Meet the Speakers

Steve Brown

Steve Brown is a broadcaster, paralympian, public speaker, mentor and coach.  In 2005 Steve became paralysed when he fell from a balcony and broke his neck. Soon after, he was introduced to wheelchair rugby and in 2012 he captained Great Britain at the London Paralympic Games. He recently embarked on 900-mile journey, alongside five other people with different physical disabilities, for the BBC1 series Without Limits: Vietnam.  Since retiring from elite sport, Steve has turned his focus to supporting others to be their best through sport, work and education.

Lord Layard
Lord Layard – Action For Happiness

Lord Richard Layard is known as THE happiness economics guru. His book “Happiness: Lessons from a New Science” (2005), redefined the simplistic economic link between income and happiness and he’s since shared his pioneering ideas on an international stage via TED talks.

Sandra McCune
Dr Sandra McCune – Mars Petcare UK

Dr Sandra McCune is Scientific Leader for Human-Animal Interaction Research at the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition – the global science centre for Mars Petcare. She has published over 30 papers on animal behaviour and human-animal interactions, including papers on the impact of pets on human health and wellbeing. Sandra has a PhD in animal behaviour and welfare from the University of Cambridge and is qualified as a veterinary nurse from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Brad Bradford
Cllr Brad Bradford – Ashford Borough Council

Brad Bradford is a Cabinet Member with portfolio responsibility for Highways, Wellbeing and Safety. In 2017, Brad played an active role in Ashford Borough Council (ABC) introducing ‘ONE You’, a health shop located in Ashford town centre. This partner project saw ABC join forces with KCC Public Health and its service provider Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) to open ‘One You’ and deliver a variety of free health and wellbeing services from blood pressure checks and smoking cessation support to weight management and lifestyle advice.

Christine Hancock – C3 Collaborating for Health

A clinician, manager, and economist from the London School of Economics, Christine Hancock was a CEO in the NHS, CEO of the Royal College of Nursing, and president of the International Council of Nurses. Christine is the founder and director of C3 Collaborating for Health, a London-based global charity that addresses the risk factors (tobacco use, physical inactivity, poor diet/harmful use of alcohol) of chronic disease. C3 uses an innovative m-health tool, CHESS™, to engage community members in a data-driven investigation about barriers to wellbeing in their neighbourhoods. To date evidence from CHESS has resulted in over £2 million in funding for communities. Christine is also a member of the NHS Healthy Workforce Advisory Board, overseeing efforts to create a step change in the health of the 1.2 million-strong NHS workforce.

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Dr Paul Williams, UK Health Services, for MAXIMUS UK

Dr Paul Williams graduated from Leeds Medical School in 1987 before becoming a full-time GP in 1992. He remains a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners. In 2001 his interest in the effects of health on work and work on health led him to retain as a specialist in Occupational Medicine. He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine and President of the Society of Occupational Medicine. He brings a wealth of clinical experience having worked in Occupational Medicine for Jaguar, Land Rover, Local Government and the Police and more recently as Medical Director for JCB. Whilst he was a GP he trained in forensic medicine and worked for Leicestershire Police from 1993-2004 during which he obtained the Diploma of Medical Jurisprudence.

Ben McGannan – Wellbeing People

Over 12 years ago Ben developed the business model for the delivery of Engaged Prevention within the public and private sector, fundamentally changing people’s behaviour to making positive health and wellbeing choices. Today his company Wellbeing People are at the forefront of the agenda.

achael Ford, Service Manager Mytime Active
Rachael Ford – Mytime Active

Rachael has enjoyed a successful career in public health, implementing, evaluating and managing a number of wellbeing services within the Midlands. She has a track record of leading high quality targeted and universal programmes, including physical activity, nutrition, weight management and behavioural change. Her passion for delivering to disadvantaged communities has driven her to continue her career at Mytime Active, influencing service development with the local resident at the heart.

Heidi Allan, Neyber
Heidi Allan – Neyber

Heidi joined Neyber to help drive the development of Neyber’s mission; to pioneer the creation of workplace communities that will enable employees to borrow and save together at fairer rates and reduce the indebtedness of the UK’s workforce, and in turn, help increase staff engagement and productivity. In 2016 Heidi published her ground-breaking report, “The DNA of Financial Wellbeing”, covering over 10,000 UK employees examining the state of employees’ financial wellbeing and what impact it has on their health, productivity and workplace. She has over 23 years’ experience in the financial services sector with more than 15 of those focused on developing market leading propositions in employee benefits and financial wellbeing.

Marcus Whiteley – KIMS Hospital

Marcus Whiteley is Chief Operating Officer (COO) at KIMS Hospital. Marcus is a strong advocate of Health and Wellbeing, both inside and outside of work. As COO, Marcus supports many of the initiatives at KIMS Hospital that aim to improve the health of its staff, fostering a culture that puts health and wellbeing first.

Always up for a daunting physical challenge, In 2017 Marcus walked the 100km Trailfinder South Downs Challenge and completed the National Three Peaks Challenge (the second time in doing this) with 9 other members of the KIMS Hospital team. Marcus has previously run six marathons but this year will be running The Highland Fling Ultra Marathon along 53 miles of Scotland’s West Highland Way.

Deborah Smith – KCC

Deborah Smith is a Public Health Specialist for Kent County Council and works collaboratively with Ashford Borough Council and other agencies to improve the health and wellbeing of the local population.

Deborah leads on Healthy Weight and Stop Smoking task groups that report to the Ashford Health and Wellbeing Board. She has worked on partner projects such as ‘House’ Young Peoples’ hub, Smokefree Parks and the One You shop in Ashford.

Sheila Davison – Ashford Borough Council

Sheila Davison is a Head of Service with responsibility for a wide range of services including environmental health, community safety emergency planning and business continuity.   She is an environmental health officer by background and is a registered public health specialist.

Working closely with Kent County Council (Public Health) and Ashford CCG, she has been instrumental in driving forward the work of the Ashford Health & Wellbeing Board. She has been involved in a wide range of public health projects over the years and has recently supported the introduction of the Ashford One You shop, Smokefree School Gates and Smokefree Play Areas.

The latest project has been to introduce a Smokefree area around the council’s offices and adjacent leisure centre.