Real world, front line experience.

Terry Streather

Director and Head of Training

We founded Oakwood Training in 2012 to help  our clients  focus on the Mental Health and Personal Safety needs of their employees, which we believe are fundamentally linked (but usually thought of as totally separate). 

My job satisfaction comes from helping organisations create happy and productive working environments 

Im a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and an Advanced Physical Intervention and Breakaway Instructor with over 15 years real world experience as a manager, trainer and practitioner.  

When I'm not teaching, developing courses or speaking at events, I'm being chased around by my 10 and 7 year olds, and mostly doing everything Gemma tells me to. 

As a proud Springbok rugby supporter (you know, the 2019 World Champions...) my mental resilience is constantly being tested, although recent results do help!   


Gemma Streather

Director and Head of Everything Else!

make sure all our clients get the very best service. I’m the friendly voice on the end of the phone supporting our clients from  initial contact  through to course bookings and ongoing support. 

I have over 15 years experience as a manager within the public and private sectors. I have personal experience of supporting colleagues who were experiencing poor mental health, as well as facing situations of violence and aggression in the workplace. 

I'm a keen (and ever so slightly competitive) Saturday morning Park Runner and have recently completed my first half marathon.

 This year 18 of the Oakwood team took on the white water rapids course at the National Water Sports Centre to raise over £3800 for our charity partner. We’re after ideas for our next challenge in 2022.

Click the button..

Meet the team...

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Emma
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Andy
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Cait
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Moe
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Katrin
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Pete
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Rafaela
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Lauren
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Michelle
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Lee
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Mark
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Becky
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Jessica
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Tina
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Andy
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Nick
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Giovana
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Jules
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Jeremy
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Ian (Bradders)
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Karen
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Roberta
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Rich
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Donna
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Dave (Ninj)
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Chris

Emma Greenstein, Mental Health Trainer

Hi, I’m Emma and I am a Mental Health First Aid Trainer with nearly thirty years’ experience working in a variety of roles at the Open University.

I love to engage people in highly participative training sessions, by creating a friendly, relaxed, and safe environment in which people feel comfortable to share experiences and learn together.

As both a lecturer and an educational adviser, I have worked directly with students from a diverse range of backgrounds. My training and experience in counselling and psychotherapy enabled me to move into my more specialist role as the Mental Health Adviser for the OU in 2010. I have focused on suicide prevention and am qualified in ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training)

In my spare time I enjoy being part of an online photography community, spending time outdoors, walking our dog, and dancing. Not always at the same time!

Andy Flockton, Mental Health Trainer

Hi I'm Andy. I have worked in the Mental Health field for close to 30 years, most of that time in the NHS as an Occupational Therapist, a Family Therapist and Transformation Manager across a whole range of services from young people to older adults. I joined Oakwood in 2017.

I am on the National Training Team for Mental Health First Aid England and approved to deliver all of their products. I enjoy raising awareness about mental health and helping make a real difference to people’s lives.

I'm a keen adventure racer and on a weekend you will often find me navigating on foot and mountain bike (usually lost) in some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK.

Cait Mackenzie, Actor

Hi, I'm Cait. I trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and then worked professionally as an actor mainly in theatre, also TV and radio for a further 12 years before taking a career break to have my son.

As well as working extensively in the UK, including work with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Globe, my work has taken me to LA, Tokyo, St Petersburg and Madrid.

After becoming a Mum, I realised that I really wanted to spend more time closer to home with my family. I trained as a volunteer with the Samaritans whilst completing a Master's degree in Dramatherapy.

In my spare time, I love spending time with my family; on muddy walks with our dog or alternatively all piled on the sofa working our way the Star Wars franchise (with less mud, hopefully!)

Moe Griffin, Mental Health Trainer

Hi I'm Moe. For the last 30 years having qualified as a Mental Health Nurse, I have worked in a variety of settings, as a Nurse /Mental Health Worker/Counsellor. These included the National Health Service, Alcohol/ Drug Addiction Charity, Primary Care and Higher Education.

I qualified as a Mental Health First Aid trainer in 2010 and introduced MHFA courses to the staff at the University of Bath before joining Oakwood in 2018.

What I love about training is every group is different, and I am passionate about increasing the number of conversations about Mental Health. I also like to encourage the participants to feel confident and to enjoy the course in an interactive way.

To relax I love to be outside (I have plenty of waterproof coats) either playing tennis, horse riding or walking my muddy Springer Spaniel.

Katrin Viella, Mental Health Trainer

Hi I'm Katrin. I’m an experienced mental health trainer with a background in business, cross-cultural and clinical psychology. I find cross-cultural inclusion really interesting and work bi-lingually in English and German.

I’m passionate about de-medicalising our approach to mental health and creating profound, positive culture change in organisations.

I have my own management experience, therefore combining my theoretical knowledge with practical expertise. I’m also an expert in workplace suicide prevention and crisis management.

I’m mum to 3 wonderful children and support my own wellbeing mostly through physical activity, nature, mindfulness and learning.

