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Mindful Employer

Leeds Mindful Employer Network presents….

Wellbeing @ Work 2021: COVID-19 & Beyond

15-19 MARCH 21

Open to all local employers, staff and volunteers, we held a week of FREE digital events to support wellbeing at work. To catch up with all the sessions, please click the blue button.

Mindful Employer Meeting

Join us and our fantastic range of speakers to explore

  • how to manage the impact of COVID-19 on workplace mental health
  • how to maintain mentally healthy workplaces in an increasingly uncertain environment
  • how to use learning from the pandemic to advance workplace wellbeing in the future

Leeds Mindful Employer Network welcomes all employers, their staff and volunteers from across Leeds and West Yorkshire who are interested in improving mental health at work. Please join the network for free here if you aren’t already a member. 

Leeds Mind
Mindful Employer
Leeds City Council

Wellbeing @ Work 2021: COVID-19 & Beyond


Please use the tabs to see each day’s sessions.

Setting the Scene: COVID-19, Work and Wellbeing

Host for the day: Helen Kemp, Chief Executive, Leeds Mind


Welcome and introduction to the week ahead

10:30am – 11:45am

COVID-19, employment and mental health: an unequal landscape

Learn about the relationship between COVID-19, employment and mental health from national and local perspectives, with a focus on the inequalities that the pandemic has exposed and exacerbated. With speakers including:

  • Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing, Mind
  • Pia Bruhn, Parminder Grewal and Chris Ingham, Leeds City Council Public Health
  • Emily Turner, Women’s Lives Leeds Voices Coordinator, Leeds Women’s Aid

12pm – 12:45pm

Sounds of lockdown: personal reflections

Space2 collaborating with local poet, Michelle Scally Clarke will provide a valuable opportunity for personal reflection and creative expression, highlighting the important role of the arts in helping us to re-connect, recover and re-build our resilience for the future.

Don’t miss this session for an introduction to our postcard project – a collaborative activity to capture our learning and experiences from the week.

1:30pm – 2:45pm

Supporting staff mental health through a pandemic

Join our panel of speakers to discuss the experiences of employers in supporting staff mental health during the pandemic.

With speakers including:

  • Mindful Employer Network members
  • Carole Sayer, Senior Adviser/Conciliator, Acas
  • Mark Poole, Mindful Employer Lead, Devon NHS Trust

3:00pm – 4:00pm

Networking session

Your opportunity to meet others doing a similar role to yourself: join an informal session to share experiences, challenges and ideas.

Leadership, management and communication: keeping people well and with you through challenging times

Host for the day: Catherine Ward, Health Improvement Principal, Public Mental Health Lead, Leeds City Council

10.00am – 11.30am

Leadership and communication: Lessons from 2020

Join our panel of local leaders as they share their personal reflections from 2020: the challenges, the learning and the long-term implications for leadership.

With speakers including:

  • Susan Gee, Group Manager of Occupational Health, Yorkshire Water
  • Adam Ogilvie, Chief Executive, Meanwood Valley Urban Farm
  • Lisa Rowlinson-Brown, People Director, Symingtons
  • Emma Jaye, HR Services Manager, Leeds City Council
  • Jodie Hill, Founder and Managing Partner, Thrive Law
  • Christian Verity, Operations Manager, Colas

11:45am – 12:45pm

Leading through COVID and beyond: Who cares wins

A workshop with Juliette Alban-Metcalfe, Chief Executive, Real World Group

Organisations have been forced to transform rapidly over the last year, on top of what was already an ever-changing global environment. This has caused significant additional stress for employees who were already under huge pressure in most sectors. Looking forward, we cannot expect things to become calm and stable, which means that successful leadership now more than ever rests upon ensuring that people are ready and able to embrace change. To achieve this, leaders need to focus as much on individuals as they do on strategy and operations, and engage in key behaviours that will help their teams stay well and resilient.

This session will cover:

  • How to lead people effectively over coming months and years
  • Reflection by participants on the extent to which their current leadership approach is likely to serve them well and how they might adapt it
  • Suggestions for further reflection after the event.

1:30pm – 2:30pm

Interactive workshops

These sessions are capped to allow maximum participation for attendees. Please let us know if you can no longer attend the session(s) you book so that your place can be offered to someone else.

Session 1: Being an authentic leader with Emma Baylin, Director at Shared Harmonies CIC

Join this session to learn about:

  • Leading through challenging situations
  • Feeling the fear – authentic leadership
  • Working in ‘flow’ state
  • Unifying vision and voice

Please note that numbers at this session are capped to enable maximum participation and interaction between attendees.  Please click the button below to reserve your place via EventBrite.

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Session 2: When home isn’t a safe place – taking an organisational approach to domestic abuse and violence with Mell Handley, PARS Support Worker, Behind Closed Doors

Join this interactive workshop to explore:

  • the potential impact on domestic violence and abuse (DVA) on your employees and your teams
  • some of the signs of DVA and how to approach someone you may be concerned about
  • the specialist services that can help and how to signpost people confidently
  • how to embed an organisation-wide approach to tackling DVA

Please note that numbers at this session are capped to enable maximum participation and interaction between attendees. Please reserve your spot for this specific session via the button below (opens EventBrite).

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Session 3: Managing conflict to enhance wellbeing with Sue Alderson and Sharon Klein, Directors at Azure Consulting.

Join this interactive workshop to gain an understanding of:

  • The link between conflict and wellbeing in the workplace
  • How to create the conditions to prevent conflict from arising
  • How people react to conflict and how to work with different conflict-handling styles
  • Practical tools and techniques to resolve workplace conflict

Please note that numbers at this session are capped to enable maximum participation and interaction between attendees. Please reserve your spot for this specific session by clicking the button below (opens EventBrite).

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3:00pm – 4:00pm

Interactive workshops

Session 1: The benefits of creative team building with Anna Ridley, Community Arts Coordinator, Inkwell Arts

Creative Team Building can be extremely effective in promoting employee happiness, retention and productivity. Now, more than ever, it is so important to bring our teams together and to promote healthy wellbeing and positive communication around our mental health. Team building exercises don’t have to be expensive or time-consuming and can be offered remotely or face-to-face.

  • Discover how creative team building activities can help productivity and improve overall staff wellbeing and happiness.
  • Take part in a short creative exercise as an example of what you can do with your teams.

Please note that numbers at this session are capped to enable maximum participation and interaction between attendees. Please reserve your space via the button below (opens EventBrite)

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Session 2: Mindfulness for leaders and managers with Laura Smith and Uddyotani Doherty, Leeds Mindfulness Cooperative

Join this session to practice and understand a number of ways in which mindfulness can work to support resilience and kindness in the workplace, thinking about the particular pressures experienced by people in leadership positions

Please note that numbers at this session are capped to enable maximum participation and interaction between attendees. Reserve your spot for this specific session via the button below (opens EventBrite)

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Session 3: Getting started with a wellbeing strategy – introduction to the Mindful Employer Ten Steps Toolkit with Laura McCullagh, Leeds Mindful Employer Coordinator

This workshop is aimed at smaller organisations and those new to wellbeing at work.

