About Us

The Care Association Alliance was created from a discussion between a few like-minded local Care Association leaders back in 2010. There was no Forum at that time particularly for SME providers and so the Alliance was established as a means for local Care Associations to exchange best practice based on their experiences as well as being a useful vehicle to deliver front line smaller provider issues direct to the central decision makers.


Attendance at meetings has grown over time and agendas for each meeting are evenly split between sharing best practice and seeking discussions with the leading decision makes in social care. Chairs and Chief Executives travel great distances to attend the meeting reinforcing the value of the Alliance’s activities.

Our aim is to support local care associations to grow and develop so they can play a key part in their local health and social care systems and enable the voice of the care providers to be heard.

Key Staff

Erica Lockhart - Co-Chair

Erica has been Chief Executive to SCA Ltd since September 2005. Her career in Social Care spans over 35 years covering a wide range of roles. From 2002 Erica was Director of the Care Sector Development Project, with Surrey Learning and Skills Council, and for 10 years ran a Social Care consultancy and training business as part of Surrey County Council. Erica has held many Senior Management positions in Social Services in Surrey, Cleveland and Stockport including managing Care Homes, Home Care and also developing older people and mental health services. Erica trained as a social worker in Newcastle and worked in Children’s services, Adoption and Fostering, Safeguarding and Older People and Disability services in the early part of her career, in both hospitals and local offices – Erica was very much the “generic” social worker and has developed a very wide range of expertise over those years and also seen many changes in the world of Social Care. Erica has built up excellent partnerships and networks not only in Surrey but across the South East and Nationally. She is a member of the National Market Development Forum on the Think Local Act Personal Working group at national level. Erica currently co-chairs and is instrumental in developing a National group of “local” care associations to share intelligence and support each other. In 2011 Erica was awarded South East Region “Outstanding Contribution to Social Care Award” and went on to be recognised nationally at the Great British Care Awards in 2012. Erica brings a passion and energy to her work and prides herself on “making a difference” – in her current role to support our Social Care providers in Surrey and beyond.

Melanie Weatherley - Co-Chair

Melanie co-founded Walnut Care in 2002. Walnut Care delivers domiciliary care for adults across Lincolnshire. The company is one of Lincolnshire County Council’s lead providers of adult home care in the county and employs over 200 people. Since 2002, Melanie has served as the chief executive of the company. Walnut Care is a family run, independent business and bases its central operation in Langrick, just outside of Boston.
As a passionate advocate for the care industry,Melanie is the Chair of the Lincolnshire Care Association.Before taking up this position in July 2016, Melanie previously served as the Vice Chair of the same association for eight years, since 2008. The aim of the organisation is to represent all types of care providers across the county. Through these roles, Melanie has become a respected commentator on care and health issues within Lincolnshire and more widely in the UK. Melanie has made appearances on a variety of TV and radio stations. Melanie is also proud to serve as a fellow at skillsforcare – a national body which supports care providers in developing, maintaining and retaining their workforce. As the CEO of a small and medium-sized care provider,she is determined to speak up for the small care providers across the country,many of which Melanie believes are delivering excellent standards of care,under challenging circumstances. Melanie aims to use her platform, on a local and national level, to ensure their voices are heard

Our Sponsors

Care Association Alliance, Registered Office: James House, Emlyn Lane, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 8BZ, Registered Number: 9893184 by PLMR