They're ookey & they're kooky
But they're damned good at it!

MEET YOUR TRIBE

When life blows you a cloud, having your people waiting like the sun on the other side, gives you what it takes to get through.

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Lindie Whitfield

Chief Officer

Lindie brings 33 years experience in working with the most disadvantaged people in society, especially women, children and young people in prisons, secure units, children's homes and working on the streets in deprived communities. Having worked in the Local Authority and private sector, she then moved to lead the development of services within the charitable sector in Devon 20 years ago, leading strategy around domestic abuse, passionately championing people within the court system and actively implementing social action to distribute aid, befriending and support to the most vulnerable, lonely and isolated people in the community.  She passionately believes in preserving dignity by seeing people as valued contributors, rather than takers from society and leads with an ethos of paying it forwards.  Passion, energy and stubborn belief you can explore the impossibilities if you set your collective minds to it are the driving force behind Lindie's decision to found Wellbeing in Action.  Her weakness:  gin sampling & will never put anything before a slick of lipstick and whisk of mascara are in place!

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Laurel Rose  (B.AHons)

Young Women's Ambassador

Laurel combined 5 years of degree study in theatrical media make-up and hair with working in the University Aim Higher programme to raise aspirations of children from deprived families.  She has volunteered since the age of 10 (being the youngest ever Millenium Volunteer!) and has a became acutely aware of the needs of young women around body image, self esteem and disparity in opportunities for those suffering female health and mental health issues.  Supporting young women to openly discuss and share common problems and find solutions, friendship and inspiration is Laurel's passion.  Laurel facilitates workshops around wellbeing in schools, college, university and workplaces. She leads community peer support groups online and through social media and she uses her creative skills to the benefit of those who have suffered poor wellbeing by facilitating regular workshops to assist with things like problematic skin, body size and eating disorders, scarring (e.g inflicted by self-harm or from violence, or natural phenomena such as birth marks) and she is also a wig maker and can assist with women who have lost hair through stress or chemical loss (chemo or acid attacks for example).  

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Donna Ridout

Trustee

Mental Health Advisor

Donna has over 25 years experience working on the frontline in youth services, establishing young people's sexual health clinic and working with young women in the community.  She also gained first hand knowledge of the practical and legal considerations for people with acute mental health conditions in her role as a MIND mental health advocate - working in courts, hospitals and the community.   Donna now brings her experience to Wellbeing in Action as a Trustee, assisting in strategic development of our mental health policies and procedures.  As with all our Trustees, she also plays an active role in helping to facilitate awareness raising, fundraising and events in the community.  

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Derek Weeks

Wellbeing Activity Leader & Race Co-ordinator

Derek discovered the love of running as a way to manage his own mental health  journey and knows the trauma of taking the first step when you neither have the energy, confidence, motivation or self belief to walk out of the door, let alone run a marathon.  Using physical energy is important in combating depression and anxiety and Derek openly shares his own experiences whilst encouraging people to take part.  As a veteran, Derek not only knows the reality of mental ill-health and suicide ideation, but has also lost close friends and raises money through running gruelling marathons and cross-country events in their memory.  

Derek links us into local and national running, cycling and physical activity events, supports volunteers to prepare and participate and runs small clubs, particularly for women to introduce them to improving their fitness for hormonal balance.  He is inspiring us all to participate in the Inflatable Obstacle Race and relishes putting our team through our paces (though he swears we are the worst group of people to motivate without a bottle of wine dangling at the finish line!)

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Clare Thompson

Wellbeing Befriender

Home Interior Leader

Clare has first hand experience of living with PTSD after the trauma of losing her brother whilst serving in Afghanistan, and being notified with her close family whilst actively giving birth to her son.  The experience spurred Clare on to supporting other women facing difficult situations and, as a befriender she spends time 1:1 in the community, assisting with practical tasks like filling in forms, shopping and housekeeping, attending GP, benefits or court appointments and being both a shoulder to cry on and a friendly giggle to share over coffee.  Our befrienders don't work to a set number of sessions or timeframe, the relationship is ongoing and Clare leads other women to explore positive activities, building their confidence and skills until they are able to become resilient and make their own way. Clare also leads a specialist project with women who have had to set their homes up from scratch after leaving situations of domestic abuse.  "Providing essential furniture and equipment is vital, but I use my interior decoration skills to help them make this into a personal project to design their new home to reflect their strength and personality. Receiving charity is about giving you back your dignity, not robbing you of it, and that's what a beautiful home can achieve".