Feel confident making a start on your wellbeing strategy and leave with practical steps and resources to help you along the way.

Please note that numbers at this session are capped to enable maximum participation and interaction between attendees. To reserve your spot for this specific session, please use the button below (opens EventBrite)

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Building a healthy culture for the post-COVID workplace

Host for the day: Alison Lowe, Chief Executive, Touchstone

10.00am – 11.30am

Attracting and retaining a diverse workforce

Our host for the day, Alison Lowe, will talk us through Touchstone’s journey to becoming one of the most diverse and inclusive employers in the UK today, explaining the numerous wellbeing benefits experienced by her staff.

Following Alison’s talk our panel will discuss the experiences of a range of groups that are often underrepresented within our workforces. They will offer practical tips to employers on how to attract and retain the best staff.

Our speakers include:

11:45am – 12:45pm

Building a culture of psychological safety for all

Join our panel to discuss the psychological impacts of exclusion, discrimination, racism and bullying within the workplace. Gain practical tips on how to build and embed a positive culture where all staff feel safe, happy, healthy and productive.

Chair: Alison Lowe, Chief Executive, Touchstone

  • Lyla Asif, mental health and disability campaigner and Anti-Stigma Champion, Touchstone
  • Saorsa-Amatheia Tweedale, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Job Centre Plus
  • Luke Rosser, Business Psychologist
  • Nicki Eyre, Director, Conduct Change

1:30pm – 2:45pm

Interactive workshops

Session 1: Rethinking flexibility and work-life balance

COVID-19 has forced many of us to reassess the relationship between our work and personal lives. Join this session to explore the opportunity to rethink flexibility and work-life balance in order to create workplace cultures that are truly inclusive, healthy and as productive as possible.

This session will feature three unique perspectives from:

  • Madlen Sayar, Working Carers Coordinator, Carers Leeds
  • Katie Gleghorn, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, Charlotte Sweeney Associates
  • Robert Kilner, Workers’ Lunchtime

Please note that numbers at this session are capped to enable maximum participation and interaction between attendees. To secure your spot for this session, please use the button below (opens EventBrite)

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Session 2:  Making conversations about mental health the norm: Implementing Wellness Action Plans

Join Leigh Staunton and Astrid Copeland, Job Retention Specialists at Leeds Mind’s Workplace Leeds to explore how Wellness Action Plans can be used as an important tool to:

  • help employers take a positive approach to supporting the wellbeing of their staff
  • help make conversations about wellbeing the norm, leading to improved awareness and reduced stigma around mental health at work

Discuss practical tips for how to implement Wellness Action Plans and use them as the basis for effective conversations about wellbeing in a 1:1 context.

Please note that numbers at this session are capped to enable maximum participation and interaction between attendees. To reserve your spot for this session, please use the button below (opens EventBrite)

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Session 3: Tackling stigma through storytelling with This is Me Yorkshire

This is Me Yorkshire is a campaign to end mental health stigma within Yorkshire workplaces.  Join Jodie Hill, This Is Me Yorkshire’s Chair to:

  • Learn more about this is Me and how to get involved
  • Discover the power of storytelling to tackle stigma
  • Take away practical storytelling tips
  • Discuss how to implement This is Me within your business

Please note that numbers at this session are capped to enable maximum participation and interaction between attendees. To save your spot on this session, please use the button below (opens EventBrite)

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3:00pm – 4:00pm

Interactive workshops

Session 1: Using technology to support inclusion and wellbeing with Kate Dean, Director, Enable Disability and Inclusion

‘Are you sitting comfortably?’

What does your home office look like? Which room do you use? What impact has this had on the rest of the house? How have your working hours changed over the last year? Are you more or less productive now than when you were based in an office?

A year after dining tables and breakfast bars became makeshift offices, and the 9-5 had to become more flexible, we will reflect on what we have learned and how our homes and lives have evolved to shape a new workspace. This session will explore how digital and remote working has increased inclusion for team members with disabilities and long-term conditions, and the opportunity this presents to redefine our working methods to support wellbeing and productivity for all.

This interactive session will help you to:

  • identify any signs of discomfort when working that may be impacting on your concentration or productivity;
  • understand how our new workspaces encourage inclusion;
  • learn about free and readily available tools and assistive technologies;
  • implement quick wins that will enable us all to work to our strengths and support our wellbeing.

Please note that numbers at this session are capped to enable maximum participation and interaction between attendees. To reserve your spot for this session, please use the button below (opens EventBrite)

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Session 2: Trans-equality in the workplace delivered by Saorsa-Amatheia Tweedale, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Job Centre Plus

Trans people regularly experience some of the worst forms of stigma and discrimination within UK workplaces. Join this workshop to explore:

  • attitudes towards the employment of trans people
  • the specific barriers faced by trans people in the workplace
  • how to create a trans-inclusive environment through policy and good practice

Please note that numbers at this session are capped to enable maximum participation and interaction between attendees. To reserve your spot for this session, please use the button below (opens EventBrite)

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Session 3: How to diversify your workforce – making a start with Business Psychologist, Luke Rosser.

More details to follow.

Please note that numbers at this session are capped to enable maximum participation and interaction between attendees. To book your spot on this session, please use the button below.

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Support and resilience for all

Host for the day: John Bradfield, Peer Support Lead, West Yorkshire Police

10:00am – 11:30am

Peer support at work: doing it well

Our host, John Bradfield will share his experience of leading peer support within West Yorkshire Police: his learning over the years and the impact this has had.

Our speakers will add further discussion on the value of peer support from a range of perspectives and employment contexts.

Leave this session with clear tips for how to start and run peer support initiatives within your own workplace and some great examples of good practice to refer to.

Our speakers at this session include:

  • Helen Saunders, healthy Minds, Leeds City Council
  • Lucy Chaplin, Senior Communications Officer, Leeds Trinity University
  • Roz Doherty, Peer Support Team Leader, Leeds Mind
  • Andrea Wood (MSc Public Health)

11:45am – 12:45pm

Supporting people through periods of change and uncertainty

Join this interactive masterclass delivered by Rob Baker, Tailored Thinking

Overview: Building on ideas and research from the field of Positive Psychology, the session will provide actionable evidence-based ideas about how to manage yourself, and your colleagues, through periods of uncertainty and change.

