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Meet our staff

Chief Executive Officer Rachael Swann

Rachael is responsible for the strategic direction and daily operations of Grassroots Suicide Prevention.

Rachael started her career as a solicitor before moving into senior leadership and non-executive roles in Higher Education, charity and housing sectors and is currently the Chief Executive of Grassroots Suicide Prevention.

Our vision is ‘A future where more lives are saved from suicide’ and we empower people to help saves lives from suicide through connecting, educating, and campaigning nationally.

Rachael has specialised in providing VCSE services to a range of diverse communities including; homelessness, young carers and carers supporting those with a learning disability, autism, parent carers, life limiting illness, mental health issues and drugs and alcohol misuse. Rachael’s experience has included leading organisations through periods of change, new ventures in the UK and overseas, external quality assessment, restructures, and major IT projects.

Rachael’s ambition is to ensure that through our work less people will die by suicide. She wants everyone to feel there is hope. This is by empowering people to have life-saving conversations with those they may be worried about. It is helping people with feelings of suicide to know they have options and are not alone.

Rachael is a member of NSPA, VCSE representative on Mental Health for Brighton & Hove and the VCSE representative on Health and Wellbeing for Adur and Worthing and a Trustee of Crossroads Care in Brighton & Hove, a leading provider of support for carers; helping carers to make a life of their own outside caring.

Rachael is available for comment to the media on issues that can help raise awareness of suicide and self harm and reduce the number of suicides and improving support to those bereaved or affected by suicide. She is available to speak at conferences around our work on mental health, self-harm, and suicide.

Rachael enjoys spending time with her family, especially her lively toddler. She loves travelling to Spain, renovating houses and is an accomplished horse rider.

Head of Partnerships & Innovation Alex Harvey

Alex is responsible for building partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders, overseeing our portfolio of digital products and supporting the development of new projects, products and commissions.

He joined the charity in 2010 and has worked with the team to deliver a diverse range of innovative digital and training projects aimed at making our world safer from suicide, including the Stay Alive app and Real Talk interactive film. 

Alex believes that collaborative working and innovation are vital to our work in preventing suicide and creating a more compassionate world. 

Alex is available for interviews, comment, and articles on issues around suicide prevention for the media and key organisations. 

Alex enjoys being with family and friends as well as playing, singing, writing and listening to music. He likes meditation, jokes, cooking, and relaxing with Didi the cat.

Head of Training Agnes Munday

Agnes is responsible for developing the training strategy of Grassroots Suicide Prevention and ensuring we become the leaders in our fields. She leads on quality assurance and the development of bespoke courses. 

Agnes has over twenty years’ experience in creating training programmes and interventions on teenage pregnancy, domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental health. She is a Public Health Registered Practitioner. 

Agnes is passionate about enabling professionals and volunteers to raise their confidence and develop the skills and attitude needed to support effectively and compassionately people who self-harm or have thoughts of suicide. 

Agnes supports organisations to:

  • Develop bespoke training strategy and programmes that will meet the needs of their workforce and clients
  • Develop or review their policies around suicide and self-harm

She is available for workshops or speaking at conferences and to provide thought leadership and content for newsletters/webpages etc. on self-harm and suicide topics. 

She offers consultancy as part of her role. 

Agnes paints, swims in the sea, creates stories and games for her grandchildren, dances 5Rhythmes and meditates daily.

Events & Digital Project Manager Celia Mae Jones

Celia is responsible for making sure our systems and training delivery run like clockwork.

With a breadth of experience across business managements, events and creative design, she brings an innovative energy to the team, seeking to challenge, invent and evolve our work.
Her passion for problem solving allows her to considerately take on and manage the needs of the team.
Her passion for problem solving allows her to considerately take on and manage the needs of the team.
She is passionate about music and community-building and spends her free time DJing, dancing or at home with a good sci-fi novel.

Operations and Project Manager Vicki Scholfield

Vicki is responsible for managing project delivery of courses and working on systems and processes to improve project delivery.

Vicki moved to Brighton East Sussex from Lancashire in 2022 and continued to build her Project Management skills working in Business Consultancy before joining Grassroots Suicide Prevention in September 2023. Prior to that Vicki spent eighteen years working across schools in Lancashire . She began her career as a primary school teacher in 2004 and continued her career in Primary Education leading English in the curriculum and across schools in Lancashire. 

Vicki is experienced in delivering training workshops and managing a range of client projects. She holds a BA Hons Degree in English Language and Literature from Lancaster University, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from Liverpool Hope University and an Adult Teaching Certificate. 

Vicki is very keen to use her skills and education background to reach a wider audience and talk about suicide and how to help open those vital conversations.

Designing Learning experiences and creating learning content. Project Management.

