• 2024 marks Welldoing's 10th anniversary! To celebrate we launched the Welldoing Inspiration Awards, to recognise the people, charities and organisations that have been a force for good in these 10 years

  • We're thrilled to present our 2024 winners: Paula Hines, Julia Samuel, Steel Warriors, Emma Colyer, Talk for Health, CardMedic, Lucy Jones

To mark the 10th anniversary of therapist-matching platform Welldoing, we asked our community to tell us the people, businesses, and organisations who have inspired them in the area of mental health and wellbeing in the time since we launched. 

Our 1000 verified, professional therapists work with clients to support their mental health and help them cope with whatever their issue – depression, anxiety, relationship issues, family problems and so on. But there are many people who cannot access such help, so we wanted to highlight people and organisations whose work in the mental health area seemed to us and our nominators was particularly good or innovative. 

We hope you will be interested to read about these people, and hope you will also watch the YouTube interviews with winners and nominators. Let us know what you think!

Paula Hines, U Can Yoga

Nominated by Viv Groskop, author, comedian, podcaster How to Own the Room

Paula Hines used to work in the stressful, competitive world of TV comedy. Training as a restorative yoga teacher changed all that.

Offering in-person and online classes, Paula helps people access yoga’s many calming benefits. “With cushions and blankets as props, classes look like adult nap-time, and I love seeing the benefit that people feel from doing it.”

Hines is a member of a non-profit group Mind Walk Yoga which provides yoga support to Black women who, Hines says, “might not feel welcome in wellness spaces. There are practices that focus on anxiety and depression, and they are beneficial for mental health.”

Comedian and author Viv Groskop nominated Paula: “Finding the time for yoga can seem a huge commitment, but resting the body as well as the mind is so important. There seems to be no respite from the news cycle and all the causes that are coming to our attention.”  Both Viv and Paula would recommend we take time out for ourselves and our mental health, and restore our sense of calm.




Steel Warriors

Represented by Christian D’Ippolito and Tayo Aowedru

Nominated by Dylan Jones, editor-in-chief of the Evening Standard and author

The knives and machetes handed into the Metropolitan Police during gang weapon amnesties have been put to a brilliant use by London charity Steel Warriors. The metal has been worked into outdoor gyms where people can gather for a common purpose, building their strength and improving their self-esteem.

Formed in 2017, there are now four Steel Warriors gyms in gang-neutral zones of London. As head of development Christian D’Ippolito says, “They are a great metaphor. We teach self-development through the medium of callisthenics. It’s a progression-based approach to exercise and fitness and it doesn’t take too long for that idea to become transferable to other areas of a young person’s life.” 

Mental wellbeing is also important. Coach Tayo Aowedru says, “We have all kinds of people, ages, genders, all there for a common goal, to empower and better ourselves. It’s a really beautiful thing to see, and it inspires many young people – it’s really a form of therapy.” And it costs nothing to train there.

Dylan Jones was impressed by the charity and wanted to help spread the word. As he says, “There were 14,000 knife crime incidents last year, it is a terrible situation, and this is a great initiative. Also, anything the media can do to shine a light on macho violent behaviour has got to be good.”

Previously the editor of GQ magazine, Dylan has just published a memoir These Foolish Things. In amongst the celebrity stories he writes of being bullied as a child and raped as a teen. “I didn’t think it was particularly difficult – being frank just felt like the right thing to do. I don’t feel embarrassed about it.”

The Evening Standard sponsored the Welldoing Inspiration Awards because they believe mental health and wellbeing is a key issue. “What you’re doing at Welldoing is great, therapist-matching is very smart. I speak as a believer in therapy. The more that we can publicise the issue of mental health the better.”




Emma Colyer, Body and Soul 

Nominated by Deborah Bee, creative marketing director

Body and Soul is a charity for children, teens and their families to help them recover from adverse childhood experiences. Originally, when it started in 1996, it focused on families and individuals affected by HIV, but today it is generally for young people in pain, including a strong programme for suicide prevention.

As its founder and director Emma Colyer MBE says “We have always taken a whole person approach. We talk about what has happened to you, rather than what’s wrong with you. Our programmes come from understanding the people who use our services.

“For example we have a programme for 16-24 year olds who have attempted suicide. They might come to us from A&E, university counselling, or school crisis teams, but for many of them there is nowhere else to go. 

“This award increases our profile so people will know where they can find help to interrupt that cycle of suffering,  pain and loneliness", says Emma. Nominator Deborah Bee, who is chair of the board, adds “Body and Soul is a place of love.”




Represented by Rachael Grimaldi

Nominated by Andrea Burroughs, UH Sussex

When Dr Rachael Grimaldi found herself marooned in the USA at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, she wanted to find a way to help. “I read an article about someone who couldn’t understand staff speaking through PPE… we thought they must be writing notes on paper. Rather than that, why don’t we just create a library of scripts?”

In 72 hours, Rachael, and her husband, Tim, concept-launched CardMedic, an innovative app that provides digital flashcards to facilitate essential medical interactions in nearly 50 languages. 