Pete Bumpus, Mental Health and Personal Safety Trainer

Hi I'm Pete and joined Oakwood in 2016. I love teaching people from a wide range of backgrounds and over the past 20 years have developed a real passion for mental health and personal safety.

I want to help remove the stigma and taboo of mental health by giving people the confidence to talk about it, know what to look for and most importantly, what to do about it if they see it so they can support others who may be experiencing mental ill health.

I know that managing conflict and aggression at work is often left up to employee's own 'life skills'. I have seen how being abused, threated or assaulted whilst at work can really damage a person's physical and mental health. I enjoy teaching people how to manage conflict, dynamically risk assess situations and use effective de-escalation techniques.

As a former landscaper and builder, I’m usually helping family and friends with their garden projects when I'm not teaching. Mates rates of course!

Rafaela Ricardo, Mental Health Trainer

Hi I'm Rafaela. I'm a qualified Mental Health First Aid Instructor and speak Brazilian Portuguese and Latin American Spanish. My special interest is in the impact that racial discrimination has on the mental health of community groups and individuals.

My working background has been in social justice for the past 11 years and I feel my best when working with diverse communities and helping to balance inequalities created by systemic and institutionalized racism.

I was (super-proudly!) raised in London and have Portuguese and Angolan heritage. My favourite things to do are making art and being highly emotional :). My life motto is probably, "No such thing as too much".

Lauren Asquith, Mental Health Trainer

Hi I'm Lauren. I have worked in the Health and Wellbeing sector for over 7 years with Derby County Community Trust as the Club Development and Disability Manager before moving onto my new role as the Para Football Women’s Talent Pathway Lead at The Football Association.

My second passion lies in football. I'm the Team Manager and Assistant Coach of the England Deaf Women's Team.

Since 2014, I have fundraised and traveled out to Africa each year to support and develop local slum areas. So far I have been to Morocco, Rwanda and Kenya (3 times). I predominantly take out sports equipment and train up older pupils, teachers and community volunteers to enable continuation once I leave. I have also helped build classrooms, kitchens and dormitories. I absolutely love it!

I joined Oakwood in 2018 and enjoy delivering mental health training to a wide range of audiences.

Michelle Richardson, Mental Health Trainer

Hello I’m Michelle. I’ve been a midwife for 15 years and proud to be a specialist midwife for perinatal mental health (a title that’s admittedly a little long for an ID badge!) at one of the largest NHS Trusts in England.

I genuinely care and get passionate about mental health and enjoy delivering training courses. I think together we can get people talking about mental health, work to reduce stigma and most importantly help and support each other.

I am a mother to four amazingly wonderful, grown-up children. Even more amazing because they have put up with years of house renovations and many deliberations about colours and cushions! And just when everyone thought I was done, welcome to “Da Bungalow” a 1970’s marvel of pink and avocado that seemed to be just waiting for me back in my hometown.

Lee Westbury, Personal Safety Trainer

Hi, I'm Lee. I have been teaching Conflict Management and Personal Safety skills for over 30 years and joined Oakwood in 2014. I’m a retired Police Sergeant with 30 years frontline service, where dealing with conflict and using strategies to overcome it was a core part of my role.

I was a Police Physical Training and Self Defence Instructor for 23yrs, alongside my operational roles. I enjoyed teaching frontline officers, support staff and volunteers, as well as those on specialist units.

I understand that just because behaviour may look like aggression it does not mean that it is. I enjoy showing people how to reduce, minimise and manage risks to their personal safety whilst at work in a wide variety of potentially difficult situations.

I’m a real coffee fan (which at times puts me in conflict with Terry who only drinks decaf caramel lattes!)

Mark Ellis, Mental Health Trainer

Hi, I'm Mark. I enjoy meeting people from different backgrounds who bring real life experiences to the courses I deliver. I'm especially passionate about providing learners with the skills and confidence to spot the early signs of mental health problems in young people, which if addressed early on in life can really help them on the road to recovery.

I am a qualified RFU coach and have had the pleasure of running a number of teams in the past from Leicester University to my local club 1st XV. When I'm not at work you will find me either cooking a meal for my family (yes I know it's a strange way to relax but it works for me) or walking our two dogs in the beautiful local countryside.

Becky Talbot, Mental Health Trainer

Hi I’m Becky. I am an experienced Mental Health First Aid trainer, counsellor and coach with a passion for improving the wellbeing of individuals and organisations. I joined Oakwood in 2018 and for the past 10 years have worked for the University of Leicester as their Senior Mental Wellbeing Facilitator and Coach whilst also providing one to one mental health support to students. I am also an associate trainer with Mental Health First Aid England and Student Minds.

I have wealth of personal and professional experience that allows me to bring learning to life. I enjoy bringing passion, creativity and humour to my sessions. In my spare time I enjoy writing spoken word poetry and playing the piano. My family are delighted by this!

