CHAIR OF TRUSTEES
LLM, Barrister, Solicitor, FRSA, FIoD
ACC, CPQC, CertPsychCoach
As Chair, I bring my experiences of the legal and regulatory sectors and of having been in various trustee, governor and non-executive director positions for over 25 years. I own and run a specialist employment law firm and am active in Bristol’s business community.
I am also a psychological coach, working mainly with business leaders and professionals, helping them increase self-awareness, emotional intelligence and stress management, and to be more effective and resilient in their roles.
I have enormous respect for the skills and work of my fellow trustees and it is a privilege to be able to support their work though our charity.
TRUSTEE & CEO
Dr Clare Short
MB ChB, MRCPsych
I have worked in the NHS until recently as a Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist. As part of my work I have spent a lot of time in schools and I recognise the need for more support to address the well-being and emotional health of both students and staff.
Part of my role as a psychiatrist has been training medical students, trainee psychiatrists, social workers and teachers about emotional well-being.
Whilst respectful of the need for psychiatric diagnosis and medical treatment, I approach clinical practice in an integrative way so that the mind and body are not treated as separate entities.
I remain concerned that emotional distress is becoming over-medicalised and that this can be disempowering. I would like there to be more opportunities for staff to come together and reflect on their daily work.
TRUSTEE & SECRETARY
I work as a Gestalt therapist. For fifteen years I worked as an acupuncturist before choosing to pursue a specifically relational approach that Gestalt offers. The way I now work has also been shaped by being a father and through my own experience of Gestalt therapy.
From the outset, the Gestalt approach takes account of a person’s circumstances and believes that change relates to whether their situation supports or hinders them.
I like this contextual approach which views the problems a person is experiencing as situational rather than ‘their own’. This stance can help people whose problems having originated through lack of an attuned relationship can grow when such a relationship becomes possible.
This way of working relies on experience rather than knowing. And my capacity to be available to my own experience derives from the relational support of my colleagues and family.
TRUSTEE & TREASURER
Dr Isabel de Salis
MA, MSc, MBBS, PhD
I practice as a psychotherapist and have also trained as a doctor and taught and researched as an anthropologist.
I believe that it is focusing on being with others and ourselves, rather than seeking solutions to problems, that helps us to accept ourselves and support us in our work and relationships. Positive outlook, emotional honesty and respect for others provide us with good grounds for working with each other, and gives us space for new things to emerge. I love working with dreams, symbols and image making.
I have learnt from many people, including Malawian spiritual healers, menopausal women in England and young persons in CAMHS.
OPERATIONAL MANAGER + ASSOCIATE - INDEPENDENT SOCIAL WORKER
Chereece has a background in education and social work, including inclusion and SEND, safeguarding, outreach and therapeutic interventions.
She has worked within and alongside primary, secondary, specialist and alternative provisions schools for over 15 years.
She is passionate about the introduction of relational based therapeutic practice for children and families within the school setting as well supporting school staff through relative practice.
ASSOCIATE - MENTAL HEALTH PRACTITIONER
Jo is a Mental Health Practitioner and registered Occupational Therapist with 10 years’ experience of working in CAMHS and over 20 years prior to this of working with adults with mental health and physical health problems in the NHS.
Jo’s work is informed by experience of using a wide range of psychological therapies and modalities including family/systemic work, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy type interventions, Mindfulness and creative therapies. Jo has a keen interest in working with young people and their families.
Jo believes that working together with a young person and their family to gain greater self-knowledge and developing a positive self-identity are key components to good mental health and wellbeing.
ASSOCIATE - ART PSYCHOTHERAPIST
Helen has worked as an Art Psychotherapist in schools, outdoors, CAMHS, museums, a studio base, and more recently with students and clinical trainees in HE. Helen delivers workshops, lectures, and publishes on Art Psychotherapy practice and theory, and she is researching Art Psychotherapy as an effective therapeutic expression.
Helen believes time, space and reflection are increasingly less available to us and she aims to build these in to therapeutic practice. As an artist, she searches out minute elements often overlooked that reveal communication with the world and a personal making-sense of our interactions.
