Meet the Actually Education Team

Our founder and CEO, Joanne Feaster, has lived experience of depression and anxiety and is a proud mum to two young children. She wants to improve the resources and understanding within education around mental health and neurodiversity.

Knowing that a collaborative approach would be the best way to achieve success, a project team and founding director group were formed from existing trusted contacts and personal recommendations. Our founding Director Group and Project Team has diverse and complementary experience and skillsets.

Joanne Feaster Profile Image

Joanne Feaster – Founder

Jo founded Actually Education based upon her own experiences and passion for mental health.

Jo is Mum to two wonderfully unique children and has witnessed their struggles (as well as those of friends) in securing appropriate and timely support for neurodivergent conditions. Jo also has personal experience of recurrent depression and anxiety leading her to become a champion and advocate of mental health for the last few years…after previously hiding her illness from all but close family.

Jo founded Actually Education based on these experiences and the need she saw for the right support. Inspired by Steve Philip of the Jordan Legacy CIC, to simply make a start, she brought together a group of Directors via her network. The resources Jo wants to develop and provide are those she would value as a parent and that her children would benefit from. AND that their teachers and school support staff would benefit from. Jo’s passion for what we’re trying to do and her knowledge in this area is evident and she is the driving force behind us.

Kathryn Sullivan – Non-Executive Director

Kathryn is one of our non-exec Directors and she leads on governance for us. Away from Actually Education Kathryn is a Charity Consultant, specifically in the area of governance, where she supports charities to make the best decisions they can so they can concentrate on doing the amazing work they exist for

Prior to this Kathryn worked in Higher Education in a range of roles but largely with a focus on harnessing the student voice through their decision making processes to continuously improve. Kathryn is also a qualified trainer and loves working with individuals or groups on a particular theme – and being part of their journey towards improved understanding or technical knowledge.

Kathryn Sullivan Profile Image
Hannah Williams Profile Image

Hannah Williams – Director of Operations

Hannah is our Director of Operations having worked as an Operations Manager for 20+ years

Away from Actually Education Hannah runs her own consultancy business working with different clients on achieving their business strategy through operational efficiency and effectiveness

This means something different to each client but Hannah loves the variety in what she does and loves to make a real and lasting impact with each client she works with

Peter Davis – Non-Executive Director

Peter joins us as a Non-Executive Director with over a decade in the education sector. Away from Actually Education, Peter runs Birkdale Collective, a career coaching company aimed at helping those with cultural differences obtaining employment in the UK.

Peter is a multi-published writer and has work featured in international education, sports and nightlife publications. He has written on a wide variety of topics from writing part of FIFA’s Women’s World Cup book to interviewing actors from Star Wars and Game of Thrones!

Birkdale Collective have working relationships with numerous UK Universities, have worked with football players and local government organisations on the “Homes for Ukraine” scheme all related to the careers sector.

Peter Davis Profile Image
Josie Armitage Profile Image

Josie Armitage – Director of Fundraising

Josie is our Director of Fundraising and leads on income generation for us, with her vast knowledge and experience of bid/tender/grant funding applications.

Josie has been instrumental in the funding we have received to date and we are immensely grateful for everything she is doing for Actually Education. Josie has been with us on this journey from the beginning and wanted to be part of it to help people like her niece.

A desire to use her skill set to apply for and secure funding to support our mission is another reason for joining us.

Pitchaya Tangpornpaiboon – Research Advisor

Pitchaya is an aspiring integrated psychologist studying in the UK and she is originally from Thailand. Pitchaya is studying an MSc in Counselling at Bangor University.

Pitchaya’s background is in International Business and she has two years of experience in business consulting, business development, and market research. She has supported clients in the FMCG, IT, banking and telecommunications sectors. Pitchaya hopes to work with adults and young people in the future and to actively contribute to the improvement of mental health in communities through practice and research.

Kevin Carpenter – Legal Advisor

Kevin is Head of Integrity at the International Table Tennis Federation and a Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University among other roles. Kevin assists Actually Education as a Legal Advisor.

Kevin is a Lawyer and academic with an international reputation in regulation, dispute resolution and governance matters, particularly in the sports sector. Kevin has a particular interest in mental health practices and is also keen to explore this with Actually Education.

Hannah Barnao – Marketing Advisor

Hannah is from the UK originally and currently based in New Zealand. Hannah is a freelance marketing and design specialist working with Actually Education on the production of resources.

Hannah is a self-taught designer, marketer and event manager, with over 10 years’ international experience in a variety of industries including financial services, hospitality and non-profit organisations.

A photo of Amy Bower

Amy Bower – Volunteer

Amy volunteers with us alongside her studies in Liberal Arts at the University of Manchester. Before starting at university, she spent a gap year working with neurodiverse children in a mainstream school.

Amy is passionate about improving life for young people with neurodiversity conditions following her own late diagnosis of ADHD.

Mariam Murtaza – Volunteer

Currently in her final year studying Sociology and Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester, Mariam has a strong passion for raising awareness about mental health, and how this effects the neurodivergent community.

She firmly believes that everyone should have equal opportunities, and that neurodiversity should never hinder success in education or other areas of life. Mariam aspires to contribute to enhancing the daily lives of this community through her involvement with Actually Education. Mariam will initially be focussed on social media with us.

Mariam Murtaza Picture

Victor Tindle – Volunteer

Currently in his Masters of Psychology with Clinical and Health Psychology and Bangor University, Victor is passionate about deconstructing the stigma around neurodivergent conditions and providing actual support to help people.

Following his own late diagnosis of ADHD and dyspraxia, Victor knows what a difference diagnosis and accommodation can make. He believes that better awareness and education is needed to help all of society understand, embrace, and accommodate neurodiversity at all stages of life.

Gabija Jakelaityte – Volunteer

Gabija volunteers with us while pursuing her studies in Chemical Engineering at the University of Manchester. During high school, she volunteered with individuals who have mental disabilities.

Gabija believes that every person should have the opportunity to realize their dreams and excel in their areas of passion. By providing these additional tools, we not only benefit those in need but also the entire community.

A picture of Gabija Jakelaityte, Volunteer Research Assistant
Chinemerem Uwatugharia

Chinemerem Uwatugharia – Volunteer

Chi volunteers with us while pursuing her studies in Marketing at the University of Manchester. She runs an Instagram blog where she has posted to raise awareness on mental health.

She strongly believes that we all hold a collective responsibility to help shape a more enriched, inclusive world for all and advocating for and supporting neurodivergent individuals is a vital step in achieving that. Chi is volunteering with Actually Education to help raise awareness, engage with our community, and maximize our outreach efforts particularly through social media.

Molly Hayward – Volunteer

Molly volunteers with us while at the University of Manchester studying Geography. She’s just come back from a year studying abroad in Amsterdam.

From going through the education system alongside friends with varying needs she believes it is crucial to provide high-quality support to neurodivergent individuals. Molly is volunteering to connect Actually Education with University neurodiversity societies.

Molly Hayward Volunteer Photo