New media corporate training company, consultancy, experts, courses, our journalists, Media First

Our training team

Our courses are delivered by current working journalists, along with PR and communications professionals—all of whom are expert and experienced trainers. Alongside our trainers, our in-house team of administrators and account managers handle everything from briefings to catering.

Lawrence McGinty

Lawrence is the former Science and Medical Editor for ITV News. His role sees him cover all major scientific, medical, health and environmental stories. His reports have taken Lawrence from covering climate change in the Antarctic to the devastation of the Mozambique floods, where he was part of the ITV News team that won a prestigious International Emmy.

During his career he has won many awards including, 2 BAFTAS for Channel Four News and Best News for Outside Broadcast and 2 RTS awards for the best sports news report for the coverage of the drugs scandal at the Barcelona Olympics and the Kings Cross disaster. 

Lawrence was awarded the Science Writer’s Fellowship of the Association of British Science Writers and has the Queen’s silver jubilee medal for his work on the New Scientist, and won the Medical Journalists Association Award for “Health Journalist of the Year” in 2005.

Emma Nelson

Emma began her broadcasting career at the BBC in the Midlands, where she started as a newsreader and reporter at BBC WM. She then moved to television where she was a presenter and reporter for BBC Midlands Today.

In 2008 she made the move to the national news where she became the BBC’s East of England Correspondent, appearing on the BBC 1, 6 and  10 o’clock news, BBC Breakfast and the Today programme. She then transferred to London where she was BBC World’s in-house correspondent.

After retraining as a lawyer, Emma soon found herself back behind the microphone as a presenter on Monocle 24, the sister radio station to Monocle magazine. She hosts a daily global news programme on the station and also reports for BBC London. In addition, she presents and reports for British Forces Broadcasting.

Emma specialises in helping big brands and niche businesses to hone, simplify and successfully deliver their messages to a variety of audiences.

Jim Rosenthal

Jim is one of the best known presenters of television sport in Britain.

In a long standing career he has worked on most of the major sport across the television networks, including football and rugby world cups and Olympic Games.
He has been the main anchor for Formula 1 motor racing, football, athletics, rugby and boxing for ITV. He has also presented football coverage on Channel 4 and athletics on Channel 5. He currently presents for MUTV and the BoxNation channel.

Jim began his career in local newspapers and BBC local and national radio.

Paul Brennan

Paul has more than twenty years' experience as a journalist across print, radio and TV. 

Over the years, he has worked across regional and network newsrooms for the BBC, ITV and Five News as a reporter, producer and presenter. Paul’s interviewees have been as diverse as Nobel Prize winners to Big Brother “celebrities”. As a news correspondent, he covered countless general elections, floods and major trials and helped his evening magazine programme secure an RTS Award for news coverage - twice.

Away from live television and the studio sofa, Paul has a wealth of experience in media training and presentation skills coaching. He works with public, private and third sector clients including global CEOs, politicians, academics, health and education leaders and international diplomats. This includes crisis simulations, key message management, studio exercises and speech writing.

Clare Catford

Clare is a journalist and broadcaster with a strong and respected consumer background. Her work as Channel 4 News' consumer reporter made newspaper headlines and prompted a company to alter its misleading advertising strategy. She's hosted Radio 4's consumer programme, You and Yours, has worked with BBC Watchdog, was personal finance reporter on Channel 5 News, ITV Wish You Were Here's 'stand up for your rights,' producer/reporter and GMTV's consumer 'champion.'

In addition, she has a strong television news and political background, working for Channel 4 and BBC Breakfast News in this context. Other radio roles have included BBC Five Live, LBC and BBC London and she currently hosts podcasts on personal finance for Guardian online.

She has an MA in mental health/pastoral care, and has written two books in this area and is also a consultant on media strategy for a number of charities.

 

Jane Deith

Jane is a BBC Radio 4 presenter and a familiar face on Channel 4 News. She also appears on The Today Programme, Radio 5 Live and the BBC World Service.

Although a lot of her broadcasting has a social affairs and health focus she is comfortable with all kinds of news, from crime to culture. She is also an experienced foreign correspondent, having reported for the BBC and Channel 4 News from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Morocco.