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Laura Johnson

Blushbaby Peer Leader

As a young Mum herself, having gorgeous little Luca at 18, Laura knows first hand the joys and challenges of parenting with the added considerations of being a young woman.  Facing barriers in relation to continuing with career dreams, living in isolation, transport (particularly in our rural Devon communities), finances, health, relationships and dating whilst navigating the systems for housing, benefits, employment and the mental loneliness that can accompany being unable to socialise, travel and explore life as freely as other young people, are all part of the scenery Laura experiences and sees others in the same situation.  As a Peer Leader of our Blushbaby project, Laura liaises with younger parents, provides a friendly listening ear, arranges emergency aid like food parcels, household goods, baby equipment etc, and facilitates social groups where young mums can come together to join in workshops, make friendships, share common concerns and enjoy a social life with their children.  Laura supports the team to deliver our Blushbaby Appeal - motivating the community to donate and distribute baby items to families in need across Devon, especially those where women and children have been affected by abuse or poverty

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Eve Brennan

Little Miss Peri Facilitator -  Devon

Gentle Eve speaks calmly, quietly and gives the sense that you are in the company of an angel sent to help you work your own mind out... but that also belies the fact that she's worked in the toughest male oriented industries and has a talent for being straightforward when injustice and threat to people's wellbeing is present.   Eve is a specialist aromatherapist and wellbeing practitioner, providing both individual support sessions and also using her calm and efficient approach to facilitate the South Devon Little Miss Peri Clubs - supporting women with emotional and mental health challenges as they navigate through these years.  Eve's weakness:  she can't stop buying new blends for her aromatherapy kit and smells too damn good from  handling them all the time!

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Claire Mortimer

Event Management Lead

Claire  uses her consummate organisational ability to whip the team into action to pull off some mind-blowingly complex, personal and bespoke events.  Claire oversees all our hospitality team, trainees and staff from waiters, bar staff to wedding planners - running our social enterprise events to raise funds for the charity.  Claire is no stranger to operating a full event for 300 people in a cow shed, but not one receipt slips her attention, and her efficiency comes in quite handy when navigating 200 runners through a fundraising marathon too!  No team can exist without a Claire, and her experience in financial and accounting management also help us to keep an efficient system powering the crazy world of Wellbeing in Action.   Claire is a mother-hen figure - offering her spare bedroom to a line-up of people in desperate situations over the years, helping them find work, getting them through their studies and proping them up with their businesses.  Claire's weaknesses:  Hard to find them, but she does often make her husband climb 55 foot structures to hang event decorations without really caring much for his safety!

 

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Balazs Benke

Photographic & Moving Image Project Co-ordinator

Besides being an incredible artisan of moving image, Balazs is a passionate supporter of young people's mental health & wellbeing, often using his work to highlight the emotional and hidden aspects of depression, isolation and loneliness that can sometimes lead to the greatest price of unnecessary loss of life through suicide.  Balazs works with Sam to develop stunning captures of our work, the people behind the story, creating social media content and using his talent to highlight the key issues.  Our Media Team offer their services to private, social and business clients, bringing a moral ethos to each project they undertake, and raising much needed funds and awareness for Wellbeing in Action.

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Wendy Casban

Scentologist & Women's Support Worker

Wendy facilitates our scentology service within the Lemon Street Spa - assisting individuals and groups to identify how the sense of smell can play a role in wellbeing and advising on individual blends of scent in personal, cosmetic and environment application.  From candles to perfumes, she helps to add balance and harmony to enhance mood.   Wendy also supports our Good Karma pop-up events and the End Loneliness Campaign activities.  As an air hostess who recently suffered the loss of her role and colleagues through the financial collapse of the airline she worked for, Wendy has a keen interest in supporting others who have struggled through redundancy and career changes at all stages of life.