The session will cover:

  • Our brain’s response to uncertainty and change
  • The benefits of being proactive in how to frame your day and approach your work
  • What we know about wellbeing and boosting our buoyancy and resilience from an evidence perspective
  • ctionable, research-informed ideas and activities to boost wellbeing & resilience;
  • setting positive goals individually and with your teams.

1:30pm – 2:30pm

Interactive workshops

Session 1: Supporting people with isolation and loneliness

This session will explore how we can support people experiencing isolation and loneliness, including practical suggestions for how people can expand their social networks and seek opportunities to build meaningful relationships.

This session will feature perspectives from:

Please note that numbers at this session are capped to enable maximum participation and interaction between attendees. To book your spot for this session, please use the button below (opens EventBrite)

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Session 2: The role of the employer in preventing suicide

Join this session to hear three unique perspectives on how employers can help to prevent suicide among their workforce.

Our speakers for this session include:

  • Steve Phillip, Founder, The Jordan Legacy
  • Surinder Rall, Team Leader, Leeds and West Yorkshire Suicide Bereavement Service
  • Damian Dawtry, Men’s Health Unlocked Coordinator, Forum Central

Please note that numbers at this session are capped to enable maximum participation and interaction between attendees. To book you spot for this session, please use the button below (opens EventBrite)

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3:00pm – 4:00pm

Interactive workshops

Session 1: Managing Stress – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for workplace wellbeing delivered by Vanessa Suttill and Jenny Walley, Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service

This will be an informational workshop, unpicking what stress is (spoiler: it can mean a whole range of things, and is really normal!) and how Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can be used for self-help to better manage stress and mental wellbeing at work. The session will cover:

  • What is stress?
  • What is CBT and how you can use to when working in the face of a pandemic
  • Managing the physical symptoms of stress
  • Sleep
  • How stress effects the way we act
  • The impact of stress on the way we think and how to manage this
  • Tips for working from home – how to improve mental wellbeing and resilience
  • Signposting to useful resources in Leeds
  • What we do in the Leeds Mental Wellbeing service and the referral process

Please note that numbers at this session are capped to enable maximum participation and interaction between attendees. To reserve your spot for this session, please use the button below (opens EventBrite)

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Session 2: Supporting people with grief and loss delivered by Leeds Bereavement Forum

This interactive workshop will cover:

  • The impact of COVID-19 and lockdown on bereavement
  • A brief introduction to some models & theories of bereavement
  • Practical tips on speaking to colleagues/staff about bereavement
  • Where to find further information on bereavement in the workplace
  • Signposting to specialist bereavement support

Please note that numbers at this session are capped to enable maximum participation and interaction between attendees. To reserve your spot for this session, please use the button below (opens EventBrite)

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Session 3:Building personal resilience delivered by Jay Gadhia, Leeds Mind

This practical workshop will cover:

  • What do we mean by resilience?
  • The characteristics of a resilient person
  • 10 ways to help build resilience – a practical guide

Please note that numbers at this session are capped to enable maximum participation and interaction between attendees. To book your spot for this session, please use the button below (opens EventBrite)

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Local services and reflections, priorities and next steps

Host for the morning: Karen Fenton, Operations Manager, Volition, Forum Central

10:00am – 11.15am

Confident signposting: introduction to local services and resources

Knowing when and how to signpost colleagues to external resources and specialist support is a crucial element of promoting positive wellbeing and preventing poor mental health.

Join this session to hear from some of our key local services as they discuss:

  • the signs that might indicate when someone is struggling
  • how to approach conversations and the questions you could ask
  • local services that can help
  • how to signpost and refer people to support

Local services include:

  • MindWell
  • Behind Closed Doors
  • Moneybuddies
  • The Market Place
  • Others to be announced!

11:30am – 12:30pm

Reflections, priorities and next steps

At our closing event, local poet, Michelle Scally Clarke will share a creative response to her reflections from throughout the week.

Our speakers will follow with their thoughts on priorities and next steps for the months and years ahead:

  • The vital role employers can play in our collective recovery from COVID-19
  • How we can ensure that COVID-19 leaves a positive legacy for mental health at work
  • What our priorities need to be when creating mentally healthy workplaces for the future

Our speakers include:

Wellbeing @ Work 2021: COVID-19 & Beyond

Speaker profiles

Here is a list of all our speakers. These are linked directly from the programme too. Once you click a speaker and have read their bio, if you just click ‘back’ on your browser, it will jump back to where you were in the programme.

Helen Kemp – Chief Executive, Leeds Mind

Helen has been Chief Executive of Leeds Mind since 2014 and is also a trustee of other local charities, a governor at LYPFT and she is sits on the Retail Board and Network Committee at National Mind. Prior to this Helen was Finance Director at St Gemma’s Hospice for a number of years and before this held a number a of senior finance positions in the private sector.

Helen is committed to improving mental health in the work place and reducing the stigma attached to having conversations around your own mental health. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, following Leeds United and walking in the Yorkshire Dales to look after her own wellbeing.

Karen Fenton – Operations Manager, Volition, Forum Central

Karen Fenton is Operations Manager For Volition-Leeds, Forum Central, a network of health and social care third sector organisations in Leeds delivered in partnership with Leeds Older People’s Forum. Volition-Leeds has almost 300 member organisations, and its mission is to be the collective voice of the sector in Leeds. It promotes and supports partnerships working across the city and provides information for and about the sector.

Along with MHabitat it jointly host Mindwell Leeds, the mental health website for people in Leeds. MindWell provides quick and easy access to up-to-date information for all adults in Leeds, including individuals, carers, GPs, employers and other professionals.

Laura McCullagh – Mindful Employer Leeds Coordinator

Laura brings over 15 years’ experience managing and delivering voluntary sector services, with skills as a facilitator, trainer and researcher. Her approach is informed by knowledge of social and cultural psychology. Laura is dedicated to helping create the positive cultures, progressive policies and sustainable practices needed to create genuinely healthy workplaces and has particular interests in diversity and inclusion, gender equality, flexible working and stigma and discrimination. Laura believes in collaboration as a default and she loves bringing people together to enable shared learning and peer support.

Laura is the coordinator for the Leeds Mindful Employer network, a forum for sharing good practice, accessing expertise and developing networks that support positive approaches to mental health at work.

Carole Sayer – Acas

Acas is an independent public body that receives funding from the government. We provide free and impartial advice to employers, employees and their representatives on: employment rights, best practice and policies and resolving workplace conflict.

When things go wrong, we help to resolve workplace disputes between employers and employees.

Carole Sayer, is a senior adviser/conciliator for the Yorkshire and Humber region. Carole is an Associate member of CIPD and a member of the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning. Carole is the lead adviser in the region on mental health liaising with businesses to promote wellbeing and support for mental health in organisations.

