Talking Life has a large team of high quality trainers based around the U.K. We’d like to introduce you to them….
Abdul Siddique is a qualified Social Worker, Community Cohesion expert, trainer and Certified Muslim chaplain. He has Years’ of experience working with BAME communities within multi-agency public and private settings. He is a Home office approved intervention provider working on the government’s channel programme. Abdul has grass root social, youth work experience with particular interests in deprived, disadvantaged, hard to reach immigrant and asylum communities. He has experience with engaging with BAME communities particularly those of south-asian Muslim origin. He has particular experience and expertise in community cohesion research, related teaching, training, representation and contributing to the advancement of social inclusion and inter-faith, cultural relations across the public, private and third sector spectrum.
ALLAN JOHNSTON is a professionally qualified social care manager, who has worked in both practice and educational roles within social care for over 25 years. Allan has developed and delivered many professional development events on a variety of topics relating to topics including substance misuse and mental health and its impact on children and families. Allan has worked with the whole range of practitioners including health and social work staff at all levels and experience. Allan has also written local authority procedures for joint assessment processes.
Andy Cross is a MCIPD HR consultant with a breadth and depth of HR and OD delivery through a variety of roles covering both private and public sectors. He has an in depth knowledge of a mix of strategic and operational delivery expertise across Industrial Relations, Employee Engagement, Learning and Development, Diversity and Inclusion, Policy Development, Reward, Resourcing and Selection. He also delivers Level 5 CIPD Diploma in HR Management and L&D CIPD diploma programmes. Via the CIPD and Local Enterprise Partnerships, he volunteers his time to schools and colleges across Merseyside and Wirral as a Business Mentor and Enterprise Adviser. Andy is an engaging and popular trainer who has a gift for making ‘dry’ topics easily digestible
ANITA SIMPSON is a registered nurse and qualified clinical lecturer, with a PGCE teaching qualification and many years’ experience of training health & social care professionals in best practice across clinical specialisms. Anita teaches extensively to both NHS and Local Authority social care staff. She has also undertaken numerous research projects and presented her work at national and international conferences and has also participated in government funded research projects within the NHS. She is very much a ‘people person’ with an interest in interpersonal skills and quality evaluation to provide better a better service for service users wherever possible.
ANDREI SZERARD was a qualified barrister for 27 years, specialising in family law at 3 Dr Johnson’s Buildings, Temple. He has practised in all areas of criminal and family law, conducting cases at the Old Bailey, the Court of Appeal and the High Court in London. He has extensive experience of, and interest in, child protection and is a highly popular and sought after trainer, combining his extensive legal experience and knowledge with an innovative and stimulating training style. He has delivered over 100 Court Skills, Expert Witness training courses (including Report Writing for Court) and Age Assessment training to social workers throughout England & Wales.
Angela Daly is a highly experienced and skilled Corporate Trainer and Organisational Development Specialist who combines communication and facilitation skills, along with extensive experience, to deliver professional results. A qualified teacher of adults, Angela has many years’ experience designing and delivering tailored training interventions to a diverse workforce. She is passionate about empowering, developing and supporting people to enhance their skills to improve personal performance and organisational effectiveness. Angela thrives on supporting organisational improvement and influencing cultural change by developing internal and external relationships. She is an engaging and popular trainer.
BRIGITTE SPREEUWENBERG is an experienced Social Worker, Mental Health specialist and Systemic Psychotherapist in the fields of Child and Family Work, Substance Mis-use and Adult Mental Health. Brigitte has extensive experience of Mental Health training in both Social Care and the NHS and has designed, developed and delivered a significant portfolio of more than 20 courses for voluntary and statutory agencies across the UK over many years. Her courses are of the highest quality and have been enjoyed by hundreds of delegates across the Health and Social Care sectors
Carol Weston is a respected international speaker and ADHD specialist. She has over 20 years’ extensive experience of working directly with children, young people and families in both the voluntary sector and private practice. As Project Manager of a Charity supporting over 500 families affected by ADHD, ASD and associated Learning Difficulties, she was responsible for developing programmes and delivering services which improved outcomes for families and young people affected by the condition. Carol is particularly interested in reducing the social and educational exclusion experienced by young people with these disorders. She is committed to changing lives for the better by dispelling misconceptions, improving awareness, and promoting best practice through training. You can be confident that you will be working with a professional who is not only an exceptional communicator, but who fully understand the issues and concerns of the sector.