Having started her broadcasting career in local radio before moving to regional and then national television Jane has a clear understanding of what the audience wants and how a company spokesperson needs to deliver it.

Simon Brooke

Simon writes regularly for The Times, The Financial Times, The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Express, The Daily Mail, the Wall Street Journal and Business Life magazine on a variety of subjects ranging from business and management to education,marketing, property, retailing, food and the environment.

Simon began his early career in Public Relations before moving into politics, joining the communications team for the George Bush Presidential campaign where he arranged interviews for Congressmen and Senators. He went on to be Head of Broadcasting at Conservative Central Office. This involved fielding and briefing ministers and the Party Chairman for interviews on television and radio as well as media training for prominent politicians.

As a journalist and Editor Simon has written investigative articles on a range of issues such as OFSTED’s report on failing schools, supermarkets’ labelling policies and more recently a group of companies complaining of unfair attacks by the consumer affairs programme, Watchdog.

 

Siân Jones

As well as being a highly professional TV news anchor, conference host and writer, Siân Jones has over fifteen years experience as a presentations, media, web cast, autocue and communications trainer. She is well known as a regular anchor for the ITV Morning News and has presented for many other channels; as a financial anchor for Bloomberg and CNBC, a sports anchor on Sky News, a weather presenter for Five, a lifestyle reporter for Granada and interviewer for the Overseas Property Channel, over a period of twelve years.

Her communications training extends to a huge number of clients in the public and private sector. She works as a voice over artist (BBC One, UKTV Gold, Living TV) and a continuity and features writer. Siân began her career as an actress before moving to Hong Kong for 6 years where she became a broadcaster for RTHK radio and local terrestrial channels ATV and TVB as well as a PR Manager for CNN Asia Pacific.

Deborah Hall

Deborah was trained by BBC TV as a journalist and presenter. She read the local and national news on BBC1, was a presenter on Newsroom South East and Business Breakfast and a news anchor on BBC World. She has presented specialist monthly TV programmes for professional bodies (e.g. the Surveyor's & Architect's Channels) for the last 15 years as well as chairing dozens of conferences for Lloyd's and the insurance market on complex technical issues.

Deborah specialises in delivering Presentation Skills training for Media First, using journalistic techniques to bring business concepts to life and make your messages more memorable, leaving you energised, inspired and so much more confident in your strengths as a presenter.

Tasneem Siddiqi

Tasneem has had a rich and diverse career in radio and television having reported, presented, produced and been an editor in news and current affairs over a 30 year career.

Some of the highlights have included: championing the cause of the consumer as Presenter on ‘You and Yours’ (BBC Radio 4), producing at ‘Newsnight and ‘BBC Breakfast’, reporting and presenting for ‘Newsroom South East’ and 'BBC East' (BBC TV), presenting ‘Outlook’ (World Service) and producing documentaries for the Asian strand ‘East’ (BBC 2) and Carlton TV. Tasneem currently produces and reports at BFBS (British Forces Broadcasting Services).

Tasneem specialises in delivering presentation, communication and media skills training on behalf of Media First. She is also a qualified English and Media Studies teacher and a guest lecturer in Broadcast Journalism at several universities.

Judy Aslett

Judy began her career as a journalist joining ITN as a graduate trainee in 1986. In 1990 she went to South Africa as Africa correspondent for Channel Four News. For the next five years she covered stories in Africa including the wars in Angola and Mozambique, as well as events in Nigeria, Zambia, Malawi, and, of course, the 1994 first democratic elections in South Africa for which she was nominated for a BAFTA award.

On her return to England Judy became Foreign News Editor for Channel Four News working in Moscow and Europe. She then went on to be Foreign Affairs Correspondent when Five News was launched by ITN in 1997.

Over the past 15 years Judy has combined media training with journalism. She specialises in the business and financial sector working with clients such as JCB, Sainsbury’s, BAA, ABP, Tarmac, BBA and GFC Economics. She is a member of the Hastings Chamber of Business group and makes corporate videos for SMEs all over the country.

