MEET THE TEAM
The Foundation is currently supported by 9 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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
Dr Sam Warner
Mental Health Consultant
Dr Sam Warner is a chartered and consultant clinical psychologist. Sam qualified in 1991, and currently holds an honorary lectureship in social sciences at Salford University. Sam works as an academic, consultant, expert witness, researcher, psychotherapist, public speaker and trainer.
Throughout Sam’s career she has specialised in helping children and adults make sense of how their relationships impact on their mental health. Her work is focussed on helping people make sense of trauma associated with abuse, neglect and loss; and related issues such as attachment difficulties, dissociation (including working with visions, voices and dissociated parts), self-harm and suicide. She has written various books and articles on these issues. Sam has a particular interest in sexual violence. She has worked in and led a variety of specialist sexual violence therapy services both in the third sector and statutory mental health services, working with both children and adults. She has been engaged by the Department of Health and British Government as an expert in mental health on national and international sexual violence projects. Sam is also a leading trainer in promoting better understanding of mental health in the workplace.
Sam has written books and papers on abuse and related issues. Sam is currently working on a new book on child sexual abuse and designing a training manual and DVD pack based on this. Sam is also currently co-writing a major report on self-harm and suicide.
Sam is on the board of directors of two charities: BASPCAN, a leading multi-agency child protection charity. She is also a founding member of the Frank Bruno Foundation Fighting Back, which aims to support children and adults with mental health difficulties.
Sam has been an equity card holder (the professional actors’ union) since 1987. She has used drama, alongside art, as psycho-educational and psychotherapeutic methods for example to develop the community mental health art project Drop in Dreams (this is alongside award winning poet, Clare Shaw). Since 1991 she has also occasionally worked as an applied sport psychologist with children and adults of all abilities from novice to elite standards.
Non Voting Board Member
I have joined the Foundation in March 2019 as an advisor. I passionately believe that as a nation we need to continue to break down the stigma around mental health and provide the support to those that succumb to mental health issues. I run a successful accountancy practice advising individuals and families in business and have seen first-hand how clients suffer from events outside their control. A support mechanism is crucial for these clients and it’s great to be able to assist a Charity whose aim is to support and help too.