Our Team


Our HQ Team

Elizabeth Newton


Louise Chester

Founder & Managing Director


Louise first started practising mindfulness in 1994 when she was a Director at UBS Ltd. She found it helped her have balance in her life, while sustaining a pressured career in investment analysis and fund management, ultimately as Head of Research and then Global Head of Telecoms and Media for Dresdner RCM. Louise left the City in 2001 to establish a consultancy practice offering financial and strategic advice to business leaders both in the workplace and at Witherdens Hall, her award-winning, holistic Retreat in Kent. In 2010, she founded Mindfulness at Work Ltd. with the express intention of enabling people to easily access highly-effective mindfulness training, to enable them to create value and thrive not just in the workplace, but in all areas of their life.

Jo Rowbotham

Operations Director


Despite having a strong financial and organisational bias, Jo initially followed her creative passion and trained as a textile designer. She then spent 15 years in leadership roles in the retail sector, latterly managing the design studio at Habitat. Here, Jo found her real passion was enabling people to realise their true potential. She took the brave step of leaving her London career and lifestyle and moved to Kent to explore this further. Having recognised the importance of mindfulness in unlocking potential in her life, she completed mindful based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindful self compassion(MSC) courses and several retreats. This sought her to combine her personal practice and her wish for others to experience its benefits, and joined Mindfulness at Work, where she is Operations Director. 

Her passion is exploring the synergy between mindfulness, nutrition and exercise.


Claire Woolston

Business Manager


Claire worked in many different roles for NatWest plc for several years before leaving to have her daughter. She then entered the Education Sector, and worked at a Kent based primary school for 12 years, supporting children with Special Educational Needs. She focused very much on their mental wellbeing, as well as enabling them to access the mainstream curriculum.

Claire became interested in mindfulness, and also discovered Mindfulness At Work, during a period of great challenge and undertook one-on-one training with Louise Chester, Founder of Mindfulness at Work, which had a huge impact on her life both professionally and personally.

Realising the huge benefits mindfulness can offer, she began to work with small groups of children at school but was keen to be more involved in the field.

Claire joined Mindfulness at Work in April 2016 and is thoroughly enjoying supporting the company by liaising with clients and ensuring that all of the ‘behind the scenes’ administration is mindfully achieved for all projects.

In the future, Claire would also like to train to deliver the Mindfulness In Schools Project curriculum, to add this to her many other skills and to deliver their programme as part of Mindfulness at Work’s Education offering.


Rachel Eastwood

Office Administrator


Rachel has worked as a Research Scientist in the pharmaceutical industry for 19 years during which time she gained her BSc Hons in Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry. After taking a career break, during which she developed her skills in bookkeeping in the voluntary sector, she returned to work as a Standards Administrator in Business Continuity gaining entry into the BCI (Business Continuity Institute). Rachel started her journey in mindfulness last year and joined Mindfulness at Work in May 2017. She now uses her analytical skills and attention to detail to make sure our accounts are kept in order and presentations polished.


 

Accredited Trainers


Dr Stuart Baker


Stuart spent 20 years in large corporate firms before leaving to focus on developing others full-time and bring mindfulness to a wider audience. He currently balances a range of working environments: as a psychologist in the NHS and a private City clinic and as a transformational coach and mindfulness trainer. He initially qualified as an economist and later took an Executive MBA, working in large international corporates in the advertising, publishing, banking and insurance sectors, across a wide range of senior management roles in relationship management, business development, marketing, strategy, organisational development and consulting.

Sarah Brimelow


Sarah has practised mindfulness professionally and personally for over 25 years and has used mindfulness approaches in management development, communications and well-being programme in the corporate and public sector. Sarah holds a Masters (MSc) in Human Resource Development and is a qualified Mindfulness teacher (Bangor University ) and Coach. She runs weekly mindfulness in the workplace sessions for the Ministry of Justice and is in demand as a mindfulness teacher both on open courses and residential retreat programmes.