Jessica Agudelo, Mental Health Trainer

I have worked internationally as a wellbeing consultant, delivering mental health training in English and Spanish. I have an MSc in Health Psychology and I am a qualified Mental Health First Aid Instructor and National Trainer for Mental Health First Aid England.

With more than 15 years of experience in the mental health sector, I have designed and developed services and programmes within voluntary, public and private sectors for young people and adults. Programmes in England include the first Community Development Project in the Criminal Justice System under the auspices of Delivering Race Equality in Mental Health, a peer led crisis helpline called Solidarity in a Crisis and the national roll out of Youth Mental Health First Aid across all state secondary schools in England.

When not working, I love to watch films and play board games with my partner and daughters. With a cup of tea and custard creams on hand. I have a busy working life so really enjoy quiet weekends with the family.

Tina Byrom, Mental Health Trainer

Hi, I’m Tina. I have over 27 years’ teaching experience across a range of educational settings and other organisations. My teaching approach is highly interactive and I believe learning should be enjoyable even when tackling serious issues such as mental health illness.

I have a passion for social justice, particularly around the opportunities of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and co-authored a book about the educational experience of homeless young people. In the summer of 2018, I volunteered at an orphanage in Romania, developing and delivering summer school activities for children who rarely have the opportunity to play. Despite the lack of running water, I am going back in the summer of 2019!

My other passion is synchronised ice skating. However, my skating skills are not quite up to being on the ice and skating in synchronisation with 15 other skaters!

I have two wonderful children, although their teenage years have posed some challenges. My passion for helping to reduce the stigma and discrimination around mental health stems from my own and wider family personal experiences of mental health issues.

Andy Daybell, Mental Health Trainer

Hi I’m Andy. I am currently a senior manager within a public sector organisation. Along with many Leadership and Management qualifications I have a huge amount of experience in managing mental health and wellbeing within a workplace environment. I also have my own lived experiences with mental health illness.

Safety has been the real main focus for organisations over the past few decades. I am keen to highlight the benefits and importance of employers also looking after the mental health and wellbeing of their staff.

I am a keen swimmer and also a competitive swimming coach in my spare time. I look forward to meeting you on a course soon.

Nick De Luca, Mental Health Trainer

Hi I'm Nick. I'm an ex-professional and International rugby player, with 43 caps for Scotland and the honour of playing in the 6 Nations, a World Cup in New Zealand and the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Having hung up my boots I'm now enjoying my role as Director of Rugby at one of the most prestigious schools in the Country. I lead the over 15 teams and the Elite player pathways, having responsibility for their technical, tactical, physical and most importantly mental development.

As a proponent of mental well being I became a Mental Health First Aid instructor, joining Oakwood in 2019. I believe we all have good and bad mental health at different times in our lives - it far from being fixed but some of us need a bit more help getting back to a good head space.

I would love to finish by giving you some interesting hobby or amazing recent achievement… but what spare time I have is taken up by my wonderful 3 girls and border collie, meaning just surviving the day with all 4 intact is a success!!

Giovana Restino, Mental Health Trainer

Hi, I'm Giovana, I am originally from Brazil, but I have lived in the UK since I was 11 years old.

I trained as a personal development coach and youth coach as well as a wellbeing counsellor and teacher. To understand the body and personal wellbeing on a deeper level I trained in Naturopathy, BioMedicine, and Iridology. This gave me a greater insight into how much our Mental Health can be influenced by our physical body's wellbeing, the two are interwoven in synergy. As a result, I am passionate about supporting from both angles.

I am also currently training as a Positive Psychology Practitioner. The more I learn, the more I want to continue expanding my professional knowledge, as a lifelong learner. I am passionate about supporting individuals holistically, empowering balance and wellbeing of body, mind, and soul.

I also LOVE cooking and love baking. I find this can often be a form of meditation for me. I live with my loving partner in London and a whole lot of plants.

Jules Sampson, Mental Health Trainer

Hi, I’m Jules. I have had 27 years experience in the Royal Air Force as an Air Traffic Controller, Trainer, Instructor and Senior Leader. This has allowed me a unique insight into a broad spectrum of mental health challenges and has ignited in me a passion for mental health training and education.

I became a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and Suicide First Aid Instructor because I truly believe that whether it is in day to day life or combat operations, understanding and talking about mental health and wellbeing makes a huge difference to people’s lives. I love to engage with people and want to have a positive impact.

I am a busy mother but love walking, cooking and baking..the first to counteract the impact of the latter two!

Jeremy O'Dwyer, Mental Health Speaker

I'm Jeremy. For a number of years I suffered with mental ill health and thankfully am now fully recovered. I share my lived experience as part of Oakwood’s bespoke mental health training courses to encourage the topic to be discussed more openly and to reduce the stigma still so prevalent in our society.

I spent the first 20 years of my career in private industry (predominantly shoe manufacturing), traveling throughout Europe, America and the Far East. I then worked in the public sector for 19 years before joining Oakwood in 2018.

