HOME: London, UK
DATE OF BIRTH: 10/08/76


Strategic Leadership
A wide understanding of disabled children and young people’s issues
Analytical approach to complex issues
Interpretation and application of research data
Delegation and autonomy for others

OCCUPATIONAL HISTORY (starting with most recent)

July 2018- March 2019 travelled Latin America.

May 2007- July 2018

Deputy Director, Children and Young People Services, National Deaf Children’s Society, 15 Dufferin Street, London, EC1Y 8UR.

Strategic and operational leadership for the charity on all issues relating to NDCS’ direct service provision for deaf children and young people in the UK

Creation of a Children and Young People’s brand for NDCS

This role has included:

Management of two Heads of Departments (Participation and Events), including supervision, goal-setting, report monitoring, strategic planning, and interpersonal motivation.
Non-direct management of 20 staff members (managers and officers) who report to both Heads of department. These staff members are based all over the UK, including some home-workers.
Carrying out the largest ever consultation with deaf children and young people across the UK, asking them what they wanted the charity to do for them. This became an internal report document and informed the fundamental principles of our Youth Strategy.
Overseeing and supporting a challenging organisational change from a 64-year old parents’ charity to a child-centred one.
Development of a robust Youth Strategy to achieve a meaningful child-centred organisation.
Development of a Volunteering strategy to enable young deaf people to have opportunities to do more.
Development and implementation of clear strands to deliver key milestones against our youth strategy; Information and Advice, a new website, training and development, extended activities to include deaf children, CYP programme (Arts, Sports and Leisure), Participation and governance.
Writing/development of key-related policies around the involvement of dcyp
Alignment of key strategic aims along with national government strategies, e.g. Aiming High, Integrated Youth Support Services, National Citizenship Service
Establishing a Participation Unit with to deliver our strategic change.
Working with external and internal colleagues, both in the voluntary and statutory sector to enhance the lives of deaf children and young people.
Full involvement with all senior management decisions with other deputy directors.
Budget planning, monitoring and management; 2007-08 £, 2008-09 £, 2010-11 £
Increasing provision from 454 places a year to our beneficiaries, to 2,600.

Jan 2005 – May 2007

Post-doctoral research assistant, Dept Human Communication Science, University College London, London. Investigating 0-3yr. deaf children’s developmental outcomes. This is part of a Big Lottery funded project to look at the benefits of early diagnosis. This job started at City University, and finished at UCL.

Sept 2004 – January 2005

Travelled the world for six months in between jobs.

November 2003 – June 2004

High Executive Officer, Department of Education and Skills (Faststream scheme – for more details) –

Duties included:

Designing and writing a new Induction pack for the EIP for new staff
Dealing with Ministerial and related correspondence for Health and Safety issues for International Educational Visits and Exchanges, learning the skills of writing formal letters.
Devising a strategy for Bilateral Responsibility, meeting several people to outline current trends and developing proposals
Devising a strategy for Evaluation for the EIP, again, meeting several people to identify current practice and gaps, and developing proposals
Working with the British Council and a provider for the Marketing Campaign for Foreign Language Assistants Recruitment – ensuring that contract management is satisfactory and that Department’s financial grant is spent wisely.
Drawing together existing legislation and guidance to develop policy for the Health and Safety of pupils and teachers on International Educational Visits and Exchanges. Reading a lot of existing materials and identifying relevant pieces of information for policy. Meetings with the Child Protection team and the British Council.
Completing the Financial Memorandums for the League for the Exchange of Commonwealth Teachers and the devolved administrations.
December 2002 – November 2003

High Executive Officer, Department of Work and Pensions (Faststream scheme) –
Duties included:

Working with colleagues to ensure the DWP’s argument that a pre start up guide is needed for self employment. Negotiation, meetings and persistence were the three main requirements for this task.
Leading on a cross departmental group to develop a Guide for Government Services to Businesses. Being proactive, looking at background information and persistence again were needed to achieve this task. I also had to chair meetings and stick rigidly to an agenda, making sure input from all members and communicating outputs. The guide has now be subsumed within the new Government website for employers,
Public Sector Review – working for a short period of time with limited background knowledge, liaising with DWP colleagues and making an impact at a meeting.
Getting Ahead – a project from the SoS to investigate residential provision for young people in the UK, learning from the US Job Corps Model. Here I made good progress in acquiring knowledge of the delivery system and met a number of external providers. I strived to gain a good understanding when the project went into details of delivery, and contributed to the development of the final submission to the SoS.
Briefings for SoS and Ministers
Employer Story line for the Labour Market Division’s website – having to co-ordinate several divisions to create one joined up storyline.
One week’s work experience in a Job Centre Plus to familiarise myself with the details of Job Centre Plus’ aims.
Faststream Courses

Parliamentary Questions
Effective Briefing for Ministers
Introduction to Government Finance
Parliament, Government and the Civil Service
Economics and the Government – Making Sense of the British Economy
Brushing Up Your Grammar
Effective Communication

During my time as a PhD student I was also employed as a temporary research assistant to work on other sign language related projects funded by the Nuffield Foundation at the Department, described as follows:

2001/2 – Research assistant – University of Sheffield – Imitation (short term)

The aim of this experiment was to look at the influences of early language exposure on deaf individual participant’s performance on imitation tasks which addressed goal-setting theoretical debate. I had to test 40 deaf children aged between 4 and 8 years old, using complex apparatus and video camera tools.