ASSOCIATE - WELLBEING PRACTITIONER (YOGA, MEDITATION, BREATHWORK)
Frankie has a background in teaching yoga, breathwork, and meditation, and has offered weekly classes and longer courses for many years. She has worked in specialist areas, with women at all stages of life, people with persistent pain, and people living with cancer/terminal illness. Frankie has also designed and delivered bespoke programmes for students and professionals in the fields of medicine and education.
Frankie is passionate about the deep wisdom of working gently and attentively with the body and breath, and how this can help us learn to relate the whole of ourselves more intelligently and kindly.
ASSOCIATE - MINDFULNESS PRACTITIONER
Tom started teaching outdoor adventurous activities in 2011, and quickly became interested in how activity, nature and skilful and compassionate communication can have a positive effect for helping people to feel safe and move into greater sensations of wellbeing. Tom has a history of working with vulnerable young people and helping them to connect with feelings of autonomy, competence and trust in others.
Tom has studied and trained in different forms of coaching, he is trained in mental health first aid, and is soon to become a fully qualified Mindfulness Practitioner. He places a strong emphasis on the importance of self-care and he is best known for his ability to put people at ease quickly with his calm and playful approach.
ASSOCIATE - INDEPENDENT SOCIAL WORKER
Jo has over 20 years experience working in a range of social care settings, including mental health and children’s safeguarding as a social worker and a team manager. This work has included extensive collaboration within education and health settings.
Jo is particularly interested in systemic practice, therapeutic approaches and reflective supervision. He believes passionately in the importance of quality reflective practice that can support practitioners to process and work through emotionally challenging and stuck situations. Building collaborative and compassionate relationships with children, families and other professionals is at the heart of what he does.
ASSOCIATE - EDUCATION PRACTITIONER
Alina is an experienced education practitioner having worked across primary, secondary and higher education settings in pastoral and therapeutic roles. She has a background working within SEND, inclusion and safeguarding, including complex casework in a University context. Informed by person-centred, compassion-focussed and Gestalt approaches, Alina’s focus is on developing a trusting and compassionate relationship as the basis for support.
Alina is passionate about the impact this can have on social, emotional and academic outcomes, as well as promoting safety in the context of mental health and disorder. With a special interest in trauma and childhood adversity she is also a qualified resilience trainer.
ASSOCIATE - PROJECT DEVELOPMENT AND RESEARCH
Rachel is a doctor in training. She has a background in Psychology and is passionate about mental health. Rachel has worked as a teacher and examiner in health, as well as providing pastoral care to young people in early years, secondary and university settings. As a student herself, she feels well placed to connect with students’ experience and identify with the challenges of the educational context today.
Rachel is particularly interested in the connection between ‘flow’ experiences and mental health. She is concerned with creating spaces for young people and adults to be present, creative and connect meaningfully with one another. Rachel recently presented her research in this area at the International Psychiatry Congress 2021, and was awarded a prize for the highest achieving research piece in her university cohort.
Rachel supports the charity with research and project development across a range of areas, drawing on her experience and insights from both a health and education perspective.
ASSOCIATE - COACH
Emily has been practising as a coach since 2013, certified by the Coaches Training Institute and accredited by the International Coach Federation. Her coaching supports clients to build confidence, reconnect with themselves and make purposeful decisions. Emily is also certified in grief coaching. She is passionate about working with people experiencing the inevitable journey of loss and runs regular groups.
With a background as a professional musician and vocal coach at Bristol University, Emily facilitates group work challenging performance anxiety and confronting the saboteurs that hold us back from reaching our potential. Emily’s approach creates a warm, nurturing space for people to discover their inner strength and make purposeful change in their lives.
COMMUNITY ARTS ADVISOR
MENTAL HEALTH PRACTITIONER
Esme Hodes is an artist, facilitator and mental health practitioner based in Bristol. Her current practice engages with the environment; wellbeing; placemaking; all things edible; storytelling and collaboration. Her work engages with connection and relationships: to nature, community and self, in ways that aim to question, develop empathy and foster a sense of belonging.
Esme has experience working with children, young people and vulnerable adults in a variety of settings. These include community arts engagement, nature-based learning and health and social care. She is interested in cross-disciplinary projects that weave arts and storytelling into our everyday lives.