I can’t say I have the same level of fitness as some of my Oakwood colleagues, however I have completed a week long walk through the Sahara – an awesome experience and one not to be forgotten.

Ian Bradbury, Personal Safety Trainer

Hi, my name's Ian although I don't think anyone actually knows that... they all call me "Bradders".

I have been a Personal Safety, Conflict Management and De-escalation skills trainer for 20 years and joined Oakwood in 2017. I am also an experienced expert witness in the area of Personal Safety. I enjoy delivering courses to people from all different backgrounds and have trained retail staff, loss prevention teams, housing officers, social workers, police officers, youth workers, counsellors and teachers.

I really enjoy helping people get the ‘lightbulb moment’…when everything clicks into place and they understand what reasonable force really is, or how to safely breakaway from an aggressor.

I am a Metafit instructor (and general fitness fanatic) and have just started a coaching role at my local Youth Rugby club.

Karen Daybell, Mental Health Trainer

Hi, I'm Karen and I’m passionate about how we look after both our mental and physical wellbeing. The two run parallel but sadly there is still so much stigma and lack of understanding about mental ill health.

I trained as a Mental Health First Aid instructor so I could give people the knowledge and practical skills to help someone who may be struggling, as well as being able to look after their own wellbeing. I enjoy teaching people from different professions and backgrounds.

I’m a busy mum to 3 amazing children, 2 dogs, a rabbit and several chickens - earning the name 'mother hen’! Oh - and I'm training for my 2nd London Marathon.

Roberta Pomponio, Mental Health Trainer

Hi, I am Roberta. I was born in Italy, but life brought me to the UK over 20 years ago by chance. Italian is my first language and I also speak French and German.

I'm a Mental Health First Aid (England) instructor, a member of the Making Every Contact Count (MECC) for mental health experts reference group and a mental health lead for a Cheshire charity, but above all, I am a mental health ambassador.

Through my personal history of mental health and with years of training experience I have realised the importance of a strong understanding of mental health to help us achieve our goals, however small they may be.

We all have mental health and how we look after it affects our quality of life. Staying active is an invaluable part of my own mental health self-care toolkit.

A dog lover, in my free time, I still teach Italian, like singing (terribly), visiting art galleries and hiking in the Alps (when possible). During the lockdown months, I started growing fruit and vegetable in my garden, with mixed results but great pride. It goes without saying that as soon as I can, I will go back to Italy to visit my parents.

Rich Johnson, Mental Health Trainer

Hi I'm Rich. After several years working in education, I joined a mental health charity as a training manager in 2018. I deliver a variety of mental health courses including Mental Health First Aid (England) and bespoke workplace training.

Being a mental health instructor is such a rewarding job. I enjoy working with people to build their confidence and skills to deal with mental health issues – whether that be supporting others at work or improving their personal wellbeing. My aim is to deliver enjoyable, interactive and effective training, where people feel safe and supported, and their needs and concerns are addressed.

I love the outdoors, especially camping, hiking in the mountains, and cycling. I play guitar not that well but very happily!

Donna Hanlon, Admin Support

Hi I’m Donna. I have been working with Oakwood since 2016 providing admin support and supporting clients with pre and post course information and support.

I’ve had an extensive career in both HR and training, PA and admin work. I am a graduate member of the Institute of Personnel and Development and have worked in both recruitment and training across professional service firms and the services sector so Oakwood is a great fit for me!

In my spare time I love to walk in my beautiful local area with my family and Welsh Springer Spaniel Monty. In addition to being a bit of a shopaholic, I also enjoy yoga, reading and ‘attempting’ to keep fit! I like to set myself a personal challenge each year – this year was the London Moonwalk and I am still open to ideas for what to do next!

Dave Smith, Personal Safety Trainer

Hi, I’m Dave - but most people only know me by my nickname 'Ninj', which many people bizarrely assume is short for Nigel!

I've recently retired from the police with 30 years’ operational service. I have been an instructor in conflict management and personal safety for over 25 years.

I have put these skills to the test throughout my policing career in a number of operational roles but the highlight has been when performing the role of close protection officer (bodyguard) for British and Foreign Royalty or Ministerial dignitaries.

I am passionate about teaching and supporting people in learning and developing new skills that will allow them to recognise, manage and minimise risk to themselves and others.

I am a keen England and Leicester Tigers rugby supporter. My fingers are constantly crossed that they can return to their glory years of winning the world cup, being European Champions and beating a touring South Africa National side (what a great game that was Terry?!).

Chris Burnard, Personal Safety and Physical First Aid Trainer

Hello I'm Chris. I recently retired from the Police after a very exciting 30 year career as an Operational Firearms Commander, Firearms Tactical Advisor and Weapons Training Instructor.

I had the privilege of completing the firearms operational order and tactical plan for the Olympic games when Team GB and Team Japan used Loughborough University as a training venue. I have also been involved in the planning of Royalty and other VIP protection operations.

I have been teaching conflict management, de-escalation and personal safety skills for 15 years and joined Oakwood in 2016.