Having held senior operational and management roles in national organisations and government bodies Sarah excels when working with organisations that value innovation and creativity and is recognised as a top coach, leadership and management training provider. She works nationally and internationally specialising in Mindfulness, Management and Leadership, Communications, Coaching and Facilitation.

She is a member of the Association of Coaching, a certified NLP Practitioner and holds both APMG PRINCE2 Practitioner and APM qualifications. She is also a qualified Cross Cultural Trainer and Executive Coach.

Sarah is a volunteer Trainer with the Shannon Trust, working in prisons to train prisoners to teach other prisoners to improve their literacy and reading skills.


Dr Nick Buckley


With a grounding in philosophy and psychology, Nick’s professional career spans public administration, internet business and technology consultancy, market research and social media. He has worked with the UK Civil Service, Virgin Group, the BBC, FT.com, GfK and a wide range of organisations of all sizes and sectors. Over the last six years he has merged his commercial and academic interests by making mindfulness training effective and sustainable for the workplace. Nick holds a PhD in Philosophy.

Wheezie Cottrell


Wheezie has a joint honours BSc in Speech Pathology and Psychology from Newcastle Upon Tyne University. She is a longstanding mindfulness practitioner and is joining us to look at support our mindfulness in education initiatives. She is a qualified Speech and Language Therapist and is Head of Special Educational Needs at a leading prep school in Kent. She has worked extensively in both the health and education sectors. She is a paws.b mindfulness teacher and is passionate about introducing mindfulness into our schools. Wheezie has excellent communication skills and has delivered training to teachers, health professionals, parents and children.

Jane Grafton


Jane has worked with workplace mindfulness since 2003. She is British, has been based in Singapore since 2000, has trained and coached a wide range of professionals in Asia Pacific, USA, South Africa, India, Europe and UK. Jane is also a Senior Mindfulness Trainer and Coach with The Potential Project Singapore and was the first Corporate-Based Mindfulness Trainer in Asia Pacific. In 2013 she established The Mindfulness Professionals Network Singapore at The Singapore Management University. Jane’s background is in project management, training and development, HR Management and Leadership. She spent 4 years with the British Council in Singapore as a Corporate Trainer, 6 years as a Registrar with The John Lewis Partnership in UK and 16 years in the British Army retiring as a Major in 1994. Jane also has connections and trained with The Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness Institute (MMFT), an American Institute specialising in Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness Training for the Military & Emergency Services.

Mike Grindle


Mike has a background in Finance and Sales Management. He has held Pan-European leadership roles in the Financial Capital Markets industry where he has led teams in the front -office of some of the world’s leading banking institutions, including JP Morgan, Chase Manhattan and Societe Generale.  He has wide experience of leading and managing teams in complex, high-pressure and results driven environments and first-hand experience of the importance of maintaining high performance, whilst maintaining balance and well-being in such circumstances. More recently Mike has been CEO of a successful consulting, training and coaching business in the City. He is also a qualified Chartered Accountant.

Mike is an accredited Professional Executive Coach, Mindfulness Trainer and Teacher. He completed his training with the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, Bangor University and continues to follow their Continuing Personal and Professional Development Programme. Mike is a long term Mindfulness practitioner which he originally came to through his interest and practice in yoga. He has found his Mindfulness practice to be a great personal resource and an underpinning to his work as an Executive Coach.

He has a particular interest in working with organisations to develop the awareness and attention skills of their employees through the practice of Mindfulness; using these skills as a base to improving performance and developing more effective leadership through the cultivation of Emotional Intelligence. In this respect, he is a qualified practitioner of the Leadership psychometric, the Emotional Capital Report, and a coach of the related Emotional Intelligence competencies.


Sonia Grover


Sonia has a 30 year track record in customer care and project management. She has a long standing blue-chip industry track record and pedigree having worked for most of her career within some of the UK’s largest and most successful FM service companies including Securicor, ISS, Initial, Hays and Serco. Her background is in customer service management and development and she was instrumental in implementing major partnerships such as Nottingham BC, Dover Harbour board, BT, Telewest and Royal Mail. She also spent 6 years working in the IT Industry and so has a good working knowledge of application design.

