Find out more about the speakers below.

Dr Michelle Henley – Deputy Head Cockermouth School

I am the Deputy Headteacher at Cockermouth School. Prior to this role I was Deputy Headteacher at The Nelson Thomlison School. Despite having a passion for classroom teaching, I entered leadership at relatively early stage of my career. I was the first in my family to attend university and I was fortunate enough to graduate from Cambridge University both at undergraduate and post-graduate level. Whilst being a teacher I have also completed an M.Ed in Educational Leadership and I am very interested in the leadership of culture and ethos in institutions.

Terry Meighan – Operations Manager Balfour Beatty

Terry has worked within the nuclear sector for the last 20 years, and has held senior positions on a number of projects including within B30, Sludge Packaging Plant Project (SPP1) and Silos Maintenance Facility (SMF).  He is currently the Operations Manager for Balfour Beatty at Sellafield, with principal responsibility for the Box Encapsulation Plant (BEP) Project, working as part of the Joint Venture Executive.  Terry has lived in Cumbria for 30 years and says these high value, complex projects are key to reducing the hazard posed to the UK by the nuclear legacy, with the technical challenges, site constraints and exacting standards making it an exciting place to work.  Outside of work, he is a keen football fan, attending the majority of Liverpool FC home games. He also likes relaxing and occasional trips to the pub.

Joanne Thomlinson- Partner at Dodd & Co Chartered Accountants

Joanne joined Dodd & Co accountants in 2007 after graduating from Lancaster University with a Business Studies degree. She studied with the firm and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2011, becoming a partner in 2021. Joanne has a portfolio of clients, covering everything from farming businesses to charities, from one man band sole traders to multi million pound firms. She also plays a key role in the mentoring and development of staff. Outside the office Joanne has two young children and is also a former Cumbria Woman of the Year.

Past Events

Your Voice Thursday 27th May 2021 – Is the proposed new coal mine good or bad for Cumbria?

Event recording and more information on the speakers and their statements for and against the mine below.


During the recording the following links are referred to

From SPEAKER – Rebecca Willis :

From SPEAKER – Rebecca Willis : evidence from Professor Paul Ekins OBE

Against the proposed mine

Rebecca Willis

Rebecca Willis is a Professor in Practice at Lancaster Environment Centre, where she holds a Fellowship in energy and climate governance. She was an Expert Lead for Climate Assembly UK, the Citizens’ Assembly established by the UK Parliament. Rebecca is a Trustee of the New Economics Foundation and an adviser to the National Lottery’s Climate Action Fund. She features on the Woman’s Hour Our Planet Power List which highlights 30 women making an impact by helping to protect our planet.  Her book, Too Hot To Handle? The democratic challenge of climate change was published by Bristol University Press in March 2020. Previously, she was an adviser to government, as vice-chair of the Sustainable Development Commission.

You can read Rebecca’s Statement against the proposed coal mine here.

Cllr Giles Archibald

Cllr Giles Archibald has just retired from his role as leader of Southlakeland District Council, a role he held for five years.  Giles is an actuary by training, and during his career held various senior posts at a large multinational consulting company. In addition to a Maths degree,  he has  completed a History undergraduate course, and is currently completing a Masters in Climate Change and Development at the University of London. Giles is married and lives with his wife in Kendal.

You can read Giles’s statement against the proposed coal mine here.

For the proposed mine

Trudy Harrison

A proud West Cumbrian, Trudy started her career at Sellafield working across site in a variety of roles. The birth of her first daughter, Gabrielle, prompted a career in childcare which led to voluntary roles at her children’s school.  She worked on sustainable community projects in her home village prior to her election as Copeland’s first female MP in February 2017,

Parliamentary roles have included being a member of the Education Select Committee, co-chair of the Apprenticeship Delivery Board, membership of All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPG) for Nuclear Energy, Coalfield Communities, Autism and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Trudy has also acted as Private Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Department for Transport, Department for Education and most recently to the Prime Minister. 

You can read Trudy’s statement for the proposed coal mine here.

