'Delivering Transformation: Improving The Resilience & Mental Wellbeing Of Young People': Conference Keynotes,
Workshops and Marketplace stalls


Ruby Wax OBE

Following her hugely successful career with BBC television as an interviewer and comedian, Ruby Wax turned her attention to the study of psychotherapy and neuroscience, graduating from Oxford University in 2013 with a Master’s degree in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy. She is also an Alumna and Honorary Senior Fellow of Regent’s University London with an MA in Psychotherapy and Counselling, and is a Visiting Professor in the School of Mental Health Nursing at the University of Surrey as well as holding an Honorary Doctorate from the School of Psychology from The University of East London.

She is the author of 2 best-selling books, 'Sane New World’ and 'A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled’ which combine neuroscience, mindfulness and comedy.  Her one-woman shows “Sane New World” and “Frazzled” have toured both internationally and in London’s West End.  She also founded Black Dog Tribe, a social networking site providing information and social support for people suffering with mental health issues.  She presented her TedTalk at TedGlobal 2012  “What’s So Funny about Mental Illness”?. She speaks at Parliament and Downing Street to raise money for neuroscience research and works tirelessly to break the stigma. She is an ambassador for MIND and SANE charities and is on the board of the Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families.

Ruby is currently launching her Frazzled Cafes in partnership with Marks and Spencer’s throughout the UK. Each Marks and Spencer location will close their cafés for two hours for groups to meet regularly.  These are not necessarily for people with Mental Health problems but for everyone who is frazzled! Based on the format of AA, each group is run by a facilitator with a mental health background. 

In 2015 Ruby Wax awarded an OBE for Services to Mental Health.

Website: www.rubywax.net
Twitter: @rubywax

Paul McGee

Keynote title: 'Resilience in the Classroom Starts with Resilience in the Staffroom'


Paul McGee is one of the UK’s leading speakers on the subject of change, workplace relationships and motivation. His provocatively titled book SUMO (Shut Up, Move On) became an instant best seller and his book on Self Confidence reached number one in the WHSmith’s business book chart and remained there for a further 24 weeks. He has appeared on BBC Breakfast television and is a regular contributor on BBC Radio.

Building on his background in psychology, Paul’s aim is to deliver a practical, relevant message that can make an immediate impact on people’s professional and personal lives. His approach is considered both inspirational and humorous as he seeks to deliver a memorable experience that equips people with insights and ideas to increase their personal effectiveness and impact.

He’s spoken for over 1,000 organisations in 41 countries to date, and from Todmorden to Tehran and from Bradford to Brisbane, Paul’s messages have resonated with a global audience.

He has had the privilege of working with one of the world’s top management gurus the late Dr Stephen Covey, and his work has been endorsed by the Elite Performance Director of the British Olympic Association Sir Clive Woodward and the broadcaster Chris Evans. His clients include prominent blue chip organisations, public sector bodies and a leading Premiership football club.

Website: www.thesumoguy.com
Twitter: @TheSumoGuy

Dr. Pooky Knightsmith

Keynote title: "Four Practical Strategies to Improve the Mental Well-Being of Young People"

Pooky directs the children, young people and schools programme at the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, a charity that provides fully-funded mental health training to schools. She is also vice chair of the Children & Young People’s Mental Health Coalition, a trustee for Beat, the UK’s leading eating disorder charity, and associate fellow for the Anna Freud Centre’s EBPU.

Pooky is a passionate ambassador for mental health who loves to research, write, speak, teach and share all manner of ideas about mental health, wellbeing and PSHE.  Her enthusiasm is backed up both by a PhD in child and adolescent mental health from the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, and her own lived experience of anorexia, self-harm, anxiety and depression.

Pooky’s recent publications include “Self-Harm and Eating Disorders in Schools: A Guide to Whole School Support and Practical Strategies”(Jessica Kingsley Publishing) and Department for Education funded “Guidance on preparing to teach about mental health and emotional wellbeing which she led on in her role at the PSHE Association.  Her new books “Using Poetry to Promote Talking and Healing” and “The Healthy Coping Colouring Book and Journal” are out now.

Website: inourhands.com
Twitter: @PookyH


About Ken Corish

Workshop title: "Strategies for a healthy online life"

Ken Corish is Online Safety Director and SMT member with South West Grid for Learning Trust drawing on twenty years as a teacher and school leader and ten years as a BECTA award-winning Education Adviser with Plymouth’s ICT Team.

Ken’s broad canvas of experience and engaging presentation style has seen him work with a wide range of educators and agencies. He has trained all Education, Social Care and Early Years HMIs in aspects of online safeguarding and is responsible for shaping inspectors briefing sheets and training in online safety.

He developed and wrote the multi award-winning 360 degree safe online safety self-review tool and Online Compass tool. Along with fellow director, David Wright, he also created the BETT award-winning BOOST toolset for children’s settings.

He works with a broad range of national and international organisations and has spoken at global conferences in the Middle East, South Korea, Azerbaijan, Greece, Spain, Estonia, Europe and the US. He has recently written Online Safety standards with AQDAR for schools in UAE.