Cheryl Pinner is a former experienced police detective with numerous in- force, crown court and national commendations for work carried out primarily in family liaison, victim and witness care and investigations. Throughout her police career, Cheryl liaised with support agencies, assisting with training ( victim support, Cruse etc) and gained extensive experience which underpins her training on Family Liaison and Bereavement and Crisis training. She has been instrumental in setting up and training support volunteers in Cambridgeshire in mass disasters and continues to train regionally ,nationally and internationally in all family liaison and support issues.
Dr Celia Harbottle
DR CELIA HARBOTTLE is a lecturer and trainer working in the field of Adult Social Care and Health with many years’ experience delivering a wide variety of training courses. Her background is rooted in practice both in NHS provision and Social Services and she was a Senior Lecturer at both the University of Sunderland and the University of Teesside before deciding to train full time. She has been involved in the design and delivery of courses to meet specific organisational need and is able to offer an extensive, constantly updated portfolio of training. She is a highly popular trainer because of her enthusiastic, informed and up to the minute knowledge and style of delivery. Celia has also been recognised by the English Community Care Association (ECCA) as an approved provider of Mental Capacity Act training and is a GSCC (General Social Care Council) registered practitioner.
Cathi Bouaouina is an adult care training professional with 18 years’ experience working as a trainer and consultant. Her extensive experience spans from hospitals, residential care homes, nursing homes and day care services both within Social Services and the private sector. With a solid grounding in operational issues and challenges within the residential care environment Cathi’s courses relate directly to the relevant Care Standard where applicable. As someone who has worked in many differing social care environments Cathi has an abundance of real life work situations to draw on to bring training to life. Cathi has an ability to communicate at all levels ensuring all learners enjoy the training and attain positive results.
Craig Clark and Ian Bolton are experienced, qualified social workers & practice teachers who have extensive experience of delivery of training to social care staff and a range of other professionals over a 10 year period. Ian and Craig have developed a children’s rights and participation training course that was delivered as part of the safeguarding children agenda for Hull City Council. The course was uniquely delivered alongside young people and focused heavily on exploring a range of techniques, and the value of, positive communication with children and young people. This training experience also extends to delivering key note speeches and delivering workshops to various conferences and events across the UK and abroad. In addition to this Craig and Ian both have extensive experience of listening and responding to LAC, socially excluded and children and young people at risk both through case work and group work settings. Both trainers are still actively in front line service delivery in Hull.
David Laing – Bio Coming Soon!
Dawn O’Neill is a qualified social worker and registered with the Health Care Professions Council. Her experience in the field of children’s social care settings is vast and spans 28 years. She and also has a 10 year + background in the design, delivery and evaluation of social care training packages ranging from induction to leadership and management. Dawn has also delivered Safeguarding training on behalf of her Local Safeguarding Children Board. She is a member of the Institute for Learning. Dawn has highly developed communication skills and an excellent understanding of human behaviour and factors which influence or create behavioural change. Her work is always to high standard and she is particularly skilled around working with teams where a high level of mediation is required. She is very skilled at managing group dynamics, particularly where multi agency teams are involved. Dawn always keeps her knowledge of current developments, legislation and guideline current. Her course evaluations are consistently excellent.
A number of Dawn’s courses are CPD accredited.
Helena Cava is a self-motivated, committed and professional senior adult social care consultant and trainer, with extensive experience within the statutory and independent sector of staff management, project based consultancy, training and interim management of operational services. With a sound knowledge base of the social care sector, skills include project management, research, the designing and delivering of training modules, detailed analysis, investigation, and assessment. With a background in health based social work, Helena has worked in a number of diverse local authority settings and carried out organisational reviews and projects. She remains a registered social worker.
