PLEASE NOTE - Team Thumbs Up are extensively qualfied and experienced in the field they work in. We will willingly provide further information for each member of Team Thumbs Up upon request. If we do not deem that we are able to meet your requirements, we will of course help to point you in the direction of somebody that maybe able to provide support. Team Thumbs Up are all DBS checked and safeguarding trained.
Position held: Managing Director and Lead Faciliator
About me:- "I have always said that I have the best job in the world, even despite the first lockdown trying us somewhat! But even when I have one of ‘those days’, going into one of our lovely schools and seeing the enthusiasm of the children and those smiley faces lifts me like nothing else. Since I began Thumbs Up, we have presented to many schools throughout Wirral, Liverpool, Cheshire and Wolverhampton; every time a new school comes ‘on board’, I get such excitement from meeting new children and being inspired once more. As a company I will continue to evolve Thumbs Up as we work in new schools, meet new teachers, parents/carers and children, I will continue to learn from them – which I do every single time I work in a new school and I will ensure that Thumbs Up continues to offer that ‘personal touch’ that has been so successful with the company thus far. In my spare time I love to spend time with my wife Jackie, daughter Jemma and son Scott (and our gorgeous cocker spaniel Louis), both 'kids' now having gone to University, and I'm finding myself at a loss at times. I also like to read, spend time with good friends, go on holiday - especially in our motorhome - 'Freda', cycling (on an electric bike!) and love nothing more than getting stuck into a really good box set on Netflix…and of course preparing for more sessions with Thumbs Up (does that make me boring?!!!). I am so excited to see what the future holds for Thumbs Up...watch this space"
Fun fact about Sue:- “I love music and love to dance and sing, but
can’t do either very well…but I don’t let that stop me. Often can be seen in my Thumbs Up van belting out a tune or two. Have recently become an 'AFOL'...an 'adult fan of lego', I find it incredibly calming'.
Position held: Lead Faciliator and Co Facilitator
“I so happy to have joined Thumbs Up as a facilitator and have been working with Thumbs Up since September 2017. I bring a lot of experience of working with children to the programme, having been a dance and drama teacher for many years, I also do a little bit of singing teaching too. I love working with Thumbs Up immensely and have adored meeting the most inspiring children, and can’t wait to see how the coming months and beyond will progress with new schools coming along all the time. In my spare time I sing with three bands – mainly in Wirral which I enjoy very much and spending time with my husband, daughter and son. With my drama experience, I am hoping to bring some exciting new role play activities to Thumbs Up and use this to elevate the levels of confidence and self-esteem in the children. I love nothing better than having a really good laugh and I am sure this fun side of me will enhance the Thumbs Up ethos of the children learning through a fun delivery of the programme and the children learning well if they are feeling happy and positive.”
Fun facts about Cath:- “I have appeared as an extra in Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks and love nothing more than to burst into song - be warned!"
Position held: Lead 1:1 facilitator
"I have worked with children for many years and schools and nurseries, and as one to one support for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. I have a degree in Childhood and Youth studies, and as part of my studies, I chose to write a research paper investigating the provision available to support the mental health of children in primary schools. Sue kindly agreed to help me by allowing me to observe some of the Thumbs Up sessions.
I was so inspired and excited by the work that Thumbs Up are doing within our schools and I am thrilled be a part of the team. I feel that the increasing pressures on young people and the rise in mental health issues makes Thumbs Up an invaluable resource to empower and support children, staff and families, and I hope to be able to use my knowledge and experience to contribute to this thoroughly rewarding role.
My particular areas of interest are the work of Carol Dweck on growth mindsets, mindfulness and the impact of autism of the mental health of children and I hope to explore these areas further as it is related to the work I undertook in completing my Masters in Child and Family Psychology.
I have two daughters aged 14 and 11, who motivate and inspire me every day, so I find the age of child that Thumbs Up is aimed towards very relatable and understand the challenges that can be faced during these formative years.
In my spare time I love to spend family time swimming, cycling, ice skating, visiting our favourite places and watching Liverpool FC!"
Fun facts about Steph:- "When I was at school I wanted to be a nurse until I did a week of work experience at Arrowe Park Hospital and fainted six times! I also used to take part in Latin American and Ballroom dancing competitions.
