Simon Blake OBE
Mental Health First Aid England
Simon Blake OBE is CEO of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, leading the organisation to achieve its vision of normalising society’s attitudes and behaviours around mental health, through training one in ten of the population in mental health first aid skills.
With over 20 years working with young people Simon has been involved in several projects and initiatives to promote positive wellbeing and mental health. He has written over 40 publications on all aspects of PSHE and Citizenship.
In his roles at the Sex Education Forum, National Children’s Bureau, sexual health and wellbeing charity Brook and, most recently, as Chief Executive of the National Union of Students (NUS), Simon has considerable experience in balancing the competing agendas of various high-profile organisations and stakeholders, finding ways to build consensus and collaboration to achieve positive social outcomes.
Simon received an OBE in 2011 for his services to the voluntary sector and young people. He is Deputy Chair at Stonewall, Governor at Bath Spa University, a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute and a Fellow at Windsor Castle Society of Leadership Fellows.
Debbie is passionate about people and their wellbeing and is also very proud to be leading the award-winning Wellbeing@Aviva strategy and programme that supports the physical, mental, financial and social wellbeing for 15,000+ colleagues in the UK. At Aviva the work streams are Be Healthy, Be Mindful, Be Secure, Be Awesome.
As a result of the programme 83% of colleagues believe Aviva values their Health and wellbeing helping create the right culture and environment to enable them to do the best work of their lives.
Debbie has a reputation for top class delivery, collaboration and for bringing creativity to the role for the benefit of colleagues while also working within Diversity and Inclusion - 'without inclusion there is no wellbeing.'
Debbie also manages a multi-site team and a network of wellbeing champions to successfully deliver their award-winning Wellbeing@Aviva strategy.
JD & Co
One Year No Beer
Born in Mull, Ruari set up his first business on the island at the age of 16 selling and servicing PCs. A successful oil broking career in London followed where Ruari was quick to establish himself as a success.
However, it was a career path that was fuelled by alcohol, and it led Ruari to realise the impact that regular drinking was having in other aspects of his life. After a few failed attempts, Ruari quit drinking and found the effects life-changing. Keen to spread the word, Ruari formed a friendship with fellow alcohol-free oil broker Andy Ramage and established OYNB in 2016 with the aim of helping other people realise the life advantages that come from changing their relationship with alcohol. OYNB has since helped over 80,000 people in 90 countries create healthier lifestyles. It’s not just about not drinking.
Dr Andres Fonseca
Alongside Thrive co-founder Adam Huxley, he oversaw the growth of this company from 7 hospitals to over different 70 services including specialist schools and care homes. The company went on to be successfully listed in the London Stock Exchange. He then left this company to found Thrive in 2012 where he serves as CEO.
Amanda is the UK Wellbeing Programmes Lead at Fujitsu and is responsible for driving programmes which support the wellbeing of all employees.
Amanda is passionate about wellbeing and in particular about creating an inclusive environment where people feel that they are able to bring their full selves to work.
Dr Jonathan Houdmont
University of Nottingham
Dr Jonathan Houdmont introduced the UK’s first Masters Degree in Workplace Health and Wellbeing at the University of Nottingham in 2007.
Since that time many of the nation’s leading practitioners have completed the course which provides a theoretical and evidence-based foundation for action on the protection and promotion of workforce health and wellbeing.
Jonathan’s research and consultancy focuses on psychosocial risk in high stress occupational groups, with a particular focus on policing.
Former England cricketer
Ronnie Irani is a former England Cricketer who moved from Lancashire County Cricket Club to play for Essex County Cricket Club in 1994. He quickly gained cult status before he became captain in 2000 where he did a fine job in charge. He helped bring through promising players such as Sir Alastair Cook (England Captain) and Ravinder Bopara (England Player) as well as winning four major One-Day Titles while at Essex CCC.
His OrthoSole insole business is how Ronnie got introduced into R&D Tax Credits by his now business partner Kevin Auchoybur in R&D Advisors UK Ltd. After experiencing the positive effects of this Ronnie went about introducing the legislation to many of his friends and colleagues who are at board room level in large PLC’s or own their own businesses and collectively the company has grown in success over time having strong alliances with companies that turnover between £1m and £1.9 billion in revenue.
Health and Safety Executive
Peter Kelly works for the Health and Safety Executive and is Practitioner Chair of European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology. He has been involved in working across the EU on a number of initiatives in relation to psychosocial risk and prevention.
Employed as a Senior Psychologist, Peter is a technical expert on mental health and wellbeing and prevention of work related stress.
Peter has also been part of the small team of psychologists involved from the beginning in developing the scientific knowledge base for the management standards approach to tackling work-related stress in Great Britain and is a co–author on a number of papers published on the management standards, health and wellbeing.
Peter Kelly has sat as a co-opted expert on National Institute of Clinical Excellence Review of Mental Health Promotion within the Workplace and on the Department for Health’s United Kingdom SHIFT Expert review panel on workplace mental health guidance.
The Social Chain
Dominic is the co-founder and COO of The Social Chain, an award-winning social first marketing agency and social media publishing house with offices in London, Manchester, Berlin and New York. The group owns 400 digital communities and is able to reach over 386 million, working with brands such as Superdry, Warner Music, New Balance and Coca Cola. Dominic is a speaker, entrepreneur and an advocate for young people’s mental health and personal development in business.
