April course_central hall

Our Story

SAFE was started 25 years ago to address poverty and unemployment issues in and around the most deprived areas of Southampton. However, it became clear that mental health issues and low self-esteem/confidence lay at the root of people’s barriers to moving forward. The Choices course was developed and trialled using an expert team of clinical psychologists from Southampton University. They passionately believed that communities had the power to deliver much needed and effective cognitive therapy and training to those in need in the city. They were particularly interested in helping long term unemployed people as in-depth research had shown that the right intervention could help them to shake off habitual and long term negative attitudes and influences, regain employment and powerfully transform their lives.

Our Approach

Is based on the following statement from Professor Nick Maguire, Director of programmes, Psychology, Southampton University

To enable the community to deliver psychological services and psychological knowledge, which  the better that community will function

seeing new futures emerge

All courses provide a chance for everyone to think and list the blocks and barriers in their life, causing a loss of motivation and preventing them from moving forward. These blocks and barriers can feel like a “brick wall” and the course objective is to help find solutions to break through the wall.

Opposite is a typical wall  



Meet the Team

SAFE employs both paid trainers and voluntary workers to deliver the training. We have a strategy in place to ensure we train beneficiaries who have attended previous courses, so they can become Community Volunteer Facilitators in their own right. This encourages people to bring about mental health improvements within their own communities.


Over the last three years 15 volunteers have undertaken our training programme. This is creating a sustainable model for the charity with trained Volunteer Facilitators training further volunteers creating a ripple effect and a maximum reach to potential new beneficiaries

Nina Kelly


As CEO with Safe New Futures, Nina is strategic juggler of all things finance and resources related, with the end goal to see people’s lives impacted and changed. Proficient in financial control, organisational and product development, Nina’s natural leadership style is marketing-led and people centred.

An engaging and passionate communicator, Nina has worked in the International charity sector including travel across Asia, Africa and South America and more recently focussed locally in Winchester and Southampton.

Nina's career started, as part of the founding team of Denplan Ltd. With responsibility for 50% of the staff, Nina’s responsibilities as Marketing and Client Services Director included growing this entrepreneurial business from 0-500,000 client base over eight years, increasing revenue from £10 million to £50 million in three years through development and implementation of effective marketing and sales programmes.

In her spare time, Nina loves to sing in in an eclectic mix of choirs performing at the Royal Albert Hall through to the local pub. Keeping fit through swimming, tennis, circuit training, body building and yoga is part of her weekly routine. Travelling to anywhere with warmth, culture and an interesting history is a passion.

Anthony Scammell

Chair. Board of Trustees

Anthony is Strategic Service Development Director for Old Mutual Wealth Management.

He brings a wealth of experience in managing budget and staffing responsibilities.

Anthony has a passion for community involvement and has been head of corporate social responsibility for OM Wealth and a governor of Solent University.

Having been out visiting potential candidates for Choices courses, and then hearing the transformational stories that followed, Anthony was inspired to get more involved. He currently chairs the trustees at SAFE.


Steve Nicholls

Company Secretary. Board of Trustees)

Steve has over 25 years’ experience as a business analyst working in the insurance and roadside assistance business sectors. His work involves gathering, evaluating and challenging information in order to determine underlying business needs and champion business improvement.

Having given nearly 10 years’ service to local Street Pastor initiatives, he has clearly seen the positive impacts that the church can make by listening, caring and helping.

He has joined the SAFE trustees, as these are values that he can see underpinning the work of SAFE as they help people find new ways to improve their lives.



Michelle Hammerton

Training Manager 

Michelle is CMI level 7 qualified in coaching, mentoring, leadership and strategic project management. She is experienced at managing people to achieve their potential, through setting and achieving life goals.  Michelle has 13 years experience as a Learning and Development manager, working in corporate organisations such as HSBC.

Michelle will carry out the training and recruit and mentor volunteers on the Choices training programmes. She will also monitor course outcomes and ensure quality and all SAFE policies are adhered to. She will follow up with each individual post-course to make sure that individual ambitions become a reality.

Michelle has been delivering courses with SAFE since January 2018 with excellent response and engagement from all ages.


Christie Breen

Freelance Facilitator 

Christie has twenty years’ experience working as a, Trainer and Leader in Hospitality, Community Project manager and Teacher in the Further and Higher Education industry, which has laid the foundations for her current work as a Corporate Freelance Trainer.  Her clients include Gatwick Airport’s Skybreak where she designs, plans and delivers bespoke Customer Service Excellence training across this award-winning company.

She also delivers bespoke training in Leadership, Service & Sales, Stress management & Mindfulness, Team Building, and Communication to support individuals and businesses to achieve their goals.

Christie is also a student psychotherapist, to further expand her passion for ‘Stress Management’ recently learning a technique to teach others how to deal with chronic stress and a qualified MHFA first Aider trainer.

