The Mindfulness Initiative was founded by Madeleine Bunting and Chris Cullen in November 2013. Our partners are the four mindfulness training and research centres in Oxford, Exeter, Bangor and Sussex UK, as well as the Mental Health Foundation, and we benefit from an advisory group comprising some of the most experienced mindfulness scientists and practitioners in the UK. Our patrons are Jon Kabat Zinn and Ruby Wax, and our director is Jamie Bristow, who took over from previous co-chairs Madeleine Bunting and Ed Halliwell in May 2015. The Mindfulness Initiative has a talented team of associates and supporters contributing to our work, coming from the fields of mindfulness research and wider academia, mindfulness teaching and wider education, policy and advocacy (government and NGOs), corporate communications, fundraising, digital marketing, web development and design. We are grateful for the generous support of The Lostand Foundation and The Mindful Trust, among others.
Jon Kabat Zinn is founding Executive Director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He teaches mindfulness around the world, having developed Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in the late 1970s.
Ruby Wax is a comedian. She has completed a masters in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy at the Oxford University Mindfulness Centre., and is author of Sane New World: Taming The Mind. She works to promote understanding of the brain, campaigning for greater mental health awareness and destigmatization.
Jamie Bristow, Director
Jamie initially contributed to the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group's inquiry whilst he was Business Development Director at the digital mind-health platform, Headspace. He was then asked to take over as Director of the Mindfulness Initiative in spring 2015 to complete the production of the Mindful Nation UK report, orchestrate its launch and lead on the advocacy of its findings. He complements this work as a mindfulness teacher and consultant. In the past, Jamie has been a software developer, advertising executive, climate change campaigner and global brand director.
Chris Ruane, International Parliamentary Liaison
Chris Ruane was the MP for the Vale of Clwyd for 18 years, until May 2015. He was a deputy head in a large primary school for 15 years prior to being MP. He introduced mindfulness to Parliament with Prof Richard Layard, Prof Mark Williams and Chris Cullen. He was Labour Co Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Mindfulness before the election and was made Honorary President after the election. He has helped to establish mindfulness groups in the Dutch Parliament and Welsh Assembly and is currently advising advocates in the political systems of over 25 countires.
Chris Cullen is a teacher at the Oxford University Mindfulness Centre. He leads mindfulness courses for MPs and Peers in the Houses of Parliament, for musicians and actors at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and students at Oxford University. He is co-founder of Mindfulness in Schools, and also has a psychotherapy practice.
Rebecca Crane directs the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice (CMRP) at Bangor University and has played a leading role in the development of the centre since it was founded in 2001. Prior to this she worked for 15 years in the mental health field as an Occupational Therapist and an integrative counsellor.
Ed Halliwell is a mindfulness teacher and writer. He is co-author of The Mindful Manifesto and Mindfulness: How To Live Well By Paying Attention. He leads mindfulness courses, workshops and retreats in London, Surrey and Sussex, as well as in organisations, and is on the faculty of the School of Life.
Marion Furr was Director of Ministerial Business and Parliamentary Accountability in the Department of Health until July 2016, and led the DH staff health and wellbeing programme. She trained as a mindfulness teacher with both Bangor and Oxford universities and has introduced mindfulness to over 3000 civil servants.
Charlotte nurtures pioneers of systems change, coaching them to reach their full potential and helping them build network strategies. She currently works with the Finance Innovation Lab, New Economy Organisers Network, based at NEF (New Economics Doundation) and the Campaign Lab.
Byron Lee is a mindfulness teacher and Director of training at the Happy City Initiative in Bristol. His work also involves mindful leadership, compassionate inclusion and transformative change.
Katie White OBE
Katie is an independent Campaigns Advisor currently working on wellbeing and climate change. She was previously an advisor to the Labour Party and the European Campaigns Director for ONE. Prior to that, Katie co-led the campaign for a climate change act in the UK. That campaign is noted as one of the most successful campaigns in generations. This led to Katie joining the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to set up and lead a “war room” to prepare the UK Government, in advance of the 2009 UN Conference in Copenhagen. Katie was awarded an OBE in 2013.