Within her consultancy development role, she not only manages end to end project management but also delivers training for the relevant applications. Sonia holds a diploma in Management Studies, and has undergone extensive training and development modules such as a Harvard Business School management course.

Sonia has been involved in teaching Mindfulness-based practices since 2004. She set up her own business in 2004 and teaches Mindfulness based courses, healing, and individual tuition and development, and Conscious Living workshops in the UK and abroad.


Meredith Gunderson


Meredith graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in Art History and discovered mindfulness in 1997 while living and working in London. Meredith went on to develop a career in the US and UK working as an independent curator, lecturer and collections and philanthropy advisor with partners and clients including The University of the Arts London, The American Embassy, The Garden Museum, Mayor of London and the Prince of Wales Charity Arts & Business. In 2013 after sixteen rewarding years in the cultural sector, Meredith trained to become a yoga and mindfulness instructor which she now does full time. Meredith has an inspiring teaching style and is dedicated to improving the wellbeing of her clients.

Anna Kane


Anna brings years of experience with her personal Mindfulness practice and facilitating corporate training and development workshops. As a Chartered Occupational Psychologist for the last 10 years, Anna has experience working with both public, private and third sector organisations across a range of industries. She has worked extensively with the Foreign Office and other client work includes HSBC, NHS, EDF Energy, University of Manchester, GSK and Friends of the Earth. She completed her Mindfulness Teacher Training at Bangor University. She is now studying for a Masters degree in Mindfulness and Compassion with Aberdeen University. Anna is also an experienced registered Coaching Psychologist. Her first degree is in Behavioural Science and she also holds a MSc in Occupational and Organisational Psychology.

Anne Loyd


Anne established her mindfulness practice 22 years ago and has subsequently undertaken many workshops, training and retreats focused on mindfulness based teachings. Originally from New Zealand and now based in London with her English husband, Anne is a fully accredited Coach (ACC), affiliated with the International Coach Federation. Prior to her coaching practice she worked as a marketing manager in both the private and corporate sectors where she established marketing divisions and set-up loyalty programmes.

Anne writes for the Huffington Post on women and women’s issues. She holds a Bachelor of Business Studies and is currently writing her first non-fiction book.


Pamela Major


Pamela has had a substantial and varied career as a diplomat, occupying senior leadership roles in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and living and working overseas in Beijing, Moscow and Berlin. Her interpersonal skills helped establish her reputation as a valued diplomatic contact and a respected and sympathetic manager. She began specialising in human resources in 1995, and her last post in the FCO was as Head of Coaching.  She also has wide experience in training and development, assessment, recruitment and diversity and is a trained interviewer.

Pamela has practised yoga and meditation since her late teens. She also has a long-standing interest in neuroscience. With mindfulness, Pamela brings these together in a fascinating, coherent and practical way, which has brought benefits to every area of her life. She is keen to make similar benefits accessible to others in her association with Mindfulness at Work: she has delivered the Mindfulness is Now programme to dozens of workplaces, led workshops and immersion weekends and given talks in her speciality area of mindfulness and the emotions. Pamela has completed the Oxford Mindfulness Centre master classes in Enquiry, Groups in Mindfulness-Based Teaching, and Teaching Mindfulness in Non-Clinical Settings. Pamela also introduces mindfulness extensively in her coaching work.

Pamela holds a BA in Modern Languages (Russian and French); MA in Employment Law and Labour Relations; CPCC from the Coaches Training Institute; Associated Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation; Member of the Association for Coaching; Myers-Briggs Type Indicator; FIRO-B Instrument. She has fluent German and French, working Russian and rudimentary Mandarin.


