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Meet the Sentient Team

Sentient celebrated their 10th anniversary in 2013 and keeps going from strength to strength.  Here is a small piece about each of our key staff.


Martin Bate - Manager / HR Consultant

Martin says he spent his early HR career “in a proper job working in manufacturing” at the same time adding professional qualifications in HR Management and holds a Corporate Member of CIPD.  Spent 15 years in UK, US and European owned engineering / manufacturing businesses at HR Officer and Manager level.  Learned the ropes quickly and was fully involved in all facets of HR Management, Employment Law and Industrial Relations.  Then moved into consultancy management in 1994.  After heading up combined operations for one of the country’s top three HR and H&S Consultancies took the step into self employment setting up Sentient in 2003.  He is still usually the first one in and last one out.  Sees every day as an opportunity to help an employer, learn something new and of course add to the growing client base.

Interesting Fact: Unlike Mandy, Martin has never been on Top of The Pops (see below) but did whistle the National Anthem live, on Swansea Sound radio whilst dodging missiles from his Welsh University mates!!!!

Paul Robertshaw - Solicitor/HR Consultant

Paul is our resident Otley office Employment Law Solicitor, as well as being a HR consultant.  He holds a LLB, LLM and Masters Degree (MA) in Employment Law and Employment Relations.  If your business is faced with an employment law problem, Paul will use his vast experience (more than 20 years) in this area to provide pragmatic advice with reference to the latest legal decisions and developments.  His good understanding of how legislation translates into practical work-place applications sets him apart from most employment lawyers and whether it is dealing with queries on holidays through to negotiating Settlement Agreements or Employment Tribunal handling, you will find Paul a real value to your business.

Interesting Fact:  Paul is a season ticket holder at Bradford City FC and also enjoys live theatre performances.

Graeme Edgar - HR Consultant

Graeme has a BA (Hons) Business Studies degree and is a Corporate Member of CIPD.  Graeme worked as an HR Manager for 20 years in large organisations, public sector and Local Authority organisations before making the move into consultancy work (which he has worked in for 10 years now).  He has the practical knowledge of day to day people management required to help you manage your business.

Interesting Fact: Graeme is a bit of a nomad having lived in Stirling, Hawick, Halifax, Nottingham, Newcastle Upon Tyne, London, Peterborough, Darlington, Ripon, Leeds, and currently Bradford!


Juliette Pickering - Health & Safety Consultant

Juliette holds the NEBOSH diploma and has a degree in Environmental Science. Her ten+ years’ of practical health, safety and environmental experience has been gained within a manufacturing and engineering environment building on her earlier office based responsibilities. Areas of special interest include technical aspects (e.g. Noise Survey work, Fire and DSEAR) which augment her clear understanding of process and machine based safety matters.

Interesting Fact: When letting her hair down Juliette likes touring the country in her motor home with her partner and their three boys and two dogs.

Andrew Foley - Food Safety and Health & Safety Consultant

Andrew is a Chartered Environmental Health practitioner, and worked for a Local Authority for 11 years specialising in food and workplace safety. He investigated a number of serious food incidents and occupational accidents, involving prosecution in the Crown Court.  He has extensive experience of high risk food manufacture and now helps clients comply with food and safety law including, conducting HACCP studies, shelf-life evaluation, risk assessments, Health and Safety Policy systems and staff training.  Andrew specialises in defending allegations of food poisoning, prosecution, attending PACE interviews, witness statements and questioning techniques. He can also carry out privileged internal audits and report, always with reputation protection in mind.

Interesting fact: Andrew makes his own soft blue cow's milk cheese to a professional standard. He is also a keen cook and lifelong foodie. This has taken him to food markets and Michelin starred restaurants all over the world.

Russell Myers - Health & Safety Consultant

Russell is professionally qualified in Environmental Health and holding IOSH Chartered Membership he specialises in health and safety having worked as an enforcement officer in an earlier life.  His special focus is on manufacturing but with a broad background of food and hospitality behind him means he can provide support to most employer sectors.  Considers himself a gamekeeper turned poacher.

Interesting Fact:  Russell once cycled from Lands End to John O’ Groats and raised a chunk of sponsorship money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Stephen Rhodes - Senior Health & Safety & Environmental Health Consultant
Steve is a Fellow of the CIEH and with Chartered Membership of IOSH is a vastly experienced environmental health officer and safety specialist who has run his own consultancy specialising in helping businesses meet their responsibilities in respect of health and safety and food safety. Now part of Sentient his main area of expertise is in working with employers and managers on assessing their current level of performance, recommending where improvements can be made, developing revised or new systems to provide due diligence systems and assisting with planning and implementing change. Steve has also acted as Expert Witness in relevant cases.

Interesting Fact: Steve has very varied sporting and outdoor interests both spectating and participating in as many different activities as he can muster.  If we ever let him totally retire he hopes to further reduce his golf handicap.

Lindsey Quinn - Environmental Health & Health and Safety Consultant

Lindsey was an Environmental Health Officer and Senior Manager for 33 years before joining Sentient as a Food Safety & Health & Safety Consultant.  Extremely strong in Hospitality and food business sectors and another of our gamekeeper turned poacher brigade.

Interesting Fact: Lindsey was once a very keen runner, running several times a week and managed to complete the London Marathon.  She no longer has the ‘joints’ or the energy to run but she does play table tennis every week and enjoys long walks with her rescue dog Ben.


Catherine Nichols - Office Administrator / Accounts / PA

Catherine holds a professional CIPD qualification and keeps tabs on Martin (which he says is no mean feat) and also the Safety Team (an even bigger feat).  She also manages the day-to-day accounts and sales processes.  Clients will soon get used to Catherine making contact to ensure all safety visits are planned and  booked in.  Oh, and if you are late at paying she will chase you too!  

Interesting Fact: Catherine has a daughter and enjoys hill walking and yoga.  She openly admits to recently attending a One Direction concert and is now totally hooked!

Mandy Rafferty - Office / Training Administrator 

Mandy has a degree in Business Management  and the chances are if you call into the office, Mandy will be the first person you speak to.  Mandy also deals with our website, email updates and all the training enquiries that come into the office and ensures that all our Health & Safety and HR Consultants finished documentation is up to scratch and off to clients on time.

Interesting Fact:  Mandy has 6 children and has recently married her partner of 26 years. Mandy is an avid music fan having seen plenty of bands in concert including Adam Ant, The Offspring, Muse & Plan B (although not One Direction) and once stood next to Jamie Theakston on an episode of Top of the Pops.  She is hoping to get into the Guinness Book of Records by never letting the kettle get cold! 

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