The Board

Judith Mellor OBEChair – Judith Mellor OBE

Judith Mellor has been involved in the theatre world for many years, chairing the Northamptom Theatres Trust and a board member of the Bush, the Theatres Trust and Graeae. Judith has become increasingly aware of the value that arts of all sorts can play in the wellbeing, recovery and building of self esteem that a challenging arts programme can provide.

I feel  highly privileged and excited to be taking over as Chair of LAHF in this it's 25th year.  The substantial work of research into the role of arts in health, projects, workshops, newsletters and creative weeks has culminated in gaining the organisation a most wonderful opportunity to build and spread our knowledge and passion for arts in health at a national level.


Dr Alice Ashby
Dr Alice Lomax is Acting Consultant Liaison Psychiatry at West London Mental Health NHS Trust.  She also hold the posts of ST6 Neuropsychiatry Registrar at South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust.  General Manager at European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees.  ST5 Liaison Psychiatry Registrar at South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust.  Chair, RCPsych Trainees Committee (PTC) at The Royal College of Psychiatrists. Clinical Teaching Fellow at St. George's, University of London.


Gail Babb
Gail Babb is the Producer for Participation and Learning at Talawa Theatre Company. She is a theatre practitioner who specialises in participatory arts work in a range of community, educational and social settings. She has run Talawa Theatre Company’s Participation Department for 9 years, developing an innovative programme that places an emphasis on bespoke, participant-led projects and has brought Talawa’s work with emerging theatre-makers to the centre of the company. Alongside her work at Talawa, Gail continues to freelance as a facilitator and producer for a number of arts companies and is Partnerships Convenor for the MA in Applied Theatre at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Gail’s work as a facilitator and community theatre director includes creative curriculum projects in primary and secondary schools, professional development programmes for NHS staff and devising projects with children, young people and mental health service-users. Recent performance outcomes include site-specific pieces in museums and heritage centres, a derelict school and a tour to South Africa’s National Arts Festival.

Gail studied Drama at the University of Hull and completed her Masters in Applied Theatre at Goldsmiths in 2008.


Rishi CouplandRishi Coupland
Rishi Coupland is an audience expert with over fifteen years experience in delivering research and strategic programmes, spanning Commercial and Third Sector industries. He is currently Head of Data Intelligence at the National Theatre, where he leads the newly-formed Data Studio. Prior to this, he held the roles of Head of Audience Strategy (National Theatre), Marketing Services Manager (Southbank Centre), and Creative Producer (Buzz-erk Productions). Rishi began his career as an engineer with companies including British Airways and Kimberly-Clark, in locations across the UK and Europe. In 2017 Rishi was awarded a Clore Fellowship, and is currently an elected board member of the Arts Marketing Association.

Twitter @rishicoup



Suki Kaur
Suki Kaur is an experienced senior NHS Manager with over 10 years’ experience gained in operational and strategic leadership roles. With responsibility for budgets of up to £30 million and around 800 staff, She has worked across all major health sectors including mental health, emergency, primary, acute and commissioning services, whilst also leading on major government driven and local initiatives. Suki prides herself on maintaining high standards of diplomacy and producing consistent results for patients and professionals by creating a benchmark for excellence in leadership and innovation.


Dr Katharine E LowDr Katharine E Low
Katharine E. Low is a practitioner and researcher in socially engaged theatre and sexual and reproductive health (SRH), with 14 years’ experience both internationally and in the UK. She is Lecturer in Applied Theatre and Community Performance at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. As a practitioner, Katharine has developed applied theatre practices as ways of engaging young adults and women living with HIV in discussions around SRH in South Africa, Tanzania and the UK. She uses applied theatre and creative arts-based practice with communities to explore their SRH concerns with their wider social networks. In addition to this, Katharine collaborates with medical practitioners and NGOs to run projects based around SRH. Her most recent collaboration was with Positively UK, Dr Shema Tariq and the PRIME study. Full details can be found here.

She has published her research in a number of journals, co-edited Applied Theatre: Performing Health and Wellbeing (Bloomsbury Methuen) and is currently writing a monograph on her SRH and applied theatre practice in South Africa for Palgrave Macmillan. Katharine tweets about arts & health practice at @katlow17


Daniel Regan
Daniel Regan is a photographic artist specialising in complex and difficult emotional experiences. Both his BA and MA in Photography focused on the transformational impact of arts on mental health, building on his own lived experience. Daniel shoots commissions, consults on wellbeing projects and teaches photography. He regularly exhibits, speak at events and facilitates participatory arts projects across fine art, educational and clinical institutions in the UK and worldwide.

