Gary Smelt

Mid Yorkshire Independent Living Planner

Coming from a family of health and social workers it was inevitable that I would follow the same path eventually. I say eventually as I started off as a budding footballer and apprentice professional at Aston Villa then moving on to Mansfield Town. I had just broken into the reserves at Mansfield Town when due to personal and family reasons I gave up on the game.

I moved into health care in my 20’s and then social care, spending many years working with people with complex mental health issues. Amongst other things I am a qualified cognitive therapist and have also managed vulnerable children, young people and social housing regeneration projects for a number of years. I am a compassionate caring person who passionately believes that no one should judge the potential of an individual. So, I suppose, it was inevitable that my journey should take me into personalisation and the opportunity to enable and allow people to make choices and take control of their lives and how their social and health care should be delivered.

I am married with 16 year old twins, a boy and girl, and my wife has worked in the nursing profession since the age of 15. My hobbies are nurturing my kids, when they allow me into their lives now. Music has always been a passion being an avid collector/hoarder of records for over 40 years. I enjoy trying to keep fit and for years enjoyed long distance running and entering marathons. Now the hips have gone my workout is spent in the gym but the competitive athletic spirit lives on in my children.