Vicki enjoys spending time with her big family and walking with her dog. She loves being creative, socialising and eating out. As she is still discovering Brighton, she is exploring all the different restaurants and new places that she can visit. 

vicki-schofield

Head of Marketing & Communications Caroline Blake

Carrie is responsible for all our marketing and communications activities.  

She has over 20 years’ experience leading award-winning teams in charities and non-profits. Carrie is on the digital marketing steering group for the National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA). She is also a trustee for Long Term Covid Trust providing strategic marketing expertise. 

Carrie is passionate about raising our profile with the public and supporters to ensure they understand that the work we do helps save lives from suicide. 

Carrie can organise interviews, comment, and articles on issues around suicide for the media and key organisations. She is available to support media professionals on safe and responsible reporting around suicide.

Carrie enjoys time with her family and going for walks with her beloved Labrador. She enjoys upcycling furniture, gardening, international cuisine and travelling. 

Finance Officer Sam Hubbert

Sam is responsible for all our financial management.

Sam is passionate about everyone in society, accessing the best support possible to lead a full and happy life. 

He is very focussed on the nuts and bolts of charities and supporting them to be the best they can be. 

Sam enjoys time with his family, playing computer games and fantasy football. Many years ago, he performed at Glastonbury, Jazz Cafe, Royal Festival Hall and on TV and you may still catch him singing in Brighton, singing is his primary love.

Finance Assistant Reija Such

Reija is responsible for processing payments, receipts and bank reconciliations.

Reija has previously worked in accountancy and she has now returned to work after taking some time off to be with her family. 

Whilst Reija enjoys working with numbers and she is grateful to be part of a team doing such important work. 

Reija enjoys spending time with her family, Yoga, Pilates and reading a good book.

A woman with long blond hair and glasses.

Fundraising Manager Ben Baxter

Ben is responsible for managing and developing fundraising streams, including events, community and individual.

After teaching in Special Educational Needs settings, he has gained several years of experience fundraising and campaigning in the charity sector. 

Ben is inspired to create innovative fundraising campaigns to support some of the most vulnerable people in society.

Ben can support with fundraising for Grassroots Suicide Prevention.

Ben enjoys playing squash, going to gigs and spending time with his young family.

Marketing Manager Gemma Isherwood

Gemma is responsible for managing and streamlining our presence to help us grow a strong brand and reach more people with our services and campaigning.
Gemma has more than a decade of experience in all areas of marketing across three countries. From freelance social media and website management to corporate campaign planning, she has all the tools to help create and execute a solid marketing strategy for Grassroots Suicide Prevention.

She is here to guide our brand and campaigns, gathering data to improve the experience for our users, trainees, partners and fundraisers. Gemma believes careful attention to data and strategy can and will save even more lives.

Gemma can advise on data-driven marketing strategy, cohesive branding and how to make sure everyone we interact with gets the most out of our website, training and social media presence.
Gemma enjoys moving countries (now on number four!), climbing, interior design, thrifting and hanging out with her cat, Beef.

Technical Lead & Website Developer Angus Campbell

Angus is responsible for the technical (and sometimes design) aspects of our website.

He has been working with websites for over 25 years. Angus’s skills and insights are invaluable in making sure our site works for our users, trainees, partners and fundraisers.

Angus has occupied various roles at GSP since the mid noughties and is driven to present the organisation in the best and most accurate way possible.

Angus is the go-to for the technical side of new campaigns, website integrations and all of our tech-based questions. 

In his spare time, he listens to and makes music, watches films and designs T-shirts.

In-house Trainer Joanna Johnson

Joanna helps develop and deliver our training programmes

Joanna has an eclectic background: Psychology graduate, former teacher, Army veteran, PR professional, and volunteer with various organisations including the NSPCC, NCH Action for Children and Papyrus. Highly experienced educator – has developed and delivered suicide prevention / mental health training courses, for a range of professionals and organisations, including teachers, students, nurses, and counsellors.    

She has an absolute commitment to suicide prevention and a passion for developing fully accredited, quality assured training, to give people the confidence and skill set needed to support others in preventing suicide, or those who have been affected by suicide, with care and compassion.

Joanna can help with:

  • Design, delivery, and review of quality assured, accredited suicide prevention training, across public, private, and voluntary sectors (e-courses and in-person training)
  • Workshop co-ordination for effective co-production in the design of training programmes, to ensure content is shaped by those who will receive the training

Also available for conferences, presentations, workshops, speaking engagements and interviews.

Joanna loves getting outside – on the pushbike or walking.  Also loves yoga and the gym, reading a good book, and donning a pair of wellies to develop her newly found passion for growing vegetables!

 

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In-house Trainer Karen Harvey

Karen designs, co-produces and delivers curriculum and training courses.

Karen has a BEd Hons degree and was a teacher for 9 years before then becoming an Advisory teacher in PSHE for a further 10 years. She then went to work for Samaritans, leading on suicide prevention curriculum and postvention support for schools and colleges. She has since worked for several other charities as project manager before joining Grassroots in 2022.