I’m a keen photographer and am looking forward to catching a great shot of Gemma with a face full of mud! One for the album...

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Dave (Ninj)

Dave Smith, Personal Safety Trainer

Hi, I’m Dave - but most people only know me by my nickname 'Ninj', which many people bizarrely assume is short for Nigel!

I've recently retired from the police with 30 years’ operational service. I have been an instructor in conflict management and personal safety for over 25 years.

I have put these skills to the test throughout my policing career in a number of operational roles but the highlight has been when performing the role of close protection officer (bodyguard) for British and Foreign Royalty or Ministerial dignitaries.

I am passionate about teaching and supporting people in learning and developing new skills that will allow them to recognise, manage and minimise risk to themselves and others.

I am a keen England and Leicester Tigers rugby supporter. My fingers are constantly crossed that they can return to their glory years of winning the world cup, being European Champions and beating a touring South Africa National side (what a great game that was Terry?!).

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Rich

Rich Johnson, Mental Health Trainer

Hi I'm Rich. After several years working in education, I joined a mental health charity as a training manager in 2018. I deliver a variety of mental health courses including Mental Health First Aid (England) and bespoke workplace training.

Being a mental health instructor is such a rewarding job. I enjoy working with people to build their confidence and skills to deal with mental health issues – whether that be supporting others at work or improving their personal wellbeing. My aim is to deliver enjoyable, interactive and effective training, where people feel safe and supported, and their needs and concerns are addressed.

I love the outdoors, especially camping, hiking in the mountains, and cycling. I play guitar not that well but very happily!

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Jeremy

Jeremy O'Dwyer, Mental Health Speaker

I'm Jeremy. For a number of years I suffered with mental ill health and thankfully am now fully recovered. I share my lived experience as part of Oakwood’s bespoke mental health training courses to encourage the topic to be discussed more openly and to reduce the stigma still so prevalent in our society.

I spent the first 20 years of my career in private industry (predominantly shoe manufacturing), traveling throughout Europe, America and the Far East. I then worked in the public sector for 19 years before joining Oakwood in 2018.

I can’t say I have the same level of fitness as some of my Oakwood colleagues, however I have completed a week long walk through the Sahara – an awesome experience and one not to be forgotten.

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Jules

Jules Sampson, Mental Health Trainer

Hi, I’m Jules. I have had 27 years experience in the Royal Air Force as an Air Traffic Controller, Trainer, Instructor and Senior Leader. This has allowed me a unique insight into a broad spectrum of mental health challenges and has ignited in me a passion for mental health training and education.

I became a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and Suicide First Aid Instructor because I truly believe that whether it is in day to day life or combat operations, understanding and talking about mental health and wellbeing makes a huge difference to people’s lives. I love to engage with people and want to have a positive impact.

I am a busy mother but love walking, cooking and baking..the first to counteract the impact of the latter two!

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Andy

Andy Daybell, Mental Health Trainer

Hi I’m Andy. I am currently a senior manager within a public sector organisation. Along with many Leadership and Management qualifications I have a huge amount of experience in managing mental health and wellbeing within a workplace environment. I also have my own lived experiences with mental health illness.

Safety has been the real main focus for organisations over the past few decades. I am keen to highlight the benefits and importance of employers also looking after the mental health and wellbeing of their staff.

I am a keen swimmer and also a competitive swimming coach in my spare time. I look forward to meeting you on a course soon.

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Pete

Pete Bumpus, Mental Health and Personal Safety Trainer

Hi I'm Pete and joined Oakwood in 2016. I love teaching people from a wide range of backgrounds and over the past 20 years have developed a real passion for mental health and personal safety.

I want to help remove the stigma and taboo of mental health by giving people the confidence to talk about it, know what to look for and most importantly, what to do about it if they see it so they can support others who may be experiencing mental ill health.

I know that managing conflict and aggression at work is often left up to employee's own 'life skills'. I have seen how being abused, threated or assaulted whilst at work can really damage a person's physical and mental health. I enjoy teaching people how to manage conflict, dynamically risk assess situations and use effective de-escalation techniques.

As a former landscaper and builder, I’m usually helping family and friends with their garden projects when I'm not teaching. Mates rates of course!

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Lauren

Lauren Asquith, Mental Health Trainer

Hi I'm Lauren. I have worked in the Health and Wellbeing sector for over 7 years with Derby County Community Trust as the Club Development and Disability Manager before moving onto my new role as the Para Football Women’s Talent Pathway Lead at The Football Association.

My second passion lies in football. I'm the Team Manager and Assistant Coach of the England Deaf Women's Team.

Since 2014, I have fundraised and traveled out to Africa each year to support and develop local slum areas. So far I have been to Morocco, Rwanda and Kenya (3 times). I predominantly take out sports equipment and train up older pupils, teachers and community volunteers to enable continuation once I leave. I have also helped build classrooms, kitchens and dormitories. I absolutely love it!

