Viv has been teaching in schools, often in challenging circumstances, for 22 years as a teacher, SENCo and senior leader. For the last 12 years she has been leading schools as both headteacher and executive headteacher in mainstream schools, a Co-operative Trust school and an academy. Most recently this has included Doncaster Road Primary School where she led the school successfully out of a special measures category by embedding Thrive as a core approach and using this as one of the tools to improve every area of practice.
Alongside these roles she has also been consultant headteacher for the Local Authority leading, amongst other things, the induction programme for new head teachers for several years. As an LLE it was her privilege to work alongside heads of other schools to support them in improving outcomes for children.
After successfully introducing Thrive into two of the schools where she had been headteacher she was thrilled to join the team as Regional Development Manager for the North of England in September 2015 and has more recently taken on the role of Principal Trainer.
Viv is passionate about supporting other professionals to embed the practice and reach as many children and families as possible.
Ben joined the Thrive Team in September 2015 as Regional Coordinator and Trainer, based in the Eastern region.
He has more recently taken on the role of Principal Trainer. Originally trained in Law, Ben holds an LLB (Hons) degree, he has since gone on to complete the Thrive Practitioner Training, Thrive Action Plan Mentor training and most recently the Thrive Train the Trainer course. In addition, Ben works both privately, and in a voluntary capacity, as an Integrative Counsellor and has completed the BSc (Hons) in Integrative Psychotherapeutic Counselling.
Prior to joining Thrive, Ben has a multidisciplinary background that includes; working within inner-city community therapeutic services, supporting marginalised and vulnerable young people as both Practitioner and Team Leader; Manager of a service dedicated to the rehabilitation of offenders; Action Research and Manager of services being delivered to children, young people and families, including managing a children and family centre; an Early Help Operational Manager for a Local Authority; and as a Counsellor within an NHS Tier 3 Youth Mental Health Service.
Ben loves working for Thrive and is passionate about supporting children and young people to develop their emotional and social availability, to overcome life’s challenges and experience life’s rewards.
Head of Sector (Wales, Central, North-West, North-East)
Lee has been a teacher for 20 years in schools across England and Wales. During that time, she held the positions of SENCO, Leader for Learning, Foundation Phase Leader and, for the last eight years, Behaviour Support Coordinator for a local authority.
In addition to her practical experience in education, Lee has a BA Hons QTS in English Literature and Media, as well as a BSc Hons in Social Policy and Social Sciences. This combination of practical and academic experience gives her a broad understanding and knowledge of the complex issues that families face.
In 2014, Lee was part of the first cohort of Thrive Licensed Practitioners to train in Wales. Putting Thrive into practice with pupils, families and schools, she was amazed by the powerful impact that it had and decided to train as a trainer as a result. In February 2016, she gained her licence as a Thrive Trainer and, in May 2016, was delighted to join the Thrive team as Regional Development Co-ordinator for Wales. Lee has recently taken on the role of Head of Sector and she hopes to continue the work of improving outcomes and life chances for all.
Head of Sector - (South-West, South-East and London)
Jen started her career as a Teacher after qualifying from Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent and has since held senior positions in the Education, Health and Social Work Sectors. Jen has worked in a number of Schools across England and Australia, teaching and creating positive, stimulating learning environments for her children. Jen quickly found her passion for working with vulnerable children and worked alongside families and child protection services to improve attendance and educational outcomes for children and young people in her School (Jen really wishes she knew about the Thrive Approach during this time!).
In 2008, Jen decided to fuel her passion for working with vulnerable people in the Community and became the Operations Manager for a social-purpose organisation in Australia, providing support services for; children in foster care, children and adults recovering from mental illness, counselling for survivors of domestic and family violence and support provisions for people with disability. Jen managed a team of social workers, psychologists and practitioners to deliver high quality support, specialising in complex trauma and the impact of abuse and neglect on brain development, these services were aimed at increasing resilience and the overall social and emotional wellbeing for vulnerable people.
Having returned to the UK to be closer to family and friends, Jen is thrilled to be working for Thrive as the Head of Sector for the South of England and is committed to closing the gap for vulnerable children and young people, enabling them to engage with life and learning.
Head of Sector – East, North Central & Yorks & Humberside
Andy has worked within education for more than 25 years. Most recently he was a School Improvement Adviser and Head of the Leadership and Governor Development Team in West Sussex. Prior to that he was a Principal Adviser with the Northamptonshire Inspection and Advisory Service.