Izzy McRae


Izzy has a background in foreign policy and economics, with a previous career as a diplomat for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  She has lived and worked in a variety of postings including Washington DC, Islamabad, Rome and Dublin.  Her interest in economics led to an increasing focus in wellbeing as a measure of human progress.  She worked for the charity Action for Happiness, set up by leading economist and happiness advocate, Professor Sir Richard Layard.  Izzy started meditating in 2011, and found it had a profound effect on how she lived her life.  She brings her experience to running courses both in happiness and mindfulness, as well as working as a coach.  She also created the Gratitude Garden app, which helps people remember the good things in their life by recording positive memories. Izzy holds a degree and Master’s degree in Economics, and an Executive MBA from Oxford University.

Dr Julia Ronder


Dr Julia Ronder MBBS BSc MRCPsych MD

Julia trained as a medical doctor at University College Hospital Medical School, London. During her time at medical school she also studied for an Intercalated BSc degree in Psychology.  She subsequently specialised in child and adolescent psychiatry at Guys and St Thomas’s Hospitals (SE Thames Higher Specialist Training Scheme). She has an MD in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Adolescence with the University of London.

Julia worked as a consultant at Priory Ticehurst House for 12 years.  In 2007, Dr Ronder took up an NHS post in the community with East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust. Roles have included lead child and adolescent psychiatrist, and co-lead of the DBT service.

She is currently working part-time as a consultant in Community Paediatrics in a neurodevelopmental clinic, in the Department of Child Health. She has just completed the first ever Transformational Clinical Leadership Programme with the Trust, looking at culture change.

Julia has practised meditation since her late teens. She taught mindfulness to adolescents for 12 years as part of a DBT programme for self-harming adolescents. She is also the co-ordinator of the Kent group of the Janki Foundation, which runs regular silent retreats for healthcare practitioners.

Julia is a trained Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Teacher with the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. She is passionate about the MSC model as a means of learning to manage emotions, and develop inner resilience.


Dr Clara Seeger


Dr. Clara Seeger is a Mindfulness and Neuroleadership coach, corporate facilitator, speaker and author with an MSc in Neuroscience and Mindfulness, specialising in facilitating positive change through Mindfulness, applied Neuroscience and Emotional Intelligence. Oxford-educated and with a PhD from King’s College London, she worked in Investment Banking before retraining as a coach. Clara works with international companies across many sectors and countries, delivering mindfulness interventions, neuroscience-based leadership development, executive coaching and brain-based coach training to help clients successfully navigate change whilst maximising focus, productivity and wellbeing.

Clara has developed her own mindfulness-based coaching methodology and is passionate about introducing the benefits and neuroscience of mindfulness to the corporate world, both theoretically and practically. She is the author of Mindfulness At Work In A Week: Learn To Be Mindful In Seven Simple Steps (Hachette UK, 2016), a practical and neuroscience-based introduction to mindfulness for the workplace. Her previous book Investing in Meaning – An Alternative Approach to Leveraging your Portfolio (Completely Novel, 2012), is a coaching book for helping professionals maximise their sense of meaning at work.


Jo Shanahan


Jo has a BA honours degree and a postgraduate teaching qualification. She has an established teaching background as a school teacher in West Sussex and at a University and in language schools in Australia, Portugal, Poland and Thailand. Previous employers have included Hays PLC and Ealing and Harrow local authorities. Jo has a long standing mindfulness practice and in 2012, being passionate about bringing these skills into schools, began training with the Mindfulness in Schools Project. Jo is trained to deliver Mindfulness at Work’s proprietary corporate-based Mindfulness programme (MiN), as well as the Mindfulness in Schools .b (11 to 18 year olds), Paws b (7 to 11 year olds) and .b Foundations (school staff). As well as training for the workplace, Jo has delivered mindfulness courses in primary and secondary schools, in both the state and independent sectors, to children, adolescents, school staff and to parents. Jo has undertaken teacher training with Bangor University and also delivers the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course to adults.

Mel Shinton


Melanie regularly delivers mindfulness training courses and runs a regular meditation group in Edinburgh. Her recent assignments include the BBC and Johnson & Johnson. She has a professional and personal interest in the role of compassion, insight and wisdom and how these can be developed and accessible to everyone.