I joined Oakwood in 2018 and enjoy delivering mental health training to a wide range of audiences.

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Giovana

Giovana Restino, Mental Health Trainer

Hi, I'm Giovana, I am originally from Brazil, but I have lived in the UK since I was 11 years old.

I trained as a personal development coach and youth coach as well as a wellbeing counsellor and teacher. To understand the body and personal wellbeing on a deeper level I trained in Naturopathy, BioMedicine, and Iridology. This gave me a greater insight into how much our Mental Health can be influenced by our physical body's wellbeing, the two are interwoven in synergy. As a result, I am passionate about supporting from both angles.

I am also currently training as a Positive Psychology Practitioner. The more I learn, the more I want to continue expanding my professional knowledge, as a lifelong learner. I am passionate about supporting individuals holistically, empowering balance and wellbeing of body, mind, and soul.

I also LOVE cooking and love baking. I find this can often be a form of meditation for me. I live with my loving partner in London and a whole lot of plants.

profile-pic
Katrin

Katrin Viella, Mental Health Trainer

Hi I'm Katrin. I’m an experienced mental health trainer with a background in business, cross-cultural and clinical psychology. I find cross-cultural inclusion really interesting and work bi-lingually in English and German.

I’m passionate about de-medicalising our approach to mental health and creating profound, positive culture change in organisations.

I have my own management experience, therefore combining my theoretical knowledge with practical expertise. I’m also an expert in workplace suicide prevention and crisis management.

I’m mum to 3 wonderful children and support my own wellbeing mostly through physical activity, nature, mindfulness and learning.

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Lee

Lee Westbury, Personal Safety Trainer

Hi, I'm Lee. I have been teaching Conflict Management and Personal Safety skills for over 30 years and joined Oakwood in 2014. I’m a retired Police Sergeant with 30 years frontline service, where dealing with conflict and using strategies to overcome it was a core part of my role.

I was a Police Physical Training and Self Defence Instructor for 23yrs, alongside my operational roles. I enjoyed teaching frontline officers, support staff and volunteers, as well as those on specialist units.

I understand that just because behaviour may look like aggression it does not mean that it is. I enjoy showing people how to reduce, minimise and manage risks to their personal safety whilst at work in a wide variety of potentially difficult situations.

I’m a real coffee fan (which at times puts me in conflict with Terry who only drinks decaf caramel lattes!)

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Rafaela

Rafaela Ricardo, Mental Health Trainer

Hi I'm Rafaela. I'm a qualified Mental Health First Aid Instructor and speak Brazilian Portuguese and Latin American Spanish. My special interest is in the impact that racial discrimination has on the mental health of community groups and individuals.

My working background has been in social justice for the past 11 years and I feel my best when working with diverse communities and helping to balance inequalities created by systemic and institutionalized racism.

I was (super-proudly!) raised in London and have Portuguese and Angolan heritage. My favourite things to do are making art and being highly emotional :). My life motto is probably, "No such thing as too much".

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Nick

Nick De Luca, Mental Health Trainer

Hi I'm Nick. I'm an ex-professional and International rugby player, with 43 caps for Scotland and the honour of playing in the 6 Nations, a World Cup in New Zealand and the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Having hung up my boots I'm now enjoying my role as Director of Rugby at one of the most prestigious schools in the Country. I lead the over 15 teams and the Elite player pathways, having responsibility for their technical, tactical, physical and most importantly mental development.

As a proponent of mental well being I became a Mental Health First Aid instructor, joining Oakwood in 2019. I believe we all have good and bad mental health at different times in our lives - it far from being fixed but some of us need a bit more help getting back to a good head space.

I would love to finish by giving you some interesting hobby or amazing recent achievement… but what spare time I have is taken up by my wonderful 3 girls and border collie, meaning just surviving the day with all 4 intact is a success!!

profile-pic
Mark

Mark Ellis, Mental Health Trainer

Hi, I'm Mark. I enjoy meeting people from different backgrounds who bring real life experiences to the courses I deliver. I'm especially passionate about providing learners with the skills and confidence to spot the early signs of mental health problems in young people, which if addressed early on in life can really help them on the road to recovery.

I am a qualified RFU coach and have had the pleasure of running a number of teams in the past from Leicester University to my local club 1st XV. When I'm not at work you will find me either cooking a meal for my family (yes I know it's a strange way to relax but it works for me) or walking our two dogs in the beautiful local countryside.

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Karen

Karen Daybell, Mental Health Trainer

Hi, I'm Karen and I’m passionate about how we look after both our mental and physical wellbeing. The two run parallel but sadly there is still so much stigma and lack of understanding about mental ill health.

I trained as a Mental Health First Aid instructor so I could give people the knowledge and practical skills to help someone who may be struggling, as well as being able to look after their own wellbeing. I enjoy teaching people from different professions and backgrounds.

I’m a busy mum to 3 amazing children, 2 dogs, a rabbit and several chickens - earning the name 'mother hen’! Oh - and I'm training for my 2nd London Marathon.