Daniel is the Artistic Director of the Free Space Project, a pioneering arts & health charity providing arts activities and therapies on prescription to 28,000+ patients across two NHS sites in north London.


Vivienne ReissVivienne Reiss
Vivienne Reiss is Head of Art at Great Ormond Street Hospital where she leads the art commissioning programme in relation to capital and redevelopment projects across the Trust. She was previously Interim Director at Bethlem Gallery and Visual Arts Development Manager at Guy's and St Thomas' Charity (GSTC) where she developed the arts strategy with colleagues at the Trust. As Creative Producer at the Sleep Disorders Centre at Guy's Hospital she worked with an artist in residence, staff and patients on related participatory projects and curating artwork from the GSTC collection. Vivienne also works in a freelance capacity with artists and designers in a range of different contexts: museums, public and community settings, and sites of regeneration.


Stephen SandfordStephen Sandford
Stephen has been a music therapist for over 20 years working as a senior manager in the NHS developing arts therapies services including Head of Music Therapy Services at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and Consultant Music Therapist in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services at South West London & St. George's Mental Health NHS Trust.  He is currently Strategic Lead & Professional Head of Arts Therapies at East London NHS Foundation Trust where he leads a research active team of over 75 arts therapists and trainees working across the full range of care groups from child to older adult services.  His strategic work at a national level includes a range of roles including being Chair of the Association for Professional Music Therapists and Arts therapies representative on Health Education England Allied Health Professions Advisory Group.  Currently he is a member of the Council for Allied Health Professions Research Strategy Group and a Partner with the Health and Care Professions Council.   He is an avid Brompton bike rider and enjoys whizzing about London seeking out all opportunities to support the development of arts therapies and arts in health. @stsandford @ELFTArts


Dr John Spicer
John Spicer is a GP in South London where he has practiced for more than 30 years, and is still rather enjoying it. He is also Head of Primary Care Education for Health Education England [South London] leading the training of the various professions that work in primary health care: GPs, GP Nurses etc.

He is very interested in clinical ethics, having taught the subject at St George’s University of London for 10 years or so. He is intrigued by the overlap between health and the arts, particularly in the area of music and the visual arts. He tweets about all this, when the spirit so moves, at  @johnspicer3. And most importantly, cannot get through a day without some exposure to JS Bach.


John Wynne
Dr John Wynne is an artist and Reader in Sound Arts at the University of the Arts, London. His diverse, research-led practice includes large-scale sound installations in galleries and public spaces, delicate sculptural works, flying radios and award-winning ‘composed documentaries’ that hover on the borders between documentation and abstraction. He has a long-standing interest in arts and health and has delivered a number of critically acclaimed projects in the field. He was artist-in-residence for one year, alongside photographer Tim Wainwright, at Harefield Hospital, one of the world’s leading centres for heart and lung transplantation. This led to a book, a 24-channel gallery installation and a half-hour commission for BBC Radio 3. He has also worked with women with advanced (metastatic) breast cancer: the resulting installation showed in 9 European cities, with the final exhibition inside the European Parliament in Brussels. He is currently artist-in-residence at the Royal Free Hospital, working with kidney, liver and pancreas transplant patients and live donors. The resulting audio-visual artworks, made in collaboration with Tim Wainwright, will be the centrepiece of Transplant and Life, a 6-month exhibition and programme of events in the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons in London, beginning at the end of November 2016.


Leah ZakssLeah Zakss
With over 20 years working with music internationally, Leah is currently Music Programme Manager for the British Council. Supporting innovative creative partnerships for greater intercultural understanding, she connects UK artists, audiences and organisations with those in Middle East, North Africa and China. She has also worked extensively across South and East Asia with secondments to Bangkok and Beijing. She has worked with musicians from Imogen Heap and Mira Calix to Brian Eno and John Leckie, and represented world class performing artists such as Buena Vista Social Club as an agent with SASA Music. She has also worked for several major UK music and arts festivals. Leah has been an artistic assessor for Arts Council England, PRS Foundation and Wales Arts International. She has BA Combined Hons. degree in Art in a Community Context and Music from Roehampton, where she was first introduced to arts in health practice. She is also fascinated by ‘medical humanities’ as an emerging, interdisciplinary field. And mindful of her distant Baltic heritage, she tries to keep up as a member of the London Latvian Choir. @leahzakss