Emily Turner – Women’s Lives Leeds

Emily Turner is the Voices Co-ordinator for Women’s Lives Leeds, co-ordinating a movement for Leeds to become the 1st UK Women Friendly City. The movement aims to hear the voices of women and girls in the city, through the hubs, surveys, and focus groups, to support women friendly activities, campaigns and events, and to engage with key decision makers, Ambassadors, Allies and Pledge Makers. This forms the basis to implement lasting change, and make Leeds safer, healthier, more fulfilling and equal for women.

Emma Mamo – Mind

Emma is currently Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind. Emma joined Mind in 2007 and, since 2010, has led Mind’s campaigning for mentally healthy workplaces – playing a pivotal role in thought leadership to position mental health in the workplace as a key priority for employers and Government.

Emma has led culture change through engagement with employers, health and safety professionals, HR audiences and Government on mental health in the workplace and back-to-work support for people with mental health problems. She also supports networks of employers and stakeholders to share best practice and develop business-to-business peer support.

Emma’s prior role at Mind was as Policy and Campaigns Manager of the Social Inclusion and Rights team, leading on promoting social inclusion and upholding the human rights of people with mental health problems across the following areas: employment; benefits and welfare reform; debt and poverty; access to the criminal justice system; and equality and discrimination law. During this time, Emma led Mind’s successful national campaigns ‘Taking care of business: mental health at work’ and ‘In the red: debt and mental health’, both achieving awards and recognition for impact and innovation.

Emma has worked in the disability sector since 2005 and previously worked for Mencap, the learning disability charity.

Mark Poole – Lead, Mindful Employer

Joining MINDFUL EMPLOYER as the initiative’s first dedicated lead, Mark has over eight years of experience working in mental health services; ranging from treating patients within clinical settings, to managing voluntary sector services and mental health consultancy.

It is our mission at MINDFUL EMPLOYER to provide UK employers with easy access to the information and support necessary for them to take a lead in matters of workplace mental health and wellbeing. Blending the best in clinical and workplace practice, we provide a specialist approach to suit the needs of employers, offering services including the Charter for Employers Positive about Mental Health, alongside mental health and resilience training.

Michelle Scally Clarke – poet and writer

Michelle Scally Clarke is a poet and writer from Leeds and is a leading voice within the contemporary U.K poetry space. Her work ranges from drama, creative writing, and poetry to music and performance, and much of her work focuses on the outlet of art as a source of empowerment for the individual, in turn creating a connection for people to the wider society and focusing on our shared emotions and experiences. She has worked with renowned poets including Benjamin Zephaniah, Brian Patten and Simon Armitage.

She has worked alongside Space2 on a range of projects. These have included our 2016 performance and workshop focusing on mental health ‘Suitcase’, our 2018 cross-cultural play ‘Jeans, Whose Genes?’ and delivery of Clear Out Your Closet poetry sessions.  Michelle now supports the peer-led Clear Out Your Closet poetry group and Care Collective, initiated by former participants, focusing on writing for wellbeing.  Michelle Pamphlet ‘unsung words’ is a guide to writing for wellbeing. Through Covid it has distributed throughout the city and showcased within Space2’s virtual gallery space, ‘Unlocked: Inspiration from Isolation’.

Parminder Grewal – Leeds Public Health

I have been working as a Health Improvement Specialist for around 17 years and spent most of my time in Public Health managing peer to peer health promotion initiatives aimed at improving the health and wellbeing status of those living in the most deprived areas of Leeds who have the poorest health outcomes. I have more recently taken up a role to focus on the equality and diversity agenda, to help support the development of work that meets the needs of vulnerable, diverse and disadvantaged groups and encourage a culture of inclusion, wellbeing and diversity. We must all strive to embed this approach in all that we do and the way that we do it to create a fairer society, where everyone has an equal opportunity to fulfil their potential.

Emma Jaye – Leeds City Council

Emma Jaye, HR Service Manager at Leeds City Council leads on the internal staff wellbeing offer. With a passion for all things wellbeing and personal development, she loves to help people overcome personal and professional challenges.  

Pia Bruhn – Leeds Public Health

I have worked in Public Health for over 20 years, with much of that time spent focusing on health inequalities and vulnerable groups. My current role is the lead for public health workforce development, including the Health and Wellbeing Training Programme, Making Every Contact Count (MECC), the Public Health ‘Want to Know More About’ sessions and the Public Health Resource Centre. I am passionate about addressing health inequalities and believe that as employers and employees we have a critical role to play.

Adam Ogilvie – CEO, Meanwood Valley Urban Farm

Adam Ogilvie has been CEO at Meanwood Valley Urban Farm in Leeds since May 2019. Prior to that he was an elected Councillor on Leeds City Council for 19 years and was Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and before that Cabinet Member for Leisure and Skills. He has also managed regeneration programmes in West Yorkshire and London. Pastimes include hiking up mountains and gin (though generally not at the same time!)

Astrid Copeland – Job Retention Specialist at WorkPlace Leeds

Astrid has been a Job Retention Specialist since 2014 and has worked in the field of mental health for 20 years.  She is a qualified, Experienced trainer and has also worked as an Advocate for looked after young people and a Coordinator of employment and learning opportunities for people affected by homelessness.

Leigh Staunton – Job Retention Specialist at WorkPlace Leeds

A qualified Workplace Mediator, Leigh has worked as Job Retention Specialist for Leeds Mind since March 2019.  Prior to that, Leigh worked in Welfare to Work for 10 years, supporting long term unemployed sickness benefit claimants into work and delivering training to staff.  A qualified ESOL teacher, Leigh also designed and delivered employability based English language training to jobseekers with English as a second language in London.

Chris Ingham – Leeds Public Health

I have worked as the Head of Health, Safety and Wellbeing for Leeds City Council for over 15 years and prior to that in a similar role for Bolton Council. The first 10 years of my career was spent working as an Environmental Health Officer which started my interest in health inequalities – working on diverse topics such as Food Poverty, Iron Deficiency Anaemia, poor housing conditions and infectious disease control.

At Leeds I founded the Healthy Minds peer support network (which was subsequently taken forward and built on by incredible colleagues) and led the council’s drive to become a Mindful Employer.

Tom Riordan – Chief Executive, Leeds City Council

Tom has been Chief Executive of Leeds City Council since 2010 and during this time has overseen £300m of efficiencies across the organisation and a significant transformation of the city, which is halfway through a £10bn investment pipeline. Plans are set to double the size and economic impact of the city centre through regeneration of the South Bank, one of the largest city centre regeneration and growth initiatives in Europe. Tom’s top priority is for the city’s growth to be inclusive with a key ambition of reducing health inequalities and improving the health of the poorest the fastest.

