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Meet the Team

Stephen Ellis-Menton
Interpreter, Assessor, Qualified Teacher, NRCPD Senior Practitioner and Practice Assessor

Stephen has been involved in the Deaf Community for over 25 years and he has been a Community Interpreter for the past 16 years, working in a broad variety of domains. Stephen first started formally learning BSL at the age of 15 but came into interpreting after first training as a teacher, completing the BA Ed (QTS) at Liverpool Hope University. However, he decided that he wanted to pursue his other passion; sign language. Therefore he completed his NVQ 4 in BSL and NVQ 4 in Interpreting whilst training and working as a teacher; he qualified as RSLI when he was just 23.

Stephen's career as an interpreter started whilst working for what was the largest Deaf Organisation in the North West where he worked in their interpreting department for 6 ½ years and was responsible for the supervision and mentoring of their in-house interpreting team. After becoming freelance, Stephen has worked with a range of organisations to establish and deliver mentorship programs and training for interpreters. He has now developed a range of CPD courses and in early 2013 he became a qualified assessor after completing the Teaching and Quality Assurance Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (TAQC) at The City of Liverpool College. Stephen is now training to become an Internal Quality Assurer.

Stephen was the lead tutor on the NVQ 6 Diploma in BSL-English Interpreting programmes and was responsible for coordinating the team of assessors and for curriculum management up until 2023, mintaining an 100% pass rate with the awarding body Signature. 

Stephen currently lives in Southern Spain and works as a remote VRS/VRI interpreter and trainer, he speaks spanish and is currently also learning LSE (Spanish Sign Language) and is a member of the Federacion Espanola de Interpretes de Lengua de Signos

Gail Dixon
Interpreter, Assessor & NRCPD Practice Assessor and Professional Supervisor

First inspired to learn sign language to communicate with her daughter; Gail went on to qualify as a sign language interpreter after studying the Postgraduate Diploma in British Sign Language/English Interpreting at the University of Central Lancashire. Gail is registered with the NRCPD and as native of Lancashire, she prefers to work in North West England. Working mainly in Healthcare, Mental Health, Social Services, Community, Training Courses and Higher Education settings. Gail follows a practice profession approach to my interpreting work.
Gail says she receives regular supervision and appreciates the many benefits it brings. She feels that it has been fundamental in developing her abilities to reflect on her interpreting practice and undertake appropriate development opportunities to hone her skills. Motivated by her own experience of supervision; she has completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Clinical supervision at Derby University.
Gail is a listed NRCPD Practice Assessor and holds a certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement. Gail is extremely familiar with the National Occupational Standards for Interpreting and is a member of the steering group for the current review of the National Occupational Standards for Interpreting.
Gail regularly co-presents a workshop with Dr Terry Riley on working with interpreters and how the Deaf community can support interpreters and the interpreting sector.
To maintain her work-life balance, she likes to ensure she remains creative, curious and eclectic by sharing my love of art, music and good food with my family and friends.

Hannah Wilson
Interpreter, Assessor, Qualified Teacher & NRCPD Senior Practitioner and Practice Assessor

Hannah, a highly skilled and qualified professional, boasts 16 years of experience as a BSL/English Interpreter. Originally from Warrington, she relocated to North Wales in 2005. Beyond her expertise as an interpreter, Hannah excels as an assessor (A1) and holds the distinction of being a qualified teacher (PGCE). Her teaching contributions are primarily focused on Interpreting courses, with a notable involvement in the Degree program of BSL & Deaf Studies at GLLM in Rhos on Sea, conveniently located in her local vicinity.

Furthermore, Hannah's proficiency as an A1 Assessor is well-established, having gained extensive experience assessing candidates pursuing the NVQ 6 Diploma in BSL-English interpreting course. She has also made notable contributions as a teacher within the BSL degree program and IBSL Level 6 Interpreting qualification. In 2016, Hannah successfully completed her PGCE, adding another feather to her cap as a qualified teacher. Her profound understanding of the qualification and assessment processes greatly enhances her value as a valued team member. It's worth noting that alongside her professional commitments, Hannah gracefully manages the joys of motherhood with two young children. Additionally, she finds great fulfillment in pursuing outdoor activities.

Louise Critchley
Interperter, Assessor, NRCPD Practice Assessor & Professional Supervisor

Louise completed a BA Honours in English Language Studies at the University of Central Lancashire and graduated in 2000. From that point she began learning British Sign Language and it became her passion.

Louise began her career within the deaf community in 2002 working at a local deaf centre as a member of the reception staff. She then progressed and undertook a wide variety of roles within the local deaf communities of Warrington, Cheshire and Salford. These roles included outreach support work with deaf and deaf blind people, careers and employment advice, internal communication support and she then moved on to interpreting. Louise completed her Level 6 diploma in BSL interpreting in 2012 through Sign Solutions. Louise now works as a freelance BSL interpreter and she says that she absolutely adores her job.

Louise is currently training as an assessor and is expected to qualify in early 2019.

Outside of work Louise has two young children who keep her extremely busy, a caravan based in North Wales she escapes to as often as possible. To relax Louise says she enjoys reading and drawing.

Liz Smith
Interpreter, Training Administrator

Liz formally commenced learning British Sign Language in October 2014 after taking the opportunity of redundancy from her Leadership role at Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance as she was looking for a career change.  Liz continued through the Signature training whilst raising her 2 young children, completing Level 6 in August 2017 and commenced Interpreter training in October 2017. 

Liz completed her Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting to become RSLI in 2019 and now works in a variety of domains.

Outside of work, Liz can be found at AEGIS Martial Arts Centre, where she is a Black Belt and Instructor and provides BSL interpretation for students and parents within the academy.  Liz has recently taken up Jiu Jitsu to compliment her Instructor role and loves to swim.

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