 

Charles Abel

During a 23 year career with multi-media publisher Reed Business Information, Charles led a large editorial team committed to creating compelling content, winning the prestigious PPA Magazine and AOP Website of the Year awards in the process. He is an experienced news, business and technical journalist, with a tenacious determination to discover the truth behind the stories of the day.

Whether it is controversial technologies or new policies, financial complexity or corporate restructuring, new launches or crisis handling - Charles provides blue chip and public sector organisations with the skills to face the toughest interviews.

Charles specialises in providing training to senior executives who want to handle media relationships more effectively, and also brings his extensive expertise in communications, PR and editorial services to Media First. He has worked throughout the UK, Europe, Middle East and Far East to help countless organisations take greater control of their message management.

Chris Maughan

Chris is a highly respected reporter, presenter and producer and has a wealth of experience after more than 20 years with ITV in the south of England. His career began in the print media during which time Chris contributed many front page stories to national newspapers.

After moving into television Chris became a familiar face on ITV Meridian, having presented the regional shows Meridian Tonight and Thames Valley Tonight. He has also represented ITV Sport at football and rugby world cups.

Since leaving ITV in 2009, Chris’s writing, presenting and production skills have been in demand by numerous media organisations, including Sky, ITV News, leading news agencies and production companies. In recent years Chris has also advised numerous clients ranging from multi-national companies to charity organisations on how to maximise opportunities with the media.

Keme Nzerem

Keme Nzerem is an award-winning news and current affairs television correspondent and presenter who has worked for Channel 4 News and ITV News for two decades.
In his extensive broadcasting career Keme has held a number of roles from Washington Correspondent to News Anchor. He has covered a huge number of international and domestic news stories, including winning the RTS foreign news award for narrating a mini documentary on the Iraq War US troop “surge”.

He was the sports correspondent at Channel 4 News from 2010 - 2016 covering everything from the Olympics to the World Cups and the Euros, Premier League and grass roots football and has been on the other side of the microphone in pretty much every sports media scenario you might imagine. 

He has also reported on high-profile stories from sex abuse in football, to the Grenfell fire, and is often seen reading the news on Channel 4’s lunchtime news bulletin.

Tadhg Enright

Tadhg has almost two decades of experience in 24 hours news broadcasting, having worked for Sky News, CNN International and RTÉ.

He joined Sky News at the height of the financial crisis as part of its business team and he later went on to become a presenter of its hourly business updates. Tadhg has also worked at CNN, RTÉ News and Reuters and is a regular presenter on the Monocle 24 radio station, discussing world affairs, culture and design.

Tadhg uses the skills developed during his extensive broadcast career to help companies and their leaders prepare for interviews and make a memorable impact, understanding the type of language, phrases and arguments that will be most helpful to journalists and persuasive to audiences.

Graham Jones

Graham Jones is a psychologist who specialises in the way people use the Internet, in particular helping businesses understand social media and how it impacts on their customer relationships and marketing.

Graham is the author of 16 books about the Internet, as well as 12 other business books. He is a former radio presenter, magazine editor and an award-winning writer for national newspapers, consumer magazines and trade periodicals.

Graham is a part-time academic, working as an Associate Lecturer with the Open University and as a Visiting Lecturer at The University of Buckingham. He also works as a professional speaker and is the former President of the Professional Speaking Association.

These days Graham is in demand himself as an expert commentator for the media and you can hear him on various radio stations and see his comments about the Internet in newspapers and magazines every week.

Steve Adamson

Steve is a specialist sports journalist who has interviewed some of the biggest names in world football.

Having worked for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 he is experienced at interviews ranging from the live post match, to the mixed zone scramble and the set-piece sit-down for a documentary. He was in Russia covering the 2018 football World Cup and more recently at the Champions League Final in Madrid. 

Steve has also worked for the BBC World Service, while his journalistic career has seen him contribute features for The Guardian, The Independent, the Evening Standard and Four Four Two.

Susan Bookbinder

Susan has over thirty years' experience as a radio and TV presenter reporting on numerous historical news and sporting events for the BBC, Sky, Channel 4 News, GMTV and ITN, amongst many others.

