Meet the Team
Spring to Life is a small company of professionals offering an outreach service for improving well-being to people of all ages, all walks of life, and their communities. We are:
Philippa Allenby – Director
Felipe Molina – Director
Felipe Molina is a practitioner within our eco-therapy programme, a Reading for Well-being practitioner and a project coordinator. He believes that people can find much personal healing through contact with nature in its many forms. With a strong interest in the new field of ecopsychology and ecotherapy, Felipe believes in the interrelationship between personal and planetary healing. His professional background is psychology and particularly psycho-social therapy and has worked in mental health for over 20 years, in a wide range of settings. His other interest is in community well-being and resilience. He has been involved in the development of Food Forest Brum, Mother Gardens and Fruit and Nut Village projects. Outside of Spring to Life he is involved in Kushinga Community Garden – working with refugees and migrants growing food and connecting with local communities.
Dawn Theophilus – Director
Dawn is an integrative counsellor with a background in nursing. She adopts a ‘one size does not fit all’ approach and as such uses several models of therapy enabling adaptation to client’s specific needs, uniqueness and individuality. Dawn works with a wide variety of issues ranging from every day stresses to more complex issues. She works in several settings including GP surgeries and runs her own private practice. Her passion is people! Her aims are to enable people to grow, gain self-awareness, to empower people to become free to be the best version of themselves that they can be.
Anne Roche – Director
Anne has spent the last thirty years working with primary school age children, as a teacher, a church children’s pastor, and more recently as a mentor and counsellor. She is passionate about helping children from all backgrounds and faiths to understand and talk about their emotions in order to improve their wellbeing. She uses games, stories and play to build a therapeutic relationship of trust in order for the child to feel confident to address painful issues in their lives, such as bereavement or divorce, or to learn how to manage anger and anxiety. She has an MA in Applied Theology (Family Youth and Community Work), a Certificate in Christian Mentoring, and a Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Skills for Working with Children from Place2Be / CPCAB.
John Kirkman – Director
Starting his career as a sports coach, John has a lifetime of experience in training and coaching. In recent years he has become increasingly interested in the field of psychology and the area of mental health and well-being. His philosophy on people is that they are all brilliant – it’s just a question of what shape of brilliant and what’s blocking them. As such he is at his best when in a role that’s focused on increasing awareness and understanding, removing blocks and enabling potential – both in a group and one to one. John runs training courses in 1st Aid for Mental Health, Budget Coaching courses and Financial Health workshops. He also works as a coach specializing in helping people find clear ways forward out of confusing situations. John is a graduate member of the British Psychological Society, holds Diplomas in Professional Coaching and Mentoring and International Sports Coaching and is a registered MBTI Practitioner.
Wai-Ling has a broad range of clinical and social interests. Her passion is for individuals to experience compassion, to realise their potentials and have a fulfilling life, despite the challenges they have experienced. She obtained her professional qualifications in Occupational Therapy (HK), Clinical Psychology (UK) and Cognitive Neuropsychology (UK). Her clinical interests are psychological therapy for trauma, working with individuals with cognitive impairments or learning disability. She studied cognitive profiling and rehabilitation of everyday actions for individuals who have a stroke, acquired brain injury or dementia. Her work in developing training for health professionals worldwide in cognitive screening, and co-founding a social enterprise, Cognition Matters, has gained several awards (the Big Idea Award 2009; the Medici Fellowship 2010; the UnLtd HEFCE Social Enterprise Catalyst Award 2010). Since then, she divides her time between the NHS, Spring to Life and her independent practice. Spring to Life inspires her with its diverse and innovative efforts in building community well-being at the grassroots.
Roland has been in practice as a therapist since 2003. Initially starting off in fitness and gyms before moving more into sports massage and bodywork. As time moved on he became more and more aware of how much mental suffering his clients were experiencing so wanted to offer something to help with this. With Spring to Life Roland offers ear acupuncture sessions with a guided body scan meditation. In my experience I find this the best way of bring a person into a much calmer state and giving them a practice they can take home with them that will help them with there mental wellbeing. I also offer a gentle form of body work called bowen therapy that encourages a persons body to reset and repair itself. Different strokes for different folks.
Kurly is a 3 time shortlisted Birmingham Poet Laureate finalist – an active performance poet and rapper specialising in helping to develop self confidence, emotional literacy and reading skills. He has been a mentor and an English Teacher at a Pupil Referral Unit in Birmingham and now mainly works (freelances) in schools and various community organisations throughout the U.K.
