Our Quiet family

Meet our Quiet family

Everyone on our team has felt socially anxious, shy or not good enough and we've all felt alone, broken and ashamed at times. We believe no one should feel like they're the only one going through this so we're opening up about our experiences to let you know that you're not alone, and to give you hope that your life can improve. Many of our team members have shared their personal stories on the blog - look for the little link icon below each team member to visit their story.

Facilitators

Managing Director and Coach

Hayley Stanton

Hayley grew up being called ‘shy’ and felt that her quiet nature meant that she was defective in some way and not as good as other people were. She became very anxious about being seen and did her best to stay small and hidden, avoiding situations in which other people might realise just how flawed she really was, often missing out on the good things in life and feeling hopeless and suicidal.

Eventually growing her confidence through coaching, gradually stretching her comfort zone, connecting with others and accepting that feeling anxious is a normal part of being human, Hayley has achieved things she didn’t believe were possible. She now uses everything she has learned to help other people see the good in themselves, gently stretch their comfort zones and be a little braver in life.

Hayley is passionate about connecting people with similar stories and creating safe, supportive spaces to make friends and try new things. Hayley dreams of a time when all of the strengths, skills and goodness in ‘quiet’ is recognised and appreciated as readily as being outgoing and comfortable in the spotlight is right now.

Click for Hayley’s story.

Director and Community Coordinator

Stacie Clark

Stacie was naturally quieter as a child and grew up with a love for imagination, creativity and arts. Whilst joy for these activities balanced out any anxieties around being in the spotlight, she felt uncomfortable speaking to others in every-day situations and meeting new people from a young age.

Stacie began experiencing low self-worth in her teens, believing that she wasn’t good enough, capable or deserving, and struggled to see her value and where she belonged. Feeling fearful of judgement from others, she started to withdraw and avoided others from truly getting to know her.

She now uses creativity and coaching to explore, express and work through her thoughts and feelings to manage her emotions, and practise imperfection and vulnerability. Stacie believes that through embracing who we are, accepting our differences whilst understanding we’re essentially all the same at our core, we can authentically lead with our hearts, and this is key to living confidently, lovingly and joyfully – with anxieties and courage walking side by side.

Group Facilitator and Independent Counsellor

Ian Trustrum

Ian grew up with a passion for learning and creating. He experienced a number of challenges in his life and this passion diminished. He found himself feeling depressed and anxious; something that didn’t seem to go away on its own. He decided to try counselling as a way to address these challenges. Through the exploration of some of the big questions of life and meaning, and the support of a counsellor who accepted him without conditions, he began to accept himself as he was, and things as they were. Ian found his passion for learning and creating had returned and he embarked on a counselling course where he found his passion could thrive and expand.

Ian now works as a counsellor and facilitator where he can share his passion and help others find their own way, whilst being accepted for who they are without conditions.

Independent Coach and Group Facilitator

Vicky Otter

Vicky’s personal wellbeing journey began with a belief that she just wasn’t good enough. This drove her to keep working harder and being nicer in order to gain the approval she thought she needed from others to feel good enough. Eventually, Vicky saw that she was already complete and whole; she didn’t need fixing –and just because she thought something didn’t make it true. Vicky trained as a coach whilst working as a teacher and began using coaching with children in her classes to draw out the potential within them, helping them to see that they already have the confidence and resilience they need inside of them. Vicky offers coaching for children and young adults and brings young people together for confidence and resilience courses.

Group Facilitator and Community Connector

Annika Wilby

Annika is a psychology graduate and experienced bullying throughout her childhood which impacted on her confidence and self-worth. For many years, Annika chose to avoid being seen, living in a small, safe comfort zone with little room for making the mistakes that help us grow. Annika has now found the courage to stretch beyond her comfort zone and trying new things has helped her confidence grow.

Group Facilitator

Frazer Smith

Frazer is currently completing his final year of a foundation degree in integrative counselling. Before his counselling courses he worked for many years as a delivery driver. During most of his life he has dealt with his own social anxieties for a number of reasons which affected his self confidence. Finally he took the plunge and went to University to learn about counselling which is what he has always wanted to do.  Since then his life has changed for the better and he now wants to help people, help themselves change their lives for the better.