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Megan Coysh-Willams

Blog Writer & Community Influencer

Megan's mind wraps around issues like mist and recreates them in words for the world to be inspired by.   She works on projects where people need their personal experiences to be heard - capturing stories, researching thoughts and ideas and creating thought provoking articles, blogs and social media posts to inspire and help people relate and gain support.   Megan loves to party (hard to find a photo without a little glass of fizz in hand!) and enthusiastically volunteers at our social fundraising events - from painting the town green to raise awareness of bowel cancer to getting on board with  a pop-up prom night - she'll be there.  Megan is one of our young creative team and champions the voice of those who are isolated or feeling they don't fit with their peer groups.

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Emma Warren

Resources Director

Emma is without doubt the most friendly team member you could wish to chat with... even though her efficiency terrifies us all! With a background in legal administration, and a creative flair for spectacular events, Emma looks after everything from building leases to glittering fundraising balls. Her forte and primary role are in our Aid Distribution project where she resourcefully matches donations of clothing, household goods, baby equipment (everything from a wheelchair to a can of beans!) to people in need.  We don't just dish out second hand items - every recipient receives time, care and a bespoke package that also leads to ongoing support. Whether a woman fleeing violence and needing to equip their entire home to first time volunteers, sponsors and room bookings - Emma is your go-to girl for all logistics!  Emma's passion for fairness, being brave to support what she believes is right, even when it's not the popular path, and constant thought for people and acts of kindness win her hearts & minds, and as such she also facilitates our South Devon Little Miss Peri Clubs for women experiencing menopause related difficulties.  Emma's Weakness:  loves a good pair of high heels, can't resist a party and finds it hard to reach sinks in public toilets (she's teeny petite!) 

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Charlotte King

Solution Focused Therapist

DSFH HPD QTFE

Charlotte is a qualified lecturer and experienced Clinical Solution Focused Hypnotherapist/Psychotherapist, Solution Focused Brief Therapist and Complementary Therapist and founder of The Pebble Ridge Practise.  Working in partnership with Wellbeing in Action to support those who face a range of life-impacting psychological issues from past trauma, anxiety, stress, sleep disorders, weight loss, habit changing, smoking cessation, bereavement, post natal depression and menopause support. Charlotte receives countless positive feedback from clients who have been overwhelmed with changes they have been able to bring about in their own lives as the result of her guidance.  Charlotte works with both adults and children and has been especially successful in training the Rewind Technique for those facing deep trauma, such as veterans.  

Charlotte is as active within the team in the community as she is in the therapy room - dressing up as an elf to deliver gifts to families in need, delivering sessions in schools and actively supporting awareness raising activities.

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Linda Puryer

Trustee

Aid Distribution Volunteer

Linda is a Trustee of Wellbeing in Action who brings specialisms in data analysis and guides us in the evaluation and monitoring of our activities.  However, she is also known as the Queen of the Raffle - selling tickets with unprecedented enthusiasm!  Linda also plays a very active role in our Aid Distribution system, giving hours of time to collect donations, wash, store, sanitize and distribute back out to families in need.  Having a female delivery distribution worker is particularly helpful when working with women setting up home following leaving a situation of domestic abuse and she gently builds rapport and can give advice on a range of issues from helping a new mother change a nappy to signposting someone to critical health care (whilst juggling a microwave and kettle under her arm!) Linda is always game for whatever crazy ideas our events team throw her way and particularly looks fetching in an elf suit at Christmas!

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Nicola Leggett

Aid Distribution Co-ordinator

Events & Fundraising Leader

Nicola's lived experience of life changing brain surgery and learning to be resilient and adapt to the challenges it brought have fuelled her instinct to reach out to others.  Nicky's resourceful, friendly and compellingly community spirit win hearts and minds and she puts this to good use in securing endless items of aid to distribute to women and families in need.  Sourcing household goods, toys, educational items, pet supplies... no matter what is getting in the way of someone in need being able to enjoy their life, Nicky finds a solution.  She also puts her resourceful talent to great use to support our fundraising initiatives - putting on creative, fun and crazy activities and supporting others to get involved.  The blend of active, resourceful and empathy for people suffering mental ill-health, physical illness and trauma with a non-judgmental, straight forward look at life is the pulse of our team and Nicky's sense of humour keeps us all giggling through late night clothing donation ironing duties!  