In 2018, Tom led the regional bid that secured the new Channel 4 headquarters in Leeds bringing over 300 new jobs and unlocking growth in Yorkshire and the North East. Tom is leading the city’s participation in the Boston MIT global programme which will drive innovation and enterprise across the region, and played a key role in securing and running the 2014 Grand Depart of the Tour de France in Yorkshire.

Tom has come full-circle from a North Yorkshire state education, via Oxford University, a Civil Service fast-stream career in international environmental policy and then leading the Regional Development Agency Yorkshire Forward.

Leeds City Council won the MJ’s Council of the Year award in 2016 and was named Digital Council of the Year in the 2019 Digital Leaders 100 awards. For his commitment to the region, Tom was awarded Yorkshire Man of the Year 2017 and most recently CBE for services to local government in the 2020 New Year’s Honours. He is also a trustee on the Centre for Cities Board, and the Council’s mental health champion.

Tom is a Trustee of the Centre for Cities, chairs the Leeds Academic Health Partnership and has held various roles promoting local and central government engagement, including devising the local COVID contain framework during the pandemic.

Anna Ridley – Inkwell Arts, Leeds Mind

Inkwell Arts is a safe, creative art space in Leeds, enriching lives through creativity and promoting positive mental health. Creativity can play a significant role in helping people recover and maintain a robust mental health. We all benefit from a healthy wellbeing and we believe creative activity provides a powerful tool in helping us do this.

The course facilitator, Anna Ridley, works at Inkwell as Community Arts Coordinator and has a history within the mental health, charity and care sectors. Anna graduated with a Fine Art degree in 2013 and has worked for Leeds Mind for over two years.

Creative Team Building can be extremely effective in promoting employee happiness, retention and productivity. Now, more than ever, it is so important to bring our teams together and to promote healthy wellbeing and positive communication around our mental health. Team building exercises don’t have to be expensive or time-consuming and can be offered remotely or face-to-face.

Emma Baylin – Director at Shared Harmonies CIC

Emma took on her first role as a volunteer at age 14 and now has approaching 30 years’ experience of facilitation and delivering training

Emma is a highly experienced trainer delivering on a range of topics including impact measurement and partnership working. She is also a highly recognised facilitator, working on the development and delivery of a number of national programmes for clients including NHS England / Improvement as well as bespoke programmes for individual clients.

A key part of Emma’s work is helping organisations or systems to identify barriers and enablers to complex challenges and support the creation of action plans to implement solutions. She likes to enable participants to view things through a different experiential lens, apply learning to their own practice and develop clear development actions.

Emma has worked with employees from some of the UK’s leading companies including Nissan, Hermes, Royal Canin, Pinsent Masons, PwC and Manchester Metropolitan University

Emma’s main passions are the power of human connection, improving health & wellbeing and singing.        She also delivers wellbeing programmes for participants affected by health & wellbeing conditions including COPD, poor mental health, cancer, Parkinsons and dementia

Uddyotani Doherty and Laura Smith – Members and BAMBA-registered trainers at Leeds Mindfulness Co-operative

Uddyotani Doherty and Laura Smith are members of the Leeds Mindfulness Cooperative, both experienced BAMBA registered trainers.

Leeds Mindfulness Cooperative exists to deliver a creative program of mindfulness courses and events which are affordable and open to all. We have been delivering Breathworks Mindfulness for Health and Mindfulness for Stress courses for over 10 years (previously as Leeds Breathworks Project).

We offer free community-based courses across Leeds and Bradford with a particular focus on increasing access for disadvantaged communities. We work with employers across the public, private and third sector to deliver mindfulness training to support wellbeing at work.

We also offer self-funded Breathworks courses throughout the year.

Juliette Alban-Metcalfe – CEO of Real World Group

Juliette is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and CEO of Real World Group. She is passionate about leadership, diversity and inclusion and positive psychology. She consults with organisations worldwide and has authored a number of articles and book chapters on her favourite subjects.

Jodie Hill – Founder and Solicitor at Thrive Law

Jodie Hill trained as a barrister, cross-qualified as a solicitor and founded Thrive Law in 2018 founder and Managing Director of multi-award winning Thrive Law, headquartered in Leeds City Centre. Jodie has specialised in employment law throughout her career and has a keen understanding of this complex legal sector, together with all HR related issues.

Jodie also has a passion for helping to encourage understanding around mental health and has a strong desire to help end stigma surrounding the subject, to create a happier, healthier workforce. This passion can be seen in her campaign: #OneMind, to bring mental health to the top of the business agendas, with her campaign being featured by Sky News, the BBC, The Times, The Law Society Gazette, Yorkshire Post and other key media. Jodie’s campaigning has been recognised by many, which recently led to her being shortlisted for several Law Society Excellence awards, she awarded a fellowship of the Royal Society for Public Health. In 2019 she became a Law Care Champion and in 2020 she launched This is Me Yorkshire, and appeared on the InsideOut Leader Board as well as being awarded their Advocacy Award.

Thrive Law have won two prestigious awards in 2019 for social mobility and diversity and inclusion. They were also featured by the SRA in their disability leadership campaign and by the law society in their managing mental health in the workplace guidance for their culture. Thrive are now an EDI mentor for the SRA with smaller firms.

In 2019, Jodie also founded Thrive Women – part of her ongoing mission to enable people to ‘Thrive’ in the workplace – and is disrupting the world of Employment Law as a female entrepreneur with her own firm before the age of 30.

Jodie was recently appointed to the Law Society’s Employment Law Committee in 2020 where she will be at the forefront of the changes post Brexit and COVID related.

Jodie is also frequently asked to comment in national media (TV, radio, print and online) on a range of employment law, mental health and diversity issues.

Lisa Rowlinson-Brown – Symington’s Limited

I am a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Proud to work for Symington’s as People Director leading the people agenda and our transformational project centred around inspirational leadership. Employing 1000 colleagues over 4 sites in the UK we are an ambient food manufacturer.

Mell Handley – Behind Closed Doors

Mell Handley is a Support Worker from the Prevention and Recovery Service at Behind Closed Doors.

Behind Closed Doors was established in Otley in 1997.  We now now cover the whole of Leeds, and support clients across the gender spectrum.  Since 2011, we have been part of Leeds Domestic Violence Service (LDVS). BCD provides the Community Domestic Violence Team within LDVS, delivering practical support to clients and working with those who are at medium and high risk. In 2012, our Prevention and Recovery Service was established, and this provides one-to-one emotional support sessions for clients to help them process the emotional and psychological impact of previous domestic violence and abuse, and to rebuild their confidence and self-esteem.

Sue Alderson – Director at Azure Consulting

I’m passionate about helping individuals and organisations be ‘at their best’ more of the time. I believe we all have masses of potential and see my purpose as helping every individual to have the courage and confidence to unlock that.

