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Meet Our Leadership Team


Neil Platt - Clinical Director

I am the Clinical Director of Beacon Counselling Trust. I am an experienced mental health clinician and trainer, with a wide range of qualifications in mental health and emotional wellbeing, and work nationally and internationally within this field. I lead on all the primary programmes at BCT which includes gambling-related harms, eating disorders, general mental health (IAPT), young people and suicide bereavement. My overshadowing role is to ensure all BCT delivered services are safe, effective and quality assured.


David Best – Recovery Pathway Strategic Lead

Professor David Best is the Director of the Centre for Addiction Recovery Research at Leeds Trinity University, President of the Recovery Outcomes Institute (Florida, US), Honorary Professor at the Australian National University and Honorary Associate Professor at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia). He is a leading writer and research in the field of addiction recovery.

David is overseeing the direction and structure of BCT’s Gambling Related Harms Community Impact Model, helping to drive our Recovery before Treatment ethos within, in particular disadvantaged communities, through regular consultation with our clinical and education teams. Additionally David is working with our Lived Experience Alliance to help to implement evidence-based Lived Experienced shaped support services for those accessing the gambling harms programme, to ensure long-term sustainable recovery and societal reintegration for all service-users that have been directly or indirectly impacted by gambling-related harms.


Kathy Devlin - Clinical Manager

I am the Clinical Manager at Beacon Counselling Trust and oversee the clinical and operational work within the team. I am responsible for the day-to-day operational delivery of our community-based programmes which offer the highest standard of care and service for our diverse range of programme delivery.

I am also one of the co-founders of our Paul’s Place suicide bereavement service and coordinate the one-to-one and group support offered to those on this programme. I am an experienced, qualified therapist and trainer, with extensive experience of working with young people, veterans, eating disorders, IAPT contracts, addiction, and those bereaved by suicide.


Sandra Keatley - Business Development and Performance Lead

I joined Beacon Counselling Trust in 2014 as a Trustee and remained the Vice-Chair for 8 years. I started my new role as Business Development and Performance Lead in 2022. I have over 25 years of experience working in the third sector in a variety of senior strategic roles. I have formal qualifications that include a Business Degree, PG Dip, Strategic Management and Performance Coaching, alongside some formal training and assessing qualifications. 

I am passionate about providing employees with the training, tools, and opportunities that will enable them to reach their full potential. I am committed to exploring various ways to promote the growth of the business including areas to improve upon and maintain good relationships with contacts and partners. I support the business in effective development and performance management through planning, coaching and evaluating, and I am very committed to meeting the organisations strategic objectives and goals.

Ian Whiteside

Ian Whiteside - Early Intervention and Education Programmes Manager

I am the Early Intervention and Education Programmes Manager at Beacon Counselling Trust. I joined the business in April 2020. I am a professional Youth and Community Worker, with an MSc in Drug Use and Addictions and over 20 years experience working in the field. In the past, I have worked in drugs and alcohol treatment, education and prevention provision, residential care services with looked after children, lead on projects aimed at supporting vulnerable young people involved in risk-taking behaviours, and worked across a range of initiatives within the Statutory and Voluntary sectors respectively concerning risk-taking behaviours and public health issues.

I support the work BCT does by ensuring our early intervention and education programmes are integral in its public health approaches and local systems work through the delivery of our core programmes, and our universal education and prevention initiatives. I have a focus in supporting services and partner agencies to develop their understanding and awareness of harmful gambling issues, whilst promoting its inclusion as a safeguarding theme within their internal practice frameworks to develop good practice and early intervention approaches.


Lauren Campbell - Treatment Manager

I joined the BCT team in 2015 and began my role as Treatment Manager in 2021. I oversee the quality and development of the support and treatment we offer. I also lead on safeguarding and clinical risk, and lead on our collaborative work with other organisations to enhance our treatment and support offer to service-users. I have particular expertise in the field of gambling-related harms and am passionate about increasing awareness and improving the quality of support offered to those at-risk of, or experiencing, gambling-related harms, including affected families and partners. I also deliver training as part of my role, in areas such as mental health interventions, the delivery of our model of care, safeguarding and risk, and the delivery of the Royal Society of Public Health Making Every Contact Count (MECC) for Mental Health course.

I have a BSc (Hons) in Psychology, and an MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy. I am a qualified psychotherapist and registered member of the BACP, and work therapeutically with service-users on a one-to-one basis across areas such as addiction, trauma, bereavement, anxiety, and depression. I have a particular interest in trauma and strive to incorporate trauma-informed practice in all the work we do at BCT.

