James and Heidi’s story started some years ago through the world of rugby
and the family-like connections the world of sport creates
(Heidi and James’ wife, also aptly named Heidi, played rugby together for a number of years).
In 2018, Heidi approached James to launch a mental health programme at Bristol Bears Women,
knowing that James had started his re-qualification to become a Counsellor.
The programme was set up in memory of a club player, Jen*, who sadly took her own life in 2017.
Jen openly struggled with mental health issues throughout her life
and her honesty about how it impacted her life opened the eyes of all those around her.
She taught everyone that it was ok not to be ok.
The programme was named after Jen’s dog, Ripple,
and the principle that mental health ‘ripples’ into all aspects of your life.
Soon the confidential service (spearheaded by James) was providing a lifeline
to many players and staff across the club. The service allowed members to discuss issues
such as anxiety, relationships, stress, depression, financial issues,
education pressures, injury, day to day worries and any issues that were affecting them.
Ripples grew from strength to strength supporting in excess of 70 individuals across a space of four years.
Ripples has now truly achieved its original ‘ripple’ effect with the launch of Ripples Wellbeing
where Counselling, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), Workplace Wellbeing
and Keynote/event speaking has been added to the services provided.
*Permission from Jen's family has been sought in order to use her name and
the part she played in our story
I am a qualified, integrative counsellor based in Bristol.
I have a background in the construction industry
but have been actively involved in the
Mental Health sector for many years.
I have experience in teams, leadership, project management and design but my passion and desire is empowering others to enable them to fly!
I am a married father of 3 children, have a keen interest in sport (especially rugby)
and enjoy an active and varied lifestyle.
I have considerable life experience and this keeps me grounded and humble.
I am an AET Trainer, IQA and MHFA instructor.
I have a background in the world of Executive Sport and Sales Management with a passion for supporting others and driving change. I have worked in the Retail, Sales, Charity, Wholesale, Care and Sport sectors, managing a diverse range of staff in my career which has included volunteers and executive personnel.
I get a buzz from developing those around me and aiding others to grow and reach their potential.
In my previous roles I was known as the go-to person if you needed a problem tackling or an idea brought to reality.
I have lived a lot of lives in my years, faced challenges that have taken me to the edge of my own mental health.
I believe this allows me to empathise with those around me and show how you can thrive through adversity.
I am a wife to my incredible partner, a mother to two children, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a gardener,
and a cake-eating fiend!