Trustees PDF Print E-mail

John Whitwell (Chair)

John has worked in the Social Care sector since graduating in 1969. He joined the staff of the Cotswold Community, a pioneering therapeutic community that helped emotionally unintegrated boys, in 1972. John took over from Richard Balbernie as Principal in 1985 and continued in that role until 1999. He worked alongside the consultants to the CC during those years, Barbara Dockar-Drysdale, Isabel Menzies-Lyth and Dr Eric Miller and learnt a great deal from them. John also did the Advanced Residential Work course at Bristol University under the direction of Chris Beedell and trained as a Group-Analytic Psychotherapist, qualifying in 1984. In 1999 John moved to ISP (Integrated Services Programme) as the CEO and later Managing Director. ISP was the first independent fostering provider in the UK and provides a multi-disciplinary wraparound service for children in need of specialist therapeutic services. John has recently retired and has published several papers over the years and given lectures in the UK and other European countries. John has also developed a website to act as a digital library of material relevant to the therapeutic care of children

Judith Phillips (Vice Chair)

Judith Phillips trained as a Child Psychotherapist at the Birmingham Trust for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (BTPP) and has worked within the Birmingham, Hereford and Swindon CAMHS teams. She has a background in residential social work and teaching and has in the past worked in a residential setting with traumatised adolescent children. Judith has worked at The Mulberry Bush School (a residential school for emotionally traumatised primary school aged children) as a child psychotherapist and has developed a specific interest in the impact of early trauma upon childhood development. Currently Judith works within a social services setting supporting carers with understanding and managing the children in their care, from a psychotherapeutic perspective. She has a particular interest in the function of containment in the process of enabling carers and children to think. Judith has been a trustee since early in the 2000.

Kath Rooksby (Trustee)

From completing her Degree to her first job with the Alzheimer's Disease Society, the Health and Social Care Sector has offered Kath a rich career combined with voluntary overseas work. Kath has been lucky enough to play a role in developing service user involvement work for Mental Health Services in Leeds, set up the Patient and Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), Lecture at SGS College in Health and Social Care and currently with NHS England. As part of the Nursing Directorate team Kath project manages the Friends and Family Test in primary care, supports the Commitment to Carers agenda and works with GP practices post CQC inspection. Kath has always valued the opportunity to contribute to positive change and passionately believes in service user involvement and empowerment of opportunity for all.

Fiona Talwar-Lomberg (Trustee)

Fiona has enjoyed a varied career following her graduation in Economics and Politics in 1995. In 2000, Fiona swapped her early career managing independent retail businesses for public and voluntary sector roles. Fiona also qualified as an accountant during this time with and has worked passionately to support public service development and enhance limited resources within the third sector. After a decade of working within the NHS, Fiona joined the leadership team of Winston’s Wish, the charity for bereaved children, in 2010 and subsequently served as its Chief Executive until March 2015. While Fiona returned to working on a freelance basis this year in order to support her young family, she truly appreciates the services provided by GCS and hopes to bring good value to the organisation and the Trustee Board.

Carol Gilbert (Trustee)

Carol qualified with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in 1995 and has been working in HR for 25 years. After qualifying Carol took up her first Head of HR role in professional practice with Wansbroughs Willey Hargraves (subsequently renamed DAC Beachcroft after several mergers), a national legal firm and then moved to Barnett Waddingham, a national actuarial firm. She saw considerable growth in both firms and an increased need for professional HR support. The changing face of employment and dealing with the challenges associated with growth have been a key focus of her work as she developed the HR functions. There has also been a very practical focus in her work in ensuring the HR function worked within the legal and statutory frameworks while meeting the day to day needs of employees and the senior management teams. She believes strongly that HR plays a significant part in supporting successful organisations to realise the full potential of their workforce. One of the initiatives that Carol successfully introduced to her last two employers was an Employee Assistance Programme and she was able to see how counselling support could help employees to maintain their effectiveness at work or support them to return to the workplace. Carol retired in 2015 and hopes to combine her interest in counselling with her current HR knowledge to support the Trustees and GCS.

Nicola de Iongh (Trustee)

Nicola is an independent Management Consultant focusing on strategy, organisational development and change. She has 20 years experience, mainly in the Financial Services sector, of delivering significant organizational, cultural and procedural change in complex organizations. During this time, she has built expertise in HR, Communications, IT and programme delivery. She is also an experienced coach, trainer and facilitator who has worked with executives and teams to develop their professional capability. Nicola has a degree in French and Russian and an MBA. She is a PRINCE2 registered practitioner, a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the Chartered Management Institute and the Institute of Directors. She is passionate about mental health issues and the impact that counseling can have on individuals and groups, and she is excited about using her experience to help grow GCS as a Trustee.

