Meet the Team
The Foundation is currently supported by 5 volunteers and consultants, all of who provide their time around their careers and day to day lives.
As the charity starts to increase in size, there will be a requirement for further volunteers. If you are interested in joining our team, please keep visiting our Volunteers page, where positions will be advertised. All potential volunteers will be required to complete an application form and references will be obtained. Depending on the role applied for the Foundation may need to complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring check.
Chair & Board Member
I have worked in the field of Education for over 40 years. My interests have predominantly been to work with those children, young people and their families who have been experiencing emotional and behavioural difficulties.
Most of the people I have worked with have found themselves outside of the mainstream of society whether that be in schools or within their communities. My job has been to help people to be the best they can be, and to find a niche in society that they can feel comfortable with.
My interest in the Frank Bruno Foundation stems from its authenticity and a simple mission statement that can reach out and engage with people in need of support. I have had many experiences at first hand, both personal and within family and friends, of the impact that adverse mental health can have. I have also seen many positive outcomes when people (including me) have had the right help at the right time.
Founder/Project Development Manager
I am Frank's full time PA. Like many others, throughout my life I have seen friends and loved ones struggle with mental ill health and have felt the despair and fear associated with this. I have seen first-hand how training and exercise has helped Frank overcome difficult periods, this is the very reason I have chosen to support his charity. I have been privileged to have been part of Franks vision and initial ideas for the charity and have worked closely with him and the other volunteers to take the plans off the paper and initiate fundraising, prepare well-being programmes and assist with the delivery of the first pilot. I will continue to work with the Foundation to ensure the centres we are fundraising for are opened to allow non-contact boxing and wellbeing programmes to run and help others who may be struggling.
Secretary/Project Development Manager
I joined the Foundation January 2018. Mental ill health has been prevalent around my family and close friends for as long as I can remember. I have also experienced Perinatal and Postnatal depression myself at a time when it was not openly talked about, I know too well how the stigma around mental ill health can make you feel. I think as a nation we are getting better at talking about our mental health but so much more needs to be done; our health service can not support everyone and alternative services are desperately needed. The Foundation's aims are the same as my own views; stigma around mental ill health needs to be removed and alternative options for treatment should be available to support our overstretched health service. Volunteering for the Foundation allows me to be actively part of the challenge in raising awareness for the changes needed in the current Mental Health sector.
Frank Bruno MBE, former World Heavyweight Champion and Mental Health Ambassador. I have established this charity due to my own mental health difficulties and the effects of ill mental health I have seen in others. I want to help those who may not receive help through mainstream services.
“Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes”
That’s what I used to say in my head, whilst trying to change my life and pull myself out of the dark hole that I felt I was in. I felt it was never easy to talk about it nor to admit to it, but that all changed. I experienced a very dark time in my life. I never believed I would be whole again. Through asking for help that I desperately needed, I was fortunate to be guided to a wonderful counsellor who helped me to get my mind refocused and it all started to change. It is good to talk, and with the help of my counsellor, family and good friends, in time I started to heal.
I went back to studying and achieved my goals, to move on and leave that dark shadow I called a past behind. I now have a career that I love and feel part of something special, two sons who I love dearly, and I can now be a positive part of their lives.
I joined The Frank Bruno Foundation as I want to be part of something that can help make a difference, for those out there who could benefit from the scheme, to achieve a positive mental state, to build up confidence, to be a part of something very special. I couldn’t be prouder to be involved in the Foundation and I will dedicate my support in helping in any way I can.
Therapeutic Intervention Consultant
Since first learning about it I have been interested in Franks vision of fighting back by challenging stigma and providing positive interventions for those who are prepared to make changes that will improve their lot. I am currently involved in co-delivering the Foundations first pilot programme which provides an opportunity for participants to enhance knowledge and skills as well as attain more control over their future prospects. My interest derived from personal periods of adverse mental health that led me to want to learn how to restore myself and go on to support others who choose this pathway. Experiences, qualifications and training have taken my lifetime to gain. Without a doubt academia has enhanced my understanding of theory in practice however it is ‘people’ that have made and continue make a difference for me; those that demonstrated a genuine interest in my narrative, taught me the significance of trust, enabled me to feel safe and invested time to assist me in helping myself. I continue learning from others and benefit from doing so, my aspirations are to empower others as others have done for me therefore I feel fortunate in being given the chance to support the Foundation in realising its intentions.
M.A.(Psychology), Adv. Dip Ed. SEMH, Cert in Management.
I first met Frank when he was 12 years old (a big 12 years old!). I was his P.E. teacher for the next 4 years. As you can imagine, he was a P.E. teacher’s dream: excellent footballer (striker, of course) and athlete (particularly the explosive events) although he was a handy cross-country runner too; he also fancied himself as a cricketer (fast bowler). We back-packed the South Down Way as an endurance expedition and canoed on the sea and local rivers.
I took him, as a 16 year old, and a minibus full of his schoolmates to his first boxing venture. After he became the youngest ever ABA Heavyweight Champion, he supported me at the Crystal Palace by awarding the prizes at the London School Athletics Championships, which I had organised. (Some of these schoolmates are still in touch and offering support to the Charity).
When I was a Headteacher, Frank returned many times to help me out as a positive role model for disaffected young people, including taking part in a Fund-raising Fun Run.
I have spent all my professional life championing the cause of young people with special needs and am therefore extremely interested in Frank’s quest to improve the way society views and manages those who have mental health issues. Hence, I am keen to support the charity wholeheartedly.
I come from a background of business administration, development and fundraising and have worked with many charities supporting people of every age and background with a range of needs, from vulnerable children and families, to women affected by domestic abuse, homeless adults and people at various stages of involvement with the criminal justice system. Access to first rate services to support mental and emotional wellbeing is critical to build resilience and empower people to overcome such challenges, yet quite often at the moment, due to the pressures on local government and health funding, easily accessible services are sadly lacking in our communities.
Like many parents, I am particularly concerned by the increasing pressures in today’s society (from ever-prevalent social media, to escalating exam pressure and cyber-bullying, to name just a few) which adversely impact the emotional wellbeing of our children and young people. It is so important that we ensure kids get help early to keep them safe and prevent them facing lifelong struggles. Working with schools, families and partner agencies is vital to ensure that issues affecting children and young people are identified quickly and timely support is provided.
That’s why I was so encouraged to hear about The Frank Bruno Foundation; about the experience, skills, background and vast network of partners of each of the people involved. And, that is why I have come on board to support them in raising funds for this initiative. I share the vision for setting up centres in multiple localities which will be accessible to anyone, as and when needed, to take control of their mental health and change their outcomes. I know that the Frank Bruno Foundation has everything in place to produce excellent results and help change people’s lives for the better.