Holly Carter is an experienced counsellor, supervisor and trainer, who has worked for Relate for over ten years, combining this with a private practice in Exeter. Prior to obtaining a Master’s degree in Relationship Therapy, Holly enjoyed a twenty year career as a practising barrister, specialising in family law in chambers at 3 Dr Johnson’s Buildings, Temple, London. She has also trained and worked as a family mediator.
Subsequent to obtaining a PTTLLS qualification, Holly has written and delivered numerous training courses for diverse organisations including the CAB, Relate, and the Stroke Association. She enjoys training, and recognises the importance of blending the professional with the empathic, encouraging participants to recognise and build upon their existing competencies, alongside the lifelong learning of new skills.
John Keegan is an experienced Mental Health professional with an extensive and varied job profile at senior level in health and social care. He has worked consistently in Mental Health since 1982 and for the last 18 years has worked in an operational management capacity, being involved in the development of existing and new services both within the NHS and the independent sector. As a Clinical Director and Hospital Manager, and throughout his Mental Health career, Safeguarding has underpinned all of his work and as a Hospital Manager from 2013-15 John was responsible for managing a large scale review of services by Staffordshire safeguarding. Similarly, staff training to the highest quality has formed a key part of his work as a Manager.
John has been delivering freelance training since 2017 on topics including Safeguarding Adults and Children (at all levels), the Mental Capacity Act, Mental Health Act, DoLs, Dementia Care and other mandatory training topics.
John has outstanding communication skills and a gift for conveying sometimes complex information to a wide audience in easily digestible form and retaining their attention. He has received consistently excellent feedback in his sessions.
Judy Hardman is a qualified and experienced social worker and social work manager. She began her career in Liverpool, working with people of all ages, and then moved to Leicestershire, where she specialized in managing family support services, children’s centres and youth offending services. She was Programme Manager for the Leicester Children’s Fund for five years, a Government-funded early intervention scheme for disadvantaged children aged 5-13.
Judy now works as an independent consultant & trainer with Local Authorities across the UK to help them in developing and improving their services. She is an accredited peer reviewer with the Local Government Association, and an Associate Consultant with Research in Practice, with whom she delivers training for social workers. Judy is also an Action for Children associate and in this capacity regularly delivers training on safeguarding in schools. She has developed and delivered training programmes on a range of subjects, including reflective supervision, relationship based social work, working with resistant parents, evidencing outcomes, and child abuse linked to belief in witchcraft and spirit possession.
JO SPENDER is an experienced Social Worker, Senior Social Work Manager and Teacher of Higher Education and Continuous Professional Development. Jo is also a qualified lawyer with a specific interest in children’s care law and has extensive experience of training in Children’s Social Work and Law at both pre-and post qualifying levels. She is an excellent communicator and experienced and highly regarded trainer her courses enriched with examples from her vast experience across Children’s Social Care.
Karen is a highly motivated and results driven Graduate with over twenty-six years as a Senior Youth Worker and Advanced Practitioner in a local authority. She is a qualified Teacher and Trainer, with extensive experience of working with children, young people and adults, and as such she has good knowledge and understanding of Child Sexual Exploitation, Safeguarding, and vulnerability as well as Gang Culture and Modern Slavery.
Karen is an outstanding communicator and her courses are consistently highly rated by those attending.
KAREN WARREN is an experienced manager and trainer across a wide range of private and public sector organisations. Her roles have included Operations Manager, Administration and Business Manager and in the NHS, Organisational Development Manager. Karen has high level experience of line management in both the private and public sectors and as such she has a unique understanding of how the business culture of the private sector can benefit the public sector. She is also an experienced Stress Manager, workplace Coach and trainer.
Karen has expertise and experience in the delivery of a range of training topics suitable for staff in the workplace including Building Effective Teams, Commercial Awareness (for public sector organisations), Handling Difficullt Conversations, Managing Underperformance, Personal Resilience, Personal Effectiveness, Stress Management, & Personality Types. She is an outstanding and popular trainer whose passion is to support individuals and organisations in their development.
KARINA TURNER has 30 years’ direct front line experience working in child protection and safeguarding with hard-to-engage children & young people and their families and to this day is still passionate about her work. In her role as a Local Authority Manager, Karina has experience in dealing with violation and the impact this has on staff, children and young people and families.
