Meet the team

Chair of the SASP
Hamish Elvidge, Chair of The Matthew Elvidge Trust

Hamish Elvidge had a 30-year career in J Sainsbury plc as Finance, IT and Change Director and as Competition Inquiry Director. He is chair of The Matthew Elvidge Trust, which was formed after his son Matthew took his own life, aged 23 after a very short period of anxiety and depression. The Trust aims to increase everyone’s understanding of the importance of good emotional wellbeing and mental health and ensure people seek and receive the right professional support. He is a member of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory Group and National Suicide Prevention Alliance Steering Group; co-chair of The Alliance of Suicide Prevention Charities (TASC) and chair the Support after Suicide Partnership. He also chairs the Alliance for Student-Led Wellbeing, which aims to raise awareness about the importance of good mental health and provide practical help and emotional support to university students.


Executive Lead
Sarah Bates, SASP

Since taking up post in 2016, she has worked to raise awareness of the need for suicide bereavement support, increase the capacity of support, update and promote resources such as Help is at Hand and Finding the Words, and works tirelessly to drive change in the field of suicide prevention. Sarah is a Winston Churchill Fellow, and will be completing her Fellowship in Japan and Hong Kong in 2018. Sarah has a background in psychology (MA Hons) and neuroscience (PhD). With over 15 years’ experience of working with children and young people, she previously worked for Sistema Scotland, helping transform the lives of children through music. Sarah is a trained listener and has worked with organisations such as Nightline, Royal Hospital of Sick Kids and GirlGuiding UK

 Saira Waheed
Project Manager

Saira has a BSc in psychology and is continuing her studies by pursuing a masters in mental health. She also volunteers at The Listening Place, a charity which supports individuals who are suicidal. Her passion for mental health and helping others has made her dedicated towards working within suicide bereavement.



Holly Tolson
Project Manager

After completing a placement with the partnership in the summer of 2018, Holly now works as a project manager at SASP, working with members and supporters, and helping to expand our network of support. She also works to help develop formal partnerships with service providers such as Coroners and Funeral directors. Holly is currently studying a Psychology Degree (BSc) at City, University of London, and was awarded ‘Micro-placement student of the year, 2018’ for her work with SASP during her placement.


Vice Chair of the SASP
Fergus Crow, CEO of Winston’s Wish

Fergus joined Winston’s Wish as Chief Executive in October 2015 after nearly a decade at the National Children’s Bureau.
Prior to joining NCB Fergus held a number of roles in education and children’s services. He started his career in teaching, and has a Master’s degree in education from the University of Cambridge. Fergus believes passionately that with the right support at the right time children who have been bereaved can learn to live with their grief, adjust to the changes that the death of someone close to them inevitably brings, and go on to lead full and flourishing lives. This belief stems not only from his professional understanding but also from his own experience of losing his father to cancer when Fergus was 19.


Anne Embury
Suicide Liaison Service Lead, Outlook South West

Anne holds postgraduate qualifications in Counselling & Psychotherapy, and is a Senior Accredited member of BACP with over 20 years’ experience working in the field of mental health, including practice as a High Intensity therapist within an IAPT service. Anne is employed by Outlook South West, a provider of mental health services in Cornwall & Isles of Scilly. She has been instrumental in developing the first NHS-funded postvention service in England to support adults bereaved by suicide. As a Churchill Fellow, Anne has developed an 8-week evidence-based Grief Education Programme for people bereaved by suicide, delivered across Cornwall, which has proven to be effective in helping to facilitate resilience and wellbeing in the bereaved.


Richard Brown
Listening Ear

Listening Ear is a specialist counselling and therapeutic service based in Liverpool. He joined Listening Ear in 2012. The agency delivers a range of activities with specific focus on bereavement support. Richard is also on the board of “SEN Merseyside”, having previously been Chair for four years, and is Chair of Knowsley Supporting Families Forum. Prior to the work at Listening Ear, Richard worked at a range of roles at The Big Issue in the North/ Trust for 16 years, ultimately as the Managing Director. Richard graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University. Richard was the manager of the England Homeless World Cup team and is a voluntary community coach working with both children and adults.

Penny Fosten
Executive Lead NSPA

Penny has led the NSPA for over 2 years, in which time she has overseen the development and launch of their Resources Hub, grown organisational and individual membership by over 100% and worked with Public Health England to refresh their Suicide Prevention Planning Guidance for Local Authorities. Before joining the NSPA she had ten years’ experience of working to improve well-being, including establishing a ‘reading for well-being’ programme in London – helping to reduce loneliness, build confidence and connection, and enhance people’s understanding of themselves and others. Previously, Penny spent five years volunteering within suicide prevention.


Shirley Smith
Founder, If U Care Share

Shirley started If U Care Share Foundation with her husband Dean due to their own experiences after losing their eldest son Daniel at the age of 19. There was a need for support, education and awareness to the problem of suicide. She is now an active member of the SASP and the Leadership Team, including taking a leading role in our research projects.

David Mosse
Chair of the Haringey Suicide Prevention Group

David Mosse is the Chair of the Haringey Suicide Prevention Group, and member of The Alliance of Suicide Prevention Charities (TASC). He has been a Trustee of Mind in Haringey since 2015, and is strongly committed to improving mental health services. David is a Professor of Social Anthropology and Research Co-ordinator, and Head of Department at SOAS, University of London. He has worked for Oxfam as Representative for South India, and for other international development agencies as a social development adviser. His personal experience of bereavement by suicide has made him passionate about suicide prevention and working against mental health stigma.

SASP is a programme hosted by the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), registered charity number 1110621 and SC044347. Copyright CALM © 2020