Jacki Wild - Clinical Programmes Development and Training Manager

I joined Beacon Counselling Trust in 2010 as a counselling therapist. I have qualifications in therapeutic counselling, bereavement counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, transactional analysis, health and nutrition, further education teaching, clinical supervision, and currently I am studying a diploma in neuropsychology.

I am an experienced therapist, clinical supervisor, and trainer at BCT. My role as Programmes Development and Training Manager is integral in shaping development and facilitation of clinically safe and effective intervention programmes at BCT. I support therapists through their training to enhance ‘trauma informed’ clinical practice, within BCT’s model of care.

My background in further education teaching, as a tutor of counselling studies and cognitive behavioural therapy, has equipped me with the knowledge and skills to design and deliver appropriate and effective training programmes, and facilitate therapeutic group-work activities.

I provide therapeutic support to patients presenting with various addictions, including those with disordered eating and obesity. I deliver interpersonal and cognitive behavioural therapeutic interventions, through BCT’s bespoke weight management programme. These are delivered through individual and group therapy sessions, to effect emotional, cognitive, and behavioural change.

I support clients within BCT’s Paul’s Place suicide bereavement programme through both one-to-one counselling sessions, and through facilitation of our therapeutic wellbeing & support group.  I am also involved in BCT’s Supporting Families programme; raising awareness and delivering education around the wider determinants and impacts of ‘gambling-related harms’ on families and developing appropriate services for those affected.

Debbie Duffy - Programmes Support Manager

I joined Beacon Counselling Trust in March 2017 working as part of the Admin team. In 2020 I was promoted to Admin Manager. In my role as the Admin Manager, I am responsible for supervising the day-to-day operations of the administrative department. I develop, review, and aim to improve administrative systems and procedures. My role also includes performance reporting and meeting KPI targets. I provide clinical and administrative support to my team and the wider team at BCT.

As the admin department is the first point of contact for clients, I ensure that my team are always supported in giving the best client experience that BCT offer. I am responsible for the allocation of clients, once assessed, to the appropriate therapist’s according to the client’s needs. My work experience has always involved administration experience including roles as a service advisor, supervisor, and bank clerk.


Hayley Edgar - Programmes Support and IT Manager

I am the Programmes Support and IT Manager at Beacon Counselling Trust. I joined the business in 2017. I oversee and manage all the IT-related elements of the business, including user accounts, client relationship management systems for our various programmes, software and hardware devices, applications, infrastructure, system training, and general support enquiries. One of my main responsibilities is the maintenance and development of the BCT website, ensuring its kept up to date with the latest services we offer and news items.

I liaise with external IT support providers and system co-coordinators and lead on any IT projects including system updates and migrations. I supervise all the social media accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube. My role also consists of admin duties, taking referrals, updating client notes, and database reporting. I have a BSc (Hons) Computer Science degree and completed a level 2 & 3 counselling course to gain a better understanding, and enhance my skills. I enjoy how varied my role is and enhancing my IT and admin skills, and experience.

James Callaway - Engagement Lead, North West of England

I have been part of the Early Intervention and Education Team at Beacon Counselling Trust since July 2021. I am currently the Engagement Lead for the English Gambling Education Hub in the North West of England working with stakeholders across the region to reduce gambling-related harms through the preventative approach of education and early intervention. This programme will support professionals to access appropriate education which, in turn, will raise awareness of the issue of gambling-related harms and help them support their services users with the appropriate level of intervention.

I have been working in the field of gambling-related harms since December 2018 and have worked in public-facing roles since 2013 during which time, I gained insight into the difficulties individuals and communities can face with a variety of issues from money, mental health, housing, benefits, and more. I have recently completed the Royal Society for Public Health Making Every Contact Count (MECC) training course, which will support our existing programmes at BCT, alongside achieving a Level Two award in Tackling Gambling Related Harms.


John McGlory - Lived Experience Lead

I am an ex-service user of Beacon Counselling Trust and now work as the Lived Experience Lead. BCT has been a lifesaving service for both me and my family. The treatment and support I received taught me how to deal with grief, life struggles, gambling harm and has helped shape the person I am today.

I sit on BCT’s Lived Experience Alliance as someone who has been affected by gambling-related harms. This alliance contributes towards the gambling harms support, as well as the education and treatment development at BCT, utilising the voice of those with lived experience to inform these developments. Within my role as Lived Experience Lead, I support service-users who have experienced gambling-related harm or suicide bereavement. This role allows me to use my own personal experience to support those going through similar situations.


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