Karina is also qualified in child psychology which means she is able to advise on possible reasons why young people behave the way they do. Karina also has many years’ experience in Children’s Workforce Development, both delivering training (including multi agency training) and commissioning it, managing delivery and ensuring quality of training delivered by other facilitator. She has also been Lead for Child Protection, Child Development and assessment, and parenting assessment and has had involvement in practice forums and serious case reviews and implementation of lessons learnt into the training.
Karina has delivered workshops to a wide range of local authority staff including Social Workers, Residential Support Staff and Foster Carers and also multi-disciplinary teams on a regular basis over many years and is experienced at writing, planning and delivering it to the needs of managers and practitioners across the Children’s Social Care sector.
MARGY HAYWOOD is a Registered General Nurse, working in many different areas of Nursing and Management, in both health and social care since 1986. During her career she has acted as a nurse advisor to the BBC on programmes about care of the elderly in the community and failing standards and in 2009 won the prestigious ‘Nurse of the Year’ Award. With an extensive portfolio of specialist health and social care related topics, Margy now uses her experience to train health and social care staff throughout the UK. Her excellent knowledge, experience and unrivalled professionalism make Margy a very popular and sought after trainer.
Matt Joyce is a hugely experienced trainer who offers an extensive portfolio of topics, developed and delivered over more than 13 years. A qualified teacher he has worked in further and higher education with evening, part-time and full-time students and in a vast range of public and private sector organisations delivering high quality training to build the personal and professional development of people in many disciplines. This means Matt is able to relate to the breadth of circumstances learners are likely to find themselves in.
Matt’s wide range of training courses include everything from Customer Service and Holding Difficult Conversations to Dealing with Conflict and Reputation Management on Social Media. Matt’s training videos have been used by individuals across the UK, USA and 23 other countries worldwide.
Mary Anne Crook
MARY ANNE CROOK has an NHS Health Promotion background where she delivered training for 20 years as part of her job, taking early retirement in 2012. Now an independent trainer, she delivers Pre Retirement, Mental Health & Bereavement courses to clients in health, social services, local authorities, the voluntary sector, emergency services, housing organisations, youth organisations etc. As well as herself experiencing early retirement, she has trained with the Pre-retirement Association of Great Britain and has delivered advice to many people planning to retire throughout the public sector.
Mary Anne is also an accredited ASIST and SafeTALK trainer, delivering internal trainings in suicide intervention skills and has developed and delivered courses on mental health awareness and stress management.
Mary Anne delivers her training to a very high standard, with excellent skills in the presentation of information and facilitation of interactive learning and practice. With extensive course writing experience, she can adapt courses to meet the specific needs of different clients.
MARTIN DAVIES has a background in healthcare as a nurse, but is now a fulltime popular and sought after trainer, speaker and cartoonist. His specialist subjects include stress & resilience, depression, emotional intelligence, and dealing with difficult people. All of these are based on what he calls the ‘Glasgow’ model! He is a keen, prolific and talented cartoonist and illustrates his training sessions with hand drawn cartoons as well as co-authoring many health related books.’ His illustrations have also been published in Private Eye. He says he gets most of his material for his cartoons from his training sessions! Martin spends much of his working week travelling round the UK running stress management and other workshops for healthcare and other staff. He has been described variously as: ‘Billy Connolly meets David Walliams’ and ‘MORE ENTERTAINING THAN BIG BROTHER!’
NICK ROBINSON – Bio coming soon!
PETER HENDERSON is a flexible, engaging and dynamic trainer able to deliver complex concepts in an easily digestible way. As well as a White Ribbon Ambassador, he is, and continues to be, a frontline practitioner working as a Probation Officer. He specialises in working with men who present a high risk of harm to others and have diagnosed or probable Personality Disorder (PD). Peter’s work with perpetrators of Domestic Abuse involves one-to-one psychotherapeutic interventions delivered through supervision, referrals into other agencies such as children’s services, mental health, substance misuse and internal/external specialist programmes to address Domestic Abuse. All of these are MAPPA managed and some are active MARAC and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) cases. Peter is able to use his current practitioner experience to inform his Domestic Abuse training courses.