She is a columnist for The Jewish Telegraph and has chaired many corporate and charity events around the world, including government summits, corporate dinners, award ceremonies and product launches. She has also written content and presented on corporate videos for numerous clients and across multiple industry sectors.

Susan was the first woman to read the national classified football results on British radio and is a Patron of Action Duchenne, a charity campaigning for a cure to a debilitating wasting disease.

Nick Huber

A business reporter, copy writer, editor and producer, Nick has over 20 years' experience in business journalism having reported for the Financial Times, the BBC, the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Independent, Channel 4 News and dozens of other trade magazines.

He has written white papers, thought leadership pieces and blogs for numerous high-profile companies including Oracle, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Unilever. And interviewed hundreds of board directors and partners in his role as a journalist and media trainer.

Nick’s specialities include financial services, fintech, tax and professional services and compliance, though his down-to-earth, but challenging training style has helped clients from a broad range of industry sectors to demystify the media and communicate better.

Lynne Wallis

Lynne Wallis is a journalist for national newspapers, with almost 30 years experience. Her specialist area is campaigning journalism, covering the care home sector, health, animal welfare, nursing and the damage done to society by cult groups.

Lynne is a versatile journalist who has written news, features, investigations and column style pieces for multiple newspapers and magazines including The Mail on Sunday, The Guardian, The Express, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, the Sunday Mirror and The Sunday Times. She became Head of Communications for the Fire Brigades Union in 2015 and led the union's media work during the Grenfell tragedy, honing her crisis management skills.

Lynne returned to her true home in journalism in 2018 and now uses her vast media experience to help Media First clients understand how to pitch, frame and deliver impactful print media stories and headlines.

Kevin Dunn

Kevin Dunn is an accomplished reporter and broadcaster with more than 30 years experience in national and international journalism. In a long and distinguished career at ITN, Kevin held a series of prominent reporting positions: Defence and diplomatic correspondent, Southern Africa correspondent, Home Affairs correspondent and Political correspondent.

He has interviewed presidents and prime ministers, including Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher. He reported first-hand on our television screens on some of the biggest news events of recent times, including Mandela’s release from prison, the wars in the Gulf and the invasion of Iraq.

Kevin also has extensive experience in print journalism and spent several years as Business Features Editor at the Sunday Times where he produced that newspaper’s award-winning Business section. He is a skilled media trainer whose clients have included Barclaycard, Smiths Group, KBR and RealNetworks.

James White

Managing Director

James started his career in journalism before moving into account management. He joined Media First in 2011 and has been Managing Director since 2012.
Aside from being a super boss, James' other diverse talents include playing pool and knowing about antiques. In recent months he has also become highly skilled at injuring his knee. When he is not in the office, or doing any of these things, James can be found fishing and listening to Rod Stewart and Ben Folds Five on repeat.

 

Natalia Szewczyk

Operations Executive

Natalia has over 7 years’ experience working in the training and development industry. Her amazing ability to spin multiple logistical plates whilst appearing unflappable is only matched by her patience as people attempt to spell her surname. After a busy day at work Natalia enjoys nothing more than obtaining another tattoo whilst listening to Linkin Park and finding excuses not to go to the gym.

Iain Wallace

Operations Manager

With over twenty years’ experience in PR, Marketing and Communications, Iain runs the Operations side of the business. He was once officially the fastest nine year old in Runcorn and soon after won a story writing competition to choose the school Christmas tree. It’s all been downhill from there really, though he remains the UK’s only known secret racewalker and legend has it that when conditions are favourable his almighty sneezing action can be heard from the next floor up in Media First Towers.

Aimee Hudson

Project Manager

With a background in project and account management, Aimee has worked with several high profile clients and is passionate about consistently delivering excellent customer service. Away from the office, Aimee spends her time not liking football. In order to avoid it she has recently taken up running, but would much prefer to be at home drinking tea and watching Netflix.