Independent Personal Trainer

Fi Hartley

Fi spent much of her life unable to see the good in herself and feeling like she wasn’t enough. She turned to exercise whilst in an abusive relationship and felt it gave her a new lease of life and a way to access the strength she needed to live the way she wanted to. Having transformed her life through exercise, Fi is now helping other people to access fitness even though they feel socially anxious. Fi believes each of us has a warrior deep inside, waiting to come out and would recommend finding a positive outlet that suits you.

Every member of our delivery and community teams have achieved a Level 3 Emergency First Aid at Work Award, which means there's always a first aider at each of our events. Now we're working towards getting every team member who supports groups or individuals trained in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills too.

Community Connectors

Director and Community Coordinator

Stacie Clark

Stacie was naturally quieter as a child and grew up with a love for imagination, creativity and arts. Whilst joy for these activities balanced out any anxieties around being in the spotlight, she felt uncomfortable speaking to others in every-day situations and meeting new people from a young age.

Stacie began experiencing low self-worth in her teens, believing that she wasn’t good enough, capable or deserving, and struggled to see her value and where she belonged. Feeling fearful of judgement from others, she started to withdraw and avoided others from truly getting to know her.

She now uses creativity and coaching to explore, express and work through her thoughts and feelings to manage her emotions, and practise imperfection and vulnerability. Stacie believes that through embracing who we are, accepting our differences whilst understanding we’re essentially all the same at our core, we can authentically lead with our hearts, and this is key to living confidently, lovingly and joyfully – with anxieties and courage walking side by side.

Community Connector

Sophie Cowles

Community Connector

Gracie Sodzi

Connections Project Manager

Luke Monnington

Luke is currently in his second year studying BSc Business at the University of Exeter and is thrilled to be able to contribute to a great team at Quiet Connections and help others who struggle. Whilst studying business, Luke loves a range of sports, and understanding the science behind why the brain works the way it does. Luke works alongside Stacie on our Connections projects; bringing like-minded people together and creating a community of understanding where it’s okay to talk, and it’s okay to be quiet too.

Group Facilitator and Community Connector

Annika Wilby

Annika is a psychology graduate and experienced bullying throughout her childhood which impacted on her confidence and self-worth. For many years, Annika chose to avoid being seen, living in a small, safe comfort zone with little room for making the mistakes that help us grow. Annika has now found the courage to stretch beyond her comfort zone and trying new things has helped her confidence grow.

Community Connector

Emily Gibbs

Emily joins us as part of the Truro Community Connections team

Connections Marketing Coordinator

Harry Standen

Harry is a first year business student at the University of Exeter and is thrilled to be a part of team which helps support a cause that’s so important to him. As part of Quiet Connections, Harry is focused on connecting people locally through our Connections groups and spreading the message that you’re not alone. Harry has personal experience of feeling socially anxious and would like to help others who are in a similar situation. Harry’s hobbies include baking and watching films. Harry found that baking actually helped him to reduce his socially anxious feelings in school when he started to bring cakes into class! Harry would like to run a tea shop in the future and his ambition is to own his own company.

 

Supporting from behind the scenes

Director and Risk Manager

Jason Crabtree

Designer and Brand Manager

Sarah Spargo

Community Connector

Gracie Sodzi

#ReframeQuiet Campaign Manager

Jess Fishburn

Jess has personally experienced the feelings of social anxiety and the related limitations of believing she’s ‘too quiet’. She now knows that quieter people can live just as full a life as anyone who’s more outgoing. Jess understands many others relate to these feelings and this is why it is important to her to allow herself and others embrace the quieter life whilst also not feeling held back in social situations. Jess is leading our #ReframeQuiet social media campaign; shining a spotlight on the culture of shame around ‘quiet’ and highlighting the good that comes with being quieter, starting conversations, building connections and raising awareness.

Connections Project Manager

Luke Monnington

Luke is currently in his second year studying BSc Business at the University of Exeter and is thrilled to be able to contribute to a great team at Quiet Connections and help others who struggle. Whilst studying business, Luke loves a range of sports, and understanding the science behind why the brain works the way it does. Luke works alongside Stacie on our Connections projects; bringing like-minded people together and creating a community of understanding where it’s okay to talk, and it’s okay to be quiet too.