2001/2 Research Assistant – University of Sheffield – Visual Perception (short term)

For this experiment, I had to test young deaf students on a computer program that was designed to look at how their visual perception may have been determined by early exposure to language.

During the summer period after submitting my thesis, I took up an external research assistant job:

2002 Research Assistant, University College London – Iconicity (short term)

For this experiment I had to test 20 native signing adults on their understanding of specific signs that were iconic via a computer program. I was involved in the design of this experiment and the recruitment of individuals.

1996 Research Assistant, City University, British Sign Language Receptive Skills Test – (short term)

When I was a first year student, I worked for this project to ensure the test was reliable by testing children for their second time. The test-retest reliability score was important to validate this new, widely-used tool.


October 1999-2002

PhD Thesis at University of Sheffield

Title: Theory of Mind and Sibling Relationship[s in Deaf Children
Funded by a fee-waiver; the Wingate Foundation and the Lord Snowdon Award
Supervisors: Prof. Michael Siegal and Dr. Stephen Want
Examiners: Dr. Mark Blades and Prof. Charlie Lewis
Using past research and current debate on the development of a Theory of Mind, I designed a variety of experiments to investigate the importance of early language exposure in two groups of children, namely native and late signers. I also looked into the importance of communication with siblings. This involved a lot of commitment and travelling to reach out to specific children and using specific stimuli that prevented using language modality as a potential barrier itself. This research resulted in two first authored publications.

September 1996-June 1999

BSc (Hons). Psychology, Goldsmith’s College, University of London, Degree class 2(i)


Leadership Development, FPM (in partnership with Children’s Workforce Development Council and Children’s Workforce Network), March 2010

NSPCC Child Protection Awareness Programme, Educare, May 2010

Remote Management, Envision, September 2009

Child Protection Designated Safeguarding Officer course, May 2010

Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, 2006.

Neil O’Connor Award, the British Psychological Society – Developmental Section: A research award in developmental disability, 2002.

Millennium Awards Fellowship, 2002

Federation of Deaf People, Youth Award, 2000

Preparation for Entry to the Outdoor Industry, NCFE, 1999

CACDP (now Signature) British Sign Language Stage 2, June 1999

CACDP (now Signature) Deaf-Blind Communication Stage 1, May 1996

Volunteer Befriending Scheme, 1995

Duke of Edinburgh Awards, Bronze, 1992

Friends for the Young Deaf Courses:
Initiative Training June 1992
Leadership 1 March 1994
Leadership 2 May 1997
Project management, October 1997
Management Training, August 1999


National Centre for Mental Health and Deafness, John Denmark Unit, Bury New Road, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 3BL. April, 1995.

Deaf Child and Family Team, Hightrees, Springfield University Hospital, London, SW17 7DJ. May, 1997.


Respite Carer – to a young deaf boy for the last 5 years under Southwark Family Link Services.

Farm Assistant, Thorpe Park Farm – working as an animal care officer under the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme, learning the skills of animal care, about 20 weekends in 1991. I had to feed the animals and also introduce them to the public, which needed a lot of empathy and tact.

Counsellor, Camp America, 1997 – working with children with emotional problems, some of them were deaf ASL users. I had a high level of responsibility as a General Counsellor and also as the only deaf member of staff fluent in sign language. I learnt ASL very quickly from the children.

Counsellor, Camp America 1998 – working with adults with developmental disabilities, some of them were deaf and ASL users. As with the previous year, I had a lot of responsibility and learnt a lot about mental illness from this experience.

Co-ordinator, Sheffield Befriending Project for Deaf Children 2001- 02. I made sure that deaf children in the local area of Sheffield met up with deaf young role models on a fortnightly basis and developed positive identities.

Co-ordinator, British Deaf Association Youth Exchanges 1995-2002 – see for more details. These exchanges have involved a lot of responsibility, organisation, planning as well as the importance of learning foreign sign languages. I have always communicated well with foreign deaf counterparts who use sign language.

Friends for the Young Deaf – various experiences as a supervisor and leader on numerous projects from 1990 to 2002.


British Deaf Association: Trustee (resigned October 2006)
SignHealth: Trustee (2002-2012)
Royal Association of the Deaf: Trustee (2012-2015)


Woolfe, T., & Smith, P. K. (2001). The self-esteem and cohesion to family members of deaf children in relation to the hearing status of their parents and siblings, Deafness and Education International, 3, 80-96.

Woolfe, T., Want, S., & Siegal, M. (2002). Signposts to development: Theory of mind in deaf children. Child Development, 73, 768-778.

Woolfe, T., Want, S., & Siegal, M. (2003) Siblings, conversation, and theory of mind in deaf native signing children, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 340-347.

Woolfe, T., Young, A. (2007) Deafness, Deaf People and Genetics, Bioethics

Woolfe et al – Ros Herman BSL Vocabulary Test CDI paper


NOWCORD – Northwest Consortium of Researchers in Deafness, University of Salford, December, 2001

Deaf Child and Family Team, Hightrees, South West and St George’s Hospital, London, December, 2001

Healthy Deaf Minds – British Society of Mental Health and Deafness, London, April, 2001

Deafhood – Royal Association of the Deaf and City University, London, July 2001

British Psychological Society – Developmental Conference, Neil O’Connor Award – Keynote address, September 2002

NDCS Annual Conference & Exhibition, Telford International Centre, June 2003

Australia & New Zealand Educators of the Deaf Conference, Rotorua, January 2006- keynote speaker