Jacqui Dillon (Chair)
Jacqui Dillon was born and bred in East London where she still lives. She is a respected campaigner, writer, international speaker and trainer specialising in hearing voices, ‘psychosis’, dissociation, trauma, abuse, healing and recovery. Jacqui has worked within mental health services for more than 15 years, in a variety of settings, including community, acute, low, medium and high secure settings, prisons, colleges and universities.
Jacqui has been the national Chair of the Hearing Voices Network in England for the past eight years and is a Board member of Intervoice – the International Network for Training, Education and Research into Hearing Voices. Jacqui is Honorary Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of East London. Along with Professor Marius Romme and Dr Sandra Escher she is the co-editor of Living with Voices, an anthology of 50 voice hearers’ stories of recovery. She is also co-editor of Demedicalising Misery: Psychiatry, Psychology and the Human Condition has published numerous articles and papers and is on the editorial board of the journal Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches.
Jacqui’s experiences of surviving childhood abuse and subsequent experiences of using psychiatric services inform her work and she is an outspoken advocate and campaigner for trauma informed approaches to madness and distress. Jacqui is proud to be a part of a collective voice demanding a radical shift in the way we make sense of and respond to experiences currently defined as psychiatric illnesses. Alongside her work which she is passionate about, Jacqui enjoys swimming, dancing, laughing and spending time with the people she loves, especially her children.
Peter is a voice hearer who spent ten years as a psychiatric patient enduring many bouts of severe paranoia. Through learning holistic approaches and with support of the Hearing Voices Network he was able to reclaim his life from the system. He facilitates a hearing voices and paranoia support group in Sheffield. He also runs his own training and consultancy agency, Asylum Associates, and is the founder member of the Paranoia Network.
Peter delivers teaching on hearing voices and paranoia internationally. He also teaches on the COPE initiative at Manchester University and currently undertakes a research post at the university looking at a collaborative working between voluntary sector organisations and the university, he is also undertaking research into what recovery means from a service user’s perspective. He co-authored the workbook Asking the Questions with Paul Hammersley and Professor John Read, a guidebook around childhood trauma
Rachel (Rai) Waddingham
Rai is the manager of the London Hearing Voices Project at Mind in Camden, developing innovative projects to support people who are struggling with voices, visions and other unusual experiences. This includes Voice Collective (an innovative project that works with children and young people who hear voices), the London Hearing Voices Prison Project (establishing a network of Hearing Voices Groups in London’s prisons and secure units) and the London Paranoia Groups project (working in partnership with the Paranoia Network to develop a network of peer support groups for people struggling with paranoia and/or overwhelming beliefs).
Rai is a member of Intervoice’s International Research Committee, a trustee of ISPS UK (International Society for Psychological & Social Approaches to Psychosis) an independent trainer, media spokesperson and is currently studying an MSc in Research Methods for Psychological Practice at Westminster University. She has recently contributed chapters to Sandra Escher’s 2010 ‘Children Hearing Voices’ book.
Rai works in this area because she lives it. She hears voices, sees visions and has a range of other experiences that led to her spending more than 14 years in the psychiatric system wearing a variety of diagnostic labels. Since first hearing about the Hearing Voices Movement in 2001, her life has transformed. She no longer sees herself as ‘severely and enduringly mentally ill’, but as a creative survivor of trauma. She views her voices, visions and beliefs as meaningful, albeit sometimes distressing, experiences. She lives a life that she loves, and feels lucky to do so.
Stuart has worked in the voluntary sector for the last 20 years, and currently works for a large, London based, homelessness charity. He has a professional background in providing mental health services, and is also a qualified auricular acupuncturist. His initial interest developed from witnessing the difficulties experienced by family members and friends, and the struggles they faced in finding helpful support. Stuart studied philosophy at university, and has a particular interest in the philosophy of mind and applied ethics.
His current work involves staff and service development, strategic planning and management responsibility for a wide range of supported housing services. Stuart has played a lead role in the adoption and implementation of recovery based practice within the organisation, and is passionate about improving service delivery across the sector. He has actively contributed to policy development and innovation, and advocates widely for systemic change.
Giles is an essential member of the trustees. In addition to being the charity’s secretary, he also undertakes great physical challenges to raise funds for our work. Last year, he travelled the length of the River Wye in only 3 days by canoe (a trip that usually takes 10 days!). In 2010 he completed the three peaks challenge, climbing the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales in a mere 24 hour period. Giles has extensive experience of managing and developing services, but we’ll let him tell you about that later. Check back for more details.