Our team are highly trained and qualified individuals with a wealth of experience providing counselling and support for a diverse range of issues, together with suicide awareness and preventative education. Everyone brings their own level of expertise to the Headlight Project, and all are equally passionate about their client work and tackling suicide within the Tees Valley.
Project Lead / Counsellor
Katie qualified as a counsellor in 2014 and since then has worked in a number of roles supporting people with their mental health.
Katie adopts a person centred approach to her practice and believes that the relationship between client and counsellor is fundamental to therapeutic movement. Katie strives to create a highly supportive, safe space for clients to explore the range of overwhelming feelings evident following a traumatic experience.
Katie has 6 years experience of working with people who have experienced trauma, having worked as an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor since 2015. She has supported women, men and children who reported their experience of sexual violence to the Police and were on their journey through the criminal justice process from initial report to attending court to give evidence.
Since 2018 Katie and her family have experienced 3 significant bereavements to suicide and cancer, which have had an indescribable impact on her life. It is her personal experience of navigating such traumatic and complicated grief processes on an individual basis, and as a supporter to her family, that has inspired her to work for RDHP. Katie is really honoured to be able to be a part of the Headlight family, and to be in a position to professionally support people through their trauma and rebuild their lives around their grief.
Education & Training Lead / Counsellor
Claire is a counsellor on the Project and the education and training lead. She was a registered nurse for many years and taught counselling within further and higher education organisations. Claire trained as a counsellor at Durham University and works with both children and adults.
She truly believes in the concept and process of counselling therapy and finds her role is equally challenging as it is rewarding. She feels immensely privileged to be part of the team and part of such a wonderful project+ More
Children's Team Lead - Play therapist / Counsellor
Cerys specialises in supporting children and young people. As a qualified Play Therapist and Counsellor, she is passionate about working with children and young people who have experienced trauma.
Cerys integrates a variety of approaches into her work with children and families including Trauma Play, Filial Therapy and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), a framework for therapy and parenting developmentally traumatised children. As a Clinical Supervisor, Cerys shares her experience and knowledge by overseeing and supporting our diverse team of therapists who work with children and young people.+ More
Therapist /EMDR Specialist
Lucie is a therapist working for the project trained in a range of therapies including Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) and Clinical Hypnotherapy.
Lucie has been working with adults from the age of 16 and above for many years. Originally trained as an Occupational Therapist, Lucie has worked across a variety of mental health services from acute services, secondary care and learning disabilities.
Lucie currently works part time for the NHS alongside the Headlight Project delivering primary care therapies; working with people identifying and treating a range of difficulties including depression, anxiety and trauma.
Lucie is passionate about mental health; she focuses treatment on the individual and their needs tailoring sessions to support recovery in an empowering, compassionate and supportive way.
Hayley has been an adult counsellor at The Headlight Project since July 2021 after qualifying in 2019 at Teesside University. In addition to the project, she has worked with adults experiencing post-traumatic stress symptoms, sexual and domestic violence, and various mental health issues.
Hayley wholeheartedly believes in the counselling process, both as the counsellor and as a client herself, and is very proud of the work the project does.+ More
Jade joined the Headlight Project as a student counsellor and completed her clinical training hours with the project supporting children and adults.
She successfully qualified as a counsellor from Sunderland University. In addition to her work with the Project, Jade has experience of working with other charities, most notably The Bradley Lowery Foundation.
Jade was tragically bereaved when her young nephew died from a rare childhood cancer. Her personal experience of counselling was her inspiration to seek to support others in moving forward and healing from their traumatic experiences. Jade feels exceptionally proud to work with such an amazing cause.
Anna is a certified Play Therapist on the project. She has a membership and is registered with Play Therapy UK. She has always had a specific interest in the emotional wellbeing of children.
From her background of 20 years of working as a Teaching Assistant and mental health mentor in schools, she has had first-hand experience of how emotional needs can impact on a child’s ability to thrive, manage and function in school. Anna has always been interested in addressing the needs that drive specific behaviours in children and believes building a relationship based on integrity and trust, forms firm foundations, for this process to occur.
Anna trained with the Academy of Play and Psychotherapy, through Leeds Beckett University to become a Play Therapist. Anna is also a certified Autplay Therapy provider, which is a play therapy approach for children and young people with an autistic spectrum condition or neurodevelopmental condition. Anna believes that the voice of the child is central to her practice and works hard to ensure that she provides an environment in which children can feel safe, secure, validated and able to explore difficult feelings and emotions through play and creativity.
Rebecca has come to us as a Specialist Sexual Violence Counsellor working with both adults and young people dealing with trauma.
She qualified from Teesside University during the outbreak of COVID, and has therefor learnt quickly how to provide an adaptable therapy for clients. She has been extremely passionate about working with survivors of rape and sexual abuse. A huge part of this work for her was the Pre-Trial Therapy offered to those facing the extremely tough and daunting task or reporting to the police and seeking justice.
Rebecca whole-heartedly believes in the worth of talking therapy, and in her own practice provides an environment that is completely non-judgemental and relaxed so that the individual can explore at their own pace freely. This is just as important with her work with children and young people, to be given a space where they can explore their thoughts and feelings without the pressures from the rest of their environment. She does this through a wealth of options for the young person including creative arts and play.
