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Meet the BADth Team
Jane Lester Bourne (Chair)
Jane Lester Bourne is an HCPC Dramatherapist She has worked for Cumbria, Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust for over 12 years and has a private practice. Jane specialises in adults with learning disabilities and holds a Master’s in clinical research. She is committed to sharing evidence-based practice to show the benefits of dramatherapy. Jane has several publications including peer reviewed journals and a Systematic Review on Dramatherapy group work.
Sarah Bradley (Executive Committee Member)
Sarah joined the executive in early 2021. She trained at the University of Roehampton and qualified in 2017, She previously stood as the link person for dramatherapists in Scotland. Sarah works across Glasgow and Dundee in schools and community settings and she co-runs a young person's dramatherapy service at Dundee REP theatre. Sarah is passionate about working with children and young people who are care experienced and with those with learning disabilities and additional support needs.
Sarah Corcoran (Bookkeeper)
Sarah is an experienced bookkeeper with many years’ experience working with statutory agencies, charities, small to medium size businesses and individuals. Sarah specialises in Xero and Sage accounting software and has qualified as a Certified Xero Advisor. She is currently undertaking her AAT Accountants course with the aim that one day she can offer clients Bookkeeping and Accountancy services.
Fran Fleming (Administration and Events Manager)
Fran joined BADth in November 2019 and has a background in events and office management. Fran is the first point of call for members, managing the database, website and communications for BADth. She liaises with the subcommittees and organises the CPD training, as well as the administration of the Annual Conference. Fran also supports the Executive by attending meetings and writing minutes. Fran obtained a drama degree from Aberystwyth University and is enjoying learning about the power of healing through drama.
Sienna Forrester (Executive Director: Wellbeing Officer & BAME Communities Lead)
Sienna qualified as a dramatherapist in 2019 and joined the BADth Executive in January 2022. Sienna is supporting BADth's Executive by focussing on the well-being of the committee/subcommittees and providing a model for dramatherapists who struggle with feeling 'not good enough'. Sienna is passionate about breaking generational curses/trauma patterns, encouraging young people to find healthy ways of expressing themselves and providing a path for voices of BAME people. She co-host's a podcast 'Dtherapyspace' and runs a holistic beauty suite, using her skills in dramatherapy, drama, massage and beauty to support positive mental health, self-love and self-care. Sienna also works across a range of SEN colleges and schools and works for charities across the UK.
John Hazlett Dickinson (International Representative)
John represents and promotes BADth at meetings of international Dramatherapy organisations and related international meetings and events. He reports to the Chair and the BADth Executive when appropriate. He liaises with the International Subcommittee and is available to answer international queries from members. John was a member for the BADth Executive from 2011 and Chair from 2013 to 2016 and re-elected as Chair in September 2019. He stood down in August 2021. John worked in professional theatre as a director and maker, including six years with the pioneering Belgrade Theatre in Education Team. He has a Masters in Drama and Movement Therapy from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. He was a member of the core training team on the Exeter based MA in Dramatherapy for three years. He is a Graduate of The Institute of Developmental Transformations, an embodied encounter based improvisation method that originated in the United States and pioneered by Dramatherapists. It is now practiced as a therapy and art form throughout the world. John works in Belgium, Holland, Germany, Greece and Romania.
Amy Mackay-Willshire (Acting Vice chair)
Amy is a HCPC registered dramatherapist who qualified from Roehampton in 2018 and was co-opted onto the Executive in March 2020. Since joining the executive, Amy has helped to write a number of policies (Covid-19, distance therapy, newly qualified guidance and conversion therapy), helped to establish a graduate support group and helped to arrange the Association’s first online AGM & conference. As a dramatherapist, Amy focuses primarily on trauma informed approaches to dramatherapy through her work with Khulisa and through her private practice, Play It Through. Before training as a Dramatherapist, Amy studied Drama, Applied Theatre and Education at RCSSD and worked as a youth worker, mentor, trainer and community interfaith ambassador. Amy is a member of the groups “Christians in Arts Therapy” and “DVT South East & Ireland”.