Madeleine Bunting is a writer and journalist. She founded the Mindfulness Initiative in November 2013 with Chris Cullen, and is an associate of the Oxford University Mindfulness Centre. She has written three books and is a regular commentator and broadcaster for amongst others, the Guardian, BBC and the Tablet.
Willem Kuyken is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Oxford and Director of the Oxford University Mindfulness Centre.. His work is focused on mood disorders and evidence-based approaches to mood disorders. His research and teaching are primarily on mindfulness-based approaches.
Richard Layard is Well-Being Programme Director (Well-Being) at the Centre For Economic Performance, London School of Economics. He is one of the first economists to work on happiness, and a member of the House of Lords.
Jonathan is the former director of The Social Brain Centre at the RSA. A chess Grandmaster, Jonathan was British Champion for three consecutive years 2004-6. He recently founded Perspectiva, a think-tank examining complex problems in the external world from the perspectives of our inner worlds; integrating systems, souls and society for the common good.
Florian Ruths is a consultant psychiatrist in adult mental health at the Maudsley hospital in London. He is clinical lead for mindfulness-based therapy at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.
Dylan is an experienced and successful digital and internet entrepreneur. He is active in charitable work which seeks to support mindfulness research and reach people who could benefit most from mindfulness practice.
Mark Williams is a Wellcome Principal Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, and Professor of Clinical Psychology. He co-developed Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for prevention of relapse and recurrence in major depression.
Amanda Bailey, Education
Amanda Bailey is Chief Operating Officer at Bright Futures Educational Trust (BFET). She is involved in training delivery on behalf of the Mindfulness in Schools Project nationally and internationally. A qualified accountant, she has also worked in senior management for Marks and Spencer, United Utilities and PwC.
Dean Capon, Stakeholder Communications
Dean has worked in the education and healthcare sectors for 23 years specialising in: learning & development, internal & corporate communications and employee engagement. Dean is currently studying a masters degree in Integrated Counselling and Coaching at the University of East London.
Byron Lee, Criminal Justice
Byron is a coach, educator, speaker, mindfulness teacher and therapist with nearly 25 years experience of designing and delivering personal development programmes and interpersonal skills workshops.
Dr Tim Lomas, Workplace
Dr. Tim Lomas is a lecturer in positive psychology at the University of East London, where he is the associate programme leader for the MSc in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology. Tim has published numerous papers and books on topics including positive psychology theory, mindfulness, linguistics, and gender.
Bridgette O'Neill, Health Care
Bridgette O’Neill is a mindfulness teacher and supervisor, and a consultant clinical psychologist. She is an associate of the Sussex Mindfulness Centre and an associate tutor with the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice (CMRP) at Bangor University. She teaches MBSR/MBCT to the public in the third sector.
Leonie Schell, Workplace
Leonie is a Manager in Ernst & Young’s Advisory Services specialising in health, mental health and wellbeing strategy design and execution, health analytics, culture change and employee engagement. Leonie is also the Chair of the Global Mindfulness Network at EY and Associate at the Mindfulness Initiative.
Rachel Lilley, Workplace
Rachel is a researcher, advisor and trainer, working with public and private sector clients on behaviour change and mindfulness.
Mindfulness Initiative Wales
Vishvapani Blomfield teaches mindfulness courses in Cardiff and is developing a programme for offenders in Wales on probation and in prisons. He is a Buddhist writer and teacher and a regular contributor to Thought for the Day.
Joanna Cook, Advisor
Emma Wardropper, Workplace
Sarah Post, Workplace
Mark Ovland, Criminal Justice
Nina Ross, Fundraising
Tessa Watt, Workplace
We would also like to offer huge thanks to the many organisations and individuals who have freely offered their services and support to the Mindfulness Initiative. Our thanks go especially to the Lostand Foundation, The Mindful Trust, 18 Feet and Rising and Bow and Arrow.