Gillian has practiced as an artist and art therapist for over 25 years. She has offered ‘Art for Wellbeing’ sessions with Spring to Life since 2015 and enjoys working with individuals as well as small groups. Image ‘language’ comes before verbal language. Play, metaphoric and symbolic thinking are universal human behaviours which can be utilised as powerful problem solving strategies. Experimentation with art materials can help improve self-esteem and enable people to find new ways to express themselves and tell their stories. Art making can also help people to ‘stand back’ from and learn new ways to deal with challenging feelings. Emotional intelligence is about neither having to deny feelings or be overwhelmed by them.
“All art is the process of looking in and looking out.”
Roger Ackling (Artist)
Gillian is Co-Founder of Lever Arts a Birmingham based arts organisation which seeks to work soulfully with materials, people and places.
Sharon is an experienced Integrative Counsellor registered and accredited by the BACP. As well as working for Spring To Life Sharon runs her own private practice. She has a background of supporting families and individuals affected by Traumatic Brain Injury and Stroke and she has worked within a hospice setting. She has experience of working with people with a wide range of difficulties, specifically anxiety, depression and grief and loss and is a qualified Mindfulness Trainer. Sharon’s aim is to support her clients in finding a greater understanding of their difficulties and their situation, and help them to identify and achieve a new way forward.
Calvert Lawson is a Midlands-based musician, youth worker and African percussionist. He is of Jamaican origin, enjoys working with young people and is experienced in working with challenging behaviours and special needs. He has delivered African drumming workshops for around 18 years in schools, at community events and at public gatherings and has worked as drum facilitator for a local authority in Wolverhampton for the last 8 years.
For more information go to: www.kalillodrumming.co.uk
Vicki provides Drama for Confidence and Wellbeing workshops for Spring to life, using drama games and techniques to help people find their voice, build confidence and experience a safe space to express themselves and their ideas creatively.
Vicki’s training is in Applied Drama and Education, and Biblical and Intercultural Studies. She is an experienced Community Drama Practitioner and Facilitator. Vicki has developed projects with a variety of community groups including Refugees, Prisoners, Youth, Churches, the elderly, and those suffering with mental health conditions. More recently, Vicki has worked on a pioneering community arts project in Cuba, reconciling generations, improving personal and community confidence and creativity, and providing low level trauma healing, and is providing creative input to address and advocate for Women’s issues at an upcoming United Nations Women’s Commission Conference.
Lorraine works in both private practice and within non-profit charitable organisations. She is a qualified integrative counsellor. Her approach is a blend of person centred, CBT and psychodynamic therapy. She provides both short term & long term therapy dependent on individual need.
Lorraine’s aim is to always work in a way that supports anti-discrimination, equality and diversity. She works within a variety of multi faith/cultural environments and has in-depth knowledge and understanding of working with people from all walks of life. She offers a safe, welcoming and confidential space for you to address your concerns at your own pace. Lorraine works with a variety of issues including low self confidence, depression, and anxiety to issues relating to severe trauma. She specialises in trauma related issues i.e. abuse, sexual violence, FGM and human trafficking, and many other types of emotional and psychological conditions.
Christina is an author and Writing for Wellbeing practitioner, using the power of writing to help people feel better from the past and re-create their lives. Christina uses expressive writing techniques such as poetry, metaphor, journaling and unsent letters. She combines scientific knowledge with her own and other’s experiences of how expressive writing can assist with psychological and physical healing.
Christina writes and runs workshops and works one to one for non- profit organisations and her private practice. She has used these techniques with cancer patients, MS and ME sufferers and is currently running a course at Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS trust. Christina is researching how early childhood trauma impacts our mental and physical health, through the lifetime and how ‘writing our story’, can help re-create our lives. Her background is in counselling and psychology and works freelance as a teaching assistant in primary schools.
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” ― Anaïs Nin.
Anastasia helps clients live a life of their choice using various tools and techniques. She aims to bring emotional balance into people’s lives by dealing with symptoms that cause distress and pain. Her work helps people reduce stress, anxiety, depression and negative emotions and achieve wellbeing in all aspects of their lives. Whatever the issue is, be it caused by a trauma, conditioning or just an annoying habit, she helps people rebuild themselves, so they can have the life they wish to have. Using various tools, techniques and approaches which include hypnotherapy, mindfulness, coaching, EMDR, EFT, TFT, gestalt therapy, havening, IEMT, counselling, psychotherapy, writing, art, music, and metaphoric cards, Anastasia helps clients connect with their psyche so healing can naturally occur.
As a Wellbeing Coach with Lived Experience, Katie’s practice is informed by an array of frameworks; strengths-based coaching, motivational interviewing, positive psychology, the recovery movement and Intentional Peer Support. Having ‘lived experience’ simple means she shares an understanding of how hard it can be to make changes when you’re not feeling at your best.
Katie brings these skills to interactive wellbeing workshops in workplaces and community groups tailored to meet participant’s needs, finding creative ways to explore and explain concepts.
She learns so much by watching others build on their own strengths to make sustainable change.