Dr Jo Powell
Jo is a qualified secondary school teacher with a Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Loughborough University and a PhD from the University of Exeter. Her doctoral research investigated the factors that help bereaved children and was inspired by both her own personal experience and ten years working as a volunteer at Winston’s Wish. Jo developed a model to illustrate the key components essential for coping with loss and learnt a great deal about resilience, emotional intelligence and positive mental health.
Following her PhD, Jo shared her findings widely across a range of organisations, educational and healthcare settings. She has presented at many national and international conferences and events, as well as leading staff training days and independent evaluations.
It was during her research that she first became aware of the transformative power of mindfulness. Interviews with several inspirational teenagers, coupled with her own observations and reading, served as the catalyst in exploring mindfulness further and ultimately led to formal training to become a mindfulness teacher.
Jo has undertaken the ‘Breathworks’ teacher training, as well as the more specific training to teach young people through the ‘Mindfulness in Schools Project’. She has also held her own personal mindfulness practice for over a decade.
Jo is a keen sportswoman and has competed at regional level in hockey and national level in athletics. While at Loughborough, she captained the women’s cross-country team to victory in the British University Championships and competed at elite level on the road and track. She continues to run for fitness, and passionately believes in the importance of healthy body and healthy mind for overall well-being.
Dean is a Senior Occupational Therapist, currently working for Priory Healthcare as Lead OT helping support young people with complex mental health conditions.
He qualified from the University of the West of England, Bristol in 2006. During the past 14 years, he has gained extensive clinical experience across a variety of settings including older people’s mental health, rehabilitation & recovery, community and acute inpatients.
Prior to training as an Occupational Therapist, Dean played semi-professional football and was awarded a soccer scholarship to study in Boston, USA. During this time, he spent three summers working as a group leader at a multi-sports camp for children aged 4-14 years old.
Dean started practising mindfulness in 2008 and subsequently trained through the ‘Breathworks’ organisation to help teach people living with stress, pain and illness.
When time has allowed, Dean has joined Jo in delivering mindfulness sessions. This has been particularly useful when engaging larger organisations, such as Gloucestershire Police and an entire year group at a local comprehensive school. He is excited about the potential of being more involved with the work of Parachute as he knows only too well the life-enhancing benefits of mindfulness for all.