Alexia Pepper de Caires
A feminist activist, Alexia Pepper de Caires is politically active with the Women’s Equality Party. In 2018 she was elected party spokesperson to End Violence Against Women and Girls, and is a member of national policy committee and Birmingham branch team.
Alexia is an analyst and programme manager who worked for public and charity sector for 20 years. In 2018 she decided to speak publicly about allegations of sexual harassment in a major UK charity, and conducted research into the nature and extent of sexual violence and harm towards staff in international charities. With Shaista Aziz she co-founded the intersectional feminist platform NGO Safe Space to highlight and disrupt patriarchy, racism and colonialism in international charities, to build #aidtoo beyond a media splash into a movement.
Blogger and Social Entrepreneur
Charlotte Watkivs co runs the blog A Zero Waste life and the not-for-profit Zero Waste in the Community. She has sent no rubbish to landfill in over two years. This has been achieved by reducing her need for single use items, repurposing and reusing old items into something new, recycling what can’t be reused, and rotting organic waste. Through lived experience, Charlotte noticed the discourse between large environmental issues and people knowing what changes to be made on a personal level to address these issues. Both Charlotte’s businesses empower lifestyle adaptations addressing waste to create happier, cleaner cities.
Paralympian and England Blind Footballer
Darren Harris is a dual Paralympian and England’s most capped and most decorated blind footballer, inspiring and enabling people to surpass their limits. He is a member of the Professional Speaking Association and speaks about how his Minority Mindset Methodology has created a new formula for success. As a graduate of The Coaching Academy, Darren helps people begin their journey of transformation to become the best version of themselves. He is an Amazon number 1 best-selling author of Transforming your Life and has an Honorary Doctorate from the Open University for Outstanding Public Service
Dave Pitt is an award winning playwright, performance poet, story teller and workshop facilitator.
Dave’s plays have been performed in many places, most recently in the 14:48 theatre festival in
Seattle. He has performed poetry around the country both solo and as part of the group, “Poets,
Prattlers and Pandemonialists.” He hails from Darlaston and now lives in Wolverhampton.
Ellen De Visser
Polygot and Entrepreneur
Ellen de Visser is a polyglot and entrepreneur, originally from the Netherlands. She has lived in 6 countries and speaks 6 languages. Her passion for languages began when she was young and went on holiday to Germany and tried to build a bridge between her and local children by learning German through magazines and television. Ellen has since travelled the world as a freelance translator and now has her own translation company. She shares her knowledge on language learning, entrepreneurship and living abroad at events across Europe and organises a conference in Berlin for people who want to teach languages online
As a contemporary art performance MA student at The Royal College of Art, Hannah’s performance work explored personal and communal rituals and how neurotic behaviour can be utilised for catharsis in relation to trauma and mental health. As Assistant Curator and director at 'The Asylum Art Gallery and Studios ' Hannah assists artists to develop their work into a collection for the exhibition space. Her aim is to engage local communities to regenerate through the exploration of current and local interests as well as political grievances within the framework of the social model of disability.
Jaivant Patel is an award-winning independent dance artist, cultural producer, choreographer and creative consultant. He is artistic director of Jaivant Patel
Dance making work that ‘challenges the complexities of inherited notions, perceptions and stereotypes surrounding British-Asian identity.’ South Asian dance forms, aesthetics and principles inform/influence the creation of contemporary work targeted at diverse audiences.
In 2019 Jaivant will be touring YAATRA, a bill of kathak and contemporary dance, championing the rich possibilities of work rooted in South Asian LGBTQ+ narratives.
Jaivant is Associate Artist at Arena Theatre and Midlands Arts Centre and on the board of directors for Dance4.
Jessica is a Broadcast Journalist for BBC News Online. A former Senior Reporter at the Express & Star and contributor to The Guardian, she has completed freelance work for the London Evening Standard, Ealing Times, the Hillingdon and Uxbridge Times and South West Londoner. She has also completed work experience at the Coventry Telegraph and Watford Observer.
Jessica has a double first class BA (Hons) degree in English literature, drama and education from the University of Cambridge, a distinction in her M.Phil on Screen Media and Cultures, and a Gold Standard diploma in journalism from the National Council for the Training of Journalists.
Jivan Kandola is a Bhangra dancer and recent Classics graduate from Warwick University. As a member of the Bhangra Society Jivan and her fellow dancers mixed and performed to Hip-hop and Bhangra inspired tracks, The dynamic and highly energetic rhythms and moves of both genres seamlessly complemented each other. Jivan has undertaken many performances with the Bhangra Society, but today we are privileged to experience a specially choreographed solo performance.