Quiet Success Project Manager

Carla Streeter

Carla understands what it’s like to be considered ‘shy’ and ‘quiet’ and experiencing feelings of anxiety in social situations. She hopes to be able to help those who don’t feel good enough by promoting the idea that it’s okay to be more introverted or naturally not as loud as others. Carla also wishes to spread the message that you can be quiet and still be successful in different career paths. She is working on an exciting project, encouraging people to start speaking the unspoken to normalise feelings of anxiousness and self-doubt, because we’d all feel less weird and alone if everyone were more honest and open about how they feel.

Student Campaign Manager

Théa Moussalli

Théa is running a campaign within the University of Exeter to start conversations around the anxiousness that’s often felt but not voiced by many students and promote the support that is available to them.

Writer and Editor

Georgina Dent

Georgina has personally experienced anxiety and low confidence in the past, and she now strives to expand her comfort zone as much as she can. She is passionate about turning her past experiences into fuel for her creative endeavours in both art and creative writing, as she is still learning to manage feelings of anxiety and low confidence. Georgina hopes to be able to use her past experiences to positively impact others, as she understands how valuable it is to know that other people share similar experiences.

Connections Marketing Coordinator

Harry Standen

Harry is a first year business student at the University of Exeter and is thrilled to be a part of team which helps support a cause that’s so important to him. As part of Quiet Connections, Harry is focused on connecting people locally through our Connections groups and spreading the message that you’re not alone. Harry has personal experience of feeling socially anxious and would like to help others who are in a similar situation. Harry’s hobbies include baking and watching films. Harry found that baking actually helped him to reduce his socially anxious feelings in school when he started to bring cakes into class! Harry would like to run a tea shop in the future and his ambition is to own his own company.

 

Social Media Coordinator

Megan Childs

Megan is a first year BSc Business student studying at the University of Exeter. Through growing an online community and social media presence,  Megan is excited to be raising awareness, normalising anxiety, and to be empowering people to grow their confidence and know that they are not alone. Megan has personally experienced feelings of shyness and anxiety throughout her life, particularly during her recent venture to university, where she has had to grow her confidence in presenting within her studies and in finding courage to make new friends. She is looking-forward to growing her own confidence further whilst being a part of such an exciting community of like-minded people.

Quiet writers

Writer

Katy Harper-Rose

Katy has spent many years of her life within the mental health system, she has received support and therapy from community mental health workers and in inpatient facilities. Katy’s experiences of the mental health system have encouraged her to pursue her goal of helping others that also find themselves in similar situations to herself to know that they are not alone, and that life is always worth living. With a deep passion for writing Katy wishes to put across this message within her articles.

Writer

Hannah-Mae Dixon

Hannah has battled with anxiety from a young age but never spoke about it due to stigma and fear of being judged. Since seeking help through therapy, Hannah is open about her experiences and passionate about helping others who are struggling. Hannah is a huge advocate for self help books and self care rituals. Waiting times on the NHS can be lengthy  for Therapy/counselling as they are not always seen as urgent or necessary by some GPs, self help can be a great way of learning to understand and deal with your struggles.

Writer

David Morten

Dave is a lively person; one you may not associate with social anxiety. Having lived with anxiety and depression for most of his life, he has learned to channel his experiences into his creative work, including story writing and playing guitar. Understanding the sensitive disposition that comes with mental health challenges, Dave feels it is important to talk and share with other individuals that share similar experiences to keep things in perspective and enjoy life.

Writer

Alice Leon

Alice remains true to her name; she is sincerely an inhabitant of Wonderland. A born extroverted introvert, Alice always desired to fully experience the world and live fully. Yet, she didn’t feel like she fit within society and spent years retreating into her own bubble. But escaping into ‘Wonderland’ wasn’t the nirvana it may seem and Alice became further isolated and reclusive, feeling as though she were existing rather than actually living. Upon realising how unhappy she was, Alice took positive steps to change her approach to life, eventually finding adventure, companionship and joy. With the aspiration to write and help people, Alice wants to share her experiences to inspire; comfort and support people… or at least just entertain them!

