Annual Conference 2017

Our AGM and Annual Conference was held on Thursday 30 November 2017 at the De Vere West One, 9-10 Portland Place, London W1B 1PR.

The theme this year was "Life's Journey"

Thank you to all our speakers, seminar facilitators (see biographies below) and delegates who really made this a day to remember.

Here are just some of the comments about the speakers, the Conference and Helpline Awards:

  • Very relevant and inspiring
  • Humbling and moving. Helps keep things in perspective
  • Best session of the day, network and information sharing session
  • Raw and powerful
  • Lovely to recognise and award achievement
  • Really interesting innovative concept for a Conference. Well done
  • This is the best Conference I have attended
  • Fantastic, funny and moving
  • Excellent day thanks

Interested in becoming a sponsor next year?

Becoming a sponsor for the event will raise the credibility and visibility of your organisation. It enables you to demonstrate corporate social responsibility within a sector committed to providing support to millions of individuals.

Sponsor package

Contact Us

For more information please contact us on: 0300 330 7777 or email:

The speakers and presenters


A freak accident left Claire paralysed from the chest down, but she was determined not to give up. She made worldwide headlines in 2012 when completing the London Marathon in a pioneering robotic suit taking 17 days, and lit the Paralympic cauldron for London 2012.

Read more about Claire’s amazing life.

SEMINAR HOST: Emily Hodge (Coaching Emily) MBPsS

Emily is an ex-NHS and charity professional health psychology specialist and coach. She supports people to move forward from cancer and others to lead gentle lives.

Emily’s delivered more than 1500 hours of coaching to people after cancer in the 2 years that she’s been running her private practice, working with the likes of Macmillan Cancer Support, Shine Cancer Support and Trekstock.

Emily runs webinars, workshops and coaching sessions in person from her studio in Surrey and internationally online. Find out more about her work at

INTERNATIONAL MEMBER SHOWCASE: Wida Yalaqi (Afghanistan Capacity Development and Educational Organisation - ACDEO)

Wida was born in Afghanistan and completed her higher education in the United Kingdom.  She started her career as an audit officer with GlaxoSmithKline but moved back to Afghanistan in 2005 and successfully implemented numerous development programmes for international entities and the Government of Afghanistan.

Despite the great work done for women’s empowerment in Afghanistan the vast majority of the Afghan population still remain unaware of the rights afforded to women within the Afghan constitution. Seeing this gap Wida founded ACDEO and is now Executive Director. ACDEO is an NGO that allows Afghan men and women the opportunity to learn about women’s rights and promote women’s access to justice.  ACDEO runs the National Family Support Hotline, a service through which women and men can receive counselling and legal advice on how to eliminate violence against women in Afghanistan.

Wida has extensive experience in performance management, business process improvement, capacity building, and transformation management in a wide variety of national and international organisations.  She specialises in designing and establishing NGOs as well as small and medium size businesses with a strong emphasis on empowering women.


Chrissy B, aka Christoulla Boodram, is a happy, friendly and caring TV presenter, writer and public speaker who loves life. Having battled with anxiety, depression, panic attacks and other mental health issues for many years and now completely recovered, she is passionate about sharing her happiness and positivity with the public and encouraging people to talk about mental health with the aim of getting the help they need.

Born and bred in London, and with a degree in Business Studies, Chrissy B’s portfolio career spans across human resources, web and graphic design, and press and community outreach projects before she found a niche in TV presenting.

Over the years she has presented Your Say, a controversial current affairs show, two women’s TV shows, and another that focussed on helping people find solutions to life’s problems. Since June 2012, she has been the Executive Producer and host of her own TV programme – The Chrissy B Show which is the UK’s only TV show dedicated to mental health and wellbeing. Read more about Chrissy B and her TV programme.


Elizabeth Burton-Phillips MBE (pictured with her son, Simon) is perhaps best known as the author of ‘Mum, can you lend me twenty quid? : What drugs did to my family’; a story that has now been read by thousands of people in the UK and translated into five languages. The book describes how an “ordinary” family was devastated by drug addiction which drove Simon’s twin brother, Nick, to end his own life in 2004, aged just 27.

Since Nick’s tragic death, Elizabeth has campaigned continuously to raise awareness of the harm caused to families by drug addiction and to influence policy and practise so that the needs of families are better recognised and met.

Elizabeth founded the charity DrugFAM in 2006, which now helps thousands of people who are affected by someone’s drug use, including those who have been bereaved by addiction.

SEMINAR HOST: Debbie Sadler (Unlock)

Debbie joined Unlock in 2013 having previously worked in healthcare management. She’s had plenty of experience providing information and advice whilst volunteering at the St Giles Trust and Citizens Advice Bureau.

As Unlock’s Advice Manager, Debbie is responsible for delivering the core support that the charity provides to people with convictions. This includes overseeing the Unlock helpline, the self-help information hub, disclosure calculator, online forum and online magazine, theRecord. She also manages the Unlock volunteer programme. 


Kerami achieved her dreams of qualifying and working as a music teacher in 2005 and then becoming Mum to Emily who is now 10.

Since age 12, Kerami has been challenged by chronic pain and weakness beginning in her arms but which since 2013 affects her neck and back. This has led to being a wheelchair user and being unable to work as she did before.

With the support of her husband, daughter and the many professionals who have helped along the way, Kerami is building a new life which has brought new dreams and opportunities.

The Scope helpline was a major part of this recovery process and Kerami has seized opportunities to raise awareness of the amazing ways Scope are helping others.

Kerami has been working with Scope to campaign for more support and funding for organisations supporting Young Carers.  She has been volunteering as an online ‘community champion’ and writing as a Scope blogger on the issues that affect disabled people.


Audrey is a Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol), and the author of ‘Be A Great Manager – Now’.  She is a CPD Accredited speaker and trainer, as well as a qualified FIRO-B and NLP Practitioner.  She currently practices as a Development Coach and Training Consultant with her training consultancy CLICK Training, and delivers keynotes on emotional agility and leadership at National and International conferences.

Her doctorate is from Brunel University Business School (focusing on the training and emotional support of customer-facing professionals). During her research, she lectured on Brunel’s Business Undergraduate and Management courses, and subsequently trained as a Learning and Development Coach within the NHS.

Prior to Training and Coaching, she was a secondary school drama teacher and Head of Psychology (QTS), later progressing to Programme Manager for vocational qualifications in Supporting Teaching and Learning, and Childcare, Learning and Development within Further Education.

CHRISSY B SHOW GUEST - Kirsty Frost (Scope Helpline Manager)

Kirsty currently manages both the national Helpline and the Supporter Care team for the charity, Scope. For the last decade, Kirsty has worked within the NHS, Social Care and managed a number of services within the voluntary sector.

Kirsty loves working within services that can make a real difference to the lives of many; and is passionate about promoting the impact of helpline support. In her spare time, she is also a volunteer for a local community café supporting those who may be homeless or in need of emotional support.

CHRISSY B SHOW GUEST - Linda O'Neill (DISC Darlington Young Carers Service)

Linda O’Neill is the Project Leader at DISC Darlington Young Carers Service, in County Durham.

The service supports children and young people aged from 5-25 years and their families, to reduce the impact of caring. This is to ensure that children and young people are entitled to the same life opportunities as their peers and can achieve their full potential.