Jules is, in a nutshell, MAD ABOUT HAPPINESS! Not the old paradigm of ‘getting happiness’ (I’ll be happy when I GET the money, house, partner, etc.) but the inner happiness and contentment you feel when you actually GET life, GET yourself and live with the knowing that you are in creative control of life on your own terms. She’s spent the last 20 years exploring and experimenting with the science and spirituality of happiness and is now regarded as an expert in her field, speaking regularly on BBC Radio and featured on TV on both ITV and BBC.
Psychologist and Criminologist
Professor Laura Caulfield PhD is Director of the Institute for Community Research and Development at the University of Wolverhampton. She is a psychologist and criminologist. Her research expertise lies primarily within the criminal justice system and bridges the gap between evidence, policy, and practice.
Laura has received research funding from the Home Office, ESRC, Arts Alliance, NHS, Ministry of Justice, Youth Offending Service, and several third-sector organisations. Her work focuses on the role of the arts in criminal justice, and the needs of women in the criminal justice system. Her latest book, ‘Criminological Skills and Research for Beginners’ was published in 2018.
Documentary Filmmaker and Actor
Natalie Cutler is an award winning documentary filmmaker and Actor who uses her work to highlight global women’s rights issues. In 2018 she was nominated for ‘Outstanding New Talent’ at the Royal Television Society Awards and was invited to speak at Cambridge University alongside leading MPs on “Is Art more useful for political messaging than politics itself?”
She is the co-founder of Foundation DB - a charity that raises funds for Youth Homelessness in the Black Country, Help Refugees UK and YUWA, a school in rural India that uses football to keep girls out of child married and in education.
Director - New Union
Nathan Coyle is the Director of New Union, a not-for-profit social enterprise, workings across the UK and Europe to ensure citizens influence digital policy using civic technology and community development. He is also Founder of two social good projects, Data Brew, aiming to make the language around open data more inclusive, and Civify, putting young people in front of elected officials to hold them accountable. Nathan has written for The Huffington Post and The Royal Society of Arts, along with local press and other professional institutions. He’s a proud ‘Black Country lad’ and a lifelong follower of Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Specialist Lecturer in Conflict Management
Richard Burnell is a former Police Constable now employed in the NHS as Specialist Lecturer in Conflict Management; He is also a visiting Lecturer at Birmingham City University. His work focuses on the way conflict manifests in leadership, within teams, and in patients in clinical environments, often with dementia and other cognitive impairments. To keep himself busy he also covers specialist workplace mediation between colleagues who aren’t getting on and provide resilience coaching for staff who work in ‘extreme’ or high stress roles. Conflict doesn’t have to be scary, it’s all in the mind of the beholder!
Writer and Lecturer
R. M. Francis is a writer from Dudley. He recently completed his PhD at the University of Wolverhampton, where he also works as a Visiting Lecturer. He’s author of four poetry chapbooks: Transitions, (The Black Light Engine Room, 2015), Orpheus (Lapwing Publications, 2016) Corvus’ Burnt-Wing Love Balm and Cure-All (The Black Light Engine Room, 2018) and Lamella (Original Plus, 2019). His first full collection is due out with Smokestack Books.
Sunny Dhadley is a Social Leader with lived experience of addiction. He has developed a peer led model that is revered for its effectiveness, professionalism and integrity (noted through receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2014 and in 2018 being highlighted as a European Model of Best Practice - BeTrad). Sunny is a Fellow of the RSA and part of the Windsor Leadership Alumni. Recently shortlisted for The Guardian Public Service Awards in 2018, Sunny has continued to push the boundaries in relation to practice and policy and is a living example of the potential that lies within each person that is vulnerable and/or marginalised within society.
Tom Elliott, is a new and dynamic Comedian and Magician. As a regular on BBC local radio and other national outlets such as Premier, UCB & TBN, Tom’s squeaky clean comedy show is packed full of laughter, tricks and audience participation.
Described by TV Personality Miranda Hart as ‘Such Fun’, Tom has brought laughter and joy to audiences across the UK in theatres, churches, schools and even shopping centres! Tom is the founder and co-host of ‘The Joy Ride Podcast’, where he interviewed well known people about life, faith and where they find joy.
Business Development Coach and Author
Multi International Award Winner Zoe Bennett is a formidable woman that works hard to enhance the lives of others through her Business Development Training Company Training Personified.
Through her company she provides workshops in schools, charitable organisations, the public sector (DWP) and the corporate industry (partnership deal with Natwest Bank). Through the bespoke training she designs the emphasis is on encouraging people that no matter how hard it gets, you have control of your destiny whether in your personal life or business life. She explains why it is important to set (realistic) goals and have a clear defined life strategy.