Position held: Trainee lead faciliator and 1:1 facilitator
"I am really looking forward to joining the Thumbs Up Education Programme with Sue and the rest of the team
Thumbs Up provides me with an exciting career move - as most of my working life has been all about dance and drama.I trained at Merseyside Dance and Drama Centre, gaining my teaching qualifications in various genres, and I went onto teach in dance schools throughout the UK. I worked at the prestigious Hammond School in Chester, it was here that I taught pupils who went on to perform in West End Productions, on cruise ships, and also some students went on to become teachers themselves.I have even run my own successful dance club - Strictly Dancing - Cha Cha Cha, which I thoroughly enjoyed and miss very much.
So I certainly will be bringing the ‘jazz hands’ to Thumbs Up in addition to my diploma in Hypnotherapy, and diploma in Therapeutic Counselling Skills and Theory in adults counselling.I also have the privilege of working as a volunteer with Place2B at schools throughout Wirral, and I will be continuing with this along with working with Thumbs Up.
I live with my husband and two teenager boys, and on the whole we live in a joyous household.We ensure that we maintain our happy household by remembering our ‘thank you’s’ and ‘I love you’s’!I love to spend time with family and friends and never one to shy away from a party, where I will usually be the first one on the dance floor, and having a good old giggle.
The passion I have for dancing and how fabulous it can make you feel, I take forward into my work with children. As such, that passion, I will take forward in the work I will be doing with Thumbs Up ensuring that I bring all my experience and knowledge in improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of both children and adults.
I feel so privileged and excited to become part of the Thumbs Up team, and can’t wait to gain new experience and be involved in the growth of the company.There are certainly exciting times ahead and I look forward to working in all those fabulous schools very soon."
Fun facts about Clare:- "I love to dance in my kitchen! And I had
my photograph with THE Anton Du Beke and chatted with him about Strictly Come
Dancing (unfortunately not in my kitchen)."
Position held: Trainee lead facilitator and 1:1 faciliator
I am so excited to be joining the Thumbs Up team, as I have had a passion for many years to work with children and nurture their emotional wellbeing and mental health.
I am proud parent of twin daughters, both of whom have dyslexia, dyscalculia and the associated fears and anxieties that these learning difficulties bring with them. Their primary school years were spent at an SEN school, where they blossomed and went on to progress to a mainstream secondary school. Having been through the transition from primary to secondary school with them, I can empathise with the affect that this not only has on children, but their families as well. Having nurtured, supported and provided them with the tools to be resilient and having witnessed their struggles, has given me an overwhelming desire to help other children.
My work as a Holistic Therapist and my continuing study of Therapeutic Counselling in conjunction with my experience, knowledge and passion for working with children and young people, I know will benefit the children I will be working with.
I can’t wait to start learning and sharing new skills with the Thumbs Up team. I’m looking forward to being a part of enriching the emotional health and mental wellbeing of children, which in turn I am sure will help to excel as a facilitator.
To unwind I love to spend time in my garden, upcycling furniture and spending time with my family. I am an enthusiastic collector of crystals, and when gardening I like to plant in harmony with the cycle of the moon. You can also find me creating healing balms and creams
Fun facts about Sonja:- "Back in the day I was a member of a breakdancing
crew. With a little encouragement I have been known to
show off my knee swipe routine from time to time!"
Position held: Trainee lead faciliator and 1:1 faciliator
"I am so happy and feel incredibly lucky to have joined Thumbs Up as a co-facilitator as I have always been passionate about mental health, in particular that of our children. I am currently studying for a diploma in counselling with psychotherapy and am looking forward to starting my level 4 which is specifically aimed at counselling children and adolescents.
After spending 27 years as a hairdresser, I have gained some valuable listening skills and have watched some of my clients grow up before my eyes. From first cuts as toddlers to last hair cuts before going to University, it’s been a privilege to see many people flourish as they've grown and I feel so lucky to have played even a small part in their emotional growth; there certainaly are so many crossovers between hairdressing and counselling! So if when I meet you, if I ask you ‘where are you going on your holidays?’, you will understand why!
I have three daughters of my own and my most favourite thing to do is spend time with them and my husband all squashed up on the sofa together with our two dogs Harry and Bonnie, watching a movie and eating popcorn! My three daughters are all at very different stages of their lives which I believes gives me a lot of knowledge of how to deal with the different stages of childhood. My eldest daughter has just gone to University, my middle daughter is at secondary school, and my youngest is in year 4 at primary school - it’s never boring in our house!"
Fun fact about Kirsty:- "We currently have six pets, two dogs, two guinea pigs and two tortoises, a bit like Noah’s Ark!"