Debbie Cowley

Account Manager

Debbie has an account management and marketing background and has worked at Media First for over six years. She can usually be found with a phone glued to her ear working with our clients to understand their communications training needs. Debbie likes her cocktails like her moods, Ooh la la or Dark and stormy, and prefers her music delivered by Elbow. She also likes dog walking with chatty friends and is a super shoulder to cry on if that's what you need.

 

Andrea Booth

Account Manager

Andrea has spent most of her life in marketing, working with clients in many different guises to produce their customer magazines and catalogues. She loves Media First so much that after previously trying to escape to focus on bringing up her family, she could no longer ignore the magnetic pull of her colleagues and returned in 2015 to resume her role as an Account Manager. She loves spending time with friends and family and trying to keep fit with her lunchtime power walks, but woe betide anyone who asks to share her calamari.

Abby Turner

Account Manager

Abby is the newest member of the Media First account management team having worked in media relations and account management in her previous roles. She lives in Reading, where she grows her own veg on an allotment and loves going to gigs and festivals. She likes to walk several miles a day to and from work and spends the time thinking about cricket and dreaming of an England ashes victory. Howzat!

Julia Hyde

Account Manager

Jules has many years marketing, partnership and account management experience, working across the utilities, automotive, travel and tech industries. She’s passionate about her clients and loves taking the time to really understand their needs. Out of hours you’ll find her front row at a music venue listening to someone that nobody else has heard of and eating a 12 box of Cadburys Creme Eggs. You're less likely to find her in the kitchen, unless she’s mixing up a Dirty Martini.

Mandie Richardson

Finance Manager

Mandie has been proudly looking after the Media First purse strings for over six years now. She pays our wages and therefore should not be crossed at any time. A top cake baker and the proud owner of more than 150 pairs of shoes, her rather regal musical influences include both Prince and Queen. Mandie does not take kindly to inconsiderate car parkers and anyone else who has not noted the bit above about not being crossed.

Adam Fisher

Content Editor

Revered as the author of Media First’s critically acclaimed blog, our resident content editor Adam followed his fathers footsteps into journalism and has previously worked for several newspapers, both on the news and sports desks. Adam can just as easily turn his hand to a range of talents outside of the office. Junior football coach, lunchtime power lifter, craft beer drinker and - golfers look away now – he claims to have once hit a genuine hole-in-one and has never actually played the game.

Thomas Parker

Camera & Studio Technician

Thomas is an award winning international filmmaker with an academic background in media, television and film production and has worked at Media First for over two years  as our Camera Operator and Studio technician. For most of that time he has been simultaneously growing a beard. When he is not commuting up and down the country supporting our training courses, he can often be found making the rest of us feel old, as he pursues his other passion as a DJ. If you like your tunes of the tropical house or old school hip hop variety, Thomas is your man. 

Sue Wood

Sue is a highly experienced journalist based in the Thames Valley, and is regularly involved in media training.

Sue started work at the Reading Newspaper Group as a trainee journalist in 1979 before moving to the evening Oxford Mail and its weekly sister paper the Oxford Times where she became deputy news editor, running the group's seven district offices and organising the Mail's daily news output.

She founded the Newswise press agency with her partner Mark Gonnella, providing a daily news service to national and international newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations.

Sue currently writes for a range of consumer and professional magazines, contributed to a series of books for Collins, and is an editor for the Good Schools Guide.

Sara Jones

Sara began as a journalist in local newspapers in East Anglia. She moved into local radio and was involved in the launch of BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. After a spell at Independent Radio News, the national commercial radio news service, she went to the BBC Radio Newsroom where she worked as a sub-editor and reporter. Sara became a reporter and producer for BBC Radio 4’s ‘You and Yours’ for several years and also worked on other Radio 4 programmes such as ‘Today’, ‘PM’ and ‘Woman’s Hour’. She also worked as a researcher and reporter for Thames Television News before going back to radio where she produced the very first phone-ins on Radio 5.

Reece Lipman

Reece is a filmmaker, writer and editor. He has worked alongside Media First as a camera technician since 2018 and has been involved in media training around the world since 2014. Reece's background is incredibly varied with experience in documentaries, short films, music videos and fashion promos for organisations such as the Royal Society, the Royal Collection, Jeep and the Science Museum.