Erin Sawyer (Trustee)

Erin Sawyer is a solicitor who focuses on family finance and children matters. She trained with a large regional firm, basing her practice in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Since joining the Board of Trustees for GCS, Erin has accepted a new position at the Bristol office of Irwin Mitchell, a national full-service firm. She will join Irwin Mitchell in May 2017.

Erin is originally from Washington DC, but has lived in England since the age of 18. She read law at the University of Sheffield, followed by a Masters of Law in International Business Law at the University of Exeter. Erin became a Trustee of GCS in 2017 with a view to contributing qualitatively to the GCS mission of improving the availability and efficacy of counselling services across Gloucestershire and beyond, bringing with her years of experience in working with families who are experiencing trauma as a result relationship breakdowns.

Emma Payne (Trustee)

Emma is a corporate solicitor with over 15 years’ experience in private practice and in-house roles. Her current role involves advising on a wide range of transactions including company and business acquisitions, restructurings, fundraisings and joint ventures. Emma has a sound business acumen and considerable expertise in working with a wide range of businesses to solve problems and implement change. Having personally benefitted from counselling some years ago, Emma is thrilled to have the opportunity to use her skills to assist GCS to make counselling available to a wider audience within Gloucestershire.

Svetlin Vrabtchev

Following his graduation from the Medical University in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in 1991 Svetlin worked as a doctor in training in Bulgaria until 1995 when he moved to the UK with his family. Svetlin joined the psychiatry training scheme in Bristol in October 1998 and trained in General Psychiatry and Medical Psychotherapy. He joined the 2gether NHS FT for Gloucestershire in 2009 and works as a consultant psychiatrist and medical psychotherapist in acute psychiatry and in collaboration with psychological therapy services. Svetlin’s clinical expertise and interest is in working with people who have survived complex developmental trauma. The medical psychotherapy training is multimodality training and includes CBT, Systemic psychotherapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy. Svetlin also trained in mentalisation based treatment model of therapy. He is the medical psychotherapy tutor with the 2gether NHS FT and is involved in medical education and training. Svetlin chairs the accrediting Organisation for medical psychotherapist (ACOMP) within UKCP. He will make every effort to contribute with his clinical knowledge and expertise in the interface between GCS and NHS services.

Lynn Emslie

A career covering acute healthcare, mental health, health in criminal justice and Local Authority social services, Lynn originally qualified as a diagnostic radiographer and worked in large, acute hospitals before qualifying as a social worker and working in a wide range of community settings. Focusing on mental health, criminal justice and people with complex needs, Lynn championed the requirement to improve access to services and reduce health inequalities.

Working strategically across the Department of Health and NHS, Lynn worked to inform policy by linking academic research into service development; including the voluntary and private sectors. She then led NHS commissioning and quality monitoring within NHS England and supported the establishment of local, regional and national governance structures.

Working as a senior manager, Lynn has gained in-depth experience of partnership working within and across all sectors and strategic development at Ministerial level and across Government departments. Lynn now works independently and has published her first book for children.

Nigel Brabbins

Nigel has 35 years’ commercial business experience. He graduated in hospitality management in 1980 and enjoyed a long and successful career with Forte Plc. Nigel then completed an MBA and moved in to business services, holding executive positions in logistics & distribution, promotional merchandise and security services. Since 2002 Nigel has been Chief Executive of IT/software companies, utilising new technologies for service delivery and has significant knowledge in e-learning and data security. He led Ultrasis Plc for 8 years, a company providing Computer delivered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CCBT) for the treatment of mental health conditions and software programmes for physical health and wellbeing. These were used by the NHS as part of the IAPT programme and in organisations to support employee wellbeing. Nigel has maintained his interest in the field of mental and physical health and is looking forward to supporting GCS in its continued development.

Nigel is a Chartered Director and Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

British Psychoanalytic Council

GCS specialises in providing counselling and training of counsellors to professional standards. GCS was established in 1980 and has over 60 counsellors offering high quality affordable, counselling to the community of Gloucestershire in venues across the county including Stroud, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and Cirencester. All our counsellors are supervised and managed within GCS and work within the BACP ethical framework. Some of our counsellors are counsellors in training; they work to the same standards as our qualified counsellors.