Admin Staff and Trustees
Artlift is run by a small team of dedicated managers, who work closely with our Co-Production and Steering Groups, our Trustees, and our diverse Artist Facilitator team, to shape our programmes and projects. Our partner Art Shape provides financial services.
Our Trustees come from a diverse background and bring together many skills and expertise as well as lived experience that help us to shape the future of Artlift and to further enhance the courses that we offer to those living with mental health challenges, chronic pain condition or who have recently spent time in Intensive Care.
Dr Joanna Wilde
I am a Chartered Psychologist, Chartered Scientist, Fellow of the British Psychological Society, Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, qualified in employment law, have a doctorate in Organisational Studies. After leaving corporate roles and before retiring from psychology practice, I ran a professional psychology practice delivering programmes concerned with organizational health and social justice.
My specialist organisational psychology expertise is in the design and delivery of trauma informed interventions to prevent and address psychological injury at work. I have deep experience in working with the health issues associated with inequalities, racism and lack of social justice.
I have professional qualifications and experience in coaching with leadership skills in addition to mental health nursing and a Master of Science qualification in public health. I have over 20 years diverse experience of working in health and social care. I am currently employed as a Head of Service within adult social care where I utilise skills such as budget management whilst ensuring organisational obligations are met.
My background is in the performing arts, working for over fifteen years as an actor, choreographer, movement director, educator and community practitioner, throughout the UK and further afield as far as China, with companies including National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Chichester Festival Theatre, Frantic Assembly and Cheltenham Everyman. I’m Irish-Maltese, grew up in Coventry and settled in Gloucestershire, having first stayed here in 2006, working for Fairgame Theatre. I fell for the county, and my now husband, and never stopped returning!
Along the way I’ve also worked in arts fundraising and development, local government, education administration and corporate professional services (audit). Since 2021, I’ve been contributing to mental health service development in Gloucestershire as an NHS Expert by Experience.
I am passionate about everyday creativity as a powerful tool for wellbeing. My creative practice includes writing, visual art and mindful photography. Other things I love are live music, singing, sharing food with family and friends and time spent in nature, at the library and leisure centre.
I am currently working as a peer support worker at Wotton Lawn Hospital within the Integrated Discharge Hub as part of the Supporting Discharge Team. This has enabled me to gain great insight and a vast amount of experience working as a peer with patients and amongst professional clinical staff, within a hospital setting and in hospital wards. I have worked with Patients supporting them in the community after they have been Discharged I have also worked with Occupational Therapists at WLH, and have been involved in setting up and introducing activities involving art and creative therapy.
I also participated with Occupational Therapists in Co- Designing and in Co-producing a new course in part of the recovery programme. ‘Recovery Through Activities’ I have also worked with the Severn & Wye Recovery College Gloucestershire as a tutor delivering to students who have gone through a mental health illness and are progressing with their recovery journey.
I previously owned and ran a furniture manufacturing business in Bourton-on-the Water employing 30 people and I have a good grasp of how organisations can be managed efficiently and strive towards success in a fair and friendly environment.
A few years ago I was involved in charity fundraising campaign with an charity called the Art Room and through this campaign I was able to engage with the organisation and learn more about how Art and its application can lead towards transforming young people’s outlook on life.
Our Administrative Staff
I’m a strategic and sector development consultant, fundraiser, producer and evaluator. I specialise in inclusive dance and arts practice. Alongside my role as Executive Director at Artlift, I have taken on on freelance roles with other arts charities, including Glos Creative Health Consortium partner Art Shape and Gloucestershire Academy of Music.
Former senior roles have been with GDance, international touring company Shobana Jeyasingh Dance, and the funding body NESTA. From 2012-16, I was Co-Founder Director of Create Gloucestershire and chaired the working party of the National Inclusive Dance Network. With Art Shape, I also co-founded and coordinated for 7 years Gloucester’s Carnival Arts Partnership, managed a county-wide ‘Elevate’ programme pushing forward cross-organisational best practice around disability in the county’s arts sector and set up the Disability Arts Board, which Artlift now attends.
Flourish Programme Manager
Having lived with mental health issues much of my life, I have a deep understanding of how the arts and creativity can support our wellbeing. Despite, or maybe because of this, I was co-founder and co-director of an international arts training organisation, Circomedia, for 16 years. Instigating the first accredited teacher training and BTEC courses for circus in the UK, I also project managed the creation of the award-winning Portland Square site in Bristol.
I was a producer for GDance, an acclaimed production and training company. With a specialism in inclusive dance practice, I also co-founded the National Inclusive Dance Network with Cath Wilkins. I love learning and I’m currently enjoying training in Systemic Constellations.
Programme Administrator - Mental Health
Programme Administrator - Pain
Flourish Magazine Editor
Outside of Flourish Magazine I regularly write features for a variety of publications and work as a scriptwriter. In 2022 I won the Channel 4 Writing for Television Award and in 2023 I was selected for BFI’s Script Lab.
Flourish Magazine Sub-Editor
MA by Research studentship
As a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, I currently deliver a range of low-intensity cognitive behavioural interventions across a diverse range of clients. This is primarily to instil skills and practical strategies to help individuals cope with common mental health difficulties. Prior to this, I worked across a range of sectors and roles which included supporting an international development charity across their research projects.
Academically, I completed a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and am currently studying towards a Master’s degree by Research in Psychological Sciences at the University of Gloucestershire and in collaboration with Artlift.