About Us

What is Sport for Confidence all about?

Sport for Confidence is a unique, award winning pioneering organisation, driving the provision of inclusive sporting opportunities in mainstream leisure facilities. People come to Sport for Confidence sessions to experience the physical, mental and social benefits of activity and exercise, all sessions are active, fun and accessible. 

Sport for Confidence programmes place health professionals and specialist coaches into leisure centres, to provide inclusive sporting opportunities to people who face barriers to participation, including those with learning disabilities, mental health issues, dementia, autism, physical impairment or disability, homelessness, and many other complex health needs. 

The role of the health professional and sports coaches ensure the environment is accessible and sessions are adaptive, making reasonable adjustments and breaking down barriers to ensure that a persons first experience is a positive one.

Attendance at Sport for Confidence promotes independence, improves confidence and self-esteem to support individuals to gain the full physical and mental benefits of physical activity. The role of the allied health professional also offers the chance to signpost clients to relevant support services in the health, sport and leisure sector.

Additionally, we work with a range of different partners, ranging from regional and national public health teams, national governing bodies of sport, local clubs, charities and many more. Our growing team of allied health professionals and specialised coaches enables us to use our knowledge, expertise and experience in a consultancy format supporting organisations strategically. Our goal is to support all of these organisations to make reasonable adjustments to ensure the provision of sport is as inclusive as possible. We deliver workshops and training to a wide range of clientele offering bespoke packages where fit, if you feel we could be of assistance to your organisation please contact us at info@sportforconfidence.com.

We have a highly experienced and passionate Board of Directors. To view the Board and find out more, please click the button below.