Karen is passionate about well-being and connecting people together.

Training design, development and delivery

Karen enjoys running long distances in the countryside, dancing and spending time with her three boys and dog. 

A smiling woman with voluminous auburn hair.

In-house Trainer Manjinder Hansen

Helps to design and deliver our training courses.

As an English graduate, Manjinder has enjoyed working within the fields of publishing, healthcare and education. Manjinder has worked within two NHS Trusts in Sussex to help deliver the Expert Patients Programme. She then completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and began her career as a primary school teacher for several years, before joining our Grassroots Suicide Prevention team.

Manjinder is passionate about helping her community and enabling others to feel empowered to make positive changes.

Manjinder can help to design and deliver training materials as well as proof-read resources.

Manjinder enjoys walks in the Sussex countryside, spending time with loved ones, travelling, practicing yoga or simply curling up with a good book.

 

Manjinder Hanson

Digital Officer Drew Taylor

Drew works on our Stay Alive app and is our social media lead.

He uses the skills and knowledge obtained from his Sociology degree to continue researching and developing the Stay Alive app through user testing and community engagement. He also has over 6 years’ experience leading on social media, helping to raise charities’ presence and engagement online. 

Drew has lived experience of suicide, both personally and through supporting others, so understands recovery is possible and wants to help other people get through times of crisis. 

Drew is available to present on the Stay Alive app. 

Drew loves spending time with his pet rats who have recently learnt a few tricks! He also enjoys playing the saxophone, nostalgic video games, feeding the birds and going for bike rides along the seafront. 
A smiling man with cropped hair and a short beard

Training & Client Engagement Coordinator Lotta Boy

Lotta ensures the smooth running of Grassroots training work; coordinating and overseeing the delivery of a range of contracts and projects. 

Lotta graduated from the University of Sussex in 2022 with a BSc in Psychology (with British Sign Language). She has previously worked in the mental health sector and has a keen interest in mental health and wellbeing. She is also a dedicated volunteer at Shout, the 24/7 crisis support text service.  

Lotta is passionate about making a difference to the lives of current and future generations. She is committed to reducing stigma and starting conversations around suicide prevention and lifesaving skills.

Lotta is dedicated to coordinating the charity’s day-to-day training requirements and ensuring the creation of positive client relationships. 

Lotta was born in Germany and enjoys travelling to visit family and discover new destinations. She also loves to read and get involved with creative projects in her spare time.

lotta-boy

Training & Client Engagement Coordinator Sarah Slade

I’m part of a fantastic team, ensuring the smooth flow of Grassroots Suicide Prevention’s training initiatives. In my role as coordinator, I oversee the delivery of various contracts and projects that keep our training wheels turning seamlessly.

With experience at different climbing wall gyms and in the outdoors industry, I’ve built a diverse skill set. This includes handling course delivery and administration, as well as picking up advanced first aid certificates and climbing qualifications along the way.

My goal is to contribute to creating an environment where individuals feel both informed and confident to engage in important conversations about suicide. 

I’m eager to apply my customer service and organisational skills to ensure a top-notch training experience. 

When I’m not immersed in the training world, you’ll find me scaling heights – literally! Climbing is one of my passions, and I love nothing more than exploring the great outdoors. 

Sarah Slade

Events and Engagement Officer Am Jones

Am assists with corporate fundraising and marketing, and manages our In Memory Giving and Suicide Prevention Champions programme.

Am has a background working within education, mental health and the creative arts. She has previously worked as a Journalist, writing on the subject of mental health for Metro. She has helped fundraise previously for Grassroots Suicide Prevention creating a Sussex/Bristol based arts competition.

Am is currently working towards her goal of eventually becoming a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist.  

Fundraising development, engagement, and developing ideas to lead our Suicide Prevention Champions programme.

Am enjoys writing, walks with her dog, and is an advocate for social equality and LGBTQ+ rights.

am-jones

Events and Engagement Officer Katie McAndrew

Katie works on the marketing and recruitment of our community and challenge events.

She works closely with event participants and volunteers to support them in their fundraising journey.

Katie has just completed a degree in Acting where she graduated with a First Class Hons. 

She has worked in Entertainment, Events, Fundraising and Education.

To recruit as many people as possible onto our challenge events and to ensure that our fundraisers and volunteers are supported in the best way possible.

Creative thinking, organising events and working with the community.

katie-mcandrew-2

Interested in joining us?

Recruitment

Our team is always looking for ways to strengthen our teams and expand into new areas. When we have available roles, you’ll find them on our recruitment page.

Volunteering

We are always looking for volunteers. FInd more information on our volunteering page

Did you know 1 in 5 people will have suicidal thoughts at some point in their lives?

With your generosity, we can help people stay safe and provide the support they need in times of crisis