Debs

Debs - Founding Director.

I have had my own battle with depression over many years, and have been able to recover in the main, partly through hearing others stories. Since recovering, and before working full time on Touch Network, I have run my own business as a charity freelancer helping charitable organisations to grow, develop and design a service that their users need and want. I have two gorgeous young children, Jamie and Emily.

Hannah

Hannah - HR, IT & Finance Lead.

I have a background in youth work – working with children and young people at risk of offending and who have different challenges in school. More recently I have been a stay at home mum to my 2 children. I am involved in Touch because I get so excited about hearing people’s stories, each one of them is unique and inspiring and I never fail to learn something from them.

Rachel

Rachel - Administration Lead.

I have worked in a variety of project roles in different sectors and set up my own business as a virtual assistant a few years ago. I now focus my work on Touch Network. I manage our projects, help keep Touch Network organised and efficient, as well as carrying out essential tasks to keep us running effectively.  I care about and appreciate Touch Network and enjoy reflecting on each and every story I have heard.  I am married with 3 children.

Emily

Emily - Operations Manager.

I’ve joined Touch as Operations Manager/chief team lover! I have a background in retail management and love working with and interacting with people. I’m a firm believer that getting together over a coffee and cake is good for the soul. I believe humans are strong, resilient and powerful and that sharing your unique story is empowering and something that everyone should have the chance to do. Sharing my story has helped me and my mental health massively and I’m so excited to be part of a community that is so passionate about this. If I’m not working I can usually be found on the sofa with my 2 cats watching true crime shows or out on a run.

Kate

Kate - Coaching, Mentoring & Signposting Lead.

It is my job to support people in telling their stories and to ensure that they receive follow-up support. I am also responsible for updating My Amazing Story. I am excited to be working for Touch, having a professional background in Welfare Support, and a personal love for stories and the power of storytelling. I live by the sea with my husband and inspiring and gorgeous children: Sonny and Kit.

Sophie

Sophie - Fundraising & PR Lead.

I’ve got a background in writing and communications work across the charity sector, the corporate world and the arts. I’ve helped tell the stories of organisations, brands and products – but my favourite stories are about people. Touch Network offers a unique space where everyone’s story matters, and where the resilience of one person can spread hope to others.

I’m also a fiction author, and I believe that words have power. I live in Southampton with my three chickens and my cat, Mathilda.

Stevie

Stevie - Inclusion Lead.

I am working with Touch as an Inclusion Lead. Being a mixed race, neurodivergent has empowered me to express my thoughts in diverse ways. I hold a masters degree in theatre from The University of Chichester which I used to run a CIC business Stand Tall, for 6 years as a co-artistic director working with neurodivergent young people, young carers and people experiencing mental health distress supporting them through the power of art as a mechanism for Wellbeing. I am currently working with the NHS as a creative lead and Health and wellbeing coach.

Inclusion is at the what of my life my interests and my passions. I am a father of two and love to chat, I couldn’t be happier supporting an organisation already achieving so much.

Anna

Anna - Event Champion.

My background is as a theatre maker and arts practitioner. I have worked with a diverse range of communities for 10 years, using theatre and creativity as a tool to empower unheard voices and share stories to transform lives.  I believe all of us humans are extraordinary, and I love listening to people telling their stories from the heart. When I found out about Touch, I knew I wanted to be involved. I’ve shared a story, so I know first-hand how nerve wracking it can be, but I was supported brilliantly all the way, which gave me courage to overcome my fear and be myself.

Holly

Holly - Event Champion.

I have joined the Touch team as an Event Champion. I have worked and volunteered in the charity/community sector since I was 17 for organisations that support refugees and asylum seekers, the over 60’s, ending period poverty, making reading accessible for all and use of crafting to improve mental health. I also work for a charity in Southampton that supports people who have been impacted by domestic and sexual abuse. I went to my first Touch event in 2016 and fell in love with the idea that sharing stories can bring people from different backgrounds together. I am the mother to 2 cats.

Jude

Jude - Event Champion.

I have a passion for the therapeutic benefits of writing and a particular interest in memoir. Aside from writing, I am a magical inventor of plant-based food and do love to nourish people from the inside- out. After setting up and running a positive living group in the New Forest a few years ago I experienced first-hand how a community event can be powerful in connecting people and providing MH support. Touch ticks so many boxes for me. I’m thrilled to be part of the team.

 

Interns

Mina and Anna - Interns.

Mina and Anna both interned with us. We are lucky to have hosted many different interns from the University of Southampton. They have been part of the team in a variety of ways, completing a number of important tasks. We appreciate all the work that they have done and continue to do and are very grateful for the support of University of Southampton to have facilitated these roles.

Volunteers

Paul - Volunteer.

Paul is one of our committed volunteers. We rely on a brilliant team of volunteers to drive the mission of Touch forward.  Sometimes our volunteers host events, other times they may be friendly faces amongst our guests, and at other times they have helped with administration and project development. To find out how you can get involved, click here.

Dave

Dave - Director.

I have worked in the charity sector for 15 years and am currently Head of Community Networks at the MS Society. During that time I have been struck by the power of storytelling, both as a therapeutic exercise for the storyteller, and means of comfort and support for the listener. I told my story at a Touch event in 2016 and feel very privileged to continue to be involved in the Touch Network story – it’s getting better and better!

Katrina

Katrina - Director.

I volunteer as a Director for Touch after being inspired to come along to an evening storytelling event in 2017 following hearing Debs talk at a Hampshire wide NHS mental health alliance meeting. My day job is a GP with a special interest in mental health. I am a great believer in the power of storytelling to give hope and inspiration to others. I believe bringing a community together supports individuals’ mental well-being through positive social connections.

Becky

Becky - Director.

I volunteer as a Director and I work at Solent University. I live in Southampton with my husband. I love Touch Network and have greatly valued being part of its journey. It’s amazing to see how Touch connects, encourages, empowers and reassures people. I love hearing stories, being inspired and filled with hope.

Ed

Ed - Advisor.

I have recently joined Touch as an advisor; I got involved with Touch after stumbling across a flyer and feeling inspired to volunteer and share my story. I live with my partner, our two young children and their cat in Southampton. In my day job I lead a project management team within a Contract Research Organisation.