position to carry out my own Exhibition at the Birmingham Hippodrome, as a part of ‘Fierce the international Festival of Live Art’. 

EDUCATION

Postgraduate – Master’s of Science; Psychology Conversion Completing August 2021, University of Gloucestershire

Bachelor Of Arts Honours Degree Fine Art 2:1 from Birmingham City University 2011

Higher National Diploma & BTEC Foundation Diploma Distinction in Art & Design: North East Worc’s College 2003

A Levels & GCSEs Art, Media, English Language, English Lit, French, German, Maths, Double Science, PE 1999-2000

EXTENDED SKILLS

Certificate in Business Planning – NHS, Certificate in Project Management – NHS, Autism Training: Asperger’s Certificate, Recognising and Supporting Children with Special educational Needs Certificate, Creative Alliance Managing Music Course, Full Driving License

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ACCUSED: An Autism Mother – the Art Exhibition

So here it is, the exhibition is now live and official.


‘ACCUSED: AN AUTISM MOTHER’ at the Artrix Arts Centre February 2017.

Supported by Arts Council England and Worcestershire County Council

Exhibition:
ACCUSED: An Autism Mother
Bernadette Louise creates a spectacle of oversized Healthcare posters emphasising the ‘invisible’ symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Pathological Demand Avoidance. In an honest response to the Authorities who accused her of Fabricating and Inducing her Son’s ASD, she uses documentary mobile phone images and direct quotes from the assessment process to highlight a desperate need for PDA Awareness. Quickly the professionals focussed on her as Mother, instead of the Child’s symptoms they were faced with. Bernadette intends to highlight the contradictions and accusations that caused the NHS to refer to Children’s Services resulting in a Child Protection
order. Through her Art and Spoken Word event Bernadette exposes the true harm caused by the Authorities to families with ‘unseen disabilities’.

Spoken word event:
An evening of poetry and spoken word including performances by those who are on and support people on the Autism Spectrum. Featuring the popular Autism Vlogger, ‘Autistic Genius’ and visceral Artist Bernadette Louise.Follow meFacebooktwitteryoutubeFacebooktwitteryoutube
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