Bavaneesha is the Senior Director of Global Learning Solutions at Workplace Options, the world’s largest privately owned and independent provider of integrated employee wellbeing solutions. She has over twenty years extensive experience in the Employee Wellness industry, working across Relationship Management, Consultancy and Global Training roles, all of which are complimented by a Bachelor of Social Science Degree in Law & Industrial Psychology.
Bav's experience has included working for leading PMI (Private Medical Insurance), Occupational Health and Employee Assistance Programme companies in the UK, USA and South Africa. Bavaneesha has played a key role in implementing Global Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) and Global Training/Consulting Solutions.
Former Wales rugby player
Alix Popham is retired international rugby player, with 33 caps for Wales, played in World Cups in 2003 and 2007 and a 2008 Grand Slam winner. Alix retired in 2011 and in April this year was diagnosed with probable CTE and early on set dementia as a result of traumatic brain injury suffered in his rugby career.
Alix is passionate about the connection between sport and business, utilising his excellent network of relationships from the rugby family globally to successful introduce business partnerships across a variety of industries.
Sadie Restorick is a global speaker, consultant, trainer and published academic scholar specialising in workplace mental health and wellbeing and psychosocial risk management.
Sadie has worked in the field for over 10 years providing consultancy and training to some of the largest companies in the world. She has worked with companies of all sizes to develop mental health strategies that are fit for purpose, auditing organisations on their existing strategies and helping stakeholders develop an approach that fits the needs of their people and their businesses.
Dr Sabrina Robinson
Essex City Council
Sabrina is Chartered Psychologist registered with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and a Health Psychologist registered with the UK Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
Sabrina’s current role is as Wellbeing Lead at Essex County Council, working within their Organisation Development and People & Service Transformation function with a focus of driving the wellbeing agenda for their 7, 500 employees. The purpose of her role as Wellbeing Lead is to build their employee wellbeing strategy, action plan and infrastructure, focussing on four keys pillars of wellbeing; mental, physical, social and financial wellbeing. In 2020, Essex County Council launched their workforce Wellbeing Strategy 2020 – 2025 with a focus on having a positive impact on the council’s wellbeing culture, being prevention focussed, personal wellbeing, improved standards, collaboration and impact and having positive and well equipped leadership and management role models.
Simon's first sales business was started in the property industry in 2009 which grew to two offices, included four business acquisitions and a successful exit in 2017.
He realised there must be a way to improve the sales industry’s approach to mental health and wellbeing and this is now his burning passion. Following a period in his life where he experienced burn-out, he also gained a healthy appreciation for mental health, which in turn, through resilience, led to the birth of Wellity.
Lucy leads on mental health and wellbeing for UK Visas and Immigration – the largest directorate in the Home office with a workforce of 13,000 people. She received an award from the Home Secretary as the most influential person in 2018.
Moving to Brussels in 2008 Lucy worked for the European Commission on their gender equality programme and then in 2009 to Mental Health Europe where she managed a trans-European project on the mental health impacts of violence against women in the workplace.
She holds an IOSH qualification and is an associate MHFA instructor. Currently she is studying for a CIPD qualification in Learning and Development.
Lucy has always been interested in mental health, from her mother’s experience of Borderline Personality Disorder and her own experience with Bulimia Nervosa from the age of 12-24.
Scott Ward MBA (CISM)
Scott created and launched a unique Personal Performance Programme for multiple sectors within EY to extend their capabilities within the people advisory sector, supporting those 'of need' during times of progression or change.
With individual expertise in self awareness, emotional bias, D&I and entrepreneurialism, Scott designed the unique framework and content for the delivery of a global learning and e-learning delivery system through cloud and SaaS. Designing and implementing training programmes in various jurisdictions including the USA, Caribbean, UAE, India and others, the framework is now the first globally assured programme of its kind. This has led to recognition from peers and advisory roles for Global and National initiatives.
Sarah Walker (CISM)
Sarah is a driven and visionary Executive Leader with a track record for leading highly motivated & performing sales channels. A mental health and wellbeing advocate, Sarah is also experienced in creating and executing strategic change and transformation programs to improve operational performance of business units, improving customer advocacy and employee engagement within the Major Business, Public Sector and Corporate Environment.
Sarah's strong communication and relationship skills facilitate powerful advocacy and support across a diverse set of Stakeholders internally and externally, from front line through to Executive.
Amanda is a forward thinking, dynamic and trusted reward & wellbeing leader working in one of the fastest growing and most recognisable fitness apparel and accessories brands in the world which, as you can imagine, is an extremely fast paced and continually evolving environment.
Amanda Webb is Head of Global Pay and Perks at Gymshark and believes that having the right partners and platforms helps Gymshark deliver their physical, mental and financial wellbeing agenda. However, at Gymshark, they don’t stop at delivery; they continually review their data and communications to ensure that all of the benefits are relevant and actually utilised.
Association of Professional Sales
Andy is Founder and CEO of the association of professional sales which over eight years has grown into the world's only independent professional body focused on parity for professional sellers, providing learners and members with qualifications, certifications, forums, best practices and the world's largest on-line learning management system.
With work undertaken at the association seeing the potential impact on sales performance through formal learning as delivered by apprenticeships in sales at diploma, degree, and masters levels, has led to starting the exciting research journey with Cranfield University.