Rebecca is a firm believer in equality to all which supports every individual’s right to thrive. This in turn adds to the environment she creates for our young clients, where they can feel safe, comfortable, heard, and understood.
Shaz is a counsellor with the project, having retrained after moving to the North East from London in 2017 with her two children. She has experienced mental health struggles after losing someone dear to her and sought grief counselling. It was this prompted her career change from running a nail and massage business to be able to provide counsel and give something back to others in their time of need.
Alongside Counselling, Shaz is also a Counselling Lecturer at Stockton Riverside College and teaches students on the degree course. She is currently researching aspects of cultural competence and diversity, and she is passionate about making counselling inclusive for all, regardless of race, religion, disability, or gender.+ More
Lindsey joins the project with over 30 years of mental health experience in both primary and secondary care. She is a qualified mental health nurse, CBT and EMDR Therapist. She currently works for the NHS, alongside her role as an EMDR therapist at the Headlight Project.
Counsellor / Events & Volunteer Co-Ordinator
Lucia joined the Headlight Project in May 2022 on a student placement whilst studying her Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling. She is now a fully qualified counsellor on our team. Alongside her counselling Lucia is also an integral part of the Admin Team, co-ordinating the fundraising events and volunteers.
Previously working as a supported living worker and caring for her Nana, Lucia has always had a passion for helping others. Lucia was inspired to begin her counselling training in 2020 after losing her Dad to suicide in July 2019 and receiving counselling from the Headlight Project. Lucia went on to complete our first Headlight Hub in 2021, now using her own tragic bereavement to help support others like herself.+ More
Sharon’s background in education setting has shown her the impact and ripple effect trauma causes within families and their every day lives. Sharon qualified as a counsellor from Teesside university in 2023, she also has experience in bereavement counselling having worked through the second lockdown as a volunteer offering support to adults who were not only affected by their loss but the trauma of covid-19 and its restrictions on the grieving process.
Sharon also works as a counsellor/emotional well-being practitioner for a local organisation who offer therapeutic support to children and young people. Her approach is grounded in Person-Centred, while integrating creative strategies and interventions if needed. She understands the power of feeling heard after experiencing significant losses in her own life, including death by suicide and that the relationship between therapist and client is key to offering a safe space to process trauma and grief.
It is Sharon’s passion to work in the bereavement field and to raise more awareness of suicide and its impact, so is proud to be part of the Headlight Project team and all the amazing work they do.
Sara is a consultant at the charity, providing specific training for the team as well as advice on policy development. She has 25 years’ experience of person-centred counselling, supervising, teaching and training, and has worked extensively with Bereavement, Substance Abuse, Problem Gambling and recovery from Child Sexual Abuse.
Sara headed up Bereavement Counselling Service in hospices, most recently at Teesside Hospice, and now works in private practise from her home in Durham where she offers online supervision and counselling. She is a BACP Registered Counsellor (Senior Accredited), and holds a Certificate in Creative Supervision, PGCEd, BA (hons) Counselling and BA (hons) Creative Art.+ More
Andrew has significant experience of delivering accredited and bespoke mental health and suicide prevention training over the last 15 years, both nationally and internationally. He is a licensed Master ASIST Trainer (suicide first aid) and facilitator of safeTalk (suicide alertness for everyone)
Andrew is based in the Tees Valley and is delighted to be working alongside the Headlight Project to deliver training to people in the local community which will equip them with important, lifesaving skills and ultimately reduce the rates of suicide.+ More
Izzy is a highly experienced trainer of ASIST (suicide first aid) and safeTALK facilitator. With a background in primary school teaching, she was honoured to be one of the first 10 ASK (assessing for suicide in kids) facilitators in the UK.
Izzy is based in the Tees Valley and has delivered training all over the country with husband Andrew. She is delighted to be working alongside Headlight Project to deliver this much needed and lifesaving training here, in her local area.+ More
Suzanne has been involved with the Headlight Project, on a voluntary basis since it was founded, having been a close friend of the Devereux family. In July 2021 she took on an official role as part-time Fundraising Consultant, which has now developed into the role of Operations Manager.
With a decade-long career in finance as a stockbroker at Wise Speke and Merrill Lynch, her own mental health struggles in 2001 led to a change in career path. Suzanne retrained in holistic therapies and started her own business in 2005. She sold this business in 2015 to spend more time with her family.+ More
Karen is a degree-qualified marketing consultant with a wealth of personal and business development knowledge, including a level 5 certificate in Human Resource Management. Her experience covers public relations, copywriting, styling, digital and print media, networking, and events management, as well as overarching marketing strategy.
Her role within the charity is to communicate our mission across a range of channels, including social media, helping to spread the message about the work we do and ensure that our fundraising campaigns reach those it needs to.+ More
Founder / Trustee
Catherine founded the Russ Devereux Headlight Project after the tragic death of her husband, Russ, by suicide in May 2018. The Headlight Project has continued to grow with the love and support from family and friends, numerous fund-raising events, and donations received from many business colleagues in the local area, together with a strong board of Trustees and the very special team that make up the Project today.