Liz Merrick (Executive Director & BADth HCPC Lead)
Liz Merrick joined the executive in 2020. She qualified as a Dramatherapist in 2003 from Manchester University, and has combined her role as Specialist Teacher and Dramatherapist on Social Emotional Mental Health Teams in North Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire and Bradford County Councils. She supervised and supported Dramatherapy students on placements, in schools, for many years. With over 30 years in education, she brings a wide field of expertise in communication, assessment, evaluation and training. Most recently she has been involved in a wide range of work undertaken with refugees and asylum seekers, including Moria Camp in Lesbos. Currently in private practice she also manages a Community Healing Centre in West Yorkshire.
Natalie Newman (Finance and Administration Assistant)
Natalie joined BADth in June 2021 and has has over 8 years bookkeeping and admin experience. Natalie has many skills, namely, honesty, excellent time management, and great communication skills. Natalie is assisting both Fran (Administrator) and Sarah (Bookkeeper) with their roles and is excited about working with BADth and its members.
Debbie Oyewole (Executive Intern)
Debbie Oyewole is the intern for the executive committee. She is married and a mother of 2 little girls. Debbie is the Team Leader for the Mental Health support team in Hertsmere (Hertfordshire) merging the gap between NHS and Education for Mental Health. Debbie has a special interest and experience working with children and young people in Mental Health. She is a member of ‘Christians in Arts therapy’ and advisory committee member for ‘Bennu’. Debbie is a content creator on YouTube providing content about Mental health, titled ‘LOVEHEALS’.
Genevieve Smyth (Policy Officer, Scotland)
Genevieve qualified in 1991, becoming Northern Ireland’s first theatre-in-education dramatherapist. She established the first theatre based dramatherapy service with Dundee Rep becoming a Head IV dramatherapist for a regional adult mental health service. She formed Dramatherapy Scotland, co-founded The Scottish Arts Therapies Forum and lectured on arts therapies training courses. She served twice on BADth’s Executive, while Link Person for Northern Ireland, then Scotland, and created and chaired BADth’s International Sub Committee. She delivered a lecture tour of North America’s dramatherapy training courses and annual conference, publishing a comparative study of the history of dramatherapy's development in the UK and North America. Genevieve was a Hub Manager for Place2Be in primary education, managing arts therapists. Her international dramatherapy practice has taken her to 17 countries. She has promoted dramatherapy in Scottish government publications and features in several key dramatherapy texts. Genevieve has been awarded BADth’s Outstanding Contribution award for Scotland and International work. Currently she works in the NHS in mental health and public health, lectures on dramatherapy, is BADth’s representative on the Allied Health Professions Federation Scotland and is piloting in Scotland BADth’s first Policy Officer.
Suzanne Spiers (Executive Committee Member)
Suzanne was co-opted to the Executive in March 2022 and is looking forward to finding ways to further the cause of Dramatherapy and share skills. Suzanne trained as an actor, holds a degree in Drama and Dance and graduated in Dramatherapy in 1995. Suzanne has been drawn to work in many community settings and enjoys grass roots work, supporting adults, teens and children who are experiencing different types of transition, challenges, mental health issues, or special needs. She designed a Dramatherapy course that was taught in a college, after training as a teacher and her most recent work has been in primary schools. She is currently building a private practice in child and adult work and also provides TRE sessions.
Heather Turkington (Executive Committee Member)
Heather joined the executive in October 2021. She is a dramatherapist based in County Armagh in Northern Ireland, having graduated from Maynooth University in Kildare in 2018. She works full-time as a dramatherapist in an adult male mental health residential and nursing facility. Heather is passionate about promoting dramatherapy within the NI NHS Trusts, as well as working towards creating a dramatherapy Masters' course in Northern Irish universities. Heather is the NI rep for dramatherapy in AHPFNI (Allied Health Professionals Federation Northern Ireland), and is also a Council member of IACAT (Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists). She has a specific interest in mental health and specialises in one-to-one sessions.