Self Care versus Career Development | Free Word

26 September 2019
18:30 20:30-

Presented by:
Presented by Suzanne Alleyne


How do you self care and develop your career at the same time?

Are you constantly feeling like your self-care has to take second place to your career?  As individuals how do we self care whilst maintaining both our career development and professional persona? As an organisation how do you support employee self-care and enhance your business? This event addresses a question that has become increasingly difficult in the current economic, social and political climate.

Come and hear our panelists talk about how they manage these challenges as individuals and organisation leads.  Created by Suzanne Alleyne, an Arts Council England Changemaker, the panel includes Jess Thom (Tourettes Hero), Jonathan Harper (Paraorchestra), Lisa Bent (HR Professional and counsellor),  Elizabeth Lynch (arts producer, consultant and coach) and Dawn Estefan (psychotherapist and counsellor).

This event offers insights to individuals, as well as providing ideas for organisations to provide better structural support for employees. In the format of a panel discussion followed by an audience Q&A session, there will be time for you to ask your questions, get support, ideas and practical solutions.

Presented by Suzanne Alleyne with support from Free Word, Arts Council England, Apples and Snakes, The Watch Men Agency, d237 and Arts Professional.

Please note: this will be audio recorded for a public podcast. You will be able to withdraw your voice from the Q&A if preferred.

We usually overbook our free events to make up for drop-off. So please arrive early to ensure entry, as it will be first come first served on the night.

26 September 2019
18:30 - 20:30

Presented by Suzanne Alleyne


Suzanne Alleyne (host)

Creative Strategist and Cultural Thinker

Suzanne Alleyne is a cultural thinker and creative strategist. As a cultural thinker she translates her thinking into projects. She coined the term “Neurology of Power” which is the title of her current research around power, culture and the brain. As a creative strategist, Suzanne works across the commercial and cultural sectors supporting organisations in working out how to stay relevant and resilient using her key principles of people, purpose, and profit. Suzanne is a Guest Lecturer and Visiting Research Associate at King’s College London, an inaugural Arts Council England changemaker and a consultant for the think tank Signifier. She has worked with organisations including Southbank, Wellcome Trust, Roundhouse, Channel 4, Barclaycard, Palace of Westminster, Swatch and Switzerland Tourism.

Jess Thom

Artist and Writer

Jess Thom is a theatre maker and writer and alongside Matthew Pountey co-founded Tourettes Hero as a creative response to Jess's experience of living with Tourette's syndrome, raise awareness about Tourette syndrome and campaign for a more inclusive society. Her first standup show, was Backstage in Biscuit Land and more recent productions have included a staging of Samuel Beckett’s Not I. Jess was an Arts Council England Changemaker and is currently a Wellcome Engagement Fellow

Jonathan Harper

CEO, Paraorchestra

Jonathan is the Chief Executive of The Paraorchestra and Friends, the charity that creates ambitious and critically acclaimed orchestral projects, prioritising the inclusion of professional disabled musicians and artists within its ranks. Jonathan has worked for the Paraorchestra since it was setup in 2015. Prior to that he produced No Boundaries, the national arts conference that embedded representation and access at the heart of decision making. Jonathan’s background is in marketing and he has worked at Director-level for The Lowry, Salford and for Wales Millennium Centre.

Dawn Estefan

Psychotherapist and Counsellor

Is a fully qualified and BACP Registered Psychodynamic Psychotherapist with several years experience working within the Charitable and Voluntary Sector as well as in Private Practice. She works with individuals, couples and groups providing long and short term interventions. Although Psychodynamically trained, I can and often do work using the Integrative model drawing upon the Psychodynamic, Cognitive and Humanistic fields of practice. I am experienced in working with a wide range of issues (listed below) however my specialist areas are Complex Trauma (Complex PTSD), Sexual, Domestic and Spiritual Abuse and Intercultural Therapy. Her aim is to provide a safe and non-judgemental empathic space where you can come and discuss any concerns or difficulties that you may be having, a space where together we can work towards understanding the hidden aspects of yourself and living in a more satisfying and resourceful way.

Elizabeth Lynch

Arts Producer, Coach and Consultant

Elizabeth is an arts producer, consultant and coach. She has pioneered and developed influential approaches to engagement and participation; she is committed to working with people to shift the barriers and boundaries around participation in and access to arts and science. Elizabeth has recently worked as Special Advisory to GLA London Borough of Culture, Creative People and Places, LAMDA, National Trust, Kew Gardens, Bush Theatre, Poetry Society, Kinetika (Associate artist for UK/India programme). She established Roundhouse Studios as Director 2001-8 and Tower Hamlets Summer University as Director 1996-2001. As a theatre director, she has worked for companies in the UK, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. In addition to Arts Catalyst Elizabeth is Chair of Theatre-Rites and of What Next Culture Wandsworth, a member of the Programme Advisory Group for Spitalfields Music, Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, a member of Wellcome Trust Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group and Associate Fellow in Contemporary Theatre at Birkbeck University.

Lisa Bent

HR Professional & Counsellor

Lisa is an HR Professional with over 7 years' experience within art and media environments. She has worked for award winning artist Damien Hirst, Turner Broadcasting and now works for International Advertising company, Omnicom Media Group. Her role involves working closely with business leaders to enhance workforce performance, foster and nurture talent, leadership and culture, as well as developing strategic people solutions, to achieve the organisation's objectives. Her background as a qualified Counsellor compliments her role. She has exceptional mentoring, coaching, mediation, conflict resolution, negotiation and development skills. In 2011 she founded Self-Central, the concept meaning to own and accept who you are, to be all that you are. In the same year, she was awarded a Future 100 Award by Ernst and Young.



There is step-free access to all areas of Free Word and a number of other facilities available to make the venue accessible. 

  • Our box office, theatre and hall are all on the ground floor with step-free access from the street
  • Meeting rooms and offices are accessible by lift from the ground floor
  • There are two accessible toilets on the ground floor
  • Hearing loops are available at the box office and the theatre (when set up theatre style) and in all meeting rooms
  • If you need to bring someone for assistance, please get in touch with us so we can provide a free ticket for them
  • This event will feature some relaxed seating.
  • Quiet space: Our foyer and café area are accessible throughout the event; please feel free to leave the event spaces (rear exit for Theatre events) and make use of these quiet areas at any point during the talk or performance.

Please talk to our team if you have specific access requirements.