Our speakers

Since our formation we have focused on providing our members with the opportunity to hear from fantastic speakers covering a diverse range of topics from the personal to the professional.   Many of our speakers are drawn from our own membership so if you are interested in speaking at a WIRP event or know someone who you think would be a great speaker, please get in touch.

Jake Mills

Jake Mills is an award-winning stand-up comedian, mental health campaigner and CEO.

Jake founded and runs the multi-award winning national mental health charity, Chasing the Stigma, which he established following his own battle with depression and suicide attempt in 2013.

From a place of despair and personal turmoil, Jake created the Hub of Hope, a ground-breaking mental health database that has since become the UK’s biggest and most comprehensive mental health signposting tool, revolutionising mental health pathways in the UK.

Described as the ‘Dalai Lama of Mental Health’, by Davina McCall in 2017, after going public about his mental health struggles and recovery, Jake has continued to advocate for those with lived experience of mental health issues, while also highlighting the importance of acknowledging that we all have mental health to look after. Jake was appointed CEO of Chasing the Stigma in February 2018 and has driven the charity forward to become one of the fastest rising and well-respected mental health charities in the UK, with the Hub of Hope being recognised at the BIMA, Third Sector Care and Charity Times awards – all within Jake’s first year in post.

In 2018, Jake developed the Ambassador of Hope mental health training programme, a fully accredited and accessible training programme, making it easier for organisations to equip all members of staff with the knowledge to talk about mental health confidently within the workplace. The training has since been rolled out to thousands of participants across a variety of sectors, working with organisations such as the Premier League and Government offices.

Jake is a life-long and long-suffering Everton FC supporter and a self-confessed Bruce Springsteen fanatic. Most importantly though, he is a husband to Rachael and a dad to Teddy and Nancy.

Helen Jackson

Head of National Network for Menopause Workplace Training Network part of Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace Ltd.  I lead a vibrant training community whose shared passion is to help to make all organisations menopause friendly.

I have successfully spent the last twelve years within the employment and recruitment arena; helping businesses realise growth potential through the attraction, acquisition and retention of talent. My experience in this arena has driven my passion for creating inclusive workplace cultures where people are confident in raising concerns, discussing their personal circumstances and where people can ask for support when needed.

In January of 2023, I joined the extraordinary team at Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace to collaborate with them on their mission to make all employers menopause friendly. Since 2016, Menopause Friendly and Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace have been changing the lived experience of those impacted by menopause at work: training thousands of organisations through our Menopause in the Workplace training, and supporting leading organisations like the NHS, BAE Systems and HSBC UK and hundreds more on their journeys to becoming menopause friendly organisations.

Our support has touched hundreds of thousands of colleagues across the UK. But we’re not stopping there. In fact, we won’t stop until a woman experiencing menopause is supported and can continue to thrive wherever they’re working. We commit to helping make organisations a great place to work and give employees the confidence to ask for help and support if they need it.

Steve Phillip

Steve Phillip was a successful leadership & sales coach and corporate speaker, when, in December 2019, he received a call that would change his life forever; his 34 year old son, Jordan, had taken his own life.

Within 12 months of this life-changing experience, Steve established The Jordan Legacy CIC to provide hope to people who are feeling suicidal, by engaging all those who share his ambition to move toward a ‘Zero Suicide Society’.


With a following of more than 55,000 people on LinkedIn, Steve delivers impactful and inspiring talks, using his own lived experience and insight to help others spot the signs that someone might be struggling with their mental health and how to provide support to those who are feeling suicidal.

Steve delivers talks on the topic of suicide awareness and prevention to corporate organisations, charities, education centres, the Police, the Military and other organisations and community groups throughout the UK and overseas, including policy makers in various UK Government departments.

Simon Cusden

Simon Cusden is a former professional cricketer turned private coach for male senior leaders and their teams.

Simon has extensive personal experience of serious mental health conditions including addiction, anxiety, and depression which he battled throughout his playing career and afterward.

Now in long term recovery, Simon dedicates his life to using the lessons and wisdom he has acquired through his own personal experience to support others in high-performing and demanding environments.

Just a few of our past speakers….

Dr Evelyn Ong

Consultant Paediatric Hepatobiliary and Transplant Surgeon, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital

Tracey Hartley

Head of Residential, The Crown Estate

Katrine Sporle

The Property Ombudsman

Kate Faulkner

Chair, The Home Buyers and Sellers Group

Dana Denis Smith

CEO, Obelisk Support and Founder of First Hundred Years

Jake Mills

Mental Health Campainger, Founder of the Hub of Hope and MD of Chasing the Stigma

Victoria Hills MRTPI FICE

Chief Executive, Royal Town Planning Institute

Julie Griffin

Managing Director City Housing, Birmingham City Council

Chloe Dunk

Financial Adviser at Meta Advisors, Principal Partner Practice of St. James’s Place Wealth Management

Anne Wadey

National Bereavement Service

Parveen Kumari-Reynolds

Registered Nutritional Therapist