Meet the Team


Cath Wakeman OBE

CEO & Trauma Therapist - Art Psychotherapist


Cath has been involved in working with survivors of Child Sexual Abuse since 1998, when she completed her training as an Art Therapist. She worked at “Number 28”, Action For Children, firstly as a practitioner and latterly as Project Manager. Cath ran a small private practice prior to establishing Imara and has trained as a Creative Arts Supervisor, EMDR practitioner,Couple counsellor and holds a diploma in Park Inner Child Therapy.  She has also provided specialist training regionally and nationally and works as a clinical supervisor and consultant to other professionals. Cath has a Degree in Nursing and worked as a nurse in hospital and community settings prior to becoming an Art Therapist.

Cath was awarded an OBE in 2015 for her services to Child Protection and is committed to supporting survivors and their families to move on from the trauma of Child Sexual Abuse. Setting up Imara was an opportunity to respond to the need of children and teenagers to receive immediate help once they had disclosed abuse, recognising that there was no comprehensive support to the individual and their family at this time.


Therapy Team


thumbnailChristy Clare

Senior Clinical Therapist - Play Therapist


Christy joined Imara in September 2016. She has a history of working with the Youth Offending Team and both secondary and primary schools for 15 years, mainly leading on Wellbeing and Nurture for children and families in Nottingham who appear vulnerable and would display challenging behaviours. Christy was also the schools Safeguarding lead and an Advanced Designated Safeguarding Lead with Nottingham City Council.

Christy is a registered and accredited Play Therapist (PTUK) and has practised with young people aged 5 years and up since 2009.

Christy will focus on the child's voice with a view to putting across the child's point of view to the adults around that child.

Play Therapists use play/sand/objects and art allowing the child to develop their situation or history through metaphor,the easiest and most comfortable way for a child to communicate. Christy also uses this model with adults.

Christy will train further this year in Filial Family Therapy in June 2017


 thumbnailNicky Carling

Trauma Therapist - PICT Practitioner, EFT Practitioner & Person-Centred Counsellor


Nicky draws on her knowledge of several different therapeutic disciplines to blend a unique approach for each individual; working together to help them to move towards what they wish to achieve and helping them to progress in a much more optimistic way.

Nicky is a qualified Further Education Teacher and Curriculum Manager, with comprehensive experience of teaching Life and Employment Skills to Adults with Learning Difficulties, predominantly Autism. Using her skills as a therapist, she also teaches Confidence Building Skills to adults experiencing mental health issues and delivers workshops and training to other service providers.

Professional Qualifications:
Diploma in Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy
Master Practitioner of Meridian Energy Therapies (Emotional Freedom Technique)
Diploma in Person-Centred Counselling
BFRP—Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner
Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector
University Certificate in Autistic Spectrum Disorders
Diploma in Hopi Ear Candling
Diploma in Parks Inner Child Therapy (PICT)


thumbnailSusannah Dirckze-Taylor

Creative Arts Therapist - Dance Movement Psychotherapist


Susannah joined the Imara team in December 2017. Susannah has previously worked in different schools and organisations in both therapeutic and pastoral roles with children, young people and adults who have faced challenges and/or experienced trauma.

Susannah is a registered and accredited Dance and Movement  Psychotherapist and previous to this training, completed a BA (Hons) in Physical and Dance theatre. Susannah has experience of working in the arts, particularly creative theatre and draws on dance, drama, music and art in her therapeutic work.

As people, it can be extremely difficult to simply ‘put into words’ how we are thinking or feeling. Dance and Movement Psychotherapy offers an alternative to those who may find it difficult to do this, using different artistic methods in the process.


thumbnailRachael Stonard

Creative Arts Therapist - Dance Movement Psychotherapist


Rachael joined Imara in July 2018. She is a registered and accredited Dance Movement Psychotherapist who has worked with children, young people and adults since her training commenced in 2011. Rachael delivers therapeutic support in a creative, flexible and original way including art, imagery, sound and play in her sessions.

Rachael has previously worked for other organisations and in private practice delivering creative therapeutic support for people who have experienced trauma. She has completed additional specialist training in New York and in 2013 was presented with an award for her humanitarian work within refugee communities.

Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) is a relational process which recognises body movement as an instrument of communication and expression. Body movement doesn't necessarily mean 'dance performance' as we often move without conscious awareness of our bodies. DMP supports the integration of aspects of self through increased body awareness and a focus on the inter-relationship between psyche and soma.


thumbnailVerity Danbold

Creative Arts Therapist - Dance & Movement Psychotherapist


Verity Danbold is a Dance Therapist specializing in trauma. As both a Dance Therapist and a community dance/social circus specialist, she has extensive experience working globally with survivors of sex trafficking and torture, as well as refugees in the UK. 

DMT uses movement as a diagnostic and healing tool, seeing in the body what is “too fine, too deep” for words. She draws from the Sampoornata method, a human-rights based methodology, she campaigns for your rights outside of sessions, while nurturing a creative, nurturing space to grow as your own advocate. She guides her practice as one of “working through the body what is done to the body.’’ Working in the Global South for over a decade, she celebrates the capacity for movement to transcend cultural and language barriers and to connect with non/pre-verbal clients. She integrates practices such as circus, yoga, and crafts to celebrate the creative, reflective and moving self. In working through the body and movement, she nurtures a practice of body-embedded self-care, encouraging people to reflect on themselves as a tool for healing, strength and growth. 


thumbnailMelanie Page

Creative Arts Therapist - Art Psychotherapist


Melanie joined the Imara team in August 2018 and is a registered art psychotherapist with HCPC and the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT). Her clinical art psychotherapy experience includes work with children in a post adoption support setting and with young adults diagnosed with learning disabilities. 

