Guest Speaker Sessions

The Trauma Informed Plymouth Network have kindly been supported by some phenomenal leaders in the field of trauma informed practice who have provided online guest speaker sessions as opportunities to promote continuous learning, reflective practice and critical thinking.

When we could no longer get together face to face during the pandemic, our guest speaker sessions served as an innovative way for our members to connect, reflect and learn. They have proved to be increasingly popular, consistently reaching over 100 people each session from across the south west peninsula and beyond! 

Dez Holmes 

Dez Holmes spoke for the Trauma Informed Plymouth Network in May 2021 and encouraged us to think critically about trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences. 

Dez Holmes is the director of Research in Practice and is responsible for the overall leadership of Research in Practice. She is interested in knowledge mobilisation, systems leadership, adolescence, safeguarding and participative practice.

Lisa Cherry

Lisa Cherry invited a conversation with the Trauma Informed Plymouth Network in July 2021

Lisa Cherry is an author and a leading international trainer and consultant, specialising in assisting those in Education, Social Care and Adoption and Fostering to understand trauma, recovery and resilience for vulnerable children, young people and their families. 

Lisa’s mission is to provide accessible, scientifically grounded knowledge and information to all those working with and around trauma, resilience and recovery.

The Trauma Resonance Resilience podcast – conversations that make a difference for those working in all aspects of social justice

Conversations That Make A Difference is for you if you want to deepen and strengthen your understanding of trauma, resonance and resilience. 

Warren Larkin

Dr Warren Larkin is a critical friend of the Trauma Informed Plymouth Network and has provided a number of workshops about Trauma Informed System Change. 

Warren developed the Routine Enquiry about Adversity in Childhood (REACh) approach as a way of assisting organisations to become more trauma informed and to train professionals to ask routinely about adversity in their everyday practice.

Warren spoke for the Network in July 2021

‘An ounce of prevention is (still) better than a pound of cure’ Building upon a Trauma-Informed Care Foundation – some key concepts and ideas for lasting change.

Luna Dolezal

Professor Luna Dolezal spoke for the Trauma Informed Plymouth Network in November 2021

Why a ‘Trauma-Informed Approach’ Requires ‘Shame-Sensitive Practice’ 

Luna Dolezal is Professor of Philosophy and Medical Humanities at the University of Exeter.

She leads two major research projects that investigate how shame is relevant in healthcare and public health: Shame and Medicine and Scenes of Shame and Stigma in COVID-19. Part of her research has been to consider the relevance of shame in experiences of trauma and post-trauma states. 

Luna has already had a pivotal influence on developing the thinking of the Network. This guest speaker session encouraged us to consider how to integrate shame-sensitivity into trauma-informed practice.

In January 2022, Prof. Luna Dolezal kindly adapted our Trauma Lens and Approach document to incorporate shame sensitivity.

Luna is working with Dr Haley Peckham to develop training in ‘shame competence’ in collaboration with the OPCC and the Devon and Cornwall Police.

Lads Like Us

LADS LIKE US give a voice to survivors of childhood trauma and childhood sexual abuse. Danny and Mike provided a thought-provoking, powerfully moving and emotionally raw guest speaker session for the Trauma Informed Plymouth Network in March 2022.

A scheduled two-hour session went on for almost three hours; people didn’t want the session to end. Speaking candidly of their own childhood abuse and the missed opportunities within the education, social care and criminal justice system, Danny and Mike’s journey’s turn to one of profound inspiration and belief that ‘recovery is possible’. 


Huw Williams 

Professor Huw Williams is a Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology and Co-Director of the Centre for Clinical Neuropsychology Research (CCNR) at Exeter University. Huw spoke about acquired traumatic brain injury for the Trauma Informed Plymouth Network in May 2022. 

His current projects include: Neuro-Trauma in Adolescents and Young Adults in Society and in Prisons; Traumatic Brain Injury and Neuro Disability Screening & Support in Prisons; Processing of Emotions after Brain Injury; Neuroimaging of Sports Concussion in Elite Athletes;; Post-Concussion Syndrome in Sports Populations; Neuroimaging of Affective Systems underlying Personality; Anorexia and Eating Disorders in UK and India; Injury & Stress in Police Officers.