Writer

Chelsea Fowler

Chelsea has grown up experiencing how anxiety and feeling shy and isolated can keep you from doing the things you enjoy. She is passionate about using her own experiences and stories to help other people grow in confidence and strength. Chelsea spends her time writing stories, being with my friends and exploring the quieter side of the outdoors.

Writer

Lewis Gwilt

Lewis is an introverted person who will happily talk at length about subjects he is deeply interested in. He loves to write and explore words, with a passion for poetry and Hip Hop: its culture; its consciousness; and its music. Lewis has learned to manage feelings of social anxiety, low self-esteem and shyness and feels his experiences have helped him to develop as an individual and discover how best to approach challenging situations. He hopes sharing his experiences will help to empower others to grow in confidence too.

Writer

Chloe Hayfield

Chloe is an introvert who has always struggled with shyness, and soon realised she feels most confident expressing herself through creative endeavours. Chloe’s passion for writing has made her feel less alone, and she hopes others can find comfort in her words.

Writer

Emma Schwartz

Emma is a writer and online marketing specialist. She has experienced low confidence and social anxiety which she overcomes by thinking positively and stepping out of her comfort zone. She currently runs her own marketing business in her home town of Bury, Lancashire www.schwartzdigital.co.uk

Writer and Editor

Georgina Dent

Georgina has personally experienced anxiety and low confidence in the past, and she now strives to expand her comfort zone as much as she can. She is passionate about turning her past experiences into fuel for her creative endeavours in both art and creative writing, as she is still learning to manage feelings of anxiety and low confidence. Georgina hopes to be able to use her past experiences to positively impact others, as she understands how valuable it is to know that other people share similar experiences.

Writer

Ellie Williams

Ellie is interested in the barriers that we can put up to stop people seeing our ‘whole’ selves. She is a great believer in the power of sharing our vulnerabilities, and the authentic connections that come as a result.

Motherhood, mindfulness and the support of good friends have all been instrumental in helping her manage her anxiety. She hopes that writing about her work in progress will help & inspire others.

Writer

Paris Vaja

Paris is a Sociology graduate with a great appreciation for the creative arts. She was extremely coy, and taciturn in her earlier years. Although still introverted, university and adulthood has helped her overcome this somewhat but, more importantly, helped her to accept who she is. Paris loves to read and, primarily, write. She keeps a blog of poetry and prose.

Writer

Guy Ostler

Guy is a freelance writer who has experienced social anxiety for most of his adult life. Having managed to find ways to lessen his anxiety and increase his confidence, he’s found a passion in passing this information on through his writing. His website is www.guythescribe.com.

Writer

Rebecca Drodz

It is hard to believe you can stand in front of a class one minute teaching, and be gripped with social anxiety the next, Rebecca has experienced both. She urges others to recognise that sometimes outward confidence hides hidden struggles. She has had many and varied roles but she still can’t shake the belief that she’s not good enough. She is learning to speak up and out more about social anxiety and share her experience with others through writing, coaching and counselling.

Writer

Sarbjit Sehmbi

Sarbjit has been interested in psychology for many years and enjoys meeting people and getting to know them. Being a naturally open and optimistic person, she wants to find a place she feels comfortable being herself with others. Feelings of social anxiety have held her back from this passion to a degree, which she feels determined to overcome. Sarbjit believes the greater social design we find ourselves in can impact feelings of social anxiety, confidence and the will to live a full life.  She likes to try and explore possible root causes through introspection, extrospection and vicarious means. Sharing this journey in her writing, she hopes some of it will help others feel they are valued, heard and not alone.

Writer

Claire Morrell

Claire has always had a creative streak and a strong desire to help other people. Studying midwifery seemed like a dream come true, until she started experiencing anxiety and depression, and her sociable, happy-go-lucky personality seemed to disappear along with her dreams. She is gradually beginning to find ways to manage her feelings, reconnect with other people and build new dreams, and hopes that by sharing some of these ideas she can inspire other people to do the same.