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Chris

Chris Burnard, Personal Safety and Physical First Aid Trainer

Hello I'm Chris. I recently retired from the Police after a very exciting 30 year career as an Operational Firearms Commander, Firearms Tactical Advisor and Weapons Training Instructor.

I had the privilege of completing the firearms operational order and tactical plan for the Olympic games when Team GB and Team Japan used Loughborough University as a training venue. I have also been involved in the planning of Royalty and other VIP protection operations.

I have been teaching conflict management, de-escalation and personal safety skills for 15 years and joined Oakwood in 2016.

I’m a keen photographer and am looking forward to catching a great shot of Gemma with a face full of mud! One for the album...

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Andy

Andy Flockton, Mental Health Trainer

Hi I'm Andy. I have worked in the Mental Health field for close to 30 years, most of that time in the NHS as an Occupational Therapist, a Family Therapist and Transformation Manager across a whole range of services from young people to older adults. I joined Oakwood in 2017.

I am on the National Training Team for Mental Health First Aid England and approved to deliver all of their products. I enjoy raising awareness about mental health and helping make a real difference to people’s lives.

I'm a keen adventure racer and on a weekend you will often find me navigating on foot and mountain bike (usually lost) in some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK.

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Ian (Bradders)

Ian Bradbury, Personal Safety Trainer

Hi, my name's Ian although I don't think anyone actually knows that... they all call me "Bradders".

I have been a Personal Safety, Conflict Management and De-escalation skills trainer for 20 years and joined Oakwood in 2017. I am also an experienced expert witness in the area of Personal Safety. I enjoy delivering courses to people from all different backgrounds and have trained retail staff, loss prevention teams, housing officers, social workers, police officers, youth workers, counsellors and teachers.

I really enjoy helping people get the ‘lightbulb moment’…when everything clicks into place and they understand what reasonable force really is, or how to safely breakaway from an aggressor.

I am a Metafit instructor (and general fitness fanatic) and have just started a coaching role at my local Youth Rugby club.

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Emma

Emma Greenstein, Mental Health Trainer

Hi, I’m Emma and I am a Mental Health First Aid Trainer with nearly thirty years’ experience working in a variety of roles at the Open University.

I love to engage people in highly participative training sessions, by creating a friendly, relaxed, and safe environment in which people feel comfortable to share experiences and learn together.

As both a lecturer and an educational adviser, I have worked directly with students from a diverse range of backgrounds. My training and experience in counselling and psychotherapy enabled me to move into my more specialist role as the Mental Health Adviser for the OU in 2010. I have focused on suicide prevention and am qualified in ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training)

In my spare time I enjoy being part of an online photography community, spending time outdoors, walking our dog, and dancing. Not always at the same time!

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Roberta

Roberta Pomponio, Mental Health Trainer

Hi, I am Roberta. I was born in Italy, but life brought me to the UK over 20 years ago by chance. Italian is my first language and I also speak French and German.

I'm a Mental Health First Aid (England) instructor, a member of the Making Every Contact Count (MECC) for mental health experts reference group and a mental health lead for a Cheshire charity, but above all, I am a mental health ambassador.

Through my personal history of mental health and with years of training experience I have realised the importance of a strong understanding of mental health to help us achieve our goals, however small they may be.

We all have mental health and how we look after it affects our quality of life. Staying active is an invaluable part of my own mental health self-care toolkit.

A dog lover, in my free time, I still teach Italian, like singing (terribly), visiting art galleries and hiking in the Alps (when possible). During the lockdown months, I started growing fruit and vegetable in my garden, with mixed results but great pride. It goes without saying that as soon as I can, I will go back to Italy to visit my parents.

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Cait

Cait Mackenzie, Actor

Hi, I'm Cait. I trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and then worked professionally as an actor mainly in theatre, also TV and radio for a further 12 years before taking a career break to have my son.

As well as working extensively in the UK, including work with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Globe, my work has taken me to LA, Tokyo, St Petersburg and Madrid.

After becoming a Mum, I realised that I really wanted to spend more time closer to home with my family. I trained as a volunteer with the Samaritans whilst completing a Master's degree in Dramatherapy.

In my spare time, I love spending time with my family; on muddy walks with our dog or alternatively all piled on the sofa working our way the Star Wars franchise (with less mud, hopefully!)

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Donna

Donna Hanlon, Admin Support

Hi I’m Donna. I have been working with Oakwood since 2016 providing admin support and supporting clients with pre and post course information and support.

I’ve had an extensive career in both HR and training, PA and admin work. I am a graduate member of the Institute of Personnel and Development and have worked in both recruitment and training across professional service firms and the services sector so Oakwood is a great fit for me!

In my spare time I love to walk in my beautiful local area with my family and Welsh Springer Spaniel Monty. In addition to being a bit of a shopaholic, I also enjoy yoga, reading and ‘attempting’ to keep fit! I like to set myself a personal challenge each year – this year was the London Moonwalk and I am still open to ideas for what to do next!