Having studied law in Leeds and qualified as a solicitor in 2003, Catherine has specialised in employment law and HR practice for over 20 years and advises organisations of all sizes. She runs her own consultancy and is a Partner in the Employment Team at Knights PLC.+ More
Ken has ran Devereux Transport & Distribution for the last 50 years. The business was started by Kens father over 70 years ago and is one of the leading and most recognisable haulage firms in the North East.
It employs almost 200 staff and has around 100 vehicles. Russ, Ken's oldest son, joined the business after leaving college and worked with him for almost 25 years, more latterly in running the business with Ken, until Russ's death in 2018.
Russ’s death devastated the family and is a huge loss to both them and to the business that he was so passionate about. He was extremely proud of his family roots and worked hard to help make the business the success it is today. Past events have shown Ken and the wider family of the need for support for families and children affected by suicide and Ken feels that the Headlight Project is a fitting tribute to the legacy of his son.
Trustee & Safeguarding Advisor
From an early stage in Alison’s career she has been involved in supporting vulnerable children and their families. She started working in Education Inclusion, and then completed her professional qualifications as a Youth Offending Officer.
Following the birth of her children she moved across to Social Care offering emergency respite care and emotional well-being support to Children in Need within the CATS team. From there she moved into Education Management in the Vulnerable Pupils section of Durham Education Department.
After over a decade of local authority working Alison made the move to the charity sector and spent six happy years with the Prince’s Trust. Firstly as a
programme manager in Middlesbrough offering alternative education to vulnerable young people aged between 13-25 and then as the National Safeguarding Advisor. After spending time honing her skills as Head of Safeguarding in a Teesside academy trust, Alison returned to the Prince’s Trust and worked throughout the pandemic connecting young people with support as an Operations Manager across the North East region. Alison has recently returned to the local authority as a Team Leader in a multi agency and coproduction team. Embedded within a deprived community in County Durham the team will be addressing multifaceted poverty in a new way of working. This will involve being closely linked with Mental Health services.
Alison’s support to the project will be to provide strategic safeguarding support to the team on the ground. She considers it an absolute honour to be involved with the Headlight Project.
Anna spent the majority of childhood living in Hutton Rudby, North Yorkshire but moved to London to embark on a career in the media industry where she lived for over 10 years.
During her time in London Anna has worked for publications such at The Times, The Sunday Times, Metro Newspaper and The Sun newspaper as a creative solutions specialist. She has since returned back to the North East where she lives with her husband and two children and now works for a leading property portal as a digital advertising consultant for property developers.
Anna has a keen interest in mental health and has had first hand experience dealing with the effects of suicide after losing her boss Adam to suicide in 2015 and in 2018 her friend Russ who’s legacy lives on through the Headlight Project. As soon as Anna was asked to be a trustee she jumped at the chance of getting on board knowing how vitally important the services the Headlight Project provide.
Richard has spent the majority of his career working at Teesside University, in the sport and well being department providing a service for and supporting students.
Sport has always been Richard’s main passion and in recent years, golf has taken up a lot of his spare time. It was through golf that he met Russ as a fellow team member and friend.
Richard feels it is an honor and privilege to have been invited to be part of the Project as a Trustee and will provide whatever help he can.
Emma has been an Insurance Broker for over 25 years and works with business owners across the region in a variety of industry sectors.
Emma lives locally with her husband and two sons. She has supported the Devereux family following the tragic loss of Russ to suicide in 2018. Seeing the impact and devastation caused to family, friends and everyone that knew Russ, Emma is keen to help other families prevent suicide or deal with the aftermath of such sadness by enabling the provision of counselling and mental health support offered by the charity.
Emma was honoured to be invited to join the Board of Trustees and is passionate in providing her support to the Headlight Project.
Charlotte is the founder of PR, social media and content marketing agency, Harvey & Hugo whose mission is to build lovable and memorable brands by telling stories across digital and traditional media.
The charity is close to Charlotte’s heart after a family friend took his own life when she was young. Seeing the devastating effect it had on his teenage daughters, her school friends at the time, Charlotte felt compelled to help support the charity by offering her PR and marketing expertise. She became a Trustee of The Russ Devereux Headlight Project in 2022.+ More
Paul is a qualified Chartered Accountant, with over 25 years’ experience in advising on all matters relating to owner-managed businesses on Teesside and beyond. He is the Managing Director of Waltons.
Aside from being a trustee of The Headlight Project, he has also been trustee of another local children’s charity for almost 20 years, a lifelong Middlesbrough FC fan and season ticket holder, a dad of two young children, and an all-round sociable chap – which takes up most of his spare time outside of work.
Hayley is lead anchor with Sky Sports News, where she has had a career spanning over a decade. Hayley has roots in Teesside and is keen to use her high profile platform to help raise awareness of mental health issues and in particular to help male followers to open up about their worries.
Hayley is proud to be a patron having seen first-hand the devastating effects of loss by suicide, particularly to children. She saw how Russ' death affected not just his immediate family but his colleagues, his many friends, and the whole community who miss him greatly. Her support to raise awareness is invaluable.+ More
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