Our expert group of front-line professionals have a wealth of sector experience and are committed to building meaningful and long-lasting partnerships with our clients.


Meet our Team

Sue Penna MSc, DipCOT, Dip.Couns, FRSA

Sue is a Director and programme expert. Sue has worked with individuals who have psychological trauma as a result of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) for over 30 years in her professional life as a clinician, trainer and supervisor both within the NHS and independently.

She has specialised in writing psycho-educational programmes that promote trauma informed practice and a recovery model. Sue is passionate for the need for multi-agency working and committed to supporting front line workers to have the skills to work with a trauma-informed approach.

Sue has an extensive background in the domestic abuse sector and has written trauma informed domestic abuse programmes including the Inspiring Families Programme, Adult and Children and Young People Domestic Abuse Recovery Toolkit and the Sexual Violence Recovery Toolkit. Sue has also devised the ACE Recovery Toolkit written for parents and the ACE Recovery Toolkit for children and young people.

Sue is a member of both The UK Psychological Trauma Society and the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

Kevin Brownridge

Kevin is a Director with responsibility for financial management and planning. Previously, Kevin provided freelance consultancy for Rock Pool, writing tenders.

Kevin is a partner in Perfect Moment, which he co-founded in 1995 to provide business support services to third-sector organisations. This includes writing business plans and funding bids for major capital projects such as the Hall for Cornwall, Brighton Dome and the Leach Pottery.

Prior to Perfect Moment, Kevin was Director of Development for All Change - one of London’s major community arts organisations. Before this, Kevin managed a soul band, ran a period clothing business and spent 15 years working with disadvantaged young people as a teacher, community worker and ancillary probation officer.

Outside of work, Kevin can be found playing tennis, trying to improve his backhand. He is the chair of O-region (theatre and film company in Cornwall)

Vashti Wickers

Vashti is our Training Practice Manager.
Vashti's main role is to work alongside Sue in the creation and development of trauma-informed training and to ensure our content is up to date in line with new evidence and research. In addition, Vashti supports our ever-growing pool of Rock Pool Associate trainers. Vashti is also Rock Pool’s designated safeguarding lead.

Vashti has a BSc Psychology and an M.A. in Social Work. She has spent most of her professional career working in statutory children’s social work, initially as a frontline practitioner before progressing through the management structure to her most recent role as Head of Service, in addition to Principal Social Worker, for a Local Authority.

Vashti has worked as a freelance trainer for over 5 years, providing training to multi-agency professionals on trauma and trauma-informed practice. During this time, she has also qualified as a Mindfulness teacher and is an accredited Clinical Supervisor.

Claire Davis

Claire is our Delivery and Operations Manager.

She ensures that the operational business of Rock Pool runs smoothly and efficiently so all of our customers, new and existing, have a great experience.

Claire joined Rock Pool in March 2021 and brings with her a wealth of experience in running medium sized businesses mainly in the food production industry.

She is enjoying working in this new sector and bringing her commercial experience to Rock Pool.

Sally Riley

Sally is our Training Development Manager and is the first point of contact for all training enquiries.

She provides course information and advice, as well as training dates and locations.

Before joining Rock Pool in November 2018, Sally previously worked in sales and marketing for 20 years, and most recently as an Independent Childminder.

She is finds the industry fascinating and loves talking to people about their training needs.

Laura Harris

Laura is our Training Manager.

She is responsible for co-ordinating and administering all aspects of our training processes.

She is also responsible for administering our finance processes.

She has been working with Rock Pool since 2018.

Lucy Emms

Lucy is our Training and Evaluation Co-ordinator.

She is responsible for making sure all our training delegates receive their evaluation surveys and will monitor feedback.

She is also responsible for Rock Pool's delegate zone, making sure training delegates can access the information and all the content is up to date.

Vickie Sayers

Vickie worked in HR before a change of career to work as a Youth Adviser in a drop-in centre, supporting young people with a range of issues from support finding employment or training to homelessness.
Having worked with a number of young people in abusive relationships, Vickie volunteered with an out of hours domestic abuse service for a year, before gaining a full-time post with the local authority's in-house service where worked as an IDVA and Young Person's Violence Adviser for 7 years, offering direct support and advocacy to victims and survivors, including facilitating group work and delivering training to the wider workforce.

More recently, Vickie has worked in the Children's Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub, offering early advice and signposting to families with the aim of preventing the presenting issues from escalating and avoiding the need for statutory services.

Charlotte Robinson

Charlotte has experience working with victims and survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and stalking as a senior advocate. Charlotte has been working closely with Hampshire Constabulary response and patrol teams since 2021 attending incidents of domestic abuse with officers to offer specialist advice and support at the time of crisis

Charlotte has a BSc (Hons) in Psychology with a focus on forensic and mental health and is currently studying a MSc in Forensic Psychology.