PAUL GAPPER ‘Paul Gapper is a Masters-level trainer and coach with experience of the public, private and third sectors. In 2017, he was a finalist in the Trainer of the Year award for the Learning and Performance institute. He holds the CIPD training certificate and is qualified to carry out both Myers-Briggs and Thomas-Kilmann assessments. In the 1990s he worked as a probation officer in London doing both field and group work. For three years, he was chair of the Middlesex branch of the National Association of Probation Officers. Using his experience in teaching interpersonal skills he started to teach interpersonal skills in the NHS and London Boroughs from 2000. Since that time, he has been worked as a freelance trainer. Highlights of his training have included working with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Greenpeace and the Health Research Authority.’
Ruth Poyser is a qualified social worker and trainer with 17 years of experience working for local government as a frontline social worker, team manager and latterly strategic development and training as workforce development officer. During this time, Ruth has specialised in working with adults with special educational needs and disabilities and brings a sound working knowledge of current and changing legislative framework to her training. She has a broad knowledge of policy, guidance and research across a range of service areas at a local and national level. As SEND Service Improvement Officer and SEND Training and Development Officer Ruth was involved in the implementation of the Children and Families Act 2014 (Section3) and aspects of the Care Act 2014. She played an integral role in facilitating and embracing a change management process and workforce development programme. As a trainer, Ruth is empathetic and sensitive to individual learning histories and able to articulate and deliver information in a clear and succinct manner.
Ray Douglas is an experienced Desist ace & Behaviour Management Specialist, Youth Offending Worker and dynamic Trainer with a very successful track record of working within the Criminal Justice System. Ray has wide expertise and success in the delivery of Learning, CPD and training for practitioners within the public and third sectors and success in managing, mentoring and increasing positive outcomes for both staff & service users working to reduce systemic youth violence. A prolific Public Speaker, as well as Trainer & Seminar Leader, Ray launched ‘Gangology’ a CPD workforce development programme for practitioners working with young people at risk of life-threatening behaviour relating to Gun,Knife & Gang Culture. Ray draws on his years’ of experience in this field to deliver exceptionally high quality and evaluated Gang Culture training for Talking Life.
Richard Charles Lawrence
RICHARD CHARLES LAWRENCE was a captain in the British Army and operations officer of Taskforce Helmand in Afghanistan at the height of the conflict with the Taliban. His ability to successfully solve complex problems under pressure was often the difference between life and death on the battlefield. The principles and techniques used to thrive in this ever-changing high-pressure environment translate entirely through to the civilian workplace. Richard now delivers keynote speeches on topics focused on Resilience & Discipline, Dealing with Pressure Under Fire, Management & Leadership, Planning & Innovation and Culture & Ethos. His training days distil these lessons into a central theme: ‘Being Battle Ready’ – Military Techniques To Transform Effectiveness.
Richard is the founder of CounterStrike; a management & leadership consultancy whose goal is to help businesses & organisations transform effectiveness by using these tried and tested military principles.
SARA BOND qualified as a Social Worker in 2000 and since then has worked within a number of different social work settings. She has worked as a front line Social Worker and then Manager within Children’s Health and Disability services and within Children’s Safeguarding teams. Since becoming an Independent Social Work Consultant in 2011, Sara has undertaken independent assessment work, such as fostering and adoption assessments and investigations into allegations of professional misconduct. Sara is an experienced social care trainer and lecturer, having undertaken training for Local Authorities and Universities. Sara has created and delivered a number of training programmes / lectures / CPD courses on topics including ‘Working with Resistant Families’, ‘Attitudes and Values’, ‘Social Work law’ and ‘Effective and Efficient Social Work Practice’. Sara is passionate about the importance of lifelong learning and having time out of busy working lives to have the opportunity to reflect, learn and develop as practitioners.
STELLA CAMARA has worked in Health & Social Care for 18 years, the last eight years, were at Senior Management level in the adult care sector where she also worked as a mentor and trainer. After gaining training qualifications, Stella became an independent trainer in January 2016 and has delivered countless courses on a wide range of subjects, particularly accredited first aid at all levels. Stella is passionate about providing people with the knowledge they need to “do better” and she has a mission to eradicate bad practice. Her approach is based on facts, hands on practice, regulatory and legal framework. She tries to strike a balance of “Show and tell” by using relevant examples, demonstrating and explaining the repercussions of bad practice. Stella is adaptable when delivering training and tailors it to the needs of her target audience using various tools to ensure that learning styles are catered for. This makes for variety in each training session, maximizes impact and specifically meets the needs of the service.
