Sean Cox, Head of Development at User Voice

Interview: User Voice Head of Development Sean Cox

Our recently appointed Head of Development reveals a desire to create change and a love of family life

What does your job entail?
My key responsibilities are to oversee all User Voice contracts, monitor quality of delivery and to increase User Voice’s business opportunities – to enable UV to grow.

What attracted you to User Voice?
I have always been a huge fan of service user engagement, coming from a lived experience background. User Voice empowers the service user to help change to happen.

What did you do before coming to UV?
Prior to User Voice I was director of services at Forward Trust (RAPt), I was in this role for around three years; prior to that I was a head of services. I came up through the ranks so to speak, I started as a drug and alcohol worker and worked my way up to director over a 14-year period.

What experience do you bring to your role?
I have lived experience, and professional experience of the criminal justice system. I have managed small and large contracts and I have good connections with HMPPS and NHSE staff.

Which of the User Voice values of authenticity, resilience, democratic, order from chaos and
optimistic best describes you?
If I’m honest they all describe parts of me at different times – the one I feel that describes me the best is resilience, through my recovery and work life this has played a vital part. Without it I would not be where I am today.

Sean Cox, smallWhat have you learned at UV so far?
The importance of working as team, we view all staff as equal and we put the service user at the forefront of everything we do.

What challenge are you looking forward to tackling at UV?
The biggest challenge will be increasing our portfolio in times of tight budgets, for everchanging key personnel within HMPPS.

What’s the best bit about UV?
The best bit for me is working with colleagues that share the same values as me, and a desire to change the system.

Where did you grow up, what was that like?
I grow up in the Garden of Eden, in sunny Kent by the seaside – growing up was good fun, I had great family around me who encouraged me to be independent. I did the normal paper round and Saturday jobs, school was not my strong point, but I did enjoy sports.

What are your interests?
I am very much a family man, married with four kids. I do like to watch sport and play golf when I get the time. I am now that person who cuts the grass on a Sunday afternoon, going for bike rides, walking the dog, running (well, jogging at a slow pace) and I do enjoy my food.

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