Our Patrons and Committee Members

Dr. Kathryn Mannix

Patron

Kathryn became our Patron when End of Life Doula UK was launched in June 2018. She has worked as a doctor in palliative medicine in UK hospices, hospitals and patients͛ homes for 30 years. Kathryn relished the close teamwork involved in enabling people to feel well, live well and die well. Each team, she believes, should include the patient and their closest supporters at its heart. She observed the patterns and process of dying, and brought this to public attention through her book 'With the End in Mind.'  She has been pleased to discover that the work of reclaiming normal human dying as a process that can be understood and accompanied in the way the dying person wishes is already flourishing in a variety of ways, including the End of Life Doula movement.

End of Life Doula UK Patron Dr Kathryn Mannix
Dr. Kathryn Mannix – Patron

Greg Wise

Patron

Greg is an actor, filmmaker and writer. He was full-time carer for his sister, Clare,  when she was dying of cancer. The blog writings they undertook at the time became a book  'Not That Kind of Love'. Greg has spoken at various events on his personal experiences and hopes to bring the conversation around dying and death into everyday life. He is thrilled to become the Patron for Living Well Dying Well and End of Life Doula UK.

You can hear Greg talking about how planning for end of life is an act of love here

 

Greg Wise - Patron
Greg Wise - Patron

Doctor Allan Kellehear

Ambassador Compassionate Communities

Allan is a British-Australian end of life care academic. He founded the ‘new’ public health movement in palliative care – variously known as ‘health promoting palliative care’, or ‘public health approach’ to palliative care, or the ‘compassionate communities’ movement. He is past president of both Public Health Palliative Care International (PHPCI) and the Association for the Study of Death and Society (ASDS). Allan is currently Emeritus Professor at the University of Bradford, and Associate Director of the charity, Compassionate Communities UK. Among his 25 books, he is best known for: Compassionate Cities: public health and end of life care (Routledge 2005), A Social History of Dying (Cambridge University Press 2007), and The Inner Life of the Dying Person (Columbia University Press 2014). His most recent book is Visitors at the End of Life: Finding meaning and purpose in near-death phenomena (Columbia University Press 2020).

Professor Allan Kellehear - Ambassador Compassionate Communities
Professor Allan Kellehear - Ambassador Compassionate Communities

Cormac Russell

Patron

Cormac is a social explorer and an author. He is Managing Director of Nurture Development and a faculty member of the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute, at DePaul University, Chicago. Cormac’s work and ethos on Community assets is close to our hearts.  Cormac says "I am pleased to stand in solidarity with the members and friends of End of Life Doula UK. Their values and contributions to our communities, mirror my own. I believe death is a precious part of life and requires the love, care and respect of a community to become meaningful. End of Life Doula UK, is primarily a caring social movement, as distinct from a clinical or institutional response to death, dying and grief. The value of having a near neighbour journey with us up to the very end, is easily overlooked in commercialized and hyper-individualized societies. End of Life Doula UK are on the frontier of 'social care as social movement', and I am very pleased for that reason to join with them and to support their efforts to bring the function of death back to the centre of community life."

 

Cormac Russell - Patron
Cormac Russell - Patron

Emma Clare

Director of End of Life Doula UK 

Chair & Operations Executive

Emma is a Health Psychology PhD researcher, trainee Health Psychologist and End of Life Doula in training. Based in Yorkshire, she describes herself as an activist and nature lover, with a passion for bringing death and dying out of hospitals and back into compassionate communities wherever possible. She has worked as a home carer supporting people on 'fast-track' plans who wished to leave hospital to die at home, in addition to working with looked-after children and in autism, learning disabilities and adult mental health services providing therapy and advocacy. Emma's current research is focused on supporting individuals (both professionals and the public) to develop death competency – that is, our skills and capabilities in dealing with death and dying.

 

Photo of Emma Clare
Emma Clare - Director & Operations Executive

Danny Cooklin

Director of End of Life Doula UK & Company Secretary

Danny is a practicing doula who has spent much of his career working as an engineer. After caring for a dying relative, Danny realised the value of engagement with death and the importance of developing our compassionate communities.

Danny volunteers at his local hospice, is involved in local engagement activities surrounding death and dying and has a particular interest in how we can support marginalised and vulnerable members of society through death.

He has been the south east regional lead for EoLD and a member of the committee since 2021, and is key in creating and managing the EoLD infrastructure. He assists with the LWDW training and is a volunteer Independent Visitor for Brighton & Hove Children’s services.

 

Photo of Danny Cooklin
Danny Cooklin Director of End of Life Doula UK & Company Secretary

Penny Merrett

Director of End of Life Doula UK 

Penny is a counsellor by profession and has worked in that role and as a counsellor supervisor within the NHS for over 20 years. She was also Bereavement Services Coordinator at her local hospice for 13 years, and when she gave up that job wanted to stay ‘in the field’, discovered the Doula role and decided to do the training.

She lives in Sheffield and is involved with ‘Compassionate Sheffield’ an initiative which is working towards compassionate city status. She is particularly keen to promote death literacy and encourage conversation about dying, death and bereavement, and runs monthly Death Cafes in the city.