Website: swgfl.org.uk
Twitter: @kcorish

About Kay Price

Workshop title: "The Practical Wellbeing Toolkit"

I am now in my 10th year of teaching and from PGCE to Housemistress, with everything in between, I love what I do.

As a History NQT I introduced A Level Politics. In my second year I became Head of Department. Third year I joined a boarding school and become a Resident tutor – living & supporting 60 13-18year old girls!

I quickly decided that one day I wanted to run a boarding house and started doing lots of CPD and training to build on my knowledge and skills. I have to be equipped to listen to anything and everything, provide early help and signpost external support routes.

In my 8th year I became a Housemistress – my role is to look after the wellbeing, in all its forms and guises, of 60, 13-18 years old girls. How on earth do you even begin to do that..? I am also the E Safety, Digital Leaders and Tootoot lead.

My abiding thoughts are always: meet the person where they are, listen with UPR, uncover enabling ideas with them, support when needed and let them move forward.

Running a boarding house is team-work. There are stressful times, but mostly it’s a joy to live and work with young people, a team of staff and parents/carers who are all dedicated to enabling them to be their very best selves.

In my workshops and presentations I endeavor to share all the tips, hints, ideas and evidence I use day-to-day to enable & support young people to be-well and life-content.

Twitter: @kayprice82

About Claire Birkenshaw

Workshop title: "Nurturing belonging cultures to support young trans and non-binary people"

Claire Birkenshaw.jpg

I began my secondary school teaching in 1991 after graduating from Hull University with a degree in geography and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. I have taught in a number of secondary schools across the city of Hull during my 26-year teaching career culminating in the role of principal at an Alternative Provision Academy.  As such I have gained significant experience in the multiple facets of different learning communities whether academic or pastoral of which I have been an integral part of various senior leadership teams for 14 years. Since 2005 I have mainly focused on the pastoral strand that threads through school life and have led on behaviour and inclusion strategies in challenging circumstances to good effect.

In September 2015, I began my transition and am recognised by the Times Education Supplement (18th November, 2016) as the first known head teacher (principal) in the UK to transition in post. Currently, I have chosen to take a sabbatical from working exclusively in one school community to pursue other projects namely that of improving the school experience of young trans and non-binary people across the UK. I recognise that I hold a relatively unique position within society, as there are visibly very few trans teachers and even fewer trans school leaders. I am hoping that through my visibility and experience of transition coupled with my knowledge and links across the education community that I will be able to help make that difference for our young trans and non-binary people.

Twitter: @C_Birkenshaw

About Alison Cope

Workshop title: "My life with Joshua, and the lessons he can teach us all"

Alison is, and will forever be, the proud mum of Joshua Ribera. After a difficult early life, Joshua found fame as grime star DepzMan. His mum was there throughout, supporting him as he struggled to deal with mental health problems and behavioural issues before he transformed his life through a passion for his music.

Joshua was tragically murdered in a knife attack at the age of 18, an unarmed victim killed following an argument in a nightclub. Alison now works alongside West Midlands police to share her story, and that of her son, with young people in schools, community groups, and youth offending institutions, supporting them to understand the consequences of carrying a knife for themselves, their futures, and their families.

Twitter: @ali_cope

About Young Minds

Workshop title: "Beyond Adversity"

Exploring Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and the long term impact on outcomes for young people, and the work that Young Minds are doing nationally to support them.

Website: www.youngminds.org.uk
Twitter: @YoungMindsUK

About Time To Change


Workshop title: To be confirmed

Website: www.time-to-change.org.uk
Twitter: @TimeToChange

Marketplace Stands - HeadStart National Partners

HeadStart Newham

HeadStart Newham offers young people and families in Newham opportunities to recognise the strengths they already have and develop new skills so they’re able to overcome challenges and bounce back from tough circumstances. HeadStart Newham works closely with Newham schools to transform how schools support their pupils to stay emotionally healthy which will reduce barriers to learning and improve a young person’s life chances.

By bringing together schools, the community and parents, HeadStart Newham offers a range of resilience building activities and courses, some of which are available online, for young people, Newham families and Newham schools including:

  • More than Mentors (available online and offline)
  • Team Social Action
  • HeadStart Champions
  • Bounce Back Newham (available online and offline)
  • Creative and Sports Activities
  • Peer Parenting Courses
  • Academic Resilience Training

Find out more on our stand

HeadStart Hull

Our mission statement is to “enable children and young people to have positive mental health and wellbeing, thrive in ‘their communities’ and to ‘bounce back’ from life’s challenges”

HeadStart Hull works to achieve the mission by ensuring that children and young people in our city have:

  • A “Trio of Trusted Adults” – in the school, community and at home
  • Aspirations for the future – Children and young people and family
  • Confidence and self esteem
  • Positive Peer Networks – friends they can rely on and support each other
  • Stronger Family Networks

Find out more on our stand