I love working with individuals who want to enhance their effectiveness as leaders and the energy and passion to make that happen. I especially enjoy working with leadership teams, helping them to make their ambitions for their organisations a reality. I get a real buzz from seeing individuals and teams grow and develop, and in turn make a real impact on the performance of their organisation.

I believe in a strong connection between body and mind, and my passion is for keeping fit and healthy. A Yorkshire girl at heart, I love being outdoors, walking and enjoying the natural world with my husband. In 2015 I climbed Kilimanjaro and as a result of that adventure, have set up a charity to bring clean water to North Tanzania. I’m a mum of a son at university and highly value time with my small close family.

I hold a belief that everyone can achieve whatever they desire with hard work and the right kind of support.

Sharon Klein – Director at Azure Consulting

I believe every individual is truly unique and love spending time working with people to determine how they can put their unique talents into practice in their everyday work.  Most people are capable of so much more than they think they are but upbringing, education and many work places have managed to knock that belief out of people.  A huge part of my job is to help people find that belief and confidence and I find the results hugely inspiring! Another large part of my work is helping teams to face up to their challenges and say the difficult things that nobody wants to say, but done in the right way can make a massive difference to the way they operate.

I started my career in Hospitality Management but soon changed that to one where I was developing others on a full time basis. I am a qualified coach and mentor, experienced facilitator and expert in leadership development and I also love the qualifications we run to help others to qualify as coaches. Having started Azure with Sue in 2002, we have never looked back and I believe our success is down to the huge effort we put into building fantastic relationships with our clients. I class myself as privileged to have a job that I love so much.

Out of work, my husband and I love to walk, I find gardening really therapeutic and I’m a big ‘foodie’, both cooking lovely food and eating it in all the myriad of great restaurants we have around West and North Yorkshire and indeed abroad too.  I am also a proud stepmother to an amazing young man who has become a commercial pilot in the last couple of years.  I am a massive advocate of mindfulness that I believe is absolutely essential in the current fast paced world in which we live and bring this into my work wherever it’s appropriate.

Susan Gee – Yorkshire Water

Susan is Head of Occupational Health & Wellbeing at Yorkshire Water and previously worked at Bradford Metropolitan District Council. An experienced occupational health professional she has an outstanding record of achievement created through the development and implementation of robust strategies, initiatives and organisational change in occupational health.  She was previously a visiting lecturer in sickness absence management at Leeds Becket University and has a BSc(Hons) in Occupational Health,  an MA in Health Care Law  and an MSc in Leadership and Change in Health and Social Care.

Alison Lowe – Touchstone

Alison Lowe has worked with Voluntary Organisations for nearly 30 years. Right now she works as the Chief Executive of Touchstone a Mental Health Charity in Leeds and wider West Yorkshire. Touchstone work with and for people that are affected by mental health problems and they specialise in working with people from different cultural backgrounds. Touchstone have received multiple awards for their work in inclusion and diversity, including the number 1 spot in the 2016, 2017 and 2018 UK Top 50 Most Inclusive Employers Award and the 2018 National Diversity Award for Most Diverse Company.  They are a Stonewall Top 100 LGBT-Friendly Employer for the 8th year running and are again a 3 Star Extraordinary Sunday Times Best Company to work for in 2020, being placed in the top 10 for the last 4 years. Additionally, Touchstone were judged to be Investors in People Platinum at their latest assessment – only the third organisation in Yorkshire to gain this accolade and one of six charities nationally.

Before Alison started working with Touchstone she was a senior manager with Foundation Housing, a charity that supports people that have just come out of prison or are on bail to find housing.

Alison has been involved in local government for 29 years and was a councillor with the Labour Party. Alison was also the Chair of the Police and Crime Panel, the body that scrutinises the performance of the Police and Crime Commissioner and represents the interests of all the 2.2 million people across West Yorkshire.  Alison was the Deputy Lord Mayor of Leeds in 2003-4 and was made an Honorary Alderwoman of the city in 2020.

Alison is chair of Leeds Survivor-led Crisis Service and is a trustee at several charities including Wooden Spoon which raises money for disadvantaged children.

Over the years, Alison has been a well known campaigner on equal rights and chaired the Leeds Domestic Violence Forum that raises awareness of domestic violence against women and children by known men for over 25 years.

Alison Lowe holds an MA in Medieval Studies from Leeds University and a BA in History. She was invited to become a Windsor Castle Leadership Fellow in 2020.  Alison has 2 grown up children, Adam and Rosy and a grandchild called Mae.

Corrina Lawrence – Chief Executive Officer of Feel Good Factor

Chief Executive Officer of Feel Good Factor, a third sector health and wellbeing organisation working with some of the most culturally diverse and poorly served communities in Leeds.

Corrina has over 30 years’ experience of working within the Third Sector and in particularly with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities and as a Board Director sits on, Leeds Community Foundation, Leeds Older Peoples Forum and Care and Repair (Leeds) as well as a number of other forums and networks in Leeds.

Corrina is clear on the need to have a workforce who are representative of the communities they service and the reasons why this is fundamentally important to ensuring equity of service for all.

Kate Dean – Director of Enable Disability and Inclusion Consultants Ltd

Kate Dean is Director of Enable Disability & Inclusion Consultants Ltd, supporting organisations to remove barriers to high performance through meaningful inclusion.

Kate has spent over 10 years working in universities managing student facing disability support teams, ensuring that students with a wide range of disabilities and long-term conditions could access and participate on their course, through a combination of reasonable adjustments and enabling strategies. Kate led a number of key institutional collaborative projects which sought to anticipate needs and remove barriers across recruitment processes, in policies and procedures and by embedding enabling technologies into mainstream provision.

Kate has offered specialist advice to HR and Occupational Health colleagues, coordinated an institution-wide training programme on disability and inclusion, and led a project with the National Autistic Society to improve provision for autistic students.

Enable Disability & Inclusion Consultants Ltd offer end to end solution focused support for businesses, offering workplace assessments, training, and consultancy.

Linda Glew – Time to Shine

Linda Glew joined Time to Shine in January 2019 as the programme manager for legacy from a career in the third sector of 25 years . As part of the work to create a long lasting legacy for the Time to Shine Programme, Linda is leading the Friendly Communities team at Leeds Older People’s Forum, in parrhership with Age Friendly Leeds, to develop the Age & Dementia Friendly Business Guide. The guide aims to encourage local businesses to contribute to making Leeds a place where older people play an active role in their community and their workplace.

Madlen Sayar – Carers Leeds

Madlen Sayar is the coordinator of the working carer support service at Carers Leeds, an independent charity dedicated to improving the lives of the 74,000+ carers in Leeds through quality advice, information, and support.