Shannon Searle
Shannon has been performing for over 20 years now, with dance, singing and acting styles allowing her to perform in places such as Disneyland Paris, alongside working in the fitness industry. Shannon’s aim with Sport For Confidence is to help get people moving, in a fun way, and hopefully they’ll end up loving dance & fitness as much as Shannon as she knows what dance can do for your confidence!
Liz Fletcher
Occupational Therapist, Strategic Team
Liz is passionate about physical activity being inclusive for all, regardless of someone’s health condition or social circumstance. An OT since 2006, Liz has worked in various healthcare settings including forensic, community, inpatient and crisis teams. In recent years, Liz has taken a more strategic approach in imbedding physical activity into healthcare by leading projects, using research and evidence to design and deliver training and events.
Sam Lehman
HR Manager
Sam is an HR Generalist with experience of partnering with businesses to provide HR support and best practice advice on Employee Relation issues, Workforce, Policy and Strategy. Sam is committed to helping Sport for Confidence foster an environment of inclusivity, professionalism and best practice; encouraging and supporting every employee to fulfil their potential and to help make Sport for Confidence an employer of choice for sports and health professionals in this field. 
Hannah Webster
Occupational Therapist
Hannah has worked in social care alongside people with physical disabilities, mental health issues and learning disabilities for 10 years. Learning through first-hand experience she is enthusiastic about sharing the range of physical and psychological benefits that come from engaging in sporting activities in a supportive accessible environment. Hannah is passionate about combating social isolation, improving lives and facilitating individuals to reach their full potential, all while having fun.
Shannon McNeil
Sports Coach
Shannon is the boccia and multi sports coach at Hornchurch leisure centre which is run every Wednesdays, She also coaches tennis at Basildon sporting villiage on Thursdays. She is very outgoing and determined to make sure all her participants are having fun and learning something new each week, she loves the fact she is able to teach others and bring a smile to their faces. Shannon also specialises in athletics from a young age and has done very well for herself, she has competed in different countries and hopes one day she can make it to the Olympic
Deb Bullen
Occupational Therapist
Deb is passionate about helping people to live life to its fullest. She previously worked in the arts and has recently changed career after completing a Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy. Deb loves all things sporty and regularly plays beach volleyball. After completing a research project on occupational therapy and sport she is now excited to be combining her two passions, by enabling people to have fun and participate in sport and helping to make sport more inclusive and accessible in leisure centres around London.
Sophie Garratt
Occupational Therapist
Sophie is an Occupational Therapist who has ten years of experience in the healthcare sector. She is passionate about encouraging individuals to access their local leisure centres as a way of improving both their health and wellbeing. Sophie spent sixteen years at a dance school which enabled her to learn new skills, make friends, relieve stress and have fun! Sophie recently trained as Mental Health First Aider and has a good understanding of the psychological benefits linked to engaging in physical activity. She is excited about being the first Occupational Therapist to work in a Westminster Leisure Centre!
Megan Potts
Occupational Therapist
Megan has a BSc in Psychology and a background in amputee rehabilitation. Whilst Megan was completing her master’s degree Occupational Therapy, she was introduced to Sport for Confidence and witnessed first-hand the positive physical, mental and social impact it has on the service user’s health and well-being. This then led her to volunteer at Sport for Confidence alongside studying. Since qualifying Megan has then worked as an OT in the community learning disabilities team. Meganis an avid runner and an aerial circus performer in her spare time, she has always valued the importance of participating in physical activity in creating a balanced lifestyle.
Dan Black
Dan brings to the table twenty years’ experience of creating high quality branding and graphic design. Dan shaped the Sport for Confidence brand to cleanly articulate the core values of the organistion. Dan is the founder and Creative Director of Detail Design Consultants; a dynamic Leatherhead-based design consultancy dedicated to delivering the very highest quality branding and design solutions across a wide range of media.
Steve Mitchell
Non Executive Chairman
Mitch is focussed on the development of people in, through and across sport. A passionate believer in the importance of high quality education, Mitch’s wealth of experience includes designing the AASE programme in 2004 across 20 sports. Further to this Mitch is a Board member of Active Essex, the County Sports Partnership for Essex.
Jake Turner
Operations Manager & Behaviour Advisor
Jake has a FdSc in Analysis and Intervention in Intellectual Disabilities after studying at The Tizard Centre, Kent University. Jake has gained many years of experience working with people with learning disabilities, mental health conditions and physical disabilities across a range of different challenging settings. Jake is a keen footballer and sports enthusiast and aims to deliver therapeutic interventions for individuals through physical activity and sport ensuring anyone's first visit to a leisure centre is a positive experience.
Tom Doughty
Head Coach North Essex
In his full-time role at Sport For Confidence, Tom will oversee coaching at Witham, and will also supervise Colchester and Clacton programmes and coaches, working alongside an allied health professional. Tom coaches a range of sports including multisports, boccia, swimming and dodgeball. In addition to coaching weekly sessions, Tom is also responsible for engaging with local community groups including GPs, nursing teams, carers, and schools.
Lisa Strong
Occupational Therapist
Lisa qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2017 and has worked for the NHS in the local community rehab team for the last 18 months, leading exercise groups. Lisa has been a professional singer for 23 years and recently started her own choir called ‘The Feel Good Choir’ in her home town of Walton. This group has been a great success and improved this lives of people living with anxiety, depression and bereavement increasing confidence and spreading happy vibes. She looks forward to applying all of her experience to create a sense of inclusive community at the heart of Clacton Leisure Centre.
Jack Edgar
Head Coach
With an impressive array of coaching qualifications in a wide range of sports, Jack is responsible for the development and implementation of the Sport For Confidence coaching programme and the mentoring of Grant and our newest apprentice Fanuel. Together the team work to ensure the programme remains progressive and encourages core skill development, social integration and fun.
Fanuel Chivasa
Fanuel has completed his Coach Core apprenticeship and now become a part time member of staff delivering the model at Witham Leisure Centre and Westminster. Fanuel feels that Coach Core and Sport for Confidence have truly changed his life. Fanuel is thriving on being given the opportunity to coach participants with a range of different needs and hopes to help individuals to change their lives through participation in sport for the better. Fanuel classes himself as an 'all rounder' sportsman with a particular interest in Parkour, Calisthenics and Gymnastics.
Dr Anna Pettican
Occupational Therapist & Projects Manager
Anna qualified as an occupational therapist in 2003 and then practiced predominantly in mental health.  She is passionate about inclusive sport and in 2019 completed a PhD at the University of Essex, which explored the nature and value of participation in a community football project for people with mental health problems.  Anna combines her work at Sport for Confidence with a research role at the University of Essex, where she works as part of a team evaluating the Essex Local Delivery Pilot.
Lucy Goldup
Occupational Therapist, Clinical Supervisor and Training Lead
Lucy has worked as a qualified Occupational Therapist for the last 9 years in Learning Disability and Mental Health Services. She has a passion for working within the Learning Disability field and believes that activity and accessing mainstream services attributes to individuals health and well-being. It allows individuals to develop important life skills as well as having a positive impact on their self-esteem and confidence. The sports for confidence initiative plays a key role in this.
Katie Lewis
Communications Consultant
Katie has spent the last 20 years working in sport and leisure and the last 14 years specialising in delivering communication strategies to brands in these sectors. With a personal passion for sport, Katie has an ambition to get more people, more active, more often – a perfect fit with Sport For Confidence! Katie is on board to communicate programme successes to key stakeholders including leisure operators, participants, carers and healthcare professionals.
Lyndsey Barrett - Sport for Confidence
Lyndsey Barrett
Director and Occupational Therapist
Lyndsey has 20 years’ experience as an active Occupational Therapist working with people with learning disabilities, Aspergers and mental heath issues. It was her love for sport that planted the idea of sport as a tool for assessment and developing life and social skills with her clients. Lyndsey has grown Sport for Confidence from just one participant to where it is today. But she won’t stop there, Lyndsey is committed to seeing an OT in every leisure centre in the country.