Meet our Associates

Jo Majauskis

Jo was the Director of Practice and Development at Safer Places, a Domestic Abuse Support Service covering Essex and Hertfordshire. She is also an Associate Lecturer for the National Centre for the Study and Prevention of Violence and Abuse (NCSPVA) at the University of Worcester.

Jo completed her Masters in Dynamics of Domestic Violence with Distinction in 2015. She delivers all of Rock pool's training courses.

Jo is a qualified Independent Sexual Violence Advocate (ISVA) and an Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworker (ISAC). For eight years she facilitated therapeutic group work for survivors of domestic violence and oversaw over twenty groups per week across in the areas where she worked.

Leigh Arscott

Leigh delivers Rock Pool’s Recovery Toolkit training and is one of the lead trainers for the Working with Gangs and Exploitation Culture - Trauma Informed Approach Programme, which he co-developed with Rock Pool.

Leigh is a qualified Trainer, Youth and Community Worker and Parenting Practitioner with over 20 years’ experience. He has worked as an Area Youth Work Manager, has taught in out of school provisions and works within Youth Justice as a Senior Youth Offending Service (YOS) Officer.

Leigh presently manages the Youth at Risk Matrix (YARM), team within the London Youth Offending Service which tackles gang and exploitation culture by working with young people and their families; and by working closely with agencies such as the Police, Education and children’s services. He also manages the Parenting service where he delivers the Rock Pool ACES Recovery Toolkit to parents, and the Triple P, and Gang awareness parenting programmes.

Katie Bielec

Katie was previously a police officer in the Metropolitan Police for 5 years before becoming an IDVA in Dorset.

For 11 years Katie managed the domestic abuse service in Dorset and later in Somerset providing outreach, refuge, support groups, perpetrator programmes, support for children and young people and training. She is a qualified IDVA, IDVA Manager and ISVA Manager, developed and chaired the Stalking Clinic in Dorset as well as chairing MARAC and MARMMs.

Katie has been a panel member for domestic homicide reviews and is now a Domestic Homicide Review Chair, she also supports organisations in assessing their response to domestic abuse and stalking.

Katie has experience of delivering training of DASH, CCB and Stalking as well as being an Associate Safelives Trainer for DA Matters, she has also delivered different domestic abuse programmes along with ACEs Recovery Toolkit.

Amber Canham

Amber is a qualified Social Worker with over 15 years’ experience specialising in mental health and trauma. She has also worked as an Health IDVA.

She has been a trainer for 12 years and has extensive experience of delivering domestic abuse, ACEs and trauma informed practice training to multi agency professionals.

Karen Carpenter

Karen has a BSc Degree in Psychology which she studied for while working in a South West Refuge. She first joined the refuge as a Support Worker, however progressed her career to Trust Manager, a role which involved her representing the Domestic Violence sector at a strategic level across Cornwall.

Karen has worked as an Associate trainer for a number of years and was one of the first people to deliver the Adult Domestic Abuse Recovery Toolkit.

She is Rock Pool’s lead Associate for the SPACE programme.

April Dawn

April comes from a background of more than 25 years in Training, Personal Development, Women’s Motivational Coaching, Academic Coaching and Mentoring.

She has years of working in the communities of London and Northampton managing projects including SRB5, Tackling Race Inequality Fund (TRIF), Supporting Women Back to Work with Northamptonshire Women’s Network and looking at The Impact of Domestic Abuse for BME women in Northampton with Sunflower Centre. Currently she working with Eve as a Domestic Abuse Training Consultant.

April is a Director of Creating Equalz she finds meaningful solutions to health and race inequalities, especially of women. Delivering training to professionals who have experienced trauma in the home and work through abuse in the name of tradition, culture and institutionalised racism. April is also a Group Work Facilitator for women who have experienced domestic abuse.

Chris Devaney

Chris currently works within the Family Support Service for Birmingham Children’s Trust, supporting children and families. Chris is the D/A and ACEs Programme Lead, co-ordinating practitioners in their delivery of Rock Pool’s Recovery Toolkits.

Chris is RESPECT trained, and facilitates several other D/A and Parenting-Specific programmes. Chris holds an Award in Education and Training (AET) and has qualifications in ‘Working with Families with Multiple and Complex Needs’, Motivational Interviewing and Solution-Focused Practice.

Chris has a BSc in Psychology, in which he specialised in Child Development. Chris has previously worked in both primary and secondary schools, Post-16 special provision, Children’s Centres and the third sector.

Anoushka Dunic

Anoushka has been an associate and trainer with Rock Pool since 2019. Anoushka is an experienced trainer in the topics of trauma, mental health and wellbeing with additional focus on how this impacts young people and children being exploited and co-wrote our Exploited Children and Gangs programme. Having served as a Detective in the Metropolitan Police for 20 years, she specialised in criminal investigations, community engagement and child exploitation during her career. She obtained a BSc (Hons) in Policing Studies in 2022, consolidating two decades of service.