Advances in the Neuroscience of Trauma & Crime | REF 2021 – Research Excellence Framework | University of Exeter

BBCRadio4 Law In Action Traumatic Brain Injury and Crime

Dr Haley Peckham

Insights from rabbits and elephants for trauma-informed and ACE aware approaches: Novel and critical approaches from neuroscience and evolutionary biology

Dr Haley Peckham spoke for the Trauma Informed Plymouth Network in September 2022 and made the complexity of neuroplasticity and epigenetics enormously accessible by sharing learning from mice, birds and slugs to show us how experiences build brains.

Drawing on her own lived experience, Haley showed us how relational experiences build brains before going on to compare the life trajectory of rabbits and elephants and how it applies to our learning from the Adverse Childhood Experiences study to show us how we can strike a balance between both compassion for trauma and a commitment to accountability.

Dr Haley Peckham’s background includes philosophy, mental health nursing, psychotherapy and neuroscience and is grounded in her own lived experience of recovering from complex trauma. While studying philosophy, Haley worked with children and adolescents in ‘care’ and later trained as a Mental Health Nurse at Kings College London. Struck by the enduring impact of early trauma and neglect, Haley studied Molecular Neuroscience at Bristol and gained her PhD from the University of Melbourne. Since realising that evolutionary biology and neuroscience are critically important for delivering coherent ACE aware and Trauma-Informed approaches, Haley has shared her learning with professionals across statutory services in Australia and the UK. Having sat through some dreadful training she is committed to providing inspiring, engaging relevant workshops. Her favourite piece of feedback was “I didn’t want to go to the toilet in case I missed anything”. Haley continues to deliver her training alongside her ongoing work in frontline crisis mental health services which supports her personal and professional development.

Peninsula Trauma Informed Conference July 2022 Keynote Speakers

In July 2022, a collaboration between the Trauma Networks in Plymouth, Torbay, Devon and Cornwall resulted in the very 1st Peninsula-wide Trauma Informed Conference exploring, reflecting, championing and celebrating transformative trauma-informed approaches for system wide change.

Nazir Afzal OBE

Nazir Afzal OBE is the former Chief Crown Prosecutor for NW England and formerly Director in London. Most recently, he was Chief Executive of the UK’s Police and Crime Commissioners.

During a 24-year career, Nazir prosecuted some of the most high-profile cases in the country, advised on many more and led nationally on several legal topics including male Violence against Women & Girls, child sexual abuse and honour based violence.

He had responsibility for more than 100,000 prosecutions each year. His prosecutions of the so-called Rochdale grooming gang and hundreds of others were ground-breaking and changed the landscape of child protection. @nazirafzal

Dr Lucy Johnstone

Dr Lucy Johnstone is a UK clinical psychologist, trainer, speaker and writer, and a long-standing critic of biomedical model psychiatry. Lucy has authored a number of books, articles and chapters on topics such as psychiatric diagnosis, and the role of trauma in breakdown.

Lucy is a co-author of the Power Threat Meaning Framework, an ambitious attempt to outline a conceptual alternative to psychiatric diagnosis. @ClinpsychLucy

Graham Chatterley

Graham Chatterley is a Behaviour specialist, author, and advisor with When the Adults Change. Helping pupils, teachers and headteachers to better understand challenging behaviour, get to the root of it and respond to it in a sequential way.

As a teacher, leader and teacher trainer, Graham recently became independent and has been working with schools in all sectors of education. Prior to that he helped lead an SEMH specialist team designed at supporting children at risk of exclusion, providing training for over 1000 staff in the process. Graham is a strong advocate for trauma informed, relational and restorative practice and believes that mainstream education can work for all, he favours ethos and culture over quick fix behaviour strategies and believes the adults play a pivotal role in the behaviour of the students.@grahamchatter12

Voodoo Monkeys

Voodoo Monkeys is a new collaboration between writer & performer Jason Brownlee and director & engagement specialist Lee Hart. The company’s first show, Today I Killed My Very First Bird is a theatrical exploration of Jason’s lived experience told through poetry, performance & storytelling.

Voodoo Monkeys treated us to an excerpt of Today I Killed My Very First Bird ahead of it being performed at the Drum Theatre, Plymouth and Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as a dramatic and redemptive finale to the conference.

Join our movement for change

Our ambition is for Plymouth to be a trauma-informed city. Our independent network is open to anyone connected with Plymouth with a desire to learn about and promote trauma informed ways of being. You too can join our Network and help Plymouth become a safer and kinder place, where the impact of trauma and adversity is both recognised and responded to with sensitivity and compassion.