Photo of Penny Merret
Penny Merrett Director of End of Life Doula UK

Lynne Carnie

Membership Coordinator of End of Life Doula UK

Lynne is Membership Coordinator of End of Life Doula UK.  Lynne lives in Surrey and after 30 years working in logistics for large corporations, found the training of Living Well Dying Well immensely empowering in supporting others at end of life.  She is a volunteer for Princess Alice Hospice and is keen to promote awareness, in the community, of the work of End of Life Doula UK in all things related to end of life. Away from her Doula work, Lynne enjoys getting out in the countryside and immersing herself in nature.

Photo of Lynne Carnie, Membership Coordinator, End of Life Doula UK
Lynne Carnie, Membership Coordinator

Mary Clear MBE

Advisor Community Activism

Mary is a community activist, her notable accomplishments are the Pushing Up Daisies festival and Incredible Edible in Todmorden. Mary is also an End of Life Doula, a dreamer and schemer. Ultimately she is an Activist, in a hurry to do her bit for a better world. Mary believes you should 'be the change you want to see' and thinks nothing can be nicer than feeding a crowd round the kitchen table.

photo of Mary Clear
Mary Clear – Community Activism

Hermione Elliott

Honorary Officer

Hermione pioneered the End of Life Doula Training in the UK establishing LWDW Training Ltd as a Learning Centre with the courses externally quality assured by the Crossfields Institute.  Her vison is that there will, one day, be an End of Life Doula in every community. Hermione has a background in nursing, midwifery, counselling, palliative care and training and is the founder of Living Well, Dying Well. She has worked internationally and lived in Japan for four years, where her book Gan No Serufu Hiringu, a self-help guide for people with cancer, was published. She is passionate about care of the whole person – physical, emotional and spiritual – and about upholding dignity and self-determination at every stage of life.

 

photo of Hermione Elliot
Hermione Elliott – Director Living Well Dying Well

Judy Knox

Organisational Support

Judy has been involved with End of Life Doula UK since she began her training with Living Well Dying Well in 2019. She is a Doula with an interest in living life to the full and all things related to death, dying, grief and bereavement. Judy volunteers at her local hospice and aims to become more involved with community initiatives. Professionally, Judy is an experienced Administrator with a demonstrated history of working in the primary/secondary education industry, not for profit organisations, event management and the NHS. She loves music and is a former Trustee of Pavilion Opera Educational Trust (charity now folded) working with primary school children across London. She volunteers at a local annual music festival, Proms at St. Jude’s.

Photo of Judy Knox, End of Life Doula UK
Judy Knox, co-Regional Lead & Committee Member

Ninon van der Kroft

Committee Member

Ninon is an End of Life Doula and death educationist. Trained as a social worker with over 30 years' experience, she has worked at St Christopher's Hospice in London, assisting patients and their loved ones before and after death. She has gone on to become one of the trainers with Living Well Dying Well. She is also an experienced facilitator and trainer, teaching internationally about difficult conversations, forgiveness and intimacy at end of life, advance planning for end of life and death and dying

Photo of Ninon Van Der Kroft, End of Life Doula UK
Ninon Van Der Kroft - Health and Social Care

Lowri Rylance

Committee Member

Lowri's first career was as a Biomedical Scientist in the discipline of Medical Microbiology. She decided she would like to work with people, not just their specimens, and retrained as a Complementary Therapist. Lowri used her new skills to volunteer at her local hospices for adults, and for children and, also worked with children and young adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities.

In 2016 Lowri's husband was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and died a year later at the age of 44. Halfway through this journey, Lowri employed an End of Life Doula after reading about them in a magazine. Lowri will be forever grateful to her Doula for the support given and for being the only person she could really tell how she was feeling.

Three years later Lowri had a true calling to train to be a Doula herself and is now a Doula in training. Lowri volunteers for a local charity supporting families with a terminally ill or life limited child.

Lowri is one of the first person to use a Doula and then become a Doula themselves, and feels honoured to be asked to join the Committee, where her gift for straight talking is appreciated.

Lowri is also a qualified yoga and meditation teacher and lives with her neurodiverse son, his therapy dog and two tortoises who make her laugh every day. ​

photo of Lowri Rylance
Lowri Rylance

 Phil Parker

Adviser

Phil comes to End of Life Doula UK not currently as a Doula but as someone who’ll be helping us in our future audio/visual projects.  His work as a director includes short documentary GAZE (Channel 4) which highlighted the veil of shame that often surrounds the human body, and for the past 8 years he’s worked with filmmaker and end of life doula Rebecca Kenyon at mote of dust films - one of their films being Holding Space, a short film about the relationship between doula and dying partner.  In his spare time he made several short films for charity Together for Short Lives, interviewing young adults on their experiences of living with life limiting conditions.  Also, for a number of years, he volunteered at a therapeutic community supporting those recovering from drug and alcohol abuse.  Previously, Phil attended Lancaster University; here he gained an MA in Cultural Studies that focussed on the different ways disabled, and queer bodies are represented.  Having grown up in deepest, darkest Cumbria, he is now based near Lancaster. He loves to swim and once met Albert Maysles in a lift.

Photo of Phil Parker
Phil Parker - Advisor

Barbara Bird – Adviser to the Committee June 2018 - Feb 2020 With Gratitude and Rest in Peace

 

Photo of End of Life Doula UK Advisor, Barbara Bird
Barbara Bird – Adviser to the Committee June 2018 - Feb 2020
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