Our Patron and Committee Members
Dr. Kathryn Mannix
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. See her 15 min talk for 5x15 Events in April 18.
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
Professor 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).
Membership Secretary of End of Life Doula UK
Alex is Membership Secretary and also a trained doula. Alex is a manager at the University of Southampton. Alex's work is to support the University of Southampton's vision for maintaining its reputation for innovative research methods and training in social sciences. Alongside her work, she is a doula, supports community events in her area, and facilitates workshops on Advance Planning for End of Life.
Secretary for End of Life Doula UK
Aly is Secretary of End of Life Doula UK and a practising doula based in Devon, in a home she shares with 3 cats and 45 patio pots! Aly trained with Living Well Dying Well after years of working in HR, she has volunteered in local hospices and works out and about in the community as a doula and raising awareness of all things death and dying related. Aly facilitates community events such as end of life planning, funeral planning, death cafes, information sessions and Bereavement Cafes.
Diversity and Inclusion
As the diversity lead for EOLDUK Amanda works publicly and internally to shine a light on the need for inclusivity in the doula movement's own culture and community. It is by exploring our unconscious biases that the support we offer as doulas can come from a more compassionate place and be available to everyone, including those from marginalised groups in the wider community.
Born to Sri Lankan parents in a culture where death felt more accepted, and growing up with a mother whose own mother died at a very early age, death was omnipresent throughout Amanda’s childhood. As an death doula Amanda champions inclusivity and belonging in end of life care.
Research and Resources
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.
Advisor - Marketing and Fundraising
Hazel is the Director & Founder of Ratcliffe Consultancy has worked in Social & Health care for over thirty years. As a Nurse, Psychotherapist & Social Worker. She has been involved in working with most client groups, but more intensively with people with Learning Disabilities, Mental health, Dementia & Eol. Hazel has been an 'associate specialist in learning & development for the Association for dementia Studies since 2010. With a reputation for delivering exceptional training & coaching services which intend to improve the quality of support that people receive & to promote wellbeing.
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. 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.
Chair of End of Life Doula UK
Lizzie is Chair of End of Life Doula UK and a practicing Doula, who is incredibly proud of being a founder of End of Life Doula UK. Lizzie believes the membership organisation gives the movement strength and offers unity which will emphasise the importance of walking alongside those with a life limiting illness. Lizzie lives in Wiltshire, has two beautiful adult children, an understanding husband and a houseful of cats and dogs.
Mary Clear MBE
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.
Ninon van der Kroft
Health and Social Care
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
Phil comes to End of Life Doula UK not as a doula but as someone who’ll be helping us in our future audio/visual projects. His work as 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.
Finance and Governance
I have worked as Director of Finance in a variety of Charities since 1995, leading on business planning and system change. I came across the doula movement when I was supporting a close friend who was dying of cancer and was desperate for information on how I could be useful. I found End of Life Doula UK and undertook the training so I could support people at end of life. I have always been a keen volunteer, having been involved in issues from anti-apartheid to extinction rebellion. Currently I host a monthly support group for the family and friends of transgendered men, do shifts at my local allotment shop, help create our annual street party and an arts event in the Spanish desert. I am learning Spanish and the ukulele, and love to stare into the pond in my garden and watch the circle of life go around.
Toby is a young man who began the training in January 2017. He found the training to be a glorious learning experience, both personally and professionally, in which he hopes to continue evolving. Toby's ethic and intent is to be of service and support, whilst providing the greatest levels of compassion to those going through one of the greatest challenges of their life. Toby hopes that as a movement, it continues to grow and be able to support as many people as possible.
Barbara Bird is a 46 year old American ex-pat who was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in April 2018. Since then she has been engaged with preparing for end of life with her Doula, Sam Hill. Her belief that individuals need and deserve a support network at such a significant time of life is the motivation behind her contacting LWDW. Through art, and her involvement in community projects, she tries to highlight and address the taboos surrounding death and dying within our Western culture. She believes that spirituality lies within and that everyone is entitled to a ‘good death’ regardless of religious beliefs or practices.
Barbara died on 9 February 2020. She had the death that she wished for and planned. We will miss her dreadfully. Thank you Barbara for showing us how life can be lived with joy, fulfilment and kindness until death - we learnt so much from you. You were a Founder Committee Member for End of Life Doula UK - always generous with your support and advice - a legacy we’ll not forget. THANK YOU