Madlen supports those balancing work with unpaid care for a friend or relative, and coordinates the Leeds Employers Forum; a group of key Leeds businesses who meet to exchange best practice in supporting working carers.

Clare Price – Leeds Bereavement Forum

Clare is a Counsellor, Psychotherapist and Freelance Bereavement Trainer, as well as a Cruse Bereavement Support volunteer and supervisor. In addition to face to face work, Clare is trained in supporting clients remotely (via video platform and telephone) and has experience in delivering webinars by video platform.

As a HCPC registered Occupational Therapist, Clare worked in the NHS for 15 years in mental health, dementia services, learning disability services, care homes and in hospitals.  She also worked for NHS England on their National End of Life Care Programme.  Clare has a passion for raising awareness in our society about death, dying and bereavement.

Leeds Bereavement Forum is a small charity in Leeds, working to develop and improve bereavement services across the city.

They signpost people to the most appropriate bereavement service, as well as providing bereavement training, information, events and conferences.

Through our campaigning work, in partnership with Dying Matters locally and nationally, we encourage people to talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement and to make plans for the end of life.

Nicki Eyre – Founder and Director of Conduct Change

Nicki Eyre had a varied career before becoming a coach, working in finance before moving into education and training roles with senior management experience in the public, private and charity sectors. During her career, she has experienced both opportunity and adversity, including her own experience of feeling bullied at work, and is able to bring this wealth of experience to her role as a coach, speaker and trainer.

Nicki founded Conduct Change as a result of her passion for working with individuals and businesses to prevent and resolve workplace bullying.  Their mission is to end workplace bullying through the development of meaningful prevention activities for organisations and the implementation of effective routes to redress for individuals.  She leads the work of the Advisory Board as they strive to ensure that everyone feels heard, valued and respected in the workplace.

Rob Kilner – Workers’ Lunchtime

Workers’ lunchtime is a personal project that developed from years of work experience. Here’s some of my work stats:

Experience (things i’ve been paid for) inc:

  • paper round
  • labourer
  • paste-up artist
  • writing
  • shop assistant
  • stockbroker
  • church organist
  • tour guide

Shortest Job: 3 hours

Longest Job: 20 years

Workers’ Lunchtime escapades have been featured by: Leeds Bid, Mindful Employer, The Idler and Les Echos, and Leeds Civic Trust

Patricia Cranswick – Mental Health Employment specialist for WorkPlace Leeds (Leeds Mind)

My name is Patricia Cranswick and I am a Mental Health Employment Specialist working for Workplace Leeds which is part of Leeds Mind.  My clients are at various stages of recovery and I work with them around a variety of individual needs, for example, managing their mental health, increasing their motivation, confidence and self-esteem, to access training and with employability techniques to enable them to research companies, apply for vacancies and perform well at interview.  I also provide clients with in-work support once they have secured employment and I am also available to work with the employer at the clients request.

Saorsa-Amatheia Tweedale – Job Centre Plus and DWP

My name is Saorsa-Amatheia Tweedale. I am the national co-chair of DWPride the DWP LGBT+ staff network, and DWP National Diversity Ambassador on Trans issues, a role in which I work cross civil service and with employers delivering trans training and helping to develop trans guidance and policy. In 2017 I was awarded a Honourary Fellowship of Bradford College for Service to the Trans community and the City of Bradford.

Roz Doherty – Peer Support Lead at Leeds Mind

I have worked in the Peer Support Team for two and a half years, being responsible for the line management of a number of staff members as well as managing both statutory and non-statutory peer support services. This is involves close partnership working with Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and various third sector organisations across the district of Leeds.

Lived experience a vital part of the Leeds Mind approach to Peer Support that we use our own lived experience in our approach. This carries though to sharing my lived experience with the team, as part of staff management when appropriate and also when delivering facilitator training, and in wider professionals meetings as a way of role modelling a positive mental health approach.

Andrea Wood – MSc graduate of Leeds Beckett University

Recently completed my MSc in Public Health – Health Promotion at Leeds Beckett University and as part of my dissertation undertook an evaluation of the Leeds Mindful Employee initiative.. I work in an adult mental health inpatient rehabilitation and recovery service for Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust. My role focusses on supporting individuals with severe mental illness to improve both their physical and mental wellbeing via the adoption of healthier lifestyle changes.

Clare Price – Leeds Bereavement Forum

Clare is a Counsellor, Psychotherapist and Freelance Bereavement Trainer, as well as a Cruse Bereavement Support volunteer and supervisor. In addition to face to face work, Clare is trained in supporting clients remotely (via video platform and telephone) and has experience in delivering webinars by video platform.

As a HCPC registered Occupational Therapist, Clare worked in the NHS for 15 years in mental health, dementia services, learning disability services, care homes and in hospitals.  She also worked for NHS England on their National End of Life Care Programme.  Clare has a passion for raising awareness in our society about death, dying and bereavement.

Leeds Bereavement Forum are a small charity in Leeds, working to develop and improve bereavement services across the city.

We signpost people to the most appropriate bereavement service, as well as providing bereavement training, information, events and conferences.  Through our campaigning work, in partnership with Dying Matters locally and nationally, we encourage people to talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement and to make plans for the end of life.

More information about our training, events, including our virtual Death Cafés, and our online directory of bereavement services, can be found on our website

Damian Dawtry – Coordinator of Men’s Health Unlocked

Damian’s role is centred around building a city-wide network to connect, support, develop and celebrate the exciting work currently taking place in Leeds in the field of men’s health and wellbeing, at both a local and national level.

Damian has a wide range of experience in community development, having worked for over 20 years for statutory and third sector organisations. This has included working in the fields of autism, fundraising, and community and prison theatre.

In recent years, he has specialised in men’s health engagement; testing and learning a variety of approaches to engaging isolated men and supporting them with their health and wellbeing. He has recently been coordinating the Orion Partnership’s ground-breaking Manbassador Project, developing a network of local businesses to signpost their male customers towards health and wellbeing activities and agencies.

Damian is a volunteer for Circles of Life: Women Together / Voices of Men and is proud co-founder of the Unity Day Pantomime, now in its 21st year. At the age of 42, his goalkeeping career was cruelly cut short by injury whilst in the lower reaches of the Yorkshire Amateur League, so he now spends his Saturdays on the allotment, playing music, or playing with his son.

Gary Blake – Social Action Manager at Voluntary Action Leeds (VAL)

Gary has been working and volunteering in the third sector for nearly 30 years. For the last ten year he has been working at Voluntary Action Leeds (VAL) where  amongst his responsibilities is the strategic development of volunteering. He also has responsibility for undertaking research around volunteering.

John Bradfield – Inspector with West Yorkshire Police

I am an Inspector with West Yorkshire Police, having worked for the organisation since 2009 following my transfer from Hampshire Constabulary.