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Lisa Riordan

Wellbeing Befriender

Lisa juggles a busy life raising her 5 year old son while training for a career in social work and being a support worker for people with drug and alcohol addiction.  She provides a personal, warm, non-judgmental approach to women we support in our Wellbeing programmes both as a 1:1 Befriender and running group and peer workshops.  Our befrienders, like Lisa, visit individuals, form friendships, assist with general tasks that make day to day living manageable, help with admin and navigating different services, offer a listening ear for problems and a warm smile and enthusiasm to help people have fun and enjoy new activities in their life.  Lisa is a passionate team colleague who also helps leads fundraising events and is always the first into crazy costumes and Tiktok dancing to bring a sparkle to the team.  

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Ellen Ward

Participation Worker

Ellen is dedicated to community giving - particularly supporting charities to deliver effective responses to people suffering mental ill-health.   Ellen is a trainee accountant who wishes to use her skills in a community context and specifically leads on service user voice - ensuring each of our projects and initiatives is built around the needs of the people we aim to reach.  She helps with facilitating online consultations, uses social media to reach into the community to engage people with lived experience and supports individuals to become involved in our project design.  Ellen also actively participates in our awareness raising and fundraising activities, assisting people to participate and ensuring practical barriers to them doing so are identified and removed.  

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Becky Boo

Little Miss Peri Co-ordinator - Midlands Region

Becky Boo is our Brummie Queen of Meno... a real life woman who's lived through most situations and turns them all to the advantage of others.  An expert make-up artist and supporting women with their wellbeing through physical appearance, she also lived through breast cancer and is passionate to support women facing the same.  Her experience of peri-menopause and its effect on mental health is one she bares on her sleeve for the advancement of others and she facilitates the Little Miss Peri Club for Birmingham, working in partnership with John Lewis to transform community space into places for women to learn, share and receive support.

Becky speaks from the heart, is straight forward and passionate and extends love, welcome and reassurance as well as humour and a very big embrace.  

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NEW TEAM MEMBER

Good Karma Membership Leader

We're recruiting for a friendly, vibrant, can-do personality to drive forward the Good Karma Club membership team.  Whether receiving assistance, or helping to give it, Wellbeing in Action consider all those who come into our world as equal and aim to make the experience a lifelong pleasure.  The Good Karma Club operates community appeals, facilitates events to combat loneliness and brings local businesses together with the community to make life enjoyable for all.  Managing the membership, generating business sponsors for the VIP Privilege scheme and keeping members informed of a vibrant calendar of events are all part of the job.  See our vacancy page for more information.

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Amber White

Lemon Street Spa

Co-ordinator (Hair)

Amber leads our hair and wellbeing department, being one of the youngest salon entrepreneurs in our area as Director also of Sculptures Salon in Kingsteignton.  Specialising in clients who require a highly personal approach, whether solving hair dilemmas caused by poor health or lack of general care, to creating transformational new looks to boost confidence and self esteem.  Amber also facilitates our workshops on personal style analysis and actively supports vocational development of people wanting to explore hair design as a new career option.  

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Suzanne Haines

Social Action Volunteer

Suzanne rolls her sleeves up to make social action projects come to life in the community. Working as a live-in carer with people with learning disability is her passion and she invests her time so much, it's a wonder she always manages to fit in being part of an active Biking Community where charity activities are part of the culture.  Suzanne is as adept at wielding a hosepipe for a charity carwash as helping facilitate our Good Karma Babyblush days.  She has a huge passion for community and a heart that ensures our team, clients, partners and supporters all feel welcomed and positive in her company.

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Chris Wills

Charity Advisor

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The Boss

The real Boss!

The Team...

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The Super Calming One

Spreadsheet Queen

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She's all about the girls!

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Little Ms Resourceful

Never stops running!

Hide your chocolate!

Will paint & cover you in fabric!

Brummie Babe survivor with a creative twist!

Super Serene

Juggles tantrums on her hip like a hoola hoop!

No event dampens those curls!

Could it be you?

Most polite guy in the team

Tells us off for using silicone shampoo!

The calm listener with a fragrant aura

Not much escapes her pen!

The Feisty One

The only one of us good at sums

The Biker with a heart