He is absolutely passionate about ensuring that every child receives the opportunities and support they need to be successful in life and is excited about Thrive can transform the lives of all children and in particular the most vulnerable.
As Head of Sector for the East, North Central and Yorkshire and Humber Regions Andy is looking forward to using the skills and experience he has gained within his time in education to support the growing number of Thrive clients to support children.
Relationship Manager (Yorks & Humberside)
Dominique has been working with children for 18 years, firstly as a swimming teacher, then progressing onto working in a school as a teaching assistant supporting children on a 1-1 basis with Social and Emotional difficulties. It was here that she discovered her passion for working with challenging children.
Dominique then moved on to Doncaster Road Primary School as the behaviour support worker where she later commenced Thrive training in 2012 and successfully became a Thrive Practitioner. This in turn lead to her becoming one of the lead Thrive Practitioners in the school and playing a vital role in supporting the school out of special measures.
Dominique then went on to complete the Thrive action plan mentor course and then became a Thrive Trainer. She has already supported many schools and professionals in embedding Thrive into their own settings, and feels privileged to have done so.
She is now in the next chapter in her Thrive journey as she has become a Relationship Manager for the North and Central England.
Relationship Manager (North Central)
Dani has worked in schools for the past nine years since completing her degree in Childhood & Youth Studies and Social Psychology.
Specialising in early years education she spent the first six years as a nursery nurse at Doncaster Road Primary School where she also became a staff governor and active member of the personnel committee.
In 2012 she successfully completed the Thrive Licensed Practitioner training and became one of the lead Thrive Practitioners at the school, where Thrive was one of the core tools used to support the school moving out of Special Measures.
To further her skills Dani successfully completed the Thrive Action Plan Mentor course and went on to train as a Thrive Trainer.
Dani was delighted to join the team in September 2015 and now undertakes the role of Relationship Manager. She continues to share her experience and knowledge with other professionals to develop their Thrive practice and support children.
Relationship Manager (South-East)
Diane began her career in education in 1999. She has worked in Secondary and Primary phases supporting many children and young people with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities, emotional difficulties and highly challenging behaviour. Diane gained HLTA status and went on to hold positions as Deputy to the SENCo/Inclusion Manager, Safeguarding Deputy, Pupil and Family Support and Parent Information Contact. Diane has always been passionate about working in a holistic way to support children, parents and carers with emotional needs and wellbeing.
Diane also held a role for five years at local authority level, as Assistant to Support Staff Adviser, this role included delivering the TDA Teaching Assistant Induction training module on Role & Context, devising and delivering an NQT induction module on Working with Additional Adults in the Classroom and was a member of the East Sussex HLTA selection panel and ran HLTA network meetings.
Diane first heard about Thrive in 2012 at an awareness session and felt immediately that all of her experiences had led her to this point, she completed her Thrive Primary Practitioner training in June 2012 and had a key role in embedding and developing Thrive in the school. She is passionate about Thrive and has seen some amazing developmental journeys using the Thrive Approach with children and families.
Diane was delighted to join the Thrive team in 2016, she is passionate about supporting others to develop their skills as Thrive Practitioners and ensuring schools and services are able to embed the Thrive Approach to improve life chances for children and young people.
Relationship Manager (East)
Mel has been working with children for over 25 years. She started in a village primary school supporting a child with Downs Syndrome on a 1-1 basis. This led to a job in a special school working with children who had complex needs including ASD and challenging behaviour. Working with children with ASD became a passion and the focus of the next few years. This time included working at a specialist residential setting in Norfolk now known as Acorn Park.
Feeling the need to return to a mainstream setting, Mel became a member of the Behavioural and Emotional Support Team known as BEST at a middle school in Suffolk. Here she enjoyed supporting children who were struggling to engage with learning and took this experience to a school in Norwich before working at a Specialist Resource Base for children with SEMH where her journey with Thrive began. Thrive Training commenced in 2012 and she became a licenced practitioner. Loving this role and wanting to take it to the next stage she completed the training to become a Thrive Trainer in 2018 and then was thrilled to be appointed to the role of Relationship Manager.
Having supported many schools, children and families in Norfolk throughout the SRB Outreach service, she is excited to be taking these relationships to the next stage across the East of England.