“This is the best MCA training I have ever been on” – Adult Social Worker, London
“Exquisite training!” – Adult Social Worker, London
“Best training I have ever had. Extremely interesting” – Adult Social Worker, London
SEAN LIDDELL is an engaging and versatile Consultant, Coach and Trainer, with over 15 years’ experience. Sean delivers innovative training courses to provide sustained personal growth and professional development. Extremely people-focused, Sean has always strived to drive the development of colleagues and clients to the highest level achieving satisfaction when they achieve company and personal aims. A natural motivator, Sean utilises his coaching skills to challenge and embed learning to effect positive behavioural change.
STEVE DAVIES, is a qualified lawyer and a former police officer who was responsible for the management of safeguarding investigations. Steve has provided training on safeguarding locally and nationally to a wide range of statutory organisations and has also worked in USA carrying out research into domestic abuse and effective interventions. Steve’s front line practitioner experience informs and enhances the delivery of his training courses to a very high level. Steve regularly delivers training for Talking Life on Modern Slavery and Trafficking.
Sophie Gilbert is an experienced Social Worker of ten years and a NAAS Accredited Practice Supervisor. Sophie has worked within a number of different social work settings and services, from front line safeguarding teams, to MASH and also specialising in Domestic Abuse Responses.
Later in her career she moved into the Learning and Development of social workers and children’s services staff with her working roles focusing more on Practice Improvement. Over that time Sophie’s training has been recognised to have contributed to the improvement of services by OFSTED, within Community Care and her work was highly commended at the MJ Local Government Achievement Awards in 2019. She has delivered and presented seminars in large events such as COMPASS and Community Care Live.
Sophie has promoted a learning culture within organisations and has ran successful ASYE programmes in learning and development for Newly Qualified Social workers. She has experience in working with children in care to ensure their voices are heard in the implementation of learning and development as well as service delivery.
During 2019 Sophie has worked as NAAS coordinator in the biggest Local Authority in Europe developing NAAS preparation workshops, revision tools and supported candidates through their accreditation.
TIM CURTIS is an experienced safeguarding trainer, former police officer and qualified trainer with a Certificate in Education. As a Detective Sergeant he ran the Specialist Investigation Skills training team in an English Police force and now trains social workers in both Children’s and Adult Services to interview in compliance with Achieving Best Evidence In Criminal Proceedings (ABE). In this capacity, Tim has delivered more than 60 ABE training courses in recent years on behalf of Talking Life, to more than 20 local authorities in the UK as well as working with both the United Nations and UNICEF overseas.
He has experience of both residential social work having worked in Children’s homes in both the UK and overseas as well as more contemporary experiences working in a police child abuse investigation unit.
Tim has also written the draft Code of Practice for Chief Officers of Police regarding the investigation of Child Sexual Abuse investigations. This has involved consulting with Multi-agency groups and Third Sector organisations across England and Wales. The Code was ready for public consultation in Summer 2018 prior to being presented to the Home Secretary, once the public’s observations have been considered and actioned as necessary. This Code will have Statutory ‘teeth’.
Tim has a considerable reputation for high quality training. His attention to detail in his courses is very highly regarded by commissioners and course participants alike.
VERONA COSCO is a highly experienced, engaging, Adult Social Care trainer who has worked for two large London councils as Service and Quality Development Officer and as Learning and Development Consultant. Verona is an Alzheimer’s Society Approved Gold Trainer, has a Diploma in Management Studies and performance coaching and has over 10 years’ experience as a consultant Commissioner of Learning & Development. Verona has written, developed and delivered training programmes on a wide range of topics for many local authorities and care organisations as well as for The Alzheimer’s Society and has a passion for improving and safeguarding the lives of older people. Her continuing practice on the front line of adult care informs and enhances her training delivery.