Andrea Burroughs, associate commercial director of University Hospitals Sussex, who nominated Rachael for a Welldoing Inspiration Award, says she was struck by the breadth of CardMedic’s ability to support patients. “[CardMedic] enables our staff to do a better job…often, it’s their inability to communicate that is a real barrier in terms of preventing people who deliver care [from doing] the best job.” 

CardMedic is now being implemented in medical facilities across the UK. Welldoing believes the company's aim to ensure that every patient, no matter what their language, is kept informed and can communicate effectively is especially valuable when people are ill and feeling psychologically vulnerable.

Julia Samuel MBE, psychotherapist and author

Nominated by Julie Menanno, couples therapist and author

When Julia Samuel took a position as a volunteer supporting bereaved families, she felt that she had found what she was “built to do”. This position marked the start of more than two decades working within the NHS supporting families through the grief of losing a child. During this time, she helped to launch Child Bereavement UK, the UK’s leading charity in this field. This period was immensely significant for Samuel, both personally and professionally: “I learned so much, I made mistakes, I cried, I saw devastating things… and I saw the best of people in terrible situations.”

Samuel is now a leading psychotherapist and best-selling author (Grief WorksEvery Family Has a Story, and This Too Shall Pass). In 2021, she created the Grief Works app, to help people navigate personal loss. She now hosts the Therapy Works podcast with two of her daughters, both also psychotherapists. 

EFT couples’ therapist and author of Secure Love, Julie Menanno first came across Julia’s work while at university: “I really fell in love with the compassion, combined with the theoretical and intellectual integrity of her work…that really spoke to me”. 

Welldoing is delighted to honour Julia Samuel with her Inspiration Award, in recognition of a long career marked by dedication and compassion. Samuel’s work has been an inspiration both to clients, and to our Welldoing therapists and counsellors. 



Lucy Jones, author

Nominated by Zoe Blaskey, Motherkind podcaster

Matrescence describes the experience of becoming a mother. Science writer Lucy Jones read it first in a newspaper and felt her shoulders drop. A new mother, she was “profoundly shocked by becoming a mother, I found the identity change, the social change, loneliness, the oppressive maternal ideals all really tricky. And then I started to see that this was a significant step in our development that had been forgotten.”

Her book Matrescence, published last year (and a Welldoing Book of the Month), has been a big hit among many mothers and those who want to help them. As Lucy points out the rise of intensive motherhood in this century in conjunction with more knowledge about child development has left many mothers with “shocking levels of tiredness, stress burnout, compounded by the mask of motherhood - a real sense of shame stigma and silencing but those who couldn’t even talk about they feel. The  psychological police state of motherhood is still strong.”

Thousands of readers have been in touch with Lucy to talk about their own experience of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting. She has found it “healing to hear that others feel the same, but also it makes me more enraged and emboldened to continue talking about the subject. It’s not just inadequate social support but also the experience of motherhood is taboo.” 

Lucy was delighted to win a Welldoing Inspiration Award. “I love what you have created with Welldoing, and I am a big fan of therapy and have got so much from talking to therapists over the last 15 years. Also, to be nominated by Zoe [Blaskey, of the podcast Motherkind] is really special.”

Zoe too felt that too many mothers were under extreme pressure, and both women felt that initiatives such as their own could only help give a voice to their emotions as they went through the process of becoming mothers.

You can find a therapist who specialises in areas related to maternal mental health here



Talk for Health

Represented by Nicky Forsythe

Nominated by Mark Harris, T4H service user

While training as a psychotherapist Nicky Forsythe created a group peer counselling programme, originally for fellow trainees. Calling it Talk for Health she launched it as a social enterprise in 2013. It is a four-day programme in which people “learn key skills, which are to share fruitfully about emotions, and to feed back to each other using counselling skills within a defined framework. Over 10 years we demonstrated that our programme was as effective as therapy in lifting wellbeing and reducing depression.” In 2022 Talk for Health won a UK National Mental Health Award for Long Term Impact.

T4H was commissioned by the NHS and was supported by grant-funders and around 2500 people have gone through the London-centred programme. But plans for growth  came to nothing, and in spite of its powerful effects, T4H is due to close at the end of this month. 

Nicky is not the only person to despair. Mark Harris is one of the service users of the charity and a huge fan of its work. “Being a black man I’ve always been told not to speak, not to share, or we would be judged.” He has done many of the T4H courses, and he speaks for many when he says “After you do them, something changes inside. People feel loved, wanted, not judged. I didn’t know that was possible.”


We hope you will be as impressed by our Welldoing Inspiration Awards winners as we were. In the time since Welldoing launched so much has happened to change the conversation around mental health, and we believe that our own therapists, all verified professionals, and the individuals and organisations we have spotlighted here combine to help with the realities of keeping ourselves in good psychological health, with our emotions and relationships vibrant and supportive. 

We're looking forward to running the Welldoing Inspiration Awards again next year, and hope that you will support us in getting the word out about the work these dedicated individuals and organisations are doing.