Relationship Manager (Wales)
Joey has worked with children and young people for over 14 years, starting in youth work, and then gaining a degree in Early Years Education and working as a Teaching Assistant, Humanities Teacher, Head of Department and Head of Year in Secondary schools.
He is also an experienced foster carer and is passionate about how we help Looked After Children access and thrive in education.
Joey joined the Thrive team in September 2018.
Relationship Manager – North East & North West England
Kathryn has always been passionate supporting people emotional wellbeing and meeting people where they are at so that they can engage in life and learning.
Professionally, Kathryn has a multidisciplinary background that includes NHS change management and commissioning and more recently in community development working for Eden Project Communities in the North of England. Her strategic and grassroots experience means she understands and can support people through the opportunities and challenges when introducing a new approach like Thrive into a whole setting and ensures Thrive practitioners feel equipped with the skills, knowledge, confidence and networks to support children’s emotional wellbeing.
Kathryn brings playfulness, acceptance, empathy and curiosity to everything she does. Kathryn brings a breadth of theoretical knowledge as well as practical experience of supporting children’s emotional wellbeing. With a degree in Psychology, she also has a over a decade of volunteer experience working alongside families and children with for Homestart and National Citizen Service. Alongside her role as a Relationship Manager she also volunteers one day a week as a child counsellor in a local primary school and is a support worker to child with additional needs.
Kathryn joined the Thrive team in September 2018. She lives in Leeds and supports the adoption and implementation of the Thrive Approach in settings in the North East and North West of England.
Relationship Manager – South West England
Rose began her career in Education as a Secondary Teacher of Religious Education, PSHE and Drama. Rose became curious about why some young people could access the classroom environment with greater ease than others and through adapting her approach, soon discovered the power of experiential learning, creativity and connected, purposeful relationships.
Rose was keen to gain greater experience in SEN and became a support teacher for young people with social and emotional difficulties alongside undertaking some in school SENCO experience. Rose quickly observed the transformative effect of securely building a trusting relationship with pupils who had experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences and her passion for nurturing intervention work grew.
Rose moved into Pastoral Leadership and Whole School development of emotionally intelligent approaches for optimal social and emotional development and well-being. Rose joined the schools Extended Leadership Team and became a Staff Governor, focussing on Safeguarding, Attendance and Well-Being, working towards improving outcomes for vulnerable children and families.
In 2016 Rose became a Thrive Practitioner and lead the implementation of Thrive in her setting. Rose became a Thrive Trainer in 2017, driven by a strong passion for the Thrive Approach and supporting delegates embarking on their own Thrive journey.
Rose was delighted to be appointed South West Relationship Manager and looks forward to working alongside schools in her region.
Relationship Manager – Central England
After gaining a Bsc Hons Biology, Kay went on to gain Qualified Teacher status after completing her PGCE. Working in a large secondary school, she found herself drawn to pupils that required additional support. In 2002 Kay took up the post of SENO and designated lead for LAC. Kay’s curiosity and interest in the underlying causes of behaviour took hold and led her to a post as a Specialist Behaviour Teacher for the Behaviour Support Service; both teaching in a Pupil Referral Unit and carrying out behaviour support across Worcestershire schools. Kay was later seconded within the LA to set up and run a small unit to provide behaviour support to mainstream pupils at risk of exclusion. Kay continued to follow her love of neuroscience, in particular her understanding of attachment and developmental trauma, and she moved on to be Assistant Head and SENCO, then laterly Headteacher of a Pupil Referral Unit. In 2006, following an outstanding ofsted, she was placed on the National Register for Outstanding Leaders in Education, gaining a second ofsted Outstanding judgement in 2009. Following¬¬ the Merge of two Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) Kay went on to be Deputy head and then headteacher of a KS3 /4 PRU in special measures. Kay has been a designated Senco, safeguarding and LAC lead throughout most of her career. She had also been a governor of a primary PRU setting for over 10 years.
It was in 2013 Kay embarked on her Thrive journey. For Kay this was a perfect marriage of her two passions; neuroscience and art! She was keen to implement Thrive into her setting which was instrumental in supporting the whole school community and bringing about rapid change in the school culture and ethos. After gaining her Thrive Practitioner Licence, Kay embarked on her journey to become a Thrive Trainer in 2015. Kay decided to return to mainstream as a Licenced Practitioner whilst also working as an Educational Consultant for social, emotional and mental health.
Kay is very excited to join the Thrive team and to continues to support both schools and pupils within her new role.