Mike Starkie

Mike Starkie was voted in as Copeland’s first Elected Mayor in 2015 and was re-elected in 2019 to serve for a second term.

Mike represents the Council on the Britain’s Energy Coast Cumbria Board, the Copeland Community Fund Board, West Cumbria Site Stakeholder Group and the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership

Born and bred in West Cumbria Mike is married with two children and has spent the last 30 years of his career in the financial sector with senior roles in companies including Pearl, Zurich and Axa. 

He also runs his own financial services company established in 2013.  

Mike has a keen interest in sport and was heavily involved with youth football, coaching Copeland schools in national festivals.

You can read Mike’s statement for the proposed coal mine here. 

Maggie Mason

Maggie Mason helped start South Lakes Action on Climate Change (SLACC) in 2007, and worked in Cumbria County Councils Planning department for 10 years until 2015.  In her spare time, she enjoys cycling, canoeing, planning and environmental issues and playing with her grandchildren.

You can read Maggie’s statement against the proposed coal mine here.

John Coughlan

John Coughlan heads the leadership team at TSP Engineering.  He joined the company in 2014 with overall responsibility for driving strategy, operations and continuous business improvement. John possesses a significant record of delivering operational improvements, efficiencies and customer satisfaction across Europe, ASIA, North America and Mexico.  In 2016 John was named the UK Manufacturing Champions Manufacturing Leader, in 2018 he gained exemplar status in The Manufacturer Top 100, and  John was named Business Person of the Year in the 2019 In-Cumbria Awards. John also sits on the board of Cumbria LEP, sits on Workington Port Management Committee, chairs Workington Towns Fund Board and chairs Cumbria County Councils Independent Renumeration Panel.

You can read John’s statement for the proposed coal mine here. 

Careers Insights, Thursday 22nd April 2021

Expert panellists included:

Armed Forces
Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (Sgt Ross Murphy MBE)

Baines Wilson LLP (Tom Scaife, Partner; Rachel McGauley)
Cartmell Shepherd (Joanne Stronach, Director and Head of Employment Law and HR; Holly Moxon, Apprentice Solicitor)

Project Management
Sellafield Ltd (Simon Wilcock, Senior Project Leader)
TSP Engineering  (Georgina Stalker, Section Lead Project Engineer; Hannah Ridley, Project Manager; Sam Beattie, Quantity Surveyor)

Mental Health and Wellbeing Awareness for Young People, Saturday 10th April 2021

This online event was to signpost people to vital support in Cumbria. You might not have needed the services you self, but the information could help you assist someone who is struggling.

For contacts and and more information from the organisations involved in the event see the Resources Page HERE

More videos from the event to follow- please check back!

Every Life Matters

Skills Saturday: Confidence Building, Saturday 13th March 2021

Saturday morning, 11am.

Let’s be honest, not a time most of us would expect young people to be up. Especially not a time you’d expect teenagers to be signing up for a personal-development session where they were going to learn to develop their confidence.

Think about it – a young person who needs more confidence is going to get up on Saturday morning, voluntarily, to meet some strangers via zoom and learn how to put themselves out there? Really?

Yes they did! We had nearly twenty young people sign up to do just that on the morning of Saturday 13th March where CforLP facilitator Bernie used some of his weird and wonderful techniques to explore our relationship to confidence and what we can each do to support ourselves in becoming braver and more confident in any situation.

Building from the Arthur Ashe quote “a key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation” the group explored how they can increase their preparedness – personal, academic, routines – and make some simple changes which will develop their ability to feel more controlled and organised… and therefore, in many instances, more confident.

Bernie also asked the participants to look at their body language and posture because just as someone might feel and ‘look down’, so the action of looking ‘down’ can often affect our mood in a negative way. Harnessing the force of body language and using the idea of our motion becoming emotion, the members of the group tried out different movements for size and found a great deal of correlation between their feelings of bodily power and their emotional strength.

Watch our previous event on starting your own business below!

Personal Brand and Career Insights, Thursday 25th February 2021