Debbie is a registered occupational therapist trained in Canada with 13 years experience in the NHS in rehabilitation of patients with physical injuries. Through her work she became interested in how people with the same injuries with the same surgeons and the same therapists had vastly different outcomes based on their thoughts, moods, beliefs, history, relationships and the environment around them.
She embarked on a journey to learn the skills needed to support patients with complex needs as they recovered from a physical injury, condition or following an operation. She trained in cognitive behavioural therapy foundation skills, health coaching and completed the Mindfulness Based Teacher Training Level 1 through Bangor University in September 2016 and the Teacher Training Level 2 in January, 2019. In 2017 she started Simply Mindfulness to reach people outside of healthcare who were approaching her for mindfulness training. She now works part time with Simply Mindfulness and part time at Spire Norwich Hospital as a Clinical Specialist in Hand Therapy, Pain Management and Mindfulness.
Debbie has a young family and has expanded her mindfulness interest to children, particularly through the use of mindfulness in schools and healthcare and the enhanced well-being of parents, teachers and health professionals. She has taught several children’s health teams and school staff groups the 8 week mindfulness course with some staff going on to train through the Mindfulness in Schools Project to bring mindfulness to the students in a structured and evidence based way with the aim of preventing the development of mental illness. The wellbeing of children has become of interest to many people and in response to this overwhelming need, Debbie has trained in the PAWS.b programme with the Mindfulness in Schools Project, with further training through Relax Kids and ZenMuma to learn techniques to make it fun as well as beneficial. She is working closely with Laura Wilson and Sarah Gale (see below) to bring mindfulness to both both staff and students in Norfolk schools.
On the other end of the spectrum, Debbie is also interested in Mindfulness and Healthy Ageing. As an occupational therapist having worked for many years in healthcare, she has a wealth of experience working with older people. Teaching mindfulness to older people is a passion to ensure people remain healthy in body and mind throughout their life. Older people are most encouraged to sign up for a Mindful Hour taster session to see what it is all about.
Debbie is a keen athlete with an affinity for long distance events which have included marathons, triathlons, Tough Mudders, a half ironman, an Etape du Tour long distance cycling event and a multiday mountain marathon in the Scottish Highlands. Although training time is limited now with youngsters and work she still enjoys getting out for regular runs with friends and has recently learned to row. These days, the outdoors are enjoyed as a family, preferably in a canoe or tent in the middle of nowhere.
Debbie teaches mindfulness as an occupational therapist registered with the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and regulated through the Health and Care Professions Council. She is listed as a Mindfulness Teacher with the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Training Organisations having the met the strict Good Practice Guidelines to teach mindfulness to the highest standard. She has regular contact with a supervisor through the Mindfulness Network CIC and is insured to teach mindfulness in private practice.
What people say:
“Debbie has been informative, knowledgeable, positive and approachable throughout and I will miss not having our weekly sessions! Thank you!”
“Debbie’s sympathetic approach to her delivery, always inviting you to delve deeper and never criticizing the lack of evidence that was requested each week.”
“Debbie is a great teacher – informative but also gently leading us to our own recognition of what’s going on. She is also fun to listen too!”
“The sessions were delivered in a friendly, professional and relaxed manner, making me feel able to join in and make the most of the course.”
“Debbie has gently introduced me to this practice in a practical, non-fussy way!”
“Thank you for putting me at ease enabling me to relax.”
Laura’s journey with mindfulness began from first-hand experience of teaching teenagers as a qualified Science and Psychology teacher. Laura observed that even the most capable of children, who were intelligent, engaging and well supported by parents, were regularly shouldering unnecessary pressures and daily stresses.
Being passionate that teenagers should be given every opportunity to reach their potential, Laura realised that mindfulness could be one of the tools necessary to equip children with the necessary resilience to not only cope more effectively with day-to-day pressures, from school, peers and online, but to flourish and seize the opportunities our world has to offer.
Laura followed this path, first with a Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course in 2017. This, alongside Laura’s own daily mindfulness practice, reaffirmed its strength as an approach in providing a greater sense of physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. With this sense of the potential benefits of mindfulness to teenagers, Laura enrolled on the Mindfulness in Schools Programme (MiSP) in 2019.