My interest in mental health stems from my partner being diagnosed with bi-polar 7 years ago after our son was born which had a massive impact on all of our lives. As a result of my interest, I volunteered to be the WYP Leads District Mental Health Lead early in 2016. In June 2016, with the help of Leeds Mind, I set up the Districts Peer Support Group which has gone from strength to strength in providing support to staff experiencing mental ill health.

Following on from the success of the support provided in Leeds, again with the assistance of Leeds Mind, Peer Support has been rolled out across the Force and I have been heavily involved in its implementation and assisting with the training.

I am currently an active Peer Supporter, a Peer Support Lead for the force, and present around this and other mental health topics and interventions on a regular basis.

Abdullah Adekola – Peer Supper Facilitator at Leeds Mind

Abdullah is a peer support facilitator at Leeds Mind, and lead on ‘Young Black Minds’ (a young Black men’s mental health peer support service). He is a board member of the David Oluwale Memorial Association. He has worked in adult social care and has a diploma in social care.

Abdullah is passionate about social justice and has an interest in mental health recovery. He enjoys creative writing, spending time with family and friends and playing basketball.

Rob Baker – Tailored Thinking

Rob is a specialist in bringing positive psychology to work and brings zest and curiosity to all that he does. He is the founder and Chief Positive Deviant of Tailored Thinking, a leading evidence-based positive psychology, wellbeing and HR consultancy.

Rob is world-leading when it comes to bringing job crafting to life within organisations. His work, ideas and research on how people can personalise work and bring their whole and best selves to the workplace have been presented at academic and professional conferences around the globe.

Rob is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and a Chartered Fellow of the Australian HR Institute. He has a first-class Masters in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Melbourne and continues to research and collaborate with academics from the University’s Centre of Positive Psychology.

As a senior HR leader and consultant, Rob has delivered sector-leading and award-winning people initiatives and business transformation projects working with companies across sectors ranging from multi-national banks to digital start-ups.

An avid runner, Rob has previously competed on the international stage, having represented Great Britain in mountain running and orienteering. These days, Rob runs and cycles purely for fun and reflection and enjoys outdoor (mis)adventures with his family in Durham.

Lucy Chaplin and Elisabeth Holdsworth – Leeds Trinity University

Leeds Trinity University provides a unique and rich combination of academic, professional and personal development in an inclusive and nurturing university community. The University is here to make a difference to the people, the professions and the places that we serve. Care for our students, our staff, our partners and the wider community lies at the heart of our culture and is the embodiment of our values in action.

Elisabeth Holdsworth is HR Services Manager at the institution and a key member of the Trinity Wellbeing team, with an intrinsic role in developing University-wide wellbeing initiatives.

Lucy Chaplin is Senior Corporate Communications Officer, overseeing the University’s press and media relations,  and also leads on Trinity Wellbeing communications.

Vanessa Suttill and Jenny Walley – Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service

Vanessa Suttill is a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner for Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service, having worked as an Occupational Therapist for 7 years in secondary mental health services.

Jenny Walley is a Mental Health Practitioner for the organisation, with a background in various mental health settings in primary care and employment services spanning 7 years.

Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service provides a range of therapeutic interventions for people across the city with common mental health problems, from self-help information and resources, information workshops, psychoeducational classes and groups, through to a range of 1:1 therapies. The service also works with employers and employees across the city to better understand the impact of work on our mental wellbeing, and how we can improve this, running weekly Wellbeing in the Workplace Sessions.

Steve Phillip – The Jordan Legacy

From 2009. Steve Phillip had been a successful consultant, trainer and keynote speaker in the world of social media and sales and marketing, when on December 4th 2019, he received a call which would change his life – his son Jordan had taken his own life.

Faced with the choice of either sitting on a sofa with a bottle or creating something to prevent other families from having to experience the trauma of losing a loved one to suicide, Steve chose the latter.

With a LinkedIn following of more than 21,000 people, his articles and posts have engaged a global audience of millions. Early in 2020, Steve established The Jordan Legacy CIC, to provide support to those struggling with their mental health or considering suicide, whilst accepting the position as Head of Mission, at Champion Health UK Ltd, a rapidly growing tech and client services company in the world of workplace employee wellbeing.

Steve be can be contacted:



Jo Loughran – Director, Time to Shine

Time to Change is a growing movement of people changing how we all think and act about mental health problems run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

Jo is an experienced leader and strategic thinker with almost 20 years of involvement in the UK charity sector pulling on her specialist knowledge of behaviour change campaigns, mental health anti-stigma programmes, and lived experience leadership.

Director of Time to Change since 2016, Jo leads the team to improve public attitudes and behaviour towards people with mental health problems, reduce discrimination people with mental health problems report in personal relationships, social lives and at work as well as making sure even more people can take action to challenge stigma and discrimination in their communities, in workplaces, in schools and on-line.

Jo has been employed by Rethink Mental Illness since 2003 and, in her previous capacity as the Head of the Time to Change’s Children and Young People’s programme led the development from concept to implementation of England’s largest comprehensive mental health anti-stigma programme aimed at young people aged 11 to 18, and their parents.

With her own personal experience of mental health problems which began in her teenage years, Jo is passionate about creating an environment where no-one has to feel isolated or ashamed to speak out.

She likes to think that she can run (well, … fast walk) and sometimes completes the odd 10k and half marathon with the mantra:  slow and steady wins the race!

Paul Farmer – Chief Executive of Mind

Paul Farmer has been Chief Executive of Mind, the leading mental health charity working in England and Wales since May 2006.

Paul is Chair of the NHS England Independent Oversight & Advisory Group which brings together health and care leaders and experts to oversee the current mental health long term plan for the NHS in England. He co-authored ‘Thriving at Work’ for the government, setting out how to transform mental health in work places.

Paul is a Commissioner at Historic England. He has an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of East London, is an Honorary Fellow of St Peter’s College, Oxford, and The Royal College of Psychiatrists, and was awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours 2016.

Victoria Eaton – Director of Public Health, Leeds City Council

Victoria has been in post as Director of Public Health at Leeds City Council from 1st March 2020, having previously held the role of Deputy Director of Public Health, and Consultant in Public Health in Leeds since 2007. Victoria has worked in a range of public health roles in Leeds since 1998, following previous public health appointments in the West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber regions.  Before training in public health, Victoria’s early career was in NHS leadership and management in the North West region.

Throughout her career, Victoria has had a strong commitment to addressing health inequalities and the social determinants of health, and their impact on physical and mental health.  During her time in Leeds she has established award-winning public mental health and community health development programmes, as well as leading work to ensure core public health services are shaped and informed by population needs.  She has taught on several academic public health programmes, and maintains a strong involvement in workforce development, training and education in public health at a regional and national level.