Meet The Team

Kathryn Grayling

Deputy Director of People & Culture

[email protected]

07970 981 040


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The North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (NENC ICB) are rewriting the rules for corporate culture through their approach to learning and improvement. As the lead for this, Kathryn upholds the vision of the organisation to be 'the best at getting better'. Kathryn has an unwavering passion for fostering a culture of learning, and is dedicated to developing our inclusive learning and improvement community where people from across the NENC system can contribute, develop, and learn together.

Kathryn began her career in the NHS over 30 years ago as a paramedic. More recently Kathryn has worked regionally and nationally as a catalyst for change and has led several programmes to support learning and improvement around key health and care priorities. A key area of interest for Kathryn is staff wellbeing and she has shared her own lived experience and co-authored research to lead improvements in this area.

Kathryn has undertaken postgraduate study in education, public health, and leadership. She is a qualified coach and uses the philosophy of coaching throughout her work to help individuals and organisations to realise their potential.

Karen Kirk

Head of Learning & Improvement

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07771 997 273


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Karen is accountable for developing and delivering our leadership programme offer as well as offering bespoke OD and improvement support to all system partners in health and care. She is passionate about working with communities to improve health outcomes and supports partners to come together to co-design health and care interventions.

She began her career after graduating in the leisure industry as a general manager before moving to the transport industry. She held various senior posts before moving into training, HR and, later, organisation development. She has worked in the NHS for a number of years now.

She is a qualified coach and mediator as well being trained in various psychometric interventions; she has studied organisational design and development at masters level. She is passionate about learning and personal improvement and strives to help create the right conditions for our staff to thrive and be the best they can be.

Karen loves to have fun and tries to inject this into her everyday work.

Ashley Eaton

Learning & Improvement Officer

[email protected]

07899 878 865


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Ashley joined the team in August 2021, and is responsible for establishing and maintaining Boost’s various networks. She also designs and delivers some of the workshops Boost has to offer.

Ashley previously worked for a further education college for over 10 years, and then went on to work as a learning and development business partner at a large care home provider.

She has a first-class BA honours degree in leadership and management. She is also an associate member of CIPD through the achievement of the level 5 CIPD in learning and development. She is also a qualified coach and recently achieved the L7 Leadership Through Transformational Learning module. She is passionate about developing people and helping others to succeed and reach their full potential.

Outside of work, Ashley enjoys spending time with family and friends. She loves the outdoors and enjoys walking her Sussex spaniel, Isla.
Amy Aitken

Amy Aitken

Learning & Improvement Support Officer

[email protected]

01768 639315


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Amy has worked in the NHS since 2013, starting as an administrator and moving into her current role in 2021.

She previously worked for a logistics training provider in course writing, marketing, and tendering roles, and also has experience as a support worker for people with learning disabilities.

Amy has a first-class BSc honours degree in applied psychology. She also qualified as an executive level coach in 2016 and is an MBTI practitioner. She is passionate about lifelong learning and development, and loves seeing those ‘lightbulb moments’ in our sessions.

She has played golf since the age of 7, although a busy family life means she doesn’t get as many rounds in now. She also enjoys yoga and tropical fish keeping.

Amy Duff

Boost Support Administrator

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01768 639320 / 07867 190 415


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Amy joined the NHS in 2016 after relocating back to Carlisle.

She previously worked as a Network Administrator for Durham University, liaising with researchers across the world. Having completed a first-class honours degree in Childhood Development, she qualified as an SEN and has worked in schools for almost 10 years before deciding it was time for a change.

Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family, trying new food, and visiting the Lake District and surrounding areas.

Kimberley Little

Boost Support Assistant

[email protected]

01768 639320


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Kimberley joined the team in 2015 after working in administrative positions in other NHS organisations.

Having completed a degree in events management, Kimberley enjoys using this experience in organising events and training for the Boost team.

Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends and visiting beauty spots in the Lake District.


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