With a BSc in Science and Psychology, a PGCE with 15 years of teaching at secondary school level, Laura is now able to offer the MiSP courses to schools in Norfolk. This course offers students with an interactive, fun and practical way to be more mindful. Enhancing their understanding of their body’s response and how they can use simple techniques to manage situations. We cannot control what life throws at us but we can choose how to respond. This course will help equip all teenagers for the future, you do not need to be suffering to benefit from a deeper understanding.
Laura is married with two delightful daughters one very mindful cat and two slightly less mindful but gorgeous dogs!
Sarah is a qualified Primary School teacher, with 8 years of experience in Primary Schools in Norfolk. She studied Psychology and Sociology at University, before embarking on teacher training (PGCE) in 2003 at the U.E.A. in Norwich.
Sarah first heard of Mindfulness in 2013, while in conversation with a friend, but didn’t pursue it until 2017, when she completed the 8 week MBSR course in Norwich, under the excellent instruction of Debbie. Sarah felt it was unlike anything she had done before, a therapy for the mind – there are plenty of therapies for the body, but Mindfulness is something which calms the busy mind and helps worries and anxieties which can whirr round. Sarah initially found the hardest thing was setting aside time to practice Mindfulness, but was pleasantly surprised to notice the benefits of committing to daily practice. Recently, her eldest son commented, “Mummy, I think you’ve been a lot less shouty and lot more calmer since you’ve done your mindfulness course”. Jaw dropping stuff!
Embarking upon an opportunity to learn more, Sarah enrolled in early 2019 on the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) course, and qualified to teach the PAWS B course for 7-11year olds. Sarah has seen first-hand recently in schools how children struggle to concentrate fully on lessons when there’s a lot of social or emotional problems/worries buzzing around in their minds.
Some research that shocked Sarah reveals that teenagers today report levels of anxiety that are equivalent to those levels reported in inpatient-psychiatric-patients in the 1950’s. Sarah believes that teaching even young children, about their minds and the PAWS B Mindfulness techniques, is one way of providing tools to cope with their mental health in the future, and must be a valuable part of their education. Of course, some children may not fully embrace Mindfulness straightaway, but by teaching them the PAWS B techniques to use, as and when they feel they need them (such as before a test or performance or exam, or after a falling out with a friend on the playground) is something that can benefit the child for years to come.
Sarah is now able to offer the PAWS B Mindfulness course, in your school, over a 10-12week term (depending on the length of the term) for children in Years 3,4,5 & 6. It can be taught in a classroom, with no special equipment required, other than an IWB.
Sarah is married, has two young sons of her own, and enjoys walking her dog in the great outdoors (preferably in sunshine!) and yoga.
I am a full time yoga teacher who incorporates meditation into yoga classes. I have been teaching yoga since 2000 in and around Norwich. I have practised yoga from an early age and found that the benefits, physically, mentally and spiritually are almost immediate bringing a sense of well being and tranquility as well as keeping the body fit and healthy.
I hold a diploma of the Friends of Yoga Society International (dipFRYOG) and a diploma from the British Wheel of Yoga and I am also a tutor trainer. I have also attained the Birthlight. Baby Yoga and Massage Diploma, Birthlight Aqua Natal Yoga Diploma and Birthlight Infant Aquatics. I am a Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI) with the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) and baby massage classes are held in the comfort of your own home – on request.
I have always been interested in health and completed a Psychology degree at St Andrews University and followed that with a Masters degree in Health Sciences from the University of East Anglia whilst working as a Research Associate at the University. I believe that Yoga is for Life and everyone can benefit. The classes consist of friendly people of mixed ability and beginners can be accommodated in most classes.
The classes cover classical yoga asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing), and an assortment of meditation exercises. I also offer private classes for people who may want to try yoga before they attend a class.
Avril began her career as a scientist, obtaining a phd in Molecular virology. After working many years in this field she decided to pursue her passion in movement by obtaining a master’s degree in physiotherapy. She has worked as a physiotherapist since 2010 with professional sports teams and GP practices in the region. As an avid climber and a national level gymnast, it was natural that she would aim to help improve the health of others through the use of exercise and further trained in yoga and pilates. She now combines her work as a physiotherapist in GP practices in Norfolk with teaching clinical pilates and yoga classes.
Please read these testimonials from people who have attended a Simply Mindfulness course