The unquestionable highlight of Reece's career so far has been the 2 times that he has interviewed Sir David Attenborough... though he fears that these moments may already be impossible to top.

 

Callum Robertson

Callum joined the BBC World Service in 1998 as a radio producer. He moved into the BBC Academy, the corporation's training arm training journalists in video, audio and online broadcast technologies.

A keen photographer since childhood Callum made the switch to moving pictures in 2010. Now he splits his time between a part-time role at the BBC and working as a freelance shoot/edit specialising in educational as well as corporate video production.

When not stood behind a camera or sat in front of a computer Callum is to be found cycling around the Surrey Hills in lycra, completely unbefitting a man of his age and figure.

Simon Cox

Simon has worked in the TV and film industry for over 30 years and has directed and edited numerous programmes for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. He started as an editor with Film-Fair where he learnt his craft, cutting over 300 children’s programmes including; Astro Farm, The Gingerbread Man, Huxley Pig, The Wombles, Treasure Island, Molly’s Gang and The Koala Brothers.

In 1999, Simon wrote and directed the feature film, Written in Blood, which was shot at Pinewood Studios and has sold all around the world. Simon recently completed his 2nd feature film, Invasion Planet Earth, an epic sci-fi thriller. This film has been Simon’s passion project for the last 10 years and is due for release in late 2019.

Simon has worked for Media First for around 8 years and enjoys helping professionals to be at the top of their game when talking to the media.

 

Rick Everitt

Rick is a camera operator at Media First with over 15 years experience filming interviews for media training companies. He also has an extensive technical background doing everything from vision mixing to live sound, graphics and directing live TV including live racing and premier league football.

Rick is also a DJ and has played at all sorts of events including weddings, London bars and corporate awards shows. Other personal interests include sport, cars and visiting Disney in Florida as often as possible!

JOIN OUR TEAM

We are always looking for talented, motivated and hard working people to join our growing team.

Whether you're an account manager, a journalist or a camera technician we would love to hear from you.

To find out more about us and see our latest vacancies why not start by checking out the About Us page of our website.

Jonathan Griffin

Jonathan has a strong track record in video, starting in the 1980s with a company specialising in agricultural education films for Third World audiences. He travelled widely as a freelance cameraman in the ‘90s, before forming a successful production company. He has directed, shot and edited hundreds of programmes for blue-chip clients.

Memorable locations include banana plantations in the Chilean Andes, Beijing’s Forbidden City, interviewing Michael Schumacher, following Team Audi Sport at the Le Mans 24-Heures, surviving an oil tanker in a Force 8, and many more. Jonathan edited the original London Docklands Development Corporation promo for Canary Wharf, as well as commercials, party political broadcasts and many high-level business communications.

Jonathan is a keen club cyclist and drives his 1969 Alfa Romeo coupe whenever the opportunity arises.

Office Team

James White

Managing Director

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Natalia Szewczyk

Operations Executive

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Iain Wallace

Operations Manager

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Aimee Hudson

Project Manager

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Debbie Cowley

Account Manager

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Andrea Booth

Account Manager

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Abby Turner

Account Manager

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Julia Hyde

Account Manager

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Mandie Richardson

Finance Manager

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Adam Fisher

Content Editor

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Thomas Parker

Camera & Studio Technician

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JOIN OUR TEAM

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Training Team

Lawrence McGinty

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Emma Nelson

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Jim Rosenthal

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Paul Brennan

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Clare Catford

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Jane Deith

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Simon Brooke

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Siân Jones

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Deborah Hall

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Tasneem Siddiqi

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Judy Aslett

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Charles Abel

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Chris Maughan

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Keme Nzerem

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Tadhg Enright

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Graham Jones

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Steve Adamson

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Susan Bookbinder

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Nick Huber

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Lynne Wallis

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Kevin Dunn

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Sue Wood

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Sara Jones

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Reece Lipman

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Callum Robertson

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Simon Cox

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Rick Everitt

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Jonathan Griffin

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