She gained her Bachelor of Nursing in Sydney, and then went on to complete her Masters in Critical Care Nursing. She has a twenty-year nursing career and has seen the effects that stress has on the human body. This is the main motivation that drives her passion for teaching others about mindfulness. Mel is accredited to deliver the Mindfulness Association’s Mindfulness Based Living course as well as Mindfulness at Work’s programme. She is currently also completing her MSc in Mindfulness Studies with the University of Aberdeen.


Julie Stannard


Julie has a BA honours degree from Lancaster University and has a wide ranging background of over 20 years working in central and local government organisations developing and implementing policy and legislation. Previous employers include the Home Office, Kent Police and Wealden District Council. She has well developed communication skills; delivering training to Councillors, staff and public, presenting reports to Council Committees, representing at working groups, professional bodies and committees, and being a professional witness for the Local Authority in Court.

Julie is a qualified British Wheel of Yoga teacher and has been involved in teaching Mindfulness-based practices since 2005. She set up her own business in 2007 and teaches Mindfulness courses, private yoga classes, individual tuition and development, workshops and retreats in the UK and abroad. Julie has been delivering ‘Health in the Workplace’ training, working closely with a local employer for a number of years, using Mindfulness practices to both alleviate stress and develop employee performance.


Nicki Tanner


Nicki has worked in Business Consulting and People Development for over 20 years, specialising in change management and leadership development. She has wide experience of facilitation, team development and executive coaching in organisations as diverse as professional services (particularly law firms), banking and finance, publishing houses not for profit and most recently education. Her interest in promoting wellbeing, resilience and working under pressure sprung from her coaching experiences, helping people to find strategies and tools to be and perform at their best. Most recently she has returned to her psychology background, starting a PhD out of Loughborough Business School and Department of Exercise and Health Science. Her research focus is on the use of mindfulness and exercise to develop maximum health, resilience and peak performance. Trained in mindfulness with Bangor University, Nicki applies her practice both personally and professionally.


Dr Eda Uslu MD, CPCC


Eda is a Medical Doctor specialising in Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine. She has treated ten thousand patients in her 15 year career as a Medical Doctor. She is the founder of one of the first accredited Sleep Laboratories in a state hospital in Turkey and served as the chief of the Sleep Laboratory for more than 5 years, which has won many awards from both Turkish and European authorities.

“Helping people” was her childhood dream and, over time, being only a medical doctor was not enough for her. She started to research integrative medicine and with this, completed many training programmes, including Yoga Therapy and Emotional Freedom Techniques. Because she believes children are the owners of the future, she also trained in Connective Parenting and Parentology to build healthy and happy generations.

Throughout her journey, she met with mindfulness and fell in love with the scientific background supporting it, completing her training at Bangor University. She is a Certified Co-Active Coach (CTI) and has found her mindfulness practice to be a great personal resource, underpinning her work as a professional coach.

Eda set up her own business in 2013, delivering the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course to adults and Mindfulness-based courses to children, teachers and parents. She delivers Mindfulness at Work’s MiN programmes and Taster Talks to hundreds of members of staff. She delivers all her programmes in both Turkish and English.


Adrian Wright


Adrian Wright BA (Hons) worked as a finance event manager in the City of London with banking and insurance clients such as Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, Nomura and Guardian Royal Exchange. He is well versed in the pressures and stresses that come with a City-based career.
He then left the City to complete his English degree and trained to teach English in the secondary and FE sector. He led a large curriculum team with over ten members of staff delivering twelve courses to over one thousand students.
Adrian discovered mindfulness meditation some years ago. Since then, he has deepened his practice through Oxford and Bangor University Mindfulness Teacher Training courses, Zen meditation, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Interpersonal Meditation, and The Mindfulness in Schools Project courses for teachers and students. He recently left the education sector in order to focus full time on practising and teaching mindfulness. He delivers workshops and courses in the education and corporate sector from Mindfulness at Work MiN programmes to Taster Talks to hundreds of members of staff.