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Moe

Moe Griffin, Mental Health Trainer

Hi I'm Moe. For the last 30 years having qualified as a Mental Health Nurse, I have worked in a variety of settings, as a Nurse /Mental Health Worker/Counsellor. These included the National Health Service, Alcohol/ Drug Addiction Charity, Primary Care and Higher Education.

I qualified as a Mental Health First Aid trainer in 2010 and introduced MHFA courses to the staff at the University of Bath before joining Oakwood in 2018.

What I love about training is every group is different, and I am passionate about increasing the number of conversations about Mental Health. I also like to encourage the participants to feel confident and to enjoy the course in an interactive way.

To relax I love to be outside (I have plenty of waterproof coats) either playing tennis, horse riding or walking my muddy Springer Spaniel.

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Michelle

Michelle Richardson, Mental Health Trainer

Hello I’m Michelle. I’ve been a midwife for 15 years and proud to be a specialist midwife for perinatal mental health (a title that’s admittedly a little long for an ID badge!) at one of the largest NHS Trusts in England.

I genuinely care and get passionate about mental health and enjoy delivering training courses. I think together we can get people talking about mental health, work to reduce stigma and most importantly help and support each other.

I am a mother to four amazingly wonderful, grown-up children. Even more amazing because they have put up with years of house renovations and many deliberations about colours and cushions! And just when everyone thought I was done, welcome to “Da Bungalow” a 1970’s marvel of pink and avocado that seemed to be just waiting for me back in my hometown.

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Becky

Becky Talbot, Mental Health Trainer

Hi I’m Becky. I am an experienced Mental Health First Aid trainer, counsellor and coach with a passion for improving the wellbeing of individuals and organisations. I joined Oakwood in 2018 and for the past 10 years have worked for the University of Leicester as their Senior Mental Wellbeing Facilitator and Coach whilst also providing one to one mental health support to students. I am also an associate trainer with Mental Health First Aid England and Student Minds.

I have wealth of personal and professional experience that allows me to bring learning to life. I enjoy bringing passion, creativity and humour to my sessions. In my spare time I enjoy writing spoken word poetry and playing the piano. My family are delighted by this!

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Tina

Tina Byrom, Mental Health Trainer

Hi, I’m Tina. I have over 27 years’ teaching experience across a range of educational settings and other organisations. My teaching approach is highly interactive and I believe learning should be enjoyable even when tackling serious issues such as mental health illness.

I have a passion for social justice, particularly around the opportunities of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and co-authored a book about the educational experience of homeless young people. In the summer of 2018, I volunteered at an orphanage in Romania, developing and delivering summer school activities for children who rarely have the opportunity to play. Despite the lack of running water, I am going back in the summer of 2019!

My other passion is synchronised ice skating. However, my skating skills are not quite up to being on the ice and skating in synchronisation with 15 other skaters!

I have two wonderful children, although their teenage years have posed some challenges. My passion for helping to reduce the stigma and discrimination around mental health stems from my own and wider family personal experiences of mental health issues.

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Jessica

Jessica Agudelo, Mental Health Trainer

I have worked internationally as a wellbeing consultant, delivering mental health training in English and Spanish. I have an MSc in Health Psychology and I am a qualified Mental Health First Aid Instructor and National Trainer for Mental Health First Aid England.

With more than 15 years of experience in the mental health sector, I have designed and developed services and programmes within voluntary, public and private sectors for young people and adults. Programmes in England include the first Community Development Project in the Criminal Justice System under the auspices of Delivering Race Equality in Mental Health, a peer led crisis helpline called Solidarity in a Crisis and the national roll out of Youth Mental Health First Aid across all state secondary schools in England.

When not working, I love to watch films and play board games with my partner and daughters. With a cup of tea and custard creams on hand. I have a busy working life so really enjoy quiet weekends with the family.

Meet our 'Charity Partner of Year' 2020

We’re delighted to be supporting

 'The Bridge - Homelessness to Hope',

 our Charity of the Year for 2020 . 

Their vision is for everyone in Leicester to have a place to call home and hope for the future.  


The Bridge started in 2009 providing an outreach ‘soup run’ service to homeless people in Leicester. Move forward 10yrs and they offer a full range of support services with a focus on physical and mental wellbeing. 

From hot meals (over 18,000 per year), hot showers and clothes to mentoring programmes and health advice. 

They will receive £5000 of free mental health and personal safety training/consultancy.  

2019 charity partner 'Warning Zone'

'Warning Zone' are a Life-Skills Centre and children safeguarding charity ran by a small management team and over 100 amazing volunteers. 

They deliver life-saving messages to children and young people, keeping them safe in the real and online world. This year they will welcome over 10,000 Year 6 (age 9/10) children through their doors. 

We helped them to embed mental health and personal safety messaging, trained all their staff and volunteers and raised over £2000 for the charity through our team fundraising event (taking on the UK's largest inflatable obstacle course!)