Prior to her art psychotherapy qualification Melanie worked for eight years for an award winning charity, where she pioneered the provision of creative support to unaccompanied asylum seeker teenagers and young survivors of trafficking. She has also completed specialist training in counselling children who have experienced trauma, receiving a certificate in counselling skills with children using the arts, from the Institute of Arts in Therapy and Education.

Art Psychotherapy is a safe way for children and adults to explore feelings using art materials, images and metaphor. This therapy can support recovery and the strengthening and reforming of self following trauma.


thumbnailHannah Grace

Creative Arts Therapist - Art Psychotherapist


Hannah Grace graduated as an HCPC registered Art Therapist in July 2018 and is a member of the British Association of Art Therapists.

Hannah has experience working with clients in a school setting, an NHS children's centre (CAHMS) and with a charity for homeless and vulnerable adults providing therapy for clients with a range of difficulties.

Hannah became an Art Therapist as she believes that creating a safe space free of fear or judgement can empower people, increase self-awareness and self-confidence and build self-esteem through the universal language of art. Hannah uses a largely non-directive approach which allows the young person to be in control of what they bring to the session. Building a relationship between herself, the client and the art enables the client to experience personal growth and a strong sense of self.




thumbnail Zoe Kukan

 Trauma Care Practitioner - ISVA and CHISVA


Zoe joined Imara in October 2017.  She has previous experience of providing advocacy support to vulnerable adults with mental health issues, who are also at risk of homelessness.  Zoe has volunteered and fund-raised for a number of charities who support vulnerable people such as Hope Nottingham, Tea & Company and Framework.  She is passionate about supporting and empowering vulnerable people to speak out and have their voices heard.

Zoe has a B.Sc. in Psychology with applied Criminology and an M.Sc. in Forensic and Criminological Psychology (by research). Whilst studying for her masters, she volunteered on the women's ward of a secure hospital, risk assessing and co-facilitating groups for offenders who have mental health issues. In September 2016, Zoe co-published a paper raising awareness of how low self-esteem can increase a person's vulnerability to abuse.

Whilst working at Imara, Zoe continues to take part in a monthly hand-out of clothes, food and toiletries for Nottingham's homeless.

In July 2018, Zoe qualified as an ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Adviser) which provided her with the knowledge and specialist skills to support victims of sexual violence to access the support they need, including throughout the criminal justice process. In October 2018 Zoe qualified as a CHISVA, the children and young people's specialism of ISVA.


thumbnailStephanie Atkinson

CHISVA Service Coordinator & Trauma Care Practitioner - ISVA and CHISVA


Stephanie joined Imara in April 2018. She is social work trained but much of her career has been devoted to supporting people who have been affected by crime or the actions of others, and she is experienced in providing practical support, emotional support and advocacy in this area. 

Just before joining Imara Stephanie worked as the East Midlands representative for a national project, where third sector representatives supported the Police to develop and deliver the prevention element of their child sexual abuse and exploitation plan. In this role she also wrote a toolkit around working with boys and young men at risk of or experiencing abuse and exploitation.

Steph is a qualified ISVA, and has worked with children and young people in this role before. In her own words "I really love my job and I’m passionate about providing the best possible support to children, young people and their families."

In September 2018, Steph will be undertaking training to qualify as a CHISVA, the children and young people's specialism of ISVA.


thumbnailKyle Colton

Trauma Care Practitioner - CHISVA


Kyle joined Imara in August 2018 with years of experience working with vulnerable children and young people, both in the UK and in humanitarian roles abroad. From being a Deputy Manager at a children's home in Nottingham to having a crèche class and working with vulnerable teenagers in South Africa. Kyle taught English in China and enjoyed supporting local youth and a women's rights group in Honduras.

Kyle volunteered with the NSPCC for 8 years within the sexual abuse theme. Here he worked as an advocate, a campaigner, as a voice for young people, and got to go to the Houses of Parliament to launch a campaign. 

Kyle completed a BA (Hons) in Philosophy and always remained committed to his passion of working to support and empower children and young people.


Business Support Team


thumbnailAlice Hibbert 

Project Coordinator


Alice first joined Imara as a student intern in the summer of 2016 before becoming a full member of the team in November 2017.

Alice graduated from the University of Nottingham with a First-class Honours degree in Psychology in 2016 before completing her Master’s in Health Psychology, for which she achieved a Distinction in December 2017. Throughout her studies, Alice gained experience working within a range of charities, non-profits, and care and support services as a volunteer and intern, including Nottingham Nightline, Hope Nottingham Foodbank and Café, and an Abbeyfield Society care home for the frail elderly. She is passionate about the charity sector and using the skills she has developed in research and statistics to enable worthy causes to better understand the issue they are tackling, paint their story and evidence their need in order to access the funding they require.

Alice’s role as Project Coordinator involves a range of monitoring and evaluation, marketing and communication,  fundraising and admin responsibilities to help Imara run smoothly and enable the trauma care practitioners to focus on providing the best service to the children and families that need them.  


thumbnailMichael Bellamy

Premises Manager

Michael became involved with Imara back in 2016 when he did his first fundraising walk for the charity. He started volunteering for the organisation when Imara moved into the current premises.

Michael has a Zoology BSc and an HND in Applied Bioscience. These are reflected in his passion for gardening and his ability to carry out technical tasks. Michael has cleared the courtyard and turned it back into an enjoyable and usable space. Alongside the outside premises Michael also maintains the building, carrying out DIY and helping to make the project an inviting and comfortable place for clients and staff.

Michael has now transitioned from being a volunteer to a paid employee with Imara. He has continued with gardening and maintenance but has also progressed to running garden and craft groups for families supported by Imara's therapeutic practitioners.

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