Mel Jarvis

CBT and Wellbeing  

Mel is a fully qualified Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and holds accredited status with the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies.

She is currently working towards the completion of a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy) at the University of Southampton.

With twelve years of experience in the field of psychology, Mel has experience in a number of therapeutic models and has worked with a broad age-range of clients and across a range of settings from Neurological Services to Mental Health Teams.

Keith Sammons

Freelance Trainer  

Keith has a career background based predominantly in recruitment and training, working with organisations large and small across a variety of industries and sectors.  He has always had a passion for working with people and for promoting Wellbeing in the Workplace.

As director at Matchtech Group from 2000-2009, Keith went on to work as Operations director at companies such as Serocor Solutions before starting his own consultancy business Stackpole Associates in August 2013.

He is also an instructor with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) delivering training in various corporate environments.  Keith facilitated a number of Choices courses with SAFE in 2016.

Jo Gibson

Freelance facilitator and volunteer

Jo has been volunteering with SAFE since November 2016 and has since become one of our trainers on the 3-day choices course (SAFE in partnership with SCC) Jo is a qualified teacher, has completed pastoral and counselling training, and sees her role at SAFE as combing all these skills. She has a passion for people, and always enjoys getting to know the candidates and working with them on the courses to help them achieve their life goals

Jacqui Hollick

Freelance facilitator and volunteer 

Jacqui has been involved, both as a staff member and a volunteer, since the very first course SAFE ran in 1994. For the last two years she has been running courses for adults at James Street Church in Southampton City Centre.

Norman Jones

Freelance facilitator and volunteer 

Norman has lost count of the number of adults’ courses he has facilitated on with SAFE and has now been involved for 15 years.

Zac Keu

Youth volunteer 

Zac is currently studying for a degree in Law at Solent university. Zac is great at building strong relationships with our younger candidates, he enjoys getting to know people on a personal level. Zac always asks good questions with genuine interest so candidates gain new insights about themselves, encouraging them to connect and speak out. Some candidates find socialising difficult, through Zac’s interactions it really helps to develop these important life skills. He is great at spotting candidates’ potential from listening to them talk about their experiences and passions. Zac loves learning new things and sharing his experiences which motivates the group into deep discussions. He is always enthusiastic and brings a lot of positive energy.


If you are interested in volunteering please follow the link below:



Natalie Welfare

Psychologist trustee with SAFE new Futures 

A qualified clinical psychologist, with a BSc Psychology in August 2007 through Southampton Solent University, Natalie obtained an Msc Forensic Psychology through the University of Portsmouth in 2008.

She worked with Solent Mind from September 2010 to September 2015 as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner and more recently as an italk practitioner with IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) in Eastleigh.


Michael Johnston

Freelance Safe Guarding officer and volunteer facilitator 

Michael came to SAFE as a candidate, leading on from this transformational experience Michael has become a SAFE volunteer facilitator and a freelance facilitator at the recovery college, using his experiences to help transform other people’s lives. Michael is also the SAFE safeguarding officer, sharing his NHS safeguarding training and knowledge he is responsible for ensuring the SAFE team is competent and confident in carrying out their responsibilities for safeguarding, promoting the welfare of everyone engaging with SAFE. Michael ensures SAFE workers and volunteers are aware of how to recognise and respond to safeguarding concerns whilst managing the safeguarding processes.


Sue Bartlett

Account Administrator  

Sue Joined SAFE in July 2015 as a Bookkeeper and Administrator. Sue has previously worked for several small companies but it is her first venture into the Charity Sector. Sue holds firmly to SAFE’s values ; in particular giving people second chances and providing opportunities, support and mentoring to help them re-engage with working life.
Sue works alongside the staff, trustees and accountants to ensure SAFE meets its charitable and legal commitments.
Sue enjoys jigsaws, running, distressing furniture, chocolate Hobnobs and helping to run a social group for people with early on-set Alzheimers.


Nick Strong

Board of Trustees  

Nick Strong is a franchise professional. He works with successful companies that scale their growth via the business format franchising model. Nick is an accredited Affiliate of the British Franchise Association. Nick has agreed to join the SAFE trustees as his passion about personal empowerment in business and the workplace for all.


Lynn Simpson

HR Advisor

Lynn is an accessible and energetic HR director who has delivered cultural transformation and change in complex organisations, having worked at a strategic level in FTSE 250 organisations over many years.  They include the Babcock International Group from 2010-2018, the VT Group from 2005-2010 and Siemens Plessey Systems from 1985-1998.

She has delivered people strategies driving growth, acquisition, integration and transformation in sectors including engineering, support services, outsourcing, aviation, asset-management and regulated environments.


Joining the SAFE team

If you are passionate about mental wellbeing and have an interest in helping people re-build their lives, please get in touch.