Anoushka delivers our ABC of Trauma, Working with Trauma and Trauma Informed Policing programmes. She also writes and facilitates training for a local Mental Health Charity, as well as workshops for Parents and Carers for a Knife Crime Charity. Whilst these topics are often difficult and emotive, she ensures delegates feel safe throughout her sessions and delivers the information with passion, sensitivity and grace

Cindy Gilmore

Cindy gained her CERT. Ed from University of Portsmouth and has Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills status as well as NNEB and Level 4 (working with complex families) and SafeLives Service Managers Award. She began her career working with children and families and saw first-hand the impact domestic abuse, trauma and adversity has on families and children. She has worked for statutory agencies and within the third sector and has experience in Health, Education and Children's Services.

Most recently, she managed both victim and perpetrator services across Hampshire and Isle of Wight. Cindy currently delivers a range of training to professionals wishing to improve outcomes for children and families, including her role as an associate trainer at Rock Pool.

Roxanne Hammonds

Roxanne has previously worked at the Sexual Assault Referral Centre Cardiff as an Independent Sexual Violence Advocate.

She has over 7 years’ experience delivering training on areas including, Sexual Violence Recovery Toolkit, ACEs Recovery Toolkit, Trauma-Informed Practice, Domestic Abuse Recovery Toolkit.

Luke Kendall

Luke delivers all of Rock Pool's training courses. He is a Practice Advisor for the DRIVE project, a Respect & SafeLives intervention for high risk perpetrators of Domestic Abuse. He holds a Forensic Psychology MSc, a Psychology BSc and is an accredited Trainer and Assessor.

Luke is an accredited IDVA & ISVA, specialising in supporting male victims, but also supporting women at high risk of DA. Luke is an independent Domestic Homicide Review Chair, a member of the board of trustees for a Sussex based charity for offenders and a Restorative Justice Facilitator for sensitive and complex cases.

Luke Martin

Luke is an accredited IDVA and ISVA and facilitates Rock Pool’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Recovery Toolkits, as well as the ABC of Trauma, and the Coercion and Control Enquiry training courses.

He has worked on the 'Boys to Men' research, exploring the impact of domestic abuse on children and young people as well as the Home Office’s This is Abuse campaign.

Luke has a legal background, including a Masters in Law, Gender, Sexuality and Human Rights. He continues to lecture on men’s experiences of abuse and is a guest lecturer for Goldsmith’s University on MA Understanding Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse.

Rosie Leigh

Rosie is an experienced trainer, NLP practitioner, coach and manager, specialising in the field of domestic abuse, behaviour change and trauma.

Rosie’s previous work includes High Harm Team Manager for a domestic abuse charity, working closely with the police community high harm teams, substance misuse case management in prisons and mental health support work in the community and education sector.

Rosie has a BSc in Psychology, MSc in Forensic Psychology, is a Graduate member of the British Psychological Society and a member trauma focused networks. Rosie continues to train further as an Ollie coach (Ollie and his Superpowers).”

Mita Mistry

Mita is a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapist and Acupuncturist with 18 years of experience specialising in mental health and physical wellbeing. She has extensive experience of applying therapeutic practices for mental health and wellbeing in schools, hospitals and workplaces as well as delivering training.

Mita works with domestic violence survivors delivering Rock Pool’s Domestic Abuse Recovery Toolkit and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). She has a BA Hons in Traditional Acupuncture and is a fully qualified MBCT Teacher. She runs her own private clinic for individuals and writes a regular newspaper column on health.

Hazel Northcott

Hazel is a diligent and driven local government commissioner, with varied knowledge across a broad range of disciplines including the successful commissioning and management of domestic and sexual violence, children’s safeguarding, serious youth violence, substance misuse, adult and youth prevention contracts.

She recently started a new role, leading special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) commissioning for Essex County Council.

Hazel has previously focused on domestic abuse and have been particularly interested in trauma-informed and trauma-responsive ways of working, and she is keen to keep a focus on these areas.

Tracy Jean Thorn

Tracy Jean has 20 years’ experience in the domestic abuse sector working directly with survivors and perpetrators across a range of roles including IDVA, Senior Probation Officer, VAWG Strategic Lead and Operations Manager for a national charity.

Tracy delivers the Domestic Abuse Recovery Toolkits, and Trauma-Informed Practice training.

John Trott

John is a retired, senior detective who was responsible for the prevention and investigation of domestic, sexual, child and vulnerable adult abuse in Cornwall and the Force Lead for Domestic Abuse. An experienced Senior Investigating Officer he has worked and led on a number of serious, protracted investigations up to and including murder.

John continues to work as a Domestic Homicide Review Chair and as the Independent Brighton and Hove MARAC Chair. He provides consultation and training in all areas of domestic abuse and is a key note speaker throughout the UK and continues to work with victims of abuse.

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